Guardians of the Galaxy is a perfect comic book movie! It truly is one of the most unique and delightful films Marvel has created to date. It features memorable and enjoyable characters, is filled with all the required thrills and spills, and it’s an almost nonstop barrage of humor and fun. It’s like eating a big mac and a large fry at 2am after a night of drunken debauchery, it’s that good.
Peter Quill, or Star Lord as he likes to call himself, is a quick-witted man of Earth thrown into the far reaches of galaxy, who has stolen an artifact that everyone seems to want. By accident he stumbles upon four other characters, Gamora the assassin, Drax the Destroyer, Rocket the enhanced raccoon and Groot the humanoid tree, and the five of them form an unlikely team.
Not one performance, however, can live up to the two characters that completely steal the entire show, Rocket and Groot voiced by Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel. Yes, the talking tree and the raccoon are by far the most entertaining and likable characters. They are also two of the funniest characters in the entire picture behaving like the classic straight and funny man routine of Abbott and Costello fame but twice as fun.
Speaking of Rocket and Groot, our friends at Sideshow Collectibles sent us a the Marvel Rocket and Groot Sixth Scale Figure Set from Hot Toys. The big guy and little guy combo of the collectible word has never looked so good.
We’ll talk about these two figures independently in a moment, but we have to start by acknowledging the packaging. It’s quite a large box (standing at over 15 inches and almost twice the width of a normal Sideshow/Hot Toys box) with a striking print out of both characters in an cool action pose laid over a star studded, cloudy, blue and black galaxy. And, no, the giant “G” does not stand for Groot (though it very well should, #TeamGroot), its the first letter in the films logo. The duo comes in a gigantic window box that has a slip cover over top of it. There’s nothing too graphically special about the box art, yet the sheer size and simpleness of the art we’ll have you channeling your inner Joey Lawrence – “Whoa!”.
As per usual when it comes to Sideshow / Hot Toy figures, its contents are packaged with the collector in mind. Where most toys and collectibles require you to act out deep rooted Freddy Krueger fantasies to cut your figure(s) loose, Sideshow / Hot Toys have no twist ties, tape, or any other kind of furious obstacles between you and your goods. The figures and their accessories are laid out neatly in a tray so that you can store them back up for transporting or to resell if you wanted to, keeping the value intact.
Groot is an absolutely amazing character. He has so much personalty even though he can’t really converse. If you love him and the movie, then you’ll be more than satisfied with Hoy Toys spot-on recreation of the character.
At first glance, the figures immense stature is certainly an eye catching presence. At over 14 inches tall, he is an absolutely massive piece of wood. Those eyes though…. the depth and life in the eyes are what truly captures the character’s harmless and sorrowful persona. I just want to hug him!
Uh… maybe not.
His face is actually a removable faceplate that can be swapped out for the alternative screaming head sculpt (that look when you stub your pinky toe) that comes with the collectors set. While I will always prefer the lighter face, the alternative head emotes a much more aggressive expression with just as much sense of character as the softer, warmer face. Personally, I would have liked another kinder face Groot, his smiles were so adorable.
Other accessories include: 5 pieces of interchangeable palms; including (1) pair of relaxed palms, (1) open left palm with real-like glow effect and (1) pair of partially clenched palms (exclusive for the collectible set). Also included is a figure stand with Groot nameplate and movie logo as well as two Potted Baby Groots.
The hands that it come with actually have bendable fingers, which make the partially clenched palms rather unnecessary. Naturally, with bendy fingers, your inner 13 year old comes out and Groot is suddenly giving everyone the finger. But I digress. For the left hand, with the glow effect, it would have been nice if it featured a light up feature but the effect is serviceable. E.T. ain’t got nothing on Groot.
Little potted Groot dancing his branches off was arguably the most memorable moment from Guardians of The Galaxy. Its an absolute necessity to have the potted Groot to coincide with the figure. Downside is both potted Groot and dancing Groot only comes with collectible set (with the latter being a limited Sideshow Collectibles exclusive). If you wanted to buy the Groot figure as a standalone, it does not come with a potted Groot accessory. The pot themselves have nice texturing, and the paint app on both Groot’s looks really well rendered. Neither Potted Groot have any articulation. Albeit very cute looking, they’re just stationary pieces of sculpted plastic.
Back to adult Groot…
The detail on the figure is astonishing. A myriad of roots, branches, vines, bark and twigs make up the characters torso and extremities. The carved out details go so far that they even carry on to the bottom of the feet – an unnecessary but appreciated level of extra detail.
Painting organic-like constructs are difficult and could easily look monochromatic. This figure is anything but. Groot is washed with earthly color tones of brown, green, and a yellowish/grey tint all layered to a very life-like effect. Looks so much like plant life that you may – in a night of drunken debauchery – water him along with the rest of your house plants #truestory.
The articulation on such a large figure would seem, well, frankly…wooden. However, Groot is surprisingly limber, having 15 points of articulation. The upper torso twists to almost 180 degrees motion. The trunks of his feet are on a ball joint and rotate completely around. The arms are a little stiff, feeling like you’ll break them at the elbow when you attempt to bend them in various positions.
