Palitoy Superman the Movie - 3.75" Christopher Reeve

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Not sure if this is the correct place to post this so apologies to the mods if it's not. I wanted to show something that I'm working on for my own collection. I always loved the Kenner / Palitoy style of card backs. To this day, they still look the best out of any other card designs.

Being a massive fan of Superman the Movie and Superman II when I was a kid, I always wanted Palitoy (I'm in the U.K.) to release figures from those movies, but it never happened. Here's my version of what it could have looked like. I've finished the card back design and am in the early stages of getting the figure modeled in 3D for printing. Obviously, I've used the Star Wars card style for this but it just "feels" so right for these movies too. Palitoy probably wouldn't have got this past Lucasfilm's lawyers back in the day though. Ha ha.
 

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Well, I didn't know that I needed this until now. Those look great. You need to meet up with the Stan Solo/Smithlord guy and make these as mass produced customs. I'd go broke buying them.
 
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Got a nice quality test print done for the card and placed a bubble on it to see how it looked. Very pleased. Now just got to get the figure sorted to put inside it! This was printed on 350g card (front and back) but is thinner than the vintage cards. It looks great and displays well without being "floppy", but do you think I should instead glue a front and back together so the card ends up being thicker?
 

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I like the thickness of Super7's Reaction cards. Hasbro's Retro Star Wars cards feel too flimsy. They bow down the center. Don't know if you have any to compare to, but for a custom, thicker might be better.
 
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How did you get it printed on cardstock?that looks retail ready. Kudos!
 
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I had it printed at a professional print shop. It's really nice quality but the card is definitely too thin. It holds its shape, but is about half the thickness of the original 70's / 80's Kenner cards. The printing machine that they've got can print onto both sides of card up to a thickness of 350g. They did try it with 400g stock which has a slightly more glossy appearance, but it's more difficult to get the two sides lined up properly, so when I trimmed the card looking at it from the front, when I turned it over to look at the back, the silver racetrack borders were at an angle and there was some white left at the edges. I can add a black "bleed" to it, but that won't solve the misalignment.
I've found a seller on ebay who produces custom cards and he prints them on some waxy type of paper and sticks the front and back artwork onto the correct thickness of card. I purchased a Return of the Jedi Bike Scout cardback from him so I could see what it was like and found it difficult to tell the difference between his card and my original Biker Scout card. It even has the same "feel" to it when you touch it. I've asked him to do a test print of one of the Superman cards so I can see how it looks. I've got to make a decision about whether I go for something that looks and feels authentic to the time period when they were making these movies and action figures, or go for a more modern printing equivalent which has a much smoother feel to it. I contacted several Lithographic printing companies, but the set up costs to make the four printing plates required made it a non-starter as it is very expensive to get the plates made and then they are only interested in a significantly high bulk order. One company said that they'd only take it on if 2000 cards were ordered! I was a bit embarrassed when I had to tell them that I was probably only needing about 25 o 50 maximum.
 

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These are great Chris, I remember your awesome Reeve bust among other great stuff from years ago on the RPF.
 
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So, I took the plunge and tried to see if I could make the cardbacks myself. Had the artwork professionally printed onto some satin self-adhesive labels and then mounted the front and back artwork to some book board (greyboard). The result is very encouraging, although I've since ordered some greyboard which has a smoother surface because even though I applied the labels without any air bubbles, the surface texture of the greyboard gives the cards a bit of an "orange peel" effect. The sheen looks great and I'm getting the hang of applying the labels and trimming them all square so I'm hopeful that I'll be able to do it with a very professional looking end result.

20200618_090622-1.jpg

20200618_090642-1.jpg
 

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Just having fun with a Funko "first appearance" Supes figure. Mine won't be stylised like this, but I just wanted to get feel for how the package looks overall when the appropriately colored figure is in the bubble.
 

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I'm calling the packaging done. Got some correct thickness card, got the correct rounded corner cutter, correct shelf hanger hole.

VERY happy with how this has turned out. Smoother surface but still has a slight indication of the "orange peel". Card thickness / rigidity feels exactly like an old Kenner Star Wars card I've got here. :)
 

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Working on a custom cardback for the Funko Adam West Batman. To finish off the trio of Palitoy toys I wanted back in the day, I will be doing a Nicholas Hammond Spiderman. Looking forward to having the all on display together.
 

