Another of the characters released by Spin Master as part of the first series of TRON Legacy 4” figures is the Black Guard.
Without knowing yet much about the plot of the movie, I can venture a guess that the Black Guard is part of a much larger cadre of troops in the service of the bad guy (orange and black as a color scheme kind of give away their allegiance), so it is nice to have a troop builder action figure released right from the start.
The Black Guard is clad in, well, black from head to toe, and his costume is clearly inspired by the high-tech bodysuit designs that remind me of anime works like Appleseed or games like Splinter Cell, with it’s insect like appearance.
The sculpting is quite sharp and detailed with deep cuts and panels all over the figure. The Black Guard suit has some protrusions extending back from elbows and calves that resemble the ends of combat batons, effectively selling the idea that these guys are heavily armed thugs and a credible threat to go against.
• Ball jointed neck.
• Peg & hinge shoulders.
• Upper biceps swivel.
• Peg & hinge elbows.
• Swivel wrists.
• Peg & hinge hips.
• Upper thighs swivel.
• Peg & hinge knees.
• Peg & hinge ankles.
Leg articulation is slightly limited because of the added bulk to the upper thigh plates, but overall articulation is comparable to that found in most Hasbro’s clone trooper figures, so don’t expect the hips and knees to bend anywhere close to 90° angles. Like the other figures in the series, Black Guard lacks any torso/waist articulation thanks to the built-in action feature, which really comes as no surprise.
Instead of long illuminated panels at the torso, the Black Guard has three pairs of circular spots on his upper chest that light up for a few seconds whenever you press the button at his back, conveniently disguised as part of the costume, so even though the mechanism is rather bulky, it doesn’t look too out of place. The light remains on for about 5 seconds after the button is pressed and then turns off.
The Black Guard is molded mostly in flat black plastic, but the torso is made from slightly opaque, translucent orange plastic. The black on the torso is painted over with a rather thick coat of matte paint, only leaving the circles at his chest unpainted so the light from the embedded LED can shine through.
The rest of the suit’s glow lines are painted in a bright orange color that actually looks very similar to the glow from the action feature. These lines are painted neatly enough for mass-market standards, but it is advisable to look out for the better paintjobs. Also, make sure to test the light-up feature at the store to check for coverage issues on the black body suit, since sometimes the paint doesn’t quite reach into the more recessed areas.
The head of the Black Guard was painted in a high-gloss black finish, effectively selling the impression of a hardened carapace with four orange dots for sensors.
The Black Guard ships with two batons, an ID disc and a round display base. All of these accessories are molded in black plastic, but the base and the ID disc have additional paint apps in the same orange hue used for the color accents on the figure. This time the batons don’t have indentations to place them onto the Black Guard, but both can be held indistinctly on either hand.
Out of the two TRON Legacy figures I have opened so far (the first was the Sam Flynn figure), this Black Guard is my clear favorite. The gimmick works well and the figure proportions look so much better thanks to having the head cast in an opaque color that I look forward to add more of these figures to my shelves.