Of all the great things accomplished by the first Guardians of the Galaxy film, one of the greatest had to be ingratiating the public at large to the grimy charm of character actor extraordinaire Michael Rooker. The erstwhile Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer star has appeared in nerd favorites from Kevin Smith’s Mallrats to Guardians director James Gunn’s own instant body horror cult classic Slither, to being woefully underutilized as Merle in The Walking Dead. Guardians‘ Yondu though, really gave Rooker a charmingly slimy SOB to sink his teeth into, one that both casual and diehard Marvel fans hate to love just as much as they love to hate.
Unfortunately the subject of today’s review isn’t quite the slam dunk that Hasbro’s recent Star Lord was, but being less of an action oriented character helps dull the pain slightly. The figure’s trench coat comes sort of pre-sculpted in an “arrow reveal” pose, which is great except for the fact that he doesn’t include a spare arrow to stow in the holster, only one that connects to a pink clear plastic effects piece that doesn’t work particularly well. One snip from a regular ass pair of scissors and voila!, multi-purpose arrow.
From the waist down Yondu is a re-paint of the too-skinny Star Lord from the original GotG ML line. It works okay for a scrappier cat like Rooker, but without the coat on it leaves him appearing a little flimsy. Good thing the included head sculpts more than make up for any of the figure’s other faults. Yes, sculpts. Plural. One features a sinister grin and the first film’s short mowhawk and the other with a whistling visage (that’s how he controls the arrow, after all) and the more comic accurate fin glimpsed in the trailers for GotG 2. The likenesses and expressions are perfect and put any of McFarlane’s attempts to give us a similarly scaled Merle to absolute shame.
Second only to the head sculpts is the paint work here, a vibrant blue for Yondu’s skin and nice, clean work on the rest of the reds and browns of his uniform. The articulation above the waist is excellent as well, it’s just a shame that he only includes one set of fairly relaxed hands, again, limiting the poses one can achieve. This figure still has great shelf presence though, and definitely plugs in a void that 1/12 scale collectors have been looking to fill ever since the first film dropped. Minor faults aside, this is still an excellent pick up for fans of both the MCU Yondu character and of Rooker’s prolific acting work.
Hasbro’s GotG Vol. 2 Marvel Legends are available now, the movie drops in theaters on April 5th, and don’t miss our Guardians themed Awesome Mix Dance Party at The Barbary 4/29!