SHADOW GUARD Emperor's
30th Anniversary Collection Basic Figures
Item No.: Asst. 87500 No. 87488
Includes: Stand, pike, blade, blaster, cloak
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: February 2008
Appearances: The Force Unleashed
Bio: Each one of these elite guards is specially chosen by Palpatine for his exceptional loyalty to the Emperor, and for his ability to use the Force. Each carries a pike that can be ignited to use as a lightsaber-like blade. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)
Image: Adam's yard.
Commentary: I assume Hasbro must love The Rolling Stones, because they had a red guard and wanted to paint it black. This Shadow Guard is the 2005 Royal Guard mold, enblackened, with a new pike. Or rather, a pike, as the 2005 release oddly contained a rifle. With 12 points of articulation, he's pretty good at assuming most poses, sitting, or standing guard. He keeps a tiny blaster in a holster on his hip which can be easily lost (particularly as you can't see it), so be careful to not misplace it. His swivel elbows are kinda cruddy by modern standards but he does basically look pretty good. In the game The Force Unleashed the character didn't wear black robes, plus the armor looked a little different, but this is one of those "eh, close enough" releases. At least we got one.
Aside from the easily lost blaster, my other gripe with this release is that the robes are very thin-- as you can see in this picture. In a too-bright environment you can see right through them. I'd still suggest grabbing a couple of them to stand around, despite being Yet Another Black Repaint they're pretty nice looking.
Collector's Notes: This was a fairly popular figure in its day but certainly not difficult to find. However, time and the appearance in the game has done this figure well-- it actually sells for a premium! So if you can get it for under $10, consider yourself lucky.