Pros : Both Rocket heads are well done. Groot is impressive even at such a small size
Cons : Groot does not stand well at all. An additional larger accessory would have been nice to fill out the set
Rocket Raccoon and Groot from their 2nd outing in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, were part of the 2nd wave of Guardians figures in 2017. They were part of the Mantis BAF wave along with other characters from the movie including Gamora, Nebula and a long coated Star Lord.
The packaging for the wave was purple themed and included alternative images on the box sides - one for Rocket (left) and one for Baby Groot (right). Differing pakcaging was used when this figure was re-released in UK as part of a "Best of MCU" wave. Here the Guardians were released with Thor Ragnarok figures and the BAF was the Gladiator Hulk. The overall theme on this wave is sky blue. If you pick up this release then Rocket will come with one head option only - mouth open.
On the card back and the main image is of the Rocket figure, while Groot in his Ravager outfit is displayed in a circular insert. We get the usual multilingual background text for the characters aside the images of the figures - and beneath all of this the BAF details including an image of Mantis and a checklist of the figures you need to buy to assemble her.
Out of the box and the figures, and BAF part, sit in the usual clear tray which itself sits in a purple cardboard sleeve. This sleeve is neatly printed with a Ravagers logo which is sadly not too visible until you've emptied the box of its contents.
Starting with Rocket, and he arrives with a snarling head sculpt in place. This is well executed with a much better look than the 2014 Legends Rocket. The paint job is pretty slick with some variation in fur shading and some wash to add depth to the sculpt. The eyes are small, but emotive and the mouth is filled with individual sculpted teeth and a fleshy pink tongue.
Rocket is wearing his blue flight suit. This is a flat blue colour darker blue panels around the midsection, grey straps and silver painted clasps. The fur across the arms and legs is less well painted as the head and is a glossier plain brown finish. There is colour variation in the tail which alternates between two shades of brown. The whole figure stands 3" high.
Despite his size, Rocket still carries a respectable 17 points of articulation. The head is a ball joint and can rotate fully. It doesn't have a great deal of vertical movement due to its size and the wider neck of Rocket.
The arms are fully maneuverable with a ball jointed shoulder, single rotating elbow joint and rotating wrists. The only restriction is on any two handed posing if you wanted to give Rocket a larger weapon to wield - perhaps the one from his 2014 release?
There is a torso joint and like the head this rotates, but can;t move forward or backwards too much. Rocket's legs get ball jointed hips, a thigh swivel, single jointed knees and he even has ankle joints of a fashion. These are not usual rockers, but rather a peg via which the foot attaches to the leg. This means they do rotate - watch these though as they can pop off if you turn them too much.
The final joint is round the back with the articulated tail. This is a ball joint solution plugged into Rocket's butt. This gives the tail a full range of motion, but most of the time you will be using it down as a third point of contact with the shelf to have Rocket stood upright
Rocket does get a 2nd head option. This one is a closed mouth, but it still carries a little snarl with the teeth exposed down the jaw line.
With the mouth closed the eyes are opened up a little and again are very well painted considering the size of the head. Swapping the heads is dead easy, no issues here if you want to change them.
While I am a fan of Rocket wielding massive oversized guns, this set chooses to go down the handgun route and gives Rocket the two pistols he is using in the movie as he, Yondu and Groot escape the Ravager ship. Each gun is its own distinct sculpt and is then cast in a slightly softer plastic. The paint is applied as silver colour but not fully over the black plastic which adds some character.
The guns can be wielded in either hand, but only the right has a trigger finger which can be coaxed to sit in the trigger of whichever gun you choose to use.
Onto Groot now and this is him in the Ravagers outfit. This is a single cast piece with no articulation. He stands just an inch and a half high, and despite this he is really nicely painted. You can see clear variations of brown on his head with a blend to green on the top parts of his head. The eyes are well defined. And there is even detail across his red Ravager uniform such as a bronze fastener across the front, a couple of brown straps near the legs and a gold badge on the shoulder. On my figure I do have a splot of ravager red on Groot's foot which is a factory error, but only noticeable in these close up photos.
The only other issue Groot presents is the ability to stand. His feet are quite small and not wide enough to support the body. While a solution might have been nice out of the box, it is not difficult to use something like blu tack to hold him up on display.
I did try to pose Groot on Rocket's shoulder but that is not accounted for in the way the two figures are designed so sadly Baby Groot will need to be stood alongside Rocket on display and not screaming on his shoulder.
When any figure of Rocket's size is released as a single there will be complaints as to the value vs a full size 6" figure. For me I think this set has offset this value argument pretty well by including Groot, a 2nd head, a couple of weapons and quite a considerable piece of Mantis. I would however have liked the set to go one step further and adding one of Rocket's trademark larger guns, or perhaps the bomb from the final battle with Ego.
Everything about Rocket is well executed and Groot, despite his size, is in the main well painted and just suffers from being difficult to stand.
I award Rocket & Groot a very solid 4 out of 5 rating.