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Monday, December 23, 2013

TOP 5 Events: Angels & Summer Year-end Round Up 2013

As the flames of the year die-down to mere embers, let's take a look back at significant events for Angels & Summer blog and the local Play Arts Kai scene in general.

#5. Arigatoys Collectibles Inc. Sponsorship (Revoltech Philippines) & Christmas Toy Fair

Photo courtesy of Arigatoys Collectibles Inc.

Photo Courtesy of Arigatoys Collectibles Inc.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Hot Toys The Boss Review

I've been slacking lately, especially after those three Play Arts Kai reviews for November. I expect to round up the year though with Metal Gear Solid figures, the only Play Arts Kai i'm keeping and the most recent Hot Toys line i'm collecting. Anyway, for my 3rd to the last review for the year, before hibernating indefinitely, i would like to share with you the person whose "ideology" was enough to fuel the whole Metal Gear universe, the "Mother" of the Special Forces, the founder of the Cobra Unit (a.ka. The Joy), the master who mentored goddamn Naked Snake (and therefore responsible for teaching him about 50% of his badassery, not to mention indirectly influencing all his descendants - Les Enfants Terribles), co-developer of CQC, pioneer of the "Bandanna" trend in MGS, the last child of the Patriots and the biological mother of that triple-crossing gun-slinger, goddamn Ocelot! Whew! Her credentials read like a goddamn "SO, You Think You're a Badass?!" list.

She's not really included in my hit list but since i'm a sucker for 1/8 and 1/6 MGS figs i gave her a shot. I was pretty happy i did, she's an iconic figure in MGS universe though her role lasted only one game: Snake Eater. You still can't deny the fact that she's an integral character in the series and all the other complicated twists and turn are, in one way or another, indirectly connected to her.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Play Arts Kai Vincent Review - Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children

It may not seem obvious but, full disclosure, i am a huge Final Fantasy fan, i picked up the series during their 6th installment (Sabin's my fave btw), played through 7 (Pfft! Cloud and Tifa and Sephiroth), 8 (Squall the emo poster boy)  until 9 (believe it or not i'll pick Amaranth and Vivi over Zidane) though i only recently rekindled my interest with FF13, and while i eventually grew to hate the hype (and goddamn pathetic fanboys too!) i must agree that Final Fantasy 7 redefined the whole FF universe. And this guy right here is one of the more popular supporting cast from that awesome game aaaannnddd movie, yup, this is the movie version Vincent by the way...  
Special thanks to my cousin Josh for letting me review this figure.
I guess i don't need to introduce this gun-slinging vampire anymore. If you don't know him, get out of here, where have you been the last two decades? Living in a goddamn cave? Anyway, it's a good thing he was reincarnated as a Play Arts Kai figure though i am not a big fan of Vincent (or his crappy Dirge of Cerberus solo output) i am definitely impressed with this figure...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Play Arts Kai Helena Harper Review - Resident Evil 6

I'm never a fan of Helena, as a newcomer to the Resident Evil franchise you can easily dust her off as another Sheva or Piers; another member of the one-and-done supporting character tier. Not counting Jake since he's a main cast or Sherry since she's a returning character albeit a big age leap, among the new "partners" Chris' bromantic interest Piers is actually much better since he became a villain in the end. Perhaps that's why i never gave much hoot about Helena's Play Arts Kai incarnation. I've always thought she'll just be a supporting display to Leon's (expected) awesomeness...
Oh sweet irony, when the oft-overlooked, supporting cast actually upstaged the main guy. As far as the sculpt is concerned, i find Helena's face better than that of Leon...we'll get more on that later...firstly, her arsenal...

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Play Arts Kai Leon Kennedy Review - Resident Evil 6

When SQEX announced that they will be making Resident Evil 6 Play Arts Kai figures i was really excited. Hell! I even created a separate article for it when it was first announced. "Nothing could go wrong" was my belief since their first RE take some years back (Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar) aren't that bad by old PAK standards. It's to be expected that RE6 would be awesome, after all, they already learned from the past, ehhhhh... probably...
I guess i expected too much then, being filled with the thoughts of Metal Gear Solid and Advent Children, i convinced myself that Resident Evil 6 will be just as good. I kinda hate the let down, imagine PAK DMC3 and you'll know what i'm talking about...

