In just a few short weeks, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy hits theaters, and the rather extensive toy line by Hasbro is in full force on retail shelves to support it. And this collection is broad, featuring vehicles and army builders and loads of supporting characters, with even more potentially on the horizon… in short, it’s everything we always wish for when it comes to movie toys.
The downside is, what we get here is an entirely new scale for Marvel movie toys, with the figures and vehicles clocking in at just over 2″. Of course, size isn’t everything, and while a scale change is always frustrating for long-running collections like Hasbro’s 3.75″ cinematic Marvel figures, it doesn’t have to be a deal breaker, as long as the smaller sized toys retain the same level of quality.
In that respect, Hasbro’s Guardians of the Galaxy toys are a mixed bag. Th figures themselves suffer from the down sizing and limited articulation. While there’s a lot of effort put into these sculpts (and an admirable sense of scale between figures), the basic five points of articulation mean you can’t do too much with them, and their oversized weapons force the hands to be sculpted way, way too big to be proportional to the rest of the figure.
On the other hand, the smaller sized figures allow for vehicles– in this case the space ships as seen in the movie– and these ships are awesome! I picked up both basic ships, namely Rocket’s Warbird and the Nova Corps Starblaster, and both are great. The cruisers measure about 7 to 8″ long and feature amazingly detailed sculpts, painstakingly on model to everything we have seen so far from the big screen versions of the ships.
Both ships feature working cockpits, to house their respective Rocket and Nova officer pilots, as well as pivoting wings which allow for multiple fun display options without inhibiting the wonderful sculpts. I’m really very impressed by these ships– each has its own personality that really rings true to the pilot, and I can’t wait to add Star Lord’s Milano to my fleet as well.
If I had any complaints about the ships (aside from the lackluster pilot figures), it would be that they don’t feature stands. I’m planning to jury rig some old Marvel Legends flight stands to display my ships, but I can’t imagine how cool it would have been if Hasbro had included a clear plastic flight stand– especially a wall mountable version– with each vehicle. I’m okay missing out on a stand, though considering the great price tag… the basic ships are fetching $15 at retail, with the Milano just a tad more at around $25. For that money, a very well done vehicle is a great bargain.
While I do admit I’m not very impressed with the mini figures, they are also a fair enough value. Each figure comes in a two-pack which retail for $6 (only poor dumb old Toys R Us is attempting to get $10 for these sets). For the money, I still can’t really say they’re worth it… but your mileage may vary, depending on how badly you want the whole Guardians team or some of their enemies like Ronan the Accuser or Korath (both included in this first lineup).
The figure two-packs also feature a sprew of gimmicky weapons, cast in translucent plastic. The concept here is each figure can hold one of the weapons… or they can plug and clip onto one of the ships to provide more munitions for the vehicle. It’s a neat concept, though the extra parts don’t do much to accentuate the already great vehicles, nor do they forgive the shortcomings of the figures.
These Guardians figures fall into the kid-oriented part of the line, with the very nice Legends figures aimed at collectors. Even as a kid, I would probably be underwhelmed by the mini figures, although I would and still do appreciate that we get more side characters than core hero variants. But those vehicles, man… those are where it’s at. If you’re looking for great toy versions of the cinematic Guardians of the Galaxy, pick up the Marvel Legends series. But if you want a cost effective replica of any of the excellent ship designs in this movie, look no further… because in that respect, Hasbro’s team really delivered.