Three different variants of Elite Praetorian Guard appear during Star Wars: The Last Jedi and these lethal characters have proven to be very popular. 75216 Snoke's Throne Room only contained one version, unfortunately, but another one is found in 75225 Elite Praetorian Guard Battle Pack.
I have therefore been very excited to expand my collection of Praetorian Guards, especially since they are available in a Battle Pack which costs £12.99 or $14.99. Hopefully these minifigures will match the high standard of the guards from 75216 Snoke's Throne Room and the associated model may be entertaining for play.
This set includes three Elite Praetorian Guards, two of whom wear a brand new helmet while the third features the same helmet as the minifigures from 75216 Snoke's Throne Room. I am disappointed that the third variant is not present, although that is not entirely surprising as the alternative design appears similar to the version without a flared panel protecting the top. These two helmets look fantastic though and I love their textured visors.
Plain red heads are found underneath the helmets and each minifigure sports an enormous pauldron that covers their shoulders. These look magnificent in relation to the source material and I am equally impressed with their armoured torso designs. All three Praetorian Guards wear identical chest armour and I particularly appreciate the segmented panels around their abdomen.
A new skirt component was introduced during 2018 and appeared on the Praetorian Guard minifigures in 75216 Snoke's Throne Room. However, these guards feature printed legs which are definitely more versatile for display, although I also like the layered robes represented by the skirt. Ideally, both would have been included but the printed legs are adequate and the set comes with a wonderful selection of weapons.
Praetorian Guards are certainly the focus of this set but one First Order Stormtrooper is included too. This minifigure feels out of place but additional guards would be unnecessary in my opinion as only eight appear in the movie. The helmet features a narrower mouth design than past Stormtroopers, matching later batches of 75166 First Order Transport Speeder Battle Pack and the executioners from 75197 First Order Specialists Battle Pack.
The remainder of the armour has not been updated but looks marvellous. I like the belt compartments and the black body glove beneath the armour compares favourably with the movies. A standard Clone Trooper head is found underneath the helmet and the First Order Stormtrooper is equipped with a stud shooter.
The Completed Model
Star Wars Battle Packs usually contain a small vehicle but this example features a training platform for the Elite Praetorian Guards instead. This model is somewhat bland and does not take direct inspiration from anything in Star Wars: The Last Jedi but it suits the guards well, due primarily to the red highlights on the floor which correspond with their armour.
A floating training droid is mounted on a trans-clear stand beside the platforms. This droid wields a red lightsaber and twin laser cannons, perhaps indicating that the Praetorian Guards' weapons can deflect incoming laser blasts as well as parrying lightsaber strikes, although that has not been exhibited in the movies.
Four such weapons are stored on a rack, loosely representing the electro-bisento, vibro-voulge, vibro-arbir blades and Bilari electro-chain whip from The Last Jedi. I think they look superb when compared with the film and the rotating platforms are appropriately distant for the weapons to strike one another during play. Ideally, the platforms would be linked to some gears so you could turn them remotely but this simple function works well.
75225 Elite Praetorian Guard Battle Pack contains a brilliant selection of minifigures and is therefore a successful Battle Pack. The three Elite Praetorian Guards are exceptionally detailed and look fantastic in relation to their onscreen counterparts while the First Order Stormtrooper is a wonderful addition for expanding your First Order army, even though its helmet has been updated slightly.
It is unfortunate that the third variant of Praetorian Guard is not included and the actual model is bland but it does provide reasonable play value. On that basis, I would certainly recommend this set to those who enjoyed Star Wars: The Last Jedi and hope that final helmet will appear in a future set.
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