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Hot Toys Alice Showcase - Resident Evil: Afterlife

FACT: The Resident Evil Live Action movie series suck because of their representation of our beloved RE video game protagonists (i.e. Jill is reduced to a B-movie bimbo, Leon is a washed-up ex-boyband look-alike, Chris is good in breaking out of prisons, Ada lost her hotness and Barry is Blob). FACT: I am a Resident Evil Video Game franchise fan so i should be hating the movie series like hell (or in my case, like large hunstman spiders). However (and i believe i'm not the only one)... FACT: Even if you are a true RE fan you can't avoid watching this crappy series for some mind-boggling reason. Maybe this lady has got something to do with it...
My, my, isn't she perky?...ummm, i mean, pretty.
 ...or it's because of the large probability of seeing her...ummm...assets...oh hey look, a cool box and all those guns. ahem...Oh! Got her before Naked Snake actually but i'm not gonna review her since she's been around for quite some time. Just let me show you what she's got and why i got her.

Hot Toys Naked Snake Review - Sneaking Suit Version

I can't imagine missing this figure being a Metal Gear Solid fan, though, admittedly, i am not really a big fan of the sneaking suit design from MGS3: Snake Eater. I did plan to get this some months back but wave after waves of Play Arts Kai figures pushed him further down the priority list. Previous reviews (and they are quite rare) of this Naked Snake version aren't really reassuring but, what the hell! The MGS fanboy in me won out in the end and I'm glad i was able to "sneak" him into the budget.
Though equally impressive as the rest of the MGS installments i am not a big fan of Snake Eater's character designs (well, except for Adamska a.k.a. Young Ocelot) - Cobra Unit = Meh. Maybe that's the reason why i intended to pass getting into the 1/6 MGS line. However, rumors looming of a possible Solid Snake and Raiden Hot Toys solidified my resolve to get Naked Snake, after all, Snake Eater is where it all technically began.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Hot Toys Aldo Raine - Inglorious Basterds Showcase

I ain't gonna review this new acquisition of mine, well, he's released back in 2010 so i'll just do a showcase. I recently got into collecting Hot Toys figures which i'd fondly refer to as the "1/6 Curse" being quite an unhealthy line to collect. Anyway, this is one of my original targets being a big fan of Mr.Pitt here.

 If only they released other Brad characters like Achilles, Louis de Pointe du Lac or goddamn Tyler Durden...oh well, Aldo the Apache is still damn impressive

Monday, October 07, 2013

Revoltech Yotsuba & Danbo Review

The very first time i encountered the lovable Danboard i must admit i wanted to get one. It's a rare thing that something so remotely unknown to me perked up my interest and eventually prompted me to do some background check about the figure. I was actually surprised to find out that Danboard's just a supporting character in a very interesting manga "Yotsuba & !" Basically, it follows the story of a young girl named Yotsuba Koiwai. I haven't really read the ongoing series but i find it pretty charming that a non-fantasy story would actually be captivating. I guess that's one of the magic of manga that is strange to the west. I'm not from the west by the
I am also quite surprised to know that a girl friend of Yotsuba, Miura Hayasaka, was actually the person underneath those cardboard boxes. Well, a bit of a tomboy but a young girl nonetheless. How the manga guys somehow fit those pieces together in a narrative is truly something intriguing.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Play Arts Kai Raiden MGRR - Comparative Review of the 5 Variants

And so it has come to pass that by good grace i was able to complete the 5 variants of Play Arts Kai Raiden. It's not really an easy thing to accomplish, at least for me, and i certainly had to rely on lots of luck (3x to be exact) to acquire some of the pieces you see below. I'm just glad that i'll be able to move on to other constructive things; just one more review, one more damn round-up and i'm done with the Revengeance Jack...well, until the best PAKs of 2013 article...

