I make it no secret that I am an unabashed Marvel Movie-verse whore. But don’t hate me for it because it could have easily gone the other way if it weren’t for the irrepressible charm of these films. They’re fun movies that capture everything there is about the joy of comic books for me and I have a great time watching them over and over again. In fact, the Marvel flicks are really some of the only Blu-Ray’s that I bother to buy and own anymore. Guardians of the Galaxy, however, goes even one step further. It sits up there shoulder to shoulder with my favorite classic movies of the 80’s. Yup, even those timeless films that have 30-some years of nostalgia fueling my love for them. It’s delightfully goofy and crazy and sometimes corny, but more than anything else it has heart and soul. Was there ever any doubt that I was going all in on Hot Toys’ GotG line? Despite what my checking account might have hoped: No, there really wasn’t. Peter Quill is the first figure in this line to be released, and while Rocket and Groot have already been delayed, Star-Lord is one of the few Hot Toys figures in a while that seems to have shown up right on time.
The box design is totally out there and very unlike anything I’ve seen in my rather modest few years as a Hot Toys collector. You get a colorful action shot of Star-Lord on the front with an 80’s style grid on the bottom and some really cheesy looking effects. It feels more like the box art for a late 80’s PC Game than an expensive collectible figure. I’d like to presume that Hot Toys went this route to intentionally bank on the film’s goofball nature, but I’m not really sure. It certainly looks quite jarring next to the classy and reserved presentation of their other Marvel figures, but I can’t say I hate it. Hot Toys also seems to have cut back on the box itself. Instead of the old shoe-box style with illustrated insert, this is just a sleeve around a window box. Some may take issue, but I just keep the boxes for accessory storage, so I’m not terribly upset by it. Oh yeah, the box also has the “Sideshow Exclusive” foil sticker on the front and in this case that amounts to an extra accessory.
Once I had carefully cut away some of the plastic wrap, Star-Lord came out of the box and was ready for action. His jacket and gun belt are already on and he’s sporting his unmasked head. I’m used to having to fuss with my newly opened Hot Toys figures, but in this case it’s impressive how everything looks so good right out of the box. The t-shirt fits well and the pants have some really nicely stitched detail work, but it’s the coat (RAVENGER GARB!) that is truly the star of this A-Hole’s outfit. There are so many little brass buttons and hooks and embossed patterns littered over the leather-like surface that it only takes one look to know that Hot Toys put some love into this coat, but a lot more intensive study to truly appreciate it. The coat even has a working zipper should you like to go that route. It’s nice to have options, but I dig the look of the open coat so much, I doubt I’ll ever bother with zipping it. And quite frankly, I have bad luck with 1:1 scale zippers, I don’t want to turn myself loose on a 1:6 scale zipper on a $230 collectible figure. The armor pieces are present on his left arm and shoulder, and the bottom of the coat is frayed and tattered and even shows places where Quill has made crude repairs. Speaking of repairs, I should note that while handling the figure one of the dozens of buttons on my figure’s jacket popped off. By some miracle I managed to find the tiny thing and glue it back on, easy-peasy, but it’s certainly something to look out for. Hot Toys actually included extra buttons with Winter Soldier’s tunic, but that isn’t the case here, so be mindful of your buttons! Some could fall off and never be missed, but others could be pretty conspicuous.
The belt is removable and features two open-style holsters, which velcro onto the pants. The guns fit the holsters really well and don’t fall out like that one gun on my Winter Soldier figure. Have I mentioned before how much I love these open-style snap on holsters? Yeah, I’m sure I have. The jacket flaps are billowy enough so that the relatively bulky guns can both be holstered under the coat without looking too obvious, although I’m not sure it would be easy to zip up the jacket with the guns attached. And yes, he also has his thruster jets attached to his boots and the controls for them attached to his pants.
Before getting to the rest of the accessories, let’s talk portrait. I’m really perplexed by the number of people who are on the fence over the likeness here. I will confess the head sculpt looks loads better in person. Most pictures I take give him a bit of a pinhead thing going on, which I attribute mostly to the hair sculpt, but either way it is not at all the case with the figure in hand. The paintwork on the skin and facial hair is exceptional and the eyes look as lifelike as always. I wouldn’t go so far as to say this is one of Hot Toys’ best likenesses, but I do think it’s pretty spot on. I was prepared to use the masked head as a display default if I was unhappy with the likeness, but I honestly think I may go with the Chris Pratt head most of the time. I really do dig it that much.
And that’s saying a lot, because the masked head is extremely cool, despite being an absolute bitch to get on. It feels like the ball joint is just a tad too big for the socket and if there’s one thing I love, it’s having to apply a lot of force to my delicate and expensive collectibles. It was the same story with Winter Soldier’s alternate head. Anyway, the back panel on the helmet lifts off and there’s an On/Off switch to activate the lights in the eyes and damn this thing looks great with the eyes lit up. The sculpt is gorgeous and there’s some great weathering from the paintwork. Either way, this is definitely a figure that I’ll be swapping the head on quite a bit.
