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Review of Gamora - Guardians of the Galaxy sixth scale figure

Hot Toys
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 2.5 out of 4

Guardians of the Galaxy Gamora sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Introduction

The surprise (to most) hit of the 2014 summer was the blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy. Very few people had enough faith in Marvel or Disney to believe they could pull off a superhero movie with a talking raccoon and a ambulatory tree, and yet they did more than pull it off - it was amazing.

Hot Toys showed off figures of all five of the team members at last summer's SDCC, and have since put Thanos up for pre-order as well. They've only shipped Star-Lord and Gamora so far, and poor Drax is STILL not listed for pre-order. As a hero in another galactic universe would say, I have a bad feeling about this...

Gamora started shipping internationally awhile back, but Sideshow just started fulfilling their orders.  Expect to pay around $200 for her, although you may find a deal with some searching.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Guardians of the Galaxy Gamora sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Packaging - ***1/2
Like Star-Lord, she has a very colorful slip cover with a photo of the actual character front and center. Inside is a standard window box containing a single plastic tray holding the accessories and figure. Nothing super special here, but at least the slip cover is attractive, and as always, it's all collector friendly.

One welcome change is with the plastic booties and gloves. They put these on figures in transit to avoid paint marks and staining. In the past, these were taped tightly around the limbs and usually required a knife to cut them free, always a dicey issue.  This time, they are specially made and very loose, designed to actually fit over the hands and feet without tape. They are easy to slip off, no muss, no fuss.

Guardians of the Galaxy Gamora sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Sculpting - ***1/2
With high end collectibles like this, I consider three aspects to the portrait. Is it realistic, is it life-like, and is it accurate.

This is Hot Toys, and they have become synonymous with realistic sculpting. They are one of the few companies that can consistently produce truly beautiful female portraits, with just the right subtle skin texture and soft wrinkles. Hot Toys is also getting more successful with their rooted hair, and Gamora is the best example they've produced so far. You'll have to futz with it a bit out of the box, and using a little product on it is recommended, but it's thick and full, and avoids the doll look.  It helps that her hair tended to be on the wild side in the film.

And yes, this is also a very accurate depiction of the lovely Zoe Saldana as Gamora. The scarring on her face looks good, and the nose, lips and eyes are just about perfect, at least in terms of accuracy.

Then there's that final piece - life-like.  While I'm fine with the overall expression, there's a deadness to the eyes that bugs me. The eyes lack the intensity and fire we associate with the character, as well as the actress. It lacks that life-like spark, which can be so tricky to capture.

The entire torso, including the arms and neck, is covered with a rubbery skin-like material. Thankfully, they did not cover the shoulder or wrist joints, since these are hidden by the outfit. The skin does cover the ab and waist joints, as well as the elbows. It makes for a much more attractive look, right down to her cute little belly button, but it has a negative side as well. The elbows tend to pooch out at the sides, and I suspect that regular use will eventually degrade and damage the material.  I have no personal proof of this, but it's a strong hunch.

She's smaller than the male figures, coming in at just over 11" tall. She'll fit in nicely with other Hot Toys, Sideshow and industry standard sixth scale lines.

One other thing worth noting is that they've sculpted a small widow's peak at the hair line. This fills in the forehead a bit better, and was a smart move on their part. It's a fairly smooth transition as well, so that it doesn't stand out from the rest of the rooted hair, at least not in person where scale takes over.

Guardians of the Galaxy Gamora sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Paint - ***
Generally, paint is not an area where Hot Toys has issues. Overall, the work here is the usual quality, with an even, realistic (considering the character) skin tone on the face, and clean, sharp lines all around.

It doesn't appear as though these are separate, plastic eyes this time around, and the figure suffers a bit for it. The flat paint work, with little shine or gloss, doesn't improve the mannequin effect of the sculpt.

While the scars and lips are nicely done, there's a noticeable difference between the skin tone on the face and neck. It's particularly easy to see in person, with the darker face contrasting with the slightly lighter tone of the neck. The face is darker than the arms and chest as well - the upper body is covered in the same fake skin - but the distance between the body parts helps hide the color variation.

I'm not seeing any highlights of color in the hair, and they did seem pretty obvious in the film. That may have just been a brown coat/blue coat situation, or perhaps it was one bridge too far for them with the rooted hair.

Guardians of the Galaxy Gamora sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Articulation - **1/2
There are some collectors that are fine with a figure that requires a display stand. If they can get some good poses, even if they require support (and I'm not talking about flying poses here), they consider the figure 'well articulated'.

That's not me. A figure MUST be able to stand on its own, and if it can't take poses unassisted, there's a problem with the articulation and design.

Gamora can stand on her own, in fairly straight up, non-combative poses. The ball jointed neck works great, and the skin covering on the arms and torso is surprisingly non-restrictive. The elbows do bend quite a way, and can remain in that position, and the torso can turn and tilt. As I mentioned earlier, I am worried that the skin around the elbows may crack and decay over time, but that's not an issue for this section.

But from the waist down, she's extremely limited. Part of this is due to the tight costume, but the majority of the problem comes from the very restrictive boots. There is no forward or backward movement, no side to side or rocking ability. That means that from the knee to the sole, her leg is a pretty much a solid piece. And that makes getting dynamic fighting poses without the stand a real trick. It's not impossible - all the photos are of unassisted poses - but it can be frustrating. Even simple stances may not last, as she is prone to toppling over at the slightest breeze.

