Review: DC Direct Ganthet and Guardian
I don't know exactly when the toys I'm looking at today first hit the market, but considering the back of the package alludes to the return of Hal Jordan to the role of Green Lantern, I can say they've been out for a while.
Technically, these are in a seven inch scale, though they're nowhere near that tall. Since these are basically space-gnomes, they're about half the size of your typical comic character. Fortunately, they've been double packed as "Ganthet and Guardian," a somewhat misleading title as Ganthet is a Guardian himself.
The Guardians, for those without a background in the DC Universe, control the planet of Oa. They created the Green Lantern Corps to protect the cosmos. Yes, these little Smurfs in togas are some of the wisest beings in the Universe.
Ganthet is something of a "special" guardian, for reasons I don't fully understand and don't think I could briefly explain if I did. Lets just say he's the most significant member of the Blue Man Group. He's the slightly older-looking of the two ancient beings.
These were produced by DC Direct and can still be found in comic, collectible, and online shops.
These guys look good. In fact, the heads look really good. The rest of the figure, while still good, isn't quite as nice.
Most of what you see are the robes, which are made from a soft plastic. I like the effect, though the colors are a bit muted, particularly with the lantern symbols. The dull coloration gives the impression that these are "toyish." This isn't a horrible thing, mind you (after all, these toys are, well, toys), but it falls short of DC Direct's best work. This is a company that, at their best, has crafted superhero figures that are strikingly realistic. This isn't one of those cases.
In addition to the coloring, there's a mold line that's visible on the sleeves of the robes. I appreciate they had to attach these somehow, but the line is in a fairly conspicuous location.
The small portions of the ankles and wrists poking out of the robes are also reminiscent of more conventional toys. Since they don't give you the same level of articulation, that's a bit of a problem.
For all the problems, these are cool figures. They were right on the line between a seven and an eight. If I'd been scoring these in a six inch scale, I'd have had to go to the higher point. Since they work in that scale, too, well... I guess these lost out on a technicality.
Packaging and Extras: +1
The packaging is relatively easy to open and throw away, which is to say exactly what I wanted.
The back gives you a short overview of the characters in the wave. I got bored and stopped reading halfway through.
The way I see it, DC Direct could have given us one base with two pegs or two small bases. Instead, we've got two large, attractive bases: one for each figure. The fact they did this is deserving of recognition.
This could have been two points instead of one if they'd provided a scale ring for the Guardian to offer to some new recruit to the Corps. But no such luck. Pity: it'd have been easy enough to add.
Play and Display: ----
Unfortunately, there's not a lot of articulation on these guys. Actually, that's not entirely true: there looks to be a decent number of joints on these figures... Almost all of which are buried under the robes. You can feel an elbow joint, but don't expect to be able to use it.
What's left is fairly standard: you've got cut wrists and neck and ball jointed shoulders. The shoulders are a nice touch, but nothing spectacular. I should mention that you can play with the legs a little to get the toys to balance, but you're not going to get any new and innovative poses from them.
The Guardians will stand without the bases, but for long term posing you'll want to use them. The bases, like I said before, look good (in fact, I considered sticking the Guardians with something else and giving one of the bases to Green Lantern).
In terms of scale, these work with six or seven inch figures. The advantage of being short, I suppose, is that no notices whether you're technically "not short enough". As long as the other guy towers over you, it looks fine.
If DC Direct had miraculously managed to leave in working elbows and knees I'd have considered a bonus point here. As it is, I'm leaving the score untouched.
Price Tag and Final Analysis: 8/10
The verdict: not too shabby. These aren't the most spectacular figures DC Direct has ever produced, but for a mere ten bucks I got a pair of Guardians for my DC shelf. That's pretty good, I think.
What really makes these interesting is the fact they'll work with my DC Universe Classics as well as they'll work with the larger DC Direct figures.
The bases really help the value, as well.
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