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The Black Series [Phase III]

Elite Praetorian Guard - TBS [P3] - 3.75 Inch Figures (Exclusive)

Name: Elite Praetorian Guard
Collection: The Black Series [Phase III]
Number: N/A
Scale: 3¾"
Source: The Last Jedi
Availability: November 2017
License: Hasbro

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As the Supreme Leader of the First Order, Snoke was flanked by crimson-clad guardians, loyal protectors encased in ornate armor ready to defend the Supreme Leader from any threat.

OK. So Chris Swanski at BanthaSkull.com was right. This figure is unequivocally a perfect 10 (or at the very least worthy of a 5 holocron rating here at Jedi Temple Archives). We all seem to be hard on the design of the Elite Praetorian Guard. Yes, their arms do look an awful lot like those collapsible cups we had as kids back in the day and their faceless masks tend to make them look like droids instead of the experienced and violent warriors they are. So far everyone involved in the making of Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi has been fairly forthright that these characters are the new Emperor’s Royal Guards from the Original Trilogy for the Sequel Trilogy, and we believe that most fans and collectors have come to accept this as fact too. From what we know prior to the release of the film is that there are four unique guards. Some share the same style helmets, but each possesses a unique weapon. Completing them in any scale may prove a challenge, and we’re not even sure if that’s an option for the super-articulated 3.75” scale. But thankfully the portraits to the 5POA versions fit on this super-articulated version, so we should be able to have all four, even if it is done so through a backdoor method. The good news now however is that we have at least one which was released as part of the final wave of The Black Series [Phase III] 3.75” Walmart exclusive line (soon to be available everywhere) and once you open it up to play with you will soon see that Hasbro has hit a home run with this action figure. It’s been a while since we have been given an army-building type of character with so much fluidity and awesomeness, but the Elite Praetorian Guard fits the bill perfectly. This is a must-have action figure. You should do whatever it takes to get one.

The 3.75” super-articulated Elite Praetorian Guard action figure is better than we ever assumed it would be. The arms have more functionality than the 6” version and the lower body movement, while somewhat comparable to the 6” version, is still better and offers much more with regards to posing options. This figure does a lot. Between our gallery and BanthaSkull.com's gallery you can see the variety of poses this figure can achieve. We don’t often use the word “masterpiece” to describe everything Hasbro makes, but for us, the Elite Praetorian Guard would definitely be covered under that description. It's a generous accolade to make, but it's a forthright one. Let’s be honest, although Hasbro had to sculpt a great figure to make it an effective one when it came to deco they really dodged a bullet here. They didn’t have to worry about recreating a human or alien likeness. There are literally no paint operations here except for a little dot on his chest (and maybe some on his legs but they are covered up by the lower skirt), so the Elite Praetorian Guard really succeeds on its own solely by its sculpt and not much else. This, of course, isn’t a bad or lazy thing Hasbro has done and we're not trying to insult them in any way for creating a figure that doesn't need much. No, this figure succeeds at every level and Hasbro has ensured that it can do many, many things. Its simplicity is innate to the character and Hasbro really just lucked out. It actually works in a 3.75” figure’s favor because less tends to be more in this scale. Plus, shiny red things just capture our attention, right? Remember your decades-long obsession with the Emperor’s Royal Guard! The Elite Praetorian Guard has a stunning articulation system. It’s one of the most functional figures in The Black Series [Phase III] 3.75” line. Thanks to a soft-goods skirt, none of the figure’s movement is inhibited and you can fully articulate this beauty as you desire.

Like most other Star Wars figures, the Elite Praetorian Guard doesn't come with enough accessories, but once again that's probably due to the simplicity of the character. The Elite Praetorian Guard (50) figure comes with removable shoulder armor, but maybe that was too much of a burden to execute with the 3.75" version. Still, we feel the figure is still too lightly accessorized. This is probably why Hasbro should have helped the collecting community by giving us an interchangeable head sculpt and all of the weapons that these characters use so that we all could have killed four birds with one stone. And if that wasn’t cost-feasible then they should have reserved these characters for multipacks or some sort of boxed set release instead. As zealous collectors, it’s frustrating to not be offered all of the characters needed to complete a squadron. Frankly, we’re a little irritated with the decision to only give us one option at the start. But we won’t let this “rage” affect our enjoyment of what is one of the best Star Wars characters in Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. Hopefully, their roles in the film won’t disappoint us either. Some collectors don’t like the mix of soft-goods with sculpted parts. In a perfect world we’d agree. But giving figures soft-goods for the lower half of the body allows them such freedom and incredible movement that we’d really want it no other way. Besides, Hasbro has gotten really, really good at matching the colors of fabrics to the plastic they use for the upper body. In the case of the Elite Praetorian Guard, the matching of the two mediums is flawless. We’re so thrilled with how the Elite Praetorian Guard turned out that we really hope Hasbro has plans to make the rest of them in an exclusive multipack or something, like immediately. It would be nice to have them all at the same relative time. Just know we like it more than Chris Swanski does.

Collector Notes

Elite Praetorian Guard

Status: Elite Praetorian Guard is an all-new figure.

Articulation Count: 29 points (16 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), ball-jointed left wrist (2), ball-jointed right wrist (2), ball-jointed torso (2), ball-jointed left hip (2), ball-jointed right hip (2), swivel left thigh (1), swivel right thigh (1), ball-jointed left knee (2), ball-jointed right knee (2), ball-jointed left ankle (2), ball-jointed right ankle (2)

Accessory Count: 1

Accessory Details: force pike

Date Stamp: N/A

Assortment Number: C3621/B4054

UPC: 630509603947

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.

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Added: September 16, 2017
Category: Black Series [Phase III], The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
Score:
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