#3219: Groot




At the end of Endgame, Thor continued his journey by venturing out with the Guardians of the Galaxy.  Rather unsurprisingly, the Guardians are playing at least some sort of supporting role in Love and Thunder.  From the trailers, it appears the whole team will be along for the ride, but with their third film on the horizon, it doesn’t make quite so much sense to fill an entire Thor line-up with Guardians.  So, Hasbro picked some favorites, including everyone’s favorite walking tree with limited vocabulistics, Groot!


Groot is figure 6 in the Korg Series of Marvel Legends.  Between him and yesterday’s Ravager Thor, there’s also a new Star-Lord, but I opted to skip that one, on the basis that I’ve got a bunch of Star-Lords.  This figure is based on Groot’s “Teen” look.  It’s been given the Legends treatment once before via the Infinity War tie-ins, via the (supposed to be) TRU-exclusive three-pack with Thor and Rocket.  That one had gotten pretty pricey on the aftermarket, and with it looking to be more or less the standard version of the character going forward, it’s a sensible choice for a re-do.  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 25 points of articulation.  He’s using the body from the prior Teen Groot.  It’s not 100% ideal, mostly due to how the arm articulation works, but it could be worse.  Generally, it’s a nice sculpt.  I was never super sold on the head sculpt to the old one, and, hey, would you look at that, it’s the one thing they changed.  The new head is a lot more sharply detailed, and just generally looks like a better match for the animation model from the films.  That chin is much less pronounced, and the leaves and such at the top are much more leaf-like.  The figure’s color work is also a slight improvement.  He’s more in line with the adult Groots from the first movie, being molded in a slightly lighter brown, and with a fainter green detailing.  I think it works a lot better than the prior version.  Groot also gets a slightly better accessory selection, by virtue of not being stuck in a pack with two other figures.  He gets two standard hands, an extra right hand with a trigger finger, two branch-looking effect hands, a blaster rifle, and the torso to the Korg Build-A-Figure.


I was a bit lukewarm on the first Teen Groot.  Being stuck in a big, expensive boxed set, he just didn’t feel worth the price, and I always had some issues with the actual sculpt, especially the head.  I wasn’t initially sure about this release, as I’d expected it would be a pretty straight re-release.  But, I wanted Korg, and the new hands looked fun, so I grabbed him.  While he’s not drastically different, the new head does a lot for the figure, and I’m ultimately much happier with him than I’d expected to be.  This definitely feels like the definitive Teen Groot.  So, they’ll clearly be changing his design entirely for Vol 3, right?

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#2600: Evolution of Groot



“From potted prodigy to towering tree-like humanoid, Groot uses powers of regeneration to become a legendary defender of intergalactic justice.”

Man, some of these reissues are going pretty far back, aren’t they?  Hey, I’m not going to complain.  For today’s Legends review, I’m turning my sights to an area of the MCU that’s been left out a bit for the last few years (by virtue of not getting a third movie just yet), Guardians of the Galaxy.  2017 was a big year for them, with their second film taking the May release on that year’s MCU slate, and two whole assortments of Marvel Legends just for them.  I reviewed all of the standard stuff when it hit, but there’s one item I never did review, mostly because I also never got it.  Today, I’m fixing that with a look at the Evolution of Groot!


Evolution of Groot was originally released as a Toys R Us-exclusive Marvel Legends offering in 2017, designed to coincide with the first series of Guardians Legends from that year, as well as the release of the movie.  It being a TRU exclusive, distribution was spotty at best, so it was a little hit or miss as to whether people could actually find the set.  Like a lot of the TRU exclusives, Hasbro has gotten it back out there, this time as a wider release through the Fan Channel set-up.  Though sort of sold as a multi-pack, this release is really a figure and two accessories, so I’m going to review them as such.  The core figure, adult Groot from the first film, stands 8 1/2 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation.  He’s mostly a re-use of the Build-A-Figure Groot from the 2014 assortment, and is in fact so tall that his legs had to be popped off at the knees in order to fit him into the box.  I really liked the BaF Groot sculpt the first time I looked at it, and I still really like it.  The articulation on the legs is a little limited, but otherwise, it’s a great sculpt and a great figure.  He does get a new head sculpt.  The first one was a more neutral expression, whee this one replicates Groot’s goofy smile from after he takes out the Sakaraan’s on Ronan’s ship.  It’s still fairly multipurpose, and I like both sculpts a lot.  I don’t know if I actually prefer one over the other.  The BaF Groot’s paint work has some slight green detailing to help accent the sculpt, but this release dials that up even further, and honestly looks a bit better for it.  Also, thanks to all of his parts being sold in the same package, the shading doesn’t vary from piece to piece, making him feel a little more cohesive.  Groot is packed with two additional Groots, much smaller than the core Groot.  We get potted Groot from the end of the first film, as well as Baby Groot from the second one, this time sans the Ravager jumpsuit that the standard release put on him.  Personally, I liked the jumpsuit look more for Baby Groot, but getting potted Groot is a fantastic addition to the line-up.


