I think it is safe to say that a giant walking tree called “Groot” stole a lot of the limelight (and everyone’s heart) in the 2014 film, Guardians of the Galaxy. This became even more true when he seemingly sacrificed himself to save the lives of his teammates. But, thankfully, he resurrected as a yawning sapling in a flower pot that would dance behind Drax’s back to the Jackson’s “ABC.” Plain to see, this adorable little twig is not the same tree that lumbered into the Marvel Comic’s world.

Predating the introduction of the Marvel Comics Heroes we know today and at the height of the giant creature craze, a character calling himself Groot first appeared in Tales to Astonish #13 in November of 1959. This Groot was an extraterrestrial monster who collected earth people for study and experimentation. Unlike the Groot we know, this Groot was an absolute chatterbox, talking in long-winded speeches and monologues about how no one on the puny Earth could stop him. He was eventually destroyed through the use of termites. Fake Groots were created throughout the years, one even joining S.H.I.E.L.D., but the true Groot was still somewhere far from Earth.

The Groot that we know from the film was first introduced in the comics as part of the “Annihilation: Conquest” story-line as the last surviving member of the race of Flora Colossi who had been imprisoned by the Kree for an undisclosed reason. Groot joined Star-Lord Peter Quill’s strike force where he immediately bonded with Rocket Raccoon, who understood the meaning and nuances behind Groot’s three word vocabulary. Together with Quill and Rocket and joined by Drax the Destroyer, Gamora and other, Groot went on to form the Guardians of the Galaxy, a rag-tag and occasionally less than altruistic group that fights against the tyranny of the Kree, the Phalanx and a number of other races that see the universe as a place of conquest, not peace.

The first film introduced us to an already adult Groot who was destroyed but reborn as an adorable, smiling and dancing twig by the film’s end. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 sees Groot emerging from the pot, even more adorable, as he joins the team on dangerous new adventures. This new iteration of Groot has spawned a variety of new toys based on the new look.

Groot Wind-Up Figure by Disney

This 5 1/12” tall Groot figure stands on its own posable legs, with arms and a head that will move when wound up. It has the cheerful and smiling expression of a tree listening to his favorite tunes.

Groot Dancing Figure by Disney

Double the size of it’s counterpart at 11 1/4”, the Groot Dancing figure moves to an internal clip of “Come a Little Bit Closer” by Jay and the Americans. The battery operated figure with posable head and arms detects outside music as well, and the figures eyes light up as he dances to any available musical source.

Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Groot Exclusive action figure by Hasbro

This 11.5” Groot figure shows him after he has been captured by a Ravagers faction, dressed in a tiny replica of their outfit to become their unwilling mascot. “Too adorable to kill,” Groot is instead taunted and humiliated by the Ravagers until he stumbles upon the captured Rocket and Yondu. Despite his difficult time, the figure still has big, soulful eyes and a slight smile.

Funko Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Dorbz Groot Exclusive Vinyl Figure by Funko

Created in the typical adorable Dorbz style, this small figure also features Groot in the Ravager mascot outfit. With him is the artificial eye of one of the Ravagers–one of the several incorrect items that Groot brought to the cell when Yondu asked Groot to retrieve his ceremonial head fin so that he could control his Yaka arrow. Although the look is a tenant of the Dorbz design, it helps show the sadness that Groot feels about his treatment by the Ravagers.

Funko POP! Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Groot Vinyl Figure Funko

Getting the Funko POP! Treatment has become a rite of passage for many pop culture franchises, and the one for the new Groot doesn’t disappoint. The happy 3 3/4” bobble head figure smiles out to the viewer. His arms are open wide showing off the intricate bark design that covers the figure.

New Baby Groot Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Push Button Bomb Figure Statue Toy by Marvel

This statue recreates one of the most hilarious scenes from the new film: Rocket trying to teach Groot the sequence to detonate the bomb without killing everyone there. The silly sapling keeps pointing to the button that would set the bomb off immediately, much to Rocket’s frustration. The vinyl figure is nearly the size of it’s movie counterpart at nearly 15” with exacting detail of his wooden skin. The bomb is recreated in all of it’s cobbled together random parts of glory. Groot’s finger hovers precariously over the “death button” with a look of wonderment and anticipation in his face.

"Life-Size" Baby Groot Figure Hot Toys

At 26cm tall, this highly detailed figure is a near screen ready version of the Baby Groot character. The highly specialized body comes with 15 points of articulation allowing for multiple posing options. The character comes with three interchangeable heads that carry three different expressions and detailed tree textures. This Groot also comes with two pairs of hands. One set is relaxed and the other is extended for attacking and binding an opponent. The character also comes with a intricately woven and heavily detailed Ravager Mascot outfit that can be worn or removed easily. The figure is completed by a nameplate and logo from the film, which allows the figure to guard the galaxy... of your bookshelf.

No matter what his age, baby or full grown, Groot does two things for everyone who sees him: he brings us happiness and reminds us that friendship–giving your all for others and sticking together– are the most important things in the universe.