Moving on to the accessories… Star-Lord does not come with a huge helping of hands like most Hot Toys releases and that’s fine by me, because as many of you know, I’m not big on swapping out hands. In this case you get a pair of fists (which come on the figure in the box), a pair of gun holding hands, and an extra hand designed to hold The Orb or the Walkman. You also get an extra set of posts in case you snap one.
Star-Lord’s man purse is a nice piece of work. The shoulder strap goes over the figure’s head and under the left arm. The instructions recommend popping the head to do this, but I didn’t find it necessary. Once slung on the right shoulder, you just snap the second strap around the figure’s right side. The strap running under the figure’s left arm has a tendency to twist, but otherwise the satchel looks great on him. You can even unzip it and put The Orb inside. Right now, I have mine just slung on his left shoulder and I think it looks pretty great.
Next up, Star-Lord comes with his pair of distinctive pistols. These are plastic, static pieces with a great amount of detail, both in paint and sculpt. The checker pattern on the grips is recreated beautifully, as are the little copper pieces and the blueish burns around the barrels, presumeably from being fired. There are also all sorts of little scrapes and weathering to make them look well worn. The guns fit the appropriate hands comfortably and the trigger fingers can be tucked into the trigger guards.
Of course, you couldn’t do a movie Star-Lord figure and not include his Walkman. In this case, however, that’s sort of what happened. Yes, you get an 80’s style portable cassette player, but no, it’s obviously been altered so as not to look exactly like a Sony Walkman. I’m guessing there were copyright issues? Maybe? The player itself looks pretty close, but the headphones are totally off. I can kind of appreciate this since as a kid I always wanted a legit Sony Walkman, but always had to settle for knock-offs. Anyway, the biggest discrepencies here are the fact that you don’t get the orange foam ear pieces and the wire only runs to one side. Still, it looks great on him and the cassette inside does actually read “Awesome Mix Vol. 1.” All in all, it’s close enough and a fun accessory, but if a third-party were to cook up a more accurate version, I might be tempted to go for it.
Two accessories I doubt I’ll get much use out of are the set of wrist manacles and the light orb. The manacles feel like a cheap toss-in accessory. There’s not a whole lot of detail there and the cuffs are almost large enough to put on without taking the fists off. The light orb is such a forgettable little trinket that when I was done shooting I realized that I didn’t even bother with it at all. Sorry! I think I would have rather had a rubber alien rat for him to sing into than either of these pieces. But, hey, it’s hard to gripe over extra accessories.
Finally, the Sideshow Exclusive includes the Infinity Stone Orb. Sideshow did a similar thing with Dark World Loki, by including the Aether (another Infinity Stone) as the exclusive for that figure. It seems like a low blow in this case, since The Orb was so central to the film. I’m not one to bother much with exclusives, but in this case it was enough to make sure I went with Sideshow to get it. I wouldn’t miss The Aether from Dark World, but somehow I couldn’t imagine Star-Lord without The Orb. Hell, even the Hasbro Legends figure came with it. Still, in the end, it’s just a sculpted little silver ball.
Of course, every Hot Toys figure comes with a stand and in this case, they have cast off the standard oval black stand that we’ve been seeing with most of the Marvel figures for something a little more movie specific. The larger seven-sided base is surfaced to look like the deck plating of a spaceship with an angled nameplate in front with Star-Lord’s name and the title of the flick. One of those bendy flight style stands would have been cool, but I like this one a lot. It feels a little more premium than what we’re used to getting and I like that all the figures from this film are going to have matching stands.
Holy hell, this is a great figure! Star-Lord may be my favorite Hot Toys figure on my shelf right now, or at the very least tied with RoboCop as my favorite. Sure, it helps that I absolutely adore this move and I thought Chris Pratt did an excellent job in the role, but that’s not to steal any of Hot Toys thunder because they certainly did an excellent job on the figure. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve watched the movie so many times, but I already feel like everything about Peter Quill’s look (his mask, his jacket, his satchel, his pistols) is already iconic and all of that is recreated wonderfully with this release. I still stand behind the likeness, but for those who don’t the masked head is an absolutely bitchin’ alternative. As for price, Star-Lord set me back $230. It’s a lot of money for a figure, but Hot Toys has made no bones about the fact that their prices are going up and up and up with no end in sight. On the other hand, when I compare it to the $220 I spent on Dark World Loki, Star-Lord feels like a bargain. Yeah, that’s a warped way of looking at it, but it helps me sleep at night. As I already mentioned, Rocket and Groot have been pushed back until the Summer, but as of now Gamora is still on schedule to ship next month. Here’s hoping she makes it on time.