Name: Emperor's Royal Guard
Collection: The Vintage Collection
Source: Return Of The Jedi*
Availability: October 2012
* The character underneath the helmet and robes is based on the Crimson Empire comics.
It’s finally come to pass. One of the most recognized characters associated with “Return Of The Jedi” has finally received The Vintage Collection treatment. That of course is in and of itself reason to celebrate, but we wonder if the final action figure is something that all collectors will fully embrace. You see, the Expanded Universe Crimson Empire comics have provided a deep background to the Royal Guards (after the fact) and their lore has become quite popular thanks to the action figures Hasbro has made of them. Now, the new Emperor's Royal Guard a big bulk of its appearance paying homage here as well. Times have evidently changed, much to the chagrin of purists, and Hasbro has found ways to incorporate things into newer Star Wars action figures that many old-timer collectors would never care to see be brought forward into the line. Recall your memories back to 2006’s The Saga Collection when the Death Star Gunner (SAGA 041) came with a removable helmet – only to find a clone head underneath it. Some of us found that quirky, others found it offensive. But there is some overwhelming pressure it seems that toy maker Hasbro feels a need to incorporate this EU take into Original Trilogy (and Prequel Trilogy) action figures. It’s something we’re not exactly sure is necessary. We know plenty of people that would have loved to see this long-awaited Emperor’s Royal Guard figure with a non-removable helmet. That didn’t happen. But the good news here is that instead of giving us a silly clone trooper head underneath, Hasbro has given us a Lemmet Tauk-looking character (with reddish brown hair this time) for a new likeness. Admittedly we think the option of having two characters in one is fairly rewarding.... that’s if you’re open to the Expanded Universe mixing in with your beloved Original Trilogy. Some collectors just can't deal with that.
Before we get to the figure, perhaps we should reference the figure’s packaging, something we don’t normally spend a great deal of time discussing in these reviews. For some disappointing reason, Hasbro changed the original card back art to a completely new design. This kind of thing typically sticks in the craw of most collectors and we personally find it extremely distressing that they didn’t pull out the original designs and did whatever it took to imitate them if original artwork files were unavailable or missing from the 80s. That being said, once you open the package, you almost forget about the packaging issues once your fingers brush against the soft-goods robes. Yes, they’re a bit bulky and yes they’re cut strangely, but let us tell you that Hasbro used a very thick fabric that is nearly identical to the thickness and texture of the original 1983 ROTJ Emperor’s Royal Guard from the vintage Kenner line. It’s a brighter color this time around (and much more accurate in our opinion) and it has a relatively nice drape despite its bulkiness (wideness for lack of a better word). The details that can be seen through the outer robes like portions of the boots and the hands are absolutely perfect. They’re shiny and bright and complement the soft-goods beautifully. Hasbro has also graciously given us the eagerly anticipated Episode VI specific force pike. If you turn the figure’s wrist in a “distorted” direction you can get the force pike to lean up against his shoulder. (It looks really fantastic so just angle the wrist so it's hidden!) Aesthetically this is the greatest Episode VI Emperor’s Royal Guard we have, but it’s just such a shame that it’s been relegated to an online exclusive and will be difficult (and expensive) to army build.
Status: Emperor's Royal Guard is an all-new figure. (Accessories have been recycled from the Royal Guards in 2008's TLC Crimson Empire exclusive multipack.)
Articulation Count: 14
Articulation Details: ball-socket head, 2 ball-jointed shoulders, 2 ball-jointed elbows, 2 swivel wrists, swivel waist, 2 swivel hips, 2 ball-jointed knees, 2 ball-jointed ankles
Accessory Count: 7
Accessory Details: removable Emperor's Royal Guard helmet, soft-goods robes, force pike, collar, removable Royal Guard helmet, battle staff, blaster pistol
Date Stamp: 2011
Assortment Number: 38527/37499
Retail: $9.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.
The Vintage Collection Wave 16
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