With the first Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 Marvel Legends wave containing roughly half of the movie cast, I expected them to fill out the rest of the roster with another wave and possibly exclusives. Well, now we have our first GOTG exclusive! Toys ‘R’ Us will be offering a “Groot Evolution” set which will include three versions of our favorite tree-man. While I guess this could be considered a box set since it has three characters in it, it’s packed in a single figure’s card so hopefully the price will reflect that when it hits stores.
Basically this set is titled as and comes with the movie’s evolution of Groot. We have the character from a majority of the original Guardians of the Galaxy movie, a potted version from the end of the film, and finally our first Baby Groot who will be featured in the new movie. Yes, they packed the entire build-a-figure into a single card. His legs come detached at the knees in order for him to fit, however. Unfortunately the only difference between the full-sized Groot and his past figures is a new head. Not that it isn’t a nice head, but I wish they could have done a little more. Possibly some new arm attachments? Fists? Anything? I have a lot of Groots now.
Groot’s body is by no means bad. It’s just that I own three versions of it now with different heads: this one, the Guardians of the Galaxy Comic box set version, and the original build-a-figure. The Evolution Groot has a lot more green mossy details painted into his sculpt over the original’s more basic scheme.
I hate to say it but I don’t think I love any of their heads completely. I think the comic version has the best head, but the body really doesn’t match it. They should have sprung for the coat or something on him. The smiling face is nice, but something is off about the eyes. He’s supposed to be happy, but the way the pupils are painted it makes him look wired instead. It’s still a nice improvement over the original where the eye sockets were just painted black.
I appreciate that Hasbro didn’t reuse the 3 3/4″ scale potted Groot yet again for this release. It’s the dancing Groot pose we’ve seen flood the market shortly after the first film came out. It’s the first movie accurate version made by Hasbro for the Marvel Legends line, however. It’s a simple little figure without any articulation, and he has a cute little smile!
Baby Groot is the one I wish they could have done a little more with. I’m going to assume that since he’s so small we will likely see different versions of him packed in with later figures. Possibly Rocket? Like the potted version, this Groot has no articulation either. He’s in a walking pose, waving at his adoring public. It’s a fine placeholder for the time being, but I really hope they plan to do multiple versions of the character in upcoming waves or exclusives. A little articulation couldn’t hurt either. Nothing fancy, just a few swivels at the arms and maybe a ball jointed head. I’m not looking for a half-inch tall figure with thirty points of articulation.
Overall this is a solid set. It has a little something new for the war-torn Marvel Legends veteran like myself, but is also a decent catch up set for somebody new to the line. If this figure ends up actually being priced between $20 and $25 like a typical single-carded Marvel Legend it will be well worth it. If Toys ‘R’ Us hikes up the price because of exclusivity then the value would diminish a bit. While the Baby Groot is perfectly functional in this set, I do hope that they try to release one with at least some articulation eventually.
Groot is not in stores yet. I expect he will be released around mid-March which is the same time the first Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 Legends wave comes out. He’s a Toys ‘R’ Us exclusive so I’m sure he will be listed at their site, but also check out Amazon for the rest of the GOTG team!