New Play Arts Kai

Well this title might be a little misleading, I haven’t bought a new Play Arts Kai figure in a while! I missed out on the last set that I wanted because of Square Enix’s shoddy quality control. Both the Dissidia Cloud and Squall had dreadful side effects such as botched paint, scratches in the weapons, and (in Cloud’s case) a detached head. To my dismay, I never did find those figure again in better condition.

The true topic of today’s post is about the new Play Arts Kai coming out this year! For all of you video game fans out there, this will be a good year. For me, not so much. The only video games I play with any frequency are Guild Wars and Fallout. Sadly there are no figures for those. So, I find myself more than a little disappointed that Square Enix is no longer producing anime themed Play Arts Kai. I had so much hope when they released the FMA: Brotherhood Play Arts Kai and the Bleach Play Arts Kai. I have been eagerly awaiting more Bleach Play arts or other anime play arts ever since. But those announcements haven’t come, and probably wont since the trend seems to be video games. In the past two years, they have released Bayonetta, Halo, and metal gear solid play arts with frequency!

Just recently they released Street Fighter Play Arts which I have already seen in stores! I find these figure hideous, but they do look like good representations of the street fighter characters.

Square Enix is also releasing Nathan Drake from Uncharted and Chris Redfield from Resident Evil! These are both characters that I like in game franchises that I enjoy, and yet I have no desire to purchase these figures.

And what would the Play Arts line be without some Final Fantasy figures! So, of course, they are releasing Lightning and Serah from FF13-2. Since I never even finished FF13, there are no chances that I will play the sequel. But these look like nice figures with a really cool design.

The most exciting figures that have been announced are the Batman: Arkham asylum set. These look incredibly detailed and amazing. I would definitely snatch them up if I were a fan of Batman (but you guessed it, I’m not!). Despite my indifference towards Batman, that Joker and Harlequin are definitely tempting =s. Must stick to my new years resolution of only buying figures I really like…

There are also some Mass Effect 3 figures on the horizon, for those of you that are interested. So far, only prototype pictures have been released. Of course, with the public response to Mass Effect 3’s ending, producing these may have been a misstep for the company.

 

So basically, this was a long post of me complaining about the new products. What would I like to see? More Bleach Play Arts Kai! A re-release of the FMA play arts kai.  I would love to see Black Butler Play Arts Kai, but I know that will never happen since the show is no longer in the limelight. Any anime themed play arts Kai (and it is truly sad that I no longer know which anime shows are popular and would possibly be considered for figures…)

What do you all think? Are you going to purchase any of these? I imagine any fans of video games will be thrilled with the selection!

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Happy St. Nikolaus Day!

Ok so yesterday was St. Nikolaus Day, not today. But I forgot! I’ve been so stressed with school and life that it completely slipped my mind. Oh well, Happy Belated St. Nikolaus Day to everyone! Hope you all put out your shoes and got candy and fruit =D

I did get a furreal pet penguin  (despite forgetting about the day) . Furreal pets are honestly the most hideous toys I have seen in a while, and don’t seem particularly fun for children to play with. However, I adore penguins and collect them. This furreal penguin is adorable and probably the only furreal pet that doesn’t look like an animal was skinned and placed on top of a robot. Furreal pets are robotic pets that can cry and in some cases walk…All my penguin does is cry and ask for food. The robotics are extremely noisy so I keep it turned off. Despite the toys design flaws, it is just really really cute and a great addition to my penguin collection.

I also took pictures of my Play Arts Kai Toushiro (from Bleach) in the snow! I have been waiting to take pics of him in snow since I got him last Christmas! Taking pictures of him made me realize once again how awesomely detailed he is, for a full review, just take a look at my reviews page. “Reign above the Frozen Heavens Hyourinmaru!”

Snow Villiers Play Arts Kai Review

As the title suggests, today I’m going to review Play Arts Kai Snow Villiers. Snow is one of the main characters in Final Fantasy XIII. I never really liked Snow much in the short time that I played the game, and I wasn’t very interested in the toy. So you may be thinking, why did I buy it at all? Well I found it for an unbeatable price and its nice to have a complete set of 3 figures. Yes, there were other FF13 toys, but the first wave consisted only of Snow Villiers, Lightning, and Vanille.

This toy is produced by Square Enix and was released in 12/2009 at a price of $50. I got this toy for only $17 on clearance sale at ToysRUS.

Packaging: The packaging is the typical large square play arts kai box. The thing I enjoy most about these boxes, is that they are easy to store! and, as usual, the circle sticker closing the box is an indication  that the toy is authentic.

Accessories: Snow comes with only a few accessories. He comes with two extra hands and a stand. That is it. No weapons, no extra heads…Not sure what else he could have come with since I don’t know enough about the character, so I guess I shouldn’t complain.

