Mattel Movie Masters: Superman (Mattel)
Psyched for "Man of Steel?" Have we got some goodies for you! Couldn't care less about "Man of Steel?" Yeah, we know of some pretty cool stuff for you as well.
As the new Superman flick attempts to leap large cineplexes in a single bound, so too is its killer merchandise. With swag ranging from toys and LEGO sets to holiday ornaments and books, it should come as no surprise that the Super-stuff is doing super-well.
That is, super-well to the tune of more than $170 million and climbing, according to The Hollywood Reporter. And the movie is only hitting theaters this weekend.
Of course, with 98 different promotional partners, such success seems almost inevitable, but that doesn't mean any details were left untouched. We caught up with Steed Sun, the Director of Design for Boys Licensed Entertainment Brands – otherwise known as the man behind the design of the "Man of Steel" Movie Masters and more – at Mattel to get a better sense of what goes into creating movie magic with a physical product.
"For 'Man of Steel,' I had the privilege, and a couple other guys from our team, of actually going on set and meeting with the costume designers and really getting into the nuts and bolts of what the suits are, what they look like, what the textures are like in person," he recalled. "I actually got to meet Henry Cavill in his suit – he was in full makeup, full costume … Having those specialty insights into the moviemakers and the costume designers and seeing, feeling, and touching the suits really helps us in terms of delivering the details and [bringing] authenticity to life."
The fabric of the suit itself is meant to appear as a "modern-day chain mail" like knights used to wear, and that texture is apparent throughout the marketing of the film, as well as on the action figures starting as small as 6-inches tall.
In order to make the faces on the figures resemble the actors, Mattel puts a little less emphasis on digital scanning and technology and focuses more on a combination of production photos from Warner Bros. and old-fashioned sculpting.
"We think that gives them a second layer of life and authenticness," Sun explained. "Sometimes, when you get too much into the digital technology, it lacks some of that personality and life."
The man with the red cape doesn't just lend himself to toys, however. Converse, Junk Food Clothing, and even Twizzlers are in on the action. Chrysler is offering two new series of vehicles with the superhero in mind, Carl's Jr. now has Super cheeseburgers, and Nokia has phones and apps to support Superman's attempt to keep Earth from peril.
And who can avoid those Gillette razor ads wondering how the superhero shaves?
You get the picture. Now get the pictures of some of the coolest of the "Man of Steel" swag.
- Man of Steel