Avengers Endgame: Nebula Sixth-Scale Figure by Hot Toys

I’m giving the unending parade of Marvel Legends a week off on this Marvel Monday so I can turn my attention to a new Hot Toys arrival! And on that subject, I believe I may be approaching the end of a long journey, as I started collecting Marvel Hot Toys nearly ten years ago, and now some 30 figures later, all of that feels like it’s coming to an end. I have a few on my shelf left to review, and a few more pre-orders waiting to ship, but I have a grim sense of foreboding that I am not going to enjoy the post-Endgame run of the MCU, and as such probably won’t be investing top dollar in the figures any more. I mean, it may end up being a decent movie, but am I going to want a shelf full of Hot Toys Eternals? Probably not. I bring it up now, because I’m acutely aware of it and that makes Nebula’s arrival feel less routine than some of the others have been.

Hot Toys have been all about delays these days, distancing their releases from the respective movies by quite a bit. I imagine part of that is Covid-related, but I actually had one of my Sideshow statues delayed because of some kind of nautical catastrophe. And while I’ve been cancelling some, I let Nebula ride it out. And while Nebula is billed as an Endgame figure, I see her as a way to finally complete my Guardians of the Galaxy collection. Sure, she was given a lot of screen time in Endgame, and ultimately a satisfying character arc, but I associate the character most with Guardians Vol. 2. Anyway, the package doesn’t really convey the price of the figure inside. It’s a fragile window box housing a vac-formed plastic tray with an illustrated sleeve around it. Although, I have to admit that the artwork on that sleeve is absolutely breathtaking, particularly the colors. I don’t save these boxes anymore, but I could be persuaded to flatten out this sleeve and tuck it away somewhere, because it’s just too pretty to pitch. But enough about the package, let’s get her open and see what we’ve got!

Plucked from Endgame, this is Nebula in her Ravager garb, and if she’s only getting one Hot Toys figure, I’d say this version was a pretty good choice. Although, I still would have liked one from either of the Guardians flicks, since we didn’t get Ronin and it would have been nice to get bad Nebula as a villain stand in. Still, the Ravager style outfit displays well with my original Guardians Star Lord and my Guardians Vol. 2 Yondu, so I’m a happy collector. The space-pirate outfit consists of a very tight-fitting maroon one-piece, which is stitched together in a bit of a patchwork fashion, and while this isn’t one of the flashiest costumes out there, Hot Toys did it proud by recreating all of its little idiosyncrasies. Every stitch of it has some form of texturing, plus there are multiple layers with different types of fabrics, reinforcements, piping, belts, and buckles. When I first got the figure out of the box, I had a great time just studying all of these little details and marveling at how with something like 50 Hot Toys figures on my shelf, the attention to details never ceases to impress me. I especially love how the sculpted bits that make up the boots and bracers and gloves pair so seamlessly with the actual fabric aspects of the suit.

Some particularly noteworthy highlights are the reinforced shoulder pads, the Ravager badge on her right bicep, and the gun belt, which has a holster for her sidearm and straps to hold her baton in the back. Although, I’m a little unclear as to why she only carries one back there when she fights with two. The holster actually needs to be attached to the belt via two small hooks, and I don’t mind telling you that it was a daunting task to finally get it on. I had to rely on tweezers and I think I got through almost the entire Podcast I was listening to before I actually got those hooked. On the downside, because the figure is literally stitched into the suit, the articulation is severely limited up in her groin. I really can’t get much of a wide stance at all without fear of popping those stitches. At the same time, the boots are all sculpted in one piece, so forget getting her feet flat all the time. As a result, from the waist down, this is not a very dynamic figure to play with or pose.

Of course, this version of Nebula has a completely exposed cybernetic left arm, which mostly consists of sculpted panel lines, but does have a few areas where the innards are exposed. These areas feature some finely detailed wires and servos, some of which are individually painted. The joints are sculpted into her fingers and the mesh on the hands look great. While we’re on the subject of hands, Nebula comes with three sets (fists, relaxed, baton holding) and a right gun hand. My only gripe about the cybernetic arm is the limited articulation. It’s got a rotating hinge in the shoulder and another at the elbow, but sadly no swivel in the bicep. Maybe they thought that would look bad, but what’s here still feels rather limiting.

That brings us to the portrait, and for this I only have praise. Nebula’s on screen make up is nothing short of amazing. After following Karen Gillan in Doctor Who for so many years, I can only catch glimmers of familiarity of the actress as Nebula, and that’s high praise to her acting abilities as well as the make up effects. And this portrait continues Hot Toys’ mostly unswerving ability to capture likenesses for their figures. The two shades of blue used for her skin are rich and the metallic sheen on the darker middle is particularly beautiful. I also love how they managed to still create that realistic speckled skin tone even through such unconventional colors. The eyes also feature that lifelike spark that Hot Toys always manages to capture in these portraits. The expression is fairly neutral, which was what Nebula often showed in the films. A second head sculpt with gritting teeth and rage would have been welcome, but Hot Toys seldom seems to do multiple portraits these days. Finally, the exposed cybernetic plate on her left side and around her eye looks fantastic.

Nebula does not come with a whole bunch of accessories and extras, but what we did get is pretty good. For starters, her pistol is a real thing of beauty. I love the gun designs in the Guardians flicks, and this one looks like it shares a little heritage with Star Lord’s Elemental Guns. At the very least they look like they come from a shared Universe. The grip has an intricate honeycomb pattern and the rest of the tiny details include a knob on the back, little screws, and there’s even some burn marks painted around the three vents near the muzzle. The top piece is ivory, the bulk of the body is painted with a brushed steel finish, and there’s a little metallic blue and gold on some of the fixtures. It’s quite a striking piece!

Her other weapons are her batons. We already saw that she has one collapsed one to store in the back of her belt, while the other two are sculpted in the extended position. There’s some great detail in the handle sculpts, but as great as they look, it’s hard for me to get too worked up over a couple of batons. They do work well with the hands that are designed to hold them.

