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Review of Rocket, Groot - Guardians of the Galaxy
Sixth Scale Action Figures

Hot Toys
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 3 out of 4

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Rocket, Groot 1/6th action figures by Hot Toys

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Introduction

My favorite Marvel move for 2014 was Guardians of the Galaxy - I'm seeing Ant-Man tonight, and I have my suspicions that the goofiest Marvel movie of 2015 will also be my favorite for this year. While I appreciate and enjoy the Avengers, Iron-Man, Thor, and Captain America flicks, it seems like the silliness and humor added with GotG and Ant-man gives them the edge.

Fans of the movie have been bummed by the slow release of the five main characters in sixth scale.  Hot Toys gave us Star-Lord and Gamora, and now the loveable pair of Rocket and Groot are shipping. I'm covering the two pack tonight, and these were also available as singles.

No sign of a Drax pre-order yet (and sadly, he was NOT on display at Comic-Con), but there's still hope that we'll be able to finish off the team.

There are several ways to buy these, and it can get confusing. First, you can get Groot by himself for $200, but he only has one face plate (relaxed expression) and lacks the pair of grasping hands.  You can also get Rocket by himself for $160, but he lacks the Baby Groot figure. If you buy the standard two pack (what I'm reviewing tonight) for $360, you get the second face plate, threatening hands, and Baby Groot.  But there's also an exclusive two pack (also available for $360), and that one includes an additional Baby Groot without the arms. *whew*  That means the best overall value is the full on exclusive, although this two pack provides better value than the singles as well.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Rocket, Groot 1/6th action figures by Hot Toys

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Packaging - ***
Nothing super fancy here compared to the industry, but the artwork on the slip cover is very attractive and matches up nicely with the boxes for Gamora and Star-Lord. Inside the slip cover is the standard window box with a plastic tray to hold both figures and their accessories. It's all collector friendly, and in line with expectations.

Rocket, Groot 1/6th action figures by Hot Toys

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Sculpting - Groot ****; Rocket ***1/2
These are not traditional Marvel movie characters, and therefore they are not traditional Marvel Hot Toys action figures. In many ways, the predominate sculpt over cloth appearance reminds me of their earlier work with the Chitauri Soldiers.

Groot is a big tree. The key here is getting the bark, vines, leaves and sprouts to look realistic, and they've done an amazing job. The real trick was to get this to work with the articulation, and cover up as much as possible without restricting it.  Again, they did an amazing job.  They stole some ideas from their Iron Man suits too, articulating some of the 'plates' around the waist to allow the legs greater mobility.

Groot is a big boy, standing 15 1/4 inches tall.  He stands great on his own, thanks to those giant feet. The sculpted details are what set him apart, especially on his back and top of his head, where there's a plethora of greenery. He also has two face plates: one is relaxed, while the other has a battle scream. Both are excellent, and you'll have a tough time choosing.

Rocket is a bit tougher to call. He has the exceptional stranding and detailing on the fur that we still only see with Hot Toys. No one else has managed to get their hair sculpts at quite this level. The whiskers are super soft and thin, and the pissed off aggressive expression works for the character in most poses.

He's tiny of course, coming in at just 6 inches tall. Even with the small feet and large tail, he stands great on his own even in deeper stances.

I said he's a tougher call, because the figure is dangerously close to a true action figure - something the sixth scale world tends to look down on, no matter how good the quality. It's interesting to see if it's a prejudice collectors can over come in this case.

Rocket, Groot 1/6th action figures by Hot Toys

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Paint - ****
Hot Toys, paint, we know how this goes. Even when they switch from skin to bark, they get the subtle variations, tones and colors just right.

Getting something like the bark correct can be even more difficult, because everyone knows instantly what bark is supposed to look like. And if there's even the slightest variation, they'll let you know. I can't find a thing to complain about on Groot however, and the work on both of his faces is outstanding.

Rocket has a good transition between the various colors of fur, but it's not quite as life-like as the bark on Groot.  The work on the teeth, lips and eyes is outstanding though, and overall he's extremely impressive.

Rocket, Groot 1/6th action figures by Hot Toys

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Articulation - Groot ***1/2; Rocket ***
Like Iron Man, Groot is a tough design to articulate.  Hot Toys is probably the only company up to the articulation challenge right now.

And they managed to do a terrific job, especially with the neck, torso and hips.  There's much greater mobility in these areas than I had expected, allowing for some very nice poses with great personality.

The wrists, shoulders and knees are about what you'd expect. They added in a ratchet feature on the shoulders too, so the arms would hold poses without wilting over time.  If there's one joint that's a little disappointing, it's the ankles, which don't have quite enough side to side mobility.  This means in deeper stances, you can't keep the entire foot flat on the ground.

Still, his joints work far better than I expected, and Hot Toys should be commended on going out of their way to find the perfect marriage between sculpt and articulation.

Rocket is nicely articulated too, but the tight suit tends to restrict the torso, hips and knees. The ankles and wrists work fairly well, and the hands and feet swap cleanly.  And of course, the neck allows for plenty of tilt and lean, particularly important for those aggressive poses.

