Ok, we’re in the final stretch of this Masters Madness Week. My apologies to those of you who aren’t interested in this line and rest assured I’ll be back to more variety next week. I’ll also apologize here for stretching today’s feature into two parts, but it’s impossible for me to properly convey just how busy I am with work in this latter half of December so I’m eagerly grabbing any chance to pad something out for one extra day. Today we’re looking at the Palace Guards, better known as the generic and totally expendable Man-At-Arms Minions. They’re basically Eternia’s answer to Star Trek’s redshirts. How many of these poor bastards have to die before He-Man rides in and takes care of business? I guess that’s up to Randor.
Here’s a little variety! Instead of the same old Masters carded packages we’ve been seeing all week we get a window box! If you’ve picked up any of the MOTUC two-packs then this should be pretty familiar to you. This one is actually only my second two-pack, with the first being the Horde Troopers. The box is also quite similar to the package used for the Jet Sled and Sky-High. You get the same cool Greyskull motif on the inserts and a pretty good look at the figures and only a hint of some of the accessories inside. It’s an attractive presentation that utilizes quite an economy of space.
The back has the bio blurb and teases you with pics of other figures, many of which are now only available for exorbitant prices on the secondary market. Damn you, Faker, you’re the only one there that I’m missing! But enough about the packaging, I’m rather excited to open this up and see everything that’s inside. We’ll check out the dude on the right with the face mask first, because he looks bitchin. Then tomorrow we’ll check out his buddy and all the other accessories in the box.
Damn this guy is cool, and I love the armor. The design is appropriately similar to the kind worn by Man-At-Arms, but it isn’t exactly the same, so Duncan is still distinctive enough to look like the leader. That’s important, so Skeletor’s forces know who to try to kill first! And man, let me say that Duncan looks great with a couple of these guys flanking him on either side. There are a total of nine pieces to the armor: Two grieves, two lower arm pieces, two upper arm and shoulder pieces, the chest armor comes in two halves, and a plate in the chest that can be swapped out to reflect damage. Everything is removable via soft plastic straps or clips, and the armor is sculpted with great detail right down to the rivets. Awesome! Under the armor you get a buck very similar to Man-At-Arms, only the boots are different and these guys don’t have the center bump on their belts painted. As a result the deco is the same familiar green and orange that we get with Duncan, which makes for a nice uniform appearance throughout the Eternian Army. This guy’s left lower arm piece fell off a couple times when handling him, but otherwise the armor stays on pretty well. There are also a few minor splotches of silver paint on the figure, possibly transferred from the shield.
There are a total of three changeable plates for the chest armor: One clean, one with a single gash, and one that’s really been messed up. They work exactly like the plates on Battle Armor He-Man. To swap them you just take off the chest piece, pop out the plate and pop in the new one. Very cool! Here’s a ProTip for the bad guys of Eternia… When you’re fighting these guys, stop aiming for the heavily armored chest piece… try the totally unprotected groin area. You can thank me later.
While the helmet is part of the head sculpt, the face plate is removable revealing a nicely sculpted face with dark skin. This guy has a pretty kind expression and if he comes across you on the streets surrounding the palace he’s probably more likely to help you out with directions than threaten to club you with a mace if you don’t move along. I love the way the face plate fits and it looks perfect while still allowing you to see the eyes and the bridge of his nose underneath. They look rather intimidating with the fully enclosed helmet. I’m willing to bet these helmets are exactly what the killer wears in Etnerian slasher movies.
This particular Palace Guard comes with a silver shield, mace and halberd. All are very nice, no-nonsense weapons, just the kind of gear an average guard would carry. I’m very fond of the shiny silver paint used on them and I do believe they are going to look fantastic on my Weapons Rack. There are also two clips on the back of the guard’s armor to carry both weapons.
And that’s where I’m going to break for the day. Come on back tomorrow where we’ll check out the other guard and weapons as well as the severed heads that came in the package. SEVERED HEADS!!!