"Get in on the action with POWER ACTION!
And decide the battle of good vs. evil!
"They're the most awesome heroes fighting the most despicable villains in a universal struggle for power. And they're yours in this incredible collection of twelve action figures. Just squeeze 'em. Each has its own power action. Superman punches. Brainiac kicks. The Flash runs. Get them together and you trigger the endless battle of the Super Powers Collection. Who wins? Who loses? You decide!"
This was the description of Kenner's SUPER POWERS COLLECTION in an ad on the back of DC's comic books, which was the first time I'd seen the action figures that many consider to be among the best toys ever made. All of the figures include accurate details in sculpting and paint deco, cloth capes that were held in place by a plastic clip sewn into the collar that beautifully draped over the character's shoulders.
A special "power action" feature was added to every figure, giving them a "super power" all their own. Each was activated by a hidden mechanism built into the figure, which was not noticeable from the outside, keeping the character's aesthetics true to the original design. Also, unlike nearly every single action figure made before or since, the joints were invisible from the outside. The hinged knees did not have the pivots joints exposed, so you just enjoy looking at the nicely done sculpting of each figure.
The first waves also included a mini-comic with an all-new adventure inside showcasing the character's powers and setting up the adventure. As soon as I dig those out from storage, I'll add scans of them to their respective pages.
The SUPER POWERS COLLECTION was one of the first action figure lines I collected, and although I was clearly not a completist, I strived to keep them in good condition. Since the majority of these characters were featured in the SUPER FRIENDS cartoon series, they were easily recognizable.
Wave 1 - 1984
This first wave included the cast of the SUPER FRIENDS TV show, along with many of their frequent guest star super-heroes, plus some cool-looking updates to the villains that appeared in the show. As a kid, I mostly stuck to the most recognizable characters, as I wasn't a completist back then. Over the years, I was able to trade with my friends to pick up other figures that I had missed out on.
The King of the Seven Seas is sporting his classic costume. He comes armed with a trident, and when you squeeze his arms together, you activate "Power Action Deep Sea Kick"!
This Caped Crusader is based on his look from happier times, and he's not quite so dark and brooding. He comes with a cloth cape and when you squeeze his legs together, you activate "Power Action Bat Punch"!
Based on the short-lived robotic form from the comics, Brainiac has a clear dome on his head so you can see the inner brain. When you squeeze his arms together, you activate "Power Action Computer Kick"!
This Scarlet Speedster figure is the original Barry Allen! When you squeeze his arms together, you activate "Power Action Lightning Legs"!
The Galactic Guardain figure features Hal Jordan in his classic uniform, complete with power battery. When you squeeze his legs together, you activate "Power Action Ring Thrust"!
This winged warrior is based on his classic look, before all of the attempts to recreate his origin made him a total mess. When you squeeze his legs together, you activate "Power Action Flight Wings"!
This is the mad scientist version of the character, before he was recreated as an evil businessman. This look has been brought back many times over the years, with slight modifications. When you squeeze his legs together, you activate "Power Action Nuclear Punch"! A very cool feature is added...when the chest armor is removed, Lex Luthor's suit only works at half-power. The arms do not move their full range.
This figure of the Boy Wonder is the original Dick Grayson, who was not actually a member of the Justice League, but rather the Teen Titans. However, since he is Batman's partner and a member of the Super Friends team (plus a way for younger fans to connect with the show), he is included. He comes with a cloth cape and when you squeeze his legs together, you activate "Power Action Karate Chop"!
The Man of Steel has had a few different looks over the yeas, but nothing beats this classic design! He comes with a cloth cape and when you squeeze his legs together, you activate "Power Action Punch"!
Other figures in this wave (not shown today) include:Joker
Wave 2 - 1985
With this wave, the DC universe opened up on a galactic scale! The inclusion of characters from Jack Kirby's Fourth World saga was a great introduction to the larger DC Universe, since these New Gods characters were not based on Earth. Plus, other members of the Justice League roster were added that were not on the cartoon show, which ignited my curiosity to learn more about them (and of course read more DC comic books!)
The ruler of Apokolips includes a long cloth cape and towers over every other figure in the line! When you squeeze his legs together, you activate "Power Action Raging Motion"! PLUS, if you shine a light on the top of his head, you simulate "Power Action Omega Effect Eyes"!
This master magician comes with a cloth cape and when you squeeze his legs together, you activate "Power Action Mystic Spell Cast"!
One of the brand-new characters in the DC universe (back then), the Nuclear Man was added to the roster of the Super Friends cartoon as well. When you squeeze his legs together, you activate "Power Action Atomic Punch"!
One of the founders of the Justice League and a member of nearly every incarnation ever since! He comes with a cloth cape and when you squeeze his legs together, you activate "Power Action Martian Punch"!
This awesome android comes with a cloth cape and when you squeeze his arms together, you activate "Power Action Tornado Twist"!
This fearsome villain was originally available through a mail-in redemption offer during wave 1, but he was later released on a single card. When you Squeeze his legs together, you activate "Power Action Electro-Axe Chop"!
Other figures in this wave (not shown today) include:Desaad
Wave 3 - 1986
With the third wave, there were very few easily-recognized characters that were a "must buy" for me. Only a few were actually in the cartoon, and the rest were "made up" characters and therefore not "real" to me. So I didn't get them. They were not overly played with either, because by this time I was a little older and moving on from toy collecting...I was instead buying the comic books!
This master escape artist comes with a cloth cape and when you squeeze his legs together, you activate "Power Action Wrist Lock Escape" which allows him to break free of his wrist locking shackles!
The World's Mightiest Mortal is is actually named Captain Marvel, but because DC does not own the rights to that name, he is publicly called "Shazam!" for all promotional titles.
Other figures in this wave (not shown today) include:Cyborg
While this is all of the figures that I have from this line, this is by no means the end of our feature! Thanks to a fellow collector who was even more dedicated to the line than I was, we'll be back with more from the SUPER POWERS COLLECTION, coming very soon in a future installment of "Flashback Friday" right here on Cool Toy Review!