The Ultimate Guide to
The first two-pack (Doomsday & Hunter/Prey Superman) was the most fitting since, as previously noted, many of the other releases drew heavily from the death of Superman and subsequent storylines. Doomsday, of course, was the monster who ultimately killed Superman. The outfit worn by Superman is a representation of the costume created for him by the "Mother Box" (a high tech personal data assistant of sorts) in the Hunter/Prey mini-series (sort of a Superman/Doomsday rematch). Most impressive was the inclusion of a full-size mini-length comic done by Dan Jurgens and Brett Breeding. The story is quite simple (your basic slugfest) presumably targeted at younger readers and does contain a few bits of trivia and activities at the end. The art is particularly well-done though.
The figures themselves are also pretty well-done. Doomsday is an impressive recreation of the comic book character. The only real downside is the lack of articulation. He does look pretty menacing with his arms raised above his head, appearing to be ready to smash anything (or anyone) that gets in his way.
The Hunter/Prey Superman is a nice sculpt that is compromised by its precarious balance. The figure leans forward so much that it is extremely difficult to keep the figure upright without support. Combine this awkward pose with limited articulation and you have a recipe for a figure that misses the mark (if only slightly).
Exclusive comic books by Dan Jurgens and Brett Breeding that came with their respective two-packs.
As with the first two-pack, the Massacre/Full Assault Superman two-pack came with an exclusive comic. Again by Jurgens and Breeding, the storyline was yet another basic slugfest with a few activities thrown in for good measure.
Coming soon after the release of the second series of figures, a new multipack was also released: Cyber-link Superman/Cyber-link Batman. The Elseworld's version of a World's Finest team-up worked better than either of the two previous multipacks (which lingered on stores shelves). With Superman and Batman together, how could it miss?
The original release of the Cyber-link two-pack came with an exclusive comic (as the previous releases had done). Almost simultaneously, Kenner had made a "Platinum Edition" of this two-pack for sale exclusively at comic and hobby stores. The only difference between the general retail release and the "Platinum Edition" exclusive was the color of the lettering on the comic book. On the retail release, the lettering is yellow. On the Platinum Edition, it is silver (and a small box notes that it is indeed the Platinum Edition). Other than that, the figures and packaging are virtually identical.
A more significant variation came in the form of the Wal-Mart exclusive Cyber-link two-pack. In this exclusive, the chest plates and accents of the figures were replaced with vac-metallized versions. The card was altered to read "Limited Edition" along the upper right hand edge and the comic was replaced by two trading cards based on the Cyber-link figures (see tradings card pictures at the top of this page). The packaging was changed in several other ways and the figures came with stands resembling their respective symbols. One wonders if the comic and hobby store retailers felt a bit jipped at their exclusive compared to this one which was much more widely available (not to mention the people who purchased the comic store exclusive for several times the retail price, often $25 or more).
One last set of variations, though not technically part of the SMOS line nor a multipack, were the mail-in Cyber-link Superman and Batman figures issued to promote the Total Justice line. These figures were available separately by sending in 4 proofs of purchase (with dated register receipts)from any number of other DC/Kenner figures (SMOS, Total Justice, BTAS, STAS, Legends of Batman, etc.) along with $1.00 (or $2.00 and 8 POP's and receipts got you both on one order form). You could choose which figure you wanted and they were shipped separately a little sealed baggie in brown padded envelopes. The figures were redecorated using clear plastic parts and translucent capes. A really radical new look for both of these figures. One might guess that these two figures will appreciate in value given that to acquire them the individual had to purchase (and mutilate by removing the POP) 8 other Kenner DC figures. Even if those 8 figures are acquired at clearance prices, the real "cost" of the exclusive mail-away figures is in the neighborhood of $20-$30 (and if the 8 figures were purchased at full retail, that price can climb to a staggering $49.92 plus tax! $5.99 X 8 + $2.00 S&H).
Exclusive Mail-in Cyber-Link Superman and Batman from the Total Justice promotion
The last three multipacks were released only in Canada (on bilingual cards). It's a shame these never made it to the U.S. because the character choices seem like they would have replicated the success found with the Cyber-Link two-packs. Each multipack is a pairing of Superman with a Legends of Batman figure. The Power Flight Superman (Superman Puissance Aerienne) and Crusader Batman (Batman Justicier) seems like a no-brainer for a pairing of the original World's Finest.
The other two multipacks, Future Batman/Solar Suit Superman (Batman Du Futur/Superman Solaire) and Ultra Armour Batman/Ultra Shield Superman (Batman Ultra Amure) also seem like great pairings of the characters. Unfortunately, these will probably remain difficult to locate for U.S. collectors.