Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2: Yondu Udonta 1:6 Scale Figure by Hot Toys

The only real gripes I had with Hot Toys over their Guardians of the Galaxy line (besides how long it took to get Drax) was the conspicuous absence of both Yondu and Nebula. I get it that Hot Toys has to be careful when banking on releasing second or third tier characters, but then this is also the company that released a Stormtrooper with a porcelain china pattern. Sure, it was just a repaint and not something where likenesses had to be licensed and sculpted, but my point is they’re willing to take risks. And when Guardians 2 hit and both Yondu and Nebula had even more screen time and much bigger roles, I was sure they’d finally get the Hot Toys treatment. Well, so far I was half right. Yondu arrives based on his appearance in the second film, and it’s a good thing too, because with the way things went in that flick, there wasn’t going to be any more opportunities. But let me get off that topic before I start tearing up.

Behold! The packaging! After some flimsy window boxes covered with even flimsier sleeves, it’s nice to see Hot Toys stepping it up on their packaging. Yondu comes in a shoebox style affair illustrated with the console of The Milano’s tape deck and with a profile shot of Yondu painted on the speaker. The tape door is a window showing Awesome Mix Tape, Vol 2, which is illustrated on the inside insert. It’s a great looking box that shows off a little more thought and craft in the presentation then I feel like we’ve been getting from Hot Toys lately. Under the lid and the illustrated insert Yondu comes on a plastic tray surrounded by his many accessories and extras. Apart from clipping off some protective plastic, he’s pretty much ready to go right out of the box, so let’s check him out…

Yondu comes wearing his patchwork Ravager outfit and boy this must have been like a playground for Hot Toys’ talented tailors and craftsmen. There’s so much personality in this wardrobe and I had a great time going over every little detail of it as soon as I got the figure out of the box. The sleeveless trenchcoat has a leather-like texture with various other materials patched in here and there. I particularly like the triangular scale pattern that makes up the back of the shoulders. There are brass eyelets, straps and hooks that hilariously seem to serve no purpose, and lots of little weathered effects, all of which show what a labor of love these figures are to the people who craft them. Thankfully, Yondu’s outfit hasn’t changed much since the first movie, which means this figure fits nicely in with my Hot Toys Guardians line up.

Some additional highlights include the darts lined up on the right shoulder strap, and the Ravager emblem that he wears on the left side of the jacket’s chest. Under the jacket, he has a long sleeved shirt with a fastening front flap that reminds me of some kind of 19th Century Gentlemen’s outfit straight out of The Old West. The garment has an interesting pattern of purple ovoid loops against a red backdrop, which displays some remarkable attention to detail and craftsmanship. The outfit is rounded out by a pair of red, purple, and brown trousers, high boots, and a scarf tied neatly around his neck.

Yondu has a wrist bracer on his right arm, which also houses a removable throwing knife. I don’t remember this even being featured in either of the films, but it’s damn cool that Hot Toys included it as an actual accessory. He also has a couple of left hands that can hold it quite well. Other hands include a couple of fists, relaxed hands, and a right hand intended for holding back the flap of his coat.

At this point, it should go without saying that Hot Toys’ likenesses are almost always on point, and that’s certainly the case here. Michael Rooker has been sculpted by a number of different toy companies over the years, but I’d say this is one of the best portraits I’ve seen. The shade of blue they used for the skin looks just right, and somehow they still manage to make the skin look realistic, despite being such an outlandish color. You get some veins running under the skin, as well as what I think is supposed to be scarring from his time spent as a Kree Battle Slave. Of course, the eyes feature that same eerily lifelike quality that it seems like only Hot Toys can do. I also really dig the realism of the whiskers on his chin, they just look fantastic. Hot Toys went for a fairly neutral expression, which was probably a smart move to allow for a versatility of display options, but this is one figure that I would have loved to see an extra portrait for, either whistling for his arrow or smiling and showing off his rather distinctive teeth! And as we’ll see in a bit, I would have easily traded the Deluxe accessories for an extra Yondu noggin.

And yes, he comes with his fin, which is easily swapped out as both pieces are magnetic and both of them have sculpted and painted circuitry on the inside where it connects to his head. The fin is pretty much the key item for changing Yondu from a first movie appearance to a Vol. 2 appearance. And while I really do love the way the fin looks, chances are I’m going to stick with the look from the first film as it just fits in better with the Guardians on my shelf. Moving on to accessories… well, Yondu may not have a talking car like Zardu Hasselfrau, but he does come with a flying arrow.

Yondu’s belt features a holster for his Yaka Arrow and he actually comes with two: One is just the plain arrow and the other is attached to an effect part, which tabs into two other effect parts to create it’s flying effect. The plastic trail is cast in fairly soft translucent pink plastic, which allows for a little bit of variety to the poses you can do, but it’s mainly intended to fly up from the holster, circle behind his head and pass over the left shoulder. I think the effect is well done, but I also think it would have been cool to get a couple more pieces of it to better mix up the display. Thankfully, Yondu does come with a pair of hands for holding the arrow and that helps support it when it’s hovering over his shoulder. So, what else is in the box?

