- This article is about the faction beginning in 1992. For the faction from 1989-1991 and 2014, see Imperial Soldiers
For the Star Wars minifigures, see Imperial Royal Guard.
Imperial Guards were a faction of the Pirates theme. With their introduction in 1992, they gradually replaced the Imperial Soldiers as main adversaries of the pirates. The older Imperial Soldiers' sets that continued in production were then considered part of the Imperial Guards faction in the catalogue until their discontinuation at the end of 1993. It can be suggested that the Guards and Soldiers were not actually different factions, rather the Guards was just an update to the anti-pirates side.
The Imperial Guards were essentially the same as the Imperial Soldiers, the only main difference being the color of their livery and uniforms. Instead of the Soldiers' traditional blue jacket with red or gold epaulets, the Imperial Guards wore a red jacket with blue or gold epaulets. The blue epaulets are worn by normal soldiers, and the gold are worn by officers. Their flag also saw a change to a red and white horizontal striped flag with a crown and crossed cannons in the center, in contrast to the Soldiers' blue flag with a large white cross that divided it into four small blue fields at each of the corners with black fleurs-de-lis on them and with a crown and crossed cannons in the centre. The Imperial Guards were based off of the British of the colonial era, particularly the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, while the Imperial Soldiers were supposed to represent the French.
Along with these new good guys came a much larger base, 6277 Imperial Trading Post, in lieu of the 6276 Eldorado Fortress. But once again, they were outmatched on the open sea, because their new ship, 6271 Imperial Flagship (replacing the 6274 Caribbean Clipper), was still only half the size of the Pirate's 6285 Black Seas Barracuda, which was succeeded in 1993 by the even bigger 6286 Skull's Eye Schooner. This changed in 2010, with the release of the new Imperial Flagship, the largest LEGO ship ever released.
The Imperial Guards took over the mission the Imperial Soldiers had started. They fought the Pirates and protected the seas from Captain Redbeard, but they were more concerned with the merchant side of events, as their main fort was a trading post.
The 1992 Canadian television advertisement introducing the Imperial Guards depicted a narrative where the 6271 Imperial Flagship successfully attacks the 6273 Rock Island Refuge to rescue a trapped (blue) Imperial Soldiers trooper. In the 1993 Canadian TV advert, played to the tune of a rap jingle, the cannons of the 6277 Imperial Trading Post destroy the newly introduced pirate ships, the 6286 Skull's Eye Schooner and 6268 Renegade Runner.
In the 2009 sets, they reappear again in a slightly visually updated version, as the Minifigures are seen wearing red jackets with blue epaulets, but the Admiral is seen wearing a dark blue jacket with red epaulets (or gold epaulets in the Imperial Flagship). Also, the troopers wear shakos printed with golden badges and now have bearded faces. The faction is now simply referred to as Soldiers in the set names.
The soldiers now have a new dedicated military building at their disposal, in contrast to the more civilian trading post from 1992. At first they only had small boats, but the exclusive set 10210 Imperial Flagship was later released for them, and it is double hulled with three masts. At 1664 pieces it is by far the largest ship in the Pirates theme to date.
- Imperial Governor: Replacement for Governor Broadside.
- Imperial Governor (2009): wears a blue coat with red epaulets and a bicorne with red feathers
- Admiral (2010): wears the same blue coat like a governor
- Lieutenant (2010): Replacement for Lt. de Martinet. Most likely the Admiral's second-in-command.
- Imperial Officer: Redcoated version of Imperial Soldier - Officer
- Imperial Guard (Minifigure): Also known as "Redcoats", very similar to their Imperial Soldiers equivalents, sharing the shako tall hat and backpack. The Guards' soldiers had red uniforms and blue epaulets.
- Governor's Daughter
- Admiral's Daughter
|1723||Castle/Pirate Combo Pack||67||2||1994|
|6271||Imperial Flagship||317||Pirate, Imperial Guard x2||$49.99||1992|
|6277||Imperial Trading Post||592||9||$86.99||1992|
|6239||Cannon Battle||45||Pirate, Imperial Soldier||$5.99 / €5.99||2009 (First sold in 2008)|
|6242||Soldiers' Fort||367||Captain Brickbeard, Soldier (3)||$49.99 / €49.99||2009|
|8396||Soldier's Arsenal||17||Imperial Guard||$3.49 / €2.99||December 28, 2008|
|10210||Imperial Flagship||1664||Admiral, Governor's Daughter, Captain Brickbeard, Cook, Lieutenant, Imperial Guard (Four)||$179.99 / €149.99||January 4, 2010 (US and UK)|
- Appearances in sets dominated by pirates
- 6258 Smuggler's Shanty (1992), includes a lieutenant with a boat
- 6252 Sea Mates (1993), includes two Redcoats
- 6237 Pirates' Plunder (1993), includes a lieutenant
- 1729 Barnacle Bay (1994), includes two Redcoats
- 6279 Skull Island (1995), includes two Redcoats with a boat
- Appearances in sets dominated by pirates (2008-2009)
- 6241 Loot Island, includes a row boat with a cannon and one Redcoat
- 6243 Brickbeard's Bounty, includes a row boat with a soldier and a lieutenant
- 6253 Shipwreck Hideout, includes a row boat with a soldier and a lieutenant