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

The second release in Hot Toys’ Guardians of the Galaxy line is here and it is none other than Gamora! Man, do I have a thing for green girls! I’m guessing it started way back when I was an adolescent watching Star Trek. Factor in that GotG is currently one of my favorite movies of all time and it should be no surprise that I was beyond excited to get this lovely lady into my collection. While I’ll admit that the big screen version of Gamora lost a little bit of her hard edge from the comics, I still liked the treatment of the character and Zoe Saldana did a damn fine job bringing her to life. So far Hot Toys’ track record has been pretty good about releasing the Guardians figures on time. Both Star-Lord and Gamora made their original estimated window of release. Rocket and Groot, on the other hand have now been pushed back a month… twice. And what about Drax? Where the hell is he at? The pre-orders still haven’t dropped and I’m getting a little worried that the team may not be complete. Anyway, it’s worth noting that I’ve been sitting on Gamora for quite a few weeks now as I work my way through my backlog of other acquistions, so today’s Feature is long overdue. Let’s look at that packaging…

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If you like gaudy cheese then these Guardiaans packages will be right up your ally. I do’t hate them, but they do lack the reserved style and gravitas of some of the other recent Hot Toys releases. I’d like to think of it as intentionally designed to match the crass and retro charm of the movies’ anti-heroes, so let’s just go with that. The figure comes in a simple window box with a sleeve over it. There’s an illustration of Gamora on the front looking all sexy and badass, the Guardians logo on the top and a throwback 80’s grid pattern that still reminds me of something you might see on an old PC game box.

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The boxes are designed to match and have the characters’ name on the side panel set against a starfield. Star-Lord’s box was dark blue and Gamora’s is green. All in all, not bad. Gamora comes on a single tray with her stand and extra bits. You will have to do some careful cutting of plastic wrap on the hands and feet and head, but once you free her she’s all ready to go.

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And what a beauty she is! One of the coolest things about this figure is all the detail that I feel like I’m seeing in her costume for the first time. Yeah, I’ve seen Guardians half a dozen times in the cinema and probably another dozen times on Blu-Ray, but it’s a dark movie and it’s tough to pick out a lot of those details. I’m particularly talking about the metallic blue scribbles running from her shoulders all the way down to her boots. These highlights show up beautifully on the figure and really make the outfit pop. The mesh front also looks great and gives offers more than a hint of cleavage and a peek at her bellly button.

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Gomora’s belt featues various silver painted fixtures and a “holster” to hold her collapsed sword. I know, sheathes and scabbards hold edged weapons, but neither of those terms really apply to this thing, so I’m going with holster. She also has sculpted plastic bands tied around her right thigh and a strap across her left thigh. The boots are a rather distinctive design with cut outs in the heels and some cool texturing on the fronts. The super tight pants can be a little restrictive to hip articulation and the boots don’t offer a lot in the way of ankle articulation. Of course, that’s often par for the course with Hot Toys’ figures. I’d wager that I could get a little more movement out of her legs if I tried, but at the same time I don’t want to risk pulling the stitching.

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The arms are fully enclosed with that rubbery skin we’ve seen before. I only own one other HT release with this on it and that’s their Resident Evil Ada Wong, who actually has it on both her arms and legs. I like it a lot, but it does make me a little more leary about posing the figure. I’ve seen a couple horror stories about the inner mechanisms tearing through Gamora’s arms, and I can just barely make out a bump, probably from the joint, under the skin in her left bicep that might be the problem. The instructions are very specific about what you can and can’t do with them, and I feel like as long as I support the bicep with one hand when articulating with the other, things are going to be OK.

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And that brings us to the portrait, which is pretty spectacular. It’s a dead ringer for Zoe in the makeup and the detail is all there right down to those thin silver patterns and scars on her cheeks. This is one of those HT portraits that, with the right lighting and a photographer far better than myself, could easily be made to look like the real thing. The rooted hair, which is often a matter of contention for collectors looks pretty good right out of the box. It helps that Gamora’s hair just falls free and is a little wild, so styling isn’t necessary. I do like how it can be swept to one side or the other and it’ll sort of stay there for a wind blown look. The metallic red highlights are also a nice touch.

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One place that Gamora comes up short is in the accessories. This is a Hot Toys figure, so you know you’re going to get extra hands, and while I’m not someone who gets a lot of use out of a passel of extra mitts it at least adds value to the figure. In this case, however, you only get a total of three pairs, and by HT standards, that’s not a lot. The figure comes with the relaxed hands attached and the tray has a pair of fists and a pair of weapon holding hands. That having been said, the hands do look great and come complete with the sculpted and painted rings on her fingers and painted fingernails. The sculpted wraps around her forearms do a nice job of concealing the wrist joints and enforcing the illusion that the entire figure is covered with “skin.”

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She also comes with two versions of her sword, one collapsed and one extended. It looks very nice, but the extended one feels super delicate because by design it’s a very thin blade with a forked tip. Here’s an instance where a little diecast would have probably helped. Considering the cost of the figure, if you’re only going to put a couple accessories in the package, you might as well go all out.