I saw this set once at TRU.  However, in 2017 I was in a shakier place financially, and just really couldn’t justify buying a figure I effectively already had.  The BaF was good enough for me, and that was the end of it.  However, when Hasbro announced another production run, and that it would be a lot easier to get, I had a hard time saying no.  I quite like this guy.  Sure, he’s not amazingly new or anything, but the changes they made make for a slightly unique figure, and he’s also just a very nice stand alone piece for those that didn’t get the BaF when he was released.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy to review.  If you’re looking for Marvel Legends, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#1730: Rocket Raccoon & Groot



To wrap up this three-day Infinity War thing I’ve got going here, I’ve got one more set of Minimates to look at.  Ever.  Well, no, not ever.  I still have a ton of Minimates to review.  There’s over 1000 of those suckers in my collection.  No, just the last set from this little sub-set…or something.  Anyway, I’ve looked at the more Avengers-themed guys, now I’m going into full cross-over mode, with a pair of Guardians.  Let’s have a look at yet another Rocket Raccoon and Groot!


Rocket Raccoon and Groot were originally supposed to be the Toys R Us-exclusive set for the first Infinity War assortment of Marvel Minimates.  Then they went out of business and messed that all up.  But, before they went out of business, this set and it’s accompanying series were moved over to specialty.  What’s intriguing about this particular pairing is that, while it’s totally a natural choice to pack just the two of them together, thanks to use of micro-figures and such, it’s actually the first time we’ve gotten a straight Rocket & Groot two-pack.


After being relegated to being an unarticulated pack-in for his first two releases, we finally got a proper Rocket Raccoon Minimate in Series 71 for Guardians Vol. 2.  At first glance, this figure might seem like a straight re-release of that one, but he’s actually a little bit different.  He’s still about 2 inches tall and has a reduced 8 points of articulation.  He uses the same head, shortened arms, and belt/tail piece.  He gets a new set of legs, more divergent from the standard Minimate legs than the last ones, and also swaps out the normal Minimate torso of the last one for the comparatively smaller torso from NBX’s Sally.  Both of these are minor changes, easily missed by a quick glance at the figure, but they result in a figure that actually looks a fair bit better than the last release.  Rocket’s paintwork is not that much different than the Series 71 release.  It’s mostly just amended to fit the newer pieces.  Rocket is packed with a rather large rifle (the same one included with all of the other IW Rockets), which is kind of comically huge (larger than the Legends version, even), and pretty much impossible for Rocket to hold.


Groot has a much more divergent design in Infinity War than his pack-mate, so he is fittingly a more unique figure.  He uses the standard body as a starting point, but really only keeps the arms and pelvis.  The head is a unique piece, which replicates Groot’s noggin pretty well.  Likewise, the hands and feet are new, and do a respectable job of translating Groot’s tree-like appendages.  He also uses the smaller torso that we saw on Rocket, and swaps out the usual legs for another set of arms.  This results in an overall quite slender look, which helps to differentiate him pretty well from the original Groot.  His paintwork is pretty standard for this character.  Lots of brown, and some decent work on the detail lines.  I do appreciate that the arms and legs have different detailing from each other.  Groot is packed with a clear display stand…and that’s it.  Shame we couldn’t get his portable game or anything.


I got this set at the same time as Spider-Man and Hulk, via Cosmic Comix.  I wasn’t totally sold on this set at first, but after realizing how much better the changes to Rocket made the figure, and already being sold on Groot, I decided to grab it.  Is it the most thrilling set of all time?  Probably not, but it’s a pretty essential version of Groot, and it’s by far the best version of Rocket we’ve gotten.

