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Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review

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1105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review Empty Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review on Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:04 am

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
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Introduction

Over the last several months, Hot Toys has released several new Original Trilogy figures, including Luke Skywalker from Return of the Jedi, Darth Vader from Empire Strikes Back, and now the emperor's Royal Guard from Return of the Jedi. I have my issues with what I consider the last fully canonical Star Wars film (particularly the cartoonish villains and the idiotically easy and speedy resolution, but I will save my bile for the review of the emperor figure), but it was difficult to resist another high-end sixth-scale rendition of iconic characters from the film/trilogy. The emperor's Royal Guards were not particularly fun or exciting, but they were as cool as bad guys could possibly be, and that just standing there; I suppose since they were dismissed ahead of the decisive action, they alone of the bad guys have not been shown defeated by the protagonists.

This is the second iteration of the iconic characters in high-end sixth-scale; the first was part of Medicom's Real Action Heroes series (unless we also count the much less sophisticated Kenner or Hasbro 12" figures -- which can still easily make do in a pinch).

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Standing about 11.75 inches (about 29.8 cm), the Medicom Royal Guards were a decent addition in scenes with Hot Toys and Sideshow figures (which is unusual, as Medicom's figures tended to be relatively underscaled compared to other sixth scale figures). However, the new Hot Toys Royal Guards tower over the others, with a height of about 12.25 inches (about 31.1 cm). Moreover, they appear to capture the appearance (and proportions) of the film characters even more convincingly.

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Packaging - 4/4 stars

I should start out by saying there is absolutely nothing wrong with the packaging. It is just what we are so very used to, without any particular complexity or originality. I do realize they are constrained by both tradition and the Star Wars license where the outside design is concerned.

It is a traditional shoebox-type container, with the usual stylish Star Wars two shades of black design, including an image of the figure, the Star Wars logo and product label on the front, and more information and warnings on the bottom. A color card showing two Royal Guards brandishing their weapons is inserted atop the box's contents under the box lid. The figure and its accessories is held in single transparent plastic trey with its own transparent plastic lid. Everything is safe and collector-friendly.

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Sculpting - 4/4 stars

The sculpting is up to its usual level of Hot Toys excellence. The sculpted parts of the product are actually relatively few, including the signature helmet, the hand sculpts, and the force pike weapon. Everything is done cleanly and precisely, which is of course critical when it comes to weapons technology and the sleek, clean, shiny helmet. The helmet is the most striking piece, and it looks just as it should, with the right proportions, just barely plausible (which is how it was designed by Lucasfilm's costume department). The hand sculpts are supposed to convey tight leather gloves, and they appear pretty successful in that.

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Paint - 3.5/4 stars

The paint work is not particularly complex (the most complicated parts are the dark visor on the helmet and the black parts of the otherwise silverish force pike weapon), but it is clean and consistent as we have come to expect from Hot Toys. Then there is the question of accuracy. I compared the product in hand with what we see in the films and with the relevant entry in the Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy book by B. Alinger (San Francisco, 2014). The color of the helmet appears to be spot on, a perfect or virtually perfect match for the "candy apple red" used in Return of the Jedi. The color of the outer cloak is a close but not perfect match. Some of this may well be due to the difference in materials, but the film cloak matched with the helmet. Even allowing for differences in screen color settings and in the color fidelity of printed photographs, this is a clear and unfortunate inconsistency. The garments underneath the outer cloak are in a darker, maroon color. This is film-accurate, at least in principle, as the published photographs seem to show a slightly lighter and warmer shade of color, a little less different from the cloak than the one we get with this product; but again, I cannot be sure of the color fidelity of the publication. Generally, the paint work on the sculpted elements is perfect or near perfect, while the coloring on the garments is a little off in terms of accuracy. There is no weathering on the painted or dyed materials, but this makes sense given the elite and dress uniform character of the Royal Guards.

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Articulation - 4/4 stars

This actually came as something of a surprise to me. Hot Toys' figures have appeared to prioritize appearance over range of articulation lately, with restrictive padding under clothing, restrictive footwear, and tight pants. Considering that the emperor's Royal Guards just stand there, or glide to or from a position, if there were ever an action figure that arguably (arguably!) didn't need much articulation, it would be this one. And yet, here Hot Toys has reminded us of how they came to be considered the best (super-realistic head sculpts aside). Despite padding and some layers of clothing, the Royal Guard can achieve pretty much all the articulation you might possibly want: the cloth boots do not impede the ankles (if anything, they could have been a tad stiffer), the pants allow the legs to bend to assume a natural sitting position, the arms can flex at the biceps naturally, there is a moderate ab crunch, and with some effort, the arm can go up above the body fairly successfully. The hands swap easily enough, and Hot Toys provided a couple of extra wrist pegs. The one area where the articulation is super-limited is the neck. You can adjust it up and down and sideways only slightly; any more than that and the helmet pops off. This should not be held against the product, however, as it matches the restrictions of the actual costume in the film.