Fondly called the "Raiden Rangers," the MGRR Jack Custom Body variants definitely made perennial variant god Sora proud. Oh, they are better than the Soras by the way but don't expect me to pose them ala Power Rangers. No way man! If, however, you do not have that insane amount of patience to complete these 5 (overpriced, some of them at least) variants let me do the honor of ranking them from the least interesting to the most impressive. I based this wholly on my opinion (and some of my fellow members @ PAKPTG) so you're FREE to do your own ranking. Ahem! Let's get this over with, shall we?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Hot Toys Storm Shadow Review

After the first Hot Toys review i made, yeah, it's Snake Eyes, i don't think this next review will be totally unexpected. Like i mentioned before, this guy over here is the Yang of Snake Eyes' Yin. His fellow ninja from the Arashikage clan - Storm Shadow...or Tommy if you want to be hip...
Once again, Anton got the better of me...i'm gonna get back at you soon...count on it!
I suppose there is no way you can separate the two in any collection. It just wouldn't be right in my humble opinion. I had to bit the bullet on this one since he's more expensive than Snake Eyes...but when i opened that shiny, new Hot Toys box (or slid it from the cover wrap rather with that Lee Byung-Hun portrait), i knew why...

Monday, September 16, 2013

Hot Toys Snake Eyes Review

Snake Eyes is my very first G.I. Joe figure when i was a kid (him and a couple of Snow Serpents if recollection serves me right). I guess it's only fitting to have him as the very first Hot Toys figure in my collection and my very first Hot Toys review. Reflecting about it, seems like my Toy collecting has come full circle.
We've come a long way my friend...
For the record i'm not really a fan of the G.I. Joe Live Action movie but i am a huge fan of Snake Eyes and the Yang to his Yin; Storm Shadow. I really have no plans of getting into the 1/6 line but this is an opportunity that is very difficult to pass up. For one thing, i find HT a bit too expensive...damn...

Monday, September 09, 2013

Revoltech Evangelion Type-08 Alpha Review

Ok, full disclosure, aside from knowing who Asuka Langley is i am not familiar with the new "Rebooted" Evangelion characters or storyline so, if you don't mind, I'd like to focus on the aesthetics of this new "cutesy" Evangelion figure from Revoltech. Honestly, I had to reinforce this review with research...well, this would have been a perfect opportunity to do that "drinking game/drunk review" i've been planning to do for a while but then you wouldn't understand anything i'm writing down...If ever. And oh, by the way, i do not know why i said "cutesy."
The Alpha-08 unit is piloted by Mari Makinami, the girl with glasses and pink body suit. I'd have to go see the series though to add additional info but i'm pretty sure she's quite eccentric, as suggested by her "Illustrious" nickname. The exact significance though is up for speculation. Ahem! On to the review...

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Play Arts Kai Batman Variant - DC Universe

Like i mentioned on my teaser post at Play Arts Kai Philippines Trading Group, i fully understand that the latest Play Arts Kai Batman incarnation needs no more introduction being one of the most hyped and anticipated figure for the year. And though i hate the hype I must agree that he didn't disappoint. Perhaps one of the best PAK releases thus far though i wouldn't go as far as brand him the NEW "King of Kais," and for good reasons...well get to that later.
Packaging is one of the finest we've seen from SQEX and though i'm not a fan of the cover flap system the custom artwork stands pretty impressive on display. The inner flap art looks good as well, looks like we have an anime Bruce Wayne in our hands.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Play Arts Kai Raiden Blue Custom Body - MGRR

Well i'd like to consider this acquisition a birthday present to myself. I'm quite happy already with my Regular and White Play Arts Kai Raidens so i'm not really gunning after the other colors. But as fate would have it, i came across a rather interesting post @PTK (to me at least, my wallet doesn't share the same sentiment though, what a bummer!) and i must admit i succumbed to an impulse buy...and here he is...damn...
Needless to say i'm compelled to complete the whole set. Oh, by the way, thanks a lot to Markwin, the founder of One Sixth Republic for hooking me up with Blue Jack.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Revoltech Jinouga Blademaster - Monster Hunter

Is it just me or is Revoltech getting stronger with each new release? Being new to the line i simply can't help but be impressed with the line-up and they just keep pouring it on.

I must say that when i first saw pics of the Jinouga/Zinogre Blademaster i really love to get my hands on one and do a review. The guys of Revoltech Philippines actually made that wish come true and it's an honor doing this review for them though I'll be honest, i never played a Monster Hunter game back in the heyday of PS2, now i heard they have a Wii-U exclusive which means i'll never get to play it as well. Oh well, at least i got this damn fine looking b@d@$$ over here...

