Aloha! It’s a been a little bit since our last review. Life has been crazy this past few months with a move and a baby on the way, as well as taking my first official steps into toy design! All good things of course, but sadly they’ve taken a lot of my time and attention away from kicking out the quality reviews you guys and gals have come to expect from RtR.
Believe it or not, I’ve actually written about 10 different, almost complete reviews in my spare time over the past couple months. Toys from 3A, Hot Toys, Acid Rain and a few others have all been met with my critical eye and slathered with my remarks. I just haven’t had time to take the photos/shoot the videos and publish the darn things.
With life showing zero signs of slowing down, I decided I needed to bite the bullet and do whatever it took to find the time to get a new review published! I was so excited to finally have Hot Toys Star-Lord pop up on my front porch last week, I figured if there’s ever a good excuse to stay up into the wee hours just so I can break the wheel, this is it!
Probably my favorite film of last year, GOTG, arguably this generation’s Star Wars (that is, until Star Wars comes out in December to officially re-claim the title) was Marvel’s surprise hit with kids, parents and the geeky masses alike. It combined a fantastic universe with action-packed action, memorable characters, a top-notch soundtrack(!), great humor and slick visuals. It even gave The Avengers a run for it’s money as the crem de la creme superhero, action adventure film.
Hot Toys is, of course, one of the best toy companies out there. The level of detail and quality they’re able to achieve with their figures is rivaled by very few. That said, almost every Hot Toys figure I own has at least a few limitations that cause me some personal stress.. which are made more glaring by the fact that the rest of the figure is usually so fantastic.
So, here I am.. anticipating the dive into this purple and yellow box containing Peter Quill, Marvel Comic’s version of Han Solo.
Wait, that analogy doesn’t work anymore does it? Marvel’s version of Han Solo is actually Han Solo.
It’s so weird that Disney owns Marvel/owns Star Wars… isn’t it?
Sigh… never mind.
Lets just get to the review and see if Hot Toys delivered a legendary outlaw to be excited about.
It’s Galaxy-ish! It’s Guardians-ish! It’s Purple and Yellow!
You guys know me. I like artwork on my boxes.. I want to display them with the figures that come packaged within them. So, for the most part, Hot Toys use of movie press-style art on the front doesn’t really resonate all that much with me. I just think it’d be awesome if they’d partner with a company like Mondo or something, maybe do a special edition with a poster or art print. Now that’d look nice on the shelf.
That said, it’s actually a pretty nice looking slip-cover, with an image of Peter Quill (a photo of the actor, Chris Pratt, NOT the toy) looking determined to do some action-y stuff off camera.
In the end it’s a nice quality box with solid guts that’ll protect your toy from bumps and scratches.
“What possibly is there not to love?”
That’s what I asked myself as I initially gazed at Star-Lord, freshly freed from his packaging. You would have a much more critical (or joyless) eye than I if the first thought out of your head when seeing Star-Lord was something like, “Meh, I’ve seen better…” I mean, he looks amaze’n! Stop your hate, learn to love man!
This is Hot Toys, so obviously there’s a heap of expectation going in. But of my meager but, growing HT collection, Star-Lord has vastly more visual impact than the rest.
Starting with the portrait, yup.. that’s Chris Pratt. Just the slightest of smirks has him tossing off just enough of that Han Solo.. ahem.. I mean, Peter Quill vibe you’re looking for.
The details in the stubble, hair and eyes are all fantastic.
Lets get in close here to really appreciate the goodness going on.
Yup. Geez.. this is making me miss Parks and Rec.
I guess if I had one complaint it’d be that his hair is just a bit too tidy. From what I recall in the film, his hair always looked a bit tussled… because, he was usually in a state of or recovering from, tussle.
Dat jacket doh..
This thing is seriously detailed. I’m not sure what the technique is on display here.. “pressed?” “embroidered”? “puffy-stuffed?”.. whatever it is, it’s used to excellent effect. Pete’s jacket is loaded with great details. HT even tried their hand at a little weathering and shredding at the bottom of the tails with some cool stitched bits. It’s not quite 3A dirty.. but it definitely sells the effect very nicely.
Supposedly you can zip up the jacket and the front flap will hold close via hidden magnets. I haven’t tried to zip it up yet.. it’s a tight squeeze and you have to remove his belt (to remove the built in gun clips) to do it. That said, I have been able to pull it closed, where it seems to stay together, at least for basic posing. So, I *think the magnets may suffice in a pinch.
