Search This Blog

Friday, August 07, 2015

Play Arts Kai Cloud Strife Review - Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children


Hello everyone, Franchesca here. First things first, when Jeri approached me to do this review, I was hesitant seeing as I try to stay away from reviewing articulated figures (My initial reaction to such things can be summed up in three words: "It moves, yay!"). However, due to his persistence here we are. Do let me know if the format doesn't work for you so I can change it in the future. Now, let's begin, shall we?

Note: This is a picture-heavy blog.



Obligatory box pic to start the review.


Origin

Cloud, looking completely unimpressed with this review attempt.

Cloud Strife is the main character of Final Fantasy VII (FF7) and several of its sequels and spin-offs. The CGI film Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children is set two years after the main FF7 game. This particular Play Arts Kai (PAK) figure is based on Cloud from the film instead of the game.

Personally, my favorite character from FF7 is Vincent (you can find Jeri's review of his PAK figure here) but Cloud is still in my top three so this was a must-have figure for me even if I still wasn't entirely sold on the PAK line.




Store - 9/10

I purchased this via one of the last Play Arts Kai Philippines group pre-orders from the local Big Boys Toy Store. I was notified that I could pick-up the item around May 15, which was a couple of weeks after the official release date (April 22). Not bad, really. If I'd had the item shipped from Japan or the US, it probably would've taken longer. During pick-up, I was allowed to inspect the item for defects before leaving the store. My only complaint was that the particular branch I pick-up in always seems crowded and they seem to have a tendency to run out of bags to put your purchased items in.



Packaging - 8.5/10






The box itself is similar to most PAK releases. It has images of Cloud posing with his accessories in the back while the front has him in a static standing position. The logos of the figure's origins are all over the box - Final Fantasy VII Advent Children & Play Arts Kai.

The power within.
The front of the box opens, as is usual with PAKs, to give a preview of the figure within as well as some tidbits about Cloud. There is also a neat image of the figure doing an amazing pose in the inside flap. I am sadly still unable to recreate this due to the fact that I haven't assembled his stand yet.

The said stand which I stare at in hopes that it'll put itself together.
The stand is stuck to an inner layer of cardboard within the box. It is left to the figure owner as to how exactly he or she will attempt to extract that thing without destroying the inner layer of cardboard because Square Enix loves us and wanted to give us a bonus headache with our figure this way. 


The inner plastic blister opens to reveal Cloud and his accessories layered upon each other. You don't see it clearly in the photo (mostly because I removed all but one by the time it was taken), but the lower level of weapons are held in place by white plastic cords. They're on them really tightly and this is pretty much my only other beef with the packaging. I know they're there to keep the swords from sliding around, but there is such a thing as too tight. They caused some minor paint scratches. Luckily they weren't on tight enough to cause bending.
Curse you, plastic cord things!

Accessories - 10/10

Swords, swords and more swords! This accessory set is perfect!
Cloud comes with an assembled Fusion sword and six individual swords (which should technically assemble into the Fusion sword, but as they don't do that with this PAK, we are just given the assembled one instead).


He also comes with left/right open and gripping hands. It's a bit of a pain to initially force the swords into his gripping hands, but after getting over my fear of breaking the figure, I was able to bend the plastic open enough to slip the weapons in and out.


The sleeved arm he is wearing in the front box art is also an added accessory. There is only one arm, but I took a photo from different angles to show the details. It really is nicely done!



 

Individual sword photos. There are minor scratches on a lot of them, some coming from the packaging and the rest -- who knows? The mysteries of Square Enix Quality Control. There is a paint defect on one of the swords where a stray line of black paint streaks from the handle to the blade. The smallest swords only have one side painted for the gear-like thing that extends from the blades, but that's fine because technically they're supposed to be blending together into the fusion sword anyway.


Sculpt & Material - 9.5/10

Look at him, he's gorgeous. Section over!
Cloud is sculpted beautifully. While I am not a fan of whatever they used on his hair (it looks more plastic than the rest of him, if that makes sense), I am satisfied overall. There is a lot of minute detail on him that one can't help but appreciate. 


  
Look at that amazing detail! Oh, and his head is perfect too.
Cloud's collar is pretty bendy, but the thing that I like the most about his upper body is the paint job. It really does look real even down to the tiny zipper. There's even a wolf on his shoulder pad, sculpted fantastically as well.