You also get some blue electrified effect parts, which can be snaked around them. Sure, these are basically the same types of things Hasbro includes with some of their Star Wars figures to convey Force energy, but they still look mighty nice when fitted around them, and I may actually keep these on when I’m displaying her.

As always, our last stop on the Hot Toys review train is the figure stand, and here we get one branded for Endgame. It features a hexagonal base with a standard, adjustable crotch cradle post. Her name is printed kind of unceremoniously on the front, instead of using one of those metallic name plates. Also, the printing is ever so slightly askew. Ah well. You do get some really nice and colorful artwork on the base with the Avengers Endgame logo and the Ravager emblem. And yeah, I really wish they had given her the same style of stand the rest of the Guardians had, because this one looks really out of place in that display.

Nebula represents all the usual quality and craftsmanship that I’m used to seeing out of Hot Toys. They’ve been doing this a long time, and they are freaking great at it. This is simply a gorgeous figure that captures the character as best as anyone is ever likely to do in action figure form. With that having been said, the limitations of the suit on her articulation can be quite frustrating. Granted, I usually go with some pretty reserved poses for my figures, so it’s not going to hurt my overall, long-term enjoyment of the figure. But on the same note, I do like to play with them in front of the camera every now and then and have fun with them. Sadly, Nebula is one of those figures that will have to be content with standing on her stand and looking pretty. As for value, at $235, this one really needed an extra head or something to justify that extra $25-30. Even still, I can’t say as I’m feeling even a shred of buyer’s remorse. The Guardians of the Galaxy characters have been some of my favorite Marvel Hot Toys releases and I’m thrilled to finally put Nebula among them. At this point the one hole remaining in my Guardians display is Mantis, who was shown off back in 2019 and is still teased on Sideshow’s website, but I haven’t seen any new activity lately. If she is finally offered, I’ll be down for a pre-order. But until then, Nebula marks my final addition to this bunch of sixth-scale A-Holes. Although, I will admit that I’m a little tempted to double-dip on Gamora now.

Marvel Legends: The Grandmaster and The Collector by Hasbro

In addition to the non-stop torrential rush of Marvel Legends waves, Hasbro has also been cranking up the multi-pack releases. And I’m just talking the normal retail stuff. To make matters even more challenging for the collectors’ wallets,  they’ve also included a lavishly packaged two-pack for SDCC this year. Pulled straight from the MCU flicks Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor: Ragnarok comes The Collector and The Grandmaster!

The snazzy packaging looks like a drum with windows on each side to show the figures. It actually opens up too, so both figures can be displayed side-by-side in half-tubes. Flip it around and you get the poster art from each flick on the back panels. This is some really nice packaging, but mine was fairly worn even by the time it got to me, and I don’t think it’s going to be easy to store, so I’ll likely be getting rid of it, like I do most of my Legends packaging. Let’s start with The Grandmaster first!

Grandmaster is sort of the non-essential figure here, since he was issued at retail with a different head, and in a two-pack with Korg, a set that still sits unopened on my Pile of Shame. I will get around to it eventually, but this will be my first experience with the Grandmaster figure. Let me say straightaway, that while this is a great looking figure, it isn’t all that much fun to play around with. A lot of that has to do with his lavish golden robe, which is sculpted in soft plastic, is fairly form-fitting, and thereby limits the articulation in the legs and torso quite a bit. This might have been a really good time to try some soft-goods, especially since Hasbro recently cranked out a golden cloth robe for a certain guy over in the Star Wars Black Series department. Indeed, pretty soon I’ll be checking out a Black Series figure with some outstanding cloth robes! Now that I think of it, cloth robes would have been a great idea for this particular SDCC release, to further set it apart from the retail figure. Now, with all that having been said, the robe still looks nice, it’s sculpted with a faint texture, and it pegs together right where the sculpted red belt is meant to be tied. I also really dig how it bunches up on the floor behind him.

Under the plastic robe, he dons a pair of leisure pants, which have an otherworldly purple-platinum sheen and a long sleeve shirt, which is blue and red with a wide red cummerbund worn at the waist. His eccentric outfit is finished off with a pair of funky gold sandals. Grandmaster sports a sculpted ring on his right hand, and painted-blue nail polish on his fingers and toes.

The Jeff Goldblum likeness is pretty solid, especially from certain angles. As mentioned earlier, the head sculpt is the primary exclusive thing about this figure. Here he’s smiling, whereas the retail version has a more neutral expression. Your personal preferences may vary, but I really dig this portrait and I think it captures a lot of the madcap personality of the character. As usual the half-tone printing for the facial features does a fine job for the detail in the eyes and mouth.

The Grandmaster comes with a couple of cool accessories. The first is his infamous Melt Stick, which is cast in gold plastic and can be held in his right hand and cradled in the left. This is a simple, but fun accessory, providing you aren’t the one being melted by it.

The second accessory is the pile of melted goo. Is it supposed to be Carlo? That I’m not sure, but I kind of hope it is. Yeah, it’s just a lump of plastic bubbles, but fun nonetheless. Let’s move on to Grandmaster’s brother, The Collector!

Taneleer Tivan is the true exclusive figure of the set, as for now he has not been made available at regular retail. He’s also one of the MCU characters that has been most sorely missing from my collection. Benicio Del Toro’s weirdly eccentric performance fit Guardians of the Galaxy like a glove and made The Collector, even with his brief screen time, a truly memorable character. And Hasbro sure did a nice job with this figure. The outfit includes some great detail in the sculpt, particularly in the torso, where the texture and patchwork nature pays homage to a 19th Century waistcoat, complete with strings of sculpted beads reminiscent of the chains on a fob watch. His sculpted furry cape pegs into the back and is worn over the shoulders and plunges behind his neck. I think the sculpted sleeve on the left arm is supposed to be part of the cape, as the speckled pattern matches the interior of the cape. You can take off the cape, but it looks kind of funny since the sleeve remains.