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And finally you get her stand, which is the same one that came with Star-Lord only with a new nameplate. I like the bases on these a lot. They’re roomier than the regular Hot Toys stands and feature a graphic to simulate the deck of a spaceship. They’re going to look really sharp when displayed together with the entire team.

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Gamora is a great figure, but she’s also an extremely basic one. Action figures are, afterall beholden to the character designs they are based on, and there isn’t a whole lot to Gamora to make her compex. Mores specifically, she doesn’t have a lot of gear. She has just the one signature weapon, and so while some may find her wanting on the accessories and extras, especially when compared to Star-Lord, the truth is she still feels complete to me. Value, on the other hand, is a different matter entirely. Gamora does slip in at just under $200, a rare thing for Hot Toys these days, but when you consider how light she is on the extras, it doesn’t feel like such a great deal. One might argue that the rubber skin on the arms adds cost, but then my Ada Wong figure has the same on both her arms and legs, came with a crap-ton of weapons and extras, and she shipped at the same price. In the end I’m sure some of it comes down to the likeness and licensing fees, but I’m sure a bigger part of it is Hot Toys knowing they can goose collectors for a high demand item. For me, it was still worth the money to have such a fantastic representation of the character on my shelf, but it’s going to be hard for me to keep collecting HT with any gusto if prices continue to climb. And I’m really starting to feel the pinch in the wallet.

Currently, Rocket and Groot are still on schedule for release next month. After two delays, we’ll see if that finally sticks. In the meantime, I’m going to try to revisit Hot Toys next week with a look at STRIKE Suit Captain America from The Winter Soldier.

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Guardians of the Galaxy: Star-Lord 1:6 Scale Figure by Hot Toys

I make it no secret that I am an unabashed Marvel Movie-verse whore. But don’t hate me for it because it could have easily gone the other way if it weren’t for the irrepressible charm of these films. They’re fun movies that capture everything there is about the joy of comic books for me and I have a great time watching them over and over again. In fact, the Marvel flicks are really some of the only Blu-Ray’s that I bother to buy and own anymore. Guardians of the Galaxy, however, goes even one step further. It sits up there shoulder to shoulder with my favorite classic movies of the 80’s. Yup, even those timeless films that have 30-some years of nostalgia fueling my love for them. It’s delightfully goofy and crazy and sometimes corny, but more than anything else it has heart and soul. Was there ever any doubt that I was going all in on Hot Toys’ GotG line? Despite what my checking account might have hoped: No, there really wasn’t. Peter Quill is the first figure in this line to be released, and while Rocket and Groot have already been delayed, Star-Lord is one of the few Hot Toys figures in a while that seems to have shown up right on time.

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The box design is totally out there and very unlike anything I’ve seen in my rather modest few years as a Hot Toys collector. You get a colorful action shot of Star-Lord on the front with an 80’s style grid on the bottom and some really cheesy looking effects. It feels more like the box art for a late 80’s PC Game than an expensive collectible figure. I’d like to presume that Hot Toys went this route to intentionally bank on the film’s goofball nature, but I’m not really sure. It certainly looks quite jarring next to the classy and reserved presentation of their other Marvel figures, but I can’t say I hate it. Hot Toys also seems to have cut back on the box itself. Instead of the old shoe-box style with illustrated insert, this is just a sleeve around a window box. Some may take issue, but I just keep the boxes for accessory storage, so I’m not terribly upset by it. Oh yeah, the box also has the “Sideshow Exclusive” foil sticker on the front and in this case that amounts to an extra accessory.

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Once I had carefully cut away some of the plastic wrap, Star-Lord came out of the box and was ready for action. His jacket and gun belt are already on and he’s sporting his unmasked head. I’m used to having to fuss with my newly opened Hot Toys figures, but in this case it’s impressive how everything looks so good right out of the box. The t-shirt fits well and the pants have some really nicely stitched detail work, but it’s the coat (RAVENGER GARB!) that is truly the star of this A-Hole’s outfit. There are so many little brass buttons and hooks and embossed patterns littered over the leather-like surface that it only takes one look to know that Hot Toys put some love into this coat, but a lot more intensive study to truly appreciate it. The coat even has a working zipper should you like to go that route. It’s nice to have options, but I dig the look of the open coat so much, I doubt I’ll ever bother with zipping it. And quite frankly, I have bad luck with 1:1 scale zippers, I don’t want to turn myself loose on a 1:6 scale zipper on a $230 collectible figure. The armor pieces are present on his left arm and shoulder, and the bottom of the coat is frayed and tattered and even shows places where Quill has made crude repairs. Speaking of repairs, I should note that while handling the figure one of the dozens of buttons on my figure’s jacket popped off. By some miracle I managed to find the tiny thing and glue it back on, easy-peasy, but it’s certainly something to look out for. Hot Toys actually included extra buttons with Winter Soldier’s tunic, but that isn’t the case here, so be mindful of your buttons! Some could fall off and never be missed, but others could be pretty conspicuous.

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The belt is removable and features two open-style holsters, which velcro onto the pants. The guns fit the holsters really well and don’t fall out like that one gun on my Winter Soldier figure. Have I mentioned before how much I love these open-style snap on holsters? Yeah, I’m sure I have. The jacket flaps are billowy enough so that the relatively bulky guns can both be holstered under the coat without looking too obvious, although I’m not sure it would be easy to zip up the jacket with the guns attached. And yes, he also has his thruster jets attached to his boots and the controls for them attached to his pants.