How about an angry Attacking Baby Groot with stretching arm tendrils? This is a tiny static figure, but oh boy is it a fantastic little sculpt. The detail from the wood grain finish to Groot’s skin to the texturing on his little Ravager outfit. Even the paint apps on the zipper are so crisp and clear and the expression on his little face is perfect. I think it’s great that Hot Toys puts so much effort into such a little extra. The figure comes with a simple black disc stand with pegs for the feet, and it’s pretty essential because he will not stand on his own. And that’s it for the accessories included with the regular edition of the figure, which just leaves the extra goodies included with The Deluxe version. And DX Yondu does indeed come with some cool extras, but they’re all solid examples of what I would consider non-essentials, especially if you don’t own the Rocket figure from the second movie, because one (perhaps you could argue two) of these accessories are intended for him.

First off, we have the Groot cage. Yes, you can put the Baby Groot that came with Yondu in here, but because he’s attacking with his arms it looks a little odd. Clearly, this cage was intended for the Baby Groot that came with Rocket. Although that one is also wearing the Ravager outfit, which is a little out of context from the scene in the movie. Either way, it’s kind of a dick move to switch up the Baby Groots like that, since there has got to be other collectors out there like me who are happy sticking with their Rocket from the first movie. It feels like a strategy designed to make me want the other Rocket and indeed Sideshow even cross-sells Vol. 2 Rocket as a companion piece to Yondu on their website. Ah, but you won’t get me that easily, Hot Toys. I’ll just topple the cage on its side with an open door and have Baby Groot standing in front of it, like he’s just escaped and is out for blood! Of course there’s no beating around the bush with the next accessory… it’s straight up an accessory for Rocket.

It’s Rocket’s blaster and this one I really do have to call bullshit on because it has nothing to do with Yondu. Plus, with how small Rocket is, there’s no reason Hot Toys couldn’t have included this with Vol. 2 Rocket. I get that Yondu and Rocket were paired up for part of the movie, but including this piece with Yondu just feels wrong. That’s not to say I mind getting it, because it works just fine with my Rocket from the first movie. It’s a beautiful little weapon too, but I prefer the far more distinctive design of his rifle from the first flick. So, two DX accessories both designed to go with Rocket. Are any of the DX extras designed for Yondu? Yep, I saved the best for last…

The Aero Rig! This chest harness is made up of front and back pieces, which attach around the figure. The detail and paintwork on this rig are both exceptional, with a nice metallic silver finish and satin black and copper touches. The jet tubes feature sculpted vents and a little weathering where the flame shoots out. It’s worth noting, however, that the rig is made of extremely fragile plastic. Just getting it apart to put it on the figure was a little scary and getting it apart again to take off was even more so, because you can’t get at the fragile clips on the interior of the shoulder straps. I’d also advise against displaying the figure with it for extended periods because it will probably put some troublesome wrinkles in the jacket. Another cool bonus is it looks like it should have no problem fitting Star-Lord. It might fit Drax too, but I don’t want to mess with his sensitive nipples. It’s not something I’m going to use a lot, but I do like having the option, and Hot Toys put a lot of great work into it.

With Yondu I feel a sense of closure on this journey that started back in 2015 with Star-Lord. I suppose there’s always a chance we might still get a Mantis and Nebula release from Infinity War, and I’d jump on either of those releases, but I still feel content with the lineup I have now. Although part of me is still considering the Rocket and Teen Groot two-pack. Anyway, I jumped on Yondu at Sideshow the moment he went up for pre-order and I’m glad I did, because he went to Wait List pretty quickly and sold out at a lot of other retailers just as fast. Right now he seems to be pushing $300+ on Ebay. But was the extra thirty or so dollars for the Deluxe worth it? Eh. I’m almost always willing to pop the extra money for the Deluxe version, but here’s an example where I would not have minded sticking with the regular release if I had to. Either way, I’m just glad to have the figure because it turned out amazing and it’s every bit as fine a tribute to the character as a full-blown Ravager Funeral.

Marvel Legends (Mantis Wave) Mantis Build-A-Figure by Hasbro

As promised, I’m back to finally kill off this wave of Marvel Legends with a look at the Mantis Build-A-Figure. Consisting of a total of six pieces, spread across a wave of seven figures, Mantis is fairly easy to cobble together, although I did have a little trouble getting her legs into the hips all the way. But wait, you’re saying this petite alien chick is the BAF?

Yes, generally speaking, BAFs were created to sell waves, but also to deliver figures that were often too big or complex to do in the regular price point or packaging. As a result, people may scratch their heads at the diminutive Mantis being a BAF. Well, there has been precedent for smaller BAFs in the past. Both Rocket Raccoon and Hit Monkey were even smaller. Once, someone told me that Jubilee was even a BAF, although I have no physical evidence to support that claim. Yes, I’ve seen pictures, and that last remark was just a bitter dig at Hasbro’s poor distribution. ANYWHO…

Here she is! Mantis! All assembled and looking absolutely fab! Mantis is a fairly simple figure, and as such, this is going to be a pretty quick review. But don’t let that fool you, because one look and it’s clear that Hasbro put some real love into her. The outfit features all the great sculpted detail and texturing that I’ve come to expect in my MCU Guardians outfits. I particularly dig the leaf-like skirt that wraps around her hips and backside. I expected this to be a belt, but its actually attached to the buck around the waist and as such looks more like a natural progression of her top.

