The 20 Best Kenner Super Powers Toys

Post image for The 20 Best Kenner Super Powers Toys

by Kap El on March 28, 2013

in Lists, The 80s

In 1984, Kenner (one of the great toy companies of the 1980s and 90s) acquired the license to the greatest stable of superhero characters ever: DC Comics.

The Super Powers line was produced in 3 ¾ scale, which is the first time DC characters had appeared in the same scale as Star Wars (fostering a lot of  Han Solo and Batman team-ups for children of the 80s).  I was born during “Wave 2”, which means just as I was getting old enough to play with “guys” (as action figures are known in the Upper Midwest), every garage sale, Goodwill and Flea Market was full of Super-Powers/Secret Wars/Star Wars guys. I had almost all of the above mentioned toy lines, purchased by my father- a huge comic geek himself.

kenner super powers checklist

This toy line stands out as the most iconic and well produced line of superhero toys ever made:

No confusing face-changing shields and detachable wrist claws.

No “Basketball/Outerspace/Chef/Robot” variants (Sorry, TMNT apologists, but what’s good for the Turtles ain’t good for my DC guys. Thank God the “Powers Plus” never got made).

No ridiculously out of proportion and sometimes, incredibly off model Eternian Warriors.

jose garcia lopez super powers art

Just simple but iconic versions of characters in amazing packaging with art by comics legend Jose Garcia Lopez- praise be his name in the comics community.

There were some goofy characters thrown in just to break it up in later waves (WTF is a Cyclotron? What is wrong with Mantis?), but over all Kenner Super Powers stands tall as the best toy line of the 8os.

And they had bitchin’ Super Powers. Like, for real.

 

Here are the top 20 toys from the Kenner Super Powers line.

*Although a lot of toys were produced with the SuperPowers logo, we will be focusing on the 3 ¾ line of  figures,vehicles and play-sets.

 

20. The Flash (with Lightning Legs)

The Flash is one of DC’s most iconic characters, and has been a staple of DC animation  for a very long time. He’s a personal favorite character of mine (Jay>Wally>Barry), and the figure looks great. It’s in the top 20 because it looks a lot like Barry Allen flash, but ranks so low because they called his power “Lightning Legs”.

kenner super powers flash

image via Cool Toy Review

Conclusion: There are some corny names for cool powers on this list, but it sounds like Barry suffers from Restless Leg Syndrome,  which is NO JOKE, kids.

 

19. Kalibak (With Beta-Club Swing)/The Boulder Bomber

I know I just got done busting on the Barry for the “Lightning Legs” thing,  but “Beta-Club Swing” sounded like a dance video rental place that would exist around the time these guys came out. The reason he made the cut was because KALIBAK is a BOSS.

kenner super powers kalibak

The heft of this figure was substantial. I remember as kid, he was decidedly heavier than Darkseid (pronounced Dark-Side, BTW), his father. This made Kalibak great for chucking at annoying cousins, or holding down sheets of paper in a hurricane.  His real advantage was this: he had the coolest bad guy vehicle. The Boulder Bomber was also specifically made for him.

Conclusion: Not bad for the ne’er-do-well son of a world conquerer.

 

18. The Justice Jogger

Kind of like a personal Segway/AT-ST “Chicken Walker” hybrid. Built for Superman or any other member of the Justice League. Also, it has the best name and description ever: Justice Jogger, the Overland Villain Chaser.

justice jogger kenner superpowers

Conclusion: I want one, IRL. For chasin’ villains.

 

17. Firestorm (with Atomic Punch)

I had this guy as a kid and I always thought he looked cool, but didn’t pick up my first Firestorm comic until a few weeks ago. He’s one of 3 teenage characters included in the series (along with Robin and Cyborg), and is just a great looking figure.

kenner super powers firestorm

image via Cool Toy Review

For whatever reason, possibly because of his color-scheme, I would always make him fly the Delta Probe 1 vehicle.  Firestorm was a prime example of how great a job Kenner did with transferring these characters from the screen and the page into a wonderful toy.

Conclusion: Find out more about Firestorm at FirestormFan.com,  run by my internet buddy Shagg. He’s a great character, and makes one hell of a toy!

