by Christopher Troy
Hey there readers, I’m happy to announce we’ve got in a new shipment of Gunpla in last week with more coming in the next few days, so feel free to stop by the store to check out what’s in stock (although I imagine most, if not all of the models will be online soon). Today though, I’ll be looking at one of the newly released Playarts Kai figures from Sqaure-Enix: Bayonetta, the lead from SEGA/Platinum’s game of the same name (And actually my favorite game to come out this year so far). Bayonetta’s from the Black Label Collection, which is something I’ve certainly never heard of (outside of Johnny Walker), but after messing around with this figure a bit, I can tell how it differs from the other standard Play Arts, and will do so in a little bit.
Series Origin: Bayonetta is obviously from the PS3/360 action game Bayonetta. It comes from the same dude who created the original Devil May Cry (BTW, the Devil May Cry 4 Play Arts Kai are also in stock @ FPNYC), and like DMC, is a great over the top action game, as long as you don’t take it too seriously. The creators certainly didn’t.
Legacy: Bayonetta was a huge hit for Platinum/SEGA in both Japan and the West, selling over 1 million copies worldwide. Granted those numbers aren’t as good as say the latest Call of Duty, but pretty good for a new IP. There’s been no announcement of an official sequel/spin off, but Platinum has stated they are interested in exploring more of her world, so here’s hoping.
Appearance and Equipment: So what exactly makes Bayonetta “Black Label” material?
By looking at this extremely fuzzy photo (maybe Santa will bring me a better camera this Christmas kids. Maybe), we can see that Bayonetta is “taller” than the older Play Art on the left (That would be Zack Fair from Crisis Core: FFVII, which was a fairly large Play Art itself), yet is smaller than Snow on the right . She also possesses over 27 points of articulation, putting her in the league with the original Marvel Legends/DCUC figures, which is fairly impressive, considering most Play Arts average less. How does the rest of the figure stack up though?
I’m happy to say that visually, Bayonetta is fairly appeasing. Just don’t ask me why her head is so small compared to the rest of her body, that’s something that’s in the game as well as this figured; Odd design is odd in that regard. Still, there’s an insane amount of detail in this figure, making it nearly 100% accurate to the game’s character model. Props to Square Enix’s sculptors for that, as Bayonetta is covered in jewels, ruins and other things that make her all-black costume stand out a little more. And like I said, she has over 27 points of articulation, which again, great, but it comes at the expense of the sculpt; her shoulders look odd, as does her chest,stomach and waist/hips, and the use of Revoltech-esque joints for her ankles and her hair flowing down from her arms also make this a little bit awkward when it comes to posing her. I’ve including photos as evidence.
As far as equipment/alternate joints go, Bayonetta comes with a a pair of close, alternate hands, as well as 2 pairs of her trademark guns, 2 to wield in her hands, and 2 that attach to the heels of her shoes. The guns are pretty detailed, and fit snugly in her hands, while the ones in her shoes literally slip onto the back, which while is admittedly neat, tend to slip out from time to time. To be honest, I wouldn’t have minded them coming pre-attached to her shoe, sculpted into the figure, and getting one of Bayonetta’s alternate weapons instead.
My biggest beef with this figure: Lack of a stand. Every Play Arts figure I’ve own to date came with some sort of stand to help keep the figure up. Not Bayonetta, who needs is the most, give that she’s fairly top heavy and extremely leggy, and those heel guns give her no support what-so-ever. There’s a number of one footed photos on the back of the packaging which are obvious lies, and it’s nearly impossible to do with this figure. The magic of photoshop am I right kids? However, if you own a number of Play Arts like I do, you can probably just let her use one the the stand/bases that come with figures that have no issues standing on their own.
Overall Opinion: I really like Bayonetta, and I’m glad Square Enix swung for the fences in terms of trying to make something that looks great and is crazy poseable, but feel that came up a little short in both areas. I would be more than willing to give up a few of those points for a better design in some areas, and at least a stand. Still, I’m grateful they’ve tried, and would like to see them attempt this sort of thing in the future. Maybe we’ll get a better figure if a Bayonetta 2 happens. Either way, it sells for about $40, and for that price, it’s a pretty solid deal.