Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Road to the Last Jedi: Elite Praetorian Guard (with Heavy Blade) from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III

 Like the First Order Stormtroopers for The Force Awakens and the Scarif Stormtroopers/ Shore Troopers for Rogue One, the Elite Praetorian Guards seem to be Hasbro's go to faceless minions for creating multiple variants for this year's Star Wars merchandising bonanza. Set to appear in The Last Jedi, we currently don't know much about the Elite Praetorian Guard other than there are eight of them, they use martial arts styled weapons, and they guard Supreme Leader Snoke while clad in red, just like the Emperor's Royal Guard.  The latest Elite Praetorian Guard variant is given the designation of coming with a heavy blade and is an Amazon exclusive. He just started shipping within the past week or two and you should still be able to pick him up. Let's take a closer look at what makes this guy unique after the break...



 The Facts:

 Height: 6 1/4 inches tall

Articulation: Swivel/hinge ankles, double hinged knees, swivel thighs, ball jointed hips, ball jointed abdomen, swivel/ hinge shoulders, balljointed shoulder pauldrons, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, a hinged neck, and a ball jointed head.

Accessories: Heavy blade, sword, and two shoulder pads.

Non-Scalper Price: $20 dollars


 Comparison:

*Since this guy is largely the same as the previous to releases, for the full details check out my reviews of the standard Elite Praetorian Guard (right) and the Elite Praetorian Guard with Double Blade (left). The only difference between this figure and the standard Guard are the weapons, the had, and the neck. This figure comes in a standard Black Series box with a white cardboard box protector/ shipping box over it.
 The Positives:

* This guard's helmet has a smaller round domed helmet and a grated mask that protrudes at the brow while tapering to a smaller size around the jawline. It's tough to capture the details in a picture due to the shiny, red glare but it's a cool looking sculpt. Oddly enough, the neck sculpt does appear to be different from that of the other two figures.

* The Elite Praetorian Guard/ EPG includes his titular heavy blade. It's a massive blade on a staff (8 3/8ths inches long!) that features some nice sculpted detail. It'll be interesting to see how these guys fight in the movie. I wonder if the weapons will be crafted of a lightsaber proof metal, perhaps an alloy along with something like cortosis.


 * This EPG includes a second weapon which I'm not sure if it's a version of the whip staff or a standard styled sword. It's a cool looking accessory and adds something else to the package.
 The Negatives:

* The Heavy Blade has some much appreciated paint applications but the silver and red details on the blade are a bit messy.
   One of the odd things about this figure is that it costs about $5 more than your standard Black Series figure. I don't see the two weapons adding that much value, so this feels like a case of the dreaded "exclusive tax" rearing it's ugly head. Still, the Elite Praetorian Guard is a Good figure although one all but the most fervent collectors will probably be just fine skipping. Of course, if there are eight of these dudes in the film you know that collectors will want them all. After the visual dictionary for The Last Jedi comes out we'll see if we need to pick up duplicates to complete the team.

As mentioned above, I've reviewed the standard Elite Praetorian Guard and the double blade wielding Elite Praetorian Guard in the Guardians of Evil 4-pack, so check them out!

For more Star Wars: The Black Series figures check out the following:

442nd Siege Battalion Clone Trooper, 212th Attack Battalion Utapau Trooper, Coruscant Guard ---(Phase II), and 501st Legion Clone Trooper 4 pack
Admiral Ackbar and First Order Officer
Ahsoka Tano 
AT-AT Pilot 
Baze Malbus
Captain Cassian Andor (Eadu) 
Captain Poe Dameron
C-3PO
C-3PO (Resistance Base)
Captain Phasma
Chewbacca
Chirrut Imwe 
Clone Captain Rex (HasCon Exclusive)
Clone Commander Gree
Constable Zuvio
Darth Revan 
Darth Vader (Emperor's Wrath)
Director Krennic
Elite Praetorian Guard
Finn (First Order Disguise)
Finn (FN-2187)
Finn (Jakku)
First Order Flametrooper
First Order General Hux
First Order Snowtrooper
First Order Snowtrooper Officer
First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter
First Order Stormtrooper
First Order Stormtrooper Executioner 
First Order TIE Fighter Pilot
General Leia Organa
Grand Admiral Thrawn (SDCC Exclusive)
Guardians of Evil 4-Pack
Guavian Enforcer
Han Solo 
Hera Syndulla
Imperial AT-ACT Driver
Imperial Death Trooper
Imperial Death Trooper, Captain Cassian Andor, and Sergeant Jyn Erso (Jedha) 3 pack
Imperial Hovertank Pilot 
Imperial Shock Trooper 
Imperial Royal Guard 
Inferno Squad Agent
Jango Fett
K-2SO
Kanan Jarrus
Kylo Ren 
Kylo Ren (SDCC 2016)
Kylo Ren (The Last Jedi) 
Kylo Ren (Starkiller Base)
Lando Calrissian
Luke Skywalker 
Luke Skywalker (Jedi Master) 
Maz Kanata 
Obi-Wan Kenobi (Force Spirit)
Obi-Wan Kenobi (SDCC 2016)
Phase 1 Clone Trooper Commander, Phase II Clone Trooper, Imperial Stormtrooper, and First Order ---Stormtrooper Officer four pack
Poe Dameron
Poe Dameron and First Order Riot Control Stormtrooper
Princess Leia Organa 
Qui-Gon Jinn
R2-A3, R5-K6, and R2-F2
Resistance Trooper
Rey (Jakku) & BB-8 
Rey (Jedi Training)
Rey (Starkiller Base) 
Rey's Speeder (Jakku)
Sabine Wren
Sandtrooper Sergeant, Crimson Stormtrooper, Lieutenant OXIXO, and R2-Q5
Scarif Stormtrooper
Scarif Stormtrooper Squad Leader 
Sergeant Jyn Erso (Eadu)
Sergeant Jyn Erso (Jedha)
Snowtrooper 
Supreme Leader Snoke (Throne Room)
Tusken Raider 
X-34 Landspeeder & Luke Skywalker (SDCC Exclusive) 
X-Wing Pilot Asty 



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