Monday, January 29, 2018

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,450: Elite Praetorian Guard (The Black Series 6-Inch)

The Force Awakens The Black Series 6-Inch Figure
Item No.:
Asst. B3834 No. C3290
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #38
Includes: Blade Pike
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $19.99
Availability: September 2017
Appearances: The Last Jedi

Bio:   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.  (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Entertainment Earth now!

Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  I was surprised to see three flavors of Elite Praetorian Guard figures, all of which appeared in the movie and had more action than the Emperor's Royal Guard from four movies over 33 years.  Hasbro has already delivered many flavors of guard in multiple scales, and this may be the most disappointing.  The sculpting is perfect, and the articulation is clever - just not very good.

The figure has hidden articulation at the elbows, and this is something I admire Hasbro for trying.  The 3 3/4-inch regular figures have no elbows, and the Black Series Walmart exclusive has a standard elbow.  The 6-inch one crams in a couple of joints, but the range of motion is not really great.  You can't really bend the elbows all that much, but they have a little give - the result is a figure that looks good, but has a limited range of movement.  The plastic robes also limit movement to some degree, but there are enough openings that you can have the legs peer through for action poses.   What's more, the shoulder armor pads are also jointed with a little bit of movement - you can even pop them out if you like.

The sculpting is good, with a bit of texture on the lower robes and a shiny, glossy plastic armor up top.  The ridges on the helmets are clean, and a figure with this level of detail seems improbable in bygone eras.   You can see little tiny lines in some spots, but the arms and chest are mostly smooth and flat surfaces.  The lack of face is a little unsettling, but it's true to the film.   While I personally don't see the design as striking, I can't deny that Hasbro did the best that they could with bend-and-swivel wrists and rocker ankles.   You can get both hands on the blade, sort of, but it lacks much motion.

Given the characters seemed to not have a lot to do rather than puff themselves up and then die, I don't know if we'll see them in future movies.    These might be the only figures Hasbro bothers to do, and other than fixing the elbows I can't picture them being much more interesting.  This particular helmet is one of three in the line, with the other two at Amazon and GameStop as exclusives.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Entertainment Earth.  

--Adam Pawlus

Day 2,450: January 29, 2018

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