#2153: Guardian

GUARDIAN

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

Donning the maple leaf symbol of his home, James Hudson suits up in advanced battle armor and protects the Earth as Guardian.”

Last year, we started our Alpha Flight team in Marvel Legends (again) with a Sasquatch Build-A-Figure, who’s been spending his time since then looking mighty lonely on the shelf.  Seems like a good time to give him some buddies don’t you think?  Well, Hasbro thought so too, which is why they’re just dropping the whole Alpha Flight in one fell swoop in an Amazon-exclusive boxed set later this year.  However, while they were still entertaining the notion of releasing the members one at a time, they added the team’s leader, James Hudson Maple Leaf Man Captain Canada Vindicator Guardian to their latest X-themed line-up.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Guardian is figure 4 in the Wendigo Series of Marvel Legends.  This is the second time he’s been released in Legends form, but…well, the less said about his debut figure, the better.  This figure is sporting James’ classic costume, which is really the only one anyone’s interested in.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  Guardian is built on the Spider-UK body, which has been topped with a brand-new head.  Given the quite simplistic nature of his design, placing him on this body, which has plenty of nice costume details, and keeps him from being too bland.  The new head fits the body pretty well, and does a respectable job of capturing how James is usually depicted.  The rest of the figure is really sold by paint, and as luck would have it, his paint’s actually pretty nifty.  Since James’s costume was a technically-enhanced suit, they’ve opted to give it sort of a metallic finish, but still keep the overall bright nature of the design.  It translates to quite a pleasant looking figure, and the actual application is all pretty clean too!  If there’s one slight down to this figure, it’s the lack of any real accessories.  It’s really just the figure and the torso of the Wendigo.  It’s a shame we couldn’t get an alternate unmasked head or something.  That said, it’s not out of the norm for a Guardian figure to be without accessories.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Though I don’t have a ton to say about Guardian, I was actually pretty happy to see him turn up in this line-up, and in fact think he’s a pretty darn solid figure.  There’s not a ton going on, but there really doesn’t need to be to get Guardian done correctly.  And he’s certainly far better than the last attempt.

As with the rest of this series, this guy was purchased from my friends All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#0420: Guardian

GUARDIAN

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.