Here we go, it’s the final day of Matty Madness Week on FFZ and I’m wrapping up my look at the Palace Guards two-pack. It’s the weekend before Christmas and I’ve got lots of Christmas-y shit to do, so let’s quickly run through a look at the guy that I affectionately call Guard #2!
From the neck down this fellow is practically identical to the guy we looked at yesterday. The only difference is the plate in his chest armor has a sculpted eagle emblem on it. I do enjoy that this offers a little variety between the guards, possibly denoting him as a Captain or Lieutenant. Or maybe this guy is in charge of guarding the Royal Aviary. On the other hand, all the damaged chest plates we looked at yesterday just have the horizontal lines, so there’s no way to mess up this guy’s chest plate. If you’re not keen on the eagle or you want these guys to look more like the same rank, you could swap in one of the damaged ones and make the two look more uniform. While damaged eagle plates would have been nice, I think this set comes with enough already to justify the price, so I’m not going to complain about the omission.
This guy’s portrait is a unique sculpt. He’s a pretty generic, clean-shaven dude and just like his buddy he looks way too nice to be a proper guard. Maybe all the battle-hardened bastards are out in the field and the Palace Guard jobs just go to the slow and simple-minded sons of Eternia’s wealthiest families. Once again the helmet is part of the head sculpt and while he comes packaged without a face plate attached, there is one included in the package for him. I definitely plan on displaying these guys with the enclosed helmets because it makes them look a lot more fierce and intimidating.
This guard comes with the same shield and halberd as his partner, but instead of the mace he comes with a little battle axe. It looks like a repaint of the red one that came with the Weapons Rack. Once again, his weapons can be clipped onto his back. I should note that there’s a lot of transfer between the paint on the weapons and the figure. I’m not sure why, because the paint doesn’t feel tacky or anything, but each time I swap the weapons around, I wind up having to scrape a little silver paint off the figure wiht my thumbnail.
Didn’t I mention something yesterday about severed heads? Yes, you get two more head sculpts to swap out if you aren’t happy with these two portraits. The additional heads are both different species. One is a reptile and while I don’t want to sound racist, I’m not sure I would be recruiting reptiles into the Palace Guard when one of the enemies out there are The Snake Men. On the other hand, you also get a cat person, which I assume is supposed to be a Qadian and one of Chief Carnivus’ lot. Both portraits are beautifully done and while they don’t come with their own faceplates, they are designed to work with the two that come in the set. Honestly, I doubt I will ever display the figures with these portraits, but it’s nice to have options. I think it was pretty generous of Mattel to include two brand new bonus head sculpts in this set.
When the Palace Guards were originally released on Matty Collector, I dismissed them as a way for Matty to use the Man-At-Arms figure as a troop building cash grab, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Matty went the extra mile with these guys and they turned out to be exceptionally cool figures. They got a lot of original sculpting, cool weapons, extra heads, and the nifty Battle Armor gimmick too! They are usually available as part of the Essentials Collection at $54 for the set and considering that most individual figures are now at $27 I think that’s a pretty solid deal. What tipped me over and made me pull the trigger was getting them for around $25 as part of the Cyber Monday deal and I kind of wish that I had picked up two sets. It’s not like I have the space to display a lot of these, but at that price getting another set to put away seems like it should have been a no-brainer.