#1661: Thor, Rocket, & Teen Groot



“When a blaster-toting raccoon, a teenage tree, and a Asgardian god get together, the journey is sure to be out of this world.”

You thought I’d slip, didn’t you?  You thought I’d forget about my new favorite running gag!  That I’d review a Thor figure on a day other that Thursday!  Well….I actually almost did.  Yep, had this one queued up for tomorrow.  Like an idiot.  It’s okay, I got better.  It’s been a week since I wrapped up my first round of Infinity War-themed Legends reviews.  Now I’m coming back to it for another multi-pack.  This one’s got the aforementioned Thor, as well as one-third of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Rocket and Groot!


Thor, Rocket, and Groot are another displaced Toys R Us-exclusive.  They were meant to be the follow-up to Vision and Scarlet Witch, and were only confirmed to exist just before TRU announced they were going under.  It’s not known how many of them actually made it to TRU, but it’s certainly less than Vision and Scarlet Witch.  As with the other displaced exclusives, it’ll be available over the summer via Entertainment Earth.


After taking a bit of a back seat for Age of Ultron, Thor’s right back in the forefront for Infinity War.  Of the many characters included in the film, he’s the first to have a variant confirmed.  This one uses his early-in-the-film appearance, picking up from the end of Ragnarok.  If you haven’t seen that film, his eye-patch-wearing head’s going to be a bit of a spoiler.  It’s a major selling point for this set, though, being the only version of the character available right now with the eye patch.  He’s also sans cape, which is a first for the MCU Thor figures.  I like it.  The figure stands 7 inches tall and has 30 points of articulation.  At first glance, I’d kind of expected this figure to make use of a lot of Gladiator Thor’s pieces, but there doesn’t actually appear to be anything shared between them.  I think that’s ultimately for the best, as I felt there were some minor issues with the last one.  This one has a really solid, hefty construction, and his posablity is actually really great given how bulky he is.  The head looks to be about the same as the un-helmeted Ragnarok sculpt, but with the eyepatch, of course.  It’s a pretty decent likeness of Hemsworth, so I can’t complain.  What I can complain about?  The paint.  It’s perhaps the only thing I don’t like about this figure.  I mean, the basics are fine.  The detailing on the hair works.  But, what I really don’t like is the lightning effects.  The details on the torso in particular look rather cheesy.  I don’t hate the effects on the eye; if it were an extra head, I’d probably find it really cool.  As the only eye-patched Thor head out there?  It’s a little annoying.  Like the Ragnarok two-pack release, he’s packed with Heimdall’s sword.  He still doesn’t use it in this movie, and I still want an actual Heimdall, but it’s better than nothing.


Any Rocket figure is going to have the rather difficult task of surpassing the Mantis Series release.  Hasbro has acknowledged this fact, and pretty much just given us a straight re-release of that figure.  There are some minor paint differences between the two, with the accents being a darker grey this time.  He also only gets the calm head, but he does still get both of his blasters (sadly lacking the cool painted details) as well as his brand-new gun that’s been packed with all of the Infinity War Rockets.


I’d say Groot’s the biggest draw of this set, since we’ve not yet gotten this version of the character in Legends form (though we did get a surprisingly good version of him from the basic Infinity War line).  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 25 points of articulation.  Articulation is the main differentiating thing between the two teen Groot figures, with this one being not only far more posable, but also having the articulation better worked into the overall sculpt.  This figure also gets a little more detailing, especially on the smaller details, such as the little twig growing from the top of his head.  His head seems to be a little more accurate to Groot’s Infinity War design than the basic figure (in the basic figure’s defense, he seems to have been based on our brief glimpse of Teen Groot from Guardians Vol. 2), with a rounder face, and an even poutier expression.  He’s not a perfect recreation of Teen Groot; I think his chin’s a bit too pronounced; but he’s still pretty close.  The paint is kind of sparse on this figure, which is a little surprising given the accent work that the basic figure got.  The browns are just left flat, which is a little disappointing.  On the plus side, there’s some slight green representing vegetation, which keeps him from being too monotonous, and his eyes are nice and sharp as well.  Groot includes his gamepad…or *a* gamepad, because I don’t think this is the one he had in the movie.  It’s still a nice touch, though, and I’m glad he got *something*


