Since Amazon was ready ahead of time, the exclusive Elite Praetorian Guard (with Heavy Blade) was sent out early. So, now that I have it in hand, I wanted to compare it to the standard Elite Praetorian Guard #50.
First off, the helmets. I was expecting the figures to be the same except for the weapons. I am happy to see that there is a different helmet for each of the types of guards. The Heavy Blade guard is in the left, with the upswept mask, while the standard figure on the right has the longer mask.
Let’s take a look at the rest of the figure too. First up is the standard guard. He is VERY red. The only spot of color are the black pants hidden under the skirt.
Now that is a lot of red, but the figure has a lot of texture going for it that allows for some variation. There is a leather texture on the skirt as well as the around the neck. The arms have layered armor that allows for color variation in the highlights and shadows. And the mask itself is shiny.
The details included are really well done. From the leather material to the fine lines of the body armor. They even have cool double jointed knees with the big knee pads as the main part that separates the two parts of the leg. he guard comes with a pretty nasty looking bladed weapon. It is interesting that these guards have bladed weapons as opposed to the long range blasters that the majority of the characters use. It will be interesting to see how these weapons hold up against weapons like the lightsaber.
Heavy Blade guard has the heavy blade that has a pole as tall as the guard and then there is a massive blade on top of that. It is a formidable close-combat weapon. He also comes with a spear or pike of some sort. The SHFiguarts Heavy Blade Guard shows that this weapon separates to become a whip. Seeing him in hand really gets me excited to see these guys in action. Unlike the Emperor’s Royal Guard, we should see these guys in action.
The only real problem with these guys are the elbow joints. The joints are lost behind the layers of armor, so they cannot bend their arms very well. I have seen some fixes that I may try.
The director of The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson said that he wanted these guards to look more like samurai than the Emperor’s guards. He wanted them to look like they could fight if they needed to. I think they succeeded in the desired effect. I really like that there are different helmets and weapons available. There is one more guard out there. The “fingernail” guard with a wide brim on his helmet that looks like a big fingernail. It is part of the Gamestop Exclusive 4 pack that comes with 3 other guards going back to the Republic days. It is way too expensive for what it is, so I am going to hold out hope that Hasbro will put out a single pack with the 3rd Elite Guard. I am also interested to see what the numbers of each type of guard are for the movie. There are supposedly 8 of them.