#0279: Groot

GROOT

MARVEL LEGENDS

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All good things must come to an end. Also, mediocre things and bad things have to come to an end too. Essentially, what I’m saying is that wherever you stand on the quality of the “Groot Week” reviews, today marks the end of said week. Yes, it’s Groot Week Part 7, featuring the main man himself, Groot!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

GrootWilsonGroot was released as the Build-A-Figure for the Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel Legends Infinite Series, who could be assembled by acquiring all of the figures in the series. The figure stands about 8 ½ inches tall and features 28 points of articulation. The figure is based on Groot’s appearance in the movie, though it could easily pass for one of the comicbook interpretations of the character. The sculpt is brand new, which is not a shock with a unique looking character such as Groot. I’m honestly impressed at the level of work put into the new pieces, considering none of them have the potential for re-use. Still, the sculpt looks spot on to the look from the movie, and it’s got some really great detail work. In particular, Groot’s face just looks perfect for the character. It would be easy to write the paint work on Groot off as simple, but the more appropriate word would be “subtle.” While the work isn’t immediately obvious, Groot has quite a bit of detail work that helps make him look like a tree-man instead of a hunk of brown plastic. Groot, like many Build-A-Figures before him, is sans-accessories, essentially being an accessory himself. It’s easy to forgive, given his larger stature and impressive detail work.

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THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Groot, being the Build-A-Figure for the series, was purchased piece-by-piece from Amazon. While the rest of the series has been pretty darn good, Groot was my main reason for buying the set. There was a fair bit of pressure for him to be a good figure, and I have to say, he really delivers on that front. Groot has proved to be my favorite figure in the series by far, and completing him makes up for some of the short comings of a few of the others in the series!

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#0278: Nova

NOVA

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

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Groot Week is almost finished, but there’s still one more basic review and then the review of Groot himself left. Today’s figure is Nova, the second half of the two comic-themed figures in Hasbro’s Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel Legends Infinite Series. The Nova Corps seems set to play a fairly important role in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie, so the inclusion of a Nova figure here is certainly a sensible one. Let’s see how the figure turned out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

NovaWilsonNova is part of the Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel Legends Infinite Series. The figure is about 6 inches tall and sports 32 points of articulation (counting the moving shoulder pads). He’s based on the Nova Prime incarnation of the Richard Rider version of Nova, which is the look Richard’s been sporting for the last several years in the comics. It’s a sharp design (both metaphorically and literally), and it’s been fairly prominent in the comics, so it’s a good choice. Nova seems to have a mostly new sculpt.  He looks like he uses the basic male buck seen on figures such as Zemo and Boomerang as a reference point, and he may also use the upper arms, upper legs and feet from that body, but it’s hard to tell. The new pieces look really good, and everything seems accurate to the character’s design. Unfortunately, Nova uses softer plastic than the other figures in the series, so he ends up being rather shaky, and a bit difficult to keep standing. The paint work on Nova is all nice and cleanly applied, with no noticeable slop or bleed over, plus he’s got some pretty sweet shiny metallic coloring going for him. It’s nice to see him break from the pack paint-wise. Like iron Man, Nova’s sole accessory is his Groot piece, which is the right arm in this instance. It’s disappointing to see another figure lacking accessories, but once again, Nova doesn’t really have any accessories that jump to mind.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like all of his series compatriots, Nova was purchased from Amazon once the series became available. Initially, I hadn’t planned on picking up Nova, but once I decided to complete Groot, he became a necessity. I’m a moderate fan of Nova, but I tend to prefer his classic design. Still, this figure does an admirable job translating his newer design. I do wish they’d used a sturdier plastic for him, but it doesn’t ruin the figure, and his issues standing don’t even come close to the ones that plague Gamora. All in all, Nova’s a pretty good figure, and is potentially the figure in the series with the best chance of being a stand alone purchase.

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#0277: Iron Man

IRON MAN

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

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Groot Week continues today with part five. Like the previous reviews, this figure comes from Hasbro’s most recent round of Marvel Legends Infinite Series, based on the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie. The series includes six regular figures and a Build-A-Figure. I’ve reviewed the four movie figures, and today I’ll do the first of the two comic-themed reviews. The first comic-themed figure is Iron Man, who is effectively the series’ heavy hitter.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

