Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Despite Severe Balance Problems, The Attack Of The Clones Royal Guard Is Worth Picking Up!

The Good: Decent detailing, Good accessories, Cool accessory.
The Bad: Low collectibility, Poor balance
The Basics: The Attack Of The Clones Royal Guard action figure is a good accent piece for the inaction figures that came out around the same time!

Some Star Wars action figures have little responsibility to fans to do much more than stand there and look cool. The guards for the Emperor, for example, were supplemental characters who appeared in the background of a few of the Star Wars films and their only action comes in a deleted scene in Return Of The Jedi. So, it is almost unsurprising that Hasbro did not bother to recast the Royal Guard from the Power Of The Force line (reviewed here!) until they felt they absolutely had to. That moment, apparently, came when the Royal Guard appeared in the background of Attack Of The Clones, which inspired the toymakers to recast the figure. The Attack Of The Clones Royal Guard is more flexible than the first pass at the figure, but it has worse balance, making it only a mild improvement over the earlier version.

For those unfamiliar with the Royal Guard, they were seen briefly in Attack Of The Clones (reviewed here!). Replacing the blue-clad Republic Guards from Chancellor Valorum's reign, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine has red-clad guards in his office on Coruscant, visible when visitors come there following the assassination attempt upon Senator Amidala.

The 4" the Royal Guard figure from the Attack Of The Clones Collection is the inscrutable guard with flexible rubbery robes and his force pike used to stop anyone who might threaten the Supreme Chancellor!


This Royal Guard figure stands 4" tall to the top of his helmet. He is dressed in the standard red robes and elongated, rounded helmet of the Royal Guard. There is no real uniforming detail as the red robes and obscured visage are the trademarks of this style trooper. The helmet has the requisite visor section that implies there is someone underneath the helmet looking out, but it is appropriately unrevealing of the helmet's occupant. This molding of the Royal Guard features both soft plastic overcloaks and an under robe which give the figure a layered appearance. It is molded so the arms look more flexible and accessible as opposed to taking on the appearance of draping sleeves. The figure is molded with the uniform's boots and gloves further obscuring the wearer of the robes.

The coloring of the Royal Guard is appropriately simple. The figure's helmet is glossy red and bright, the boots black and the robes bright red. There is a monotonal quality to the Royal Guard's coloring which is appropriate as these guards exist in the relatively clean, political, environments on Coruscant. The legs and sleeves are a darker red which adds some sense of depth to the colorscheme, but otherwise, this is a very simply colored figure, just like the character in the film was.


The Royal Guard, inscrutable Imperial guard, comes with one accessory and an attachment to the same. He has his Force Pike. The Force Pike is a 2 1/2" long plastic staff with a ball at one end and a tapered end at the other. The device is colored appropriately to look mechanical with a black and gray handle and a monotonal silver-gray business end. The Attack Of The Clones toy line was obsessed with action ideas for the figures (lightsabers having blaster deflection bolts that could be attached to them, for example). In that theme, the Royal Guard's Force Pike comes with a 3 1/2" soft plastic energy bolt that slips over the silver portion of the pike. This makes it look like there is a massive and deadly discharge coming from the Force Pike and that is a pretty neat idea. The Force Pike may be held in either hand, but with the energy bolt attached, the figure pretty much requires a two-handed grip to keep the Force Pike in place and the figure standing.


The four inch toy line was designed for play and this Royal Guard is fair in that regard. The Royal Guard has depressingly poor balance. He is molded to stand in a stoic, defensive, pose, but his legs are spread, making him quite tipsy. Armed with his Force Pike, the Royal Guard is pretty much required to take a more action-oriented pose, lest he fall over. This figure is one that benefits from having a playset which might utilize the peg holes in his feet for stability; the inflexibility of the figure and his robes pretty much prevent him from being in most of the vehicles.

This Royal Guard figure is articulated at the groin socket, shoulders, and elbows only, which makes some sense given that the helmet prevents any real neck articulation. All of the joints are simple swivel joints, so his range of motion is pretty limited, even more so with the robes. This figure is not intended to be especially active in his appearance, so the lack of articulation works well for the character.


The Royal Guard - Coruscant Security figure is part of the Attack Of The Clones line that was released in 2002. He is 2002 Attack Of The Clones Collection figure #19. The Royal Guard was fairly common and demand was easily met. However, because so many people want Royal Guards for play or display, this one has retained his value well, despite having been recast since. This makes it a surprisingly good investment if one can find it cheap now. The Royal Guard is one of the generic forces which may be stocked up on and because this one looks cooler and has slightly more options than the Power Of The Force version of the same, fans and investors have kept its value above the original issue price.


The Attack Of The Clones Royal Guard might have his balance problems, but he makes up for it by doing exactly what he ought to: he looks cool and like a reasonable deterrent to political assassins!

For other Star Wars: Attack Of The Clones action figures reviewed by me, please check out my reviews of:
#01 Acklay Battle Obi-Wan Kenobi
#02 Arena Escape Padme Amidala
#04 C-3PO
#10 Shaak Ti
#13 Kamino Escape Jango Fett
#18 Zam Wesell Bounty Hunter
#23 Yoda
#26 Luminara Unduli
#27 Count Dooku
#35 Orn Free Taa
#38 Obi-Wan Kenobi Jedi Starfighter Pilot
#39 Supreme Chancellor Palpatine
#41 Coruscant Attack Padme Amidala


For other Star Wars toy reviews, please check out my index page by clicking here!

© 2011 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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