*Written with Rick Dom of A.C.B.A*
Square Enix’s Play Arts Kai Variants is a well-received Japanese line of figures from multiple mediums. The variants title is added to an artist’s twist on certain characters (this includes Metal Gear Solid, Vocaloids, Final Fantasy, and with early images of a Marvel line starting with Iron Man). Released at the same time as the NYCC Deathstroke, these are the newest additions to the impressive line by Square Enix, (including DC’S most famous faces like Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman).
Waiting for the new DC Kai Cyborg was my most anticipated figure since the release of Wonder Woman.
Being a Teen Titans fan and loving his prominent Justice League role in the New 52, we have wanted Cyborg for a while. Having had enough time with the wave to see what works and what doesn’t, Cyborg saddened me. I have to say that Cyborg might be the worst figure the series has released.
To start, the articulation is a complete joke. The pelvic joint has been changed for the first figure in this series, limiting the range of motion. You have to pivot the thighs to the side, then up for an awkward leg lift. The ab crunch is barely noticeable, as are the shoulders. Out of box, the joints were loose. After asking around, I don’t know anyone who got a Cyborg with tight joints. With the figure being top-heavy, the loose ankles make him near impossible to stand up on his own. With Play Arts Kai Transformers, they fixed the top heavy issue using die-cast feet, which is clearly what they should have done here
The accessories look great for the most part, but do not work well. The switchable sonic blaster arm fell out of the socket multiple times, as well as the three blaster add-ons. The Gatling gun fell out whenever the arm wasn’t held at a 90 degree angle. A pair of jet pack thruster engines are also attachable to pegs on his back. There is an interchangeable angry face which is beautifully detailed and painted, making it easily the best accessory he came with. The paint work was great in capturing the mechanical tones of his body, and the work on his multiple faces were spectacular.
The sculpting is for the most part is very well done (good detail from the finger tips, to the grooves in his hair). He’s a good size, along with the wave being slightly bulkier to fit his look and the technological tank he is. The sculpting is diminished with the protruding pegs on his back, used to anchor in his jet pack. The jet pack thrusters look nice, but could use a little something extra.
A smoke trail, jet fire; something to justify the pegs be so important.
Overall, I would have to tell everyone flat out: don’t waste your money on this figure. He is too much money for all of his problems. If he’s your first Play Arts Kai piece, then it will taint the line for you.
Unlike the rest of the world, seemingly, we are huge Aquaman fans. From his campy 70’s short, to his ill-fated WB pilot, to his amazing current new 52 run. After a little time with Cyborg, the fear of slipping quality set in with us. However, I am happy to say that is not the case at all.
To start, the articulation is amazing, (comparatively on par with SH figure art with 25 points of articulation), making him very versatile for displaying or action shots. The extra hands make his accessories even more appealing. The accessories we’ve seen this wave are the best in the series, especially compared to other more popular figures (looking at you, Supergirl). His accessories include the following: four water effects that look great, multiple useful hands, and a massive trident. The red base of the staff clashes somewhat with the rest of the figure, but not harshly, and the gold itself gives off a bit of a green hue in person–which doesn’t show up much in pictures.
Its details are lackluster compared to the DCUC wave Aquaman.
Luckily, the sculpting of the figure itself doesn’t share in the trident’s faults. Going with a streamline design, we avoid all the blocky bulk issues of Deathstroke, giving us the detail of his armor without limiting movement. The face sculpting is spectacular in capturing the King of Atlantis, while still making it their own. The paint perfectly captures the rich, bright comic style of the source material (which was a concern with the sometimes overly noir style artist take when given the liberty to). This one was fantastic! A classic Justice Leaguer, great display potential, good work on just about every level, but with the $99.99 pre-order price (yup), he may be a bit steep.
Nonetheless, a great figure for any DC collector. Highly recommended buy.
Source: Transformer Wiki, Square Enix
Images From: Square Enix, Amazon, Comic Book News, Myconfinedspace.com, Deviantart.com