The unproduced 4th series for the Super Powers line has received great attention and speculation from collectors over the years. One character that has tangible three dimensional evidence that it was slated for inclusion in the 4th series lineup is Manbat. Showcased is an exceedingly rare unpainted Manbat hardcopy. Few collectors are lucky enough to have a complete example of this character in their collection! As one can see from the picture above, the piece is cast in a green urethane, commonly referred to as "dynacast". This material was prominently used for hardcopies during the mid-80's.

The above photo shows a nice view of the hardcopy's back side. The intricate detail incorporated into Manbat is absolutely striking. It certainly would have been a favorite among Super Powers collectors had the figure reached full production.

Hardcopies are produced using a silicon mold (this mold is created from the orginal wax figure sculpting). Once it is removed from the mold it may serve a number of purposes. It might remain unpainted and ultimately be used to create a negative epoxy "hardmold", which is used in the cutting of the steel production mold. This negative epoxy mold is essential since one cannot pantograph from a positive object to yield a negative mold. The process must be done from negative to negative. When used for this purpose, the hardcopy is referred to as a "tooling master" or "tooling hardcopy".

Extra hardcopies are also poured as a precaution, should something happen to the tooling master. These extras would remain unpainted as well. If a hardcopy is not destined for tooling or backup, then it will more than likely be handpainted for use in catalog photography, trade shows, or as a paintmaster. It should be noted that no painted examples of Manbat have surfaced to date.

This magnificent Manbat hardcopy heralds from the collection of avid Super Powers fan and collector, Ken Raquel. Many thanks go out to Ken for sharing pictures of this and a few other great prototypes from his collection!

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