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Revoltech Vic Viper Review

A very nice surprise greeted me at the office last Friday when i returned after an official business trip. Having seen the Revoltech Vic Viper online i must say i'm pretty excited to get my hands on one especially when i heard that he's going to have a semi-metallic finish, now that i gotta see on a smaller scale figure! You may notice the darker pics i'll be using for this review. That's actually a technique to somehow capture the metallic finish of Vic - something that i hope i achieve to some extent. To Kyle, Harvey and Gladwin of Arigatoys / Revoltech Philippines; you guys are Awesome! Oh, ctach Vic on the following "hangars" if you please:  Big Boy's Toy Store, Filbar's, Metro Toys, Play Giant, New Haven PH.
After a 2-year stint of collecting robots (Transformers) i've considered myself retired from the genre but having seen this guy up here, i can now safely say that i haven't fully outgrown robots, mechs, gears, or in this particular case an LEV or a "Laborious Extra-Orbital Vehicle."

Friday, July 19, 2013

Play Arts Kai The Joker - The Dark Knight Rises Trilogy Review

I got my Play Arts Kai The Joker figure i bit late than usual, considering this is one of the most anticipated and, as proven later, most sought after among the latest Play Arts Kai releases. Late review but nonetheless justified and timely since Greattoys Online (where i got mine) will be restocking both he and Play Arts Kai Anne Cat-haway later this month. A gleam of hope for those who are still missing the two from their collections and having to deal with the hype and grossly overpriced items being peddled by re-sellers and hoarders. Greattoys Online pegged them at somewhere between 2.5K-2.7K Php so make your reservations now.
Originally, i intended to bash the hype claiming that this Joker is on par with the Hot Toys version which is an absurd, over-your-head claim. He's NOT, by the way, so quit the comparison. They each deserve their own recognition and respect and the Play Arts Kai The Joker stand out in his own way.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Revoltech Raiden Preview!

This just in from Revoltech Philippines, seems like the prototype that Hideo Kojima hinted at some weeks back is this guy...
Nice, i guess, nothing to see here...carry on...wait a that Jack? Damn! so Revoltech is really serious with the Metal Gear series. Imagine the playability, poseability and accessories on Revoltech Raiden. Another highly anticipated figure for both Revoltech and Metal Gear fans. Can anyone say Solid Snake? I know you could!

Monday, July 08, 2013

Revoltech Danboard Preview

I've been seeing this 'cute' character for the longest time even before i got into Play Arts Kai and stuff. Though i, admittedly, not familiar with the "Yotsuba & !" series i find this little guy very interesting, as a mascot for pictorials perhaps or even your very own figure avatar. I personally find him a 'fresh' (and very welcome!) break for Play Arts Kai collectors like me. I'm hoping to have one when he gets released on August.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Play Arts Kai - Philippines Trading Group Rises!

The Play Arts Kai Philippines Trading Group set up a display during last month's Toycon @ Megamall and it's a huge success. Props to my fellow administrators and members for the very impressive display. A TV appearance c/o Anjo @ ABS CBN hopefully gave birth to an instant celebrity. He and his brother Bernard secured the space for our group.I contributed 3 figures from my personal collection, by the way; White Raiden, Cyborg Ninja and Kratos. Play Arts Kai MGS series particularly look damn good behind that glass cab...even from a half a mile away. It's great to meet other members of the group. MORE PICS AFTER THE JUMP.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Play Arts Kai Isaac Clarke - Dead Space Review

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." So sayeth Isaac Clarke, the main protagonist of the Dead Space series who recently debuted as a Play Arts Kai figure. Now, all those following our group @ Facebook - Play Arts Kai Philippine Trading Group - know well enough that i am not familiar with this guy and, honestly, i haven't played a single Dead Space game. Relating it to Clarke's words of wisdom, i mean well with this review - i just hope i don't screw it up... after all I was just encouraged to do this one by a fellow group admin who's really into Dead Space - yes, i'm referring to YOU Anton! This was supposed to be a live review during our group's TOYCON exhibit but having a lot of things going on i'm gonna submit another late review.
You must pardon me if the pics aren't exactly that sharp since i'm using a weaker camera on the exhibit area that time. I just hope to do a quick rundown of what this figure has to offer. Coming from a non-DS3 fan i sure do hope i won't be biased.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Revoltech Snake Review

