Oddities: Superman coasters

So, remember those X-Men coasters I featured last year? Well, guess what? That’s right, you guessed correctly, even though there’s a pretty big clue in this post’s title…

Today we’re looking at Superman coasters! But these are no fantasy, no careless product of wild imagination, no beermat-like cardboard discs churned out as a cheap promotional product. These are the real deal: a genuine you-could-buy-them-from-a-store item!

You get six in a set — all identical — and they come in a very neat cylindrical tin decorated with panels from 1960s (I think) Superman comics.

“Classic” is right! Look at that old-style logo with the sharp bevel on the lower part of the U: modern Superman logos have a much curvier U, because of safety regulations and such.

The coasters within are about 90mm in diameter (which converts to 3½” taking inflation into account), and are metal (probably tin: they’re highly ferromagnetic, so I know they’re not aluminium) over a cork base…

So, quality product there! They arrived in my possession some years ago courtesy of my friend Pádraig Ó Méalóid who was doing a “clear-out.” (Apparently, this is the process of reducing the amount of items in one’s home. Strange indeed! Why would anyone want fewer things?)

Now, as to why these things actually exist — aside from “people like Superman: they might buy an object if it bears his symbol” — well, it’s not easy to recreate the sort of mental leap that someone involved in the design process must have made, but let’s give it a go…

Superman is a comic-book character, people read comics, sometimes they will do so while consuming a beverage, and a beverage’s container must never, ever — according to one’s mammy, and that one weird friend we all have whose house looks like a showroom decorated with items chosen because they were expensive and not because they were nice — come into direct contact with the surface of a tabletop. Ta-daa — mystery solved!

That said, I really do like these coasters — though of course I’ve never actually used them for coasting purposes: they’re much too nice for that — but then I have a great love for the Superman shield, as established readers might recall.

Bonus: I wonder if it’d be possible to scan the outsides of the tin by rolling it along my scanner in synch with the scanning process…? The tin’s outer diameter is around 96mm (larger than the items it contains, because of physics), and that tells us that the circumference is approximately 301.59mm… which is slightly longer than my scanner can manage so I’d have to give it a couple of goes from different starting-points and then stitch the images together.

Still, let’s give that a shot, shall we?

Yeah… that wasn’t tremendously successful, but it was still worth trying!

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