Still, as impressive as the sculpting here is, it’s the paint that makes this a stand out figure. The gorgeous emerald green paint has a striking metallic sheen to it and its used not only on her top and gloves, but also the ribbed panels running down the sides of her trousers and outlining the panels in her skirt. Under some nice lighting, it contrasts beautifully with the black.

This head sculpt is no slouch either. This time around, all the MCU Guardians likenesses have been winners, and I’d say that Mantis ranks pretty high among them. Her distinctive eyes and bendy antenna have been recreated beautifully here, as has her sculpted hair, which even curls up at her chin. Whatever you’ve been doing with these portraits, Hasbro, please keep doing it!

The articulation is fairly close to what I’m used to seeing in the Legends female bucks, which means she’s fairly limber.

With no accessories, and not exactly weighing in as an action star in the movie, Mantis may not be the most exciting figure around, but I sure am glad we got her in figure form. Why Hasbro opted to make her the BAF is still a bit of a poser. Maybe they thought she wouldn’t sell on her own? But with Gamora and Nebula in the wave, I’m not convinced that was it. It would have been cool if she got her own boxed release and Hasbro could have just given us Ego as the BAF, at least then I wouldn’t have to buy a second Star-Lord to get him in that two-pack. But that’s just me griping. You do whatever you have to do, Hasbro to keep these figures coming! Next week, I’ll be starting to look at a new wave of Legends, but I haven’t decided which yet and there’s so many to choose from. Warlock? Sandman? Vulture? Ragnarok? Man-Thing? Well, I’m going to rule out Ragnarok, because I’d like to look at those figures closer to the film’s release. Right now I’m leaning toward going with the either the Warlock or Sandman waves next.

Marvel Legends (Mantis Wave): Nebula by Hasbro

Welcome back, folks! I am super excited to start a new week, especially since I got bogged down all last week checking out that Marvel Legends A-Force set. And now I’ve had a couple days to recoup, and I’m ready to move on to some new content. And it’s Monday! Oh, right. Marvel Monday. That means more Marvel Legends. Oy Vey! Well, I did say I was getting back to business as usual this week. And to be honest, I doubt I could ever get tired of checking out new Legends figures. So allow me to pick up where I left off a couple weeks back and continue looking at the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 Mantis Wave. The last figure I looked at was Gamora, one half of the “Daughters of Thanos,” so this time let’s check out her sister Nebula!

Packaged shot! Yes, Nebula shares a slot with her sister, Gamora as the “Daughters of Thanos” although each figure still includes a different BAF part to build Mantis, and I’m almost there. Just one more figure after this one! One of my biggest gripes about the merchandising of the first GotG film was that we never got a Yondu or a Nebula figure. That doesn’t just go for Hasbro either. I have a whole team of Hot Toys Guardians and still no Yondu or Nebula (Hot Toys Yondu was revealed at SDCC, but still no Nebula). Thankfully, Hasbro remedied that this time around by giving us both, and it’s only fair since both characters had expanded roles in the second flick and they were both a lot of fun in the new flick!

But maybe it’s not a bad thing that we didn’t get Nebula until now, because just look at this figure, it’s amazing! There’s no way, Hasbro could have pulled this off a few years back with that first GotG wave. Indeed, there’s just no comparison between what Hasbro is doing with this line and what they’re doing with their other 6-inch figures. At this point, I get the mental image of the Marvel Legends people at Hasbro working in this luxurious, hi-tech facility and the Star Wars Black Series people working in a barn out back with hammers and chisels. Word out of SDCC is that the Star Wars Black Series will finally catch up to this higher standard when the figures for the new film come out. We’ll see. Ah, but I digress… back to the figure!

I’ll concede that I don’t find anything outrageously special about Nebula’s outfit design. A lot of the MCU Guardians costumes kind of blur together for me at this point. It’s a lot of complex textures and panel lines, with lots of belts and straps. Not bad, but it gets redundant. It does, however, give the sculptors something interesting to work with and Nebula’s duds are expertly recreated here. Every tiny area on the outfit has some kind of sculpted detail and the paint to back it up. Even the tiniest fixtures on the belts and straps are neatly touched up with silver paint. What’s more, the different shades of purple, both darker matte and lighter, shimmery metallic, really elevates the figure to a whole new level. Combine that with the beautiful blue skin tone and this figure is a feast for the eyes. I think the color scheme on this figure looks even better than what we saw on screen.

And check out the likeness of this portrait. It’s my understanding that Hasbro has used some new 3D scanning techniques on the MCU figures in these waves, and boy does it show. Gamora’s likeness to Zoe Saldana was fantastic and this likeness to Karen Gillan, albeit in heavy alien-cyborg makeup, is equally great. But as we’ve seen time and time again with fan re-paints of Star Wars Black figures, sculpting will only take you so far and it’s the lack of quality paint that really trips Hasbro up sometimes. But look at the paintwork on this noggin! It’s outrageously good.