I found this set at one of the two slowly dying Toys R Us’s near me.  I thought Vision and Scarlet Witch were just a stroke of luck, but this set popped up about a week after.  Honestly, it’s a set I was uncertain about when it was first shown off, since there’s not a *ton* of new stuff here.  Rocket’s essentially identical.  If you missed his first release, it’s great that there’s a second opportunity, but if you didn’t, he’s extraneous.  I quite like Thor, like to a surprising level, but he’s got a few flaws, and if you aren’t big on lots of variants of the same character, he too can feel a bit extraneous, especially with the fully equipped version from the Cull Obsidian assortment on its way.  A lot of this set’s selling power is resting on Groot.  He’s a good figure, but I can’t say he’s enough of an improvement on the basic series figure to warrant 5 times the price to get him.  Of course, I got my set for 20%, since I got it from TRU, but I can see it being a tricky sell at full retail.  I’m certainly happy I have it, but not everyone’s as willing to drop tons of money on toys as I am!

*Miss this at TRU and still want a set of your own?  It’s currently in stock with our sponsors over at All Time Toys!  Check it out here!

#1638: Rocket & Teen Groot



Remember last week when I looked at Star-Lord, and I did the whole thing about the Guardians of the Galaxy being part of the line?  Well, here’s the follow-up, Rocket and Groot, the inseparable pair, who make up the token Guardians slot of the deluxe assortment.  So, let’s see how they turned out!


This pair makes up the second half of the first deluxe series of Avengers: Infinity War figures.  Unlike Hulk, it’s not that either of them is really larger than a standard figure, but more the two-pack aspect that makes them deluxe.


Rocket’s look is essentially unchanged from his Guardians Vol. 2 look (which was itself pretty much the same as his look from the end of the first film).  The figure stands about 3 inches tall and the has 7 points of articulation.  The sizing of this figure is much smaller, so it made more sense to do the two-pack thing for him.  His sculpt is decent enough.  Obviously, not quite as impressive as the recent Legends figure, but certainly superior to the Vol. 1 version.  No elbow joints, but at least this one can actually move his legs.  That’s certainly a plus in my book.  The level of detailing could perhaps be a touch sharper, and it’s hard to make out any sort of expression on his face, but for the style of the line, it’s a pretty solid sculpt.  His paintwork is probably the most nuanced of the figures I’ve looked at so far from the line, especially on the face, which features a number of variations in the coloring of his fur.  The work on his jumpsuit and armor plates is a little fuzzy around the edges, but it isn’t terrible.  Rocket is packed with a rather large gun, which, unfortunately, he can’t really hold that well.  He also has the Power Stone, which is the first repeated stone we’ve gotten (having been also included with Black Widow).


Groot is possibly one of the most changed characters for Infinity War, having aged to adolescence over the course of the Vol. 2 stinger scenes.  This is our first Teen Groot figure.  The figure is 5 1/2 inches tall and has the same 11 points of articulation as most of the other figures in this line.  His sculpt is once again all-new, and it’s probably my favorite of the sculpts from the basic line.  What I really like about it is how well it can slip in with a set-up of Legends figures, should you be so inclined.  The level of detail is still a little simpler, but it’s really not that far off.  He definitely has some similarities to the Build-A-Figure Groot, which was one of my favorite sculpts of the time.  I quite like Teen Groots sulky expression, which perfectly encapsulates what we’ve seen of him so far.  Like Rocket, Groot’s paintwork is more nuanced than the others in the line.  There’s some darker accent work, as well as a little bit of green, since he’s a plant and all.  It’s perhaps not as subtle as I’d like, but it’s still much better than just getting a straight brown.  Teen Groot has no accessories of his own, but with Rocket and all of his extras, it’s not like this pack is particularly light.


This set, along with Widow, is what really sold me on the whole line.  Sure, there’s a Legends set with these two in the pipeline, but without them being available right now, and with Groot being the only of the Guardians to be notably different, this set certainly has quite a bit of appeal.

#1433: Rocket Raccoon & Groot



“A genetically engineered raccoon and a regenerating, tree-like humanoid, Rocket and Groot make for a one of a kind duo -– not sure what kind, but definitely one of a kind.”

