#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.

#1263: Yondu

YONDU

MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)

“A captain of a Ravager faction, Yondu is a powerful warrior shrouded in mystery.”

Okay, I can get behind the first half of this bio, but the second half is sort of losing me.  Is Yondu’s mysterious past going to be a key piece of GotG Vol 2 or something?  Because he honestly doesn’t seem that much more mysterious than the rest of the cast from the first film.  Here I am critiquing bios again.  I gotta stop with that.  So, if you hadn’t already gathered, today’s focus is Yondu, who, after being left out of Hasbro’s offerings for the first film, has found his way into Legends form for the sequel!  Let’s check him out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Yondu is figure 2 in the Titus Series of Marvel Legends.  He’s the last of the three movie-based figures in this particular series.  The figure stands about 6 1/4 inches tall and has 30 points of articulation.  Yondu’s appearance in Vol 2 is largely the same as his Vol 1 appearance, with the only real change being his “mohawk,” which us now an actual head-fin thing, closer to his comics design.  Yondu’s Ravager garb makes him somewhat similar to the first Star-Lord figure in design, so Hasbro’s opted to re-use a number of that figure’s pieces here.  He’s got the same pelvis and upper legs for sure, and he might have the same arms.  I say might because Yondu’s arms definitely have a texture to them that isn’t present on the first Star-Lord.  It’s possible that the first Star-Lord was *supposed* to have the texture and it was just lost in the production process, and Yondu is Hasbro learning from their mistakes.  It’s also possible they slightly tweaked the mold to help Yondu fit in better with the newer figures.  It also appears that Yondu’s torso was built on the Star-Lord torso, given that they share the same neck and basic shaping, but the differences are enough that it’s effectively a new sculpt.  There are still some slight oddities with the proportions of the Star-Lord pieces, especially the gangliness of the arms and the odd flatness of the pelvis.  Thankfully there’s the all-new long coat piece to hide some of that.  The coat is very nicely crafted, and feels a bit sharper than the Star-Lord coat it replaced.  It’s also totally removable, if you so choose; it appears that the long coat section is more of a vest thing, which goes over the base Ravager uniform.  I’d honestly not noticed that before, but it kind of explains the varying length of Quill’s jacket in the first installment.  Yondu’s torso is full detailed, front and back, and does match up with the arms, so you can display him sans coat, in theory anyway.  In practice, I find he looks rather goofy.  He also gets new hands and boots, as well as a pair of heads.  Yes, like Black Widow before him, this Yondu figure is pulling double duty, acting as Yondu from both the first and second films.  He’s packed wearing the head from the first film, which has the shorter mohawk and a spot-on Rooker grin.  The second head is sporting the sequel’s taller head-fin style mohawk, as well as whistling expression meant to go with his arrow accessory.  I generally prefer the taller mohawk, but I do wish there were a way to swap the mohawk length between the two expressions, since my ideal look would really be the tall mohawk with the grin.  Nevertheless, both head’s are really solid sculpts, and both have a pretty dead-on Rooker likeness.  Yondu’s paintwork is fairly solidly done.  I might have liked some more variety in the large sections of red, but Hasbro tends to be of the opinion of “let the sculpt speak for itself” so here it is.  It’s still worth nothing that what paint is there is in line with the much cleaner work we’ve been seeing on this line as of late (it seems that Vance was the single exception to that).  In addition to the two interchangeable heads, Yondu also includes his golden arrow; it’s sculpted with a little trail on it, as seen in the movie.  When used in conjunction with the whistling head, it makes it look like he’s controlling it, which is pretty cool.  I wish we’d also  gotten one sans trail to put in the holster; as it stands, I just have him hover his hand over the empty holster when posing him “relaxed.”  Yondu also includes the right arm of the Build-A-Figure Titus.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Yondu seems to be one of the more popular figures in this series at the moment, so I didn’t see him the first several times I found the series at retail.  Fortunately, my parents were nice enough to keep an eye out for him, and my dad ended up picking him up from a Walgreens, where he was apparently the only GotG figure in stock (this isn’t a unique phenomenon, either.  About a week late, I saw the same thing at a Walgreens near me).  He was nearer the top of the list of the figures I wanted from this set.  I definitely like him, though I feel there are some minor issues that keep him from being quite on par with the some of the others I’ve looked at.  Still, he’s worth it for those head sculpts alone.  Those are definitely top-notch work.