Guardians of the Galaxy Gamora sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Accessories - **
A bigger area of concern is the abysmal situation with accessories.  Remember, this is a $200 figure - and you get almost zip.

There are three sets of hands in total - the relaxed pair she comes wearing, a pair of fists, and a pair of gripping hands. They swap easily enough, and there's a couple extra wrist pegs just in case. Sideshow and Medicom provide posts for every hand at this price point, and I think Hot Toys needs to follow suit.

There are also two versions of her sword. One is folded up, perfect to place in the sheath on her belt, while the other is fully expanded. They both feature terrific sculpts, and look good in her hands.

Finally, there's a small display stand with her name on it and a crotch post. However, even this stand is a disappointment. I didn't pay a lot of attention to the stand that came with Star-Lord, since I'm not a stand guy and he had plenty of other accessories to distract me. But Gamora doesn't have much, and she pretty much needs a stand to remain upright, so a good version would have gone a long way in helping here.

Remember when a stand that was supposed to look like a floor grate really was a sculpted floor grate? I know you do - it wasn't that long ago. Here, we get a sticker. A very high quality, heavy duty sticker, but a sticker. Had I noticed this with Star-Lord I would have certainly pointed it out, and I'm hoping that this sort of cost cutting isn't the future of the company.

Guardians of the Galaxy Gamora sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Guardians of the Galaxy Gamora sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Outfit - ***1/2
I've mentioned that the outfit is quite restrictive from the waist down, and it is. But it's also a gorgeous costume, and Hot Toys gets props for getting the appearance and quality right.

The openings in the upper body are covered with a fine mesh, and it appears to be very sturdy and well made. In fact all the materials and stitching are top quality, with little chance of damage through normal handling and posing.

The highlighting color looks great, and while the boots might make it tough to pose her, they look fantastic. Even the belt and straps fit perfectly, and the overall tailoring is spot on.

The only thing pulling this back a half star might be an issue only for me, or only for the occasional figure.  The sheath that should hold the sword doesn't, due to a poor fit.  It seems to be wrapped around the hip too much, pushing the blade out. As I said, this might be a one off manufacturing issue rather than a consistent problem, but it was a bummer considering how great the costume looks otherwise.

Guardians of the Galaxy Gamora sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Fun Factor - **1/2
While she's a very pretty lady, you'll find her less interesting to pose and re-pose thanks to the poor articulation. If you like using the stand, you'll have a better time, and be able to find more options for display.

Guardians of the Galaxy Gamora sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Value - *1/2
$200. Ouch. I suppose it could be worse, since most Hot Toys figures are now at least $225, with an average price getting closer to $250. I'm sure the rooted hair and fake skin aren't cheap, but it's hard to justify the cost of this figure with so few accessories.

Guardians of the Galaxy Gamora sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Things to Watch Out For -
The skin around the elbows are the one issue, and I'm not sure what you'll be able to do about it. She has to have her arms bent at least a little in any pose, so creasing over time is a given. Whether that ends up becoming something worse, like cracking or splitting, remains to be seen.

Guardians of the Galaxy Gamora sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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Overall - **1/2
I waffled around on this final score...a lot. Whether this figure was **1/2 or *** depended on which categories I was giving more weight.

Her assets are the sculpt, including the rooted hair, as well as the outfit. Both are strong, and both are very visual.

Her weaknesses are her lack of posability combined with a lack of accessories, which harshly effects her value.

If you're a stand guy, you'll be more inclined to go with a higher score. You won't mind the problems getting her to stand on her own, and while the price is high for what you're getting, we collectors have ways to rationalize it.

On the other hand, it annoys me when a figure that is this expensive, and is intended to replicate a real person as closely as possible, can't stand on it's own even in fairly basic stances for any extended time. Add in a further decrease in value, and you end up at the lower score for me.

That doesn't mean I'm disappointed that I picked her up - I'm not. I want the entire team on the shelf, and while she has her issues, they aren't enough for me to not want her there. I'd pre-order Drax in a heartbeat, if he'd ever go up for pre-order. My worry is that we'll never see Drax, a situation that has me concerned overall about the future of Hot Toys offerings.

Let's consider what we're seeing - Guardians of the Galaxy was the biggest Marvel movie of 2014. Hot Toys has only released two of the five main characters, even eight months after the film debuted. Villains? They've put one up for pre-order.

Avengers 2 looks like it will be the big Marvel movie for 2015, and before it is released we already have figures shipping. However, these figures are part of the regurgitation - more Iron Man, another War Machine, another Captain America, another Hulk, another Hawkeye, another Black Widow...and one figure of the main villain. Ant-man? While I'm sure they'll be releasing something, nothing has been shown yet.

What is worrisome to me in all this is that Hot Toys seems to be eschewing new characters in favor of producing more variants of the same characters over, and over, and over. If that's what collectors want, more power to them, but it means I'm less likely to get a Yellowjacket or a Ronan, and that's disheartening.

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

Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Sideshow has her for $200.

- has her for $200.

- is just $190.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Just last month I checked out the Star-lord from Hot Toys, the perfect companion for Gamora. They have Groot and Rocket coming, and have shown Drax...but have yet to put him up for pre-order.

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.

Discussion:
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Guardians of the Galaxy Gamora sixth scale action figure by Hot Toys

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

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