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Review of Rocket Raccoon mini-bust - Guardians of the Galaxy

Gentle Giant
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 3 out of 4

Rocket Raccoon mini-bust by Gentle Giant

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Introduction

As regular readers know, I've been working on cataloging, shooting and deciding what to do with 20 years of collectibles, hoping to some day have it all looking nice on display or out of here. As I've been working through the boxes, I've been struck by how far the market for mini-busts has dropped in recent years. From a point where 5000 or even 7000 was considered a 'low' production run on some Gentle Giant releases, we now have busts for major licenses regularly under 1000. And even then, they can take awhile to sell out.

That doesn't mean it's quite dead yet though, and of course Gentle Giant is doing their best to keep it rolling. One of their recent adds is the Guardians of the Galaxy, a film that started as a big question mark in many fan's minds, but has proved itself as a mega summer hit.

I'm sure some of those questions lurked in the hearts and minds of the folks at Gentle Giant as well, particularly since they had to pick up the license well before the release of the film.  They even released their first product in advance - a mini-bust of Rocket Raccoon, sold as an exclusive at this year's San Diego Comic-Con.

Even with a production run of just 800, it took awhile for him to sell out. This was the lottery winner of the con though, going for $70 at the show and now pulling $150 - $200 on da bay.

The reasons should be obvious - the movie is a hit, and the character was a huge part of that popularity. It bodes well for getting the rest of the team in bust form, and perhaps they'll decide to return to this character later with a different look. Until then, those secondary market prices will rise.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Rocket Raccoon mini-bust by Gentle Giant

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Packaging - ***1/2
He comes in the basic Gentle Giant box, with sturdy foam trays that keep the one piece bust safe. It's obviously collector friendly - most bust and statue packaging is - but the big plus remains their cool baseball card styled Certificate of Authenticity. They hit on this style years ago, and have remained true to it over every license, adding consistency to their varied releases.

Rocket Raccoon mini-bust by Gentle Giant

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Sculpting - ***
It's Rocket, no doubt about that. He's fairly small, but that's to be expected, since he is a raccoon after all. The bust itself stands about 5" tall, which is about right considering most of these busts are done in an approximate sixth scale.

One of the problems some busts have, particularly from GG, is a smooth overall texture that takes away some of the realism of the sculpt. No worries here, since they had to give him plenty of texture with the fur.  This contrasts nicely with the smooth look of the 'pack' or armor that he wears over the cybernetic implants in his back. I'm not sure if this pack supposedly attaches to them in some way or simply covers them - there was no elaboration in the movie and I think they are a construct purely of the film.

Anyway, the pack looks great, and the leather straps and harnesses have some excellent small detail work as well.

The gun really pops, with a ton of detail work giving it a very realistic appearance.

So why the average score? This is due largely to the expression, and some of the soft work around the muzzle and teeth. While most of the rest of the sculpt is very sharp and well defined, the muzzle and teeth are a bit too smooth and softly defined.

The expression is the real killer for me though. He's snarling with his mouth, but the look doesn't extend to his eyes and face. If you see the teeth clearly - like in the last photo - you can tell he's angry and snarling. But if you only see the eyes and face, he looks blank, and the two don't meld together. The anger and violence needed to be mirrored in the squint of the eyes and the set of the face, particularly since the head is tilted downward, making it tough to see the mouth.

Rocket Raccoon mini-bust by Gentle Giant

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Paint - ***
The paint work is clean, with no real quality issues. The work on the pack, belts and gun are the highlight, with some great colors and clean lines.

The fur is decent, but the airbrushed areas look just like what they are - airbrushed. There isn't a realistic blending, taking away a bit from the overall appearance.

Rocket Raccoon mini-bust by Gentle Giant

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Rocket Raccoon mini-bust by Gentle Giant

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Value - **1/2
Most busts these days are still in that $60 range, sometimes a little less. While Rocket is small, the license and edition size are going to keep his price point up. Add in the SDCC exclusivity, and you get a price of $70, which is a bit high, but not surprising.

Rocket Raccoon mini-bust by Gentle Giant

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Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing.

Overall - ***
Rocket is solid work, and as a big fan of the film I'm glad I had the foresight (i.e. pure luck) to pick him up in advance. I'll be grabbing the rest of the line, and I certainly hope the demand for this guy was enough to get us all five. I'm sure they'll do Groot, and I'd be shocked if he wasn't the second release - he's all the rage right now - but I'd be bummed if they drop the line before we get Gamora or Drax.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ***
Paint - ***
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***

Where to Buy 
The bust sold out at SDCC, so it's time to hit ebay searching for that deal.

Related Links -
I've covered 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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Rocket Raccoon mini-bust by Gentle Giant

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

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