#0902: Yondu

YONDU

MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES

Yondu1

Before the title passed to the likes of Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot, the Guardians of the Galaxy were rather a different.  They first appeared in January 1969, created by Arnold Drake and Gene Colan.  The team was hailed from the 30th Century, and each of its four members (Vance Astro, Martinex, Charlie-27, and Yondu) was the “last of their kind.”  Now, those of you that only know the team from more modern appearances will probably only recognize one of those four names: Yondu.  Yondu was fortunate enough to turn up as a (sort-of) ally of the movie Guardians, albeit with a bit of a personality change.  Still, he’s become the original team’s most recognizable member, and became the first of them to get a proper figure (though Vance ended up hitting right around the same time in a two-pack).  I’ll be looking at Yondu today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Yondu2Yondu is one of the six single-packed figures in the first series of Hasbro’s 3 ¾-scale Marvel Legends Series.  He actually manages to not be the most obscure character in the set (he can thank Ulik and Triton for that).  The figure stands almost 5 inches tall (counting the Mohawk; he’s 4 ¼ without it) and he has 19 points of articulation.  He still lacks some of the articulation we came to expect during MU (waist and wrists are the standouts), but thanks to some parts re-use he ends up more articulated than several of the more recent small-scale figures.  Yondu is built on the new mid-sized body, which is the same one we saw used for Machine Man.  He also uses the lower legs and quiver of the MU Hawkeye figure, with unique pieces for his head, belt, and right forearm.  The pieces do a pretty nice job of capturing Yondu’s design from the comics.  The head seems to work in a little bit of the film version’s surliness into his expression, but it doesn’t feel too far removed from his comics look.  I will note that it’s a little jarring that his wrist band on his right arm is sculpted, but the armband further up is not, but that’s what happens when you have a specific budget for the number of new parts allowed.  Yondu’s paintwork is pretty solid all around.  The colors are pretty nicely handled (though I wouldn’t mind them being a little brighter), and all of the application is pretty clean.  Yondu is packed with a bow and a single arrow.  Both are re-used from the MU Hawkeye, but cast in a bright yellow/orange.  Seeing as Yondu is a fellow archer, the re-use is warranted, and it helps that the pieces were pretty good to begin with.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve mostly moved away from the 3 ¾ inch Marvel figures, so I wasn’t really sure I was going to pick up Yondu.  I found one at Toys R Us, but that one went to my dad, who’s more of a classic GOTG fan than I.  He decided to return the favor, however, when he came across the whole first assortment of figures at Target.  They had apparently not put the figures into their system yet, so the store manager ended up selling Yondu here to my dad for $3, which is a pretty great deal.  Yondu’s not an outstanding figure or anything, but he’s solidly done.

#0305: Yondu & Sakaar Trooper

YONDU & SAKAAR TROOPER

MARVEL MINIMATES

Sakaaran&Yondu1

Guardians of the Galaxy was an awesome movie. Minimates are one of the greatest toylines of all time. These are indisputable facts. Sorry if you disagree, but that’s just how it is. So, the combination of these two things can be nothing if not amazing!

The Guardians of the Galaxy Minimates are a subset of Diamond Select Toys’ flagship Marvel Minimates line. Their just starting to hit stores, starting with the Toys R Us assortment. Today, I’ll be looking at Yondu and the Sakaar Trooper.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Yondu and the Sakaar Trooper are the exclusive set from the TRU assortment of Guardians of the Galaxy Minimates. The Sakaar Trooper will also be packed with Nebula in Marvel Minimates Series 57, making Yondu the only true TRU exclusive.

YONDU

Sakaaran&YonduWilson2Yondu holds the honor of being the only of the original Guardians of the Galaxy to appear in the film. He also ended up being the character that had perhaps the most changes made to him. I guess the world just wasn’t ready for a blue-skined 30th century archer who sports a 2 foot red mohawk and spandex. And that’s a shame. The Minimate is of course based on the film version of the character. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and features 14 points of articulation. He uses the standard Minimate body, with all new pieces for Yondu’s “mohawk” and scavenger jacket. Both pieces are well sculpted and look accurate to the source material. Perhaps the details on the jacket could be a bit sharper, but that feels a bit nit-picky. The painted details on Yondu are top-notch. Even with blue skin and red eyes, that’s definitely Michael Rooker’s face. Yondu’s uniform is also quite impressive. There’s tons of folds, straps, pouches and zippers present, which really helps the figure convey the “scavenger” look. The Mohawk piece is red, which isn’t quite right to the movie, where it was a silver piece that glowed red, but I actually prefer the red. Yondu’s only accessory is a clear display stand. It’s a little disappointing that he didn’t get any of his little console doodads, or at the very least his golden arrow, but I suppose the line has to be drawn somewhere.

SAKAAR TROOPER

Sakaaran&YonduWilson1The Sakaar are yet another alien race elevated to movie-dom thanks to Marvel Studios not having the rights to all the top-notch aliens.  They and the Chitari must just laugh it up every time the Skrulls and the Baddoon stop by! The Sakaar Trooper stands 2 ½ inches tall and features 14 points of articulation. The Sakaar Trooper is built on the base Minimate body, with the addition of a newly sculpted helmet. The helmet is a decent piece. It has the look of a rough sculpt, but that’s pretty accurate to the look of the Sakaar from the movie. The rest of the figure’s details are handled via painted details. They’ve done a pretty great job of boiling down the rather complex Sakaar design into a basic set of painted details. Like Groot, the Sakaar Trooper features some rather extensive texture detailing that wraps around many of the surfaces. The Sakaar Trooper includes a blaster and a clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I purchased this set at the same time as yesterday’s Drax, Groot & Rocket. This being the exclusive set, it was the one I was actually looking for at TRU. Yondu’s a pretty cool ‘mate of a pretty cool character, so I’m glad to have gotten a hold of him. The Sakaar Trooper isn’t the most exciting Minimate, but he could be worse. Maybe he’ll be cooler when I have two of him…