 

16. Brainiac (with Computer Kick)

Again, the power name is awful, conjuring images of “Office Space”, but Brainiac’s real draw is the fact that they went with the 80s Brainiac design, and not the “A Decent Pair of Pants” Superfriends-style Brainiac.

kenner super powers brainiac

image via kennersuperpowers.com

In a line full of classic interpretations of characters, it was a great decision to include the newer iridescent Brainiac. Also, comics-savvy kids could now play “Whatever Happened to the Man Of Tomorrow” using even less imagination! Win!

Conclusion:

 

15. Batmobile

A unique, very pre-Keaton Batmobile, the Super Powers version of the iconic vehicle combines sleek 80s styling with serious 60s influence. It’s the perfect Batmobile for the line, and one of the best Batmobiles ever produced.

kenner super powers batmobile

image via Cool Toy Review

Features include flip-up style headlights, a Criminal Catcher that comes out of the bumper, and BAT-tering ram. You know, for when bad stuff goes down and you gotta take out the doors to the Iceberg Lounge.

Conclusion: Just look at it! Awesome.

 

14. Batman and Robin (with Bat-Punch and Karate Chop, respectively)

Remember when Batman and Robin was a thing? The dark, gritty Batman of  Frank Miller’s Dark Knight returns had yet to be printed, Keaton’s solo Batman was still years away, and Christian Bale was still playing with Super Powers toys, presumably.

kenner super powers batman robin

This is Batman in his 70s blue and grey look, and Robin with the pixie boots (I’m down with the pixie boots. I mean, he’s an acrobat based on Robin Hood, cut him some slack). No two toys belong together like SP Batman and Robin, a Crime Fighting Duo unheard of in today’s cynical Batfan world. Plus, they looked AWESOME in the Batmobile together. Trust me.

Conclusion: These figs are DOPE.

 

13. Green Lantern (with Ring Thrust Action)

It sounds kinky, but in all actuality, it’s another “Punch Feature”.

kenner super powers green lantern

image via Cool Toy Review

This Hal is standard Pre-Crisis Hal, nothing fancier than him just being himself.  The real reason Hal makes it so far up the list is because he comes with a rather novel accessory: a Green Lantern (imagine that).  With this one accessory, your hours of play just TRIPLED. It could be an accessory, it could be a decoration in his room in the Hall of Justice play-set, it could be stolen by baddies and had to be gotten back: In short, it’s brilliant.

Conclusion: Green Lantern comes with a Green Lantern. It’s so obvious it’s great.

 

12. Superman (with Action Punch)

I would argue that to this day, there has not been a more accurate, on model comic Superman action figure produced. The red cloth cape, the classic colors, the correct hair style…this is the pinnacle of Superman toys.

kenner super powers superman

Conclusion: Action Punch!

 

11. Joker (with Mad Cap Mallet)

I am all about this mallet. When I draw Harley Quinn, 90% of the time she is brandishing that thing, mostly because it’s awesome!

kenner super powers joker

image via imstillakid.com

The Mad Cap Mallet changed a generation of kids into fans of mallets, finishing the job that Gallagher started. And if you want, you can put the  mallet on his head so he looks like a “Joker Oats” box with a really long nose!

Conclusion: Madcap. Mallet.

 

See the Top 10 Kenner Super Powers toys of all time —>

 

  • http://coldslitherpodcast.com Classick Material

    OMG I used to have Batman and Robin! I used to swap their detachable capes around just for fun until I lost Batman’s and had to create a makeshift cape using scraps from an old tubesock and a twist tie from a loaf of bread.

    Thanks for the memories!

    • Kap-El

      Hahaha!

      Dude, I recently did that when I was given some of my old toys and I got my Keaton Face Batman back from my little brother who found him in a box in a barn.!!!

      Glad I could give you a laugh, dude!
      Thanks for the kind words!

  • James

    I’ve been on the hunt for these figures lately. They are hard to find. Great list!

    • Kap-El

      Thanks, man!

  • BM Punk

    MAN I would love to have that batman, superman, GL, Flash, aquaman and wonder woman. Quintessential figures of those characters

  • Pingback: Happy (early) St. Patrick’s Day! The 10 Greenest Action Figures of All Time()

  • Pingback: Spotted Online – The 20 Best Kenner Super Powers Toys()

Previous post:

Next post: