#1828: Guardians of the Galaxy

STARLORD, DRAX THE DESTROYER, & ROCKET RACCOON

MARVEL UNIVERSE (HASBRO)

“In the wake of the devastation left by the Annihilation War, the galaxy was unprotected. In a forgotten place at the edge of the universe, a group of heroes came together, determined to fill that void. From their base in deep space, the Guardians of the Galaxy protect the cosmos from threats both large and small.”

The year is 2011.  The world’s just getting comfortable with Thor and Captain America as major motion pictures.  The Avengers hasn’t shown up and blow the lid off of Super Hero movies.  Nobody knows who The Guardians of the Galaxy are, and yet, this is the year they get their first toys.  Groovy.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These three were released as one of the two debut team packs from Hasbro’s then fledging Marvel Universe.  They had done multi-packs of varying numbers up to this point, but this was when they really started to explore offering new characters and new sculpts in these sets.  The Guardians marked the debut figures for all three characters included.

STARLORD

Probably the most obscure of the characters included when this set was released, Starlord is never the less front and center, sporting his fully-covered appearance from when he first started leading the team.  It’s pretty far removed from what we connect with the character now, but was really just a slight re-design of his classic appearance.  The figure stands 4 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation.  Starlord was built on the AIM/Ghost Rider body, which I’ve actually reviewed once before, way back at the start of the site, when it was used for Longshot.  It’s a decent body, and was certainly one of MU’s best offerings.  It works very well for Starlord’s design (to the point that Hasbro repeated this same shared body sequence for the Legends releases as well), and its all-around just a nice sculpt.  The legs can be a little finicky when you’re posing him, but other then that, the posability was really solid.  He gets a new head and belt, completing his transition into Starlord.  The head in particular is a very nice sculpt, showcasing a level of detail that a lot of figures from this line hadn’t gotten at this point.  Starlord’s paintwork is solidly handled.  The base work is pretty clean, and he gets some pretty great accenting on the bodysuit.  Not something we see a lot of anymore, but it certainly adds something to the figure.  Starlord is packed with a pair of identical guns, which he holds well in his hands.

DRAX THE DESTROYER

Drax is probably the most prominent of the Guardians, prior to their move to the big screen (which is likely why he was the one who got the Legends release the next year), and had just seen something of a revamp right before joining up with the team, so he’s sporting his then-current look for this figure.  Not necessarily a favorite of mine, as he ends up looking a touch generic, but it served to inspire the movie, which made it less so.  The figure is just over 4 inches tall, with 20 points of articulation.  Drax shares his body with the previously released Luke Cage figure.  Given their similar wardrobe choices at the time, it certainly made a lot of sense.  It’s an okay body, but definitely a lot more restricted than Starlord’s, and certainly lighter on the detailing.  He gets a new head and belt piece.  The head is fairly standard, and it’s actually a little bit surprising that it didn’t see a bunch of re-use.  The belt is a belt.  It’s decent, but hardly anything to get excited over.  Drax’s paintwork is fairy standard.  Base application is clean, and there’s some nice accenting on the upper half of the figure.  He’s not quite as eye-catching as Starlord, but that’s true to the design.  Drax is packed with a pair of knifes, which can be placed, somewhat awkwardly, in the sheath on the back of his belt.

ROCKET RACCOON

Original envisioned as something of a one-off character, Rocket Raccoon’s biggest claim to fame before the movies was earning a spot in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, which is actually a pretty darn prestigious affair.  It certainly elevated his public profile, anyway.  This figure was a wholly new offering, as you might expect, since there’s not really much you can re-use for a raccoon, right?  The figure stands 2 inches tall and has articulation as his neck and tail.  No arm articulation for this guy.  That’s a little disappointing, but he makes out better than other similarly styled figures from MU.  His sculpt is pretty solid work.  It’s dynamic, to be sure, which is certainly a plus.  He’s a bit more stylized than the other two in this set, but the folds on his uniform are close enough to those on Starlord’s that the two don’t look too out of place with each other.  Rocket’s paint work is probably the most complex of the bunch, what with all the fur detailing and the like.  He looks good, and once again matches well with the similarly uniformed Starlord.  Rocket includes a large gun, which is certainly in character.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This pack was actually my first introduction to the modern Guardians.  I was familiar with Drax, but not the other two, as I was never much of a fan of Abnett and Lanning’s writing style.  Because of that, I didn’t really have any interest in this set at the time of its release, and ended up passing on it, even while in the midst of a pretty heavy bout of Marvel Universe collecting.  It’s actually too bad I did, because its a good set, and might have gotten me interested in the characters a little sooner.  It’s even better now that Gamora and a full-scale Groot finally surfaced last year.

This set was loaned to me for review by All Time Toys, and is available for purchase via their eBay store.  If you’re looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

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The Blaster In Question #0051: Star-Lord Assembler Gear

BlasterInQuestion1

STAR-LORD BLASTER

ASSEMBLER GEAR (INFINITY WAR)

assemblelord1Sometimes performance isn’t the end-all be-all for having a fun Nerf blaster.  If you’ve read some of my earlier posts, you may have seen a review I did way back in the way back for the Star-Lord Quad Blaster.  That’s a great example of fun despite pretty lackluster performance.  Well, today, I’m looking at yet another Star-Lord themed blaster, this time coinciding with the release of Marvel’s latest film, Infinity War.  Now I should warn you, I have seen the movie but I’ll try my best to stay away from spoilers.  Let’s get into it.

THE BLASTER ITSELF

assemblelord2Snape kills Dumbledore.  DAMMIT!  Sorry, I tried.  Anyways, the Star-Lord Assembler Gear blaster kit… thingy was released in 2018 alongside similar compatible kits themed around other characters like Iron Man, Captain America, and Bruce Willis who was a ghost the whole time.  GAHHH! Sorry, sorry.  The idea is that each kit comes with one core blaster component and then a bunch of other parts that can be attached in a number of different ways, kind of like the idea behind the Modulus series, but even crazier.  The blaster piece for the Star-Lord kit has 2 female barrel sockets, 2 male barrel sockets, 3 short little rails, and a rail clip on the bottom.  In addition, the two included extra parts each have a male and female barrel socket and rail and rail clip.  It’s rather a lot, to be honest but it does definitely lend itself to coming up with some pretty crazy combinations which is fun.  It is important to note that the barrel sockets on the Assembler Gear blasters are not compatible with regular Nerf barrel attachments.  It seems the extra parts aren’t really modeled after anything, just shaped vaguely like sci-fi blaster pieces. The core blaster is definitely intended to be modeled after assemblelord3Star-Lord’s signature blaster pistols from the films though it seems like they may have put the top on backwards as it slopes the wrong way.  This could have been an accident or could have been intentional for a number of reasons, but I can tell you it was not so they could fit halfway decent internals in this thing.  The mechanism that launches the dart out of the blaster is the bane of my existence as a Nerf fan.  I can only be talking about the dart flicker style of blaster like that in the Marvel’s Captain America Civil War Iron Man Stark Strike gauntlet blaster… from Hasbro that I looked at a few weeks ago.  I’ve already ranted on this subject before so I’ll spare you, good reader, this time, but it really is just terrible.  One potential argument you could make is that maybe a non-trash based mechanism would take too much space, to which I’d reply “Kevin Spacey is Keyser Soze.”  Then I’d go on to say that maybe scaling up the blaster as a whole wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world because as it is now, the ergonomics are atrocious.  I understand these are meant for children, but so was the Quad-Blaster and that was perfectly fine to hold.  This, on the other hand, is just not remotely comfortable.  A slightly larger blaster could mean a better grip and halfway decent internals, but sadly, it is not so.  Given the ergo and the performance, I feel justified saying it’s just not worth taking this blaster if you’re planning to bust into your younger siblings’ room and open fire.  Pick something else.  The Star-Lord Assembler Gear blaster kit comes with 2 attachments and 3 Star-Lord colored Elite Darts.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked this blaster up on a trip to a local TRU.  I don’t recall if this was before or after the whole going out of business thing took effect, but I had seen them online and was curious enough so I picked it up.  Having done so, I don’t think I can really recommend a blaster this uncomfortable to use with such pitiful performance.  Maybe that’s the point though.  Maybe it’s meant to make you feel like Star-Lord.  Just get your biggest friend to hot glue some Jolly Ranchers to their hand and tell them to start punching as hard as they can while you try and keep them away by shooting.  I don’t see how this could possibly go wrong.

On a side note, I’m pleased to announce that after their hiatus, the fine folks at Timsical Thoughts have partnered with The Blaster In Question to bring you some degree of “content.”  I know the guy who runs the site personally and he’s just great so feel free to check that out.

#1632: Star-Lord

STAR-LORD

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (HASBRO)

Wait a second, wasn’t I reviewing a bunch of Avengers figures?  Why the sudden shift to a Guardians of the Galaxy character?  This is totally crazy!

Yeah, so unless you’ve been living a rock for the last 2-3 years, you know by now that the Guardians will be teaming up with Earth’s Mightiest heroes for their third outing.  Pretty cool, huh?  Obviously, they’re just part of the whole ensemble, so they only make up a token segment of each assortment.  The first of the basic figures is Star-Lord, who I’ll be looking at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Star-Lord is part of the first series of basic Avengers: Infinity War figures.  Unlike the last two figures, it would appear that Peter hasn’t had any major costume changes since we last saw him.  He’s using pretty much exactly the same look we saw in Guardians Vol. 2.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 11 points of articulation.  He’s got an all-new sculpt, but it definitely shares some common design elements with the Legends Star-Lord.  It’s the same basic design, so that is sensible.  It’s a pretty top-notch sculpt, with decent proportions and some pretty great texture work.  The arms are a little off, with the articulation having to be worked in and all, but they aren’t too bad. Just perhaps a little scrawny.  The hands are, thankfully, both sculpted for gripping, thus maximizing accessory-holding potential.  Star-Lord is wearing his helmet, so there’s no Pratt likeness here.  The helmet is expertly recreated, easily on par with the Legends version.  The paintwork is solid work overall.  It’s basic, of course, but everything is pretty clean, and all of the important details have been included.  Star-Lord is packed with a rather large gun of some sort.  It’s replacing his usual twin element blasters, but something different is certainly welcome.  It definitely looks like the sort of thing that Rocket would build, so I’m guessing that’s it origin.  As with the other figures in this set, Star-Lord also includes one of the Infinity Stones, specifically the Reality Stone, which can be attached to his gun.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I grabbed Star-Lord at the same time as Cap, in a visit to a Toys R Us.  I really only grabbed him because I was picking up the others that were there.  He’s not really a lot of new territory, but in Hasbro’s defense, there wasn’t a basic figure of the MCU Star-Lord, so it’s not like he’s unwarranted.  Ultimately, he’s a solid figure, and accents the rest of the set pretty well.

#1518: Star-Lord & Yondu

STAR-LORD & YONDU

MARVEL MINIMATES

“Set to the all-new sonic backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos! The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand.”

Alright, enough of all this Star Wars stuff.  Let’s be different!  And by that, I mean let’s look at something from the other sequel to a wildly successful space opera franchise!  Yes, let’s have a look at something from one of my top movies of the year, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.  I’ll be spending the next four days looking at the Minimates from the film, kicking things off with the film’s lead Star-Lord, alongside his pseudo father figure Yondu!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Star-Lord and Yondu were one of the two shared two-packs between Marvel Minimates Series 71 and the TRU-exclusive Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 assortment.  As you can probably gather, they’re based on the characters appearances in the second Guardians movie.

STAR-LORD

This marks Star-Lord’s third time as a Minimate.  His ‘mate from the first film was by far the most disappointing of the original bunch, and while the Animated version was certainly a marked improvement, he was still an Animated design, so he didn’t quite fit.  This ‘mate gives us Peter in his short-jacketed look, which is definitely his most prominent.  The figure stands about 2 1/4 inches tall and he has the standard 14 points of articulation.  He’s build on the basic ‘mate body, with add-ons for his hair and jacket.  Both pieces are new to this figure, and they do a solid job of translating Star-Lord’s on-screen appearance into ‘mate form.  His paintwork also does a pretty respectable job of conveying his film design. The face still isn’t a spot-on Pratt likeness, but it’s certainly better than the last two Star-Lords.  I do have to say, I sort of miss the t-shirt’s logo like we saw on all of the Legends figures, but at least his torso isn’t a completely blank block.  Star-Lord’s packed with his twin element guns, his helmet, and a clear display stand, all of which are repacked from the first Star-Lord.  The mask seems a little tighter than it was before, and I actually ended up injuring myself getting it back off of him for the photos, so be careful.

YONDU

Yondu’s only prior ‘mate is his TRU-exclusive one for the first film.  But, of course, that one had Yondu’s old, stubby little head-fin.  This one has his new pointy awesome one!  That’s an important distinction!  Like Star-Lord, he’s built on the usual body, with add-ons for his head-fin, jacket, and belt.  The jacket is re-used from the last Yondu (sensible, since it’s the same jacket and all), and remains a pretty solid piece.  The fin is obviously changed to reflect the new design, but is also just a lot sharper on the sculpting.  That’s a definite plus.  The belt’s just a belt, but it does what it’s supposed to, so that’s good.  Like his predecessor, this Yondu’s sporting some awesome paint work.  The details are very sharp, and they’ve gotten all of the little bits and bobs of his costume.  I liked the last Yondu’s Rooker likeness just fine, but I think this one’s even better, if you can believe it.  While the last Yondu lacked any sort of extras beyond his display stand, this one gets perhaps his most important extra: his arrow!  Now he can be Mary Poppins y’all!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I don’t know why it took me so long to finally pick this series up.  I was in a bit of a money crunch when they first hit, but I’ve had the whole summer to track them down, and just never got around to it.  I finally ended up grabbing the whole series from Luke’s Toy Store during their Black Friday sale, allowing me to get them for a pretty solid deal, too.  I have both Star-Lord and Yondu as Minimates already, but there’s no denying that these are both the superior versions, and I’m glad I finally got around to grabbing them.

#1511: Star-Lord & Ego

STAR-LORD & EGO

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Roguish and unpredictable, Ego and Star-Lord share many of the same qualities as father and son. But when it comes to defending the galaxy as each sees fit, their approaches unquestionably differ.”

It’s been about three months since I took a look at the second assortment of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2-themed Marvel Legends.  While those reviews mostly wrapped up the Legends releases for the movie, there’s still one item I haven’t yet reviewed.  I’ll be taking care of that today, with a look at the film’s main antagonist Ego, as well as another variant of his son, Peter Quill, better known as Star-Lord!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Star-Lord and Ego were released as a two-pack over this past summer.  They’re officially the last of the GotG2 releases to hit stores, but thanks to some wonky distribution, a lot of areas saw them before the Mantis Series (I live in one such area).  They hit around July/August, a fair bit after the movie’s release, which may not have been the strongest marketing strategy.

STAR-LORD

This marks Star-Lord’s third Legends figure this year.  It’s functionally the same figure as the one released in the Titus Series, but there are some notable differences if you own both.  As far as the sculpt goes, the only real change is the hair, which is the more coifed Mantis Series piece, denoting this as a more official Vol. 2 figure than the first Star-Lord.  The hair’s seated better on the head this time around, making for a better overall appearance.  Beyond that, the sculpt’s identical to the first figure, which is hardly a bad thing since that was a phenomenal sculpt.  Like the sculpt, the paint is largely the same as the first release, but there are a few differences.  The most minor is the shirt, which is now a light grey instead of a dark one.  The more intense changes are on the face, which uses the fancy new face printing method.  It’s not terrible, and it’s certainly a vast improvement over the Mantis Series head, but the Titus Series head is still my overall favorite.  Star-Lord includes an extra helmeted head, his two element guns, and his Walkman.

EGO

In the comics, Ego and Peter Quill’s father are two separate characters.  James Gunn disliked Quill’s father’s identity in the comics, and decided to go for something a bit more exciting, finally deciding on Fantastic Four villain Ego the Living Planet.  He was slightly re-worked for the film (he doesn’t tend to have an actual body in the comics), but his overall characterization was pretty spot-on, and Kurt Russel was clearly having a lot of fun with the part.  It should be noted that this figure’s official name is actually “Marvel’s Ego,” which I found to be rather amusing in its own unintentional way.  The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation.  His sculpt is new to him, and it’s…well, it’s alright, I guess.  Compared to some of the other Guardians figures, it feels a little weak.  It’s mostly how the articulation’s been worked in.  It just feels rather stilted and unnatural.  It’s not like we’re at Mattel levels of bad or anything, but it definitely could have been better.  It’s not all bad, though.  The head actually has a pretty solid likeness of Russel, and I was rather impressed with the texture work on his clothing.  Overall, I’m happy with the sculpt, I just think it wasn’t helped by being packed with one of Hasbro’s best sculpted figures ever, that’s all.  The paintwork on Ego is pretty solid work.  It’s not the most exciting set of colors, but it’s true to the movie, and there’s enough accent work to keep him from looking too bland.  Like Peter, he gets a printed face, which I think ends up looking a bit better than Peter, and is my favorite sample of this technique so far.  Ego is packed with an extra head, which is largely the same as the standard one, just with a slightly friendlier expression.  It’s not really all that noticeably different, and I can’t even say for sure that it’s even a different sculpt.  Personally, I’d have rather had a battle damaged head from when Peter shoots him, but I guess that might have been too morbid.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When this set was first announced, I was pretty excited for it, even if I did already have the basic Star-Lord.  Then it took its sweet time getting here, and I had some financial things going on, and so by the time it actually arrived on shelves, I just could bring myself to drop the full $40 on it.  Ultimately, I ended up getting it for about half price from Target, meaning I pretty much just payed for the Ego figure.  The set’s alright, but I don’t find it to be quite as entertaining as the Thor/Valkyrie set.  Star-Lord’s different enough from the Titus Series figure for me to notice, but not enough to make me actually care to have the extra, which is a bit frustrating.  Ego’s not a bad figure, but he’s not a great one either, and I feel he’s a little bit of a step down from the rest of the set.  At half-price, I don’t feel ripped off, but I’m certainly glad I didn’t buy it when it was brand-new.

#1436: Star-Lord

STAR-LORD

MARVEL LEGENDS

“Cosmic calamity!  When Star-Lord blasts into battle, it’s not a matter of if things get weird, but a matter of when.”

