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Milano Starship

Guardians of the Galaxy
by yo go re

Mrs. yo: "Do you think he named it after his favorite cookie?"

me: "Huh?"

Mrs. yo: "Star-Lord. His ship. It's called the Milano. Do you think he named it after his favorite cookie?"

me: "Ha! I don't know. Oh wait, he's from the '80s! I bet it's named after Alyssa Milano..."


So how does a kid from a total backwater like Earth end up with a cutting-edge starship? Pretty simple: I showed this galaxy who's the boss. I mean, what else would you expect from a guy called Star-Lord?

The Milano was included in that big box of GotG promotional items Hasbro sent out, but I didn't pay it any mind: after all, the Guardians toys come in two scales, and I was only really interested in the Marvel Legends. But after seeing the movie, I reconsidered that decision. How could I not? It'd be like seeing Star Wars and not wanting a Millennium Falcon! That would just be wrong. Or maybe it's evidence of some kind of brain-worm.

In the comics, Star-Lord flew a sentient ship named Ship (not to be confused with the sentient ship named Ship that X-Factor took from Apocalypse). Ship was once a living sun, and could change shape, but her "standard" form was a bulky central body with wide, bent wings - so in very loose terms, the same shape as the Milano!

The Milano is a sleek hot rod of a ship, sweeping back from a point on the front to create a wedge-shaped craft that looks like it could slice through the atmosphere easily (not that that matters so much in the vaccuum of space, but you get the idea). The body of the ship is very bulky, but it flows smoothly into the wings. The cockpit canopy provides a rounded bump on the top of the fuselage, and there's a matching lump behind it. About halfway between the body and the wingtips, the wings seem to split into four - who knows if it actually serves any purpose, but it certainly looks cool!

Although the top and bottom wings are sculpted to look like they're hinged, they don't actually move: the lower of the middle two wings is on a pivot, though, so you can point it backwards. Friction-powered missiles fire from under each (solitary) wing, and the canopy opens to reveal seating for three figures. There are ports all over the wings where you can plug in weapons included with the mini-figure two-packs.

If you put batteries into the ship, pressing the button on the back will activate three different sounds: a "powering up" sound, firing guns, and a speedy flyby. If you hold down the button, there's a sustained group of four blasts that repeats until you let it go. Each of the effects is accompanied by the large T on the front of the ship lighting up or flashing.

The ship is mostly a silver gray, with blue and yellow paint on the fuselage. The cockpit is translucent blue. There's a sheet of decals to spice things up a little more, and while they look very nice, they also hit one of my pet peeves: they go over molded lines in the sculpt. Seriously, that's annoying. If you're going to have giant stickers, have a flat place for them to fit; if you're going to mold in all the details, then either give us a bunch of smaller stickers to fit between the lines, or just paint the plastic. The toy looks fine without the stickers, but it looks better with them.

Like we said, this vehicle is designed to go along with the smaller toys, so it only measures 16" wide, 8" long, and 3½" tall. Because Hasbro is smart, they also include a tiny little Star-Lord to pilot the ship. He just breaks the 2½" mark (just a little larger than the Transformers Human Alliance figures) and moves at the Big Five, which is acceptable on a figure of this size in a way that it's not acceptable on a 3¾" Star Wars figure. He's sculpted and painted nicely. He's wearing his short jacket and his boot jets, and while we wouldn't say he has a Chris Pratt "likeness," per se, his eyes and beard are painted cleanly.

Unfortunately, there is one problem: this Star-Lord is identical to the one that comes in a two-pack with Gamora; so if you want to build the whole team and have the ship to go with them, you're going to end up with a repeat figure (if you want Star-Lord in his trenchcoat and facemask, that one comes in a two-pack with Ronan).

We may prefer superarticulated 6" action figures, but these little guys have at least one advantage: affordability. The two-packs retail for about six bucks - so just $3 per figure - and the Milano has an SRP of $25. This thing is a decent buy for $25. I honestly never would have even considered this if Hasbro hadn't sent it to us, but that's why we're telling you all about it: so that you're smarter than me. Just a word of warning: once you get this ship, you might want the entire small-scale team to go with it.

-- 08/11/14

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