As for articulation, Nebula features the same triumphs and pitfalls of most female Legends figures. From the waist down, it’s all good with ball joints in the hips, double hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The torso is fine too, with both a swivel in the waist and a ball joint under the chest. The arms, are where I’d like to see a change. The figure uses rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists, and omits the bicep swivel. Not terrible, but not ideal either. Granted, in this case, the ball joint in the elbow is kind of necessary, because…

Nebula features a swap out lower left arm. You just pull the arm out at the elbow and pop in the damaged one. I really dig the worn metal finish on the arm, and the various panel lines sculpted into both the lower arm and the bicep. This is a great bonus accessory, especially since she didn’t come with that damn root that she wanted to eat so badly. Crap, now I wish that was an accessory.

Nebula also comes with a little pistol. I like it, it’s cool, but there’s not a whole lot to say about it. It has a sleek and simple design and a nice, dirty metal finish.

Hasbro continues to knock it out of the park with this Mantis Wave, and Nebula here ranks pretty high on my list of favorites. She carries on a very strong showing for the MCU Guardians figures in terms of likeness, sculpt, and overall paint quality. And while I’m willing to give Hasbro a lot of guff when they deserve it, I really need to applaud them for Marvel Legends lately. They’re churning out these figures like crazy. There are so many coming out, that it’s impossible for me to keep up. And yet, they’re obviously striving for improvements in quality while still delivering quantity. Of course, not all Legends figures are as fantastic as Nebula here, but it shows Hasbro is continuing to steer this line in the right direction, while still managing to flood the pegs with releases. Next Monday, I’ll wrap up this wave with a look at the last packaged figure, Death’s Head II, and the Build-A-Figure, Mantis.

Marvel Legends (Mantis Wave): Gamora by Hasbro

I’ve been doubling down on the last couple of Marvel Mondays, trying to tear my way through the backlog of Marvel Legends figures clogging up my home, but this week I’m pressed for time, so I’m back to just one. And that’s cool, because I want to be able to give Gamora, “The Most Dangerous Woman in the Universe,” her proper due. I thought Hasbro did a pretty average job on the Gamora from the first film, but from what I’m seeing in the package, I think this one from Guardians Vol. 2 is going to blow me away. “Hey you, with the pretty face… welcome to the human race!”

Gamora shares a slot with her sister Nebula as the “Daughters of Thanos” which is as solid a grouping as you can get in these shared packages. This wave I’ve been doing a lot of comparisons between the Vol. 2 figures with the ones from the original film, and I’ll certainly be doing some of that here as well. In fact, let’s just start out with a quick comparison shot…

Wow. I said it with Star-Lord, I said it with Rocket, and I’ll say it again here: What a difference a couple of years makes! It’s always a treat to see a company work hard to show improvements, and that’s certainly what Hasbro has been doing with Legends. Sure, it’s an entirely new costume and basically the same articulation, but besides that, everything about this figure is an improvement over the original. Just in the body types alone, the new Gamora is far more realistically proportioned. She doesn’t have those stick-thin legs and lanky arms, and the skin tone also looks much improved. It’s warmer and richer, and less plastic-y.

Now, I’ll confess, I prefer Gamora’s costume in the first movie to this one. The jacket she’s wearing here makes her look like she’s trying to be a Femme-Star-Lord and with Yondu along for the ride, there’s just too many people wearing dusters. That having been said, it still looks great, and Hasbro did a wonderful job recreating it here. You get some lovely detail to her arm wraps, textured panels on her jacket, and I really dig how they were able to do the cut-outs in the heels of her boots. The paint is also very solid. From the silver hits on her rings and the fixtures on her belt, to the blue liner of her jacket, it all looks so good. So, personal preferences about the costume aside, I think Hasbro done great here.

And let’s be honest, this portrait is the biggest improvement. The last figure’s head sculpt would have worked for a comic-based Gamora, but there wasn’t much of a likeness to Zoe Saldana. This time, Hasbro nailed it beautifully. The sculpt, the paint, the hair, it all looks spot on to me. When I look at this likeness and the Chris Pratt likeness on Star-Lord, it’s hard to believe this is the same company turning out those Star Wars Black figures.

The articulation holds no surprises, as it’s about the same as last time and pretty standard for most Marvel Legends ladies. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels in the thighs and lower legs, there are double hinges in the knees, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. The torso has a ball joint under the chest and the neck is both ball jointed and hinged.

And check this out… Hasbro included the collapsed sword and a place on her belt for her to wear it. Last time she just came with the extended sword.

And this figure includes the extended sword accessory as well. In fact, I think it’s exactly the same, which works fine. It’s cast in a gray plastic and covered with sculpted markings on the blade.

Gamora also comes with a pretty cool rifle, showing that she’s not just all about the swords this time. I really dig the gun designs in the Guardians movies and this one is no exception It’s an absolutely beautiful sculpt, packed with detail and features some pretty convincing metallic paint. I should also note that Gamora’s hands are each specifically designed to work with each weapon. The right includes a trigger finger for holding the gun, but it can also work with the sword for a looser grip. The left hand holds the sword a lot tighter, and it will work with the gun, but not as well.

