ULTRAMARINES BLADE GUARD VETERAN 02
WARHAMMER 40,000 (JOYTOY)
“Bladeguard Veterans are inexorable warriors, advancing relentlessly with blades held high – the very image of noble knights of myth. Members of their Chapter’s elite 1st Company Veterans, each of these vastly experienced Space Marines has fought to preserve the Imperium across uncounted worlds.”
Remember back in 2020, when I, glutton for punishment that I insist on being, decided to try and fumble my way through a whole Warhammer-themed review? Wasn’t that a fun time for everyone? I mean, at least someone, I’m sure. Well, I’m going back in, you guys. Is it because I know anything more about Warhammer? Not in the slightest. Still clueless. But, I’m going back in regardless. The licensing dam for the property has broken wide open. My first venture was courtesy of McFarlane, but this time around I’m looking from an offering from the latest addition to the stable of licensees, Joytoy. I mean, I do at least know a little but about them.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The Ultramarines Blade Guard Veteran 02 is part of Joytoy’s overall Warhammer 40,000 toyline. He’s a slightly more deluxe scale release for the line, similar to how the “Steel Legion” figures are treated for the Battle for the Stars toyline. As his numbering suggests, he’s the second Blade Guard Veteran for the Ultramarines, though it’s worth noting that the first one initially appeared to be Sergeant Proximo, who was not actually numbered. But then there was also a totally unnumbered one that got solicited more recently. So maybe he’s the first one, just retroactively? There’s also an 03, who is, you know, numbered. But this guy’s the 02, and he’s the one I’m looking at! The figure stands 4 1/2 inches tall and he has 33 points of articulation, as well as moving shoulder pads, as well as jet-ports on his back pack. His articulation sports quite an impressive range, especially given his bulky build; it’s better implemented than the McFarlane equivalents, and even those were pretty good for the designs. In terms of sculpting, this guy’s a little different than the prior Joytoy figures I’ve taken a look at. Rather than an underlying sculpt with armored parts on top of it, the armored pieces are just sculpted straight on. For a design this bulked up, it makes a lot of sense, and it means that he’s quite sturdy. The Blade Guard Veterans get a helmet that’s a little sleeker than the traditional Space Marine helmet; the mouth plate is now smooth and without the notable rebreathers. He also gets a slightly more involved back pack, a tabard, and a handful of different items hanging off his belt, to say nothing of his various ribbons, which I assume have to do with his service achievements. It all makes for a look that’s very involved, but thankfully not busy. Like the design, the sculpt certainly has a lot going on; there’s many layers and ornate fixtures to the design, mimicking the very detailed nature of the game miniatures quite well, while also adapting him to a larger scale. The details are quite sharply handled, and there’s a depth to them that wasn’t quite there on the McFarlane offerings. The more ornate parts of the armor are definitely sharper, that’s for sure. While the McFarlane figures kept their paint work rather on the more basic side (a side effect of the lower price point on the figures), Joytoy’s actually put quite a lot of effort into the paint. Not only does the Blade Guard get all of the proper base coloring, applied quite cleanly and sharply, but there’s also an impressive amount of accent work. Clearly, he’s not as grimy and dirty as some of the miniatures can look, but there’s plenty of shading and smaller work, which showcases the sculpted elements quite nicely. The Blade Guard gets his blade, of course, which can be held in his hand, or sheathed at his side, two sets of hands for standard grip and trigger finger, a gun and corresponding empty holster for his belt, a holster with the gun stowed away, two removable pouches for the belt, a back pack with articulated thrusters, a shield with an articulated handle, and an alternate un-helmeted head. The weapons are a little tricky to get into his hands at first, but once you’ve done it the first time, they’re easier to use after that. The sword is actually kinda sharp, so do be careful with that. I had one minor issue with the gun, which had its ribbon come off, almost as if it wasn’t glued down at all; it was at least a pretty easy fix. The unmasked head is based on the second Blade Guard’s alternate head from the miniatures set, and it’s honestly not really my speed, personally, but it’s at leas cool from a technical side, I suppose.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
As stated in my first Warhammer review, I’m not really a Warhammer guy. I am, however, a cool toy guy, and the designs certainly do make for some cool toys. The McFarlane figure was fun for what he was, but I’ve been really digging the stuff I’ve picked up from Joytoy, and we got these at All Time, and everyone else was trying them, so I just sort of got swept up. I really like this guy. He’s a good, fun toy. Still don’t really know much about the franchise that birthed him, but I’m sure some of it will rub off on me, I guess. Or, you know, maybe not. And then I won’t have to justify buying rather expensive toys from a thing I don’t really know much about. Or something like that.
Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review. If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website.