Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Action Figure Review: Royal Guard from Savage Crucible by Harvinger Studios


  Back in mid June I was at HeroesCon in Charlotte, NC and stumbled upon the Harvinger Toys booth which was selling figures from their Savage Crucible line. I'd heard of Savage Crucible before but I wasn't very familiar with the line. It started out as a Kickstarter funded line in 2023 and the first series of figures has already dropped. At the show the Harvinger Studios team also had test shots and prototypes of series 2 and a couple from series 3, all of which got me pretty excited for this line. I practiced a little restraint, though, and only ended up with two figures and one of the accessory packs. Kind of a big mistake on my part as these are some extremely impressive figures and I now wish I'd picked up a couple more as these are tough to find and pricey most everywhere else now (Harvinger Studios seemed to be giving a nice discount at the show). The first figure I'm checking is the Royal Guard, a Lemurian warrior. The Lemurians are a race of lizard people. This guy really appealed to me because of his cool black and white color scheme and there was an accessory pack for sale that had an alternate head for this guy with a raised crest or hood, kind of like a Dilophosaurus. Ready to check out my first figure in a new line? Then join me after the break...

The Facts:

Height: 7 inches

Articulation: Toe hinge, swivel/hinge ankles, upper ankle swivel, double swivel-hinge knees, swivel thighs, ball-jointed hips, balljointed waist, swivel/ hinge tail base, three barbell jointed tail segments, balljointed mid-torso, swivel/hinge shoulders w/ lateral pec hinges, swivel biceps, double swivel-hinge elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, barbell joined head, and a hinged lower jaw.

Accessories: 4 swappable hands, 2 swords, 2 scimitars, 2side sheaths, 2 back sheaths, waist armor, chest armor, 2 chest armor straps, 2 pauldrons, and character card.

Non-Scalper Price: $50 dollars

The Positives:

* I actually wanted to start by just looking at the base figure first, stripped of all his armor. This guy is incredible! I love the black and grayish-white color scheme on the Royal Guard. The sculpt is very incredible, the plastic quality feels great, and the painted on stripes and details on the Royal Guard's chest are very impressive. He's wearing some green shorts for modesty and comes sporting greaves and bracers. There is an accessory set available that includes an extra head for this guy and plain forearms and lower legs if you want to change him up a bit (it also has three other portraits for different figures, another set of bear limbs for a different figure, nine weapons, a shield, a set of armor, and a scroll and manacles accessories). 

* I really want to zoom in here and point out the Royal Guard's stomach. It looks real, doesn't it? I almost expect it to have the soft feel of a lizards stomach if you put your finger on it. 

* Here's a shot of the Royal Guard from the back so you can see more of the sculpt and the paint work. 

* And here is his articulated tail! It's pretty cool; not crazy long or anything, but it looks quite realistic. it's also articulated in multiple spots. The base is a swivel/hinge joint while the four segments are connected to each other by three barbell joints.

* Here's the Royal Guard sporting all of his armor. The pauldrons, waistpiece, and chest armor are all removable, though you'll have to use a bit of heat when detaching and reattaching some pieces. There is some incredible paintwork here, giving the armor three different metallic colors plus brown for the straps holding things in place. There's a nice serpent motif on the copper colored bits that looks quite neat. If you don't have any more Savage Crucible figures yet he could easily hang out with the Masters of the Universe Snake Men.

* The headsculpt is awesome, especially those eyes. I'm really creeped out by snakes and this guy definitely seems a bit snake-like. He's also got bits of dinosaur and lizard, so I guess the Lemurians are all around reptile dudes. He's got some teeth showing from the front and an awesome paint scheme that matches the rest of his body. 

* The Royal Guard is also sporting a hinged jaw. I've opened it pretty wide here (that's about as wide as it goes), but it stays nicely in multiple positions. I love the creepy little teeth inside.

* It's rather interesting how the pauldrons fit on the figure: There are two holes in the shoulders which have a peg attached via a ball joint. The pauldrons fit over the peg and stay in place while the balljoint gives them a bit of movement. A little heat from a hair dryer softens the pauldrons a bit to make getting them over the peg easier, but I didn't need it every time. 

* I am incredibly impressed with the articulation on the Savage Crucible figures that I've messed around with so far and I like most everything about this guy. He feels sturdy. Very sturdy. Nothing feels brittle and the joints all have an excellent range of movement. The knees and elbows are all pinless and actually have two swivel/hinge joints, allowing for some crazy elbow and knee movement. The same goes for the torso with two ball joints (I think the mid-torso is actually a barbell joint) and the shoulders. The lateral pectoral hinges are really good, allowing for some great two-handed poses. They're also designed to preserve the look of the sculpt. The engineering on this line is really good and I'm quite excited to see what the upcoming series 2 is like considering this is a series 1 product from a new company. Harvinger Studios really came out of the gates swinging!

* Two pairs of hands are included with the Royal guard: A pair for gripping his blades and a pair gesturing with long, extended fingers. They swap easily with solid and sturdy wrist pegs. 

* The Lemurians seem to use a lot of blades and the Royal Guard comes with two pairs of swords. First up are the long, straight blades with a rather wide blade. The hilts are pretty decorative, too, with lots of paint flourishes and sculpted details. They're nicely designed, though the square blades with a curved point on the top kind of remind me of the blades that the Uruk-hai. Good quality accessories, here. They're not rubbery but they don't feel brittle, either. 

* These curved blades might be my favorite. I love the chips and imperfections in the blades and the ergonomic design. Those hilts are just really nice, too, matching the aesthetics of the armor. 

* The sheaths on the Royal Guard's back actually plug through the armor and into into the back of the figure. They plug in like a balljoint, too, so they can move a bit. They're kind of like clips and can hold either of the two styles of blades included with the figure. 

* The second set of sheaths fit onto the sides of the Royal Guard's hips. The can rotate and can hold either style of sword as well. They can be removed with a bit of heat as the accessory packs include some extra pieces that can fit onto the sides of the armor, such as a scroll or a set of manacles. 

* Each Savage Crucible also comes with a large art card with character stats on it for implementing one of the Savage Crucible denizens in your D20 table top roleplaying game. I love this idea and it was kind of weird that neither Hasbro nor NECA have latched onto something like this for any of their Dungeons & Dragons figures (so far as I can tell, anyways). They're supposed to be random (they come in a shiny foil envelope) but both figures I purchased and the Lemurian character accessory pack have all came with the same Lemurian card. 

The Negatives:

* My only negative with this figure is that the ankle joints are a bit loose, as is the toe hinge. Harvinger Studios has addressed this already and apparently it will be fixed by series 2. It's not the loosest ankles I've seen on a figure but when everything else on the figure is so well done, it does stick out a bit. 

   I am quite pleased with this guy and I'm very excited to see if Harvinger Studios makes these more widely available and how the second series turns out. The first series is very Lemurian heavy (it's all Lemurians, actually) but series 2 and 3 seem like they'll really diversify the line more. I didn't pay the standard retail price for this as I bought it directly from Harvinger Studios at HeroesCon, so I got a bit of a discount, but I can't remember how much I paid. Even at the regular retail price, though, this guy is an impressive figure. He's well made, incredibly well designed with impressive articulation, and really is a neat character design. I'm glad I snagged the Lemurian character pack, too, as I've got a cool alternate head, lots of extra weapons, and different armor and gear for this guy if I want it. The Royal Guard is an Epic figure and a real standout for me in a year that seems to be loaded with incredible figures.

This is the first Lemurian I've reviewed on the site. 

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