Square Enix isn’t the first company to delve into the realm of video game action figures, but they are certainly one of the most attentive to detail. The company’s Play Arts line features oversized figures loaded with detail and articulation, proudly bearing a heavy anime influence in their design work. In the past, it has released figures from a wide range of licenses, Square and otherwise, including Metal Gear, God of War, and even Halo.
At this year's New York Toy Show the company showed off a slew of new figures from these licenses and more, including some of the best Mass Effect and Uncharted figures we've ever seen. Though the line is a bit pricey (each figure retails for upwards of $60), there’s little doubt that a lot of time and effort went into crafting each and every character, making it more than worth the investment for those interesting in decorating their desks with figures of their favorite game characters.
Above: For closer images of Garrus and Ashley check out the gallery below
Case in point, the just announced Mass Effect 3 line. Consisting of a male Commander Shepard, Garrus, and Ashley, Square’s version of these fan-favorite Mass Effect stars are brought to life with great attention to accuracy. Even in prototype form (the figures are still pending approval from BioWare, though we doubt they'll have an issue considering how stunning they look), these sculpts are pretty impressive.
Each of the individual figures will come with a few weapon accessories, but there’s no release date yet in sight. Seeing as they're not even painted yet, we'd be lucky to see them before the end of 2012.
Above: Finally, these two can hug on your desk
While it’s unclear just how long we’ll have to wait for finalized versions of the Mass Effect 3 line to arrive in stores, the wait will likely be much shorter for those of you awaiting new Metal Gear Solid figures. Cyborg Ninja (Gray Fox) will be the first to arrive this April, followed closely by Solid Snake in May. Both figures look stunning, and blow away previous efforts from McFarlane and Medicom.
The same really can’t be said for the Meryl Silverburgh figure. As nice looking as the figure is, there’s just something off about her... face. It's weird. We can't put our finger on it, but whatever it is, it takes away from the overall effect of the figure.
Above: Meryl? More like Derpyl
There's a Solidus Snake prototype in the works as well, but it wasn’t on hand at the show. Even though Square hasn’t detailed any more plans for where the Metal Gear line will go next, there are still almost a dozen memorable characters from the games that fans would surely salivate over. The lack of a Raiden figure is surprising, but perhaps Square is saving that for release closer to Metal Gear Rising Revengeance’s release.
Above: Harley's outfit looks absolutely stunning
Arkham City figures were also present at the show, which shouldn't be a surprise considering the success of the game. Both Armored Batman and Harley Quinn are completely new figures based on their designs from Arkham City.
Even though DC Direct did a series of Arkham Asylum figures a few years ago, it was a rather pedestrian effort (see: hyper lame). Square’s take on the Dark Knight is one of the strongest the character has ever seen, though some may be turned off by the heavy anime influence. Harley Quinn’s sculpt is miles above and beyond what’s come before, and Square didn’t miss a single detail in her intricate outfit. All four figures are set to arrive this summer, just in time for The Dark Knight Rises.
Capcom and Sony have some great new figures arriving this spring from Square. The Street Fighter line continues this April with both Cammy and Akuma joining the already released Ryu and Chun-Li. With all the articulation included, it’ll be easy to recreate some of the more outrageous poses these world warriors often find themselves in. Additionally, each of the figures will come with special move accessories.
You can see Cammy’s Cannon Drill attachment on display, and though it wasn’t shown, Akuma will come with a hadoken accessory. Also shipping this April are Kratos and Nathan Drake. While Kratos has received figures from several different toy companies to varying success, this will be the first time Drake is brought to life in plastic form. Both sculpts are based on the third entries in each character’s respective franchises. Creating figures based off of normal people like Drake is a challenge, but fans should appreciate just how perfectly Drake’s half-tuck has been recreated.
Above: Oh no! Someone cut off chibi-Cloud's face!
And no Square Enix Toy Fair booth would be complete without at least a half-dozen new Final Fantasy figures. Only one new Play Arts figure made an appearance though. Serah will be joining Lightning in the Final Fantasy XIII-2 line. Like Lightning, the Serah figure is a completely new sculpt from the Final Fantasy XIII version. A new series of Final Fantasy creatures will be coming at some point this year as well, but the biggest new addition to the Final Fantasy figure line are the new Play Arts minis. Set to retail for $20, the first wave will consist of Cloud, Yuna, and Squall will kick off the chibi-inspired figures.
Each character comes in a two-pack, which features the same character in two different outfits. There are a variety of faces, hands, and accessories to be included with each figure, so there will be a modicum of customizability for fans. The Japanese versions will be coming with word balloons with sayings from the game written in kanji, though there’s no word yet if that feature will make it to the American version.
Above: Final Fantasy monsters never looked so physical
Even though many of Square Enix’s figures cost as much as the video games the characters star in, there’s an unmistakable benchmark for quality the company is trying to set. That said, it’s refreshing to see that Square is continuing to branch out beyond their own licenses. With a slate of figures from major titles like Mass Effect 3, God of War, and Street Fighter all set to drop in the first half of 2012, the future looks bright for the Play Arts line.