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Before getting to the rest of the accessories, let’s talk portrait. I’m really perplexed by the number of people who are on the fence over the likeness here. I will confess the head sculpt looks loads better in person. Most pictures I take give him a bit of a pinhead thing going on, which I attribute mostly to the hair sculpt, but either way it is not at all the case with the figure in hand. The paintwork on the skin and facial hair is exceptional and the eyes look as lifelike as always. I wouldn’t go so far as to say this is one of Hot Toys’ best likenesses, but I do think it’s pretty spot on. I was prepared to use the masked head as a display default if I was unhappy with the likeness, but I honestly think I may go with the Chris Pratt head most of the time. I really do dig it that much.

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And that’s saying a lot, because the masked head is extremely cool, despite being an absolute bitch to get on. It feels like the ball joint is just a tad too big for the socket and if there’s one thing I love, it’s having to apply a lot of force to my delicate and expensive collectibles. It was the same story with Winter Soldier’s alternate head. Anyway, the back panel on the helmet lifts off and there’s an On/Off switch to activate the lights in the eyes and damn this thing looks great with the eyes lit up. The sculpt is gorgeous and there’s some great weathering from the paintwork. Either way, this is definitely a figure that I’ll be swapping the head on quite a bit.

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Moving on to the accessories… Star-Lord does not come with a huge helping of hands like most Hot Toys releases and that’s fine by me, because as many of you know, I’m not big on swapping out hands. In this case you get a pair of fists (which come on the figure in the box), a pair of gun holding hands, and an extra hand designed to hold The Orb or the Walkman. You also get an extra set of posts in case you snap one.

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Star-Lord’s man purse is a nice piece of work. The shoulder strap goes over the figure’s head and under the left arm. The instructions recommend popping the head to do this, but I didn’t find it necessary. Once slung on the right shoulder, you just snap the second strap around the figure’s right side. The strap running under the figure’s left arm has a tendency to twist, but otherwise the satchel looks great on him. You can even unzip it and put The Orb inside. Right now, I have mine just slung on his left shoulder and I think it looks pretty great.

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Next up, Star-Lord comes with his pair of distinctive pistols. These are plastic, static pieces with a great amount of detail, both in paint and sculpt. The checker pattern on the grips is recreated beautifully, as are the little copper pieces and the blueish burns around the barrels, presumeably from being fired. There are also all sorts of little scrapes and weathering to make them look well worn. The guns fit the appropriate hands comfortably and the trigger fingers can be tucked into the trigger guards.

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Of course, you couldn’t do a movie Star-Lord figure and not include his Walkman. In this case, however, that’s sort of what happened. Yes, you get an 80’s style portable cassette player, but no, it’s obviously been altered so as not to look exactly like a Sony Walkman. I’m guessing there were copyright issues? Maybe? The player itself looks pretty close, but the headphones are totally off. I can kind of appreciate this since as a kid I always wanted a legit Sony Walkman, but always had to settle for knock-offs. Anyway, the biggest discrepencies here are the fact that you don’t get the orange foam ear pieces and the wire only runs to one side. Still, it looks great on him and the cassette inside does actually read “Awesome Mix Vol. 1.” All in all, it’s close enough and a fun accessory, but if a third-party were to cook up a more accurate version, I might be tempted to go for it.

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Two accessories I doubt I’ll get much use out of are the set of wrist manacles and the light orb. The manacles feel like a cheap toss-in accessory. There’s not a whole lot of detail there and the cuffs are almost large enough to put on without taking the fists off. The light orb is such a forgettable little trinket that when I was done shooting I realized that I didn’t even bother with it at all. Sorry! I think I would have rather had a rubber alien rat for him to sing into than either of these pieces. But, hey, it’s hard to gripe over extra accessories.

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Finally, the Sideshow Exclusive includes the Infinity Stone Orb. Sideshow did a similar thing with Dark World Loki, by including the Aether (another Infinity Stone) as the exclusive for that figure. It seems like a low blow in this case, since The Orb was so central to the film. I’m not one to bother much with exclusives, but in this case it was enough to make sure I went with Sideshow to get it. I wouldn’t miss The Aether from Dark World, but somehow I couldn’t imagine Star-Lord without The Orb. Hell, even the Hasbro Legends figure came with it. Still, in the end, it’s just a sculpted little silver ball.

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Of course, every Hot Toys figure comes with a stand and in this case, they have cast off the standard oval black stand that we’ve been seeing with most of the Marvel figures for something a little more movie specific. The larger seven-sided base is surfaced to look like the deck plating of a spaceship with an angled nameplate in front with Star-Lord’s name and the title of the flick. One of those bendy flight style stands would have been cool, but I like this one a lot. It feels a little more premium than what we’re used to getting and I like that all the figures from this film are going to have matching stands.

