ELITE PRAETORIAN GUARD
STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)
“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.”
Does that bio sound familiar? It should, because it’s exactly the same as the one used for the last Elite Praetorian Guard review I did. I’m not unnecessarily repeating myself, I assure you. Hasbro just used the same bio twice, that’s all. And honestly? I can’t really blame them. It seems a little silly to write two distinct yet essentially identical bios for what is undoubtedly a rather minor character when it would be just as easy to use the same one twice. So kudos to Hasbro and their efficient allocation of resources!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The Elite Praetorian Guard is another figure from the second Last Jedi-themed assortment of Star Wars: The Black Series. He’s figure 50, which makes him the second figure in the assortment numerically. As I’ve noted in my last two Praetorian Guard reviews, there are three different helmets for the guards. The one I’m looking at today is the same one we saw on the smaller Black Series release. I think it’s safe to say this one’s the lead guard, given he’s the only one currently available in all of the styles. The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation. There’s actually some pretty clever design work going on with this figure’s articulation. First of all, we get the ball-jointed shoulder pads, which are a godsend, and always encouraged. I initially didn’t care for the arms, and found them to be exceedingly limited in posability, but after messing with them a little bit, I discovered that there’s a separate floating piece hovering over the elbow joints. It takes a little bit of careful work to get it going at first, but once you do, you’ve got an elbow joint that’s just as posable as any other figure’s but without breaking up the segmented design of the armor. I really dig it. I definitely prefer the sculpt on this guy to the smaller figure. Lines are sharper and proportions are more balanced. I also much prefer the soft plastic robe to the cloth one. Yes, it’s a little more restricting on the leg articulation, but not horribly so, and it looks way better. The paintwork on this guy is about the same as the other two guards I’ve looked at. The design is decidedly basic on the color front, but the variance in finish looks pretty great, and all of the details that are there are clean. Like the smaller figure, this guy’s one accessory is his spear. It’s a bit more detailed, of course, and still looks pretty slick.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I got this guy at the same time as Leia and Poe. He was a little more of an impulse buy than those two. I had been contemplating holding out for the slightly more expensive Amazon exclusive Guard, since he’s sporting my favorite of the three helmets, but upon seeing this guy in person, I had a hard time passing him up. Definitely my favorite Praetorian I’ve gotten so far.