I didn’t get much chance to mention it, but Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was one of my favorite movies of this past year.  I very much enjoyed the first one, so I was expecting to like the sequel, but I was actually a little surprised by just how much I liked it.  It’s possibly my favorite MCU film yet, and that’s a pretty big thing for me to say.  Despite my immense enjoyment of the film, up until recently, I had very little in the way of toys from it.  Why?  Because of poor distribution, that’s why.  But it’s sort of getting better now.  Without further ado, here’s everyone’s favorite space-fairing smuggling duo since Han Solo and Chewbacca, Rocket and Groot!


Rocket Raccoon and Groot are “figure” 1 in the Mantis Series of Marvel Legends, which is the second Guardians-themed assortment of 2017, following January’s Titus Series. Though both characters are billed in a way that might suggest this is a two-pack, this is really a Rocket figure that includes a small Groot figurine as an accessory.  So, with that in mind, I’ll be reviewing them that way.  Rocket stands about 3 inches tall and he has 24 points of articulation.  Rocket is an all-new sculpt, re-using no pieces from the prior version of the character.  That’s definitely for the best; while I never hated the older figure, there’s no denying that it was by far the weakest of the original set. The articulation is definitely much improved over the prior figure; this guy actually can move his legs, which is a definite *step* up.  Get it?  …Yeah.  The articulated legs mean that this Rocket figure can actually stand a bit better than the last figure, and he’s just a lot less clunky in general.  He also largely improves the film accuracy of Rocket.  The texture on the hair is definitely of a higher detail and the overall proportions seem a bit more balanced and consistent with Rocket’s CG model.  The figure as a whole is a fair bit smaller than the last one, which is definitely a plus, since that one was a bit on the large side.  While the body certainly has a lot of improvements, the greatest leaps are definitely on the head, or should I say heads?  There are two of them around, offering us two different expressions for Rocket.  There’s a slightly more calm one, and then there’s one that’s looks like he’s going ballistic.  Both heads sport a lot more character than the prior head, which looked more like a generic raccoon.  I really like how well they’ve captured Rocket’s expressions here, and the level of detail on both heads is truly amazing.  Hasbro’s really been improving on paint, and Rocket definitely falls in line with that.  His head uses the new matrix printing stuff they’ve been trying out recently, which allows for more variation to the shades of his fur.  It’s still a bit more jarring than it would be in real life, but it’s great for the scale and price point.  The rest of the paint is respectable work all around; the application is pretty clean and it all matches up nicely with the film.  Rocket is packed with a pair of blasters (fun fact: the one in his right hand is actually patterned on the Nerf Nitefinder IX-3; thanks Tim!), as well as the torso of Mantis.  There’s also the previously mentioned Groot figurine.  This little guy’s about 3/4 of an inch tall.  He’s got no articulation, but that’s excusable at this scale.  I do wish he could stand a little better; you have to sort of bend his legs out and set him in place.  He’s depicted here in his Ravager jumpsuit, which is well rendered, and the sculpt is general is quite nice and accurate to Groot’s on-screen counterpart.  Some of the details are a little soft, but again, at this scale, I’ll forgive some of that.


I was a bit let down by the last Rocket, so I was eager to get the new one.  Since he’s the double packed character from this series, I’ve actually seen him a few times, but held off on grabbing him until I was certain I could find the whole series.  I stopped at a TRU on the way home from work with the hopes of finding some Black Series figures, and while I had no luck with those, I did find the whole Mantis Series, so I was able to grab a Rocket finally.  I remember feeling that the Vol. 1 Rocket wasn’t really worth the $20 price tag, given his lower quality and small stature.  I feel with this one the price is far more warranted.  The extra posablilty is awesome, and he’s leaps and bounds ahead of his predecessor.  I mean, I thought Star-Lord was a huge improvement, but this one makes the old Rocket look like a sad trash panda.

#0804: Holiday Dancing Groot




Okay, here we are on Day 3 of the Post-Christmas gift reviews. This time around, I’m actually taking a look at something that’s in keeping with the holiday spirit! That’s a bit of a change, right?

