Play Arts Kai Review: Snow Villers

By Christopher Troy

For those who’ve been reading my entries, you’ve probably noticed by now that I’ve mentioned “Final Fantasy 13” a lot recently. With the game dropping in dropping in early March, I’ve already put a solid amount of time into it, and am pleased what with I’ve played so far. And while I won’t be reviewing video games for the FP blog, I can discuss the Play Arts Kai line that launched with the game.

Play Arts Kai is the 3rd evolution of the Play Arts line, originally starting with Final Fantasy x-2 back in 2003, and now kicking off in America with FF13 (The line launched in Japan with Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood figures, but those haven’t been released domestically yet.). For this review I went with Freedom Fighter Snow Villers, one of the male leads in the game. Here’s how Snow looks like in the game.

And this is the Play Arts Kai Version.

The original Play Arts line retailed for about $25-30 a standard figure, and had about  14-20 points of articulation, with swappable hands, base and weapon(s). Snow retails for $40, shares the same amount of articulation, comes with 2 extra hands, and a new clear base. The biggest difference though?

Size! Snow towers over the Kingdom Hearts Cloud (despite his pointy hair) and Final Fantasy 12 Balthier (the largest of the Play Art lines for it’s time).  Seeing how most Figma/Revoltechs are the same price and half the size, the price increased is justified. However, the figure is far from perfect.

For some reason, the elbow joints are painted a different color that the rest of the arm. In fact, they’re not painted at all, they’re off-white plastic. This makes the figure look a bit odd in the arms, and requires his arms to be bent at all times when posing. Otherwise, you get something like this.

Sheesh! This sort of odd articulation color/shaping also occurs on the shoulders (although it’s not as noticeable unless you’re looking down at Snow) and as well as the back of the figure as well.

While I’m glad the trench coat is poseable around the waist, it looks odd from the back,. It’s not the worse thing in the world, but it’s noticeable none the less, despite being able to do this with the figure.

Yes, I am easily amused. Moving along, the biggest change to the line is the new stands for the figures. Originally, Play Arts came with a stationary clear black stand, which was highly noticeable when posing, but got the job  done. The new ones are clear, making them “invisible”, but the design is a little…well I let you decide yourselves…

Yeah. bigger doesn’t always mean better. As for actually supporting the figure, it certainly gets the job done if it’s standing on it’s feet firmly, but having him lift a leg usually results in this…

That’s my cute little way of saying it’s not very supportive.

Despite all the negatively I posted above, the figure is far from bad. The sculpt, while a little slimmer and prettier than he is in the game, is still better than the majority of the action figures available on the market. The amount of detailing on the figure is insane. As you can see every zipper and seem on the jacket. I wouldn’t say it’s the BEST Play Arts on the market, but it’s a solid step in the right direction for the line, and something any FF13 fan isn’t going want to pass up.

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