Stand: This stand is truly lousy. It is the same stand as the one that comes with Play Arts Kai Lightning. The stand is clear plastic and has a pose-able arm that attaches to the figure at the waist. My biggest problem with these stands is that they aren’t sturdy. They cannot hold up the figures weight and will collapse if a mid-air pose is attempted. They also do not look good on a shelf.

Sculpt: The sculpt on this toy is pretty good, but it is not as good as the sculpt of the newer Play Arts Kai models. The knee and elbow joints look extremely awkward and unnatural. There are also very noticeable seam lines on the hair. The shoulder joint also looks strange. Other than that, the toys is an exact image of its video game counterpart. He is quite tall and looks great next to Lightning and Vanille.

Paint: The paint job on this is poor. I was going to say atrocious, but only bootlegs have atrocious paint jobs. His face,  much like Lightnings, is painted poorly. It has no depth or expression, and the eyes look flat. There are many places on this toy where the paint job is uneven (for example; the border of his shirt). There are also some paint scuffs on his black bandana. The coat color also looks strange. I assume they were trying to put shading on the tan coat, but the colors don’t seem to be blended very well. I do, however, really like the paint job on his facial stubble. Yes,he has stubble. It really doesn’t look bad. His arm tattoo is also nicely done, and the plaid on his skirt has nice even lines.

Pose-ability: The pose-ability of this toy is great! He can be placed in a variety of poses due to his double joints. His hands, head, and ankles also allow slight movement. My favorite part of this toy, is that the coat is also move-able, and removable (turning it into a jacket). I’m not entirely sure that the coat was meant to be removable, but mine comes apart easily and is just as easily put back together.

Overall: I do not regret buying this toy, but I only buy the toys I want. I only wanted this toy to complete my collection, and would say that unless you’re a big fan of the game, skip it. He certainly looks good next to the other FF13 figures.

Snow Villiers Acquired!

Well I went to ToysRUs to look for Spectra Vondergeist, the next doll in Mattel’s Monster High line. Sadly, they did not have her! However, I did find Snow Villiers Play Arts Kai! Normally, I would have just skipped him but he was on clearance sale for $18.75. I then got the ToysRUs rewards card for free and instantly got another $3 off! So he only ended up costing a total of $17 including tax. What a steal!

Here’s a small FF13 group photoshoot:

Toshiro Hitsugaya Play Arts Kai Review

Toshiro Hitsugaya is a character in the anime Bleach. He is the young captain of the 10th squad of the soul society (the place where souls go when they die). He is the youngest captain in the soul society and has an icy demeanor to match the ability of his sword. He is often cold towards people and has a short temper. He has little tolerance for fooling around or being treated like a child. He gets very annoyed when he is called by anything except Captain Hitsugaya, esp. when he is called Shiro-chan.

I got this toy for Christmas, but it can be found at Hastings. It is the Hitsugaya Toushirou Bleach Play Arts Kai produced by Square Enix. This toy was released on 11/2010, and is considered a US release exclusive.

Packaging: The box looks like other Play Arts Kai boxes, but is slightly smaller (the toys itself is smaller). The interior of the box is green to match Shiro-chan’s eyes and the box is closed with circle tape.

Accessories: He comes with extra hands, a sword and sheath, and a green plastic ribbon to hold the sheath onto his back. This toy does not come with a stand. There are some annoyances with the accessories! Try as I will, the sword sheath does not fit into the green ribbon! Its too tight! I’ve tried forcing it in but to no avail. The other annoyance is that Toshiro’s ankles are weak and he constantly falls over without a stand. He has to be balanced just right to stay up. There are already some paint mistakes where he has fallen!

Sculpt: This is the best looking Toshiro that I’ve seen. They captured his surly mood perfectly in his facial expression. He is also in correct scale with Ichigo (compared to the anime). He only reaches Ichigo’s shoulder, which is perfect since he is supposed to be a kid. The coat is split into two parts to allow for more pose-ability but I feel they could have made the split a little more seamless. It is very obvious in the back. Strangely, one of his ankles seems to be facing the wrong direction? The elbow joints and leg joints are very well hidden in his outfit!

Paint: The paint on the face is outstanding and his eyes look amazing! The paint on his captains cloak is also done very well, there are no bleeds in the color and the inside is a nice emerald green. If I were going to nitpick, I would say his hair could have been more white and less gray, but he still looks awesome either way.

Pose-ability: This toy is very pose-able. The range of movement on the limbs is excellent. His arms have enough movement to allow him to be posed as if he were pulling the sword out of his sheath on his back…if i could get the sheath into the sheath belt! grrrr…As mentioned above, his ankles are a little weak and his one foot is never positioned quite right for him to stand sturdily.

