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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.