Guardian is Canada’s premiere superhero and leader of Alpha Flight. Introduced in Uncanny X-Men #109 (1978), Dr. James MacDonald Hudson was tasked by the Canadian government to bring back Wolverine to Canada, after he had quit his job as Weapon X. Funnily, creator John Byrne gave two historical last names to Guardians in the form of MacDonald (Canada’s first prime minister) and Hudson (after the Hudson Bay). Named Vindicator at first, Byrne had the name revert to Guardian as he had originally intended.
This is the second Guardian action figure from Hasbro. The first one was at the much smaller six-inch scale, but Hasbro has been increasing the scale of its 1:12 action figures for years now. This newer guardian action figure fits much better with the Alpha Flight set released the same year from Hasbro. Guardian wears a skin-tight exo-armour that was later incorporated to his body by aliens.
The classic Guardian look is very simple. He wears the Canadian maple leaf flag, slightly off-centre. His mask looks much like Batman’s but without the bat ears. The main problem is the design of the flag on Guardian’s suit. The maple leaf design, as Canadian kids are taught has eleven summits. There is a clear wing with three peaks (symmetrically, on both sides of the leaf), two at the base of the flag that acts like a serif, and the top wing with three peaks. On Guardian, the middle win is not distinguished enough and merges in the top wing. I mean, it’s Guardian alright but badly designed.
The sculpt has been reused from many other Marvel Legends here. Guardian’s head feels too small for me. The sculpt is fine for me but the face feels too cartoony when compared with more recent faces of Marvel Legends action figures that look lifelike. Perhaps a good custom job would be to borrow and extra head from a good Batman action figure (who doesn’t have dozens lying around?) and reusing that as the basis of Guardian’s head. There are folds throughout the skin-tight uniform. That’s good. I wish that Guardian came with an extra set of grasping hands for when he shoots his bolts. His wife Vindicator has one of them.
The paint application of the flag design is bad. The face paint on Guardian’s face is too thick. It does not look natural at all. it is as if he has a bad tan. The red paint used throughout the toy does not match. It looks different on the chest, the legs, and the arms. The tip of the nose, beneath the nose could have been coloured with the skin colour of Guardian instead of white. Some of the white plastic seems more reflective than other parts. The interior bolts of the knees and elbows are not painted over and thus detract from the red or white colour on each side of his limbs.
Guardian is huge and will look good next to most current Marvel Legends action figures. He is taller than most G.I Joe Classified and Star Wars action figures.
While Guardian has huge feet and is not top-heavy, he can have problems with balance. Use the ankle pivot to properly stack him.
Guardian’s head sits on a ball joint neck. He has no butterfly articulations. However, he has a lot of flexibility in his shoulders. He has bicep curls, double elbow and knee articulations. He has hip articulations that can move about 45 degrees sideways and up and down. He has thigh curls and bending ankles that can pivot. He does not have shin curls. His wrists can bend up and down as well as curl.
The plastic is the base white plastic that has a pearly appearance. The torso is made of ABS plastic instead of PVC, like the limbs.
Guardian has no props. They should have included a second set of hands and the Kirby crackle circular power bolt that came with various Havoc and Magneto. What he comes with is the torso and tail of the Wendigo build a figure.
Guardian comes in the usual Marvel Legends box with art on the back and pictures of the other action figures in the wave.
Originally, Guardian retailed for $19.99 USD. While a few other places still sell it for a price close to its original price, it seems like the value of this action figure has skyrocketed because of the Wendigo parts included.
Guardian was released in 2019 and appears to be almost sold out everywhere. Many stores still carry left over stock though. As an obscure character that does not appear in any Marvel cinematic universe film, there is little interest in Guardian, save for fans and Canadians. He does appear often in Marvel Comics which may remind people of his existence. However, he is well-known in comic book collector communities, even though he is not a major character.