As with his brother, The Collector’s portrait turned out great. It’s a fine likeness for Del Toro and I particularly love the high hair, which is again sculpted as a separate piece from the head. You also get a second head sculpt with The Collector wearing his special goggles.

One final accessory in the box is The Orb that housed The Infinity Stone of Power. It’s a simple little ball packed with a lot of tiny detail. The only downside here is The Collector’s hands really aren’t designed to hold it all that well. I can make it work, but it’s a careful balancing act. It might have been better to give him an extra hand with The Orb sculpted into it, or an extra hand with a peg in the palm and a peg-hole on The Orb.

It may irk some to have to buy a second Grandmaster just to get their hands on The Collector, but I get how the business works and sometimes Hasbro has to get some extra money out of a figure in order to make producing another one more cost effective. Truth be told, I would have much rather had The Collector in a box with some of his menagerie, similar to what Hasbro did in the 3 3/4-inch scale for another SDCC Exclusive. Maybe throw in Cosmo and Carina. I would have paid extra for that. But I’m still really pleased they finally got this figure out and that it was pretty easy to get off of Pulse. Maybe not essential for all Legends collectors, but to me that’s what Exclusives should be all about.

Marvel Studios “First Ten Years” Ronan by Hasbro

In case you missed it, Hasbro is celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Marvel Cinematic Universe by going back and releasing some figures of characters they missed the first time around. A few weeks back I checked out the Captain America and Crossbones set from Civil War and today I’m turning my attention to Ronan from Guardians of the Galaxy. [Insert polarizing opinion about James Gunn controversy here].

The First Ten Years releases run the gamut from single packs to two-packs, and even some three packs. Whatever the case, they all come in window boxes, which have been re-branded to help them stand out from the regular Marvel Legends releases. The corners are all squared off and you get a new deco and Marvel Studios logo. Back when Hasbro was doing figures for the first Guardians film, I thought omitting Ronan figure was a huge oversight, and I’m extremely happy that Hasbro is rectifying that now. So let’s get this Kree accuser out of the box and check him out.

And wow, what an amazing sculpt this is! Ronan’s Kree battle armor gave the sculptors at Hasbro a rich canvas to work on and they did not disappoint. Every tiny facet of the armor is realized in full detail. His coat is sculpted as part of the torso and extends down past the waist as a separate soft plastic piece, which hangs around the legs, and it’s all pretty convincing as one garment, save for the cut for the waist swivel. The coat features a grid of segmented armor pieces, almost like scales, which forms a strip running straight down to between his legs. In other areas, some of the armor plates have cool vein-like wrinkles sculpted into them, suggestive of some kind of weird alien forging process.

I really dig the super-fine texturing showing in the lower part of the coat, also seen on some of the leg panels. It looks like some kind of micro-chain armor. There’s also some very fine ribbing in the joints around his underarms. Two strips hang down his back with, like two thin capes, each with an intricate pattern, like a techno-snakeskin. While the coloring here is fairly drab, you do get a nice mix of dark gray metal with some silver, as well as swipes of red forming a pattern on his chest that looks like war paint. Obviously, the MCU figures give Hasbro a lot more to work with when it comes to detail, and I think Ronan here may be one of their most intricate sculpts yet. Pair that with the excellent coloring and this is quite simply an amazing looking figure.

The portrait is no slouch either. Not only is this a solid likeness, but the glossy paint they used for his eyes give him a slight spark of life that I don’t recall ever seeing in a figure in this scale before. He does have some blue veins painted in on his face, which I don’t remember seeing on him in the film, and also the black warpaint around his eyes and mouth. And just in case you thought this review was going to be nothing but me gushing, here’s where we get into some problems…

The soft plastic hood is permanently attached to the head and so is the shoulder armor. Yup, when you turn Ronan’s head, his shoulders turn with it, and this is a terrible design. It’s not too bad if you just tweak his neck articulation, but if you want any significant amount of head turn, it just looks so awkward. I get it, the design features the hood running under the shoulder plates, but here’s where I would have been OK with some creative license on Hasbro’s part. They should have attached the shoulders to the torso via soft plastic connectors and just shaved a little bit off the hood. As things stand, his neck articulation is useless unless you want his shoulder armor levitating in mid air. What a shame.

As long as we’re on the subject of articulation, let’s run down the points. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged at the knees, and have swivels in the thighs. The ankles are hinged and have lateral rockers. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The torso features an ab-crunch hinge and a swivel in the waist, and lastly the neck is both hinged and ball jointed. It all sounds fine on paper, but in reality there are a few issues. . First off, the ab-crunch hinge on my figure is extremely loose. It will hold most positions, but it feels all floppy. Second, the lower half of his armor coat does inhibit the leg movement quite a bit. And finally, those shoulders don’t work well with his arms raised over his head. As great as this figure looks, I can’t say he’s all that much fun to play with. I was struggling just to come up with different poses for pictures.

Of course, Ronan comes with his hammer and it’s a decent enough accessory. It’s cast in gray plastic and there’s some nice swirly effects in the head. The shaft even has some sculpted detail. It even has the glowing purple Infinity Stone centered in its head. Ronan’s hands are sculpted so that he can hold it in either hand, or both.

I was terribly excited to get this figure in hand and even as I was checking him out in the box, I thought he couldn’t be anything else but a slam-dunk. And if I just planned on posing him on my shelf standing with his hammer by his side, then I suppose he turned out pretty great. But the moment I got him in hand and started fiddling about with him, the pangs of disappointment began to build. The design choices here definitely favor display over play, and I suppose that’s fine for a lot of collectors out there, but I like to get a little more out of these little plastic people, and so this release left me a little cold. Hopefully I’ll have better luck next week, as I keep the First Ten Years train rolling along with a review of another of these new Marvel Studios releases.

