Review – Hot Toys 12″ Clark Kent

11 02 2007

With the disappointment experienced during the purchase of my Hot Toys Clark Kent comes the joy of breaking this fella out for this review! I must say that the idea of releasing a Clark Kent figure with a Superman uniform underneath is probably the biggest gift to any Superman fan. Hot Toys did just that after the release of their superb Superman figure. With a weak challenge mounted by Medicom’s Superman, Hot Toys seems to have surged ahead in this fight for collectors’ dollar for the best rendition of the civilian version of the Son of Krypton!

Clark Kent is a character fondly remembered by fans who grew up with the Christopher Reeves excellent take on this Daily Planet reporter. Always shy, unsure and clumsy, he was the perfect cover for the all powerful, suave and confident Man of Steel. The switch between these two personas were often lightning fast.

When Clark dashes into a phone booth or cab and emerges as Superman, his hair was all gelled up with that ‘S’ in front. Unquestioning audiences just lapped it up to see Superman save the day. When Superman touched down in some alley to emerge as Clark, the awkward reporter conveyed the start of the contrasting treatment he would receive from his Daily Planet editor and Lois – puny people who took the gloves off when it came to the battle of words. It is here that we understand the beauty of control in the hands of those with great power.

Although the Christopher Reeves’ Superman movies have been replaced by the recent Brandon Routh version, they will always be my favourite. Christopher Reeves had that amazing screen presence on top of his Superman-defining good looks. He will always be remembered. Hopefully, the new Superman will stamp his mark on this evergreen DC Comics hero in the hearts of the fans. I believe he did…

Now onto the review…

Bottomline:

Hot Toy’s Clark Kent is really a 12″ in corporate suit and tie… with a Brandon Routh head. Despite this non-superhero setup, it is a surprisingly very good looking figure. The well tailored clothes have a hand in that. Both headsculpts provided in this package are excellent with facial expressions suitable for ripping that shirt open! Get it if you are a Superman or movie fan. Otherwise, you may be unsatisfied with its accessories offering for a figure of this price which is higher than what you usually pay for a Hot Toys military figure.

What’s good:

  • Good looking 12″ figure.
  • Clark Kent head is dead-on in resemblance.
  • Good implementation of the spectacles fit on the Clark Kent head.
  • Well tailored outfit and nice shoes!
  • Superman suit underneath is the same as that found on Hot Toy’s Superman!

What could be better:

  • Lack of accessories that can be displayed with the figure.
  • Tinge of red highlights around the eyes of the Superman head make this Superman look weary from superhero duties.

Review Details

Packaging

Hot Toys Clark Kent comes in a similar packaging as Hot Toys Superman. Both have that bluish and shiny embossed sleeve with a matte potrait of the figure’s face on the front flap of the box underneath.

I’ve noticed for a while now that Hot Toys have introduced plastic trays that not only holds the figure but ‘locks’ the other included plastic trays together. This is done with an innovative and very simply moulded notch on each corner of the trays. No reason for using adhesive tapes for securing those plastic trays now! Sideshow can learn from Hot Toys likewise!

Headsculpt/Resemblance

Two heads are included with this Hot Toys Clark Kent package. The default head attached onto the figure is that of Clark’s. The Superman head allows the collector to depict the moment closer to the full revelation of that blue and red suit. One curious thing is the total change of hairstyle! Superman sure styles his hair super fast as well.

The Clark Kent head is a combination of good features resembling Brandon Routh’s pre-Superman persona and a well sculpted ‘guy next door’ hairstyle. I really liked the design of the spectacles. Not referring to those big framed black rimmed spectacles reminiscent of Christoper Reeves nerdy take of this Daily Planet reporter. Rather, both sides of the spectacles are tucked into the hair at the sides of the head. With this design, not only does the figure look good with those glasses, the sides of the spectacles do not stick out unsightly like the sunglasses from the Hot Toys Aviator pair. Now, it looks perfect.

 

I had initially frowned on the Superman head when I was inspecting the figure during collection. It was a different sculpt from the head on Hot Toys Superman. It had bigger and more prominent eyes. Peering from behind the plastic on the box, those eyes with the red highlights around it did remind me of Sideshow’s Sith Anakin. It looks like the badder version of Hot Toys Superman! Alternatively, you can see him as someone deprived of sleep!

Anyway, it was a different reaction after I took out the Superman head for the photoshoot. It grew on me and I found that it was really a good sculpt fitting for a Superman figure. But I still preferred the Hot Toys Superman’s take on the face.

Both heads have a calm expression. No wide eye look or gaping mouth here. As such, they look good with the Superman baring insignia pose.

