Guardian was on the increasingly short list of early Hasbro figures that desperately needed an update. As the leader of Alpha Flight and Canada’s second most prominent superhero the guy needed a better figure than the scrawny, blue over spray figure from Hasbro’s first crack. There’s no question this is a superior figure, but let’s see how well Hasbro did with Guardian take 2.
Packaging: It’s a new X-Men wave so Guardian comes with the black with gold accents. The artwork is OK. I kinda wish Hasbro would use artwork from the artist best associated with the character. For Guardian that would clearly be John Byrne.
Of note is the Alpha Flight logo in the front. Maybe that’s a sign of figures to come? That would be great as I’d love to have an Alpha Flight beyond Guardian and my still to be assembled Sasquatch. Guardian is the wave’s figure who’s fighting for prominence in the package thanks to the size of the Build-A-Figure piece.
The bio is OK though it doesn’t make much sense to leave off that he’s the leader of Alpha Flight.
Likeness: Guardian always stood out to me thanks to the simplicity of his outfit. It’s a basic bodysuit with a cowl. Somehow it’s still managed to remain a unique look in comics. Since it’s not packed with a bunch of distracting elements the head sculpt is key.
In this one area, the first Hasbro figure was better. James Hudson was portrayed as a guy just trying to do right by his team and country even if he would occasionally get a little overzealous. This brooding focused expression is two points away from being Batman or Daredevil. Maybe he walked in on Aurora and Sasquatch again?
Paint: In the prototype and promotional pictures, Guardian has this very glossy metallic red and a pearlescent white that really popped. Guardian’s colors never seemed like they had that sheen so it wasn’t a major deal when the colors on the figure came out much flatter at least on the red portions of the costume.
The red looks more like the Maple Leaf shade, which is the basis for the costume anyway so I’m not gonna complain about that switch. Getting red to play nice with white throughout was a tricky proposition, but for the most part the line work is clean with just a few errant red marks on the chest. Guardian’s eyes and mask all were done very well with no random marks.
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Scale: Guardian seems to use the Spider-Man UK body, which was a good choice for him as it’s got the right amount of thickness without making him look scrawny. He’s slightly taller than an average height character.
Articulation: Guardian has great fluid movement for battling in the Great North or taking on the X-Men after a misunderstanding. He’ll be a lot of fun to pose around in flight or center stage of an Alpha Flight display.
- ball-jointed shoulders
- wrist hinge
- knee (double-jointed)
Accessories: Guardian doesn’t really have any obvious accessory options. He’s powers typically are shown with a glow so the often used power effects wouldn’t work for him. If anything I would have loved an alternate head sculpt with a less bitter beer/more heroically neutral face.
I also wish he had some flat hands for power blast poses. Maybe the Quicksilver figure’s hands would work?
Of course Guardian doesn’t really have a ton of room for anything else in the package thanks to the massive torso and tail for the Build-A-Figure Wendigo.
Worth it? I got Guardian for $20. He’s not as flashy as some other recent Marvel Legends figures, including his wave mates, but given his important BAF piece, he’s well worth the $20.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
It wasn’t going to take much to top the first Hasbro Guardian figure and this one is one I won’t tuck away into the tiny corner of my display. With a few more accessories he would have gone over the top, but he’ll make a great centerpiece in my Alpha Flight section.