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Holy hell, this is a great figure! Star-Lord may be my favorite Hot Toys figure on my shelf right now, or at the very least tied with RoboCop as my favorite. Sure, it helps that I absolutely adore this move and I thought Chris Pratt did an excellent job in the role, but that’s not to steal any of Hot Toys thunder because they certainly did an excellent job on the figure. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve watched the movie so many times, but I already feel like everything about Peter Quill’s look (his mask, his jacket, his satchel, his pistols) is already iconic and all of that is recreated wonderfully with this release. I still stand behind the likeness, but for those who don’t the masked head is an absolutely bitchin’ alternative. As for price, Star-Lord set me back $230. It’s a lot of money for a figure, but Hot Toys has made no bones about the fact that their prices are going up and up and up with no end in sight. On the other hand, when I compare it to the $220 I spent on Dark World Loki, Star-Lord feels like a bargain. Yeah, that’s a warped way of looking at it, but it helps me sleep at night. As I already mentioned, Rocket and Groot have been pushed back until the Summer, but as of now Gamora is still on schedule to ship next month. Here’s hoping she makes it on time.

Guardians of the Galaxy Legends: Nova by Hasbro

Well, it took me long enough, but I’m finally getting to the last figure in the Marvel Legends GotG Wave: Nova. Wait, didn’t I already look at this figure? Oh, right that was the Marvel Universe version. Yes, I continue to find it odd just how many characters Hasbro is releasing in both the 6-inch and 3 ¾-inch formats and how close together these releases are. It’s possible to wander down a toy aisle right now and find a Marvel Universe Red She-Hulk hanging next to a Legends She-Hulk on Clearance. At the same time, you could probably find a Marvel Universe Nova on clearance beside this Legends version. It’s been going on ever since Marvel Legends came back and I think it’s a bit weird, but that doesn’t stop me from buying the same character in both formats. As I start moving into featuring the Marvel Infinite figures we’ll see a lot more of this curious phenomenon.

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Here’s the packaging and we’ve seen it enough times now to give it a quick look and move on. With no accessories apart from one of Groot’s spindly limbs, the package looks a little light inside, but we’ll try not to hold it against him. Nova’s been getting a lot of attention lately and I think that’s a good thing. Will Richard Rider actually appear in the GotG movie? Well the rumor that Nathon Fillion is playing him has been quashed, so the answer to that question remains to be seen. At this point it’s probably safe to chalk this figure up as a comic tie-in much like the Iron Man figure we looked at last time, although it’s not the current Marvel NOW! look of the character and it’s also not what the Nova Corps will be wearing in the movie.

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Laying aside the context of the outfit, I think this Nova is a really great looking figure. The design of the suit is identical to the one featured in the Marvel Universe version, however, Hasbro makes use of every advantage of the larger scale. The biggest improvement is in the gold armor bits. The spires on his legs and arms aren’t all floppy like on the smaller figure and that’s a huge plus. Hasbro also went all out and put the shoulder armor on hinged arms so that it doesn’t interfere with the arm articulation. It’s the same concept they tried with the GotG Iron Man figure, only it works much better here and they don’t pop off when posing him.

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The sculpt here is pretty involved and features all sorts of panel lining on the suit itself, particularly in the torso. Everything that’s painted is also part of the actual sculpt and that always goes a long way to add to the figure’s credibility. The head features a very pronounced starburst stuck on to the front, which looks good, and I can’t help but get a strong Judge Dredd vibe from the exposed portion of Rider’s face.

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The coloring on this figure is quite striking. The combination of sparkly blue plastic used for the bulk of the costume and the metallic gold on the armor is extremely effective. I’m not quite as keen on the bare gold plastic used for the belt and the helmet. I think they should have been painted to match the rest of the armor, but I can live with the difference.

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Nova sports most of the articulation that I’ve come to expect and love in this line. The arms are ball jointed at the shoulders, double hinged at the elbows, hinged at the wrists, and there are swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double hinged at the knees, and have swivels in the thighs. The ankles feature both hinges and lateral rockers. The torso can swivel at the waist and has a ratcheting ab-crunch, and the neck is both ball jointed and hinged. All the joints on this figure feel good and he’s lots of fun to pose.

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Nova is a very welcome addition to my Legends shelf. The only really bad thing about him is that he exposes all the problems with his smaller Universe version. But unlike the Iron Man figure, I would have still happily picked up Nova even if he didn’t come with a part that I needed to build Groot. Overall, I’d say this was my favorite wave of Legends in a while, but I think that has more to do with how excited I am for the movie. Like the Winter Soldier wave, it still had its ups and downs, and I’m still hoping in vain that we might get a second wave with Nebula and Ronin and a movie version Nova Corps. I’m tempted to say they could have given us those characters with swap out variants, but then I’m still hunting for an AIM and Hydra soldier at a good price. That whole variant concept has done more harm than good and I’d like to see the end of it. Anyway, now that I’m pretty much caught up on my Legends, I’m going to start digging into the new Marvel Universe Infinite line, and I’ll start doing that at the end of the week!

Guardians of the Galaxy Legends: Iron Man (Space Armor) by Hasbro

I’ve already completed my look at the core Guardians team and that leaves just two figures left in this wave. Today we’re looking at what I expect to be the stinker of the wave: It’s Iron Man in his space armor. Maybe it’s just a case of Iron Man fatigue, but if it weren’t for the fact that I needed the BAF part for Groot, I probably would have skipped this one entirely. But wait, I bought a case, and that meant that I wound up with two of these. Grrrr!