FigureFan’s Disappointments 2017, Part 2

This is it, Toyhounds, the final day of my week of canned bullshit. It’s also the final five Biggest Disappointments of 2017. These are the things that I added to my collection and reviewed throughout the year that didn’t really live up to my hopes and dreams. These are in no particular order, so let’s get started…

Femme Fatales (Justice League Unlimited) Hawkgirl by Diamond Select: There was a lot of competition in this line for a spot on my Favorites list, but really only one that deserved to land among my Disappointments. I was really looking forward to getting the JLU version of Hawkgirl on my DC Gallery shelf, but when the statue showed up it was marred by some pretty poor paintwork, ugly seams in the arms, and just an overall lack of quality control. When I look at how amazing some of the Gallery statues have been this past year, it’s easy to forgive one bad one slipping by. But that doesn’t make me feel any better about laying out the cash for it.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Sixth-Scale Drax The Destroyer by Hot Toys: I have been called a Hot Toys sycophant. And yes, if sticking my tongue down their collective trousers would net me some extra Reward Points at Sideshow, I’d get right on that lickity split. So, it’s probably no surprise that never before has a Hot Toys figure appeared on my annual list of Disappointments, but I guess there really is a first time for everything. After a long series of delays, and the possibility that Hot Toys Drax might be a no-show, he finally showed up this year and he was a little wanting. The sculpt was solid enough, as was the likeness, but there’s just something about him that failed to impress. Toss in a faulty right arm on my figure that often pops out at the elbow joint and a price point that was too high for what came in the box (a common failing for Hot Toys in 2017), and I couldn’t help but dub him Drax The Disappointment. Oh, I’m still happy to have a complete Hot Toys Guardians team on my shelf, but Drax deserved more polish and a price tag around $20 lower.

DC Super-Villains: Johnny Quick and Atomica by DC Collectibles: For the most part, DC Collectible’s Super-Villains line has been pretty solid. Hell, I even liked their New 52 Captain Cold figure, and I kind of hate that character design. So when Johnny Quick showed up at my door with some terrible paint fading and an arm that pulled right out of the socket, it shouldn’t be any surprise to see him turn up here. And what a disappointment it was, because I really dig this design and I loved to hate him in the Forever Evil. But when you toss him in with a rather lackluster DeathStorm, it’s no wonder that I didn’t pursue the rest of the Crime Syndicate from this line.

Marvel Legends Warlock Build-A-Figure by Hasbro: What’s that, you say? You cry foul because I had a Marvel Legends figure on the list already? Well, you’re going to have to fight me, because here’s another one. I’m justifying this because 1) He’s a Build-A-Figure and 2) I really did review a shit ton of Marvel Legends in 2017, so you’re just going to have to let me have this one transgression. Warlock featured a decent sculpt and a pretty cool paint job, but he was not a character that I was interested in, and especially not as the BAF waiting as a reward for collecting an entire wave. Add that to the fact that the left arm of my Warlock simply will not stay in the socket, and you have a figure that I would have happily done without. Now that I think of it, this is the third figure on this list that had arm issues. Weird.

ThunderCats Classics Panthro by Mattel: Here’s the thing. I ran out of shit that disappointed me after nine, so I had to get cute with this last one. And that’s why after long deliberation, I decided to put a figure that I rated with excellent marks here on this list. Because no matter how great Panthro turned out (and he is a great figure),  he arrived to me heralded by a bitter chorus of disappointment. At the time I opened him, it seemed unlikely that ThunderCats Classics would continue. And shortly after we got word from Super7 that they were not able to secure the license and continue the series. And that was easily my number one biggest disappointment of 2017. It’s not Panthro’s fault, but he seemed like a good conduit to get this one on the list.

And that wraps up this week of so-called content. I’ll be back on Monday with the first Marvel Monday of the year and I hope to have Transformers Thursday and DC Friday on the books as well, along with whatever I wind up tucking into Tuesday. Have a great weekend!

Marvel Premier Collection: Gamora by Diamond Select

It’s Day Two of Marvel Week and today I thought we’d give the action figures a rest and open up a statue from Diamond Select’s Marvel Premier Collection. These are roughly Sixth-Scale resin statues, mostly based on modern appearances of the characters. I only own one other piece from this line, the Clayburn Moore sculpt of Spider-Gwen, and I was pretty happy with her. Picking up Gamora here seemed like a no-brainer, especially since I was able to get a pretty decent deal on her. Let’s check out the most dangerous woman in the Universe!

Gamora comes in a fully enclosed box with photos of the statue on all four panels and features the “Guardians of the Galaxy” logo and calls out that it was sculpted by the wonderful and prolific Jean St. Jean. The presentation here is very serviceable, but not all that appealing from an artistic standpoint. It feels like the box layout was thrown together pretty quickly. That’s not really a sticking point for me, as I just keep my statue boxes for the possibility of future storage, moving, or god forbid… resale. Inside the box, you get a colorful card showing the limitation as well as the number of the statue in the box. Gamora is wrapped in plastic and encased between two styrofoam bricks, and she comes fully assembled and all ready for display.

Standing about 12-inches tall, Gamora is based on her more recent look in the pages of Marvel Comics and wearing her white space space armor. Some fans refer to this as her “Stormtrooper Armor” and I think the comparison is fairly valid. It’s quite a departure from her more revealing classic outfits, but it still shows off her shapely curves, and I’ll confess to being a fan of this new look the very first time I saw it. The pose here is pretty conservative. Gamora stands on an alien landscape with a rather intimidating rifle cradled in her arms (What? No Sword?), and her long hair blowing in the breeze. The heel of her left foot is raised giving the piece just a little hint of anticipated action. Overall, I like what we got here, but then I tend favor “museum-style” poses in favor of the more dynamic stuff. It’s not that I don’t like action poses, but they tend to have a better chance of going wrong.

