Gandalf the Grey

February 22, 2013 | By More


The subject of today’s review is the 4-inch, individually carded version of Gandalf the Grey produced by The Bridge Direct to promote the movie The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.


Let me start by stating this: Gandalf is awesome. This fact alone automatically buys a lot of leeway from me regarding almost any merchandise related to the meddlesome grey wizard.


However, reviewing this action figure doesn’t really need to tap into any store of goodwill, because The Bridge Direct managed to deliver a pretty solid product.


Gandalf is depicted wearing his long traveling robe, which is sculpted all over with a coarse fabric texture. The robe displays a lot of folds and wrinkles that manage to convey a sense of subtle motion. The outfit is completed with removable scarf and hat, although none of these have much in terms of texture.


The head sculpt is nothing short of excellent. Even though most of the piece is covered by the hair and beard, the face underneath is clearly that of Sir Ian McKellen wearing the prosthetic nose, just like in real life.


These 4-inch figures are actually nicely articulated with:


• Ball jointed neck,

• Pegged hinge shoulders.

• Pegged hinge elbows.

• Swivel wrists.

• Swivel wrists.

• Pegged hinge hips.

• Pegged hinge knees.


Even though the number and implementation of the articulation points are good, the character design pretty much renders the hip and knee joints useless because the plastic skirt piece used to simulate the lower section of the robe is too rigid and there is just not enough space to operate the joints.


The upper torso articulation has no such issues and even the neck has more range than I would have expected, taking into consideration the amount of hair Gandalf has.


Gandalf displays a very nice, subtle paintjob. The robe has highlights accomplished by drybrushing a lighter shade of grey paint to bring out the sculpted texture, and this same technique was used to highlight Gandalf’s hair using white paint over a grey base color.


The skin was left the color of the plastic, with the eyes and eyebrows neatly painted on. If I were to nitpick, I’d say that the eyebrows could look better in a darker shade of grey, but the overall effect is quite nice.


Other than his hat and scarf, Gandalf comes with his wizard staff, the elven sword Glamdring and a scabbard for the blade that attaches to his robe using two peg holes over his left. The staff seems to be cast is brown, but the sword and the scabbard are decorated in silver and blue, the later matching the color of the belt sculpted onto the robe.


Even though the articulation issue may throw some people off, I find this Gandalf to be a genuinely cool action figure and certainly a must buy for any fan of Tolkien and/or the Peter Jackson movies.


Errex Score: 98/100


Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Category: Featured, Other Film, The Hobbit & LOTR, Toy Reviews

About the Author ()

I've been collecting action figures since the original Kenner Star Wars days. Nowadays, I still collect pretty much anything that catches my eye.