Back in 1978, DC Comics released one of the most iconic one-shots of all-time, Superman vs Muhammad Ali. It is one of my personal favorites. Having read this comic multiple times over the years, I got very excited when NECA announced their figure two-pack to commemorate the comic. I was even more excited to walk into Toys R Us today and find it on the shelf. Let's take a look shall we?
First, The packaging. One thing NECA always nails is presentation, and I am happy to say that this is no different. Featuring a package-sized window box with the comic logo on the bottom, if you are so inclined there really is no a reson to open the box. The figures are perfectly posed going toe-to-toe with each other, with ropes painted on the window and a boxing ring for the background. The side flaps tell the tale of the tape for each fighter, even assigning each a corner. The back looks like an ad for a comic book, panel style.
Looking at the Ali figure first, as with both figures, the comic-based paint deco is awesome. It really adds to the look of the figures, and makes them feel very unique. The head sculpt on Ali is quite good, the limbs are all very malleable, and the ability to get him into a pose a boxer would take is easy. Even with the paint apps being what they were, my figure has zero issues in that department as well.
The Superman figure looks like a Neal Adams drawing come to life. He even has closed eyes just like he does on the original cover. I do feel like the the comic paint deco works a little bit better on Ali than it does Superman, but that is not to say it is a bad thing. It actually helps to give the figure more of a bulkier appearance than it actually has. My figure did have a little problem getting his legs into certain poses, and because of the ankle rockers and the way it was packaged, the feet are a little loose, but he still stands on his own. The real standout here is the cloth cape, which for me is a new standard in how to do it properly. Having it sewn into the shoulders of the figure is the way it should always be done, I have no clue why people don't always do this. The material is great and falls perfectly over Supermans shoulders and back.
All in all, after I took these pictures I did decide to place them back into the box to display it in the familiar pose from the comic cover. This is a fantastic set, and an early contender for my figure of the year. At $39.99, it is a must for Superman, Ali, or figure fans alike. The set is available in stores now.