Super Powers Collection
In 1984, DC Comics awarded the master toy license of their characters to Kenner Products, hot on the heels of Mattel’s “action feature” heavy He-Man toy line.
The initial pitch seemed to be heavily influenced by Kenner’s popular Star Wars toyline with multiple playsets with individual franchises for Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Teen Titans, Lois Lane, and the Super Jrs.
Winning the license away from Mego Corporation and Mattel with their emphasis on action and art, Kenner devised hidden mechanisms within the figures that would trigger an action when the figure’s legs or arms were squeezed. This emphasis on each figure’s “super power” led to the naming of the line – The Super Powers Collection. Each figure in the first two series were also packaged with a mini-comic featuring that character’s adventures.
With his Apokolipian New Gods characters like Darkseid judged ideal antagonists for the line, comic creator Jack Kirby received some of the only royalties of his long career for redesigning his characters for Kenner. Artist George Pérez also received royalties for his design of Cyborg and redesign of Lex Luthor. Ed Hannigan would redesign Brainiac for the line. Most other designs (and much of the packaging artwork) were based on José Luis García-López’ classic DC Style Guides (other artwork used appears to be the work of Dick Giordano, who was known to ink Garcia-Lopez’ art for the publications, and Mike DeCarlo).
In all, three series of figures and accessories were released (in 1984, 1985, and 1986), but after three years of production the line collapsed.
Kenner Super Powers Collection eventually released 34 figures, eight vehicles, one playset, and one carrying case.