The tail is ball jointed at the butt, and can be posed in any number of ways.  It allows you to balance him on the tiny feet, offsetting the weight of the gun in his grasp.

Rocket, Groot 1/6th action figures by Hot Toys

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Accessories - ***
Neither figure has a ton of extras, but the critical stuff is here.

Rocket has his big gun, stolen from the prison. The sculpt and paint are terrific, but it can be a bit tricky to get it into position. I prefer it with the circular stock wrapped around his small arm, but I've seen it pressed against his leg or chest as well. You can experiment to get the best fit and look for you.

Surprisingly, he has an assortment of really, really tiny hands as well, and they swap much easier than I expected.  Little posts like these can be fragile, but these seem quite sturdy. There's a pair of relaxed hands he comes wearing, plus a pair of fists and a pair of gripping hands.

He also has an extra set of feet, bent mid-foot for running or crouching poses.  The feet swap as easily as the hands.

Groot has five hands, at least in the two pack.  There's the two relaxed hands he comes wearing, plus a set of grasping hands, along with a glowing effect left hand. These swap cleanly, and there's a few extra wrist pegs just in case.

Groot has the single best accessory between the two - his snarling face. This is not a completely separate head, but rather a swappable face plate.  That means they didn't have to produce a second, complex head (all those little hair branches, don't you know), but just the face. They swap easily, and both fit tightly in place.

In this set you also the dancing Groot in a small pot. It looks great, and is a nice addition for Rocket, actually.  Why would Groot pose with Groot?

If you pick up the Sideshow exclusive version, you get an additional Baby Groot in the pot, but without the arms. If you're paying the same amount for either two pack, obviously you'll get the one with the extra baby Groot. However, you can find the two pack without him at a number of retailers and save $10 - $15.

Both figures include display stands, with the base matching the grate design of the previous releases but with their names, obviously.  Rockets support post is shorter too. Both figures stand great on their own, but for those that use the stands, the consistency is nice.

Rocket, Groot 1/6th action figures by Hot Toys

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Rocket, Groot 1/6th action figures by Hot Toys

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Outfit - Rocket ***1/2; Groot N/A
Groot doesn't have a costume - no need to cover up that beautiful bark. This won't effect him negatively overall.

Rocket has his orange jumpsuit and pack/harness.  None of it is removable, which means the fit is very form fitting and tight.  That's good from a looks perspective - bad from an articulation perspective.

The sculpt and paint work on the pack is terrific, with lots of small detail and just the right amount of wear to add realism.

Rocket, Groot 1/6th action figures by Hot Toys

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Fun Factor - ***
These aren't toys, but that doesn't mean they aren't fun. If owning them wasn't fun, what would be the point?

For a collector, a lion's share of the enjoyment of owning figures like this comes from the ability to pose them in some movie specific way, then change it up over and over again, finding new, creative looks for your display.

Groot serves this purpose better than Rocket, thanks to his articulation and two face plates.  But even with some of the restrictions on Rocket's posability, you should be able to find multiple ways to pose them together.

Add in Gamora and Star-Lord, and you'll have a terrific shelf.  Now we just need Drax!

Rocket, Groot 1/6th action figures by Hot Toys

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Value - *1/2
The two pack from Sideshow (with the additional Baby Groot) is $360. Rocket all by himself will cost you around $160, and Groot is $200. In other words, you aren't saving anything buying the two pack, but you DO get some extras depending on which two pack you get.

Still, the prices are high.  You're not getting the same value (extras) you can get with other companies at a similar level of quality, making these a tougher sell in this category.

Rocket, Groot 1/6th action figures by Hot Toys

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Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing!

Rocket, Groot 1/6th action figures by Hot Toys

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Overall - ***
As a huge fan of the movie, picking these up was a no-brainer for me.  I also like to mix things up in my collection as much as possible, and there's nothing better than a battling raccoon and giant tree to mix things up.

They've done a terrific job with both of these, particularly Groot.  It can be a little confusing trying to figure out which way to go with the four different purchase options, but I'd go with this one - while it lacks that extra Baby Groot, it's easier to find (and you can get it at some retailers for $15 less - see below) and has the most important extras. Avoid the single releases unless you really, really, really only care about one of these two characters.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - Groot ****' Rocket ***1/2
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - Groot ***1/2; Rocket ***
Accessories - ***
Outfit - Rocket ***1/2; Groot N/A
Fun Factor - ***
Value - *1/2
Overall - ***

Rocket, Groot 1/6th action figures by Hot Toys

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Sideshow has the single Rocket for $160, the single Groot for $200, the regular two pack for $360, or the exclusive two pack for $360.

- has this two pack for $346, and the single Rocket for $150.

- has this two pack for $355.

- has this two pack for $360, the single Groot for $200, and the single Rocket for $160.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Most important are Star-Lord and Gamora of course. Other Guardians collectibles include the Rocket mini-bust from Gentle Giant, and the Marvel Legends Guardians of the Galaxy wave, broken into this review, this one, and finally, this one that includes the BAF, Groot.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

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Rocket, Groot 1/6th action figures by Hot Toys

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This product was provided for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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