He has a ribbon around one of his arms and the sword holsters are hanging on his back. There are slots for four swords (you get six individual ones so maybe he's supposed to hold the other two), and they're pretty durable. It can get a bit awkward putting the swords in at first but it's nothing to gripe about. One just has to be a bit careful that the individual grooves on the blades won't get hooked on those upper loops.


His knees look a bit weird from the front at first but one gets used to it quickly. I can't believe he has buckles and straps even at the back of his pants and at the bottom. He must really be into those things. I wonder if his pants will fall off if they're gone? Nevertheless, even here, the sculpt detail is definitely good! The bottom of his pants can be moved up and down... I'm not sure why, but I think it adds to the articulation.

I was trying to show the cloth and not his crotch, I promise.
The skirt-like thing on his hip is made out of real cloth with wires and you can move it around when posing him. This is a nice element and it goes with the rest of the figure.

And now the reason why this section is a 9.5, can you see it?
One thing that annoyed me was that there seemed to be a Quality Control issue with Cloud's left foot.


Here's his right foot for comparison. Both pegs at the sides of his shoes are attached properly. Not so with his left, which looks like this:


One peg is sticking out too much while the other side is missing a peg. I actually caught this at the store and asked the shop keeper about it, but she told me that's just the way it is so I let it go since I was in a hurry and didn't really know much about what Cloud's foot was supposed to look like (Sadly, I did not study his foot in the prototype. The swords and his pretty face distracted me). Studying his foot now, though, I'm pretty sure the left one is supposed to have properly placed pegs like the right.

Nevermind. He can stand fine anyway, and to prove it, let's move on to the next section. 

Posing & Articulation - 9.5/10

He moves! Yay!
Ah, here we are, the section I told Jeri I was going to suck at. Anyway, Cloud has a wide range of motion. His head is not hampered by his collar (it's bendy), his chest is articulated and pretty much there will always be something you can adjust for you to pose him. Even his toes bend!

Me, trying to make Cloud stand on his toes. It worked, by the way.
The shoulder pad also raises so you can change Cloud's arm to the sleeved one. As can be seen, the holsters on his back are attached only by the top straps, so they can adapt to his poses that require more knee-bending. His straps also stay out of the way.


I specifically tried to copy the box art when it came to holstering the swords, but then I had to make Cloud hold the remaining two individual ones. Hm, it looks a bit silly. Maybe I should've just done something else. Still, he can stand and pose fine even with all those swords on his back. The unassembled fusion swords give Cloud no problem at all.    

Cloud, beseeching me to stop talking already.
The assembled fusion sword is a bit heavy, however, so he has to lean it against his shoulder to hold it for long periods of time. He can also hold it in both hands but it's not a very sustainable pose due to the weight of the weapon.

Painting & Quality Control - 9/10

As mentioned in the earlier sections, there were some paint and quality control issues with this figure. Thankfully, it was nothing major, but the problem with Cloud's foot really upset me for a while there until I realized I could cover it with his cloth skirt thing or pose him so it wouldn't be obvious. Just make sure to check the figure thoroughly when buying and don't simply take the seller's word for it if you're in doubt about a part. Research, research, and more research!

Price - 8.5/10

Cloud was on the pricey side of Play Arts Kai releases when he came out (SRP ¥12,000), and for that price range one expects a bit more Quality Control. Still, his accessories, articulation, and the beautiful sculpt make up for it. I don't regret getting him.

Enjoyment - 10/10

The new guardian of my curtains.
I absolutely enjoyed this figure. Posing him and even just staring at him makes me smile. Add that to the fact that I am a Final Fantasy fan and we have a winning figure that has made it to my extremely short favorites list on myfigurecollection.

Final Verdict

That wasn't so bad, now was it?
Get him! If you can find him for a decent price, then you should definitely buy him. Especially if you're a fan of FF7. This is one of the best Cloud figures out there, if not the best.

And with that, I bid you all adieu.


About the author: Franchesca collects books, manga, figures, games and doujinshi. You can usually find her on MFC (profile: internecinewar) or lurking about in Play Arts Kai Philippines

6 comments:

  1. Hello sir, is there any bootleg of play arts kai Sora & Roxas?

    ReplyDelete
  2. From what I know, there aren't any bootlegs of those.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Replies
    1. nope, this is the authentic PAK Cloud. We do have sightings of a bootleg though.

      Delete
    2. I have some pictures of the bootleg. I will send them to you to upload here so people can be aware if you think it will help others spot it easier.

      Delete