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Here's the latest / final versions printed out and assembled into proper cards. I've tried everything within my economic means to get something looking like the lithographic printed cards of the original Palitoy cards. It's a lot harder than I imagined it to be, but I'm happy with these. They've got a nice sheen to them. I ended up using white smooth faced greyboard which has the same strength as the original greyboard that Palitoy used, but the only drawback is that the card edges look more white than original cards. This is a small price to pay though to get the front and back of the cards looking good. I found that when I applied the paper to the uncoated greyboard, the surface texture of the board showed through too much and made the cards look too different to how the original cards looked. For the assortment number in the top left hand corner of the cards, I went for the original theatrical date when the movies opened in the theaters here in the UK (date format is UK with day, month and year). Thought that was as good as anything to use for the assortment number.
 

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Which one of these Flash and Spider-Man card backs do you all prefer? Can't make up my mind! (I know it's the wrong Flash figure in the mock-up. I couldn't find a good enough photo of the correct red and black vest version and forgot to take a photo of my own figure at home).
 

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Figures are place holders for now (but you get the idea). Imagine how cool it would have been back in the late 70's / early 80's to see these on the shelf hangers with the Star Wars figures too.
 

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I like your designs, but think they rely too heavily on the esthetic of the Star Wars cards.
 
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Absolutely. 100% relies on the Star Wars card back design because to this day, those are the most aesthetically perfect card designs in my opinion. So many other styles used by Kenner in the new figures but for me, nothing comes close to the appeal of the original racetrack style. Palitoy re-used styles on their packaging so this is my attempt at doing what they may have done back in the day (although they may not have been so blatantly able to re-use the racetrack like I have).
 
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Here's how they're all looking so far. I'm thinking that the first Hulk with the blue sky fits in better with the overall look of the others?
 

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Robin and Wonder Woman now added to the set. Apart from the villains which I may or may not do, I'm pretty much finished with the cardbacks now. Just got to wait for the custom figures to be completed. Chris Reeve Superman is first and the modeler will start on him later this week or early next week. Can't wait to see how it turns out!
 

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Hopefully it will turn out as successfully as my Flash Gordon (1980) Hawkman Rocket Cycle custom toy.
WTF... are you selling these by any chance?

Great work on the Superman cards. This is a game I completely ‘get’. I would have had a slightly different choice of figures - basing it on a line like Kenner’s Indy line I would have had:

Wave 1
Superman
Jor El in Black robe
Lois
Lex Luthor

Wave 2
Clark Kent
General Zod
Non
Cat burglar

The mail away figure would have been the Kryptonian Guard!

Superman II

Wave 1
Superman with heat vision eyes
Jor El in white robe
Luthor in prison outfit
Ursa

Wave 2
Clark in truckstop revenge outfit
Zod with heat vision eyes
Sheriff Pepper
President with kneeling action!

Bonus figure with the Fortress of Solitude Playset would be hologram Jor El...
 
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Just got to finish Lex Luthor and then my set of 12 Palitoy Superheroes and Villains will be complete. Can't wait to do the artwork for the backs of the other cards so I can start making them and putting figures onto them. Work will start on the 3d model of the Christopher Reeve Superman figure tomorrow!
 

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Some great ideas there DarthBrit. Yes, I can make these cardbacks for anyone who wants them.
Here's General Zod
Your card backs are great but I was asking after the wonderful Flash Gordon rocket cycle - are you selling those by any chance?

I had a couple of other ideas for lines-that-should-have-been - figures you should have been able to buy in Woolies on your way home from the Odeon, from movies that bring back that whole lovely Pearl & Dean, rainy autumn evenings, smoking on one side of the cinema, that free film magazine, begging to be allowed to stay up to watch the premiere with Judith Chalmers after News at Ten... anyway I reckon Moonraker and Dragonslayer deserve a retrospective Palitoy line!
 
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Great memories DarthBrit!
Yes, I can make the Flash Gordon Rocket Cycles. They're not cheap though because they're 3D printed and then I have to spend a few hours cleaning up and painting / detailing.
Shoot me an email if you're interested.
chris.king2@blueyonder.co.uk
 
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Hi all,
You're probably all getting bored of seeing just never-ending photos of the cardbacks so I'm pleased to be able to show the first WIP photos of the Chris Reeve Superman figure that is being made for this project.
This is "Stage 1" of the work - just getting the proportions and overall appearance correct. "Stage 2" will start to refine the details and likeness / pose.
VERY happy with how this is looking already though. Hope you like it too.
 

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I thought there would have been a lot more excitement after I showed how good the 3d model for the Chris Reeve Superman figure was coming along. The model will be finished in the next few days and I will get a test print done of it so I can see how it looks in reality.
 
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Yes, I've realised that. I'm primarily a Star Wars toy fan too, but I also love other movies from that time period and wanted to produce things from those movies / TV shows that would compliment the Star Wars figure line when displayed nearby.

I won't continue updating this thread in future.

If anyone is interested in seeing more progress / getting some for their own collection - please email me at:
chris.king2@blueyonder.co.uk
 
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