IronManSpaceWilsonIron Man is part of the Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel Legends Infinite Series. He stands about 6 inches tall and features 32 points of articulation (counting the shoulder pads). The figure is based on Iron Man’s space-faring armor from the most recent Guardians of the Galaxy comics, also known as the “Phoenix Killer” armor. It’s certainly a unique design, and its prominent placement with the Guardians makes for a sensible inclusion in the series. The figure is predominantly re-use. He features a new head and shoulder pads on the body of the Bleeding Edge Iron Man from the first series Iron Man 3 Marvel Legends. The Bleeding Edge is one of Hasbro’s better Iron Man sculpts, so it’s a great starting point, and the head offers a different take on the Iron Man helmet. I’m not sure how I feel about the shoulder pads. They stick up pretty high, and almost seem like they’d seem better flipped the other direction. The biggest issue the figure faces, however, is his inability to put his arms all the way down, which is an issue native to the original base figure. It would have been nice if Hasbro had done some re-working to facilitate improved movement, but I can understand the need to save some money on tooling. The paint work is fairly basic. He’s molded in a metallic red and has some simple gold highlights, and a few yellow details painted on. For the most part, everything is applied cleanly with no noticeable slop or bleed over. There are one or two areas of some minor chipping, but they aren’t too noticeable, so it’s not bad. Iron Man is relatively light on the accessories, with only the right leg of Build-A-Figure Groot included. I can’t really think of any accessories that could have been included, so I can’t really fault Hasbro here.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Iron Man was purchased via Amazon, like his series-mates before him. For the most part, I only got Iron Man for the Groot piece, but I have to say, after having him in hand, I like him a whole lot more than I thought I would. The bold colors and the use of one of Hasbro’s best Iron Man bodies make this a really solid figure, and the unique design means he really stands out from the pack. Iron Man is a pretty great that will sadly be overlooked by a lot of people due to being yet another Iron Man.

#0276: Drax

DRAX

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

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It’s time for part four of my look at Hasbro’s most recent round of Marvel Legends figures. This time around, the figures are based around the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie. There are six main figures, four based on the movie and two based on the comics. Today, I’ll be looking at Guardians member Drax (formerly Drax the Destroyer), who is also the last single release figure based on the movie. Let’s jump on in!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Drax is part of Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel Legends Infinite Series (man, Hasbro seriously needs to come up with a better naming scheme for the new Marvel Legends stuff…). Drax stands about 6 ½ inches tall and features 30 points of articulation. He’s based on Drax’s design in the movie, which is in turn influenced by Drax’s more modern design in the comics. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the character’s more recent looks (purple spandex and pirate boots for the win!), but the movie does add a decent spin on it I suppose. Like the rest of the main Guardians, Drax features a brand new sculpt, so as to properly replicate his movie design. Drax’s sculpt is truly an impressive piece of work. The figure has a nice bit of heft to him, and has a properly bulky build. On top of the build, he’s got some wonderful texture work on his uniform and tattoos. The tattoos are something that a lesser company might have just painted, but the sculpt really helps them pop. The paint work on Drax is actually pretty good. There’s a few areas of slop and bleed over, but nothing too major, and certainly nothing as bad as some of the others in this series. In fact, Drax has the best paint of the series so far! Drax comes armed twin knives, which fit nicely in his hands and the sheaths on his boots, and he also features the lower torso of Groot.

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THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Drax was another figure acquired from Amazon after they got the Guardians figures in stock. Drax was a figure I had no real feelings about one way or the other, mostly due to my relative disinterest in the choice of costume design. While Drax still isn’t one of my favorites in the series, I do think he’s a very solid entry in the series, and he does help to make the team as a whole look a bit better.

#0275: Rocket Raccoon

ROCKET RACCOON

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

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Welcome to part three of my reviews of Hasbro’s Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel Legends Infinite Series. So far, I’ve looked at Star Lord, who I was really impressed with, and Gamora, who ended up being better than I had expected. Today, I’ll be looking at the most up and coming member of the team, Rocket Raccoon. If you’re unfamiliar with Rocket, allow me to explain him. He’s a talking space raccoon with a big gun. It’s a real tough concept to grasp, I know.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Rocket Raccoon is part of the Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel Legends Infinite Series. He’s about 3 ½ inches tall and features 13 points of articulation. The figure’s small stature means that he’s left with a limited selection of movement, particularly in the legs, which are pretty much immobile. While it’s understandable that they wanted to make him a bit sturdier, it still sucks that he’s unable to do anything with his legs. Rocket features a brand new sculpt, which is decent, though nothing amazing. The head seems to lack any of Rocket’s character, and his neck is just a bit odd looking. It’s also almost impossible to get him to look anywhere but upward, which limits the figure’s display possibilities. The torso, arms and legs all look pretty decent, and seem to be accurate to Rocket’s design in the movie. Rocket’s tail seems the slightest bit stiff, but this is likely meant to aid the figure in standing. The figure’s paint is okay, but not great. Some of the detail, particularly on the face, looks pretty great, but the uniform shows some serious slop, and he’s even got some spots of paint missing entirely. It’s not terrible, but it’s certainly a lot worse than the rest of the figures in the series. Rocket includes a large gun, some sort of torso cannon, and the head and torso of Groot. The gun is a bit tricky to get Rocket to hold properly, but it looks good once it’s in position. The cannon is actually meant to go with Star Lord, and was presumably given to Rocket due to Star Lord already being overloaded with accessories. This, coupled with the largest and most key piece of Groot, seems to be an attempt to make up for Rocket’s smaller stature. It works fine if you’re buying the whole series, but I can’t see it being too intriguing to someone only interested in Rocket himself.

