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[REVIEW] 75225 - Elite Praetorian Guards Battle Pack

HOW DO YOU RATE THIS SET?  

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If you found this review first, I suggest you read my review about set 75216 Snoke’s Throne Room first and then after reading that, continue with the review of set 75225 Elite Praetorian Guard Battle Pack. This is my 21st RA review and the 2nd part of my back-to-back Star Wars set reviews.
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Overview

Name: 75225 - Elite Praetorian Guard Battle Pack
Theme: Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Year: 2019 (1H)
Pieces: 109
Minifigures: 4
Price: 12.99 GBP / 14.99 USD / 14.99 EUR  
Resources: Brickset and Bricklink

Quote

Let any LEGO® builder play out fun-filled training drills with the LEGO Star Wars™ 75225 Elite Praetorian Guard Battle Pack. This starter pack set features a training platform with spinning turntables for 2 minifigures to stand on to replicate intense training duels. There's also a weapon rack with detachable weapons, a training droid for even more creative play, 3 Elite Praetorian Guards and a First Order Stormtrooper.

  • Includes 4 LEGO® Star Wars™ minifigures: 3 Elite Praetorian Guards and a First Order Stormtrooper, plus a training droid LEGO figure.

  • LEGO® Star Wars™ building toy features a training platform with 2 spinning turntables, plus a weapon rack.

  • Weapons include a Vibro-axe, Electro-staff, Twin Vibro Blades and a stud blaster for the Stormtrooper.

  • Spin the turntables and engage in exciting combat training!

  • Two of the guards also feature a new-for-January-2019 helmet.

  • Train for amazing action scenes from Star Wars™: The Last Jedi!

  • Training platform measures over 4” (11cm) wide and 2” (7cm) deep.

 

Introduction

Having reviewed 75216 Snoke’s Throne Room set, my goal is not to compare this set against it but to show how it is really meant to be a companion little set for the bigger set. I will also express my opinion about the variants of the Elite Praetorian Guards included in both sets.

So, right off the bat when you think of LEGO Elite Praetorian Guards, do you think about the cheaper battle pack or the Snoke’s Throne Room set? Without knowing rocket science, I believe that majority will remember what they could afford and by extension, what they could play. Not all battle packs has great balance of affordability and mass appeal but this packs them all.

Starting with the packaging artwork: the front panel artwork shows the Elite Praetorian Guards sparring.

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The back panel is practically the same thing presented in the front panel, just taken from a different angle. That’s how straight forward this set is.

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Below is one the uninteresting pictures of the box side panels.
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Minifigures

Because the minifigures are the most important recipe in any battle pack, let’s showcase the minifigures included. First of all, the weapons are plentiful in this battle pack so every minifigures gets at least 1. A stud shooter is included for the lonesome Stormtrooper.

 

Front view with shoulder pads, headgears and weapons armed
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In order from left to right, I suppose the weapon is meant to be Electro-bisento (TLG: electro-staff), Vibro-voulge (TLG: Vibro-axe) and Bilari electro-chain whip.

I don’t know who supplied those alternate names to TLG but those names in parenthesis was mentioned in the official description. I don’t see how someone will confuse axe with a pole cleaver because that’s what a voulge is. Ok, you can say that a pole cleaver is a pole axe but that is really stretching it, quite literally.

 

Front view with shoulder pads and headgears
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About the headgears, apart from familiar pointed Praetorian helmet, we also get the helmet with a flatter top that extends forward. Personally, this is my most favourite version of the guards because it is flashier and looks more functional to deflect blasts and lightsabers beams as long as it doesn’t hit directly.

As for the First Order Stormtrooper, I will make a direct comparison between TFA vs TLA version further below so hold that thought for a moment.

 

Back view with shoulder pads and headgears
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Surprise! The back of all the Elite Praetorian Guards are all identical.

 

Front view with ridged shoulder pads only
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Surprisingly the red heads of the guards do not have any face print. I don’t mind it because the helmets will likely stay fitted onto the minifigures all the time so using red minifigure heads make a lot of sense.

 

Back view with ridged shoulder pads only
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Nothing to see here. No head prints at all.

 

Ridged shoulder pads, Praetorian helmet
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Here are the official names of each part:

  • Ridged shoulder pad = mini armour, no. 12, element: 6231897, design no. 37614
  • Flat Praetorian Guard helmet = mini helmet, no. 222, element: 6251104, design no. 42866
  • Pointed Praetorian Guard helmet = mini helmet, no. 209, element: 6231899, design no. 38561

In my review of Snoke’s Throne Room, I showcased the Elite Praetorian Guards with skirts. The only part that makes those Elite Praetorian Guards exclusive is practically just the skirt/robe part used for the legs (aka mini skirt, no. 6, element 6231958, design no. 39139). Also, thanks to the skirt part, first introduced in set 75206, the Praetorian Guards from Snoke’s Throne Room have the same height as the Praetorian Guards from this battle pack.
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Unfortunately TLG is not very generous in producing the the third Praetorian helmet with a pointy tip at the bottom. I would have preferred another unique helmet instead of the inclusion of other parts, like those allocated for the training droid.

