I can still remember seeing the first images for Hasbro’s Guardians of the Galaxy ships and thinking, “Holy crap, they’re going full Star Wars on this movie and it’s going to be so amazing!” Then the facts came out that the ships we were seeing were scaled for tiny little 2 1/2-inch figures and that threw a bucket of cold water on my celebration. I’m not sure why. To this day one of my favorite of the lesser 80’s toy lines is Kenner’s MASK, and those figures were right about at the 2 1/2″ scale. In the end, it didn’t matter because I had too many other things vying for my wallet to be able to start in on this line and even when it was swept away on clearance, I stayed away. Fast forward to a week or so ago and a friend of mine decided to get rid of his Guardians collection and I took it off his hands for the cost of shipping it to me. Hey, that’s what friends are for!
And behold! I should note that this is not a complete set. It’s actually missing the Sakaaran Necrocraft and one of the figure packs. But it’s still a good chunk of it. It’s rare that I try to tackle most of an entire toy line in one Feature, let alone in bonus Saturday content, but the circumstances here just seemed to warrant it. Frankly, I’ve got too much else to look at without taking up half a dozen regular Feature slots with these toys. But, I’ll confess I had a whole lot of fun opening these up yesterday, putting them together and applying all the stickers. STICKERS! I LOVE ‘EM!!! It was kind of like Christmas in February. Anyeay, there’s a lot here to look at. I’m not going too terribly in depth. Let’s dive right in with the ships. We’ll start small with the Nova Corps Starblaster and work our way up.
It’s almost too weird to wrap my head around the fact that I’m holding a toy of a Nova Corps spaceship. Wow! We comic book nerds live in wondrous times! I really enjoyed the ship designs in Guardians and the Nova Corps patrol ships are a great example of why. The shape and color scheme give it an insectoid vibe, like a wasp or hornet, and this is a pretty cool recreation of the ship we saw on the big screen. The eight wings are all textured and the main body of the ship also has a little bit of sculpted detail, but Hasbro didn’t go particularly wild on it. The ship includes an action feature that deploys all the wings in unison when you fold out any one of them.
With the wings deployed, this is a fairly sizable toy, which leads me to believe they were on to something when they went with the 2 1/2-inch scale. The wing span would have been enormous on a proper 4-inch scaled ship. The wings include peg holes where you can attach a missile launcher and some weird translucent red weapon pieces. I’m not a fan of the extra parts, but at least they are optional and I can leave them in the box.
The Patrol Ship comes with a Nova Corps Officer. I’ll deal with all the figures in a bit more detail at the end. The canopy on the ship opens up and there’s plenty of room to put the figure inside. There’s also a surprising amount of detail sculpted into the cockpit. Moving on to the Warbird…
This is the Ravager ship that Rocket Raccoon was flying toward the end of the flick when defending Xandar against The Dark Aster and it’s another example of what I love about the ship designs from the film. It’s a bit unconventional, but evocative of a flying wing. While the detail was sparing on the Nova Corp ship, Hasbro went to town on this one. The sculpt features all sorts of panel lines and vents and machinery in the engines. It really looks damn good. The grey plastic has a bit of a sheen to it and the black and deep blue makes for a pleasing deco. The rest of the markings on the ship are achieved with stickers.
The action feature on this one is a lot more subtle than the Nova ship. The top wings can be angled ever so slightly in an higher position. It’s really barely even noticeable. Of course, the cockpit also opens up and the included Rocket Raccoon figure can sit inside. Actually, he just kind of lays inside, since he’s a totally static figure. Again, there’s some nice sculpted detail in the cockpit. Yes, you also get a missile launcher and more of the translucent weapon parts to peg in around the ship if you want to. Next up… The Milano!
Star-Lords ship is the biggest one in the line, although it’s obviously scaled quite a bit back from how big it really should be in relation to 2 1/2-inch figures. I’m cool with that, because if Hasbro hadn’t taken creative license with the size, it would have been massive. Like the Warbird, The Milano is loaded with sculpted panel lines and little details along the hull. The gray plastic is the same used on the Warbird and it looks great here, particularly with the blue and yellow deco. The extra color and markings come from the stickers. And yet again, you get a missile launcher and extra translucent weapons to peg on if you want.
Two of the wings are articulated and can fold back or be positioned in line with the other wings. It’s not a big deal. You also get some electronics in the toy. It makes a few different attack sounds and the angled “T” on the nose of the ship lights up and flickers. The canopy opens and the cockpit can fit three figures. Again, it’s definitely scaled back, but I think it’s cool they made extra room for more than just one figure.
Speaking of figures, they mostly come in two-packs, although the one with Rocket is a three-pack. What sucks about these is that Hasbro packed them in a way that if you’re going for a complete set of figures and ships, you can’t avoid getting doubles. Star-Lord comes with The Milano, but he also comes packed with Gamora. You want Groot? You’ve got to buy both Rocket and the Nova Officer, which come with the Warbird and Nova ship. On the brighter side, Drax comes with Korath, so no double dipping there, and while Ronan comes with Star-Lord again, it’s the long jacket version, so at least it’s not the same figure. Each of the figure packs come with one large missile launcher and a sprue of translucent weapons, all of which are goofy over-sized junk. At least the missile launchers, which are way too big for the figures can be mounted on the ships for extra firepower. On second thought, I suppose even the translucent ones can be added to the ships. The figures themselves are pretty rough. Their hands are oddly large to be able to hold the crappy accessories and all of them (except Rocket) have five points of articulation. Let’s run through them real quick…
Star-Lord is ironically one of the worst. His head is hilarious and he won’t stand up unless you lean him forward. Gamora is passable for the scale, I guess. They did actually sort of get a little bit of the likeness in there.
Drax and Korath are fairly decent, I guess. They actually got all of Drax’s tats painted onto him and Korath’s armor looks pretty cool for such a little figure.
Groot looks surprisingly bad, considering he was the biggest figure they had to work with. Rocket is passable, although he’s obviously way out of scale, otherwise he would be too tiny. At least his tail makes it so he can stand.
I’d say the Nova Corp Officers are the best. They’re colorful and the uniforms look pretty good. Also, it’s not so bad having a couple of these, since they can be seen as troop builders.
In the end, I’ll say that I was surprised by how decent the ships are and not at all surprised by how forgettable the figures turned out. The line definitely pulls at some of my nostalgia strings. Maybe a little bit of MASK, but also a little bit of Mattel’s Battlestar Galactica ships from the 70’s that got pulled from the market because of missile choking syndrome. Apart from having Gamora and Drax to sit in my Milano with Star-Lord, I could have easily done without the separate packs of figures. Which makes me think that Hasbro should have just not bothered with the separate packs and just bundled all the figures with the ships. I haven’t decided whether or not I’m going to bother picking up the Necrocraft and the Ronan figure pack. I’m not as fond of the Sakaaran ship designs and I don’t really want to buy another Star-Lord just to get a tiny Ronan. I suppose this line was a valiant effort on Hasbro’s part and it’s just a shame that the market wouldn’t have supported a proper 3 3/4-inch line. A Millennium Falcon-sized Milano with a back that came off and doubled as a playset would have been amazing.