Blowing up whatever is in his way and jetting throughout the galaxy on dangerous missions, Rocket Raccoon loves to live on the wild side. While he puts on a snarky and sometimes harsh exterior, inside he’s one of the most caring members of the Guardians of the Galaxy team (even if he’s got an arrest list longer than Nebula). Although the Guardians debuted on screens in 2014, it was a few years before fans could actually get Rocket as a minifigure in LEGO Marvel sets.
So, why was Rocket hard to find? Which set did he arrive in? And what does Rocket have in common with a werewolf? Well, steal some anulax batteries from the Sovereign and plug in your Walkman as Blocks, the LEGO magazine for fans, dances through the evolution of Rocket’s minifigure…
Rocket debuted as a minifigure in polybags. This isn’t particularly unusual for a new LEGO minifigure character, but trying to find Rocket was very difficult. One of these polybags was only available to attendees of San Diego Comic Con, which is an absolute hot spot for LEGO exclusives that then sport a massive price tag on the secondary market. Rocket’s other polybag featured the exact same minifigure but was only available at Toys R Us, with the toy store only available in select countries before it went bankrupt in 2017.
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While difficult to find, this minifigure was pretty accurate to the films. Rocket’s flight suit uses dark red to great effect, with plenty of grey detailing to suggest his multiple pockets for tools and extra explosives. While his head mould is nicely expressive, what’s really interesting about this design is that it’s incorporated with Rocket’s shoulder pads, so his face can’t turn.
Thankfully, another Rocket minifigure arrived later in 2014 in 76020 Knowhere Escape Mission, as the plucky raccoon helps the team escape Thanos’s cronies when they try to sell an Infinity Stone to the Collector. Rocket’s head mould is exactly the same, but this time he has a bright orange suit, with his tail also doubling as a belt. Rocket’s tail is exactly the same piece as used for the Werewolf in Collectible Minifigures Series 14, just pointing upwards instead of the downwards angle used for the werewolf.
Read reviews of the new Guardians of the Galaxy sets in Issue 104 of Blocks, the monthly LEGO magazine.
As the Guardians began to play a more pivotal role in defeating Thanos and appearing in Marvel movies alongside other mighty heroes, so the range of LEGO sets Rocket appeared in diversified. The biggest upgrade in 2017 was to Rocket’s facial printing. Until this point he looked quite bland in personality, more like a real raccoon rather than the spunky Rocket Raccoon. However, in 76079 Ravager Attack, Rocket’s given a cheeky grin, which when paired with better highlighting to his eyes, really makes him come alive.
For all of these minifigures, Rocket used the dark grey LEGO colour for his fur. However, although many real life raccoons can be more in the grey spectrum of tones, on-screen and in many of the comics, Rocket’s fur is actually brown. The first change to his minifigure colour came in 76126 Avengers Ultimate Quinjet, where Rocket features light grey instead. However, it wasn’t until 2021 that the ultimate change to reddish brown was made, bringing Rocket’s minifigure closer to his movie appearance. It’s also at this time that Rocket got a new head mould in 76193 The Guardian’s Ship (aka the Milano), which finally allowed the minifigure to look over his shoulder.
While Rocket started off as elusive and a little grey, his minifigure has evolved into one brimming with character and details, including his baby version in this year’s LEGO Marvel sets. Which Rocket is your favourite? And do you prefer grey or brown for his fur? Come tell Blocks on any of our social media channels!