Truth be told, the actual subject of the review is not so much a change as it is something of a repeat. See, last year, Funko released a Pop! figure of Groot from the mid-credits scene from Guardians of the Galaxy. I, as someone who loved Groot, the movie, and that particular scene, bought said Pop! figure. And it was pretty awesome! Why am I reviewing it again? Well, I’m not! This year, in honor of the holiday season, Funko released a variant of that figure, only this time in holiday colors, which is what I’ll be reviewing today!


HolidayGroot2Holiday Dancing Groot is figure #101 in the Pop! Marvel line, and he was released as an exclusive to Hot Topic. What’s interesting is that, unlike most variant Pop!s, he doesn’t share his number with his regular release; he gets his own. The figure is about 3 ½ inches tall and, due to contractual issues, has no actual articulation. He does have a bobble head, so you can get some movement out of the neck if you want, but he is legally NOT an action figure. This figure is like 90% re-use from the previous Dancing Groot. That’s fine, since that’s the idea, and that sculpt was pretty good to begin with. The one difference in the sculpt is the pot, which now sports a fancy holiday bow. It’s a nicely sculpted piece, and it actually adds a nice bit of flair to the otherwise completely detail-less pot. The paint on this figure is also a bit different from the previous figure. The basic work on the main Groot is pretty much the same, but he’s now been given a slight misting of snow on his head, hands, and the base of his body. It looks pretty good, though I would assume there’s some variance from figure to figure. The pot has also changed from white to green, and the bow is a nice bright red. There’s just a bit of bleed over on the edge of the bow’s ribbon, but it’s nothing super noticeable.


This version of Groot was given to me by my friend Jill. She has wanted to get into the whole “buying Ethan action figures” bit before, but was a bit nervous about what to get me. I actually didn’t know about this figure’s existence until she gave it to me, so kudos to her! He’s not wildly different from the prior Groot, but I actually really like this figure a lot, and the extra bits give him a nice bit of pop (heh!), which make him just as exciting as the original!

#0747: 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)!


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.


StarLordGroot2As 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!


StarLordGroot3Star-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.


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.

#0478: Dancing Groot



Like just about everyone else on the planet, I loved last summer’s Guardians of the Galaxy immensely. I picked up quite a few of the figures and enjoyed all of those as well. Of all the characters in the movie, Groot was definitely my favorite. In particular, I loved the mid-credits scene, where a potted Groot dances to Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back.” But what good is a favorite scene to a toy collector if he can’t replicate it in plastic form? Obviously, the spoilers involved with Baby Groot meant that he wasn’t present in any of the first releases of toys. However, Funko was quick to offer a Dancing Groot, as part of their Funko Pop! Marvel line.


Dancing Groot is figure #65 in the Pop! Marvel line, and he was released along with Howard the Duck as a pseudo second wave of GotG Pops. The figure is roughly 3 ½ inches in height. Due to contractual issues regarding Hasbro having the master Marvel toy license, Groot is not actually a figure, but a bobble head. This means the usual one point of articulation at the neck has been replaced by a spring for bobbling. You can still sort of turn the head a little if you’re so inclined, but it probably wouldn’t be good for the figure in the long run.  Like most Pop! figures, Groot features a sculpt that is unique to him. At first glance I thought the figure might have made use of pieces from the last Groot Pop!, but that’s not the case. As is the case with all Pop! figures, Groot has been made to fit the aesthetic of the rest of the line, though the changes are less drastic on him compared to others. The figure has the standard squared-off head, though the size of it isn’t quite as exaggerated this time around. Groot also features a mouth, a feature that is often removed from Pop! figures, but is essential to this figure properly capturing Baby Groot’s happy disposition. The details of the sculpt are a little on the soft side, but not out of the ordinary for the line; the figure clearly has a proper barky texture, which is what’s important. The pot is effective in being what it is, and it’s appropriately geometric. Groot’s paintwork is probably the best I’ve seen on a Pop! He’s not plagued by any bleed over or fuzzy lines, which are common to the line. What’s more, a considerable amount of effort has been placed into giving the figure a nice wooden look. There’s a very nice bit of dark brown accent work, which helps to bring out the sculpt’s texture. Dancing Groot includes no accessories, though this is no surprise for the line.


Dancing Groot is yet another Amazon purchase. I’ve had him pre-ordered pretty much since he first went up for sale. While it’s not a straightforward Baby Groot, it’s a fun little figure, and easily one of the most sensible uses of a bobble head of a Marvel character. This guy was just made for sitting on a car dashboard.

