Here’s a bit of a random pickup – a die-cast Elite Praetorian Guard. I haven’t seen The Last Jedi (can’t claim to be much of a Star Wars fan), but I love the design of this character, who looks like this:
The majority of the figure is a solid metal, and his skirt is rubbery, allowing to flex as you move him around. Weapons are also plastic. The particular thing that drew me to this version of the Praetorian Guard was the shininess of the paint, which I think works well with the red. As much as I’m not a fan of the films, I have to give them props for designing some interesting-looking characters.
The base has this nice etched pattern. Shame it’s only passable as a base – it only has one peg, so getting him to balance can be tricky, as he’s quite top-heavy, so realistically, you’re not going to do action poses with him. If you want him in a more action pose, you may have to invest in a sturdy claw stand.
Here we can see a pinhole that’s the articulation for his arm, and one of the rubber bands I’ve left on for the weapon in his left hand. With the weapons, I took the one off the right-hand side, then had issues getting the weapon to stay in his hand. They are plastic-y, but not by much, so you could possibly get a better grip out of it. However, doing some research during writing this blog, I’ve found you can make the two swords into one weapon… but he’ll be holding it one-handed. Does stay in his hand better as the one weapon.
On removing the pictured rubber band, I think it had started to go. I wasn’t planning on leaving it on long term, as they do eventually perish and then are an awful mess to remove sometimes.
So let’s get to those arm seams – yeah, they’re pretty visible. Probably less so on this side. I don’t think it’s too bad placement the seams, but they do remain visible. Here you can see the notch in the weapon, which attaches to a corresponding hole on the other weapon. Having the choice to attach them together is neat… however there’s a lack of articulation, so you can’t really do a two-handed grip, like the weapon should really be held. He has a lack of “flapping” motion in his arms – the joints basically articulate on one axis.
They covered up four screws… but not the two on his arms?! I guess it was to avoid fouling of the joint, but damn. Seems an odd choice to do nothing, and not even paint the screws red. Some nice detailing in the mould of his upper body though – some bit son the back of his head, and the lines on the back.
Honestly I think this figure would have been better as a statically posed figure, with maybe some swappable arms to change his stance to hold the weapon. The articulation gives you some options, but you’re fighting gravity to find stances that work. I think this is the kind of guy you’re going to pose once, then leave him, lest you knock him over and scratch him. The die-cast and the paint gives him a good finish, and makes him into a weighty collectable, but I think the articulation didn’t add as much as it should to a figure, and kind of loses out on that. A claw stand may’ve been nice, or maybe some stand that holds onto his leg, or wedges up between his legs, so you could have him more “action stance” and not have to fight gravity so much.
I don’t mind him for what he is – I didn’t pay full price, and honestly, I think I can see why other people didn’t either… Once displayed, he looks fine, but there has been compromises in this figure that don’t quite work.