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Review of Star-Lord - Guardians of the Galaxy
1/6th scale action figure exclusive
Hot Toys
03-16-15

Star-Lord Guardians of the Galaxy 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

Introduction
A review of Star-Lord sixth scale action figure (exclusive) from the Guardians of the Galaxy by Hot Toys:

Disney and Marvel can do no wrong - or so it seems so far. Lots of people predicted the demise of the MCU last summer with the release of Guardians of the Galaxy. A superhero movie in space, where one lead character is a talking tree, and another is a talking raccoon? Yea, that's going to be a disaster.

And yet, it was as far from a disaster as you can get, becoming the hit blockbuster film of the summer. It was fun, it was smart, and it used the whole Firefly vibe to its utmost. Much of the credit for its success has to go to Chris Pratt, and his delivery of the witty dialog of the main protagonist, Star-Lord.

Hot Toys showed off the entire five member team at last year's Comic-Con, and we've already seen both Gamora and now Star-Lord ship.  Rocket and Groot are coming very soon, and the pre-order for the antagonist, Thanos, has been up for awhile. But we've yet to get a pre-order up for poor Drax...what the Hell, Hot Toys? You best get him going, or you're going to have some seriously pissed fans.

As I said, Star-Lord has been shipping for awhile, and mine was one of the many figures delayed by the dock workers strike. He's available for around $235, and there is both a regular and an exclusive version. I'm checking out the exclusive tonight, but it's only the accessories that vary between the two.

Star-Lord Guardians of the Galaxy 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

Packaging - ***1/2
When I pulled him out of the brown shipper, I was pretty happy with the exterior slip cover. The actual shot of Chris Pratt as Star-Lord on the cover is great, and I love the bright, vibrant colors and style.

I was less thrilled with the basic window box inside. It's pretty standard stuff, with a single plastic tray to hold the figure and accessories, and no interior cardboard cover, since it's not a shoe box style. While it's all collector friendly, it was less impressive than some of their recent releases.

One note: you'll want to cut the plastic booties off this time, even if it seems like you could pull them with a little effort. That's because he has his rocket boosters permanently affixed to the side of his boots, and you don' want to damage them.

Star-Lord Guardians of the Galaxy 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

Sculpting - ***1/2
Technically, there are two head sculpts here: Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, and the masked version with light up eyes.

It's a good thing too, because one of these deserves four stars...and the other would end up with just three. I've gone down the middle considering both, but I know which one I'll be sticking with for the shelf.

The Pratt version is reasonable, certainly. It fulfills two of my three criteria for this sort of figure perfectly - it's very, very realistic, and it's very life-like. The realism comes from the exceptional detail work on the skin texture and finely stranded hair, especially the light beard and mustache. The eyes are just as realistic as ever, no surprise there, and they've even included the little doohickey behind his right ear.

The life-like aspect is all part of the expression, and the slight smirk they've gone with. It's not quite as obvious as it was in the prototype, but there's still enough there to emote the cocky, kiss my butt attitude that he had through out the film.

But is it a great Pratt? I don't think so. It's close, especially in the nose and mouth, but there's something slightly off, more cosplay than actual actor. But while that's part of my critical triangle for portraits, it's not the reason I was as disappointed with this head sculpt.

The head is simply too small for the body and neck, giving him a weird pin-head appearance. This is particularly true with the jacket on because of the wide shoulders, but the real culprit is the thick rubber covering on the neck. We've seen it when this was too thin - T-800 anyone? - but this time around, it's much too beefy. The unmasked head sculpt looks small when popped on top of this thick stalk.

Fortunately, the masked portrait does not have that problem, thanks to the mask of course. It also has some truly amazing detail work, and really pops when on the figure with the full uniform. I'll be going with this four star look with the figure long term, and I'm betting most fans will as well.

Of course he stands just above 12" tall - this is a sixth scale figure after all. He stands great on his own, and the sculpted gloved hands work nicely with the majority of the accessories.