“Cosmic calamity?”  Maybe it’s just better not to ask about that one.  Though the GotG films both succeed in no small part due to their amazing ensemble casts, there’s no denying that, at their heart, both are following the story of Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord.  Due to his central nature, Star-Lord is the luckiest member of the team in terms of toy coverage, finding himself in both of the Legends assortments for the movie.  I looked at the first assortment’s short-coated figure, which was one of my favorites this year.  But, can the second round’s long-coated variant live up to that?  Let’s find out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Star-Lord is figure 4 in the Mantis Series of Marvel Legends.  This figure covers the the second of Peter’s three prominent looks in the film, giving us his aforementioned long-coated look.  The shorter version still ended up being the more prominent look for the sequel, but this look at least didn’t disappear quite as quickly as it did in the first film.  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He’s built from the same starting point as the Titus Series Star-Lord, sharing that figure’s torso and legs, along with a new head, arms, and jacket (obviously).  The new jacket is a very nice piece, and is a stronger sculpt than we saw on the first film’s figure, or even the Titus Series Yondu.  While it’s not as sharp in detailing as the shorter version (due to needing to be molded in a slightly softer plastic), there’s still plenty of very sharp work.  The new arms look decent enough, though they do seem a little more gangly than the Titus Series arms.  My only real complaint about them is that they don’t quite sit flush at his sides.  Still, they get pretty close, and a bit of careful posing covers any remaining issues.  The new gloved hands are fun, and I had a lot less trouble getting the blasters into them this time around, which is a definite improvement.  You know what’s not a definite improvement?  The head.  The Titus Series Star-Lord head is an amazing piece, and was sporting a near perfect Chris Pratt likeness.  This one misses the mark on a few counts.  I do appreciate the more goofy expression, since that’s been missing from prior Legends Star-Lords, and honestly, I don’t think it’s the face that’s really throwing it off.  I think it’s the hair, which has been slightly changed from the last figure.  It’s hard to say if it’s that the hair’s just not as well done this time, or if it’s just been placed a little off on the figure, but it doesn’t look quite right. On top of that, the paint has also taken a slight dip on this guy.  After using newer techniques on the last Star-Lord, as well as this series’ Rocket and Gamora, this figure looks to have gone back to more traditional painting techniques.  There’s a lot more slop, the lines are a lot thicker and less lifelike, and, most annoyingly, they’ve gone back to the “smear some brown paint on the lower half of the face” style of facial hair, which looks really goofy.  Without the prior figure to compare to, I probably wouldn’t have any major issues with the paint here, but after seeing how close they can get it when they put in the effort, it’s a little sad to see a slight step down here.  On the plus side of things, the rest of the paint is top notch.  His shirt gets the print like the one we saw on the earlier figure, which is a fun detail.  They’ve also put a bit of a wash on the jacket, which makes it look appropriately worn-in.  Star-Lord is packed with the scarf we see him wearing on his way to Ego’s “planet,” as well as his Walkman, his two element blasters, and one of Mantis’s arms.  It’s a shame that he doesn’t get the headphones for the Walkman, especially since Hasbro’s already got the mold for them.  Also, while he never wears his helmet in this jacket, it might have helped this figure a bit to include that extra head, since the main issue I have with this figure is the head.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I grabbed this guy at the same time as the last three figures.  I’d seen him a few times before, but I held out for the full set.  I like the long-coat look a lot, so I was looking forward to this guy after the awesomeness that was the Titus Series figure.  The head’s definitely a let-down, and he’s got a few other minor issues that hold him back from being quite the same quality as the last one.  Still, there’s quite a lot to like about this guy, and he’s certainly an improvement over the Vol. 1 figure.  Throw one of the two heads from the Titus Series figure on this guy and you’ve got a real winner!

#1358: Star-Lord

STAR-LORD

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (HASBRO)

“When the fate of the universe hangs in the balance, Peter Quill is ready to defeat interstellar evil!”