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Accessories - 3/4 stars

I am divided on this category. Technically speaking, given what we see in Return of the Jedi, the accessories we get with this product are perfectly adequate. On the other hand, given the price of the figure, they are quite underwhelming. What we get are four extra hands (weapon-grip right and left, thumb-out weapon-grip right, spread-finger left, besides the ball-grip right and relaxed left that come on the figure in the box), the action figure stand (featuring a Death Star-like ground surface), and the force pike weapon (which is arguably the only true accessory). The weapon is realistically scaled and screen-accurate. (I am not counting the instruction sheet as an accessory; the force pike weapon was omitted in this particular photo, but you see plenty of it elsewhere.)

So, if this is all we see with the Royal Guards in the film, why do I not give this category a full four stars? Because it falls short of what Hot Toys has been providing with recent releases (compare the bases on the Luke and Vader figures), and we still pay a high price for the product (even if not as high as for the others). The least they could have done is provide some sort of appropriate printed background (for example, of the throne room window or elevator). Or they could have done what they did with their excellent Snowtroopers (see my review HERE ), and incorporate some external material. With the Snowtroopers they added items and equipment from Star Wars Battlefront video game. With the Royal Guards they could have what Hasbro did with their 3.75" royal guard figure (Vintage Collection #105, 2012) and add the extra elements associated with them in the Crimson Empire comic book series (see HERE for that figure). Admittedly, the comic book series probably had much less impact than the video game and may have been relegated to "legends" status, but it certainly would have made a cool figure far more exciting.

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Outfit - 4/4 stars

The outfit seems done very well, although only the outer cloak is easy to check against the film. The cloak drapes and hangs naturally enough, much more so than on the Medicom version, which had a bothersome wire along the side and bottom edges. I should note that this appears to be the only sixth-scale version of the character in which the cloak reproduces the characteristic concave-shaped folds below the bottom edge of the helmet. The cloak does come a bit wrinkled out of the box, but even without any special treatment it looks pretty good. Below the cloak is a suede long-sleeved tunic, belted with a broad belt made of the same material. The tunic has long slits on the sides, which allow for the legs to assume broad stances. Unlike the Medicom version, the tunic does not include a bothersome wire and hangs naturally. Below the tunic there are pants made of the same suede material, and you can feel a padded top. There is a pair of pointy tall boots on the feet, which do not restrict the ankle articulation, as their upper portion is made of a type of fabric. I can only verify the sleeves as accurate from the film and costume book. As mentioned above, I have my suspicion that the color on the cloth goods is a little bit off, but I have already taken this into account in the Paint category.

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Fun Factor - 3.5/4 stars

That's always difficult to judge, because it is so subjective. In this instance, there is also a divide between an excellent figure and a very static film character. Admittedly, we get a hint of action in a deleted scene from Return of the Jedi, in which Vader force chokes the Death Star commander who refuses to admit him into the throne room, and two Royal Guards threaten Vader with their weapons (HERE , starting at 7:05). As much as I would have loved to see more of the imperials on the screen, the scene is quite silly and I am glad it was deleted (like the Snowtroopers and Wampa deleted scene from Empire Strikes Back). I have reproduced it in a couple of the photos (the last two in this review), which look just as silly as the deleted scene.

Had they gone creative and given this product the Snowtrooper treatment by imitating Hasbro's 2012 Royal Guard (for example), I would have easily given this a full four stars. Although the Royal Guard(s) will just stand there, it helps that we have the matching Luke figure, and the Emperor (with or without the throne) and Vader are supposed to follow soon. This is not something you should give to a child, but I feel a child is likely to have more fun with it. That said, with the excellent articulation, you can get pretty creative.

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Value - 2/4 stars

This is another difficult score to determine. The product is excellent in quality and appearance, apart from my concern about possible minor color mismatching compared to the film version. But there is very little in the way of accessories included in the box, and while the look demanded a precise and clean work, it did not involve the complexities of an actor-accurate head sculpt. The figure retails for about $205 (USD) or more (not counting shipping). This is not as high as some other recent Hot Toy releases (Luke was $240 or more), but it is not exactly a low price either, especially as many diehard collectors might want to pick up two Royal Guards (I doubt many would be ambitious enough to get a full set of six). While it is relatively low for Hot Toys, the price affects this score negatively.

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Things to watch out for

Nothing really. This is not a child's toy, but any reasonable handling should not cause any problems. Although the hands swap easily enough, you can never go wrong heating them up a bit to soften the plastic before doing so. Make sure you have posed the figure securely, as the ankles can sometimes move too easily.

