S.H. Figuarts is a new standard figure series that incorporates the Bandai action figure "Art" under the theme "Pursuing Character Expression through Humanoid Action."
For those that enjoyed Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, most of them would agree that the battling between Kylo Ren and Rey versus the Elite Praetorian Guards was about the most engaging minutes of the film. Instead of keeping things simple as they did back in 1983, each Elite Praetorian Guard is unique in his own way, whether it be a difference in the helmet or the weapon of choice utilized. The battle ensued almost immediately upon Supreme Leader Snoke’s death, and it was a whirlwind of action that was difficult to focus on because of everything that was going on in those scenes. All licensees quickly picked up on how cool these characters are and each line has its own unique interpretation of these bright red characters. Some licensees, like S.H. Figuarts, have announced multiples versions of them for releases within their respective lineups. Part of a promotion, Elite Praetorian Guard (With Heavy Blade) is one-half of the November 2017 releases that entitle you to a “free” BB-8 (03) figure. The packaging is identical. You don’t get any boxed set here. But it’s only the purchase of the Elite Praetorian Guard (With Heavy Blade) and Kylo Ren (The Last Jedi) that is your ticket to securing BB-8. As you’d expect, the Elite Praetorian Guard (With Heavy Blade) figure is another home run hit. S.H. Figuarts approaches their figures differently than Hasbro, and typically the results pay off in a grander way.
The Elite Praetorian Guard (With Heavy Blade) 6” figure is beautifully sculpted. What’s more important here, however, is the quality of plastic S.H. Figuarts used to produce this figure. It’s durable. It has "give." And it’s shiny as all heck to capture the style and coloring of the onscreen characters. Obviously, all of these great things are the tip of the iceberg. The figure is loaded with an inordinate amount of articulation, over 40 points to be exact. So the figure can achieve any pose you wish (within reason) and looks amazing in your collection in a display. S.H. Figuarts managed to work in simple, but clever, articulation in the elbows. Other 6” versions of this character often have encumbered articulation here, but you have complete freedom here thanks to brilliant engineering. The lower skirt inhibits the figure’s lower body movement, but it has been cast in a pliable plastic that moves as needed to achieve those trickier lower body action poses. Elite Praetorian Guards are nearly always identified by their weapons (usually as a subtitle). The same is true for the S.H. Figuarts line. Sometimes the descriptions don’t make complete sense as the “unique” weapon isn’t in the description, but they’ve never double-dipped on these characters’ names, so we suppose their method is working. With a nice supply of interchangeable hand attachments and extra weaponry besides their exclusive weapons, you have many options for which to pose this figure.
This one is called Elite Praetorian Guard (With Heavy Blade). Included is a full heavy blade weapon. But S.H. Figuarts also added other weapons as well (just like we saw in the film) so you can recreate those intense moments from the film. The detail in the lathe heavy blade weapons is incredible. Yes, it is simply colored in red and silver, but if you take some time to appreciate what went into their design, we’re confident you will be impressed just as we are. Also included are two forms of the whip-staff. Without taking this out of context, it comes in both its flaccid and rigid state. For us, the whip-staff was our favorite weapons of these characters. Interestingly, all three in the S.H. Figuarts line come with them. It must be their basic weaponry, while the larger “blades” are their specialty. Some can’t help to notice that the “duck” look is prominent on this particular version of the Elite Praetorian Guard. We see it too. It’s almost as if a duck is wearing a graduation cap. That aside, we still think the character is a cool and mysterious design and comes off as a beautiful action figure from S.H. Figuarts. We love soft-goods, but aesthetically that would not have worked well in these high-end collectibles. Utilizing the softer and more liable/rubbery plastics was the way to go here and has paid off wonderfully. There are eight guards in the The Last Jedi. Only time will tell if we get them all, but if we do, we won’t mind at all.
Elite Praetorian Guard (With Heavy Blade)
Status: Elite Praetorian Guard (With Heavy Blade) is a retool of 2017's SHF Elite Praetoian Guard (With Double Blade) figure.
Articulation Count: 41 points (27 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: ball-socket head (1), ball-socket neck (1), ball-socket left shoulder socket (1), ball-jointed left shoulder (2), swivel left bicep (1), double hinge-jointed left elbow (2), ball-jointed left wrist (2), ball-socket right shoulder socket (1), ball-jointed right shoulder (2), swivel right bicep (1), double hinge-jointed right elbow (2), ball-jointed right wrist (2), hinge-jointed upper torso (internal) (1), ball-socket upper torso (1), ball-socket lower torso (1), ball-jointed left hip (2), ball-jointed right hip (2), swivel left thigh (1), swivel right thigh (1), double hinge-jointed left knee (2), double hinge-jointed right knee (2), ball-jointed/"rocker" left ankle (2), ball-jointed/"rocker" right ankle (2), hinge-jointed left "boot tip" (1), hinge-jointed right "boot tip" (1), hinge-jointed and ball-socket left shoulder armor (2), hinge-jointed and ball-socket right shoulder armor (2)
Accessory Count: 7
Accessory Details: heavy blade, whip-staff (flaccid), whip-staff (rigid), 2 interchangeable left hand attachments, 2 interchangeable right hand attachments
Date Stamp: N/A
Assortment Number: 2394696
Retail: $59.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.