I incorrectly assumed that Empire Strikes Back and Captain America: Civil War was going to be the films that were going to have the biggest representation on my Hot Toys display. Avengers: Infinity War is going to be incredibly problematic for my wallet. At this point I’ll need to start selling off some older figures not just to make room, but to afford them. The onslaught began this month with the release of the Groot and Rocket set.
Along with Thor, Groot and Rocket made up Infinity War’s best trio. There was actually some strong competition on that front with Doctor Strange, Iron Man & Spider-Man, Captain America, Falcon & Black Widow and Star-Lord, Drax and Mantis. Since I hadn’t gotten around to getting the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Rocket, this set seemed like a no-brainer. Two Guardians in one package. Not a bad deal.
Packaging: I’m a fan of the Infinity War packaging. Considering I’m going to have 10-12 of them when it’s all done, that’s a good thing. Hot Toys went with a galactic color tone with a starry green and yellow with gold foil with a drawing of Groot and Rocket. It looks very classy.
The exterior sleeve slides off to show a clean arrangement of Groot and Rocket and their various accessories.
Likeness: Groot is in his teenager phase so he doesn’t have a lot of meat on his bones…er bark just yet. I like how the figure is slighter then the standard releases. As expected, the detail work here on Groot’s body is incredible. Hasbro does a good job on the six-inch scale with Groot, but Hot Toys works in so much detail like smaller branches and vines to give the figure a realistic wood-like appearance.
He comes with two head sculpts — one a more surly, typical teen who’s annoyed at the world and another friendlier expression. I appreciate the option especially considering my favorite of his accessories.
Rocket didn’t get a wardrobe change for Infinity War since presumably, Infinity War doesn’t occur much longer after the events in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Like Groot, Rocket’s fur is sculpted to be as realistic as possible.
It’s sharp and looks appropriately matted. The expression does give Rocket a lot of character with a wet looking tongue, sharp teeth and whiskers. Rocket’s tail is connected by a ball joint, which was smart as to avoid breakage.
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The one drawback for Rocket is he’s got one head sculpt — an extreme in the middle of a heated battle yelling expression. Considering most Hot Toys figures are done with neutral expressions, this really stands out.
I would much rather them provided a sculpt with Rocket’s mischievous smile like we see on the package. That’s far more of a common expression Rocket shows unless he’s yelling or dodging blasters.
Rocket’s outfit is well done. It’s got some terrific tailoring with good texturing and detail.
Scale: Rocket of course is tiny and smaller than the regular size figure. He’ll come up to Star-Lord’s waist. Groot is a tad smaller than Star-Lord and his slight frame helps convey the lanky teen appearance.
Paint: The paint work here is very impressive. Groot has so many washes and paint applications to get that wood-like appearance with even some moss atop his head.
Rocket isn’t left out either with some strong linework around his mask. The teeth are painted realistically and the gums and tongue are beautifully applied.
Articulation: Groot and Rocket have surprisingly good articulation. Groot’s arms pop off if you lift them up too quickly. Ditto for Rocket’s tail, which is helpful when positioning him. You can get some good expressive poses out of both of them.
Rocket is a tad more restricted due to the uniform, but with a little gentle maneuvering, you can get most of the poses you’d like for him.
Groot’s legs can extend out to allow for easier posing. I was very impressed at the ease of swapping out the hands and in Rocket’s case, feet. This had been a bit of a nightmare problem with some Hot Toys figures that liked to eat the post requiring using some of the spares. They’re including, but I doubt they’ll be necessary. Groot’s head can’t turn left and right as much as I’d like, but it’s more than adequate for most poses.
Groot and Rocket have:
Accessories: Groot has one head, but you’ll swap the face plates out. Take your time, but these won’t be too problematic.
Also, there’s four small vines that you can attach onto Groot as well to help give more of that sense that Groot is still growing and maturing.
Groot also has five hands: one pair of relaxed hands, one partially clenched left hand, one weapon holding right hand and an attacking right hand to deal with those annoying Outriders. Groot gets his Game Boy tablet. It’s simple, but that seems consistent with the film design. This will probably be how I’ll display Groot.
Rocket has three pairs of hands: relaxed set, fists and blaster holding. In a rarity for Hot Toys, we also get interchangeable feet with a pair of standing and flying stance.
Rocket’s gun is even more intricate with a teeth-like barrel and multiple levels. It’s exactly the kind of overcompensating gun that you’d expect from Rocket. He’s also got a strap so he can lug the gun on his back.
Hot Toys appears to have redesigned the stands to be more space efficient. The hexagonal shape allows for better alignment, which will be key if you’re displaying your Infinity War figures according to their factions or squads from the film.
Worth It? At $345, this set is only $10 cheaper than the Thor: Ragnarok Gladiator Hulk. By that comparison, this isn’t a great deal as Hulk is massive and has new armored pieces and a generous amount of accessories. It is a good deal if you don’t already have the Vol. 2 Rocket, which just sold out. Groot runs for $220 by himself so this package deal is definitely the way to go.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
I really would have liked a second head sculpt for Rocket. It’s the one obvious accessory that was missing. Otherwise, this is a strong set and kickoff to the Infinity War collection. Time to clear some shelf space.
Where to get it? Sideshow Collectibles still has the set in stock so don’t delay. I’ve got a feeling this is going to sell out the moment the Infinity War Thor gets released.