Whatever team over at Hasbro has been working on these Guardians figures really needs to spread their love and knowledge over to the Star Wars Black side of the fence. Looking at these figures, I refuse to believe the same team is involved in both because the quality is so different. All I have to do is compare this Gamora to Hasbro’s own 6-inch Jyn Erso or Rey and wonder what the hell is going on over there and why they can’t do better. We’re dealing with the same scale, the same price point, and the same company. Anyway, Gamora rounds out the core team of my Vol. 2 Guardians quite nicely. Indeed, with the exception of Drax, each and every one of these figures have been a huge improvement over their predecessors. Next week, I’ll take a look at the other half of the “Daughters of Thanos,” Nebula!


Marvel Legends (Mantis Wave): Rocket Raccoon and Groot by Hasbro

Back again? Ready for a second helping of Marvel Monday? That’s what I like to hear!  Earlier today, I looked at Star-Lord from the Marvel Legends Mantis Wave and tonight I’m checking out Rocket Raccoon and Baby Groot! So, “Come a little bit closer,”and let’s kick this off…

First off, let’s deal with the obvious: Even with Mantis’ torso in there, this tray feels light.  On paper, it seems like there’s an awful lot of stuff in there, what with two figures, two weapons, an alternate head, and a BAF part, but when I’m looking at this much empty space in the package and a twenty dollar price tag, I have to think there was something else Hasbro could have crammed in there. Last time around, Rocket came with his rather large rifle, the extremely large Hadron Enforcer, and an even larger BAF Groot torso and head. I’m not sure what else Hasbro could have packed into this one (maybe the bomb with the death button?), but my first impressions are still that this package needed something more. That having been said, Rocket is an entirely new figure, but I’m still going to start off with a quick comparison shot of him beside the Rocket from the first movie.

Wow… what a difference a couple of years makes, eh? The new rocket is a little smaller, but this time Hasbro went all out and gave him full articulation. That’s crazy impressive for such a small figure. With rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, knees, and tail; ball joints in the hips, torso, and neck, and swivel cuts in the thighs, wrists, and ankles, this little trash panda has almost as much articulation as a regular sized Legends figure. I’m extremely impressed… you did good here, Hasbro!

Equally impressive is the new sculpt. I’d say the sculpted hair is about on par with the last Rocket, but the proportions on this figure look so much better to me, particularly around the neck, which isn’t so awkwardly thick. I’m still partial to Rocket’s orange jumpsuit, but this new blue outfit offers a little more room to shine when it comes to the sculpted detail and the paintwork is crisp and clean. Again, very impressive for such a tiny figure.

You get two heads, one neutral and one yelling. Both are excellent sculpts, but I’m a little partial to the open mouth one. The paintwork is really good, but it does have a weird halftone newsprint quality to it. It’s really only noticeable to me when I get in close with the camera. The yelling head has Rocket a little wall-eyed, but again, it’s tough to really notice under normal scrutiny.

Rocket comes with two different pistols, which are very detailed sculpts for such tiny pieces. They’re painted silver with a black wash that makes them look well used. They fit perfectly into his tiny little rodent hands. These aren’t as impressive as his rifle from the first movie, but they look great.

The other figure in the box is Baby Groot, and he’s more of an accessory than an actual figure. He’s a totally static piece, depicting him in his Ravager jumpsuit. It’s a solid effort for what it is, although mine is a googly eyed little bastard. I think it would have been cool if Hasbro had sculpted him to sit on Rocket’s shoulder, but he’s still a welcome addition to the package. He can also stand on his own surprisingly well.

Everything about Rocket makes him an impressive little figure and really shows the huge improvements that Hasbro can make over the course of just a couple of years. I’m still tempted to pick at the value here, because $20 is the going price of this set and there just isn’t a lot of plastic here. If it weren’t for all the added articulation to Rocket, I’d make that more of an issue, but truth be told, I’m fine with it. In the end, it’s not about what’s missing from the package, but what’s in it, and I think Hasbro went all out on this little guy.

Marvel Legends (Mantis Wave): Star-Lord by Hasbro

It’s another double-feature Marvel Monday today, folks, as I try to climb my way out of the pile of backlogged waves of Marvel Legends that are taunting me from the corner. Today I’m dipping into the MCU figures of the wave with a look at Star-Lord this morning, and Rocket & Groot later this afternoon. Let’s shang-a-lang this…

Heeeey, you can’t fool me. We just looked at a Guardians Vol. 2 Star-Lord in the last wave… What gives, Hasbro? Yes, this is a second version of Peter Quill, this time with the longer coat and scarf. To be clear, this is Star-Lord and not in any way The Fourth Doctor! Understandably, a lot of this figure reuses parts from the last release, so this review should go pretty quickly! Let’s start off with a direct comparison to the release from the last wave with a pair of Pratts.

OK, so the underlying buck is the same, but the arms are new to make up the sleeves of the new coat and also to include a pair of sculpted finger-less gloves on the hands. This new Star-Lord looks a little taller, but I think that’s just because the coat sits a little higher on the shoulders and the head may fit a little higher on the ball joint. Since the bucks are mostly the same, the articulation here is identical. so feel free to duck back and check out the articulation rundown for the Titus Wave figure.