Star-Lord Guardians of the Galaxy 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

Paint - ****
Hot Toys and production paint - a marriage made in heaven. Once again, the sculpt is improved with a spot on realistic paint application. From the hairline to the eyes and lips, even the skin color and tone...it's all perfection. See this soft, barely there three day growth beard? That's what I would have liked to have seen on the recent Snake Plisken.

Of course, there's also paint work on the various accessories, and it's just as outstanding. The helmeted head is tremendous as well, with a metallic finish that gives you the impression of the real deal. The sharply sculpted edges of the mask have sharply defined paint as well, producing the overall impression of separate pieces assembled for the larger whole.

Star-Lord Guardians of the Galaxy 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

Articulation - ***1/2
Underneath it all is the usual TrueType, with tons of articulation across the entire figure. It's probably no surprise that the outfit, particularly the coat and boots, are a bit restrictive.

The coat looks great - and can actually be posed a bit itself thanks to thin wires in a couple spots - but it does tighten up the shoulders and elbows. You can still get some good arm poses though, and it doesn't restrict the terrific mobility in the waist and ab-crunch.

The boots are solid, not the two piece style we've seen a few times with recent figures. That's probably because of the sculpted boosters on the sides, which would make it tough to find a good spot for a cut. They do restrict the ankles a lot, so the feet won't be flat on the ground in deeper stances.

The tight pants are a little restrictive, but not as much as I had anticipated. You get a good range of movement in both the hips and the knees.

The Pratt head sculpt fits tightly, but pops on and off easily enough. However, the superior masked head is very bobbly when in place. The ball (which is part of the head itself) is smaller, allowing the head to flop around. I used a little plumber's tape to fix the situation, but as always with a $200+ figure, it shouldn't require fixing.

Star-Lord Guardians of the Galaxy 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

Accessories - ***1/2
If I were looking at the regular release, he'd take a hit in this category by another half star.

The regular and exclusive both come with the second head, mentioned in the earlier categories. This helmeted version looks fantastic, and will be the way I go with my display. It swaps easily, too easily as mentioned in the Articulation section.

There are only five hands in total - not sets, total. He comes wearing fists, and there's a second set of gun grip hands. The last hand is another right done in a gripping pose specifically designed for the Orb or the clear plasma orb. There's a couple extra wrist pegs too, but the hands swapped easily and without any fear of breakage.

The plasma orb comes with either the regular or the exclusive release, and has metallic ends and a clear center. It might look like a classy bead, but it's so much more deadly than that. The exclusive includes the additional Orb, with a capital O, silver with a sculpted surface. I'm surprised that this came only with the exclusive, since it seems like such an integral extra.

He has two identical blasters, and these fit tightly in the unusual holsters attached permanently to his pants. Pay particular attention when fitting them into the brackets, as there's only one way. When you do it right, it's a perfect fit.

These blasters have a terrific sculpt and paint job too, but they have a bit of a problem fitting into the sculpted grip hands. It looks like the hands have a very standard gun grip pose, and the stocks and trigger here are a bit different in style and shape. Still, with a little effort you can get them to work.

Perhaps my favorite accessory is his sling pack. With three pouches, amazing detailing, and fantastic quality in the materials and construction, it was a very pleasant surprise. You slip the longer strap over his head and shoulder, while the smaller strap is attached around his waist with a loop of leather and a metal loop. The leather loop has a snap that holds it shut, and I know what you're thinking - uh oh, one of those damn itsy bitsy plastic snaps that's going to break. Thankfully, they went with a slightly bigger, stronger version here, and I had no trouble snapping or un-snapping it.

Another key item for this character is the Sony Walkman and headphones. While the sculpt and paint on them are top notch, I am very concerned about the wire connecting the two. It looks like it will break pretty easily where it attaches to the headphones, due to the angle. The headphones don't fit on his head all that well either, making them the overall disappointment in this category. The player does have a clip in back that can attach to any belt.

Along with the Orb, the exclusive includes a pair of the unique handcuffs used in the prison. He doesn't have any bare hands, so you'll have to stick with the gloved fists with the cuffs, but that's what makes it a perfect Exclusive accessory. Nice to have, but in no way necessary to the character.

Finally, both the exclusive and regular have a display stand, complete with his nameplate and crotch support post. Nothing exciting about it, but very important for consistency for collectors using the stands in their displays.