*”think” because I can’t see or feel them.. I just have to believe in their magical properties!
Some folks may be miffed that he didn’t come with the shorter jacket he wears for the majority of the film. Sure, it’d been a really nice bonus, but I don’t think you’ll be unhappy once you see how cool the long jacket looks up close.
One thing to note before you start posing him, there’s some very tiny button snaps sewn onto his side that attach to the inside of his jacket. They’re designed to.. I can only assume.. hold his jacket nice and flush to his sides. It seems a little pointless to me as they just limit how you can pose him with them snapped. Also, if you didn’t know they were there, you’d run the danger of ripping them or the jacket. I’d recommend just unsnapping them and leaving them that way.
His left arm sports some cool looking armored bits as well. Believable sewn on and rugged looking. They do kinda muck up the articulation for that arm but, I’ll get to that later.
Quills pants and boots matching the relative dope-ness of his galaxy guarding jacket. There’s quite a few small details woven in there that make them stand out from the more traditional military style cargos and boots we see so often on the more realistic character designs like the recently released HT Winter Soldier.
His ankles have attached to them the mini jet thrusters Star-Lord used to get himself out of a tight situation at the beginning of the film. They’re not detachable or retractable like they are in the movie, but the certainly look cool, so no complaints from me.
I was relieved that find that his tee shirt, while appearing to share similar material as 1960’s batman costume, doesn’t share the same super easy “snag-ability” as the caped crusader.
Moving on to accessories. SL comes with a decent gamut of things to pose him with. As I was fortunate to get the Sideshow Exclusive version, I got not one, but TWO extra accessories to sweeten the deal.
The rundown goes something like this..
Two twin Blasters – They feature some really lovely painted details that correlate with a nice textured feel. I was actually a little surprised at how nice they are. Very high quality.
Just like Winter Soldier, the blasters are kept in place by his side by clip-in holsters. Unlike (my) Winter Soldier, they fit perfectly with no fuss.
Three extra hands – two for holding blasters and one for cupping balls… no, seriously.
The Orb – This is (oddly) the first exclusive from Sideshow. As it’s the main thing everyone is after in the film, it’s weird it’s not standard to the set. I can’t complain, I have it.. but some who missed out on the exclusive set, will probably feel a little shorted.
It’s simple with some nice tiny details and looks pretty much like it did in the film, sans destructive glow.
Plasma Ball – Honestly, it looks like something your aunt could have made in that beading class she took in Naples. Meh.
Walkman – Looks great! I love how clean and clear you can read the awesome “Awesome Mix” detail. The chord can be a little unruly, but I’m sure if you pose him wearing it, that gravity will eventually do it’s job and the chord will relax.
Handcuffs – These were the second SS exclusive. They’re alright but you have to pop his hands off to put them on at which point you’re left with.. well a handcuffed action figure you can’t do anything exciting with! Lacking any notable paint details (other than a few tiny blue dots) it looks really plasticy and a little cheap next to everything else.
Messenger (Adventurer?) Bag – The bag looks great and will hold the few small accessories you may not want Quill to have in hands atm. That said, it’s kind of a pain to get on. You loop the long strap over his head (the instructions actually say to remove his head first which is just.. ugh) and around under his arm. The end of the secondary strap has a tiny snap which you have to undo to open the looped bit and feed it through a small metal clip on the bag itself, and then re-snap. This wouldn’t be an issue but Hot Toys decided to use a single, thin, flimsy thread sewn into the thin, flimsy strap to attach the snap. The first time I tried to unsnap it, I almost tore it off. The snaps are tight and require a good deal of effort and force to undo.. the sewn elements are not strong enough to hold up to much of that. I’d recommend that you choose how you want him to stay.. with or without the bag.. and leave it that way.
Star-Lord helmeted head – This thing is awesome. Seeing Chris Pratt’s smirking mug gives Star-Lord so much character on your shelf, but the helmeted head is bad-ass. You may have a tough time deciding how best to display him.
When I saw it had a light up feature I thought, “Well crap, now I have to go hunt down some obscure battery size that’s probably only available at the locally owned Korean watch store that keeps really weird, unpredictable hours.. where I’ll take half the day to go across the island to get to the store, on only to have the shop owner yell at me, “Blarg! Come back next week!”… then turn the “CLOSED” sign around in my face as he slams the door.”