The new coat is very nice. While it invokes his look throughout most of the first movie, the garment was redesigned for Vol. 2 and that makes it a lot different than the one on the figure from the first film. It’s not worn and tattered, and it doesn’t have all the armor bits attached to it. The sculpt is a little on the soft side, but there are still some nice details here. I particularly like the reinforced area around the shoulders, and all the seams are present. This is definitely my preferred look for the character. I’m sure the shorter jacket would be preferable in a fight, as it’s not as cumbersome, but this look has more of a swashbuckling and adventurous flavor.

The scarf is removable and simply hangs around his neck. It looks good, but it does obscure the printing on his shirt. While we’re on the subject, the shirt features the same printing we saw on the previous figure, but the shirt itself has been repainted to be a much lighter color. Did he have two colors of the same shirt in the film? I can’t remember. To be honest, I’ve seen the film three times, and I don’t even remember him wearing the scarf. It’s tough to see with the longer coat, but he still has the thigh pegs to hold his guns. Also, in the above shot, you should be able to make out the Walkman accessory that he comes with. It can tab right into his belt, and the previous Star-Lord release has the same tab, so you can use it on either figure. It’s a pretty lame accessory, though, as there are no headphones and no paint.

The new and expressive portrait features a slight smirk. It’s solid enough, but I don’t think it’s as good as the likeness we got on the last figure. The sculpt is fine, but I think the paint might not be quite so on point this time around. I’ll admit, I’m really nit-picking. Besides, the heads are interchangeable, so you can mix and match as you like. It’s certainly worth noting that this version of Star-Lord does not include the masked head, so if you want that look, you’re going to need both figures.

Last up, we have the guns, and these are the same sculpts as last time but with some variation in paint. The silver paint from the last release has been updated to a darker gray. I’m not sure why Hasbro did this, as they’re obviously supposed to be the same guns, but it’s not something that really bothers me.

This second Star-Lord is a fine figure. I do like the longer coat look better, but if pressed, I ‘d have to say that the release from the last wave is my favorite of the two. I know some people are pissed that Hasbro double-dipped on the character between the waves, and that feeling is probably aggravated by the fact that this time around you do have to buy him if you want all the BAF parts. That having been said, I like the idea of having both with inter-changeable heads. It gives you a number of display options. In the end, I’ll probably display this one with the masked head from the previous release and cast the smirking head into the Tote of Forgotten Accessories!

Marvel Legends (Titus Wave): Drax The Destroyer by Hasbro

If you follow me on Twitter, than you probably know that I loved Guardians Vol.2. You also probably know this if you’ve been anywhere in my general vicinity. God help you if you’re stuck in an elevator with me, because I’ll keep saying, “And remember that time when [insert character here] did/said that thing?” until you inevitably swallow your own tongue for sweet release. All the characters did their part to make this movie a sheer delight, but Drax continues to shine as one of the most pleasant surprises of this entire franchise. And as such, David Bautista deserves to have praise heaped onto him for the amazing job he has done breathing life into the character. Even doubly so when you consider his limited experience as an actor. And seeing as how my Hot Toys Drax figure has now been delayed a half dozen times, I now look to Hasbro’s Marvel Legends for more plastic Drax loving.

We’ve seen the packaging already. The three figures from the film are branded with the movie title and Drax here comes with a fair amount of goodies laid out in the tray, including a BAF part for Titus. I’d like to tell you that this review is going to be a balls-to-the-wall love fest, but unlike the character, this figure lets me down on a few levels. Let’s take a look…

So, from the neck down, what we have here is a total reuse of the 2014 Drax figure from the first film. The pants are now blue, the boot buckles are a little brighter, and his skin is an entirely different shade of green. Other than that it’s the exact same figure. Now, I don’t really have an issue with them reusing the body. It was a great sculpt than and nearly three years later, it’s still a great sculpt. There’s plenty of detail in the boots and trousers, and the way Hasbro sculpted his tattoos onto the buck really has to be commended because it looks fantastic. As for the skin recoloring, well it’s hard for me to make a call on which is screen accurate because Drax’s skin tends to vary depending on the lighting. I suspect this newer one is more accurate and the fact that the plastic has more of a matte finish is cool, but I actually tend to like the skin tone on the original figure more. That’s just personal preference.

The new sculpting here comes in the form of a brand new head and this is an angry and yelling Drax. It’s certainly a departure from the more neutral expression on the previous Drax figure and it’s a fairly decent likeness with some excellent detailing and solid paint work. Of course, I think if we were going for an accurate Guardians Vol.2 Drax they should have made him laughing, because he really does spend a lot of that movie laughing his ass off. Anyway, the biggest issue I have here is that given the change in skin tone, you can’t really swap heads between the two figures and make it work, and to me that’s a bummer. Hasbro could have rectified this by tossing in the old head with updated coloring, but that didn’t happen. I guess my issue here really isn’t with what we got, but with what could have been.