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Overall - 3.5 stars

Despite my misgivings over the price (especially considering the limited accessories), I consider this an excellent product. It should be a welcome addition to the collection of anyone who appreciates the Star Wars Original Trilogy as a whole, or more particularly its military, and the Galactic Empire. I am surprised that Sideshow did not beat Hot Toys in producing this figure (or the Imperial Gunner, for that matter), which they might have done quite well and at a somewhat lower price. All the same, Hot Toys did a beautiful job and I very much doubt I will ever feel the need to buy another sixth-scale Royal Guard from Return of the Jedi.

I hope this review has been helpful. What do you think?

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Where to Buy

Big Bad Toy Store - $205

Cotswold Collectibles - $205

Timewalker Toys - $205 (wait list)

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#hottoys #starwars #returnofthejedi #royalguard #male #scifi


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2105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review Empty Re: Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review on Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:18 am

shazzdan

shazzdan
It is good that the new ones are a little taller. The Royal Guards are supposed to be the best of the best; elite fighters chosen for their loyalty as well as their intimidating appearance. They would have been taller than typical soldiers.


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3105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review Empty Re: Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review on Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:52 pm

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
shazzdan wrote:It is good that the new ones are a little taller. The Royal Guards are supposed to be the best of the best; elite fighters chosen for their loyalty as well as their intimidating appearance. They would have been taller than typical soldiers.

Agreed, for a variety of reasons. As ceremonial troops (or at least troops fulfilling an elite ceremonial function), one could expect stature (and perhaps uniformity) to be a factor in selection -- and there is the Frederick the Great precedent for recruiting tall troops. Also, visually, these tend to be backdrop characters to protagonists/antagonists, so larger frames and taller stature help them stand out.


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4105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review Empty Re: Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review on Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:54 pm

scalawag

scalawag
This is a lovely looking figure, but substantially over priced in my opinion.  I am an original trilogy guy through and through, but I won't be throwing money at this one I am afraid.  The prices on this type of figure are just becoming too high and unless one has unlimited reserves of cash then a line has to be drawn somewhere.
This may be a bad ass costume, but it is not a major character, it has no complex head sculpt or likeness, there is very little paintwork, it includes next to no accessories and very little in the way of complex clothing, and after looking at and considering all this, for me at least, it does not warrant an asking price in excess of $200.
To put this into some perspective this figure will cost around £230 - £240 in the UK after delivery costs are added.  Thats the same price as the custom made Biker Scout helmet in my avatar, and it means that 2 of these figures will cost roughly the same as my wearable 1-1 Stormtrooper armour, which I really do find simply incredible.
It is very nice, but for me it is not £230 or even $205 nice.

Paul


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5105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review Empty Re: Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review on Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:42 pm

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
scalawag wrote:This is a lovely looking figure, but substantially over priced in my opinion.  I am an original trilogy guy through and through, but I won't be throwing money at this one I am afraid.  The prices on this type of figure are just becoming too high and unless one has unlimited reserves of cash then a line has to be drawn somewhere.
This may be a bad ass costume, but it is not a major character, it has no complex head sculpt or likeness, there is very little paintwork, it includes next to no accessories and very little in the way of complex clothing, and after looking at and considering all this, for me at least, it does not warrant an asking price in excess of $200.
To put this into some perspective this figure will cost around £230 - £240 in the UK after delivery costs are added.  That's the same price as the Biker Scout helmet in my avatar, and it means that 2 of these figures will cost roughly the same as my wearable 1-1 Stormtrooper armour, which I really do find simply incredible.
It is very nice, but for me it is not £230 or even $205 nice.

How true. I wonder if they will correct their pricing eventually or simply stop making such figures or make them in smaller numbers. I don't have the statistics in front of me, but I am under the impression that for some time now they have been using a retail price in the range of $200-210 in the US for the kind of figures that represent soldiers and might be called army builders. In other words, they have notionally given this an "affordable" pricing -- by comparison with what they charge for protagonists. But it is still quite high (and in a sense especially because it is something of an army builder).

This is why I have really cut down on boxed sets, especially from HT. Tarkin (I think) was the last one I got as a set before this. Everything else I get is just some parted-out parts. Apart from the emperor and his throne, I don't know if I will be "investing" in more sets from HT in the foreseeable future. And from what I have seen in terms of preorders, there are the Solo patrol trooper (just too cool) and Han mud trooper (which might be our chance at getting imperial infantry, AKA AT-ST drivers) -- but that's about it, and given how much of a flop that film was, I am not certain they would make them. We still haven't seen the "Death Star Troopers/Death Squad Troopers" (imperial naval troopers) for preorder, and they were teased years ago.

