Toy Review: Hot Toys Guardians of the Galaxy Little Groot
Little, potted Groot dancing his branches off was arguably the most memorable moment from the 2014 surprise superhero hit Guardians of the Galaxy. Many companies sought to capture the moment with a figure or collectible, but none of them were as movie-accurate as Hot Toys' 1/4 scale Little Groot.
Originally slated to arrive in January, the port strike delayed the U.S. release by a good few months. While impulse and fondness for the film and character drove me to purchase the figure, the long wait allowed me to come to my senses a bit. No longer looking at Groot with Blue Suede-tinted glasses, I'll admit, I'm just a bit disappointed with the final product.
At just under 5" tall, the Little Groot is not in scale with any of the other figures in the Hot Toys Guardians of the Galaxy line. The first Marvel figure he'll be in scale with is the upcoming 1/4 scale Iron Man MK XLIII from Avengers: Age of Ultron. As such, Groot is stuck in this weird place where he looks good on his own, but looks a bit out of place in a collection. If you happen to be getting the two-pack of Rocket Raccoon and Groot sixth-scale figures, it will come with a potted Groot that better fits in with the normal Hot Toys line. However, the investment you'd have to make to get that even tinier Groot would be more than $300 above what this quarter-scale version cost.
Being sculpted at quarter-scale size does have some advantages beyond a bit more detail than you'll see in a sixth-scale version. Little Groot doesn't have any traditional articulation, but he is made from a flexible material that allows you to position him in a few different dance poses. There are a few caveats however, such as not being able to raise his arms above his shoulders, or bend at a severe angle at the elbow. Despite being fairly poseable, moving him against Hot Toys' directions could result in cracking or warping of the figure. At $45, you better believe I'm not risking it.
Additionally, this version of the potted Groot comes with three different heads to give him more personality. There's a stoic "hiding" face, the smiling "getting into the groove" face, and the full-on "Jackson 5 is my jam, boogie on the dance floor" wide-mouth grin. Each facial expression is different, and the "tree hair" styling is just different enough from head to head. The heads snap on and off with relative ease, so it's not really a big hassle to alter Groot to suit your mood.
The rest of the details are all very nice, too. The pot itself has nice texturing, and the dirt inside is well-rendered. The paint app of Groot's body looks really great, and he really does look lifelike. Still, even with all these factors, it's hard to justify the price point of such a diminutive collectible. That's no fault of Hot Toys or Sideshow, as the market price is what the market price is. From a value standpoint however, it's hard to justify paying four times as much for Little Groot as you would for a Pop version considering they both offer nearly the same amount of functionality. It's not like this Little Groot is coming with loads of accessories or details like some of the larger figures Hot Toys has created in the Guardians line.
I don't regret purchasing Little Groot, because it's a fine piece to add to my collection, and it is a really nice version of that character. It's hard to recommend this figure to anyone else though, unless they're just as die-hard a fan or collector. I wanted to love this figure like I love the sixth-scale Star-Lord, but I only like it, and $45 is a lot to spend on something you don't love.
This figure was purchased for review. You can find the Hot Toys Guardians of the Galaxy Little Groot at Sideshow Collectibles for $44.99.
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