Review: Rocket and Baby Groot (Hasbro Marvel Legends Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2)

“…everyone's favorite foul mouthed genetic experiment.”

Having the breakout star of your movie franchise be 1/3rd as tall as the rest of the cast means that despite their high profile in marketing materials and the hearts of filmgoers everywhere, their appearances in main line, “serious” action figure assortments are usually relegated to “accessory” status (just ask poor ol’ Yoda). This, for years, was the fate of Rocket Raccoon. The blue uniformed, comic based Rockets repeatedly seen in both the Marvel Universe and early Hasbro Marvel Legends’ were basically articulation-less, and the first film’s Rocket was nearly as bad, barely saved as a single packed figure by the addition of his BFG and the biggest piece of series BAF adult Groot. An update was definitely needed, and Hasbro’s recent winning streak with their 1/12th scale Marvel lines has been very good indeed to everyone’s favorite foul mouthed genetic experiment.

Just as in the first film’s dedicated ML series, Rocket is a single packed figure, the impetus behind this being that he, once again, includes the largest piece of the series’ build a figure (Mantis’ torso). Rocket’s not all alone in the package though, he includes a Ravager uniformed Baby Groot (allowing you to recreate arguably the second film’s funniest scenes), and his pair of blasters. Well painted and sculpted, one of these shooters resembles Han Solo’s Walter PPK inspired sidearm and the other is a triple barreled Frankenstein of a pistol that looks like something Cable or Bishop might tote around. Rocket’s usually depicted two handing some sort of giant blaster much bigger than he is though, so the lack of any sort of BFG in this package IS a bummer. Do what we did and hand him down Drax’s Rocket Launcha. The Baby Groot is seriously one of the smallest, most well painted and sculpted pieces in my collection, on par with the tiny Ant Man included with Hot Toys’ proper Paul Rudd. Seriously. It’s that good. Too bad he can’t stand for shit on his own, but if you have any of the old clear Minimate stands lying around, that (as you can see) will do the trick.

On to Rocket himself and well, he’s so good you just might not feel any kind of way about dropping $20 on his little ass. The included second head takes the sting out of the price a bit, screaming for vengeance, though the one he comes wearing is just as good, with a savage snarl. This is one seriously pissed off Rocket. Paint work throughout is above average, from the gloss over his eyes to the attention paid to his pointy pearly whites. The various blues, grays and browns of his uniform are neat and clean, and while the coloring of his fur (especially his tail) can seem a bit too uniformed and machined, this is still super solid work overall for a mass market release. Articulation follows right along being just short of perfect, though engineering hinged wrists and rocker ankles at this scale and/or price point may be an impossibility. Good thing the overall sculpt makes up for any of the figure’s other minor shortcomings, with both Rocket’s organic and uniform bits realized fantastically, looking like he jumped right off the screen whereas the previous film’s woefully off model representation was obviously based on early concept art.

Fans really needed a new 6″ scale Rocket (the black and silver clad Marvel Select version is awesome, but a bit too big to fit into most Legends displays), and here he is, at a high enough quality level to make collectors less ass-hurt about paying full 6″ scale price for a figure that barely reaches the 3″ mark. Am I bitter about paying $20 for this? Yes. Is he a really fun figure that looks awesome in my display? Also yes. Maybe another head, a few more hands and stands for both Rocket and Groot would make the price tag hurt a little less, but as he (occasionally) stands, this Rocket is an essential (albeit begrudging) addition to any ML collection, especially given the mediocrity of the iterations that came before.

Hey Philly Area Marvel Zombies! Don’t miss our Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix Vol. 2 Dance Party at The Barbary in Fishtown this Saturday, September 30th! Costume contest? Dance off? Drink specials? Decorations? You’re welcome.


Kevin Hawkey is the co-founder, head writer and editor of Riot-Nerd. He enjoys Fighting Games, Metal, Marvel, Horror and all the weird shit in between. A lifelong Philadelphian just as comfortable in a circle pit at Underground Arts as he is drooling over the new Hot Toys figures at Brave New Worlds, Kevin’s idiosyncratic sensibility gives this site it’s unique dichotomy between “riot” and “nerd”.
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