There’s no doubt that superhero movies aren’t going anywhere soon, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe is entirely at the core of that.
A key aspect of why they continue to be an important feature is how powerful the merchandising opportunities are.
One of the surprise superhero movie hits of 2014 was Guardians of the Galaxy, which concluded with a post-credits scene, where the character of Groot was dancing as a baby in a plant pot. It’s the sort of post-credits scene that makes you wonder why exactly people leave the movie theater without watching them.
Immediately after the movie’s release, everybody wanted a dancing baby Groot. In a rare case of Marvel having a lack of foresight, it wasn’t something that was immediately available, and a bunch of unlicensed, non-dancing baby Groots appeared, with a couple of electronics geniuses managing to create their own dancing ones.
I was adamant that I should have one, but that it would dance, but I am not electronically clever enough to make my own. With a little patience, a few months after the movie’s release, rumors started appearing online about an official release of a dancing baby Groot.
I immediately knew that it would be mine.
I hadn’t even investigated what size thing this was going to me, but when I took it out of the box, it matched the size I thought it would be in my head, so that was a win. It’s essentially the size you would imagine baby Groot to have been in that scene in the movie.
The base is made of plastic, with the main electronic parts stored in it. The dancing part appears to be a narrow piece of metal that runs up the center of Groot’s body. It bends at certain points to wiggle like it’s dancing.
Honestly, I’d put money on them being leftover from unsold dancing Coke cans from the 90s.
It hadn’t really occurred to me what it actually was though. Like, it’s merchandise from a movie, and has a very toy-like feel to it, but it’s not the kind of thing you hand to a kid to keep them entertained. It’s mostly for leaving sitting on a shelf or desk, which would ordinarily make it an ornament, but it actually does something, a very fun thing, so “ornament” doesn’t feel like the correct description either.
It felt weighty but relatively fragile in my hands, which reinforced its status as something not to be played with.
Groot requires three AA batteries to get boogying. The main control for him is a three-way switch underneath the base, which you can set to on, off, or demo.
The offsetting is pretty self-explanatory. The demo mode will play a short piece of the music then stop dead. Setting Groot to the on position is where the fun lives though.
At this, pressing the yellow button on top of the base will make The Jackson 5’s I Want You Back play through its little speaker, and cause Groot to dance, which is exactly the reason you parted with your cash!
It only plays about 30 seconds of the track. After that, Groot is so in the zone, he’ll continue dancing to any other sound. So you can play your own music from your phone and he’ll continue to wiggle. Unless you turn him off completely at this stage, he’ll continue to react to any bit of sound at all, like closing a door or coughing. I can see how that might bother some people.
I’d absolutely recommend this dancing baby Groot as a gift or any Marvel fan who would like the occasional smile to remember this great scene from the movie!