Green Lantern Walmart Exclusive Guardians of the Universe Two-Packs
Corps and Guardians together, protecting the Universe...
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A few days we took a look at a couple of the new Green Lantern Movie Masters figures (see the review HERE), and today we’ll be focusing on the smaller 4 inch line from this summer’s blockbuster film. The single-packed figures and Battle Shifters have continued into multiple waves, and the various big box stores have exclusives featuring repaints, multi-packs, accessory sets, and more. One of the coolest sub-lines within this series pairs Green Lantern Corps members with their bosses (and takes their name): Guardians of the Universe. Only available at Walmart, this line consists of three existing sets (Hal Jordan & Baris – which we looked at HERE, Sinestro & Sayd, and Kilowog & Ranakar). Joining them are the final three packs that we’ll be breaking today: Abin Sur & Ganthet, Green Man & Scar, and Tomar-Re & Herupa!
The Green Lantern Corps is comprised of (usually) 3,600 members, each representing a “sector” of the universe (for example, Earth resides in Sector 2814). Responsible for this immensely complicated system are the Guardians of the Universe, diminutive yet immensely powerful aliens. Immortal and wise, the Guardians decided to create and maintain order for all life and after some hiccups sent out their Green Lanterns to do just that. To stay impartial and focused on justice the Guardians try to feel no emotions, leaving them somewhat cold and aloof. Only in the most extreme circumstances will the Guardians act directly, preferring to let their officers handle threats as best they can. It’s a lonely life, but the “blue smurfs” have the weight of the entire universe on their tiny shoulders.
All six of the Walmart Guardians of the Universe sets share the same basic packaging design that fits in well with the overall 4 inch figure theme. To that end, it’s a wide and shallow box with a J-hook that can be displayed on a peg or shelf. The figures are held in a bubble that protrudes from the front so you can get a good look at them, while surrounding them is a Green Lantern logo-inspired shape. Backgrounds are done in black and green, and the GL oath is printed around the figure bubble. To either side are images of the included characters. The top of the front panel has the movie logo, an “Only at Walmart” sticker, and the set numbering while at the bottom are the figures’ names, the series name, a note about the included Lantern accessory, and an image of Hal Jordan. The back of the box has a brief description of the Guardians at the top above a split-screen with image and pertinent info of the two characters.
The Green Lantern figures in the Guardians two-packs are all repacks of their single-packed incarnations, meaning you may have seen them before. Abin Sur and Green Man are exactly the same, and for a complete rundown of them see my original review HERE. As I noted there, Sur stands out for his sculpted uniform and head details, while Green Man is a very unique alien with a distinctive body structure and interesting frog-like limbs.
Both have good paint jobs, especially since no two Lanterns wear the same uniform style, and Green Man’s amphibian coloring and spots make him just as visually dynamic as Abin Sur’s deep purple head and bright blue eyes. Articulation is decent and on par with kid-focused toy lines; Abin Sur has joints at the neck, ball-jointed shoulders, waist, and hips while Green Man trades out the neck and waist for a hinged torso.
Tomar-Re is a repack of a single-carded figure that hasn’t seen wide release yet and is also available in a two-pack with the unmasked Hal Jordan and a four-pack with Salaak and others. Standing about as tall as Green Man, Tomar is a pretty impressive figure. The fishy GL is bipedal but has a lanky frame, finned and beaked head, and long legs with fins and unique feet. His sculpt is very good, with lots of ridges and scales all over his body to represent the alien skin texture and musculature.
Tomar-Re’s head is really well done, at once capturing the weirdness of its shape (with beak and pointed ears) and the character’s intense empathy and wisdom in its huge eyes. The GL’s uniform unfortunately doesn’t help to show off the sculpt all that much; instead, like the other Green Lanterns, the pattern of black and green is just worn on top of his body without lining up with anything. It makes sense since the suit is comprised of energy and there shouldn’t be any seams, etc., but on figures like this it hides a lot of the sculpting detail. Tomar’s uniform could be described as green with black on the upper limbs and in stripes on the torso. As usual, it’s a unique design that no other GL wears. Meanwhile, Tomar’s head is a stately orange (not as bright as the fiery color on the Battle Shifters figure) accented by his brown beak and greenish-blue eyes. Tomar-Re is articulated just like Abin Sur, and balances well thanks to his rather humanoid legs.
While you can pick up the Green Lantern figures in other ways, these two-packs represent the only way to get the Guardians of the Universe. Small robed figures around 3 ½ inches tall, the stately blue-skinned Guardians share the same body and arm molds but have unique heads to differentiate the characters. The back of each package gives you a little bit of info on each one, but unless you’re a comic book fan that’s mainly window dressing; in the film the Guardians are pretty much identical in character and they certainly don’t use any names (except for the villainous Krona). For those of us who do read Green Lantern comics, the names and identities of the different Guardians are added bonuses!
The sculpt on the Guardians’ robes is totally asexual, so it works for all of them. The long flowing fabric features plenty of folds and creases with a nicely irregular hemline that has just enough surfaces touching the ground to balance the figures. Note that there’s nothing under those robes, and I don’t mean that they’re naked. The figures consist solely of the robe, two arms, and a head. At the neck is a ribbed collar piece that extends down, terminating in a Green Lantern symbol on the chest. At one glance you can see the “family” resemblance between the group as each Guardian has a huge noggin over a tiny face. Ganthet, the kindliest of the group, has a grandfatherly face, while Herupa’s is pinched with tiny eyes sunk into their skeletal sockets. Scar is perhaps the most distinctive with her fierce gaze and just barely feminine features. Looking at the overall picture Ganthet is again the most human with a rounded head that’s decorated with some hair and a ponytail. Herupa’s head is frightfully bulbous, and Scar’s tall and pinched head shows off her trademark affliction on its right side.
The Guardians may lead the Green Lanterns, but that doesn’t mean they wear the same colors. Their robes are pure red with little variation, while the neck pieces are metallic gold and the chest symbol two different shades of green. The hands are identically a light blue which is used as the base of their heads. There is plenty of differentiation of color between them there though, with a lighter appearance on Ganthet, dark splotches on Scar’s face, and shadowed eye sockets for Herupa. The top and rear of their heads fades to transparent, and what little hair they have is white. The Guardians have joints at the neck and shoulders, so they’re pretty limited in poseability. But that’s okay since pretty much all they do is stand (or sit) around looking imperious.
Besides the Guardians themselves, another great reason to pick up these sets is that they actually come with accessories in the form of in scale Green Lantern power batteries! At this small size they’re actually pretty cool, recreating the design from the film. They’re all cast from the same mold, with circular devices, a notch in the bottom, and a handle on top. There are even tiny “circuitry” details on the lanterns! Among the Guardians sets there are two versions of the lantern, one that’s entirely a light transparent green and the other two-toned with dark green around the lighter transparent color. I definitely prefer the film accurate latter version, but both are fun to collect. It’s also clearly with this accessory in mind that just about every Green Lantern figure is sculpted with open left fist with which to carry it.
These final three packs of Guardians and their loyal Lanterns should be hitting stores soon, so keep an eye out for them. As with the initial three, these are great ways to stock up on the main alien officers while also getting Guardians and lantern accessories, which is a great way to go (and cost effective). Hardcore Green Lantern collectors will especially love these as they’ll know the characters and who the different Guardians are, though casual fans may not be as into them if they already have some of the Lantern figures.
Review and Photos by Scott Rubin
Review Samples Courtesy of Mattel