If you can find them, you might have more affordable options. Until I got these, I thought the Medicom ones were near perfect. You can make up for their relative (but not really excessive) shortness with a stand, which can be easily mostly concealed under their ampler robes. And as long as you don't place them right next to an HT version, you will probably never really pick up on the excessively narrow head. Now these are super hard to find, and I got "lucky" with one that had a partly broken body and therefore a low price. And if you are going to use them only as background characters, you might even make do with the more basic Hasbro (or were they Kenner?) ones, which can still be found on eBay at a fraction of the cost.

The UK prices always make my hair stand on end. With the British pound worth more than the US dollar, I have always assumed that the price ought to be lower, if not at least the same. But your delivery (and customs?) appear to be staggering. Now I understand why they sell out crazy fast on the part-out sites. You could get away with just getting the helmet, outer robe, right hand, weapon, tunic, and boots (or less).


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6105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review Empty Re: Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review on Fri Sep 21, 2018 5:37 pm

Stryker2011

Stryker2011
Founding Father
Great review, but I'm with scalawag. I was never all that interested in side-bar characters that didn't do anything. These guys walked down a gangway to never really be seen again in the OT. I have the one Storm Trooper I purchased earlier in the year and that's all I really need for characters like that. Heck, I don't even have a Darth Vader figure yet!!! I have the Mythos Boba on PO, because I liked him in the OT, but I liked his Mythos look more. I don't normally go for the characters you never get to "see". A helmet is just a helmet to me, but I suppose I will probably at least get Vader at some point. I'm kind of hoping when they do RoTJ, that we get the un-helmeted old man HS to go with it as an extra. The ESB one was crazy over-priced, so I'm a little worried that the RoTJ is going to be insane, which means I may never end up with Vader, after all. I've had to slow down my purchases A LOT lately (too many medical bills piling up, and they only seem to be getting worse).


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7105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review Empty Re: Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review on Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:18 pm

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
Stryker2011 wrote:Great review, but I'm with scalawag. I was never all that interested in side-bar characters that didn't do anything. These guys walked down a gangway to never really be seen again in the OT. I have the one Storm Trooper I purchased earlier in the year and that's all I really need for characters like that. Heck, I don't even have a Darth Vader figure yet!!! I have the Mythos Boba on PO, because I liked him in the OT, but I liked his Mythos look more. I don't normally go for the characters you never get to "see". A helmet is just a helmet to me, but I suppose I will probably at least get Vader at some point. I'm kind of hoping when they do RoTJ, that we get the un-helmeted old man HS to go with it as an extra. The ESB one was crazy over-priced, so I'm a little worried that the RoTJ is going to be insane, which means I may never end up with Vader, after all. I've had to slow down my purchases A LOT lately (too many medical bills piling up, and they only seem to be getting worse).

Thanks, Stryker! You forgot they also walk away from the elevator doors when the emperor dismisses them. Smile But I agree with you and scalawag (and in fact I said as much in the review itself). If these were rebel background characters, or anything even less obscure from the Prequel or Sequel trilogies, I would have felt the exact same way. I still think the price is pretty atrocious, but I told myself better get it now, since if I change my mind later, it will be much more expensive. I don't plan on getting any more ever again, so I am all set. And I do have a thing for collecting imperial troopers of all kinds.

The Hot Toys ROTJ Vader does have an old Anakin head sculpt -- like the precedent set by Medicom and Sideshow (which was actually pretty good). On Big Bad Toy Store, which gives you (relatively) reasonable prices and shipping, ESB Vader is $267 (HERE ), the ROTJ Vader (preorder) is $560 (HERE ). What you could do is get the ESB Vader and then buy the couple of extra parts you need to account for the difference parted out. Perhaps something similar could be done with the Boba Fetts, but I don't know as much about the variations involved.


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8105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review Empty Re: Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review on Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:26 am

scalawag

scalawag
Sorry GubernatorFan I forgot to say that I liked the review and it was in my opinion a very fair view of the figure. I guess I just got caught up in the whole cost thing, but when a dyed in the wool life long Star Wars fan like me will look at the price of one of these and instantly pass on it there is something very wrong with the pricing strategy. I suspect my 1-6 collecting days are very much numbered if this sort of pricing continues, as I simply won't be able to afford it now.

Paul


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9105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review Empty Re: Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review on Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:24 am

Ovy

Ovy
Intresting review, I like the pictures - that background and the shiny floor are very effective.
I always thought the Royal guards looked kinda strange, I think the did not age well compared to the stormtroopers. They look like long, thin Royal Guard cosplayers - like in the movie. That choking scene with the tall and the small guard you posted was funny. That helmet looks cool, but it's so stiff! If the helmets where sold seperatly or copied, you could create an army of Guards with red fabric and spare bodies. Have you thought about turning one of them into Kir Kanos? http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Kir_Kanos
I don't know much about him, but his armor looks very epic. I like how the Praetorian Guards in Last Jedi were fully armored.