Star-Lord Guardians of the Galaxy 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

Outfit - ****
The outfit consists of the boots, pants, blue shirt, and long overcoat. All the tailoring, stitching, and materials are top notch.

I already mentioned that the boots have the cool boosters attached to the sides, and this is a permanent arrangement. They look great, and seem pretty well attached.

The pants and belt are nicely tailored, but even with the tight fit, they aren't as restrictive as I expected. They include the cool holsters too, designed specifically for his blasters.

The blue shirt is a bit baggy at the top of the shoulders, but otherwise fits well. The edges are hemmed, and the collar looks good.

That leaves the coat, complete with attached armor and tons of small detail. They really went all out with the intricacy of this piece of clothing, and it's easily the top reason for the perfect score here. There's a couple wires in the edges to allow for posing, and there's not just a zipper in front, but magnetic closures to keep the flap in place over the zipper! I didn't end up zipping mine up - it's a very tight fit - but I like the concept.

They trim the bottom in fire damage too, adding a nice screen touch to the overall look and giving him just the right amount of wear and tear.

Star-Lord Guardians of the Galaxy 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

Light Feature - ***1/2
The second, helmeted head has light up eyes, which work pretty much like you'd expect. The back of the helmet pops off to reveal the switch and battery compartment, and he comes with the small batteries already installed. Remove the plastic tab, and switch them on.

They aren't quite as bright this time around, and seeing them in normal room light is tough. But the red color looks great, and it was a critical addition with this figure, much like Iron Man's reactor.

Fun Factor - ***
I'm not sure what it was, but this guy just didn't wow me quite the way I was expecting. Maybe it was the increased expectations, since so many people raved about him a couple months ago, but while he's a nice addition to the collection (and critical if you're a big Guardians fan), he didn't have the overall pizazz I was expecting.

Star-Lord Guardians of the Galaxy 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

Value - **
He comes in at $235 for the exclusive release, which is also the starting point for the regular version. Shop around a bit though and you should be able to get a few bucks off that - see my Where To Buy section for an example.

We aren't getting a lot more with the recent higher priced Hot Toys figures - the number of accessories and quality of the overall figure is pretty much the same. With the exclusive version still available through Sideshow, I have to wonder if they've passed the ideal price point (where supply and demand meet) by $10 - $20.

Star-Lord Guardians of the Galaxy 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

Things to Watch Out For -
I noticed that the fabric glue they're using on the coat isn't holding all that well. I had to repair the belt on his man purse, as well as reattach the hard plastic armor on the left forearm.  I'm betting that sitting on the docks in California for a few extra weeks didn't help the situation any, and repairing them with a little glue was no biggie, but just be aware that the glue might fail out of the box.

Star-Lord Guardians of the Galaxy 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

Overall - ***1/2
This guy first started shipping to some lucky international folk at the end of the year, and many of them raved about him. In fact, even though he shipped so late in the year to so few people, the judges requested he be on the ballot for the Poppies.

I'm not sure why, however. While this is a solid figure, he's not outstanding overall. There's some specific things that are outstanding, particularly with the outfit, but the figure lacks the wow factor otherwise. Maybe the bar has just been set too high - maybe at $235 I think we should expect something greater. I suspect I'm not the only one, since the exclusive is still available at Sideshow.

Which is an important point, because if you plan on picking this guy up, go for the exclusive. While the handcuffs aren't all that important, the Orb is, and if you're getting him for the same price, you might as well get the extras.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ****
Articulation - ***
Accessories - ***1/2
Outfit - ****
Light Feature - ***1/2
Fun Factor - ***
Value - **
Overall - ***1/2

Star-Lord Guardians of the Galaxy 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Sideshow has the exclusive for $235.

- has a great price at $225 for the regular release.

- has him listed at $235 for the regular release.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Star-Lord Guardians of the Galaxy 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

Related Links -
This is my first of the Guardians - my Gamora hasn't hit the front porch yet, and Groot and Rocket haven't started shipping. But once they do, I'll be covering them as well!

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Star-Lord Guardians of the Galaxy 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys


This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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