Updated: Nov 25, 2018
Review : Star Lord and Rocket Marvel Select (Diamond Select Toys) Wave/Series : Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Released : February 2018
Pros : Costume is well sculpted and nicely weathered. The articulation on Rocket is impressive in the most part.
Cons : No unmasked head and the masked head is not accurately coloured. Only one blaster. Rocket's jaw is not articulated despite card back image
Fans have waited almost a full year to get their hands on Diamond Select's first Guardians of the Galaxy movie figure. After skipping the first movie, the only MCU movie they've missed making a figure for since they started with Iron-Man 2, the team at Diamond planned to bring us four of the five principle Guardians characters in their 7" Select scale.
The journey to store shelves has not been easy, with some significant delays and a particularly embarrassing release of an image of Star-Lord with a beautiful Chris Pratt head sculpt - which then had to be retracted as the figure comes with a masked head only.
Like all Selects, Star-Lord and rocket arrive in the standard large blister packaging with a very nice light blue nebula type colour scheme and bright gold Guardians badge on the spine under the character name.
The side panel is a full image of masked Star-Lord with Rocket above him firing over his shoulder. These are movie realistic, but are illustrated rather than be stills from the movie.
On the rear of the packaging we have full length images of the two figures and a short background for Star-Lord in particular and how he and Rocket team up. It is very generic and not necessarily related to the Vol.2 sequel. To the side of this is a more dynamic "also available" panel than usual, showing Drax and Groot - the other release for the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 movie
As we have two figures in this set, there is no diorama base included which does make the packaging look a little empty. Once out of the pack this is more apparent although the figures are spaced well with accessories filling the gap above Rocket's head.
I am going to start with Star-Lord as the principle figure of the pack. I am already disappointed with the head considering I know there is a stunning Chris Pratt portrait out there - which Diamond themselves showed - but that never made the cut. That leaves us with a masked Star-Lord head only.
The mask is well done with a good level of detail around the eye pieces and the face plate. What is off for me is the colouring which is far too bright and very silver. Star-Lord's mask is much darker and almost grey down the sides and this looks off on the figure. Diamond themselves even reflected the darkness of the helmet if you look at their Vinyl Statue of Star-Lord from the same movie. Helmet colour aside, the hair is well done popping out the top and is a good likeness to Pratt.
While the helmet is a bit off in terms of accuracy, the rest of the outfit is very well done. The "Yeah Baby" shirt is there (we had thought this had been dropped at one point) and is achieved by means of a decal over a light blue shirt. And if you pull open the jacket the full logo is there, not just the bit you can see.
The jacket looks aged and used, not clean like some Star-Lord figures. We have the various panels and lapels and the gold badge and zip. Even the back has some solid detail like the clasps under the collar.
The trousers are also nicely sculpted and weathered. They are a touch too red for me and too similar to the jacket colour. On screen the trousers in most of the movie look to be more of a grey colour.
The boots have lots of detail, but again are coloured too similarly and that looses some of the visual impact,
Articulation is the standard Select 16 points of articulation. The head is ball jointed and therefore rotates as well as ranging up and down. There is a torso joint under the jacket and cutting across the shirt. This means the torso can twist and lean while still displaying the Yeah Baby logo.
The arms are ball jointed at the shoulder. We then have a single rotating elbow that bends to 90 degrees. The wrists are pivoted and while these rotate fully they can't really pivot as they are blocked by the sleeve.
The legs begin with that T-Joint hip which means Star-Lord can swing his legs out in front or out to the side - although any sitting pose will be quite laid back as the hips don't go to a full 90 degrees.
There is a thigh swivel just under the hips and then we have a nicely disguised set of double-jointed knees. This allows the ower leg to bend back on itself. The figure ends with ankle rockers, and this makes standing Star-Lord a piece of cake.
Most of the joints are firm and stiff and feel ratcheted.
The ups and downs on this review continues now as we take another low as we look at accessories. Star-Lord has always wielded a pair of blasters, and yet Diamond have only given us one with this figure.
This missing 2nd blaster prevents us achieving any reasonable Star-Lord weapon wielding pose and this is a huge miss for me. Particularly when you consider every other release from Hasbro, Hot Toys, Figuarts and even Diamond's Comic book release have dual blasters. Looking at the one blaster included, it is nicely done and is very crisply cast with a lot of paint details including a blended blue/purple barrel. It also fits snugly into Star-Lords right hand, albeit you will need to tease the fingers to get the grip sorted. While the comic book Star-Lord had pegs to holster the blasters when not in use, there is nothing on this figure to allow the blaster to be holstered.
The second figure in the pack is Rocket. He stands just over 3 inches high, and comes in his blue jumpsuit. The head sculpt is very nice and well painted even down to those angry orange eyes and the teeth inside the mouth.
The issue here is that the mouth, which you assume to be articulated, does not move. If you go back to the packaging and take a look at the card back and it specifically shows a closed mouth Rocket - another own goal by Diamond.
Rocket's costume is very accurate with the blue under-suit and grey trim and panelling. Round the back is the back pack with green metallic globe. The fur texture is awesome throughout and yet is a dark wash away from being perfect.
Despite his size and the lack of an articulated aw, Rocket still packs a whole bunch of articulation - 13 points to be precise. Rocket's head is ball jointed and turns fully, he also has a further ball joint in the torso. The arms are jointed in the shoulder, elbow and wrist.
The hips use a miniaturised version of the T-joint hip, swinging the legs out to side and out in front. While the knee joint is skipped, the ankles are still on a rocker to aid in having Rocket stand up.
And the finishing touch, a ball jointed tail. This is normally going to be used to pose the figure as a 3rd point of contact to keep Rocket stable, and yet with some work Rocket can stand with the tail raised.
While Star-Lord is short changed with guns, Rocket does get two blasters. These are the two handguns he uses when escaping Tazerface's Ravager Crew with Groot and Yondu towards the end of the movie. Each gun is cast in a softer plastic which means some warping and the details being a little soft. They are nicely painted with a silver base and various additions relevant to each gun.
While these are nice and fit into Rocket's hands they aren't a secure fit and tend to fall out if nudged. I also can't help but wish Rocket had come with a super-sized blaster like he touts at the start of the movie when fighting the Obelisk.
When we put Rocket with Star-Lord the other issue that is presented is the scale of the figures as a pair, and within the wider MCU Select releases. Rocket comes in a bit short for me, in fact he is probably a better scale for the 6" Marvel Legends line. For the 7" Select scale Rocket needs to be a half inch or so higher so his head is the same height as Star-Lords belt.
Star-Lord himself fits pretty much OK with the other MCU Select figures - there is no Daredevil type under-scaling here. In fact Star-Lord may actually be spot on coming in a touch taller than Civil War Captain America which is correct when you look up the height of Evans vs Pratt.
Once we way up the pros and cons of the two figures I will score this release a 3 out of 5.
Had they added in the Pratt head, given him a 2nd blaster and articulated Rocket's jaw we would have been up in 5 out of 5. Sadly that list is at least two too many issues for me in one box - several of which are own goals by Diamond considering it was them who showed the Pratt head and showed a closed mouth Rocket on the pack.