Every last detail on this statue is incorporated into the actual sculpt, and this is particularly apparent in the cut panel lines that run throughout the armor. There’s a nice sense of depth between the armor plates and the underlying black suit, and you also get some ribbed sections along the top of her back and underarms. The panel lines are neatly painted in black and you get some pale gray panels, as well as some crimson accents. I have no complaints about the quality of the paint on this piece. The lines are reasonably sharp, and there are no apparent flubs. What’s more, the application is even and there are no visible brush strokes. The whole suit gives me a strong Mass Effect vibe, which isn’t a bad thing as I happen to dig the aesthetics of those games… well three of them, at least.

I love the way the portrait came out. Her face is flawless and beautiful and even the painted patches around her eyes are part of the sculpt. I just adore the shape of her nose and the ridge leading down to her lips. No, I don’t have some creepy nose thing, I just appreciate how good it looks. The pupil-less white eyes are rather mesmerizing and they used a nice, rich red paint for her lips. The hair sculpt is good, albeit a bit on the chunky side. It looks like it was sculpted from a separate piece, which gives her a clean hairline. The downside to the hair blowing off to the side is it limits the options for display angles. She looks great from the front or turned a bit to her right, but it means that the right side of the statue is closed for business. Hey, most statues have an intended “sweet spot” for display, and I’d say this one has at least a few.

Gamora’s  rifle features a rather boxy and utilitarian design that emphasizes function over form. I can dig that as it makes it appear more like a legitimate piece of military hardware. The black and gray deco gives it a convincingly realistic finish, and it’s equipped with what looks like a magazine, but maybe it’s a battery pack, and a scope. Gamora practices poor trigger discipline, but then I’d kind of expect that from her. It’s what makes her so dangerous!

The rocky alien landscape they did for the base looks great. They packed all kinds of little details in the rocks and terrain and the brownish-orange paint gives it a hint of Mars. If you look closely enough, you can see that they sculpted panel lines on the bottoms of her boots. The alien landscape is placed on a raised, circular platform.

The bottom of the base features the declaration of limitation. In this case, mine is 153 of 3,000. I think that’s one of the lowest numbers I’ve ever gotten on one of these things!

The Marvel Premier Statues tend to have an MSRP of around $130, but Gamora is available on Amazon at the time I’m writing this for well under $100. I’m always glad to save money, but I would have been perfectly happy with this piece had I picked it up at full price. The modern costume might not be for everyone, but I can appreciate her new look, and the artistry and craftsmanship on display here are both excellent. Tomorrow, I’ll keep this Marvel Week rolling along and turn my attention back to Hasbro’s Legends line!

Guardians of the Galaxy: Drax the Destroyer 1:6 Scale Figure by Hot Toys

Collecting Hot Toys is not a hobby for the impatient and this is not news to me. Figures can go up for pre-order eight months to a year before they’re expected to ship, and even then you can almost always expect delays. This can be frustrating when you’re buying figures that are tied to movies. It’s doubly so when you’re trying to complete a team from a movie. My first HT figures from the original Guardians of the Galaxy (Star-Lord and Gamora) arrived more than two years ago. Rocket and Groot showed up a few months later. And ever since, I’ve been waiting for the arrival of Drax the Destroyer. Well, the Guardians sequel has come and gone and finally this cardboard shipper turned up on my doorstep, almost a year since I pre-ordered him.

Granted, Drax’s road to release has a more troubled history than most, and I can’t say as I know any of the details. I’ve heard rumors that point to Hot Toys having issues with the likeness approval and for a while it looked like we might never get a Drax at all. Fortunately, all parties were eventually satisfied enough to ink a deal and the figure was produced, allowing us to finally complete our original MCU Guardians team.

Despite the long delay between figures, the presentation here is identical to the rest of the HT Guardians. I love the package art design on this series and they all look great when lined up on the shelf. Unfortunately, HT has really been skimping on some of their packages lately, and that trend hit the Guardians series big time. What we have here is basically a pretty flimsy window box with an illustrated sleeve around it. Granted, I just use the packaging to store the extra accessories, but it upsets me when Hot Toys takes away premium packaging while continuing to raise prices. It’s extra annoying when the figure in question is rather light on the accessories, but I’m getting ahead of myself. The tray inside the box is exactly what we’ve been getting all along. The figure is surrounded by his extra hands and weapons, and there’s a figure stand nested between his legs.

For the most part, Drax almost looks like he jumped right off the screen… almost. There’s something about the upper body that just doesn’t click with me. I’ve spent some time comparing him to screen caps (something I almost never have to bother doing with Hot Toys figures) and while some look pretty close, others look far off. In the end, I’m still undecided on the torso. From head on it looks fine, but if turned to profile it looks too thin. Either way, I’m certain that the arms needed to be beefier.

On the other hand, I think they did an amazing job on his raised “tattoos” Normally, there isn’t a whole lot of opportunity for detail on a shirt-less figure, but they really did a nice job here. Coupled with this raised detail, the speckled skin looks pretty close to the body paint used by Bautista in the film. Realistic skin tones has never been a problem for Hot Toys, even when it’s an alien color. Of course, the bare arms mean exposed joints, and that’s always a downer on these figures. The rotating hinges in the elbows really make this feel more like a run-of-the-mill action figure. Hot Toys did a beautiful job with the seamless elbows on their Hulk figure, but it probably wasn’t an option here because of the sculpted tatts. On the plus side, there’s virtually no restriction on Drax’s articulation, which makes him a lot more fun to play around with than most Hot Toys.

The portrait is excellent. If they really did invest all that extra lead time in the likeness, I think it paid off in spades. Once again the skin tone is spot on and the sculpted tatts look great. His eyes feature that eerie spark of life that I’m used to seeing in my Hot Toys figures. Alas, I think this is a character that really needed an extra portrait showing some emotion. If this were a Guardians Vol.2 version, I’d say a laughing portrait, but in this case, rage would have done nicely. Still, for someone like me, who tends to pose these figures in fairly subdued stances, this neutral portrait works fine in context with the rest of the team.

