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The Black Series [Phase III]

Emperor’s Royal Guard - TBS [P3] - 3.75 Inch Figures (Exclusive)

Name: Emperor’s Royal Guard
Collection: The Black Series [Phase III]
Number: N/A (Walmart Exclusive)
Scale: 3¾"
Source: Return Of The Jedi/Expanded Universe (Crimson Empire)
Availability: September 2016
License: Hasbro

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The Emperor’s Royal Guard were the personal bodyguards and assassins of Sheev Palpatine. Armed with force pikes and fully clad in their anonymous helmets and crimson, the Royal Guard were silent, imposing, and deadly.

Well, we’re going to take partial credit for this one. At the last half dozen Hasbro media events spanning almost five years now, JTA had pleaded with certain and specific Hasbro executives to re-release 2012’s TVC Emperor’s Royal Guard (VC105) figure. Many times our pleas went ignored, but it never stopped us from making it a priority or to keep asking. But at the last NYCC Preview Party in NYC, JTA asked Design Manager Steve Evans to write down the words “Emperor’s Royal Guard” in his trusty black book and sent him off with a beg and plea to make it a reality, and well, almost a year later to the day the collector favorite Emperor’s Royal Guard has finally been re-released in the Walmart exclusive The Black Series [Phase III] 3.75” line. We’re thrilled that this has transpired. Hasbro is indeed listening and it will complement the 6” version coming sometime in 2017 as well. With the re-release comes some changes too. Most notably, the soft-goods are completely different. The fabric is thinner and has a better and heavier drape. It also “scrunches” as needed to deliver some very impressive folding and bunching when you place the figure in action-oriented poses. The first version of this figure with its bushy and plush soft-goods is a classic of course and we’re still fond of it to this day, but this updated version is the way the figure should have been approached back in 2012. We’re impressed with the upgrade the soft-goods have been given. It makes us very happy collectors. Also, the figure has also been repainted and this particular update may receive more of a mixed reception. His face is paler. His gloves have only been painted at the wrists and in general the figure just looks to be cast in a deeper red. Overall though, the soft-goods totally rank #1 for us and for that reason alone we have to say that The Black Series [Phase III] version is unequivocally better.

As one of the most recognized characters associated with “Return Of The Jedi” it seems that this figure should see more love in the Hasbro toy line. Maybe it doesn’t need a release every year, but maybe every other year would be wise. Of course, the best packaging for this figure has already come and gone. That would be the beautiful The Vintage Collection treatment. The TVC packaging is of course itself reason to celebrate, but Hasbro also did equally well with the actual action figure inside of the packaging. Part Original Trilogy and part (mostly) Expanded Universe (the Crimson Empire comics), Hasbro worked in so much of this character’s background into the action figure that it has to come with a ton of accessories. They 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. 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. The good news here however is that instead of giving us a silly clone trooper or some useless gimmick, we technically have two unique characters that are beautifully done and well made. Hasbro has given us a Lemmet Tauk-looking character (with reddish brown hair this time) for a new likeness, the same as the TVC version, just paler this time. And the final results are just perfect. Aesthetically this is the greatest Episode VI Emperor’s Royal Guard we have, but it’s just such a shame that it’s once again been relegated to exclusive status and will be difficult (and expensive) to army build.

Emperor’s Royal Guard comes with 22 points of articulation. The figure has a great range of movement and can be posed in a variety of ways. Still, the inclusion of ball-jointed hips would have been ideal (for the Crimson Guard look, not necessarily the Emperor’s Royal Guard option). This bearded warrior has been excellently designed and outfitted well. Altogether the Emperor’s Royal Guard figure comes with a whopping seven accessories. The secondary Royal Guard helmet (from Crimson Empire) and the battle staff have been recycled from the Royal Guard figures from 2008’s TLC Crimson Empire Previews exclusive multipack. Thankfully they’ve aged gracefully and befit this action figure perfectly. The updated paint operations and insignia details have aided this figure's overall pleasant appearances as well. New however is a neck collar which is fascinatingly held in place by the helmet (it’s rather remarkable actually) and then for good measure a biker scout pistol has been included which fits flawlessly into a working holster on the right side of his sash. The Empire’s logo can be found all over the figure. A large emblem is on his back, both shoulders and on the secondary helmet. You may or may not be happy about this figure’s interchangeability and its heavy reference to the Expanded Universe, but it's hard to say this isn't well done. We have to admit that while we’re enamored with the official “Emperor’s Royal Guard” look of this figure, the Crimson Empire Royal Guard look is nothing to sneeze at and ignore either. Hasbro has done a solid effort on this figure’s first release, but they’ve have gone above and beyond updating it and re-releasing it too. Be sure you grab this version. You won’t be sorry!

Collector Notes

Emperor’s Royal Guard

Status: Emperor’s Royal Guard is a repaint and rework of 2012's TVC Emperor’s Royal Guard (VC105) figure. This time the figure has been given all-new soft-goods that provide the fabric with a significantly better drape.

Articulation Count: 22 points (14 areas of articulation)

Articulation Details: ball-socket head (1), ball-jointed left shoulder (2), ball-jointed right shoulder (2), ball-jointed left elbow (2), ball-jointed right elbow (2), swivel left wrist (1), swivel right wrist (1), swivel waist (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1), ball-jointed left knee (2), ball-jointed left knee (2), ball-jointed left ankle (2), ball-jointed right ankle (2)

Accessory Count: 7

Accessory Details: removable Emperor's Royal Guard helmet, soft-goods robes, force pike, collar, removable Crimson Guard trainee helmet, battle staff, blaster pistol

Date Stamp: N/A

Assortment Number: C0660/B4054

UPC: 630509501472

Retail: $12.99 USD

Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on Click here to check the market value on eBay! listings.







The Black Series [Phase III] Walmart Exclusives Wave 5

Admiral Ackbar

Ahsoka Tano

Emperor’s Royal Guard

Lando Calrissian

Added: October 6, 2016
Category: Black Series [Phase III], The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
Score:
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