You know, sometimes it pays to have that certain kind of guts (and confidence) to drop a certain company a letter asking if they'd be interested to sponsor your blog. Though i am aware that this blog is kinda very niche and therefore not that heavy when it comes to traffic, i had the cheek to email Arigatoys (Revoltech Philippines) if they would be interested to sponsor my Revoltech reviews... and there are times when the gamble pays off. This will be my first Revoltech review and i'm glad that i'll start with a beloved character from my favorite video game line.
Harvey, Kyle and Gladwin, this one's for you guys.
Indeed, that's Naked Snake donning his sneaking suit. Very appropriate since he's basically the progenitor of the Metal Gear series and this time he's the 1st MGS figure for the Revoltech Yamaguchi line - which was designed by famed sculptor Yamaguchi (gotta check his first name though).

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Play Arts Kai Raiden White Version - MGRR

Ok, here we go, this review took some time since i'm at the start of a career transition period or, in less fancy terms, "i ain't got access to blogger yet" in my new job/office, lol, if ever i get one. I'm not into exclusives as i may have mentioned before though whenever i get the chance then why the hell not? After all, the wisdom of old Play Arts collectors quips that the Play Arts Kai Raiden is the "new Sora."

I originally intend for this to be a video review but after a bout with a bad cough i got too L-A-Z-Y to do it so let's stick with the basics. I also prefer writing things down real time instead of preparing a script, rehearsing or any other bulls#!t. Every other reviews done up to this point were created using that technique. Anyway, I was taken aback a bit by his price tag but then, he's an exclusive so what do i expect? I may have to sacrifice the upcoming Play Arts Kai TDKR figures at the moment. So if i fail to review The Joker and Catwoman on time we all know who to blame...

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Play Arts Kai Liquid Snake and Raiden Painted Prototypes

This might be old news now to PAK collectors lurking around the web over the weekend but we finally have the painted prototypes of Liquid Snake from MGS and Raiden, well, when he's still about 90%  human, from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. All pics are from Mr. Hidemi Matsuzuka of Square Enix.

 More pics after the jump...

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Play Arts Kai Bane - The Dark Knight Rises Trilogy Review

I really have no plans of getting the "Caped Crusader's" masked nemesis from the third film of Nolan's critically acclaimed Dark Knight trilogy. In fact, i even made fun of his accent during my review for Play Arts Kai Batman. Hehe. Well, sorry about that Tom Hardy, you just talk funny for such an imposing fellow.  This is an old figure review already but i hope to "influence" some people to get into the Play Arts Kai TDKR Trilogy line. Ahem, so why did i end up getting Bane?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Play Arts Kai Ibuki - Super Street Fighter 4 Review

This is a rare instance of me doing a review of a character i'm not really familiar with so i have to do some research on her. Apparently, Ibuki is a very famous character in Street Fighter since i have reasons to believe that SQEX is using the old "Popularity Poll" to decide which Street Fighter is worthy of a Play Arts Kai incarnation. Considering Ibuki is released on the 3rd Wave with the Play Arts Kai Guile figure and, notably, ahead of Ken and Sakura, she must be very famous, well, at least in Japan. I did not find that surprising since a rather hot "kunoichi" is a sure-fire hit for the guys (Kasumi anyone?).

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Play Arts Kai Guile - Super Street Fighter 4 Review

I just noticed that my last few reviews were full of recollections especially the characters from the older games that i know well and though i would like to make an exception for the Play Arts Kai Guile figure, i don't think it's possible. To be honest, Guile is the first Street Fighter character that really left an impression on me. Perhaps because "Sonic Boom" is a more coherent phrase during playtime instead of "Hadouken" and i am a big fan of his Flash Kick which i fondly refer to then as "jack-knife," for some reason only an 11 year old will understand.
The future of the Super Street Fighter 4 Play Arts Kai line doesn't look good after the release of Akuma and Cammy. I actually thought they will discontinue the line when there are no more news of a follow-up and all we got are a bunch of recolors. I was surprised when they displayed a prototype of Guile, Ibuki, Ken and Sakura. The collector in me rejoiced at the news...even as my wallet groaned in dismay.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Play Arts Kai Jun Kazama - Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Review