Quality of Product

Figures out of Hot Toys these days are doing pretty well in this department. Hot Toys Clark Kent is no different. First of all, one reason for buying this Hot Toys version is the quality of the Superman suit and insignia is the same excellent version found on the Hot Toys Superman. You can be sure when this Clark pops his shirt buttons, onlookers will be greeted by a cool looking blue-red suit underneath. However, having 2 figures with this 3D Superman insignia did made me crave a the big 2D version worn on the uniform by Christopher Reeves! The collector is just so hard to please, huh?

Next, the suit and tie worn by Clark looks really good surprisingly. I had been fed on a diet of superheroes and movie characters for sometime now but I did find this ‘normal’ clothes figure rather outstanding. I believe one reason is because the clothes are well tailored. Being grey, the clothes does invoke certain affiliation with the Christopher Reeves portrayal of Clark. In fact, with the figure’s hands tucked into the jacket’s pocket, Hot Toys Clark Kent look right at home on the busy streets of Metropolis. You could imagine him on the sidewalk waiting for someone or a cab.

I am rather pleased with the quality of the Hot Toys Clark Kent. It fulfils its purpose of being Clark Kent with the Superman uniform underneath those civilian clothes very well.

Stability

Hot Toys Clark Kent wears shoes and not boots. This means that there will be more strain on the ankle joint. Afterall, raising the pant leg shows exactly what we are dealing with – a nude body wearing a shoe… and half a sock! And we are not talking about a Gen-X Core body here. As such I was a bit apprehensive about its stability.

Fortunately, tests during the photoshoot showed that Hot Toys Clark Kent can stand firmly without a display stand. It did not fall or made me worried that he would topple over and dig his nose into my workbench. It could be due to the ankle joints being new and tight. As such, I would still recommend that Clark Kent be aided by the nice display stand that comes with him.

 

Accessories

Accessories included with this Hot Toys Clark Kent include a pair of open palmed ‘flying’ hands and the Superman Head. The long jacket is taped under one of the plastic trays. Of these 3 items, only the jacket can be used as an additional accessory to the figure itself.

Of course the extra head and hands would be good for a custom kitbash of another Clark or Superman figure. It would have been better to have included Clark’s briefcase. It could have had a sling which could be slung over his shoulders when you put the figure in the shirt-ripping pose. Even without the sling I would put it at the feet of the figure to depict the shedding of one identity for another.

Hot Toys Clark Kent also comes with a Certificate of Authenticity with its own release number due to its limited release status.

 

 

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8 responses

12 02 2007
Gab

666? That can’t be good! Must be why you had problems with the retailer lol.

12 02 2007
swftoys

Ha. Isn’t 6 is supposed to mean ‘luck’ to the Chinese? What a number huh?

12 02 2007
Gab

Does it? Well then that’s a triple portion of luck, guess it’s time you hit the Blackjack tables!

14 02 2007
eighthsamurai

Hey man,

sweet review, mine just arrived this morning. And guess what? A seriously damaged box – I was ready to cry. God I hate that. OK, so I got it off ebay, but the guy didn’t mention it once. He has 100% positive feedback too. I’ve emailed him to see what he’ll do about it before i ruin his perfect 100% feedback. probably nothing. It really sucks. Now my Batman Begins and Superman Returns are both badly depreciated in value.

14 02 2007
swftoys

Gab, I’ll have to wait till the integrated resorts(with casinos) to open over here to take a chance at the blackjack tables then!

e-samurai, to get mint packagings while purchasing from ebay require a good seller. experience says dun buy too much in bulk cos the outer box will be bigger and more susceptible to damage. on the other hand, i got my black midori from a japanese ebayer and he bubble packed it very nicely.

the damage is to your clark. why is your Batman and Supe affected?

17 02 2007
eighthsamurai

sorry, i meant my batman and my superman returns CLARK KENT. my batman box (which in my opinion is the best hot toys packaging to date) was annihilated during shipping too. completely separate incident. but it sucks that 2 of my favourites have cruddy boxes.

10 09 2007
ian

I think Clark Kent looks really good in it’s actual pose. Don’t need to rip off the shirt to unleash superman underneath. Mine is posing cooling with the hands in the coat. I agree completely that the tinge of red highlight under the eyes of Superman’s head is really a big let down. 😦

27 06 2009
A Uniter Not a Divider! - Ryeberg Curated Video

[…] instead Mattell’s top-seller of the time: Super Star Ken — complete with a disco suit and Kent Clark-hair — whom I had cherished for the fantastic new smell, which till this day I still like to refer […]

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