Alas, my unnecessarily long aside was never in danger of coming to pass as the good folks at Hot Toys included the batteries, already installed and ready to rock! All you have to do is pop off the back of his helmet, remove the plastic tab and flick the switch.
Yeah, that red glow is sweet!
Star-Lord, like most Hot Toys, also comes with a nice looking display stand. I failed to clearly show that here but am currently too lazy to pick up the camera and remedy the issue. You’re just going to have to trust me on it. It’s nice and works well.
Moving on to articulation.
I always get a little nervous whenever I get a new Hot Toys figure when it comes to posing them. Stuff doesn’t always move quite as freely or easily as I’m used to from other ⅙ collectibles I have. You tend to have to put in significant effort working with joints vs clothing to get stuff to look like you want. Maybe it’s just me, but I also feel like there’s this certain sense of delicacy to them. For fear of something ripping or tearing, I generally take at least a tiny bit of pause before I go full gusto on seeing if it can do a Jean Claude Van Damme-style, epic truck split.
On the upside, Hot Toys has one of the most advanced articulated ⅙ scale action figure bodies at work under each and every one of their figures. On the downside, almost every single HT figure I’ve ever seen features some sort of suit or padding that completely restricts all but the most basic mobility, rendering all that fancy articulation and engineering pretty useless.
Star-Lord is a mixed bag, albeit mostly good. From the waist down, you shouldn’t have any issue getting him displayed however you like. Dancing, high kicking, jumping, crouching… his pants and boots have just enough give to allow for just about any pose I could think of shy of mimicking Spiderman… or Jean Claude, really.
From the waist up it’s a little different story.
The (awesome) jacket restricts him a bit in the shoulders, a lot more so on his left side with it’s extra bits of armor. You can get some great poses with a little work, even if his left arm won’t go up quite as high as his right. He’s still more than capable of taking pot shots at Ronan’s flunkies.
So on one hand (or arm, rather) you shouldn’t have much issue getting a pretty rad action pose.. while on the other, your best bet is probably to keep things simple.
I’m very happy with how Star-Lord came out. I always get this sense of “look don’t touch” when I first open something from Hot Toys, and I think that Star-Lord may be the first I’ve gotten that almost bypasses that vibe completely. I still have a few nitpicks that keep him from being “perfect” in my mind. There’s some fragile bits, like the snap buttons on the messenger bag, but I definitely feel like I got my monies worth.
Star-lord seems to have a pretty big allowance for playability. That, combined with the little touches like Peter’s cocky smirk and the Walkman take some of the seriousness away from the figure and helps him transition a little from “adult collectible” to “toy”. It’s a fine line distinction.. like action figures and dolls.
1960’s Batman is an amazingly fun figure.. to look at. Unfortunately, his suit is basically made of the finest, most delicate china and merely touching it with your fingers is akin to releasing drunken, raging bulls upon it. Star-Lord doesn’t suffer from that.
Having that access and playability with a figure is key to me. While I don’t take them outside to roll around in the sandbox for afternoon battles, being able to pick them up every so often and pose them without worrying too much about something tearing, snagging or breaking is something I really gravitate to.
In short, Star-Lord is awesome. If you’re a fan of the movie, a fan of action figures and want something cool for your desk or sandbox, I’d very highly recommend him.
- Great Chris Pratt/Peter Quill portrait
- Fantastic looking details on clothing (jacket especially)
- Some really fun and great looking accessories like the Walkman, the Orb and his twin blasters
- Star-Lord helmet looks killer and has an easy to access light feature switch (with pre-installed batteries)
- Overall solid access to articulation
- My favorite Hot Toys figure yet!
- Still a little iffy on clothing durability with excessive posing
- Articulation does take some hits in his shoulders due to the jacket
- A few accessories lack level of details as others, like the handcuffs which feels a little unfinished
- button snaps are sewn on with a single tiny thread in delicate areas of the jacket and bag, tearing one off is a very high risk
That’s it for this review! I have a video showing off his articulation and what-not that I’ll post as soon as the wife, dogs and I get moved and re-settled into our new digs! I also promise to publish those other reviews that have been waiting in the wings. Thanks for your patience and for your continued support of Rad Toy Review!