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THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Rocket was purchased online via Amazon, same as Star Lord and Gamora. I was actually looking forward to this figure overall, being excited in general by the prospect of Rocket Raccoon being in a movie and getting a toy from said movie. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit let down by this figure. His small stature, lack of articulation and poor paint all adds up to a figure that doesn’t fill me with loads of joy. Still, he’s far from the worst figure I’ve ever bought, and he does still look pretty darn cool when placed with the rest of the team. If you’re only looking for a Rocket by himself, this one’s not the one for you. There’s a few other versions out there that would probably have more to offer. However, If you’re looking for a full set of the team, this guy’s essential.

#0274: Gamora

GAMORA

MARVEL LEGENDS

Gamora

Marvel’s upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie looks like it has the potential to be one of the best movies of the year if the trailers are anything to go by. Due to my excitement for the movie, I went ahead and picked up Hasbro’s Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel Legends Infinite Series, which features the whole main team from the movie, plus two additional figures based on comic designs. Today’s review is a look at one of the main members of the team, and longtime Marvel cosmic character, Gamora.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

GamoraWilsonGamora is a part of the Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel Legends Infinite Series (Man, that’s quite a name to keep typing…). The figure is a little under 6 inches in height and sports 28 points of articulation. Like Star Lord, she’s based on the character’s appearance in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie. She’s in her more unique look from the movie, which is the one that she’s seen wearing in the majority of the promotional material. Gamora has an all-new sculpt, and it’s a pretty good one at that. The proportions are all pretty good, and it avoids the usual issues that plague female action figures. Gamora’s head sculpt features a pretty great Zoe Saldana likeness, which is certainly an improvement over the Star Lord head. The sculpt is somewhat let down by the paint work, which is uneven at best. The head has the best work, especially on the eyes. The body, particularly the torso, has some pretty serious instances of slop, most noticeably in the changeover from skin to clothing. In addition to the sloppy base paint, the figure also features some odd highlight work on her torso and upper legs. It’s very haphazardly applied, and just gives the figure a strange look over all. In addition to the issues with the paint, Gamora is also almost impossible to keep standing for any decent stretch of time, which is a major annoyance. Gamora comes accessorized with a sword and the left leg of Groot. The sword is well sculpted, but it’s incredibly difficult to get her to hold it reliably. I’ll examine the Groot leg when I look at the whole figure later this week.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like Star Lord, I got Gamora through Amazon once they got the series in stock. I had low expectations for the figure based on the prototype pictures, but in hand I do find myself actually liking the figure more than I thought. That being said, the figure still has some major issues, mostly with paint and stability. It’s unfortunate that the figure suffers from these issues, because the sculpt is really, really good. If Hasbro could manage to get their paint issues sorted out, and possibly include stands or something with their figures, that would really help figures like poor Gamora here turn out better.

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#0273: Star Lord

STAR LORD

MARVEL LEGENDS INFINITE SERIES

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In my review of NECA’s Caesar from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, I mentioned the rarity of me reviewing a figure from a movie I hadn’t seen. Well, I’m doing it again. Guardians of the Galaxy is being released on August 1, which isn’t too far off, and the toys are just now starting to hit. As they did with Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Amazing Spider-Man 2, Hasbro is releasing a tie-in line of Marvel Legends Infinite Series for the movie. In contrast to those two lines, this series is mostly made up of characters from the movie, plus comic versions of Iron Man and Nova. Today, I’ll be looking at the main character of Guardians, Peter Quill aka Star Lord.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Star Lord was released as part of the Guardians of The Galaxy Marvel Legends Infinite Series. The figure stands about 6 inches tall and features 32 points of articulation. He’s based on Chris Pratt’s version of the character in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie, though thanks to Marvel wanting to tie the comics in with the movies, he also works as Star Lord in his most recent comicbook incarnation. They’ve gone with his long jacket look, which is the one he sports in most of the movie’s promotional material. As far as I can tell, Star Lord features a brand new sculpt, which isn’t shocking given the unique design of the character. The figure makes use of add-on pieces for his coat and backpack, though neither of these are removable. Initially, I was worried that the articulation would interfere with the look of the coat’s arms, but in person, they aren’t an issue. The sculpt has lots of nice detail work, and the proportions all look pretty good. The paint work on Star Lord is pretty good overall, although there are a few spots of slop, most noticeably on the eyes and hairline of the helmet. It’s not immediately obvious under normal inspection, but it is a bit annoying to see a great sculpt pulled back by poor paint application. Star Lord comes armed with a pair of his distinctive blaster guns, as well as an extra un-helmeted head, a Walkman, a pair of head phones, the strange sphere thing he’s seen stealing in the trailers, and the right arm of Groot, the Build-A-Figure for this series. It’s a great selection of accessories, and he holds the blasters, sphere and Walkman quite nicely. The un-helmeted head swaps out pretty easily, though sadly it only bears a passing resemblance to Chris Pratt. I think it’s the hair.

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THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up Star Lord from Amazon, not long after they got the series in stock. Of the regular figures in the series, Star Lord was the one I was looking forward to the most. He’s a pretty impressive figure, and really fun to play around with. Add in a great selection of accessories, and you have a winner. The only real negative facing the figure is some unfortunate paint application. If Hasbro can work on reining that in, their figures would truly be top notch.