STAR-LORD & GROOT (& ROCKET)
Okay, let’s do this animated thing one more time! With the unexpectedly huge success of the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, it’s not exactly a big surprise that Disney fast tracked a cartoon series focusing on the team. It’s also not all that shocking that a few members of the show’s cast made their way into the new animated sub-set of Marvel Minimates. So, let’s have a look at Star-Lord and Groot (and Rocket Raccoon)!
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
These guys are another set from the first series of Walgreens-exclusive Marvel Minimates. They’re based on their designs from the cartoon, which are, in turn, heavily influenced by the designs from the movie.
As the central figure of both the Guardians movie and the cartoon, it makes sense for Star-Lord to find himself in the first set of figures. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation. Star-Lord’s design on the show is more or less directly lifted from the movie, but, while almost all the movie merchandise (including the Minimate) was based on his long-jacketed look from the first few minutes of the film, the cartoon and its associated Minimate both depict him in the short-jacketed look he has for the majority of the film. So, it’s actually a new, valid variant of the character. Yay! Star-Lord gets add-ons for his hair/mask, coat, and wrist guard. The mask and wrist piece are both from the last Star-Lord, and the coat has been taken from Knight Rider’s Michael Knight. The coat and wrist thingy are fine, but the helmet still feels a bit too bulky. Maybe it would look better if the hair stood up a bit? The paint on Star-Lord is very nicely handled. The colors are nice and bold, and the line work is really clean. The finer details on the belt and boots are also pretty great, and the muscle detailing on the torso keeps him from being too boring. The mask is much better painted than the movie version, which ends up making it look quite a bit better. Under the mask is a fully detailed face, which fortunately didn’t suffer from the same paint mix-up as the movie version, so his eyebrows are the correct color. He’s definitely the animated Star-Lord, but he can pass for Chris Pratt in a pinch. Star-Lord is packed with a spare hairpiece (still re-used from Tomb Raider’s Roth, but it fits the animated design an bit better), one of his blasters, and a clear display stand. A second blaster would have been cool, but this is a pretty decent allotment overall!
GROOT (& ROCKET)
Star-Lord may be the central member of the team, but these two are definitely the fan favorites, so they definitely earned their slot here. Also, they were probably helped by the fact that they are identical to their movie counterparts tooling-wise. As with those figures, only one of these two, Groot, is actually a full-fleged figure. He’s got a specially sculpted head, hands, and feet, all re-used from the movie version, as well as a torso extender piece. The pieces were well done on the first Groot and they’re still well done here. I’m still not sold on the tabs on the back of Groot’s head to stand Rocket on, but they aren’t too noticeable, as long as you aren’t looking right at them. Groot’s paintwork is a lot more simplistic than his movie counterpart, which is much more in keeping with his animated design. He does a good job of capturing that look, though it’s nowhere near as interesting to look at. Still, his paint is nice and clean, so that’s good. Rocket is really just Groot’s accessory here. He’s the exact same unarticulated figure that was included with the movie Groot, with a very (and I mean veeeery) slight paint change. Instead of being yellow and black, he’s orange and black. That’s cool, I guess. The paint’s a little sloppier this time around, but not enormously so.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Now, this is the set I was looking forward to when the sets were first announced. The movie Star-Lord was easily the biggest disappointment of that series, so it’s great that we got another shot at him, especially with this look. Groot and Rocket may be somewhat redundant, but Groot’s the most stylized of the animated ‘mates, so at least he’s a little different.