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The front of the package doesn’t actually tie in with the Guardians of the Galaxy at all and only the BAF Groot part serves to anchor this figure to the wave. If you flip the package over you do get the tie-in stated in the short blurb. If you haven’t guessed, this is a comic-based figure as Tony Stark appears wearing this Deep Space suit in the current run of Guardians of the Galaxy. I wouldn’t say it’s to the detriment of the story, but he definitely feels like a third wheel. Or in this case, I guess a sixth wheel. Unless Marvel-Disney has some huge surprise waiting for us, I doubt we’ll see Iron Man make an appearance in the movie, and that’s fine with me. The Guardians deserve their own debut without everyone else glomming on to it.

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So, I was not really a fan of this armor design in the comic and while I’d say it works a little better in action figure form, I’m still not crazy about it. Yeah, it could be that pesky Iron Man fatigue, but I can still admire the design of a lot of the suits from the Iron Man 3 “House Party Protocol” scene, and yet this one still just isn’t doing anything for me. The figure borrows heavily from the Heroic Age Iron Man released a few waves back, which is a figure I actually like a lot, but the changes here don’t do it any favors. The flared shoulders strike me as bizarre and the loss of a lot of the gold highlights doesn’t help either. On the plus side, because he borrows from the Heroic Age figure, he’s one of the chunkier Iron Man figures out there, and I like that because, this is a guy in armor… he should at least look a little bulky.

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The helmet is a huge departure from traditional Iron Man suits and that’s off-putting because we all know that different is unsettling and wrong. There was something else about this helmet that struck me as odd even back when I was reading the comics. I couldn’t put my finger on it until just now… It bears a bizarre resemblance to Optimus Prime from Robots in Disguise. Wow!

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The figure’s deco relies mostly on the red swirly plastic that it’s molded from. While I hated this type of plastic when it was grey and used for Ultron, I actually think the red looks pretty good. The rest of the deco consists of some sharp, glossy gold applications and a rather strange bit of paintwork for the Arc Reactor in his chest. It kind of looks like a sugar cookie.

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Since this Iron Man borrows so heavily from the Heroic Age figure, the articulation is identical. You get ball joints in the neck, shoulders, hips and wrists. There are double-hinges in the elbows and knees. Swivels are included in the biceps, waist, and thighs. The ankles are hinged and have rockers and the neck features an additional hinge which is very welcome for putting him into flying poses. You also get a nice ratcheting ab-crunch hinge in the torso. The shoulder pieces clip on to the shoulders, which allow them to swivel and accommodate articulation. You can also take them off if you want, but it does leave the little holes in the shoulders exposed. All in all, this is a fun figure to pose and play with.

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Obviously, I’m not enamored with this figure, but it isn’t as bad as I thought it might be. I guess the best thing I can say about it is that I’m not actually angry that I had to buy him to get the BAF part, but maybe just a little miffed I had to wind up with two. It’s cool that Hasbro released him, since he is in the comic, but let’s face it, this slot in the wave would have been much better spent on a character like Nebula or Ronan. There’s no indication that Hasbro is doing another GotG Wave of Legends so right now it seems unlikely that we will ever see figures of either, and that’s seriously pissing me off.

Guardians of the Galaxy Legends: Rocket Raccoon and Groot by Hasbro

So, last time I mentioned that I usually like to save the Build-A-Figure for the end of the wave, but I’m breaking tradition here, mainly so that I can look at Rocket and Groot together and complete the core Guardians team. And maybe just because I honestly couldn’t wait any longer to open the rest of the figures and assemble Groot. So, without any further dilly-dally let’s take a look at this duo of “thugs” er, I mean, unlikely heroes.

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There’s the packaging and despite Rocket’s demure size, Hasbro did their best to beef up the content of the box. In addition to Rocket you get the head and torso of BAF Groot, Rocket’s rifle, and a huge BFG weapon that can be passed off to Star-Lord. So, yeah Rocket is tiny, but as long as you’re buying the whole wave of figures (and why wouldn’t you?) I don’t think you’ll feel cheated based on what’s in the box. It’s funny to think that Rocket Raccoon made a lot of fans nervous when this movie was revealed. Would the casual masses accept him? He seemed to be one of the big unknown quantities of the Marvel Movie Universe. I think it’s safe to say that all the worry was for naught because he seems to be playing incredibly well to the crowds. It’s also crazy to think that this is the fourth time we’re getting a Rocket figure. He was originally released as part of the Marvel Universe Guardians boxed set, that figure will be re-released single carded in Marvel Infinite, and he was a Build-A-Figure a couple waves back in Marvel Legends. That’s a lot of space raccoons!

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And there’s the little fella out of the box and ready for action. Rocket sports quite a superb sculpt and now that we’ve got to see plenty of him in the trailers, I think I can comfortably say Hasbro nailed his big screen likeness. The portrait, the proportions, and even his adorable orange space onesie all appears to be spot on. All of his fur is sculpted in too! The paintwork is fairly good. There are some rough spots on the face, but because it’s supposed to be patterns in his fur, it really shouldn’t look perfectly sharp anyway. Ultimately, it doesn’t feel as if Hasbro skimped just because he’s a little guy, and I appreciate that a lot.

