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The Power Of The Force “2” [Freeze Frame/The Kenner Collection]

Emperor’s Royal Guard - POTF2 [FF/TKC] - Basic

Name: Emperor’s Royal Guard
Collection: The Power Of The Force "2" [Freeze Frame/The Kenner Collection]
Number: N/A
Source: Return Of The Jedi
Availability: March 1998
License: Hasbro

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Only the most promising soldiers are chosen to serve as Emperor Palpatine's personal guards. Experts in many forms of combat, both armed and unarmed, they are conditioned to automatically react to the Emperor's will.

Many vintage Kenner action figures received modern updates in 1997 and 1998. The influx of new action figures bordered on dizzying. Also dizzying collectors were the repacked 1997 (and older) figures that were carried-forward into the Freeze Frame Action Slide lineup. Why in the world would Kenner/Hasbro reissue a figure that failed the first time as an action figure? If fate couldn’t be any crueler, the Emperor's Royal Guard, yes, the figure with only two points of articulation, is now part of the updated and revised 1998 POTF2 lineup. Branded with a new “The Kenner Collection” logo, a higher MSRP, and a collectible pack-in premium, and the previously described slide, the Emperor's Royal Guard’s re-release is as perplexing as it is frustrating. However, we will immediately admit that getting a Freeze Frame Action Slide of this character is a fascinating inclusion for the lineup. Instead of the Emperor’s Royal Guard looking like an elite and personally chosen guard of Emperor Palpatine, the figure once again comes off as a cruel and sad joke. The Emperor’s Royal Guard action figure is an obtuse collection of plastic covered in a molded robe shell with MINIMAL articulation. And while it’s more frustrating that the sculpt isn’t terrible, we’ve now reached a point in the line where a figure like this is unacceptable to re-release. If you’re looking for a significant upgrade to 1983’s ROTJ Emperor’s Royal Guard figure, this one isn’t it. You’ll only be repurchasing this action figure for the pack-in premium. Then again, ERGs are popular in any collectible format.

Emperor’s Royal Guard has two points of articulation. Some feel that this pathetic articulation count alone is unforgivable. The figure comes with two swivel shoulders. What you’ll find exasperating is that despite the two points of articulation, their movement is inhibited because of the separately sculpted robe shell that covers the center of the figure’s body. So, if you can get over this, you’ll accept the figure for what it is, a statue. Despite these limitations, we are impressed with how Kenner/Hasbro tooled the right hand. We’ve waited a long time for the Emperor’s Royal Guard to hold its staff properly. And now, the wait is over thanks to this release. The figure comes with a screen-accurate force pike that fits flawlessly into the left hand in an upright position. This is how these characters held their weapons in the film. It sometimes doesn’t take much to impress collectors, but this is something that impresses us, and we’re thankful for this feature here. When you pose the figure with the force pike, it looks like the character is straight out of the film. At first glance, the figure looks a little too rotund, but when you compare it to stills in the film, it doesn’t look that far off from the characters we see on the big or small screen. Where the figure lacks, however, is how you can pose it. You get one bite at the apple here, and for collectors like us, it’s very frustrating. It’s hard to believe a figure from 1983 has double the articulation as its modern-day counterpart. It doesn’t make sense to us.

If there wasn’t enough injustice with this figure, Kenner/Hasbro found the Emperor’s Royal Guard to be a viable carry-forward figure in the Freeze Frame phase of The Power Of The Force “2” line. Admittedly, the Emperor’s Royal Guard ranks highly in the eyes of collectors, so we understand why the character was on the list for Kenner/Hasbro to re-release again. We’ll reiterate. We adore the Freeze Frame Action Slide pack-ins, and we’re happy to get one of the Emperor’s Royal Guard. While not based on the image found on 1983’s ROTJ Emperor’s Royal Guard figure, they chose an image of the Emperor Royal Guard’s walking down the ramp of an Imperial shuttle to the Death Star II’s floor below. There is something incredibly special about capturing a single frame still from the beloved Star Wars Original Trilogy films. And now, we can capture these moments forever to be displayed in our collections. If you’re looking to secure this figure, we suggest purchasing the one that comes with the Freeze Frame Action Slide extra premium. It makes the most sense. Hopefully, in the future, Kenner/Hasbro will be more doting to collectors and fans and create an all-new version of the Emperor’s Royal Guard with fewer constraints and a lot more articulation. (Editor’s Note: Hasbro released the definitive 2012 TVC Emperor’s Royal Guard (VC105) figure which met this demand from collectors very nicely.) This is a core figure, and their mystery and magnificence in Return Of The Jedi make them unforgettable.

Collector Notes

Emperor’s Royal Guard

Status: Emperor’s Royal Guard is a straight repack of 1997's POTF2 [R/G] Emperor’s Royal Guard figure.

Articulation Count: 2 points (2 areas of articulation)

Articulation Details: swivel left shoulder (1), swivel right shoulder (1)

Accessory Count: 1

Accessory Details: force pike

Date Stamp: 1997

Collection: 3

Freeze Frame Details: Emperor Palpatine's elite personal guards.

Assortment Number: 69705/69717

UPC: 076281697178

Retail: $5.99 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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