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Yondu

Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2
by yo go re

Someone needs to take the clip of the Sakaaran yelling "YAWN-DOO OO-DAWN-TUH" and turn it into a "Leeroy Jenkins"-style meme.

A captain of a Ravager faction, Yondu is a powerful warrior shrouded in mystery.

Is he? Just because the movie didn't tell us anything about him (other than that he raised Peter Quill from a stripling and kept threatening to eat him), it doesn't mean the movie was keeping anything about him from us. I mean, the movie didn't tell us anything about the broker Quill tried to sell the Orb to, either, but do you feel like he was "shrouded in mystery"? There's a difference between withholding information and not bothering to offer it, and (in the first movie at least) Yondu Udonta falls into the second category. Maybe the second movie will change that, but we're still a few months from knowing it, so right now he doesn't exactly seem like a walking enigma.

Yondu was played by Mr. Svenning himself, Michael Rooker. The likeness is outstanding, too! Even better than BendAndSpread Crumplezone. He's got a crooked smile, sculpted chin-fuzz, and criss-crossed scars on the right side of his scalp. Despite being blue, you can tell how great the sculpt is. His short red mohawk is metallic, contrasting well.

The Ravagers apparently dress like Firefly's Browncoats, if Yondu is any indication of their standard garb: like Star-Lord, he wears a rust-colored trenchcoat (though while it's still a rather piecemeal affair, it lacks the weird gaps and cutouts), and beneath that are a pair of brown pants, a reddish shirt with black buttons, and gray suspenders. There is a golden... item on his right lapel [a set of three darts --ed.] and the Guardians' flame symbol is over his left breast. He's a space cowboy, complete with his duster pulled back on the right to expose his holster.

So hey, that holster. The only thing he keeps in there is a single arrow, one he controls by whistling. That's a nod to the comics' Yondu, who lived in the future with the original Guardians of the Galaxy; he was an archer who used bolts made of yaka (aka "trillite"), a sound-sensitive metal that he could control by whistling. Because a plain golden arrow would be a boring accessory, this one has a translucent red trail that suggests the way it zips around. It bends back and forth, it curls around itself, and the end of it fits into the holster, allowing it to hover decently. Like ML11 Yellowjacket, however, it sticks too close to the body - the stock photo on the back shows it stikcing out very far, but the final product is more restrained. The design of the arrow isn't true to the film, either, but we still wish he'd come with a second, plain one that could be put in the holster for a "non-active" state.

Since Yondu controls his arrow by whistling, the figure includes an alternate head that features his lips puckered together. Again, the likeness is superb, changing everything about the face to suit the new pose. This isn't just a case of putting a new mouth on the existing sculpt: the eyebrows are straight, the forehead is less wrinkled, the line of the jaw has changed... it's still Merle Dixon, he's just in a completely different pose. Whistling. Or trying to kiss somebody. Probably whistling. On this head, his mohawk has grown up and extended, finally giving him his most defining feature from the comics (though not quite as giant here).

The articulation is standard: balljointed head, hined neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, a hinged torso, swivel waist, balljointed hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, and swivel/hinge rocker ankles. The coat and holster are PVC, meaning they'll flex out of the way of the joints, and swapping the heads is easy. He has no other accessories beyond the arrow (no orb, no troll doll, no glass frogs), but he does have the right arm of the Titus Build-A-Figure.

It would have been nice if we'd gotten Yondu from the first movie, but this toy (especially the face) is unquestionably better than it would have been three years ago.

-- 03/13/17


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