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I’m tempted to take issue with Rocket’s articulation. It is limited and apart from the tail he has absolutely no points of articulation below the waist. I’d argue that if Hasbro is capable of making super-articulated 3 ¾” figures than Rocket should have at least had some basic leg articulation. On the other hand, I don’t know that it would have made a huge difference with the figure, other than getting him to stand more comfortably on Groot’s shoulder. At least what is here is quite good. Rocket’s head is ball jointed, as are his shoulders and elbows. He has another ball joint in the waist and his tail is on a swivel. The tail swivel does concern me. I don’t know what’s holding it in there, but I have a nagging feeling that it might twist off if I play around with it too much. Then again it could just be that the joint is naturally loose and I’ve got nothing to worry about. I guess time will tell. The tail does make for a nice support to keep Rocket standing up.

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Rocket comes with two accessories. First off, you get his rifle, which is beautifully sculpted and as tall as he is. It’s also designed so that there is a hook around the stock so you can loop it around his shoulder. Is this a custom raccoon rifle? I don’t know, but that idea is awesome, so I hope it gets addressed in the movie. I thought getting the little critter to hold it would be difficult, but I’ve had a lot of success with him wielding it in different poses.

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The other accessory is a gigantic personal cannon that can be handed off to Star-Lord. I can’t remember whether we saw this in the trailers, which is odd because I’ve watched them a thousand times. Either way, I really dig this weapon. It’s a complex piece and beautifully sculpted. The base goes up against Star-Lord’s torso and he can hold the gun by two handles. It does make him rather front heavy, so it’s nice to have some stands from a few waves ago.

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And that brings us to the BAF figure Groot. Unlike previous waves of Marvel Legends, you do need to buy all six figures in order to build Groot, and I think it’s well worth sucking down that superfluous Iron Man figure to complete something as awesome as this guy. Not only is he super tall but the sculpt is absolutely killer and again Hasbro totally nailed his look in what we’ve seen from the trailers. If I had one complaint about Groot it would be that he could have used a few more paint apps or possibly a tastefully done paint wash to bring out some of that great detail. As it is he relies mostly on his brown plastic for color with the occasional green spray. I’m really just quibbling here, I think he’s fantastic.

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Ah, but Groot isn’t just there to stand tall and look imposing. He actually sports some very nice articulation. The arms are ball jointed at the shoulders, the elbows are double-hinged, the wrists are ball jointed, and there are swivels in the biceps. His legs are ball jointed at the hips, again at the knees, and his ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. Groot has a generous ball joint in the torso and again in the neck.

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And that rounds out this team of Guardians of the Galaxy. While not all of these figures dropped my jaw as much as Star-Lord did, they’re a great tribute to a movie that I am absolutely dying to see. I currently don’t have many of my Marvel Legends on display, but I’m definitely going to be making room for these five figures in a prominent place. And I’m not done yet. I’ve still got two more figures in the wave. When I come back to it next week we’ll check out Iron Man in his space armor.

Guardians of the Galaxy Legends: Gamora by Hasbro

As promised, and in an attempt to get through the Wave before the damn movie gets here, I’m bookending this week with another GotG figure from Marvel Legends. This time we’re checking out that gorgeous green babe, Gamora, The deadliest woman in the whole galaxy! Can I take this time to mention how epic the Angela and Gamora brawl was in the Guardians comic? Holy shit, I was squeeing like a little kid during every panel! Oh, right… this figure is from the movie. Can I take this time to mention how epic every trailer of this movie looks? Holy shit, I was squeeing like a little kid during every second! So far this wave of figures has been nothing short of amazing… let’s see if Gamora can keep it going.

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Hey, it’s the packaging! Hey, we’ve seen this before! With her rather slight build and only one accessory, Gamora doesn’t fill out her tray as well as Star-Lord or Drax did. The giant tree truck that constitutes the Groot BAF part, however, does help her along.

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And here we have what is the first speed bump along the road. Gamora has a few notable flubs going for her right out of the package. For starters, there’s some high profile paint slop going on right inside her cleavage. Not that I was looking or anything, but yeah it’s rather noticeable. Normally I wouldn’t lead off with a single paint issue, but the other figures were so immaculate, I found it to be surprising. I’m happy to report the rest of the figure’s paintwork seems quite clean and precise, so maybe I just got bad luck in the chesticles department. As long as we’re leading off with paint, there are indeed some nice touches on this figure, including the metallic blue that mingles with the black of her outfit. I also like the transition of color in her hair and the green they used for her skin tone.

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The next hiccup here is the portrait. It’s not a bad head sculpt in and of itself, but the likeness to Zoe Saldana just isn’t there for me. I think most of the issue lay in the eyes, which appear as if the sculptor was going for more of an Asian look. It doesn’t ruin the figure for me and normally, I would let it go, but again the first two figures that I opened in this wave set a really high standard.