 

FO Stormtrooper: ep. 7 vs ep. 8 version 

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Moving on, the FO Stormtrooper in this set is the TLJ version with thinner mouth pattern. I don’t really see the point of updating the graphics but I suppose it is more movie accurate for TLJ. I don’t have a problem with the change but I do have a problem with the print quality. If you look closely at the photos below , you can see that the black middle arch has a bit of smudge or imperfection.  This is very frustrating because I have 2 sets of these battle packs and both the FO Stormtroopers had this. I don’t know if this print defect is widespread but it’s definitely a let-down.

The inclusion of FO Stormtrooper is odd because the set is definitely meant to be Praetorian Guards-centric. I think this is just a way to push these FO Stormtroopers out of the warehouse inventories. Perhaps asking for another variant of Praetorian Guard is just asking too much.

Build

The built for this set is very mundane but it doesn’t take anything away from the awesomeness of the battle pack.
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Since it is a sparring stage for the minifigures, it makes it easier to pit the minifigures against  each other by spinning the round plate with turntables.
 

Training Droid

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Bricklink lists that there are 5 “minifigures” in the set but it is clearly stated in the official LEGO set that it includes 4 LEGO minifigures and a training droid [brick-built] figure. Clearly, a training droid is not a minifigure in TLG’s book. Just saying.

Anyway, I appreciate the transparent parts included to make the illusion that the figure is floating.

 

Weapon rack
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I already mentioned the names of the equipped weapon earlier but there is one weapon that I forgot to equip onto the minifigure because it was attached to the weapon rack earlier. The one using the gun-metal horn parts is the brick-built version of Twin vibro-arbir blades (TLG: Twin vibro blades) in its joined form. It should have been longer by a factor of two because an arbir is a pole weapon but I guess we have to make use of what we have. 

All the official Star Wars weapon names I mentioned here are based from the information published in The Last Jedi Visual Dictionary. Thanks Pablo Hidalgo.

 

Conclusion

Considering to re-making the Snoke’s Throne Room fight scene? Thankfully the battle packs are here to save you. It is not a perfect set but for the price you pay, I think it gives you more than enough to warrant multiple purchases.

If you need to buy a single set just to get the The Praetorian Guards, the wiser choice is definitely the battle pack because it is the cheaper one. If you want to get all the variants available for The Praetorian Guards, unfortunately, Snoke’s Throne Room still has the exclusive skirted variants. Ultimately, you need to ask yourself whether you really need the skirted variants. Ideally, getting set 75216 during clearance instead of buying the Praetorian Guards thru Bricklink should be more economical because 75216 already includes a lot of great parts to build the throne room with Snoke and 2 crimson guards. Then, adding 2 battle packs in the mix will give you 6 more to complete the 8 Elite Praetorian Guards of Snoke to recreate the ultimate battle in TLJ.

A total of 3 sets are required to make this scene possible --
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Review summary

Playability: 9/10 - For its size, what it lacks for build, it compensates for the weaponries
Design / Building Experience: 6/10 - Did I say very mundane? It serves its purpose though.
Minifigures:  9/10 - If only a 3rd version of Praetorian Guard helmet is included, this will be perfect.
Price / Value for money: 10/10 - I hope this will be another template set that TLG will use for future release of BPs because it offers all the goodies that should be present in all battle packs.
Overall: 8.5/10 - This is an awesome battle pack with very desirable minifigures that every Star Wars fan should consider buying.

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Thanks for reading this back-to-back review.
 

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1 hour ago, kaelthas said:

Haha Love the Last picture Snoke. 50% off. 

That's a discount you cannot run away from. :tongue:

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Nice review! However the inclusion of the stormtrooper is a little weird since it wasn't even in the throneroom. It'd be better to just get 4 guards instead. 

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8 hours ago, Reaper said:

Nice review! However the inclusion of the stormtrooper is a little weird since it wasn't even in the throneroom. It'd be better to just get 4 guards instead. 

Haha. Your reasons has merit but if you noticed in almost all movie-based sets, that logic does not apply. I believe the argument used into adding the FO Stormtrooper with the Elite Praetorian Guards is that all of them belong in the same movie. I know it sounds foolish but it has to be reason why we see this trend over and over again. 

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On 5/2/2019 at 8:17 AM, Reaper said:

The inclusion of the stormtrooper is a little weird since it wasn't even in the throneroom. It'd be better to just get 4 guards instead. 

Good point of view! I totally agree :classic:

Very nice set and awesome minifigs & weapons! :thumbup:

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On 5/19/2019 at 9:29 AM, LEGO Train 12 Volts said:

Good point of view! I totally agree :classic:

Very nice set and awesome minifigs & weapons! :thumbup:

Glad you like it. 

On 5/19/2019 at 10:40 AM, naugem said:

Nice review. Good set for the figs.

It's really the figures that make all these battle sets 

On 5/19/2019 at 6:44 PM, ProvenceTristram said:

Yeah, uh... I don't buy anything from the worst movie in the franchise. The figures are neat, but they died like chumps. 

I can't blame you for having this opinion. TLJ is the least subtheme of Star Wars that I own not because it's the most recent but because there aren't many things to like.

2 hours ago, Space Police XVIII said:

The pauldrons are useful for Classic Space, at least.

-snip-

Great monochrome spacemen!

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thanks for that highly detailed review. I personaly like that throne scene you did...

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