10105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review Empty Re: Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review on Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:48 am

Stryker2011

Stryker2011
Founding Father
Isn’t that RoTJ Vader the Premium format, though? It says 19” on BBTS.


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11105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review Empty Re: Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review on Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:55 am

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
scalawag wrote:Sorry GubernatorFan I forgot to say that I liked the review and it was in my opinion a very fair view of the figure.  I guess I just got caught up in the whole cost thing, but when a dyed in the wool life long Star Wars fan like me will look at the price of one of these and instantly pass on it there is something very wrong with the pricing strategy.

No problem, and thank you. The cost is painful, and I try not to think about it. For me this was a "must have" in a way that say Jabba is not (though it might be a much more impressive product in itself) -- although I do love Jabba and what Sideshow is doing with him (but I am reminding myself that for a Jabba scene to work out we need a ton of other alien characters that will probably never be made in high quality at this scale or if they do get made would be even more prohibitively expensive -- so far I only have Sideshow's old Bib Fortuna and don't have even one Gamorrean Guard; with the imperials I have all sorts of other figures that work with this one). So I bit the bullet, telling myself I will offset the cost by not getting a great many other things.

Ovy wrote:Intresting review, I like the pictures - that background and the shiny floor are very effective.
I always thought the Royal guards looked kinda strange, I think the did not age well compared to the stormtroopers. They look like long, thin Royal Guard cosplayers - like in the movie. That choking scene with the tall and the small guard you posted was funny. That helmet looks cool, but it's so stiff! If the helmets where sold separately or copied, you could create an army of Guards with red fabric and spare bodies. Have you thought about turning one of them into Kir Kanos?
I don't know much about him, but his armor looks very epic. I like how the Praetorian Guards in Last Jedi were fully armored.

Thank you very much. Not least because I made the backgrounds and shiny floors Smile
The Royal Guards do look strange, although I am not completely sure I'd agree they don't age well for what they are -- they are a very specific weird sort of thing and probably were intended to look different from regular troopers in various ways (given how inept stormtroopers are portrayed by the needs of the Star Wars films, that makes sense -- why fear a bunch of red stormtroopers more than the white ones?). From what I have read they were supposed to look quietly imposing, colorful in contrast with the black/white/grey look of the imperials and the understated dull look of the emperor himself, and possibly alien with their seemingly overly thin and elongated heads (suggested by the helmet). So this was all on purpose -- though its effect is in the eye of the beholder. And yes, if enough of these sets get parted out, the helmets are the key parts and could be combined with other items to create less expensive kitbash figures; that would explain how quickly the parted-out parts disappear (though I wasn't going to get any, since I was getting the boxed set).
Not having been immersed in the expanded universe, I was unaware of Kir Kanos specifically. But looking at the link you provided (thank you for that), I think this is exactly what Hasbro based their cool 3.75" figure from 2012 on -- I mean the additional alternatives complementing the canonical look. Check out the link to that above. I still say that if Hot Toys really wanted to justify the high price point, they ought to have included something like this (like they did adding Battlefront stuff for the Snowtroopers).
I have some issues with the design of the Sequel Trilogy's praetorian guards (curiously, they sport three different types of helmets and I am pretty sure they picked out 3 of possibly several alternatives that were proposed in part because they couldn't agree on what was best, and in part perhaps to justify additional action figures to sell). But I agree that they looked and got to act pretty formidable -- even putting up a fairly decent fight before being slaughtered by Emo Vader and Mary Sue -- which in the balance undid some of the positive impression. But it's a fantasy movie, what do we expect?


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12105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review Empty Re: Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review on Sat Sep 22, 2018 10:00 am

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
Stryker2011 wrote:Isn’t that RoTJ Vader the Premium format, though? It says 19” on BBTS.

Hmmm, yes, I had overlooked the difference and was comparing apples to oranges. But it is not premium format (which would be a statue with mixed media and possibly very select articulation). It is a 1/4 scale fully articulated action figure made by Hot Toys. But the point is that we should not be comparing it to a 1/6 scale figure. It does partly explain the difference in cost, which still seems staggering. I thought I saw something about them coming out with a ROTJ Vader, but it might have been this one rather than the next 1/6 scale release. If it is only this, then of course you couldn't mix and match (unless you mixed and matched with the Sideshow one from years ago).


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13105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review Empty Re: Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review on Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:39 am

shovelchop81

shovelchop81
Couldn't resist a peek... nice but I'll make do with my Hasbro ones as all they do is stand at attention either side of the Emperor, the boots looks much cooler on these though.