Oooook, first things first, i'd like to thank bro Anton Aldon of Play Arts Kai Philippines Trading Group  for trading his Play Arts Kai Jun Kazama figure to me, making this review possible. It is only fitting that i prioritize this review over the Play Arts Kai Guile though Guile's pics have been on the waiting area for some days now. Ok, on to the review...
Jun is one of the few characters that i remember well back from the Playstation 1 days of Tekken, maybe because she regularly beat my guys (King & Heihachi) - on a side note, my brother is very fond of using her and her son, (Jin in Tekken 3) who inherited some of her moves so i'm certainly not a newbie going against her. To be honest, i'm not particularly excited to see her on the 1st Wave of Play Arts Kai TTT2 alongside Kazuya, though i imagine it's unavoidable since she's the "Unknown" Final Boss in the game. I have no plans of acquiring her, actually, but after seeing what they did to Kazuya i figured she's worth a try.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Play Arts Kai Kazuya Mishima - Tekken Tag Tournament 2

The Tekken franchise lost it's hold on me over the years, but man, was I a fanatic back in the day. Though i do hold the controller again once in a while i never really used Kazuya (i'm a Ling Xiaoyu guy by the way). I read though that he won the latest Tag Tournament of The King of The Iron Fist. To me, Kazuya is to the old Tekken games what Ryu is to Street Fighter and  I wouldn't miss him for the world. Besides, everybody loves a good anti-hero.
The Tekken line of Play Arts Kai took quite a while to get here after the convention previews last year. Kazuya and his ex-lover Jun Kazama graced the initial wave and i do hope they continue making the rest of the Mishima/affiliates line - Jin, Heihachi, Lars, Devil Jin, For one thing, the Play Arts Kai translation of Kazuya is pretty impressive indeed...

Monday, April 22, 2013

Play Arts Kai Lara Croft - Tomb Raider

My brother (*i only have 1 brother back then) and i got into the Playstation craze back in the mid 90's and one of the first games we've ever played was, predictably enough, Tomb Raider. It's a pretty revolutionary adventure game back when side-scrollers still sell and 3D Polygon is a new thing. The game's heroine, (back when girls are only in the game to be saved  and/or annoy the hero) Lara Croft, has always been a favorite of mine and her striking visage is deeply rooted in fond memories of late-night treasure hunts on old Roman ruins, deep sea dives in the Atlantic and trekking through snowy Himalayan peaks. Unsurprisingly, when the seemingly stagnant franchise did a reboot of the game we decided to (re-)jump (into) the bandwagon.
It was an excellent game indeed and, since EIDOS is now under SQEX, we know it's only a matter of time before they do a Play Arts Kai version. And truly she did not disappoint, somehow...

Monday, April 08, 2013

Play Arts Kai Robin - Arkham City Review

While waiting for the lovely, rebooted Play Arts Kai Ms.Croft and the Kazama-Mishima couple i decided to (lowers voice in shame...) present this very late review of the Play Arts Kai Robin from Arkham City. I'm quite surprised that little Timmy here is pretty hard to find locally while the more popular, albeit lesser (quality-wise) version of Bruce is still running rampant at the local gaming store. 
The only logical conclusions i can draw are, 1-one, most collectors are sticking it out with their Arkham Asylum Batmen over the AC Bats and, 2-two,  see number 1-one. LOL. Seriously, there are more Batmen options than Robin so i guess that's that. It took me a while to locate him also and it went down to the last 2 pieces i can find about a month ago.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Play Arts Kai Batman - The Dark Knight Rises Trilogy Review

And so it begins, the first figure from the first movie license acquired by Square Enix and what a start it was! I'm not a really huge fan of The Dark Knight Trilogy or, more accurately, i'm a late bloomer,  but IMHO this is the best story arc/representation of Batman on the silver screen and perhaps the most believable.
The Dark Knight Rises Trilogy Batman is actually the Third Batman figure i've covered, you can read the Arkham Asylum version Here and the Arkham City Here, and, if you haven't seen the movie you can search for it online - Torrent or somewhere else. Go ahead, you can't proceedwith the review if you haven't seen it yet (Man, you really need to go out once in a while...). Also, to avoid confusion with the numerous Batmen running around i'll lovingly refer to him as "Baleman" from time to time.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Play Arts Kai Raiden - Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