With the recent release of Spider-Man: Homecoming just last week, and a whole other slew of summer blockbusters in the last month or so, it’s easy to forget that this year’s summer blockbuster season was kicked off by Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.  That’s a shame, because I really, really loved Guardians 2.  Like a whole lot.  I have yet to find the second assortment of Marvel Legends from the film (I’ve seen remnants at stores, but I’m hoping for a full set), but I’m sort of bridging the gap with some of the non-Legends stuff that’s hit in the mean time.  Much like Spider-Man: Homecoming, there was a slightly smaller, slightly less high-end line of figures based on the Guardians and a few of their supporting players.  Today, I’ll be looking at Star-Lord!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Star-Lord is from the first series of the smaller Guardians of the Galaxy line of figures, which hit sometime last year, I believe.  The figure stands just a little over 5 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation.  It’s a bit of a shame that he hasn’t got any knee movement, but I do really like the mobility of the arms.  Now, you’ll recall that in my review of the Homecoming Spider-Man figure, I mentioned that his scale was a little hard to place; that’s less an issue with this guy.  He’s right about in line with the mid-to-late ‘90s figures from Toy Biz in terms of scaling, which is quite cool, since Peter was never privy to a figure from TB.  Obviously, he’ll fit in better with some figures than others, but he’s a nice fit.  In terms of design, he’s based on Peter’s appearance in the Guardians animated series from the last few years.  The show is itself borrowing a lot of its designs from the movies, but the characters are a little more angular and simplistic.  This is another point in favor of compatibility with the older figures, since it means he’s not quite as hyper detailed as more recent figures have become.  Even as an animated sculpt, there’s actually a lot of really sharp detail work, especially on the helmet.  For the price point of this line, I was pleasantly surprised by how clear the details were.  The paintwork is pretty straightforward color work; what’s there is mostly pretty clean, and it’s all pretty bright.  He does look a little washed out to my eyes, but that’s really just a symptom of the design he’s based on.  Peter is packed with his two element guns.  They’re pretty well sculpted, but completely un-painted.  Also, they aren’t compatible with his sculpted holsters in the slightest bit, which is rather perplexing.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I really kept meaning to pick this guy up to give the line a try.  I saw him so many times in the store and came so close to buying him, but just never did.  What finally got me to crack was finding him on clearance at Barnes & Noble and also having a gift card, meaning he cost me nothing.  Honestly, at full price, I still would have been very happy with this figure.  Obviously, he’s not on par with a Marvel Legend or anything, but as I noted, he’s a great fit with the old TB stuff, and just a pretty fun figure in general.  This is the style of figure that got me into collecting, and I’m happy to see it back!

#1255: Star-Lord

STAR-LORD

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“Ooga-choka, ooga, ooga”

Wow, I cannot believe it’s been almost three years since the first Guardians of the Galaxy was released.  Of course, I also can’t believe there was a time when the general public didn’t know Groot and Rocket, and when Chris Pratt wasn’t a high profile movie star.  The galaxy’s most unlikely guardians are returning to movie screens this coming May in a film that looks set to at the very least live up to its predecessor, if not surpass it.  Hasbro, seemingly picking up on some of their short-comings with the product for the last few MCU entries, is putting out some of the movie’s product now, so hopefully it’ll still be hanging around when the movie actually hits.  The first assortment of Legends gives us a split of movie and comics characters, and supplies us with half of the film’s titular team.  Today, I’ll be looking at the first figure I grabbed from the set, legendary outlaw Star-Prince Star-Lord! 