14105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review Empty Re: Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review on Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:33 am

Rogerbee

Rogerbee
Founding Father
Great review,

However, referring to Medicom as being 1/6 is a massive misnomer. Medicom themselves never advertise these as 1/6 and it never says 1/6 on the boxes. To my mind, the larger Medicom figures are their own scale and were designed to be bought by collectors of those figures to be displayed alongside other RAH figures.

Collectors of 1/6 have long misappropriated these as 1/6 figures and are always complaining they are too small. They were never designed as 1/6 figures, that's why they appear too small. As I said earlier RAH are just that, they will never be 1/6.

It's like people thinking 7" NECA are 1/12, they just aren't.

Mind you, if you ever read my Bandai Stormie review over on OSW, you will know that I don't even think HT et al are true 1/6 either!

Anyhow, back to normal service now..

CHEERS!

15105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review Empty Re: Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review on Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:43 am

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
shovelchop81 wrote:Couldn't resist a peek... nice but I'll make do with my Hasbro ones as all they do is stand at attention either side of the Emperor, the boots looks much cooler on these though.

Thanks, Alex. Of course I can't claim any credit (unlike you, who usually can). To be honest, I was puzzled by the boots -- they were just not what I expected. I had seen the real costumes many many years ago in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, but most of the interior layers of clothing and the boots were covered up. Anyway. Remembering how much you loved the praetorian guards from the sequel trilogy, here is my reconstituted HT praetorian with the classic royal guards. Consider it inspiration until you make your own (hopefully more effectively articulated) version.

Personally I am not a huge fan of "eyeless" helmets, though I do like the more armored look of the praetorians -- perhaps the royal guards could have been given some armor under their outer robes. I wasn't planning on getting any praetorians (you know I am an original trilogy snob), but after seeing them in half-decent action, I went for the external parted-out pieces to reconstitute one. I note that the red is almost exactly the same as that of the royal guards and that in the case of the praetorians HT seems to have made the painted plastic and dyed fabric identical in color, more so than in the case of the royal guards.

105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review Htrg1510

Rogerbee wrote:Great review, However, referring to Medicom as being 1/6 is a massive misnomer. Medicom themselves never advertise these as 1/6 and it never says 1/6 on the boxes. To my mind, the larger Medicom figures are their own scale and were designed to be bought by collectors of those figures to be displayed alongside other RAH figures. Collectors of 1/6 have long misappropriated these as 1/6 figures and are always complaining they are too small. They were never designed as 1/6 figures, that's why they appear too small. As I said earlier RAH are just that, they will never be 1/6. It's like people thinking 7" NECA are 1/12, they just aren't. Mind you, if you ever read my Bandai Stormie review over on OSW, you will know that I don't even think HT et al are true 1/6 either!

Thank you, Roger! Interesting point about Medicom RAH figures -- I did not realize that, apart from the obvious difference in size. It is a risky approach -- trying to establish their own scale could both help and hurt -- people might need to buy more of their products to go with each other but on the other hand they might give up on them because they don't fit in well with "other"/real 1/6 scale. In this instance, perhaps because the royal guards were intended to look really tall, the Medicom RAH version works decently with "other" 1/6 scale. HT and Sideshow, though seemingly joined at the hip, are also inconsistent between them -- Sideshow 1/6 figures tend to be taller than HT 1/6 figures. I remember your point from the Bandai Stormtrooper review, but it really depends on the particular figure in question -- in some instances checking the actor's height and doing the math actually works out for the HT figures, in some instances perhaps not (their regular Stormtroopers could do with just a sliver of extra height if Luke is noticeably "too short for a Stormtrooper").


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16105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review Empty Re: Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review on Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:42 pm

Rogerbee

Rogerbee
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Aye, there's the rub. Buck generation SSC weren't marketed as 1/6 either, they were 12" figures. I think people think that 12" always equals 1/6, which it doesn't. No figure is truly to scale when manufacturers use standard bodies and hands.

I think DML were to blame as they are first and foremost a model company, so they gave a model scale to their figures.

CHEERS!

17105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review Empty Re: Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review on Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:58 pm

shovelchop81

shovelchop81
Nice Praetorian! My two 'Hero' action feature ones are still untouched along with a bunch of TFA ST's that mock me for not modding them every time I walk past them! I'll get to them one day...

(sorry for the hijack!)

105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review RlHef2e

105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review DCg5svg

105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review FrYNWs2

105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review VBgfohx

105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review Jvh1UHY

18105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review Empty Re: Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review on Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:29 pm

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
No problem at all. Very impressive Star Wars collection. I look forward to see what you do with the praetorians, after you complete the the LOTR saga of course. I expect you might be able to somehow give them better arm and elbow articulation, because the HT armor is quite restrictive. I can claim no comparable skill -- just finding a body and a couple of bits to put together with the parted-out parts.