Obviously, the articulation here is identical to the previous release and that means it’s plenty damn good. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and the wrists. The elbows and knees have double hinges. There are swivels in the biceps and thighs. The ankles have hinges and lateral rockers. Lastly, you get a swivel in the waist, an ab crunch hinge in the torso, and both a hinge and ball joint in the neck. The joints all feel great and there are no gummy hinges.

As you may have guessed, Drax comes with his pair of knives and they are indeed the same accessories that were included with the 2014 release. They’re nice sculpts, they could have used a little paint, but I’m not going to make a big deal about it. And yes, they still fit into the sheathes that are sculpted into the sides of his boots.

You do get a brand new accessory, which is his bazooka. It’s fairly detailed sculpt, but it’s all cast in black plastic and there are no additional paint apps. I’ve said it before, but if Hasbro is going to do big weapons for this scale, they really need to bust out the paint, otherwise it just looks damn cheap. I understand paint apps are often the first things cut when costing out a figure, but this is an almost entirely reused sculpt, so it’s hard to see where the money went. Anyway, the bazooka is a rather unique and fun design, and he can hold it pretty well in one hand with the back resting on his shoulder.

Am I too harsh on this figure? Possibly. I do like it a lot, but then I liked it a lot three years ago too. My guess is that the average collector’s mileage will vary depending on whether or not it’s they’re first MCU Drax. If you missed out on the last one, this is a fine substitute. I like the screaming head, but I would like it more if it was an optional portrait and not the only one. And like I said, you can’t swap it with the 2014 Drax head because of the color change. I didn’t feel at all bad about buying a new Star-Lord figure. It’s a new look and the heads are swappable between the new figure and the old one. Drax, on the other hand, feels a lot more like double-dipping.

Marvel Legends (Titus Wave): Yondu by Hasbro

Guardians Vol 2 is in the theaters, and what a fun ride it is! It’s got action, laughs, and some wonderful characters, and a soundtrack that’s so cool it has no business being in a modern Hollywood flick. I’ve only been to see it once so far, but I’ll likely be back when I can find some time next weekend. And as careful planning and professionalism luck would have it, I’m also in the process of checking out the new Guardians themed wave of Marvel Legends. Last week I looked at the new Star-Lord figure and today I’ll be checking out Yondu!

No spoilers here, but I will say that I was happy to see Yondu play an expanded role in the new movie and Michael Rooker was fantastic in it. Of course, I was disappointed last time that Yondu didn’t get a Legends figure, but all is forgiven now, as thanks to the inclusion of two head sculpts, this figure can really work for either movie. I’ve got nothing new to say about the packaging, so let’s dive right in!

Captain Udonta’s outfit features his long duster and other Ravager garb, and boy did Hasbro go nuts on the detail here. The jacket itself is replete with rumples, stitching, reinforced patches, textured areas, and even a bit of wear and tear. For all the times that Legends gets by with a simple (and perfectly suitable) painted buck, it’s figures like Yondu that show Hasbro can really shine when dedicating themselves to an entirely new sculpt. Under the coat, you get more of the same, including texturing on the vest, individually sculpted buttons, as well as all sorts of buckles and straps. As soon as I had Yondu out of the package, I spent a good deal of time just turning him over in my hands and getting lost in all the amazing minutia of his outfit. All around, this is nice work!

Ravager outfits aren’t the most colorful costumes, so Yondu gets by without a whole lot of paint. Still, what’s here is pretty good. You get some gold fixtures on his coat, including the Ravager emblem, which turns out to be pretty critical in one hilarious little movie sequence. The shoulder strap is painted a lighter brown to distinguish it from the coat. Under the coat, you get some additional paint for the buttons of his vest and the harness he’s wearing over it. Of course for some great added color, we can look to the portraits!

The stock portrait features Yondu with the crest we saw in the first film, and part of the second. Overall, I think this is a really solid sculpt and a pretty good likeness to Rooker. The paint for the eyes is applied clean and straight, and while the paint for the teeth is passable, it could have been a tad sharper at the corners of his mouth. I’m also considering taking a silver sharpie and coloring a little silver on his teeth. Still, I’m nit-picking on a figure that has very little to complain about.  I like the grimacing expression and the fact that the whiskers are part of the sculpt is pretty cool.

The second head features Yondu with his fin. This is something of a plot point in the film, but I mainly like it because it nods back to the look of the character in the comics. The sculpt and paintwork on the fin are both particularly good. You can also see here that he has the scarring sculpted into the side of his head, which is actually present on both head sculpts. This sculpt also features Yondu’s lips pursed up into a whistle, which makes this portrait work particularly well if you plan on displaying him with his arrow in action.

And speaking of action, the articulation here is identical to what we saw last time with Star-Lord. In case you missed that review, here’s a rundown… You get rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips. have double hinges in the knees, and swivels in both the thighs and the boots. The ankles are hinged and have lateral rockers. Yondu wasn’t exactly super agile in the films, as he lets his arrow do most of the work for him, so I think the pose-ability here is far more than adequate.

In addition to the extra head and the Titus BAF part, Yondu comes with his deadly arrow. The arrow here actually features an effect part so that you can display him with the arrow flying out of its sheath on his belt. The effect works surprisingly well, but I do think it was a little cheap of Hasbro not to drop a second arrow in the package, so you could put it in the sheath for when he isn’t using it. Ah, but considering all the work they put into the figure, I’m inclined to give them a pass on that.

