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My son popped in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull the other day, and I thought I’d give it a second try. Perhaps on second viewing I’d be able to let go of my extreme dislike…sadly, this was not the case.

But it did remind me how much I love the original films, especially Raiders of the Lost Ark. Just a couple days later, my new Ark of the Covenant business card holder showed up from Gentle Giant, making me warm and fuzzy all over.

Business card holder? Yep, Gentle Giant has produced not one but three different desk accessories based on the relics of the films: this business card holder, a pen/pencil holder shaped like the Fertility Idol, and a paper clip holder that doubles as the Holy Grail.

I only ordered the card holder, as it was the only one I could see myself using (do I even own any paper clips?), so I’ll be covering that one all by its little lonesome. If you have any questions or comments, drop me a line at mwc@mwctoys.com, or hit my site at Michael’s Review of the Week - Captain Toy. You can also follow me on Twitter, the only legal form of stalking. Actually, I’m having a giveaway right now to one person following me on Twitter - a completely free MOTUC Mer-Man! So sign up and follow me, and you might be the lucky winner…


Ark of the Covenant Business Card Holder

The business card holder is designed to hold regular sized cards, either in a horizontal or vertical fashion. If you’re a closet nerd afraid to let your geek flag fly full mast, this card holder (and the paper clip Grail or pencil Idol) allow you to test the work waters. If no one points and laughs, you can tell them about your Iron Man bed sheets! Or maybe not.

Packaging - ***
The big plus here is the Certificate of Authenticity, which is nicely done in a trading card size just like a Gentle Giant bust or statue. However, it lacks any sort of edition number or size.


The box itself carries on the rather dull graphics forced on all the licensors by Lucas, but deals with them about as best as can be expected. The interior foam is very sturdy, and protects the Ark almost as well as a big wooden crate. And yes, how cool of a package would that have been?

Sculpting - ***
For the scale (remember, this is only about 3″ tall without the birds), the sculpt is fairly detailed and clean. The etchings on the side are a little soft, but some of the more intricate detail work on the edges and cornice are nicely done.


The birds are sculpted as a separate piece, on a long base that fits across the interior top. This gives you plenty of display options, with it in or out, and with the cards in front or back.

As I mentioned, it’s only about 3″ tall without the birds, just a hair over 4″ with them. It’s too small to work as a display item with the sixth scale figures, and too big to go with any 4″ figures, but if you have the 7″ Indy from the Disney parks, it would fit in pretty well. The final photo shows a 6″ He-man with the Ark to give you some idea.

Paint - ***
There’s not a lot of paint detail here - it’s all that brass/bronze color that you’d expect, with no real wash or highlighting. It’s clean though, with a nice consistent, even coverage, and no obvious marks, bubbles, or imperfections.


Design - ***1/2
Obviously they had to skip the lid, as I mentioned in the Sculpt section. That’s no real issue, considering the end purpose, and my favorite aspect of the design is that they took into consideration not just the most common card orientation - horizontal - but also the less common vertically printed cards. The interior of the Ark is sculpted to hold either properly, which is a big plus.


The holder also manages a good number of cards at once. I didn’t try fully filling it up, but I’d bet you could get 50 to maybe even 75 cards in there, with the birds in place. And since the birds are movable (and removable), you can put the cards in front or in back of them as you wish.

Value - **
This guy is only about 3″ tall, not counting the birds on top. That’s a pretty small ’statue’ for almost $40, and something around $25 - $30 would have been more appropriate considering the desk accessory market. And yes, there is one.


Things to Watch Out For -
Don’t drop it. While it feels more poly than resin, it’s still breakable.


Overall - ***
It’s not exactly a must have, but if you’re looking for something that shows off your fondness for Indiana Jones at the office, without being too geeky, then this card holder might just be perfect. It can also work as an accessory to the 7″ Indy, but it’s pretty expensive as an extra to an already mediocre figure.

Something that would really have made this stand out - and made the price all that much more palatable without adding a lot of cost - would have been the inclusion of the Professor Jones business card that we see in the promo photos. It’s a pity that Gentle Giant didn’t realize the potential for something like that to increase interest and sales.

Where to Buy -
You have several great online options:

- Alter Ego Comics has it listed at $36.

- Urban Collector also has it at $36.

- Entertainment Earth has it at $37.

Related Links -
For many years, there was a drought when it came to Indy merchandise, but they’ve made up for that plus some over the last couple years. Some other collectible reviews include:

- Sideshow has the Fertility Idol Environment, as well as their Indy and Belloq figures so far.

- Diamond Select recently released a cool Fertility Idol bank, that works great as a cheap prop replica.

- the best of it all is the Sideshow Premium Format Indiana Jones.

- in a similar scale is the Ultimate Quarter Scale from DST.

- there was the recent Medicom Professor Jones Sr.

- one of my favorite new Indy collectibles is the Mighty Muggs from Hasbro, and I’ve reviewed waves 1, and 2. Of course, they’ve already been canceled.

- for the sixth scale collectors, I checked out the Hasbro mail away Ark.

- on the cute side, check out the Adventure Heroes.

- then there’s the Kotobukiya Indy and Professor Jones Sr, the Blockbuster exclusive DVD case, the 12″ German and Cairo Swordsman, as well as both 12″Hasbro Indy’s.

- in the smaller scale, I looked at some of the deluxe two packs and several of the single pack figures, with a few more over at QSE.

- There’s a number of cool Lego sets, including this one.

- Gentle Giant did a 7″ version for the Disney parks.

- Disney has done a few other Indy figures, including this wave of small ones.

- and if you’re looking for something a bit more custom, check out the very cool sixth scale Grail diary, or this sixth scale figure.


3 Responses to “Toy Box: Indiana Jones Ark of the Covenant Card Holder”

  1. Jesse L. Says:

    I think they are angels, not birds. I could be wrong.

  2. Michael Crawford Says:

    Yes, you’re absolutely right. I have no idea how I got birds stuck in my head!

  3. Adrian Says:

    Definitely not birds, & not quite angels, but cherubim. Which are popularly regarded as angels, but appear to be composite figures with some non-human features. They may have two or four wings and their faces could be human or animal - for example each could have one human and three animal faces. Most Biblical descriptions of them are very vague, so leave plenty of room for interpretation. They appear to derive from colossal Babylonian guardian figures.

    This card holder is not a bad figure; there is an $18 Ark coming out in September that is better value though. BTW, for news of the Ark in the last two hundred years check out the new mystery thriller “The Lion and the Covenant.

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