Overall, I would recommend this toy to any Bleach fan or Toshiro fan. He looks absolutely fantastic, just be sure to have the patience to balance him wherever he stands or just buy some sort of doll stand  lol

Ichigo Kurosaki Play Arts Kai Review

Ichigo Kurosaki is a teenage boy and the main character of Bleach. He is an unusual boy in that he has bright orange hair and can see ghosts. One day he meets a soul reaper named Rukia and gains the powers of a soul reaper himself to save his family. Rukia is then convicted as a criminal and Ichigo trains as a soul reaper to try and save her. To do this he must achieve Bankai (which is basically a rise in power level which involves a release of his sword and a new outfit =P). 300 episodes or countless chapters later, more stuff happens….let’s just leave it at that.

I got this figure for Christmas! It can be found at Hastings for about $50. This is the Play Arts Kai – Bankai version of Ichigo. This was released on 11/2010 and is considered a US exclusive release.

Box: This toy comes in the typical Play Arts Kai box. It’s large, white, square, has a front viewing window, and is closed with circle tape!

Accessories: Ichigo comes with extra hands, his tensa-zangetsu (sword in bankai form), and an extra head depicting his hollow (a type of soul in the Bleach universe) mask. He does not come with a stand, but can stand fine on his own without one.The extra head was rather bothersome! Ichigo’s neck has a peg in it to which the heads can be attached as seen in the instructions! The extra head, however, already had a peg in it! It was an easy fix, I just took pliers and pulled the peg out of the head.

Sculpt: The sculpt on this toy is amazing. This is by far the best looking Ichigo I’ve seen. He looks just like he does in the later episodes of the anime. He is in scale with the FF13 Play Arts Kai line. There are a lot of nice details on the sculpt like the bandages on his stomach, and the sandals he is wearing. The only funky part of the sculpt is the back of the coat, its split into two pieces (a top and a bottom). This looks a  little odd and I don’t think keeping the coat in one piece would have sacrificed much pose-ability. Oh yeah, and the knee joints have been greatly improved on this new line!

Paint: The paint on this is pretty excellent but has the small flaws that can usually be found on Play Arts. Hes got some sort of a dark mark on his cheek, not too noticeable thankfully. The shading in his face and on his outfit is really good! My favorite part of this is the hollow mask through which you can see his yellow hollow eyes.

Pose-ability: This toy is very pose-able, as is expected of the Play Arts Kai line. Despite wearing those wide pants, his legs have freedom of movement. His ankles and feet can be adjusted so he can balance in different poses. His arms are also fairly pose-able but cannot extend over his head.

Overall, this toy is definitely recommended. He’s not my all-time favorite character, but this toy is awesome, looks good on the shelf, and is rather fun!

Lightning Play Arts Kai review

Lightning is the main character in Final Fantasy XIII. I’ve never played this game so I don’t know much about the character. She is described as a cold, 21 year old, female warrior.

I bought this toy for $40 back in March at Hastings. This FF13 Play Art Kai Lightning was originally released on 12/2009 and then re-released on 09/2010.

Packaging: The packaging is much larger than the original Play Arts boxes, it is white, has a front viewing window, and circle tape.

Accessories: She comes with a base, an extra set of hands, an opened weapon, and a folded up weapon that fits into the holster on her outfit.

Base: The base is white, and looks like a figma base. It has a move-able arm designed for action poses, but this arm is not strong enough to support Lightnings weight in most positions.I prefer the Play Arts style doll stands, they looked classy and held the figure up securely.

Sculpt: This is a very good sculpt. She does not have many small details on her outfit, but her outfit looks exactly like the artwork. Shes got the cape, and all the bags, and buckles. Her outfit is made out of a soft plastic, possibly rubber. Her hair does have some very visible seams on it, and the hair itself looks a bit chunky. Her knees look terrible, one of her legs isn’t set entirely straight in the joint. This toy is also very tall, much taller than the old Play Arts, but is in scale with Vanille. However, some of the later volumes of FF13 play arts kai toys are smaller again and not in the same scale!

Paint: For the most part, the paint on this figure is pretty good. However,Square Enix quality control is pretty shabby. Some Lightning’s have perfectly painted faces, while others (like mine) have color missing on most of the lips. Her face would look pretty good if it weren’t for her lips.

Pose-ability: This Lightning toy is very pose-able and has many points of articulation. Her ugly knees allow her legs to be placed in many different positions. She also has a joint in her torso.

Overall, this toy is great looking and makes a great addition to any Final Fantasy collection. She is also fun to pose and play with.