WARNING: DO NOT LET YOUR CHILDREN PLAY SUPERMAN BY THE KERB ON GARBAGE DAY!
(At least not if the garbage man is near-sighted.)
(Yes, I spelt it "Kerb", not "Curb". Hooray for British spellings!)
Although the film doesn't fly into theatres until the end of June (on June 30th, which is also, as you are no doubt already aware, Usagi Tsukino/Sailor Moon's birthday), the merchandising bonanza for Superman Returns has already begun.
So, has DC Comics/Warner Brothers approved of a licensed product more embarassing than last year's Batman Begins boys' pajamas with cape?
To a blogger's delight, the answer is "Yes... oh dear god, yes!"
Mattel is selling the Superman Returns Superman "Inflato-Suit", which, using amazing fan-in-bag technology similar to that which inflates the giant, flappy-armed, inflatable King Kongs and Santa Clauses atop the roofs of many a car dealership (like Île-Perrot Chevrolet), allegedly gives even the scrawniest young boy the appearance of having Christopher Reeve's Herculean physique (from before he fell off the horse, I mean).
Though the photo of the suit in action, with the young boy removing his shirt and "becoming" Superman... well, half-Superman, because the boy's keeps his brown khaki pants on and doesn't put on the blue tights with Supes' external red underwear on, is rather... underwhelming, since the kid doesn't so much look like he has muscles but, rather, he looks like he's wearing something that looks like a cross between a blue garbage bag and a bulky winter jacket. And, in no incarnation of Superman that I've seen does Clark Kent, when taking off his street clothes, have a transition phase where his entire upper torso looks as flaccid and wrinkly as an impotent raisin. Quite frankly, if the kid doesn't want to get beaten up by bullies, he actually looks less geeky in his white shirt, glasses, and Khaki Barn pants.
The suit wouldn't even intimidate a drunken college frat kid in an inflatable sumo wrestler suit at a frosh.
I don't see why kids would bother with this when they can achieve much more impressive superhuman musculature with Barry Bonds-brand "Inflato-Muscle" Steroids.
I was thinking about what the point of something like this was, but then I realized that it's not designed so much to make young boys look tough, but, rather, to put parents' minds at ease. It's really a security device for kids to cushion the torso on impact should they go up to the roof and try to fly as per the "pretend to be Superman" urban legend as outlined by Dr. Julius Hibbert on the classic second-season Simpsons episode, "Bart the Daredevil".
Speaking of security devices, please turn your attention towards the front of the cabin as we outline the safety features of the Superman Returns Inflato-Suit.
In the unlikely event of an emergency over water, remove the Superman Returns Inflato-Suit from the pouch under your seat or below your armrest. Place the Superman Returns Inflato-Suit over your head, fasten the waist-clip and tighten the belt. Pulling the tabs will inflate the Superman Returns Inflato-Suit. If it does not inflate immediately, it can be inflated by blowing into the tubes. The Superman Returns Inflato-Suit should only be inflated as you leave the aircraft.
I do have to wonder if they'll make any Superman Returns Inflato merchandise like this for adults. But I don't have any particular desire to be Superman above the waist, nor do I want his gay legging tights, I just want an inflatable Superman crotch, particularly Brandon Routh's reportedly elephant-penis-sized Inflato-Schlong. His member is supposed to be so big that they had to commission a specially-designed codpiece so as to not scandalize the women and children in the audience. With a dick like that, it's no wonder that Brian Singer was eager to direct him! "Man of Steel" indeed!