#0304: Drax, Groot & Rocket Raccoon




Hey, you know how Guardians of the Galaxy was an awesome movie? Were you aware that, being a Marvel movie, it’s guaranteed to get its own assortment of Minimates? Did you know I love Minimates?

Yes, I love Minimates, and I also loved Guardians of the Galaxy. Put those together, and you’ve got a product I just can’t resist. The Minimates for the movie are just starting to hit, and I’ve already begun to pick them up. Today, we’ll be starting off with Drax, Groot & Rocket Raccoon. Wait a second… three minimates? Not two or four? How is this possible? Read and find out…


Drax, Groot & Rocket are one of the overlap sets from Daimond’s two assortments of Guardians of the Galaxy Minimates. They’re included in both the Toys R Us assortment and Marvel Minimates Series 57, which ships to comicbook stores and specialty shops. My set comes from TRU, as the specialty sets haven’t been released just yet.


GrootRocketDrax2Amazingly, this isn’t the first Drax Minimate I’ve reviewed here. Way back in review #0162, I took a look at the classic comic version of the character released in the Infinity Gauntlet set. It’s safe to say that was a fairly different take on the character. This version of Drax is based on the movie version, which is in turn based on the character’s more recent design. Drax is more specifically meant to represent Drax from the middle point of the film, after they escape from the Kyln, but before they get matching uniforms. Drax stands about 2 ½ inches tall and features 14 points of articulation. He’s built on the standard Minimate body, and features 4 sculpted add-ons: a bulked up torso, a waist cover, and a pair of big stompy boots. The torso has previously been used on figures such as the Best-Of version of Venom and the waist piece has been used on more figures than I can count. The waist piece works, as Drax is definitely meant to be a thick guy, but I’m not sure about the chest piece. On its own, it’s alright, but coupled with the really skinny arms, it looks very out of place. As far as I can tell, the big stompy boots are new. They’re well sculpted, so that’s good. Drax’s paint work is good from a technical stand point. Everything is clean and there’s no real slop or bleed over. I do wish that his skin were a brighter green and the tattoos were a bit bolder, just so he wasn’t quite so muddled, but it doesn’t look bad, per say, just a bit drab. I guess he’s a Drab Drax… heh heh. Drax comes armed with twin knives and a clear display stand.


GrootRocketDrax3If there’s one thing everyone can agree on about Guardians of the Galaxy, it’s that these two stole the whole movie. I think Groot in particular surprised a lot of audiences. So, you’re probably thinking “Why are you reviewing both Groot and Rocket at the same time?” Quite simply, it’s because only one of them’s a Minimate. I’ll start with Groot, because he’s actually the figure here. Groot is a little over 2 ½ inches tall and has 14 pointes of articulation. Like Drax, he uses the basic Minimate body, with unique pieces for his head, hands, and feet, as well as a torso extender add-on that’s seen use a few times. The new pieces are all pretty great. My only complaint is that the head has two tabs on the back to allow for Rocket to be propped on Groot’s shoulder. It’s an okay idea in theory, but it’s difficult to get Rocket to stay in place, and it leaves Groot with two rather noticeable tabs sticking out of his head. The paintwork on Groot is really great, and superbly detailed. His bark detailing even continues around the sides of his torso, which is certainly impressive. Groot comes with a clear display stand and Rocket. Rocket is about 1 ½ inches tall and is unarticulated. He has been sculpted to appear as though he has the same 14 points as the typical Minimate. He is sculpted holding a gun in one hand, with his arm outstretched. He’s well sculpted, and his paint isn’t too sloppy. It’d be nice if he could move, but I guess it’s good to have him at least.


These three were purchased at a TRU not too far from the hotel I was staying at for a local convention. They capped off a pretty awesome night hanging with a few of my friends and Super Awesome Girlfriend. On our drive to dinner, my buddy Tim and I saw the TRU and insisted on going in. I found this set, as well as the exclusive Yondu & Sakaar Trooper and Star Lord & Ronan. I left Star Lord & Ronan there, as it’s a shared set, but I gave in to my impatience on these three. I just had to have Rocket and Groot! All three figures in this set are pretty impressive, even if there are a few small issues. I can’t wait to see how the rest of the main Guardians turn out!