DC UNIVERSE CLASSICS
Ah, yes, DC Universe Classics. One of the most confusing lines I’ve ever collected. Purely viewing the figures offered, it’s easily the greatest DC toyline ever released (beating out Kenner’s Super Powers). The sheer breadth of the line is truly astounding. But, it was a Mattel toyline, which means the line was met with mismanagement, strange choices, and some of the worst distribution I’ve ever seen on a major toyline. An entire series of figures would be completely absent from store shelves in most areas of the country, leading to insane aftermarket prices. Because of this, I’m still filling holes in my collection two years after the line ended. One of my recent acquisitions is Guardian, DC’s resident shield wielding hero who is totally not Captain America. Let’s see how the figure turned out!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Guardian was released in Series 9 of DC Universe Classics. He’s one of the line’s more odd-ball choices, but that’s never a bad thing. The figure is a little over 6 inches tall and he features 25 points of articulation. He’s based on the original Jack Kirby-version of the character. Early prototypes for the figure showed the 90s incarnation of the character, and comments from Mattel indicated that that version might surface as a variant, but such a figure never surfaced. Sorry Guardian fans. DCUC was primarily a “buck-system” line, and Guardian is no exception. He’s built on the mid-sized buck, with a belt add-on and a new head. The mid-size buck seems like it might be a bit too small for Guardian, but it doesn’t look terrible. One thing I’ve noticed is that since getting back into Marvel Legends, the shoulders on the DCUC bucks look larger than they should, but overall, the bucks were well done, so this is a good starting point. Guardian’s head is really nice. The helmet is a separate piece, so the face is actually below it, which gives the figure the appropriate amount of depth. Guardian’s paint is rather simple, but what’s there is cleanly applied for the most part. There is a tiny bit of slop on the neck line, but that’s about it. The work on the face is the highlight of the figure, mostly due to just how clean everything is. The colors on the costume are really bright, which is befitting of a character like Guardian. They really make him pop. Guardian included his trusty shield, which is sort of silly looking, especially given the size, but it’s actually quite well sculpted. He also included the right leg of Chemo, but my figure was purchased loose and therefore did not have that piece.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I wanted a Guardian when he was released. In fact, I wanted pretty much all of Series 9. However, the series never really showed up in my neck of the woods. I was able to track down a few of the other figures from the series, but not Guardian.
The weekend before Thanksgiving, I accompanied my dad to Philcon. We decided to explore the surrounding area on Saturday and came across a very nice toy store, called The House of Fun. The store’s selection was actually a bit overwhelming, if I’m honest. Anyway, my dad and I decided to focus on the large selection of DCUC figures they had, and Guardian happened to be amongst them. I’m glad I finally found the figure. He’s often been referred to as the sleeper hit of this series, and I can see why. He doesn’t have the bells and whistles that some of the better DCUC figures had, but he’s a solidly put together figure who is just undeniably fun.