The Good: Good sculpt, Decent Accessory, Generally good coloring
The Bad: Poor balance, Poor articulation, Odd coloring issue, Lack of collectible value
The Basics: One of the new heroes in the Green Lantern Universe is rendered as an average-at-best Blackest Night Series 1 figure, as Saint Walker makes it to a collectible!
Every now and then, I find myself caught between a rock and a hard place as a reviewer. Before the holidays, my wife was done shopping for me when she was me coveting a few action figures. Earlier in the season, she had declared that she would not be picking up action figures for me for the holiday because she was tired of me reviewing them and sticking them in storage (in preparation of our move this year). I can certainly understand her logic, especially when she pays good money for a toy, I review it with a negative review and I pack it away. What she does not seem to realize is that my collection has many figures that I have panned that I keep because: 1. I love that they came from her and 2. It is the ONLY figure of that character yet made.
All of this comes up at the beginning of my review of the Blackest Night Saint Walker figure for a reason. After all of my wife’s protestations and my insistence that I was a reformed reviewer and I would keep some new figures out and that Saint Walker was a figure I REALLY did want, my wife decided to do some last minute holiday shopping and she bought me Saint Walker (and one other figure). Unfortunately for the chances of me ever getting toys from my wife again, this Saint Walker is very far from perfect and is a very tough figure to recommend. In fact, I am squeezing this review in between the reviews of the awesome Wonder Woman figure (reviewed here!) and very cool Arkillo action figure she gifted me in hopes that she will see that my appreciation far outweighs any sense of disappointment I might have in the Saint Walker figure.
Unfortunately, though, the DC Direct Blackest Night Saint Walker figure just does not stand up.
For those unfamiliar with him Saint Walker is the leader of the Blue Lanterns during the Blackest Night. First introduced in Rage Of The Red Lanterns (reviewed here!), Saint Walker and the Blue Lanterns use the power of hope to try to save the universe.
It is Saint Walker in his classic-looking Blue Lantern costume that is the subject of the DC Direct action figure of the character.
The Saint Walker figure is a very good sculpt, though there are some serious issues with the figure once one takes it out of the package. Unlike the mostly monochromatic Nekron figure (reviewed here!), Saint Walker has a little more color to him, but less sculpted details. The hopeful alien stands 7 1/4" tall to the top of the figure's head. The Saint Walker figure is available only from DC Direct.
This toy is a decent sculpt, especially when one considers this is a very obscure character. Saint Walker looks somewhat like a Star Wars Twi’lek, with a very thin face, tiny eyes and a long trunk coming out of the back of his head. He is tall and exceptionally thin. In fact, one of the amazing sculpted details is how his ribs are visible beneath is costume. He has very long fingers and the figure includes such molded details as his fingernails. Also, on his face, there are what appear to be stitches all over, making him look like he is some form of tall, alien rag doll!
Saint Walker's costume is a very simple blue Blue Lantern uniform and on the surface, this blue and black outfit looks exceptional. The white Blue Lantern symbol painted on the front of his chest looks fitting and the metallic coloring to the Blue Lantern outfit makes Saint Walker look pretty fantastic at a glance.
The problem, ironically, comes from looking closer and took my wife to point out to me. The Saint Walker figure has two very different shades of blue for his uniform, as if the figure was assembled from two very different color batches. So, the blue on the right arm does not match the left arm and the top of one leg does not match the blue color at the bottom! This is not a dealbreaker, but given that Saint Walker is rendered with a constant blue in the books, this seems more like a production error than a style issue and it is unfortunate that DC Direct was uncharacteristically sloppy on this one.
Saint Walker, Leader of the Bluek Lanterns that he is, comes with only two accessories. He has his stand and his blue lantern. The stand is a blue and white disk with the Blue Lantern logo. It is 3 3/4" in diameter and 1/4” tall and it has a single peg which plugs into the hole in Saint Walker's right foot. He is completely unstable, even on his base.
Saint Walker also comes with a Blue Lantern battery, which is molded to be in the same scale as the figure. His four-pointed battery is 1 3/4” tall and 1 1/4" wide and deep. It looks like a classic lantern with cylindrical ends and is molded bright metallic blue. It matches the figure very well. Unfortunately, this lantern seems especially poorly constructed and while the handle is detachable to allow it to swing, that same flexibility causes the handle to detach from the lantern exceptionally easily.
The DC Direct figures were designed more for display than play, but is a surprising flop on both fronts. First, he has exceptionally poor balance, even when he is flatfooted. Because he lacks a hinge joint on the ankle, when off the stand, Saint Walker must be posed flatfooted or he is likely to fall over. Unfortunately, even on the stand, Saint Walker tends to fall over. This is because the hole on the foot is too small for the peg and when the peg gets worn down to accommodate the hole, it is too loose! Either way, this is an exceptionally tippable figure.
Saint Walker comes with only nine points of articulation, which is pretty low for a DC Direct figure. Saint Walker has joints at the knees, groin socket, shoulders, elbows, and head. The shoulders are proper ball and socket joints, while the elbows and knees are both hinge joints. The head is on a simple swivel joint, which allows him only to look left to right! Because of the descending trunk at the back of Saint Walker’s head, the head articulation is only about one hundred degrees. Oddly, the groin socket allows very little in the way of range of motion – less than ninety degrees – making this a somewhat more awkward figure there.
The final strike against Saint Walker on the playability front is that he has no wrist articulation. Because he cannot be posed holding his lantern in an underhanded pose, it balances awkwardly in his long fingers and somewhat open grip. This problematic balancing act is exacerbated by the fact that the lantern detaches from the handle at odd angles.
Saint Walker is part of the DC Direct Blackest Night Series 1 line which was fairly common, as it was re-released, though it was usually only distributed through comic book shops. Saint Walker is one of the many heroes in the Blackest Night line, but considering most of the figures in the line are undead versions of popular DC Universe characters, Saint Walker is one of the few original characters. The Saint Walker figure is unique to this series and is of the same stature of characters like the Orange Lantern Larfleeze or the Red Lantern Atrocitus, but has been drawing prices more analogous to the less popular Black Lantern Nekron or Indigo-1 Lantern figures, suggesting it just doesn’t pay to be a hopeful hero! I do suspect that when a more articulated, better color-matched version of Saint Walker hits the market, this one will become virtually worthless, despite the fact that it has a lot going for it.
Saint Walker is not a terrible figure, but unfortunately for my relationship with my wife, it is a problematic figure that looked much better at a glance than it did on the shelf. Between the balance, poseability and coloring issues, Saint Walker is too tough to recommend and while he is not horrible, he certainly is stuck near the bottom of the “average” range of action figures.
For other figures based on DC Universe character, please check out my reviews of:
Kingdom Come The Spectre and Norman McCay
Infinite Crisis Donna Troy
For other toy reviews, please check out my index page!
© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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