ELITE PRAETORIAN GUARD
STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES
“As the Supreme Leader of the First Order, Snoke was flanked by crimson-clad guardians, loyal protectors encased in ornate armor ready to defend the Supreme Leader from any threat.”
It’s been almost a month since I reviewed the Force Link reader and wrapped up my Last Jedi reviews. Now I’m back with more! Woooooo! I’ve yet to find any of the post-Force Friday basic figure releases, but I have managed to find a few other things of interest. As with The Force Awakens and Rogue One, there’s a Walmart-exclusive assortment of smaller-scale Black Series figures. It would seem the timing is a little better this time around, since they started hitting only a week or two after the initial product. Today, I’ll be looking at that series’ take on the Praetorian Guard!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The Elite Praetorian Guard is one of the four figures in what is the final series of Walmart-exclusive Black Series figures (the line’s being replaced by the returning Vintage Collection next year). This guy’s got a different helmet than the one in the two-pack with Rey, denoting he’s a different guard. I like this one a little more than the last one. Given the presence of this design in the big playset with Snoke and as the main release in the larger Black Series, I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that this guy might be the “lead” guard, but time will tell. The figure stands about 4 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation. The Guard’s articulation is showing the same improvements we saw with the Rogue One figures, though I found his to be about on par with the Death Trooper, who was definitely the most limited of that bunch. Still, he’s way easier to mess with than the TFA figures. The Guard gets an all-new sculpt, which is pretty decent overall. The upper half is really the best work; it’s sharply detailed, the articulation is pretty well integrated, and the build looks to match what we’ve seen so far of these guys. The lower half has his skirt piece done with cloth, rather than sculpted. It looks alright, and helps with porsablity, but the shaping’s definitely a bit off in basic standing poses. His legs are also really skinny, at least to my eyes. Like his more basic counterpart, the paint on this guy is pretty simple. He’s mostly just molded in glossy red plastic, with some slight black detailing here and there. It still looks pretty slick, and one can hardly fault them for following the film design. This guy includes one accessory: his spear. It’s a pretty cool piece, and this figure can hold it with both hands, which is a definite plus.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I came across this assortment while I was out searching for a Voltron Keith (who I still haven’t found, by the way). Luke and Rose weren’t different enough from the basic figures for me to feel they were worth it, and the Executioner’s built on the same body as the rather flawed FO Stormtrooper, so this guy was the only one that came home with me. Admittedly, I don’t think he’s quite as strong as the Rogue One figures, but he’s still pretty fun, and I’m happy to have him. Now, let’s wait and see if Hasbro decides to offer all of the helmet variations in this style.