Drax’s outfit is pretty simple, as it amounts to just a pair of trousers and some boots, but HT packed a lot of detail into them. The trousers include all the detailed belts and straps and fixtures that really look fantastic. The boots are also very intricately designed right down to the sculpted treads on the soles. You also get a second pair of red trousers, which I was not expecting. I’m not sure that I’ll ever bother to change them out, but I love that they were included as a bonus.

Besides the change of pants, Drax comes up really light on the accessories. You do get the usual assortment of hands, in this case there are three pairs (fists, relaxed, knife-holding) and one specialized right hand. His knives look amazing. The hilts are beautifully sculpted and the blades feature some red inscriptions. These have a nice weight to them and the silver finish is quite striking. The boots have molded sheathes for his knives, but these are a real tight fit. Plus, for reasons I cannot explain, the blades are designed to detach from the grips, so when trying to remove the knives from his sheathes the handles often just pop off.

Drax also comes with the bazooka he had on the Kree Warship, The Dark Astor. They did a particularly nice job with the rusted finish on the tube, and even the areas that are black have a little wear and tear painted on, as well as a blue lens over the scope. Overall, this is a pretty nice sculpt, but it has no moving parts and it feels really light. The specialized right hand that I mentioned earlier is designed to hold this weapon and it does that quite well. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough range of motion in the elbow to get the shoulder rest onto his shoulder. He can still hold it very convincingly and even line up his eye with the scope.

The final stop on any of my Hot Toys reviews is always the stand. In this case it’s the exact same design we saw with the rest of the Guardians team with an illustrated base that looks like the deck plating of a space ship. My OCD give thanks to the Supreme Intelligence that they did change this up, because I like my bases to match.

So, here’s the thing: Drax is an excellent figure… by anyone else’s standards. But, I collect Hot Toys to be blown away and Drax here doesn’t quiiiiite make it to that “blow me away” level. I still can’t say I’m disappointed in him. I needed to complete my MCU Guardians and I’m very happy that I no longer have a Drax-shaped hole on my shelf. And to be fair, he looks fantastic with the rest of the team. I just feel that there are several opportunities for improvement here. If he were a one-off standalone figure, I might come down a lot harder on him in the end. I will, however, unequivocally declare that at $220, the value just isn’t here. Sure, Hot Toys releases at or under $200 are getting almost non-existent these days, but here’s one that should have been.

On an administrative note, I am now officially FOUR waves behind in Marvel Legends. I have the Warlock and Mantis waves stacked in the corner, I’m piecing together the Sandman wave, and the Spider-Man: Homecoming wave is hitting stores now. I don’t know what I’ll be jumping into next Marvel Monday, but I’ve got to start coming up with a plan to get all caught up! 

Marvel Legends (Titus Wave): Nova, Vance Astro, and Titus by Hasbro

Since I detoured last week and I’m now officially three waves of Marvel Legends behind, I’ve decided to pack the next three weeks worth of Legends reviews into one sitting and knock out the rest of the Titus Wave today. I’ve got two packaged figures left and the Build-A-Figure, so in the interest of brevity I’m just going to throw out a few thoughts on each figure and otherwise let the pictures do the talking.

I really hate throwing multiple figures into one review, because it craps all over my tired and repetitious formula nuanced flow. Anyway, the packaging is all more or less the same, so I’m only showing off Nova in the box in order to keep today’s triathlon as brief as possible. Do you think they branded Nova big enough? Anybody going to miss that? No? Didn’t think so. Keep in mind, that this is Sam Alexander, as opposed to Richard Rider, who we got a few years back in the first Guardians of the Galaxy wave! Sam’s was a fun and pretty well received book, so I think this figure was probably high on a lot of people’s lists.

Nova is appropriately built on a smaller, teen buck and it makes all the difference in creating a distinctive new member of the Nova Corps for my display. There’s also a surprising amount of new sculpting on this figure. The gold boots are simply painted on, but you get new sculpting in the gauntlets and torso. The dark blue and gold deco of the Nova Corps is always a favorite of mine and I’m in love with the gold paint they used here. It’s very shiny and consistent. I also really dig the head sculpt, although the plastic used for that famous helmet looks a little rough in a few areas.

Nova’s articulation is pretty damn good, especially for a little guy. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and hips, double hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs have ball jointed hips, double hinges in the knees, and swivels at the tops of the boots and again up in the thighs. The ankles have hinges and lateral rockers. The torso includes a waist swivel and an ab crunch, and the neck is both ball jointed and hinged. This is a great looking figure and does the character proud.

I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that Nova comes with a tiny Phlish figure. I really have to give Hasbro props for adding something like this, but seriously, what am I supposed to do with it? It just lies there waiting to be lost. Sorry, Phlish, but I’d much rather Nova just came with The Nullifier instead. Next up… Vance Astro!

I last encountered Major Victory in Fight for the Future, part of the double-sized Guardians 45th Anniversary issue. Wow, has it been three years already? Vance and his team of Guardians rescued Geena Drake from a slave camp. He made quite the entrance, with Cap’s coveted shield preceding him by at least a couple of panels. But ultimately it felt like a glorified a cameo. Why are we getting this figure now? Who cares, he’s a character with a far reaching pedigree and he’s pretty cool too!

Yes, he’s definitely the “budget saver” of this wave, as there’s zero original sculpting from the neck down. That said, his deco looks sharp, particularly that snazzy metallic blue. The paint lines are pretty clean and he has his little crest tampo’ed on the left of his chest. The head sculpt looks damn cool with that shiny blue finish. Articulation is your standard Legends fare, which I just recounted with Nova, so in interest of brevity I’m not going to run through it all again.