I may only be two figures into this wave, but so far Hasbro is really nailing it with these Guardians Legends. Like Star-Lord, Yondu is a great figure and hits all the right points from sculpt to paint to articulation. I’ll confess that I will very likely be picking up a second Yondu, just so I can display one from each movie and an extra arrow to snip the effects part off of. And while I know it’s just a pipe dream, I really wish there was some way that Hasbro could get us a figure of Kraglin in the Legends scale. Hell, even if they boxed him with a repacked Yondu, I’d still buy that in a heartbeat. Anyway, on the next Marvel Monday, I’m going to finish off the MCU Guardians in this wave with a look at Drax.

Marvel Legends (Titus Wave): Star-Lord by Hasbro

It may be Marvel Monday, but I already have my sights set on Thursday, because I have my tickets to see Guardians Vol 2 at the local CineBistro, where I’ll be sitting in a recliner made of rich Corinthian leather and sipping on a spiced bourbon while a space-raccoon cracks wise and kills things on the big screen in front of me. It seemed only fitting today to kick off the Guardians-themed wave of Marvel Legends, so let’s do just that with the second Marvel Legends version of the MCU’s Peter Quill.

While this is a Guardians Wave, Hasbro has populated it with a mix of figures from both the comics and the MCU. Indeed, only three of the seven figures (eight if you count Titus) here are from the film, and that’s something that I absolutely love about what Hasbro is doing with Legends these days. The comics are actually getting a bigger focus than the soon to be billion dollar blockbuster. How cool is that? And don’t worry, the rest of the Guardians Vol. 2 team is still coming, split into another assortment. Let’s bust Quill out of here and check him out.

Hasbro last took a crack at MCU Star-Lord back in 2014 with the release of the original film… and what a difference a few years makes! I’m not going to shit talk that original figure, because I do still like it a lot, but I’ll be happy to point out the improvements when we get to the portrait. In the meantime, here we have Star-Lord in his updated look for the sequel.

His costume isn’t all that different from the first film, but I really like that he has the shorter coat now. He wore both the duster and the jacket in the first film, and since we only got the duster version last time, it’s nice to get the other option this time. There’s a good deal of sculpted detailing in the jacket, and that includes texturing, some reinforced areas, and piping. As is often the case, the jacket is basically a separate vest with sculpted sleeves to create the illusion that it’s all one piece. This allows you to pull back the flaps and get a better look at the shirt underneath.

His t-shirt has the printing across it that we’ve all seen in the trailer. Pratt himself has explained that this is some kind of licensed merch from the Guardians Universe and even suggested that it’s the brand name for some kind of candy. I really love that idea. From the waist down, things are pretty simple and straightforward. There’s a lot of sculpted detail on the trousers and boots, but nothing extraordinary or worthy of mention. I did notice that his thrusters are conspicuously absent from his ankles and I’m wondering if there’s a reason for that. If there is, I guess I’ll know soon enough. Star-Lord also includes pegs on his hips so he can wear his guns. These work quite well if he’s standing with his legs straight, but the guns tend to pop out when you give him wider stances.

The portrait is such a huge improvement over the original Legends Star-Lord. I think the first one works as maybe an animated version, but this one actually bears a decent likeness to Pratt. The facial hair is part of the sculpt and not just painted on like last time. I really couldn’t be happier with how this head turned out.

He also comes with an alternate masked head. This sculpt reflects some changes in the actual movie mask as well as some overall sharper sculpting. There are some new gold detailing on the back and overall, I’d say the paint here is much sharper, particularly on the eyes.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the new head does fit perfectly on the 2014 figure. There is a slight difference in the skin tone, but it’s close enough to work for me. And that means I’ll definitely be picking up a second Guardians 2 Star-Lord and retiring that old head.

The articulation here is pretty much the same as we saw on the last Quill figure, and that’s not a bad thing. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips. have double hinges in the knees, and swivels in both the thighs and the boots. The ankles are hinged and have lateral rockers. There’s a ball joint just under the chest, and both a hinge and ball joint in the neck. I’ve had this guy on my desk for days and I’m still not tired of playing around with him.

If this figure comes up a little short anywhere, it’s in the accessories. Star-Lord doesn’t include a BAF part, and doesn’t come with his Walkman like the original Quill did. Sure, I could always borrow that one, since I have two of those figures, but I’d say it’s odd that they didn’t at least repack that one in this box. As we’ve already seen, he does come with his twin blasters, which are beautiful sculpts. I love the designs of these guns.

While a few more accessories would have been welcome, it’s hard for me to find any other faults with this figure. Hasbro did a fantastic job on all fronts, but it’s the improvement in the likeness that really hits home. I won’t be double dipping on the Hot Toys Star-Lord, I’m still happy with mine from the first movie, so it’s nice to be able to have Quill from the sequel represented on my Hasbro 6-inch shelf. Next week, I’m going to be pressing on with the MCU figures, while the hype for the movie is still high and after I’ll be digging into the comic based figures.