I was caught off-guard by the sudden arrival of the Play Arts Kai Raiden from Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance game. I thought he's still at least a week away, well, anyway, seems like they prefer to strike while the iron is hot and quickly followed up with an awesome figure days after the release of an equally awesome game. 
And the packaging alone oozes with awesomeness...
Back in January of this year, i christened a new "King of Kais" when Solidus Snake made his appearance but seems like his reign would prove totally short-lived. As Jack took over the throne and the crown of his adoptive godfather. Simply put, "Raiden is the BEST Play Arts Kai figure from the Metal Gear line" so far.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Play Arts Kai Leon Kennedy & Helena Harper - Resident Evil 6

D@#m! What took you so long guys? NYTF brought us a ton of Play Arts Kai surprises: DC Universe, Super Street Fighter 4 Ken and Sakura, etc. but the real highlight for me are the Play Arts Kai forms of Leon Kennedy and Helena Harper of Resident Evil 6 (honestly, i would've welcomed Ada Wong ahead of Helena but what the heck!? Bring them on SQEX). Zelu1984 of Final Fantasy Merchandise provided the first prototype pics of these much awaited figures.
More pics after the jump...

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Play Arts Kai Liquid Snake and Raiden from Sons of Liberty Prototypes

Master Touya of Final Fantasy Merchandise made my day with these pictures. D@#n i'm so freakin' excited: prototypes of the upcoming Play Arts Kai Liquid Snake and Play Arts Kai Raiden!

Here's Jack first, you'll see his accessories and the Superior clone after the jump:
Photo courtesy of Touya of FFM

Monday, February 04, 2013

Play Arts Kai Batman - Arkham City Review

The joys of not having a working deadline...anyway, coming on the heels of that excellent Play Arts Kai Catwoman figure from Arkham City i'd like to present a late review of the Play Arts Kai Batman. I already established the fact that the first Batman from Arkham Asylum is better than this figure but i would like to justify that he's just as solid as the AA Batman and a worthy piece on your collection especially if you're not really interested to shell out extra bucks for the Arkham Asylum version or to try the "Ultimate" PAK Batman modification. 

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Play Arts Kai Bootleg Dante - Devil May Cry 3?

Last January 14, 2013 i think i already mentioned anonymous reports of "alleged" bootleg figures of Devil May Cry 3 Dante and Vergil. Someone spotted them two days prior locally at our friendly-neighborhood bootleg haven. I asked for pics from anyone who would personally see them and David (sickout - from blogger as well) responded. David's been hanging around here for a quite a while and we've been exchanging emails about his findings. Props to you bro! All of the photos are credited to David (sickout).

Here are some of the pics of the "alleged" bootlegs together with the "authentic" ones.

The left pic is of the "authentic" Dante and the one the right is the "alleged bootleg" Dante. Just click on the pics to make them larger. notice the different paint apps and the missing shading. The eyes of the left-hand Dante are also more defined compared to the overlapping blue paints on the Dante on the right. The paint on their upper body are also different and once again the shadings are missing. In fact, the right-hand Dante's body paint reminds me of the face paint on the bootleg Battle Dress Snake figure i encountered. 
More findings after the jump >>>

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Play Arts Kai Batman (THE Ultimate version)- Arkham Asylum & Arkham City

Years ago (approx. a couple of decades or so) i would pick up a really, really cool action figure, say a G.I. Joe (particularly Mercer) and he would become an instant favorite. Together, eventually, we'll clock in a phenomenal play time log. Later on, however, i would realize that the orange vest and blue pants of his are getting old to my 7 year-old eyes and not really to my liking in the first place. What i would do is tear him limb from limb, get a couple of Joes wearing combat fatigues (say, Hit & Run or Falcon), get all the cool body-parts, then reassemble the figure using Mercer's head and Voila! instant new Joe. It's pretty d@#ned impressive for a kid back then and less complicated. Honestly, i never really grew out of that "idea" and was always looking into it from time to time as you may have noticed while reading my Play Arts Kai Solid Snake review where i mentioned a Snake Eyes custom using Solid and Kaz Miller's alternate head.