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19105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review Empty Re: Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review on Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:50 am

Rogerbee

Rogerbee
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Impressive, most impressive..

It does also highlight the other end of the spectrum. Hasbro being considered large for 1/6. That's because they were never intended to be 1/6, they were 12" figures designed for kids with no sense of scale yet. Hasbro still consider the majority of their stuff as toys and don't venture into serious collector territory that often. That said, Black Series are starting to blur the lines and can stand alongside the more serious Mafex and SHF figures when they want to.

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20105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review Empty Re: Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review on Tue Sep 25, 2018 3:02 pm

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
Speaking of 12 inch figures, I just noticed this...

https://www.bigbadtoystore.com/Product/VariationDetails/67679

105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review 79a49dbe-7f52-43e6-a5ee-b61fdd452c00


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21105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review Empty Re: Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review on Tue Sep 25, 2018 4:38 pm

shovelchop81

shovelchop81
Yeah well they've been cashing in big time on those overpriced nostalgia oversized figures... although if they are solid then that's actually a lot of plastic!

22105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review Empty Re: Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review on Tue Sep 25, 2018 4:50 pm

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
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shovelchop81 wrote:Yeah well they've been cashing in big time on those overpriced nostalgia oversized figures... although if they are solid then that's actually a lot of plastic!

I have no idea... there must be people buying them, otherwise they'd stop. To me they seem like a cruel joke. These were passable, indeed fine back in the days of the original Kenner production run and size (3.75 inches). But then Hasbro's more articulated and detailed 3.75 inch figures made them look almost obsolete... until Hasbro scaled back on both articulation and choice of figures, with their job incomplete... They have come back to some of that with their current nostalgically-carded figures (and not just the 6 inch ones), but unfortunately those seem to be of the new characters that too few people care about to buy. So even in the 3.75 inch size these would be under-articulated for my taste, never mind at 12 inches. I spend enough money on action figures as it is, not going to even consider this personally. But to each his own...


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23105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review Empty Re: Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review on Tue Sep 25, 2018 5:23 pm

shovelchop81

shovelchop81
GubernatorFan wrote:
shovelchop81 wrote:Yeah well they've been cashing in big time on those overpriced nostalgia oversized figures... although if they are solid then that's actually a lot of plastic!

I have no idea... there must be people buying them, otherwise they'd stop. To me they seem like a cruel joke. These were passable, indeed fine back in the days of the original Kenner production run and size (3.75 inches). But then Hasbro's more articulated and detailed 3.75 inch figures made them look almost obsolete... until Hasbro scaled back on both articulation and choice of figures, with their job incomplete... They have come back to some of that with their current nostalgically-carded figures (and not just the 6 inch ones), but unfortunately those seem to be of the new characters that too few people care about to buy. So even in the 3.75 inch size these would be under-articulated for my taste, never mind at 12 inches. I spend enough money on action figures as it is, not going to even consider this personally. But to each his own...

I didn't say I liked them myself but there are a lot of collectors like Transformers G1 fans who just want larger versions of their toys from when they were kids for nostalgia reasons (and they themselves are bigger). In fact the Transformers Master Piece figures (the elite G1 and now G2 figures) are designed to look just like the basic cartoon characters from the early 80's so very simple although they do have complex transformations with high quality paint and materials. Not my thing either, I like the more complex looking 3rd party and movieverse Transformers as they intrigue my mechanic's and designer's interests far more plus I didn't grow up with the cartoons.

24105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review Empty Re: Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review on Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:01 am

PickleMunkey

PickleMunkey
Nice review, love the photos!

It's interesting that they took the approach to have more robes under their robes, instead of armour like the Black Series guard has.

I mean, I get it, it'd be a lot cheaper to produce, but to me the armour underneath has a lot more application.
105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review HSC2144lg

25105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review Empty Re: Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review on Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:39 am

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
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PickleMunkey wrote:Nice review, love the photos! It's interesting that they took the approach to have more robes under their robes, instead of armour like the Black Series guard has. I mean, I get it, it'd be a lot cheaper to produce, but to me the armour underneath has a lot more application.

Thanks, PickleMunkey, glad you liked them.
And you make a very interesting point. I forgot all about the Hasbro 6 inch Black Series figures (of which I also have a couple) and what they did with them. It is certainly a more interesting look, although, as you say it would have been costlier to produce and might possibly have limited some of the articulation. Moreover, they might argue that to do that look, they would be departing from the known (if not visible) costume in the actual film. That said, I wonder if the armor on the 6 inch Black Series is based on any specific graphic novels or games (it is not the same as what they did for the 2012 3.75 inch figure, which was based on Crimson Empire).


