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Monday, September 01, 2014

Play Arts Kai Edward Kenway Review - Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

I just got my hands on an Edward Kenway Play Arts Kai figure from Assassin's Creed courtesy of Big Boys Toy Store, regardless, i'll be doing a pretty late review of the figure. Now i haven't played any of the new Assassin's Creed games, i lost interest after losing Ezio to a heart attack back in Embers and not really a fan of Edward's grandson Connor for some reason. Anyway, Edward James Kenway is an incidental Assassin, more attuned to piracy than anything else. Greedy of wealth, morally ambiguous and cruelly ambitious, he was a rather interesting anti-hero, well, based on what i've read about him. And oh yeah, he's a goddamn identity thief also.

As for EJ's Play Arts Kai incarnation, i was surprised how good it is, well, knowing what an eye-candy the Play Arts Kai Ezio was back in ACII. It was a choice between Connor and Edward but i eventually went for Edward and i'm happy i made the right pick. For one thing, personally, i think he's a clear-cut candidate for a slot at the TOP 5 Play Arts Kai figure for 2014 countdown.

The PAK Assassin's Creed figures took some time to get here and it's not really surprising how much they have improved (compared to Ezio). We now have ball joints and highly articulated limbs for one and of course we got a s#!t-ton of accessories to boot, heh! Booty! Argh! 
Ahoy matey! we got 4 Flintlock pistols (you just can't have enough guns in the high seas!), is that a cutlass and a claymore? 3 sets of alt hands, a toupee...or an alt hair-piece, a detachable hood part and of course the trademark hidden blades (2 pairs).
EJ's costume is highly detailed though i clearly see that it's not that good, quality-wise/paint-wise, compared to the old Ezio figure. Seems like SQEX is using lesser quality paints this time around for mass production. On the other hand, even if you are not familiar with him there's always something about the Assassin's hood that is so appealing...  

His costume can actually hold all of his weapons and that is a very good plus when displaying him. the holsters and straps are very well made and sturdier than the old ones employed by older PAKs (Chris Redfield, etc.).
EJ's face is pretty accurate especially with the hood on. I've heard reports of unevenly painted beard/whiskers but luckily mine's got that fabled "perfect beard" paint application. I was also spared of the dark eye shadows. I am not too happy though with his hair-piece, it sometimes get stuck in the collar and hinder his neck movement while its paint, compared to the rest of the figure, isn't that good. Another thing i noticed from modern Kais is the "oily skin" or that thin shiny sheen of paint in their faces. I dunno what's up with that but IIRC that trend started with the DMC3 figures. The realism is lost a bit because of that sheen, anybody got some astringent or facial wash?  
"Sons of Gondor, of Rohan, my brothers..."-Aragorn (Editors Note: You dumbass! Edit that out!)
Poseability is very good though his arms are quite difficult to move because of his armor. It's made of more flexible PVC but the shoulder pieces still limit the movement of his arm hinges. Speaking of which, they look sturdier as expected from a large-scale PAK. I just don't think i can pull off some "ledge-hanging" poses for him.

His weapons are highly detailed as well and the paint apps are very good, be careful though with the soft parts: the arm-guard on the pic above and the hammer on the flintlocks. I hate the hidden blades though since they fall off over and over again when posing the figure. The depressions on his arms aren't that deep to hold the blades. Also, they often hit his palms and frills, causing them to dislodge. That explains why i didn't take too many shots of him showing off his blades. The old PAK Ezio beat him on that one.

EJ's balance is decent for a large PAK, he's not that top-heavy while the detail-filled lower torso provides fine counterbalance. However, he's difficult to pose in crouching position because of that blue skirt he's got. I am yet to see an Assassin Creed figure which can actually recreate some of the more difficult and agile poses in-game.
Is he a sure buy? For an Assassin's Creed fan absolutely, i think Big Boys still got some pieces left and to me he's clearly the better of the 2 recent Assassin's Creed PAK figures. Casual collectors should check him out as well, i know it's still very early to tell but i see him making the TOP 5 by the end of the year. Not the top one but he deserves a slot in my opinion. Do check him out for yourself!!!