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Star-Lord was released in the Titus Series of Marvel Legends, which is the first Guardians-themed Legends series of the year.   There’s one more series confirmed, and possibly a third at some point, depending on how generous they’re feeling.  As of late, Hasbro’s been trying to include one figure in each series of Legends that is a stand alone, and thus not necessary to complete that series’s Build-A-Figure.  Star-Lord is that figure for the Titus Series.  He’s a little under 6 1/2 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation.  The last movie gave us Star-Lord in his long coat, which ended up being a rather short-lived look in the final film.  This figure opts for the short-coated look, which was far more present.  Time will tell which look proves to be the more prominent version in the second film.  While you might assume there would be some parts re-use between the first Star-Lord and this one, this figure is actually 100% a new sculpt.  And what a sculpt it is.  Seriously, and I can’t stress this enough, the pictures don’t do this figure justice.  It’s easily the best sculpt Hasbro has put out in this line, and possibly the best they’ve done in general.  It’s a reeeeeally good sculpt.  The head is a pretty much spot-on recreation of Pratt’s Star-Lord, from the shaping of his facial features, to the slightly unkempt hair and scruffy beard.  I’ve not seen a beard sculpt look this good at this or any other small scale.  The rest of the body is pretty solid too, with super tight detailing on his clothing (the jacket even replicates the real thing’s fine texturing and has a fully defined zipper).  Even the proportions are pretty much perfect.  Okay, the sculpt is good, but Hasbro’s not always known to get the best paintwork on their figures.  That could be this guy’s undoing, right?  Wrong.  The level of detail on the face is nothing short of amazing; you can see the levels of hair on his eyebrows and beard, and even make out his irises in his eyes.  Not to be outdone, the body has all of the important details covered.  The jacket zipper is even painted, unlike on figures from some other companies out there (whose names rhyme with “Shmattell”), and he’s got a fully detailed t-shirt, despite most of it being covered by the jacket.  There’s still some minor slop here and there, but in general the work here is far above what we’ve come to expect from mass market figures.  Star-Lord is packed with his twin Element Guns from the movie, which appear to be the same molds as those from the first figure, but painted a bit better this time.  It takes some work to get them into his hands, but once they’re in he holds them well, and he can also clip them onto his legs.  He also includes his helmeted head, which, like the rest of him is a marked improvement over the one included with the last figure.  Of course, his un-helmeted head is so nice, I can’t see this one getting a ton of use, but it’s still nice to have it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I found Star-Lord a few weeks back at Target, while searching for the new X-Men Legends.  All they had was him and Drax (well, and the entirety of the first movie Legends assortment, because somebody decided we needed more of those), and I grabbed this guy as something of a consolation prize.  What a consolation prize he was.  This figure is such an immense improvement over his predecessor, it’s not even funny.  I’m not including a comparison of the the two because I’d like the V1 figure to maintain at least some of his dignity.  This is probably the best Legends figure that Hasbro’s ever produced, and is honestly one of the best figures I’ve gotten in recent history.  They’re gonna have to work hard to top this guy.

*Want a Star-Lord of your very own?  This figure is currently in-stock at All Time Toys!  Check it out here.

#0747: Star-Lord & Groot (& Rocket)

STAR-LORD & GROOT (& ROCKET)

MARVEL MINIMATES

StarLordGroot1

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.

STAR-LORD

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!

GROOT (& ROCKET)

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.

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.

#0482: Star-Lord

STAR-LORD

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VINYL FIGURES

Guardians of the Galaxy was a very good movie, which is a very good thing. Essentially, it’s given Marvel the confidence to make just about any damn thing they want to. It’s also provided various companies a lot of merchandising opportunities. Funko has jumped in on the fun, offering not just their usual Pop! figures, but also a line of blind boxed vinyl bobble-heads. Let’s have a look at one of the line’s offerings of Legendary Outlaw Star-Lord.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Star-Lord is part of the first, and so far only, assortment of Guardians of the Galaxy Vinyl Figures. He’s one of the two versions of Star-Lord released in the line. This is the basic standing one, as opposed to the more wildly posed one. He’s about 3 inches tall and he has no articulation, though he does have a bobbly head. Like just about every other Star-Lord figure out there, he’s based on the character’s long-coated appearance in the film’s opening scenes. The sculpt is simplistic, but very bold and very sharp. It’s a pretty great translation of the movie design, and it looks very nice. It doesn’t have the more ornate texture work of other figures, but it’s very eye-catching and it really has a nice stylistic touch to it. Paint is an area with which Funko sometimes has some trouble, but that’s not the case here. Everything is nice and clean, and the colors are pretty good matches. I’m still a little thrown by the silver on the helmet, but that’s actually just the inaccurate Hasbro color scheme messing with me.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Star-Lord hails from the same Hot Topic trip with Super Awesome Girlfriend that got me the various Sci Fi Vinyl Figures. Star-Lord was one of two of the blind boxes that were still left, which worked out pretty well I suppose. Star-Lord’s a solid figure to be sure, and just another great addition to all the GotG stuff.