2014 - The Year of Rocket Raccoon
2014 will be The Year of Rocket Raccoon. Rocket is going to see a huge bump in popularity not only due to the hopefully awesome Guardians of the Galaxy movie, but also the push that the character is getting from all the incoming toys and merchandise. Once the Guardians of the Galaxy movie hits, the franchise as a whole will get a boost, but it's Rocket Raccoon who is going to be the face of it and be everywhere. I love the furry little bastard already, but the movie will be many people's introduction to the insane trigger happy space Raccoon.
Let's start off The Year of Rocket Raccoon and take a look at the toys shown off at Toy Fair 2014.
Lots of Guardians of the Galaxy toys were shown off at Toy Fair this year, but one of the interesting things about the packaging, is that the smallest member of the team has the most prominent spot. Yep, Rocket is in front and the largest character on the packaging. And it's not just on the toys, but there are other things, like plastic cups, where Rocket is the biggest character. Rocket's going to be all over kids' back-to-school supplies because there's nothing that kids love more than a raccoon holding a gun bigger than him.
First up is the Marvel Legends line dedicated to Guardians of the Galaxy. They will have all the main movie characters of Rocket Raccoon, Star Lord, Gamora, and Drax, with Groot being the build-a-figure. The Marvel Legends line-up photo came out just before toy Fair and gave us all our first look at the figures.
There are also at least two figures in the Comic Series of Guardians of the Galaxy with Iron Man in his GotG armor and Nova. Not the current little brat Nova, but the proper adult Nova. I haven't bought an entire series of Marvel Legends before, but I'm going to have to with Guardians of the Galaxy.
For more play-minded kids (or collectors) there will be a line of 2.5" figures in two-packs and, when Rocket Raccoon is involved, three-packs. There will be two three-packs with Rocket and Groot. Each pack has a different Rocket and Groot, so you're not buying the same thing. One pack has the duo teamed with a Nova Corps Officer, while the other has them up against a Sakaaran Trooper. The other two-packs include Star Lord Vs. Ronan, Drax Vs. Korath, and Star Lord + Gamora.
Why are these figures only 2.5" tall? Because they will have their own line of spaceships. There will be the Rocket Raccoon Warbird, the Nova Corps Starblaster, and the Milano Starship. It's a little disappointing that the figures and spaceships aren't in 3.75" scale so that they could be displayed along with the Marvel Universe figures. The smaller size keeps the price down, which is a good thing in this day and age, but I hope there are more spaceships planned so that Hasbro can go all out with the small figures.
The Rapid Revealers line are 5" scale figures that have a hidden action feature when you squeeze their legs. Thee will have Rocket Raccoon, Star Lord, and Groot to start off with.
There will also be the Titan Heroes series of 12" figures. You have probably seen the Transformers and Star Wars ones at retail and were less than impressed. Well, they're good for kids who will bang them around, so that's something going for them. So far there are only two Guardians figures with Rocket Raccoon and Star Lord. Okay, the Rocket figure is probably only actually 6" tall. It's going to feel weird to pay full price for a figure that's half the size of all the other figures.
There will also be something with an amazing name: Big Blastin' Rocket Raccoon. He stands 8" tall, his weapon spins and lights up, and the figure has voice and sounds. There's also a Battle FX Star Lord with all the voice, sounds, and action you might want from a Chris Pratt action figure.
Of course, there will also be role-play masks for kids to wear of Rocket and Star Lord. That's all of Hasbro's Guardians goods so far, but there's also more stuff coming from other companies.
Funko will have the whole Guardians crew in Pop Vinyl figures. All the characters are cute as hell, as the Pop figure typically are, and Rocket looks the meanest even when he's more adorable.
Kotobukiya will have 1/10 scale ARTFX+ Guardians of the Galaxy statues. All the Guardians character will be getting statues, but notice that the first one is Rocket... with part of Groot. This thing is awesome. I'm hoping that these are successful enough so that Kotobukiya will make the comic version of the characters, too.
There are at least three Guardians of the Galaxy Lego sets coming, with only one of them revealed so far. We can be sure that Rocket will be in at least one of the sets, though, and he'll probably look at lot like the concept art.
See, all these Rocket Raccoon figures, toys, and him being at the front of all the packaging will help make 2014 The Year of Rocket Raccoon. We haven't even seen all the school supplies, sippy cups, plastic dishes, junk food tie-ins, and party favors that are sure to have the furry little a-hole all over them. They're coming, though, and we all know it.
Have you watched the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer yet? If yes, then watch it again! It's too bad we don't get to hear is Rocket talking. Maybe in the next trailer. Man, I really hope this movie doesn't tank.
- Shawn - 2/19/14