Appropriately enough, Vance comes with Cap’s shield, which is recycled from one of the countless versions of Legends Captain America that we’ve seen over the past few years alone. It has a red back and features the familiar wrist clip with a peg to store the shield on his back. My guess is that Vance isn’t going to be high on a lot of collectors’ lists, but I’m happy to have him. And that brings us to the BAF of the wave… Titus!

Like Vance, Titus may not have been high on a lot of people’s lists either, but unlike Vance, Titus is a pretty new character, and a short lived one at that. Or wait… didn’t he come back shortly after? Either way, none of that makes him any less welcome to me. No sir. Why? Because he’s a giant space tiger with a cyborg eye and a gun arm for Chrissakes! If you haven’t been keeping track, Titus is built with six parts scattered throughout this wave (Don’t forget, Star-Lord didn’t come with one!), making him a pretty standard BAF. As a former Special Ops of the Nova Corps, his buck features the very attractive dark blue and gold deco, but lacking the Nova symbol on his chest. He’s got a sculpted robot right arm, which looks very Colossus-y and leads into a massive four barrel instrument of death. His other arm is punctuated by a grasping tiger claw.

This head sculpt! I have to tell you, this is a thing of beauty. Besides all the great sculpted fur and that partially agape jaw, and those teeth, I think it’s the angry wrinkling in his nose that impresses me the most here. The cyborg eye is pretty cool too. When you set out to sculpt the portrait for an alien tiger cyborg, it’s pretty much guaranteed to have some personality, but Hasbro really went above and beyond here. I love it.

And articulation is what we’ve come to expect from most of the BAF figures. It’s actually quite similar to what we saw with Nova and Major Victory. The only real differences are single hinges in the elbows and Titus doesn’t have the extra swivel in the lower legs. Still, not bad at all for a big guy!

And that’s a wrap for the Titus Wave, another very solid assortment of figures and I really dig that Hasbro broke the Guardians Vol 2 wave into two so we could get more comic based characters. I haven’t decided yet whether I’ll be jumping into the Mantis or Warlock Waves next, but before I go with either of those, next Marvel Monday will be another Trifecta of Legends reviews (I promise, this isn’t going to be a regular thing) as I address some unfinished business with a fairly old wave of figures.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Ships and Figures by Hasbro

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.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Rocket and Groot 1:6 Scale Figures by Hot Toys, Part 2

Yesterday I took a look at Hot Toys’ Rocket Raccoon and, as promised, today I’m back to look at his giant buddy Groot! We already checked out the packaging, so let’s just jump right in…


Hoo boy, is this a big and weighty figure! Even with a bit of a hunch, he stands a full head and shoulders above your average human sized Hot Toys figure. That’s doubly impressive considering that every tiny spot of this figure is covered with sculpted bark. The look and texture of Groot’s skin is beyond realistic. When I touch it I fully expect to feel wood rather than plastic. And it’s not just the wood grain on his skin, but the vines and tendrils that wrap around his arms and legs and the little sprigs that randomly crop out form various places on his body. This is a sculpt fashioned with love. I have no doubt of that!


The paintwork is also phenomenal. There are subtle shades of brown for the bark and green for the vines. I think my favorite thing about the paintwork, however, is the little hints of green around some of the bark pieces, which looks like moss growing on an overturned log. Simply stunning.



The stock portrait is Groot’s regular stoic expression, which is a dead ringer for his big screen counterpart. Again, it shows that the wizards at HT are not only good with human likenesses, but can recreate just about anything in plastic. The painted eyes definitely have that spark of life and while I don’t like to throw the word around to often, this portrait just strikes me as perfect.


The alternate portrait, which I believe is a Sideshow Exclusive, is his angry face, and boy you don’t want to get Groot angry. In this case, it’s not a complete head swap, but rather the front of the face comes off, sort of similar to the way Figuarts and Figma does it. If you’re going for an action pose on the shelf, this portrait really sells it.



Articulation consists of a lot of really chunky and powerful rotating hinges. He also has a ball joint in the upper chest. While the smooth hinges are visible in the elbows and the backs of the knees, Hot Toys went a long way to try to conceal the rest. The hips, for example are shielded by some bark plates attached by hinged arms. I love the little touches like that!




In addition to the extra portrait, Groot comes with some extra hands, of course! The figure has a pair of relaxed hands attached when he comes out of the box. The second pair are angry, grabby hands. You also get an extra right hand with translucent fingers to simulate him blooming those glowy spores. You also get an extra pair of wrists posts in case you snap one off. Good thing too, because I snapped one off. With nearly 20 Hot Toys figures on my shelves, that’s the first time I’ve ever had that happen to me.




Groot comes with the same style stand as Rocket, which also matches the ones used for Gamora and Star-Lord. In this case the rod and waist clamp makes perfect sense to handle this tall and rather heavy figure. However, you also get a very clever connecting piece, which allows you to attach Rocket’s stand to Groots and pose the little guy riding on Groot’s shoulder.



“Quit waving to the camera. Yer making us look like a bunch of idiots!”

If ever I needed a reminder that I collect Hot Toys figures as a form of art, Groot is the figure to do it. The sculpting, attention to detail, and overall craftsmanship on this piece really is awe inspiring. And while the $360 price tag here is no small thing, it’s hard for me to believe that the character could be done better justice in a more expensive statue. Indeed, the fact that Groot turned out so wonderfully allows me to push a little of the cost of this set into his column and away from Rocket. Hey, whatever I have to do to sleep at night, right? Don’t get me wrong, they’re both great figures, and I couldn’t imagine displaying one without the other, but Groot is without a doubt the star here. Hot Toys’ has been killing it with their Guardians lineup ever since Star-Lord first shipped and while I’m still a little disappointed we won’t see a Ronin or Nebula the Guardians themselves have been a welcome treat. And that just leaves the question: Where’s Drax? While the figure remains in licensing limbo, a new prototype was shown as recently as July and is currently pencilled in for a 2016 release. I feel pretty confident he’s coming, but for now nothing has been set in stone. Why would it be set in stone? Shut up, Drax, it was a metaphor.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Rocket and Groot 1:6 Scale Figures by Hot Toys, Part 1

With some new Hot Toys figures rolling in, it’s long past time that I get around to reviewing this pair of figures from Guardians of the Galaxy. Seriously, this pair has been on my shelf for so long that I forgot I never gave them the spotlight. So, in keeping with the theme of Marvel Monday, I thought I’d put off my return to the Legends Hobgoblin Wave just one more week in favor of these beauties. These figures were available separately or together in the bundle I’m looking at today. I’m going to kick things off with a look at the package and Rocket, and tomorrow I’ll swing back and look at his arboreal buddy, Groot.


