There is no Kenner Super Powers Catwoman

Hake's Auctions was founded in 1967 and specialized in pop culture memorabilia. They're currently running an auction for what they call "SUPER POWERS COLLECTION - CATWOMAN" PROTOTYPE ACTION FIGURE":

4.5" tall unpainted solid hard plastic prototype. The "Super Powers Collection" line was introduced by Kenner in 1984. Kenner's attention to detail and keen marketing techniques made the line an instant success and guaranteed 3 waves of figures, released in 1984, 1985 and 1986. A proposed fourth line of figures was produced but the line was discontinued before the production could begin. The figure we are offering here is a prototype for 1 of these figures - Catwoman. Figure is jointed at neck, shoulders and hips and comes with detachable cat tail. This prototype (though digitally colorized) was featured on cover and interior article in "Tomart's Action Figure Digest" #114, published Sep., 2003 (comes with copy of issue). From the Tomart Archives and comes with COA signed by Tom Tumbusch and Ted Hake."

Here's the Tomart's in question:

The problem is, they're wrong. All of them are wrong. Hake's is wrong, Ted Hake is wrong, Tom Tumbusch is wrong, Tomart's was wrong. Because there is no Super Powers Catwoman.

Even without any internal company records from the time, we can debunk this one based purely on math. That costume, with its mask ears and little booties, is clearly based on David Mazzucchelli's redesign for "Batman: Year One," published in Batman #404-407. The issues came out in 1987, so Mazzucchelli would have been working on this redesign in 1986 (so it had time to be approved).

Given how long it takes toys to be made, the "proposed fourth [series]" for 1987 would have had to be started in 1985. There's art of other planned Series 4 figures, and it's all dated 1985. Since all the Super Powers figures were based on the 1982 DC Comics Style Guide, the book used to maintain a consistent look for marketing and licensing, any proposed Catwoman toy would have been based on her appearance there, in the same purple dress and green cape she'd first worn in the '40s, and returned to in 1975:

Since this prototype didn't surface until the late '90s, there's nothing indicating it had any Super Powers connection other than the fact it's from Kenner. But you know what else Kenner made? Batman movie toys. Specifically, Batman Returns toys. Since the Catwoman in that was so influenced by the "Year One" design, Kenner used the comic costume for their prototype, changing it to the final product when the producers sent them the approved design.

So whoever wins this auction when it ends next week, we hope they're not bidding on it because they think it's Super Powers, but just because it's a strange little oddity of a toy that was never made.

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