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The rest of Gamora strikes me as quite good, but just not exceptional. There’s a lot of detail in her outfit, particularly all the sculpted straps and buckles on her leggings, but none of them have any paint hits to really make them stand out. The texturing for the mesh of her shirt is well done and I do like the sculpting on her wrist and hand wraps. Gamora also has a separate belt that hangs loose on her hips.

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As is sometimes the case with Marvel Legends women, the articulation on Gamora also takes a bit of a hit. The arms feature ball jointed shoulders and both hinges and swivels in the wrists, ball joints in the elbows, and no bicep swivels. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, but the sculpt prevents a lot of lateral movement. She has swivels in her thighs, double-hinges in the knees, and both hinges and swivels in the ankles. There’s a ball joint in her torso and again in her neck. Considering some of the crazy acrobatics I expect to see Gamora doing in the movie, the figure’s articulation could have used a few more points. I’ll also mention that the top hinge on my figue’s right leg is splayed out making the joint rather loose.

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Gamora comes with one accessory, a very thin sword. It’s easily the weakest accessory of the wave so far, although there is some detail work in the design. She can hold it pretty well in either hand, and while I’m not sure it’s intentional, you can clip the sword onto her belt for storage.

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This third outing for the Guardians of the Galaxy Legends wave is by no means a bad figure, but it doesn’t hold to the high pedigree of the first two releases that I looked at. Had I opened Gamora first, I might not have been as hard on her, but even with a few issues, I’m still glad to have her on my shelf to complete the team. And speaking of completing the team, usually I hold off looking at the Build-A-Figure until I’ve covered the entire wave, but next week I’m going to break tradition and look at both Rocket and Groot in the same feature. That way I can complete the core team and I’ll get to checking out Nova and Iron Man sometime in the following weeks.

Guardians of the Galaxy Legends: Drax the Destroyer by Hasbro

Happy Monday, Toyhounds. Things got a little derailed last week, so I’m trying to get back on track and actually looking at what’s landed on my doorstep over the last few weeks. It’s hard to believe that it’s already been two weeks since I looked at Star-Lord and I do believe a return to the Marvel Legends Guardians of the Galaxy figures is long overdue. Today we’re looking at Drax the Destroyer!

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As expected, Drax comes in a compact window box that can also hang on the pegs. Have I noted yet how odd I think it is that the flaps on these boxes are never taped? Well, they’re not. It must make it a lot easier for toy brigands to steel figures, BAF parts, and accessories. Drax doesn’t come with nearly as many extras as Star-Lord did, but his big bulk and the Groot BAF part fill up that tray quite nicely. I’ve got a pretty good idea from the trailers how the movie is going to treat most of the characters, but Drax is still a bit of a mystery to me. I’m really excited and curious to see how they’re going to handle him.

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And there’s Drax in all his movie glory. Yes, this is actually the second time we’ve seen Drax in the modern Marvel Legends line, but this is the first time we’re getting the character as part of a complete team. The first thing I need to point out on this guy is that all of his tattoos are actually part of the sculpt, and I think that is amazing. It would have been so easy for Hasbro to reuse the old Drax body and paint him up, but they are clearly going all out for this wave. The pattern that covers his torso and extends to his arms and face is crazy complex and the combination of sculpt and paint make what could have been a pretty ordinary figure into a stand out deco. The pants feature a ton of sculpted detail as well and the boots are fantastic and even feature functional sheathes for his knives.

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The portrait here has a passing resemblance to wrestler Dave Bautista in the Drax makeup. Either way, it’s definitely a well fleshed out sculpt with impressive definition to the facial features and more of those awesome tats.

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Drax’s articulation is pretty much perfect for this line. The arms are ball jointed in the shoulders, double-hinged at the elbows, have swivels in the biceps and swivels and hinges in the wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, double-hinged at the knees, have swivels in the thighs, and the ankles have both hinges and rockers. Drax can swivel at the waist, he has an ab crunch hinge in the torso and the head has both a hinge and a ball joint. On the downside, my Drax’s right elbow was stuck and I had to do some boiling. The hinge on the forearm gave it up pretty easily, but I’m still working on the hinge in the bicep.

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In addition to the Groot BAF part, Drax comes with his two trusty daggers and these are very cool pieces. They’re each cast in simple silver plastic with no other paint operations, but they do have ornately sculpted handles and some decorations etched into the blades.

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When Hasbro suggested that the Infinite Series of Marvel Legends would be more of a premium line of figures, I sure had my doubts. I think we saw glimmers of that coming to light in the Winter Soldier Wave and not so much in the Amazing Spider-Man 2 Wave. But here, in the Guardians of the Galaxy Wave, I think it’s on full display. Drax offered Hasbro many opportunities to cheap out, but they rose to the occasion and delivered a truly excellent figure. Just because of the simple nature of the character design, I thought it would be difficult to make a Drax figure that matched Star-Lord, but they stepped up. Stuck joints aside, Drax is a fantastic addition to this wave, and I’m all the more excited to keep opening these figures and assembling the team on my shelf. I’ll swing back to this series again on Friday with a look at Gamora.