Sadly, I never got to develop that skill though i met someone who did. Check out his latest piece.
Photo courtesy of Touya
You're seeing that right, and no that's not factory defect. Blaze a.k.a. Touya, one of the decorated moderators of Final Fantasy Merchandise forums actually concoct a new and better Batman figure using a combination of the Arkham Asylum and Arkham City figures. I refer to it personally as "THE Ultimate" Play Arts Kai Batman though Touya find the reference not really to his liking. Well, i'll take the windfall for you bro so no worries.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Play Arts Kai Yuna - Final Fantasy X FIRST PICS!

Was just randomly visiting forums i frequent a few minutes ago when i stumbled upon this very interesting news from Final Fantasy Merchandise courtesy of GHOST (bless you my friend!). This has got to be one of the best news i've heard in months regarding Play Arts Kai. Take a look at this...
cue the "Hallelujah" Chorus! 
Yes that's definitely her! And here's an ominous prophecy that made itself known to me while i behold the vision of Yuna!
And with Yuna comes Tidus 
and with X comes VII 
and VII begets Cloud, Tifa, Aerith and Sephiroth
That which made VIII exist
Where Squall and Rinoa came to be...

Let the speculation begin - i personally like to see Kefka, Terra, Kain, and the guys from FF 6 below. Seems like we'll see the Kai form of the older Final Fantasy Series characters. As an FF fan who missed out on the older Play Arts line this news is welcome indeed. Details are still up for speculation but seems like, logically, these figures will be in the same scale as the upcoming FF7: Advent Children Play Arts Kai figs. Still hoping that this time they will be bigger, around the scale of Metal Gear Solid PAKs or at the very least in the same scale as the Batman: AC figures. One more pic after the jump.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Play Arts Kai Catwoman - Arkham City

Well, this Play Arts Kai Catwoman review is pretty late already but i guess i got to make up for lost time. I originally intended to pass up the Play Arts Kai Arkham City line in favor of the upcoming The Dark Knight Rises line but an opportunity presented itself and i was able to get my hands on these wonderful figures. Thanks a lot Greattoys Online.
I mentioned a couple of articles ago that the Play Arts Kai Catwoman figure is one of the best Play Arts Kai figures of 2012 and the new "Queen of Kais." I am not going to change my stance now that i've seen her up close. Definitely, she's one of the best we have seen so far though, honestly, i have a few misgivings about her. Let's start with the basics first, shall we...

Monday, January 21, 2013

Trading Arts Kai Mini Vol.1 Yuna - Final Fantasy X & X-2

"Mini" seems to be one of the "In" things these days, from gadgets to figures and everything in between. Trading arts figures by SQEX have been around for some time and they are ripe for a reboot. I guess it's predictable then  that i won't pass the opportunity to grab one of them while on an early-year lull with Play Arts Kai. Predictably also the first figure who really caught my attention was Yuna. 
Why did i passed on Cloud and Squall and chose Yuna? Well, simply because you get 2 figures for the price of one... and she looked so damn cute. I guess my soft side got the best of me...anyway, i love the new packaging.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

TOP 5 Play Arts Kai Figures of 2012

With another year gone by and everyone's looking forward to the very interesting releases coming soon, which will be draining our funds for 2013 - Yes! that would be Play Arts Kai Raiden, TTT2 Kazuya and TDKR Batman for me - let's take a look back at the best figures released last 2012. Of course these are based on the humble opinion of Yours Truly and some invaluable insight from my Play Arts Kai brothers-in-arms @ PinoyToyKolektors. Feel free to give your opinion on the comments section. Enjoy. 

5. Play Arts Kai Vergil - Devil May Cry 3

REVIEW HERE. Play Arts Kai translation of noted and well-loved antagonists are somewhat rare and far in between so Vergil is definitely a must-have especially if you already have the currently HTF DMC4 tandem of his brother Dante (if you're not that impressed, as i am, with the DMC3 Dante) and newcomer Nero. It's also good to see he's packaged with his 2 most iconic weapons in the game. Now that something Play Arts Kai Kratos should have done.