“Embody the entire emotional spectrum of Blackest Night with this special light-up ring set from DC Direct! Featuring designs that are authentic to the comic, each of these eight wearable, adjustable plastic rings (one each in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet, plus black) instantly lights up with a long-lasting LED bulb when slipped on a finger. A light can be turned off manually to preserve the battery. (Batteries can also be changed by using a special key included with the set.) This set will also include the ninth, new, WHITE LANTERN POWER RING at no extra cost! Packaged in a deluxe window box, the rings make a beautiful display when they are not being worn.”
The Blackest Night Power Ring Spectrum PVC Ring Set (cripes, that’s a mouthful) was released last week at an MSRP of $59.99. As you can see, they come in a nice display box if you don’t feel like wearing them.
You know, I originally wasn’t going to buy these. After all, they’re just light-up versions of the promotional rings distributed during Blackest Night, and sixty bucks is a lot of money for some plastic trinkets. What changed my mind? A few things. One, I find power ring collectibles hard to resist. Secondly, light-up rings are surprisingly hard to find at such a low price. You’re looking at approximately $6.67 each, when custom lit rings often go for nearly eight times that much. In that case, the high price isn’t so high anymore, is it?
But enough justification. Let’s take a look at the rings themselves! Like the promotional rings before them, these rings feature a split back so that they’ll fit varying finger sizes. The face is now a separate piece, and the various Corps symbols are also cast in a translucent resin with the detail lines painted over it. The rings’ faces are also bit thicker than the promo versions, as well. This is to accommodate the CR 927 lithium battery and LED assembly.
Light-up Black Lantern ring on the left, original promotional ring on the right. RISE!
On the back of the face, inside the ring, is the light switch. When it’s turned on, the ring will light up when worn.
Here’s the key that you use to turn the light function on and off. It’s the same one that will be included with the miniature desktop lanterns announced at San Diego Comic-Con last month.
However, you’ll notice that it looks completely different than the key pictured on the back of the box.
Personally, I like the original key style a lot better! I can only wonder why the powers-that-be changed their minds.
Want to know what the rings’ innards look like? They’re easily removed, in case you need to change the battery. Twisting the ring’s face counterclockwise will allow to you remove it, and the light assembly just pops right out. (Note: The instructions say to twist the face clockwise, not counterclockwise. This is wrong. You risk damaging the ring if you twist it clockwise! I found this out the hard way.)
That tiny yellow piece is the LED, and it’s pretty bright by itself. Fear not, the plastic may look yellow, but all of the rings’ LEDs produce white light. The color effect is handled by the translucent resin face. The two metal tabs on the side of the assembly comprise the switch, and to be honest, it’s rather shitty. Switching the ring on lines up those the tabs, and wearing the ring squishes them together. This is not a very reliable circuit, and you might see some flickering if your finger isn’t large enough to depress the switch button entirely and hold it there. I’m likely going to modify these rings with a microswitch or something similar, so it’ll be more reliable.
The rings aren’t too bright when lit, but they still look nice. Its hard to accurately convey their brightness with a photo, but I’ll try anyway.
Actually, when lit, the rings looks almost exactly like they do in DC’s official photo for the set. How’s that for truth in advertising?
The only problem with these rings is the poor quality switch. While some users may never have a problem, the very design of the switch contacts is flawed. But, as I said, it shouldn’t be tough to modify, and I imagine I’m not the only fan who’s had that idea. This minor nit aside, the set still looks great, and is a pretty good deal for the price. At the end of the day, this ring set is a fine piece to add to your Green Lantern collection.