This figure started it all. This figure was responsible for a 32 year love of all things GREEN LANTERN (The Hal Jordan GL, that is.) and DC Comics in general.
The 80s were a rich vein of Toy greatness. Fact. Coming off several years of Star Wars figures, we had Transformers, Masters of the Universe, GI Joe, Ninja Turtles, M.A.S.K, Centurions, Silverhawks and of course Kenner’s Super Powers Collection. All incredible, world-view shaping, character building toylines that continue to enjoy massive popularity. I feel for the poor kids of today, I really do. With their Pokemons and Shopkins… they don’t stand a chance.
After about 8 years of pumping out 3.75″ Star Wars figures, toy manufacturer Kenner (now absorbed into Hasbro) got the licence from DC Comics to produce a new line of superhero figures. This would be the Super Powers Collection: a taller, more articulated, action-feature incorporating line that would be the bench mark of superhero action figures for the next 10 years. There was no way I was going to give these guys a miss.
Now everyone loved Superman. Or Batman. That was a given. But as green is my favorite colour, and I wanted to be different, I lasered in on this green and black dude with a face mask and magic ring. I knew nothing about him. But I knew he looked cool. So Green Lantern became my first Super Powers figure. And once I had him, I had to get to know him. Pretty soon after that I bought my first ever comic: Green Lantern vol.2 #193, Oct 1985. And life would never be the same. To this day, I never miss an issue of a Hal Jordan GL comic. And my little Super Powers GL has acquired plenty of Hal Jordan shaped company on the shelf (see pics).
Apart from the extra articulation (these figures had actual knee joints for f**k’s sake! Amazing!) the Super Powers figures all had a unique action feature. Squeeze their legs together and BAM! Some crazy shit went down. Superman had an uppercut punching feature, Lex Luthor a kinda karate chop and Green Lantern had the unfortunately titled ‘ring thrust!’. Just squeeze the legs and ZAP! You’re toast. Total bad assery.
The figure featured in the pics is my own from 1985. His power battery, whilst an authentic Super Powers accessory, is a recent replacement. Somewhere in the dim and distant I managed to lose the original. Idiot. Thankfully, if you ask, ebay will provide. Albiet at a premium…
Today, superhero action figures account for an enormous segment of the collecting community. Marvel Legends, DC Universe Classics, etc etc etc all had their ways paved by the awesome Super Powers Collection. This was a seminal toyline which still looks great on display over 30 years later. You’d be hard pressed to find any serious toy collector who doesn’t have a Super Powers figure somewhere in their stash.
“In brightest day, in blackest night
No evil shall escape my sight.
Let those who worship evil’s might
Beware my power: GREEN LANTERN’S LIGHT!”
I mean come on…is that not the greatest oath ever?