Holy hell, that’s a big box. I mean, I’ve yet to buy a Premium Format Statue, so everything is relative, but still. It’s big! It’s not quite as big as Hot Toys’ Hulk, but it’s no slouch either. It’s taller than a regular Hot Toys figure box and more than twice as wide. Surprisingly, everything comes laid out in a single tray and that includes both figures, two stands, an alternate head and hands for Groot, alternate hands and feet for Rocket, Rocket’s gun, and a pair of potted Baby Groots. The deco is designed to match the look of the Star-Lord and Gamora boxes, and that makes me happy because I actually save these packages and my OCD gets aggravated when things don’t match. The star-field and grid background still remind me of the kind of 80’s cheese you’d see on a VHS tape sleeve or PC game box. Hopefully that’s intentional. The character art of Rocket & Groot is fantastic. The only complaint I have about the packaging is that the box itself is made of pretty light cardboard stock and for a box this big, it tends to get shelf worn pretty easy.


Rocket is a rather unconventional Hot Toys figure, what with him being so small and being a rodent. He features fully sculpted fur, which was a sticking point for me until I got him in hand and realized it was the right way to go. Doubly so since I’ve seen some rather dubious pictures of their flocked Chewbacca figure. Instead, there isn’t even the tiniest space on this figure that doesn’t feature some sculpted detail and that’s impressive. Rocket’s costume consists of his little orange jumpsuit, which is cloth and beautifully tailored. I imagine it’s hard enough to tailor 1:6 scale clothes, so I’m doubly impressed with all the little stitching on this smaller raccoon space suit. It’s also reinforced with all the plates, shoulder pads, and harness seen on the big screen outfit.




The portrait features Rocket with a rather fierce look on his little face. I like it a lot as it shows some wonderful little sculpted teeth and I think it captures his personality quite well. Although considering his size, it seems like HT should have ponied up for an alternate head. It doesn’t feel absent in this two-pack, but certainly in the single boxed figure. The wire whiskers are a great touch and the glossy paint on his nose makes it look appropriately wet. Hot Toys is no stranger to producing life like eyes on humans, but it turns out they can do some mighty fine peepers on a raccoon as well, because these look great.


The articulation feels more like a conventional action figure than a usual HT product, but that’s a given considering his size. I don’t usually go into detail on articulation with my HT figures, because the points are covered up and it’s not a sticking point with me on these figures. With Rocket, it’s pretty easy to see what’s there and he’s pretty much got rotating hinges all around and an extra ball joint at the base of his neck. The tail is a straight ball joint and it does have a habit of popping off when posing, but it just pops right back on again. The figure stands surprisingly well on his tiny little feet and appropriately enough, you can use the tail to counterbalance him.



It wouldn’t be a Hot Toys figure without extra hands, would it? No exceptions for raccoons! Rocket comes with a pair of relaxed hands, a pair of adorable little fists, a pair of hands designed to work with his gun, and a pair of feet. The extra feet remind me of the “action feet” that Sideshow used to include with some of their 1:6 Scale GI JOE figures as a substitute for articulation in the middle of the foot. Options are nice, but I frankly have no need for these.



Rocket comes with his trusty rifle, which is about as tall as he is. The attention to detail that HT put into this piece is almost ridiculous and in the few short years that the flick has been out, this weapon has become as iconic to me as anything in Star Wars. I should note that I found it extremely difficult to get Rocket’s gun-gripping hand around the grip and now that I have, I doubt I will ever take it off, even if I swap hands. Ah, but y’all know me and the fact that I don’t often use a lot of the extra hands and I can’t imagine ever wanting to display Rocket without his weapon.



I might as well talk about the Potted Groots here, because I see them mostly as accessories for Rocket. The original solicitation for this set advertised a Potted Groot as the Sideshow Exclusive for this set, but it does indeed come with two. One is just the stalk with the head and the other has his arms out like he’s dancing. These are beautifully crafted little pieces and I always have one of them displayed on Rocket’s base, even though the big Groot is behind him.


Speaking of bases, Rocket comes with the same style of figure stand that we saw with Star-Lord and Gamora. The only difference is rather than the crotch-cradle stand, Rocket features a transparent rod that plugs in and an adjustable gripping claw for the waist. This style of stand may seem like overkill for the little raccoon, but Hot Toys went this route for reasons that will be clear in tomorrow’s wrap up.



I usually talk financials at the end of a Feature, but I’ll toss it in here because it pertains mostly to Rocket. As part of the $360 set, Rocket’s price seems palatable to me, because in my head, I’m figuring Groot could be a $260 figure, but the $160 HT is asking for Rocket alone seems outrageous. At that price, he should have come with a second portrait and possibly even the Hadron Enforcer to sweeten the pot. It’s not a question of quality or craftsmanship, because that’s certainly all there, but when I consider that some of my first full sized Hot Toys were around $160-170, I just can’t see where all the money went. Maybe it’s a moot point, because I can’t imagine too many people buying Rocket without Groot and like I said, in my mind the two-figure bundle seems more reasonable, at least as far as Hot Toys prices are concerned.

Tomorrow, I’ll be back to check out Groot!