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26105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review Empty Re: Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review on Sun Sep 30, 2018 1:19 pm

Ephiane

Ephiane
Great Review !! Very Happy
I don´t want to mess with Star Wars Fans and i like the old Guard style more than the new.... but with the old helmet you cant turn your head. Very bad for a Sword fight

27105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review Empty Re: Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review on Sun Sep 30, 2018 2:04 pm

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
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Ephiane wrote:Great Review !! Very Happy
I don´t want to mess with Star Wars Fans and i like the old Guard style more than the new.... but with the old helmet you cant turn your head. Very bad for a Sword fight

Thanks, Ephiane! And I agree... the old helmets are not really practical from a physical point of view.


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28105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review Empty Re: Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review on Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:17 pm

Stryker2011

Stryker2011
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Did you ever get the Emperor to go with these guys, Guv? Curious to know what you think about him. I'm sort of on the fence with that one... not sure he's really one that I want (plus, I'd commit blasphemy and put him in the Jabba throne room dio I'm thinking about putting together...).


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105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review TCFITBi

29105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review Empty Re: Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review on Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:35 pm

GubernatorFan

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Stryker2011 wrote:Did you ever get the Emperor to go with these guys, Guv? Curious to know what you think about him. I'm sort of on the fence with that one... not sure he's really one that I want (plus, I'd commit blasphemy and put him in the Jabba throne room dio I'm thinking about putting together...).

Yes, he arrived yesterday and the review is already under way.


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30105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review Empty Re: Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review on Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:46 pm

Stryker2011

Stryker2011
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Awesome. Looking forward to it.


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31105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review Empty Re: Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review on Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:04 pm

JohnByng


Great review!

However, for me the whole concept of the helmet was a mistake by Lucasfilm. It seems to be a great helm and gorget fused into one. Not very practical for combat!

As for HT's version, it is simply a soft red plastic and it looks like red plastic. They should have made it in hard plastic of a darker shade and defined it more sharply so that it doesn't look like a gelatine veil covering something else.

It also might have benefitted from a head underneath with the eyes visible through the visor. There is a pic online that seems to show that is how it looked in the movie.

For the price they are asking, I think it is not value for money, but I know when a gap needs to be filled, the wallet can scream all it wants! Smile

32105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review Empty Re: Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review on Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:58 pm

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
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JohnByng wrote:Great review! However, for me the whole concept of the helmet was a mistake by Lucasfilm. It seems to be a great helm and gorget fused into one. Not very practical for combat! As for HT's version, it is simply a soft red plastic and it looks like red plastic. They should have made it in hard plastic of a darker shade and defined it more sharply so that it doesn't look like a gelatine veil covering something else.
It also might have benefitted from a head underneath with the eyes visible through the visor. There is a pic online that seems to show that is how it looked in the movie. For the price they are asking, I think it is not value for money, but I know when a gap needs to be filled, the wallet can scream all it wants! Smile

Thank you very much, John. I do agree that the helmet is not practical for combat (perhaps the idea is that the emperor is so secure or these guys are so superior to any foe that they can get away with it) -- I do know part of the design decision was to make it anonymous (like most imperial troopers, so it can be easier to dehumanize and hate them), sleek, colorful (to offset the traditional imperial monochrome and the dull look of the emperor himself), and possibly alien (hence the long narrow shape). Perhaps we were meant to believe that the material is somehow flexible (it wasn't, and there was concern that the actors could not turn their heads in it). But you are wrong about the plastic -- HT's royal guards have a hard plastic red helmet, and the red is just as it was in the film (the robes, however, may have come out a bit duller and darker, as I note in the review). As for the eyes behind the visor, I don't think we ever see a hint of that onscreen, but Hasbro made their 12" royal guards that way, using a visor that was more translucent and a lighter green color (if I recall correctly -- gave those figures to a friend when I was moving). It was a very neat effect, but I wanted it to look more screen accurate to I had repainted them black.


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33105 - Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review Empty Re: Hot Toys Star Wars Royal Guard Review on Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:58 pm

Stryker2011

Stryker2011
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I think folks are putting a little too much “responsibility” on the shoulders of guys who are really nothing more than Ceremonial or Honor Guards. Their only reason for existing is to add weight to the authority of the Emperor. They’re not meant to be fighters; their “flag holders” — I wouldn’t rely on a Color Guard to turn the tide of battle over trained infantry. These guys are meant to be little more than self-motivating (as in able to move without assistance) mannequins. Besides, it’s not like someone as powerful as The Emperor really needs bodyguards — the shriveled up old prune can take care of himself.

Well... mostly.


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