Guardians of the Galaxy Legends: Star-Lord by Hasbro

To say I’m excited about the Guardians of the Galaxy movie would be a galactic understatement. After two amazing trailers and a lot of time spent re-reading the comics, I am seriously pumped for this movie. I was also really excited about the associated Marvel Legends wave, so much so that I picked up the case as soon as it went up for sale at Hasbrotoyshop. Sure, it meant getting a couple of doubles (the case has two Star-Lord and two Iron Man figures), but it worked out to only be about twenty bucks more than the single figure assortment at that other retailer. Either way, it also meant that I could instantly assemble the BAF Groot instead of worrying about hunting down one last figure like I had to do with the SHIELD Mandroid. I thought about covering this whole shebang in one week, but since I’m just coming off a theme week, I decided to parse them out to a couple figures a week. Let’s go right for the intended star of the movie… Peter Quill: Star-Lord!

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The packaging here is right in line with the Legends Infinite Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Winter Soldier waves. The main difference is that this assortment pulls a lot more heavily from the movie whereas the others populated with comic characters at the expense of film-based figures. Seriously, Hasbro, no movie version of Falcon? Why would you do that? Anyway, I don’t have much new to say about the packaging other than I still dig the look of these window boxes and the fact that it’s totally collector friendly. I’ll also point out that Hasbro really packed a lot of shit into this package. Between the figure, extra head, accessories, and BAF part, there’s not a lot of free space left on that tray.

Star-Lord comes packaged with his masked head on, but I’m going to start out with the alternate unmasked head. But before we get to that, check this shit out…

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Yeah, we have one of those rare examples where the actual figure is better than the package photos. In this case, the package photo shows a very different figure where the top of the trench coat is part of the torso sculpt and the bottom made up like a skirt on the bottom half of the figure, with an awkward waist swivel running right across the middle. It looks terrible. Thankfully, the final figure got the trench coat cast in soft plastic and attached to the buck with the arms sculpted to look like sleeves. Yeah, it’s the old sleeveless jacket trick, but it works great and is such a vast improvement over the crappy figure they photographed for the back of the box.

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For what is basically a guy in a t-shirt, trousers and trench coat, Hasbro went all out on the details. Under the coat you can see all kinds of subtly sculpted pockets and texturing to the pants and he has the little jets, the ones we see used in the second trailer, sculpted and painted onto the outsides of his boots. The coat has a great weathered wash to it and again all sorts of little details. It’s also worth noting here that his loot satchel is a separate piece and easily removable.

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The two portraits consist of Star-Lord masked and unmasked. The masked head is fantastic. I really dig the movie version of the mask and Hasbro did a beautiful job recreating it here for the figure. The detail is sharp and with the exception of some minor slop on the red goggle paint, the paintwork is immaculate.

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The alternate unmasked head is quite good, but I don’t know that the likeness to Chris Pratt is all that great. The eyes are painted a little too intense and the paint for the beard, while certainly tidy enough, is a little too heavy handed. That having been said, it’s still a perfectly serviceable portrait and for what it’s worth the sculpting for the hair is particularly well done. All in all it works for me.

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Star-Lord features the kind of articulation we’ve come to expect from the Marvel Legends line. The arms are ball jointed at the shoulders, double-hinged at the elbows, swivel at the biceps, and have swivels and hinges in the wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels in the thighs, double-hinged knees, and both hinges and rockers in the ankles. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab crunch hinge in the torso and a ball joint in the neck. I will note that Star-Lord’s joints feel very soft and mushy. Those super soft joints are usually a huge pet peeve of mine, but here it just doesn’t seem to work against the figure at all.

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Accessories! In addition to the extra head, loot satchel, and BAF part Star-Lord comes with some nice extras. First off, you get that orb that is so prominently featured in the trailers. What is it? Well, apart from probably being one of the Infinity Stones, I don’t know. Unfortunately, since Star-Lord’s hands are designed to hold his guns, it’s pretty tough to get him to hold the Orb. I’d argue that an extra hand would have been in order, but there’s so much stuff in this box already, I guess I’ll let it slide.

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Next up, you get his Walkman and headphones and I think it’s a hoot that Hasbro included these. Sure, the headphones are way too big and no, there’s no cord connecting them to the Walkman, but I don’t care. I just love that I can have my Peter Quill figure chilling to some Blue Swede while standing on my shelf.

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Lastly, you get his guns and these are absolutely bitchin. I presume they are meant to be the Kree weapons he uses in the comics. There’s still no sign that his Element Gun will appear in the movie. Nonetheless, I love these things! The designs are great, the sculpt is great, and the little touches of gold paintwork? Great! He can hold them well and he looks like a total badass while doing it.

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Hot damn, this figure is so much fun to play around with! The guns alone had me posing him on my desk long after I’ve put most figures down. This guy is going to be standing on my desk for a long time before going off to the display shelf.

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With the new boxes, shiny new branding, and heftier price tag, Hasbro has been trying to pass off Marvel Legends Infinite as a premium line of action figures. I liked all of the figures from the Winter Soldier and Spider-Man waves, but most of them felt more like regular Legends figures than anything super special. Star-Lord here certainly ups the ante. I think this is one of the better 6-inch figures that I’ve opened in a while. It’s clear that Hasbro put a lot of love into this figure and I’m very interested to see whether the rest of the wave can sustain that level of excellence. Either way, I’m glad this one came two per case, because now I can display him with both heads and all his different gear.