I’m beginning to think that the long wait times are having an effect on my enthusiasm for new action figures. Had this this Rocket and Groot set come out a few months after Guardians of the Galaxy hit theaters my reaction would be “fuck yeah!” Now that it’s been almost a full year my reaction to getting the shipping notice was “oh right, that.” That isn’t to say it isn’t exciting to get a new Hot Toys figure because it is. But I think I exert a lot more hype during the preorder phase, and then I have months to a year to slowly get over it. The longer it takes to ship the easier it gets to forget about that poor toy I wanted so badly.
Buying Rocket or Groot separate was pretty pointless because, somehow, little Rocket ended up costing almost the same as gigantic Groot. There is probably a little more engineering as well as some tailoring that went into Rocket, but that doesn’t really add up to the $159 solo price point. Also the Sideshow edition includes some additional extras to sweeten the pot. Rocket comes with two additional sets of hands, a set of alternate feet, his rifle, a stand, and a couple of potted Groots. Groot comes with an alternate screaming face, a set of non-bendy open hands, a clear “glowing” left hand, a stand, and what looks like a pair of extra wrist joints. I believe the potted Groots as well as his extra hands and screaming face were the Sideshow exclusive parts.
The duo comes in a gigantic window box that has a slip cover over top of it. I’d only ever bought Dark Knight Jokers from Hot Toys before so I was used to the opening book packaging. While I enjoy the display look of the box it isn’t very practical for a guy who likes to switch out parts. The tray where the figures sit has to be laid out and then the box, slipcase, and tray top need to be placed elsewhere. I realize this is a silly thing to get upset about, but I won’t destroy the box. Why won’t I dispose of it? The box is pretty much a part of high-end stuff, and I think it would feel incomplete without it. Also transportation and storage is so much easier with the original box. So under no circumstances pending my house catching on fire does the box get destroyed.
After playing around with Rocket and Groot I started to come to the realization that Hot Toys may not be my thing. I like to mess around with figures more than these guys seem to allow me. I’ve seen the giant detolf collections others have so I understand that these are more of display pieces than “mess around with” toys. But man, having a 1/6 Groot and Rocket just makes me want to pose and screw around with these guys. Groot is pretty solidly built so he isn’t much of an issue. Rocket, on the other hand, was a loose mess with shedding whiskers after only a couple days of play.
It may just be an issue with this specific figure, but trying to pose Rocket caused his ankle joints to loosen up on me very quickly. It made it really hard to balance him sans stand for the photo shoot. I also tried countless times to pull off that shoulder mounted shot of the pair following the instructions and it was just not happening.
I’m also having a really hard time finding a Groot pose that I like. I think that if he had a bicep swivel this would make things so much easier. Though, I never had much luck finding a good pose for my Marvel Legends Groot, so maybe it’s just a Groot thing. I’m not a giant fan of the bendy hands either. Replacing those with some fists (or as much of a fist a tree-man can make) would have been perfect. All that said, these are still absolutely stunning figures. The detail on Groot is astounding! Even with the articulation cuts the sculpt is seamless from head to toe. The giant feet are also lovely because he doesn’t feel like he’ll ever fall down. They anchor him extremely well. His stand is completely unnecessary unless you want to anchor Rocket on his shoulder, or you have an OCD that all your figures must be on matching stands.
For the most part this set satisfied my expectations. I wanted Groot to have a towering presence on the shelf, and I wanted his snarky friend to go with him. Rocket is a really neat figure but he feels like the weak link of this set. The facial expression is pretty good but it could have been better. Perhaps changing the current face to a more neutral look and then adding a screaming face would remedy this. The control art on the box even depicts both of the characters screaming!
The set came to about $360 and some shipping money for the Sideshow exclusive. I tried my hand at the Sideshow flex-pay agreement with these guys, and I think in the future I’m just going to pay the bulk when they arrive. It’s a nice feature if you have trouble budgeting, or just want to make it feel like you are paying a lot less over a period of time. However, if you schedule your payments later in the month and the figure releases early you have to wait for that last payment to clear. I’m an impatient person and want it to ship the instant it’s released!
The standard set is still available on Sideshow if you want to go that route. You can try your luck on Amazon, but I’ll warn you the prices are currently a bit out of control. I’d wait a few months for them to stabilize. Having not owned (and not really wanting to own) any other Hot Toys Guardians of the Galaxy figures, I still think these two are the most desirable. Sure Drax still hasn’t come out and may never, but he never did much for me either. If you are looking to sample what Hot Toys can do on a non-standard body this is a great set to check out!