Monday, 10 November 2014

Funko POP! Groot

Earlier this year, Guardians of the Galaxy was released and rapidly took the box office – and the rest of the world – by storm. It was something of a surprise hit, as the property is pretty obscure even among comic fans, but it was pretty clear from the opening minutes that Marvel had something pretty special on their hands.

Though I enjoyed all of the main characters, my favourites were the two who could have so easily been the worst parts of the film – Rocket Raccoon and the subject of today’s article, Groot. A plush toy in the making, accompanied by a tree, who only repeats the words “I am Groot” over and over again? That sounds dreadful on paper. But in execution it was funny, charming – and in one of the film’s climatic scenes – surprisingly moving.

Almost immediately after I saw the movie, I decided it would be good to get myself a Groot POP, only to discover that Groot was rare. Very rare. I had the opportunity to pick him up prior to watching the film, but passed as I was unfamiliar with the character. And in the months since the film's release, he’s been virtually impossible to find. Star-Lord, Drax, Gamora and Rocket – you could own as many of the things as you wanted. But Groot? Not a chance.

Now I have him in my hands, I feel I can safely say that Groot is a fun POP, but you shouldn’t pay more than RRP for him. Collectors know that rarity is not necessarily synonymous with greatness – and though I like him, there are definitely more visually interesting POPs in my collection. He suffers from the same problem as the Dark Knight Rises Batman POP – there’s lots of interesting details, but there’s not enough use of colour to differentiate them from one another. Compare this to the Creature from the Black Lagoon POP (review coming soon!), who also has a reasonably monochromatic colour scheme, but makes good use of shading to give him that additional…well…pop. A little more green and grey thrown in the mix alongside the brown would have made a big difference, and made him look much more tree-like – not to mention evened out the colour difference between the head and the body.  

Colour issues notwithstanding, he does have a fun sculpt which successfully marries the essence of the character to the cutesy format, so he does come recommended on that basis. He's very charming.

Although new stock has finally been hitting stores in the last couple of weeks, but he still seems to be selling out left, right and centre. I managed to find him at a Co-Op Bookshop (a university bookstore chain here in Australia), but he was the last one in stock – still, one can only assume we’ll see more of him. Funko have indicated a December release date for Baby Groot, and there is apparently a “Mossy Groot” on the way from them too – a flocked version, or just more green paint apps? Maybe it will be the same as the Loot Crate one. The GITD aspect would certainly make it quite appealing…hmm…prospective purchasers may be better off waiting a couple of months, depending on their colour preference.

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