Most of the figures articulation points are masked really well under the guise of roots and bark; including the upper torso, groin, shoulders, knees and ankles . Even the hips have little flap coverings that push up when you want to raise/bend the hips and hide what would other wise be a big split in the crotch. The elbows joints, though, stick out like a sore thumb. You see those exposed joints and the illusion of a life-like figure gets taken back a notch, reminding you that you’re a grown adult playing with a doll.
Even with the articulation cuts the sculpt is seamless from head to toe, or trunk in this case. The giant feet are also lovely because he doesn’t feel like he’ll ever fall down. They anchor him extremely well. His stand is completely unnecessary unless you want to anchor Rocket on his shoulder, or you have an OCD that all your figures must be on matching stands.
Groot is a towering presence on the shelf but he is incomplete without is snarky fury friend, Rocket Raccoon.
Hot Toys Rocket Raccoon looks good, he’s just not very expressive. The head sculpt borderlines between fierce and neutral. An open mouth would have been preferred – the same aggressive face as seen on the package would have been awesome. Don’t know why, for such a small figure, an alternative head wasn’t included. Granted the personality in the face is lacking, the light gleaming off his beady pupils give an eerily life-like set of eyes. The head also features plugged whiskers, that while are a nice effect, are scraggly and all over the place. I have a bent whisker on mine that I just cannot straighten out and drives me nuts! I don’t have OCD but I just might after futzing with this figure.
His orange jump suit is made 100% real cloth material and is a hand tailored recreation of the movie. With a distressed look, brace strapping clasping, stitching, and fabric knee pads; it is the one over-all piece that elevates this figure from toy to high-end collectible. I dunno what’s up with the blue marble on his back pack, though. I don’t remember seeing it in the movie – maybe it’s a bowling ball. I can see Rocket being on a galactic bowling team and that’s how I’m gonna go on picturing it as.
The pants are tight and do limit his motion in the thigh and knee area. The arms are limited as well, with the single bend elbow joints barely achieving 90%. The tail is on a ball joint and gets a full range of motion. The arms and tail do pop off so easily and the pegs on the tiny hands and feet feel like they’re easily susceptible to snapping off, thankfully he comes with extra pegs. The figures greatest range of motion is in the head, with there being joints below the neck and above the chest. Given that Rocket has 2 extra points of articulation over Groot, you’d be surprised to find that you get more poseability with humanoid tree trunk than you do Rocket. A combination of the outfit restrictions and limited articulation points makes him quite hard to pose. He also falls over really easily. You got a figure with tiny feet and ankle joints and you have him hold a an oversized gun, what do you think is gonna happen? A light fart will knock him over.
Painting fur is a really difficult thing to do, and not something that even Hot Toys hasn’t quite mastered. While faux fur is something you always want to see of fur based characters, with the shape and size of the figure, it’s not something they would have been able to pull off either. It is a adequate paint job, having done the best they could with the materials they were working with. So its not that it looks bad, there’s just a toyish look to it. He does look better, by leaps and bounds, than anything currently on the market; including the Marvel Legends figure and NECA’s life-size Rocket Raccoon.
Rocket comes with the oversized gun you’ve seen him toting. The gun has so many layers and pieces with a impressive paint job matching the metal and chrome-like accents as featured in the movie. Another point to lament, is getting fitting into Rocket’s hand. I made more than one angry Groot face trying to finagle the gun in Rocket’s paw.
Also paired with Rocket are a 2 extra sets of hands (1) pair of relaxed palms, (1) pair of fists, (1) pair of palms holding rifle, and a set of bended feet/paws, as well as a figure stand with name plate.
If you’re buying Rocket because you’re a fan of Rocket, you may be a little disappointed. He’s a diminutive figure based on a marsupial, Hot Toy’s sculptures and painters were boxed in the corner when tasked with making this.
Rocket and Groot together, though, make for one heck of a display piece. Buying one and not the other would be like buying Batman without Robin, or like eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without the jelly.
When then Guardians of the Galaxy movie was first announced, I initially balked at the idea. A movie with a talking humanoid tree and a gun toting foul mouth raccoon, I never thought it was going to work. If you asked me then if I ever thought about dropping a few hundred on a pair of Rocket and Groot collectible figures, I would have laughed at you. I, of course, know better now. Guardians of the Galaxy is an outrageously entertaining movie, and Rocket & Groot have become the best cinematic duo since Jay and Silent Bob. These collectibles are the truest forms of pop culture worship. And, yeah, they’re a few things to nit pick at but this figure set will have you humming the Jackson 5’s “I want you back” and dancing your way off to happiness.
As always when it’s Hot Toys, this Marvel Rocket and Groot Sixth Scale figure combo isn’t exactly cheap—it’ll set you back $359 all together, or $199 for Groot and $159 for Rocket individually. Maybe you only have the budget for one figure at a time, but it is worth it to get the set.
Photo credits: Joni Lee Photography.
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