Welcome to our review of the Marvel Legends Evolutions of Groot action figure. After the 2014 release of Groot as a build-a-figure, this 2017 release gave collectors the opportunity to purchase Groot as a single figure with a new sculpted head and an improved paint job. Thrown in for good measure were scale appropriate versions of Potted Groot and Baby Groot. The set was exclusive to Toys R Us stores.
As a stand alone exclusive release, Groot doesn't necessarily fit in with any other Legends packaging coming with a purple hue theme and backing card. The illustration down each side shows off the three stages of Groot with the adult Groot at the top and Baby Groot and Potted Groot further down.
The packaging used the original Guardians of the Galaxy movie logo, which is the movie the majority of the contents are based on. The name card simply reads GROOT with the word Evolution in brackets.
On the reverse of the pack we see a promo image of the main figure, with the two smaller versions in inserts shaped like the Guardians badge. The text reads...
"From potted prodigy to towering tree-like humanoid, Groot uses powers of regeneration to become a legendary defender of intergalactic justice"
You will realise of course from the way Groot looks in the box that there is something not quite right with his height. He is too tall fully assembled to fit in a normal Legends box, so the Hasbro team have removed his legs at the knee and packed the under the main figure.
I am not a huge fan of this look if I was collecting the figure carded, it looks odd. With the figure not sitting in a wave then it would have been easy enough to put Groot in his own box packaging to suit his height.
Once unpacked, assembly is simple enough - like any build-a-figure they push and click into position. The hardest part is probably working out which is left and which is right.
Sculpt & Paint 4/5
The 2017 Groot sports a new head sculpt which now has Groot smiling rather than the more sullen look on the original build-a-figure. The sculpt is very strong with an expressive look and quite a lot of depth to the sculpt and paint job - particularly the eyes.
The smiling head is quite specific a look for Groot and if this was meant to be the definitive Groot release then I would have also liked to have seen the original head included (with updated paint) and the roaring head - which is the other iconic look for Groot from Guardians.
The rest of the body remains as we were in 2014. The wood and tree like effects and textures are good with tendrils wrapping around legs and arms.
Groot stands nearly 9 inches tall, and is perfectly stable on those literal tree-trunk legs and the planted root feet.
This time round the paint job is massively improved with a lot more depth and washing added to the figure. While I felt the 2014 BAF was a good figure, when you set these side by side you can see how far the line has come in just a few short years.
Groot retains the 16 points of articulation that the BAF had in place. The main trunk of the body gets a ball joint neck, making the head swivel and tilt, and a further ball joint mid-chest. This joint is important as it allows Groot to lean forward and back and is the one that permits the posing to take on more Groot-like stances.
Arms are jointed with ball joints at the shoulders, with a bicep swivel underneath. The elbows are double jointed and there is a pivot wrist peg.
While the arms are pretty mobile, the legs are less well served. They start with a ball joint hip - but then we have no thigh swivel and the knee is only a single joint. We end with a form of rocker on the ankle, but it doesn't offer too much movement. Altogether this limits Groot to wider stances only with the occasional knee bend.
I am going to class the two smaller Groot incarnations as accessories for the purpose of this review.
We start with "potted plant" Groot, as seen in the cut scenes at the end of the first movie. THis is the iconic dancing Groot and the pose tries to recreate this. Considering the size (less than 3cm in height) the features are discernable - although blowing up the figure in images lie we have below shows it is all a little soft when magnified.
Paint is applied to give some green texturing to the figure. The soil of the pot is also painted a different darker brown so it separates from the figure. The pot itself is a plain white colour. The only other paint applied is the eyes and a thin line for the mouth.
Baby Groot takes us from the first movie and into Volume 2. Like the potted version, Baby Groot stands just 3cm high and is sculpted well enough for you to know who it is - but again very soft when magnified.
The paint is once again restricted to green highlights in selected areas and the dark eye colour - Baby Groot does not get any paint applied to the mouth - this is left to the sculpt alone to define.
The figure is completely different to the Ravager Baby Groot from the GOTG2 Rocket release.
Neither of these mini versions are articulated in anyway - something that would be difficult at such a scale, but not impossible as Diamond Select have proved.
The Groot Evolution set takes what was a good figure and makes it better with a crisper and more accurate paint job and some neat accessories in the form of the two mini Groot's.
The figure is not however without its fault. The smiling head is quite specific a look, and there are no alternatives provided which would have been nice. The figure is also packed weirdly with its lower legs detached. Not an issue for loose collectors with assembly working fine, but certainly an odd looking figure to have in a carded collection.
I score the Groot Evolution box set a 4 out of 5.