SDCC '11: Square Enix Play Arts Kai

At their booth at SDCC this year, it was evident that Square Enix is trying to make it so that you don't have to buy any other companies action figures but theirs. The number of licenses they keep adding to their Play Arts Kai line is becoming impressive. A usual assortment of Play Arts Kai Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy, and Halo figures were on display, but so were many new figures from Street Fighter, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Uncharted, Vanquish, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and God of War.

Save for the sometimes obtrusively large and noticeable ball joints, overall the Pay Arts Kai figures usually look pretty amazing. I've always held the opinion that SOTA's run on Street Fighter produced the best figures for the series, but the Play Arts Kai figures could top them. Could. We'll see for sure when the final figures are out. The first four fighters are the big fan favorites of Ryu, Chun Li, Cammy and Akuma and will start becoming available this Fall.

The Batman: Arkham Asylum figures were very unexpected, especially since DC Direct just released two waves of them. Batman and Joker were on display, but I wonder if any other characters will be make it into the line. The unpainted prototypes of Metal Gear Solid's Cyborg Ninja and solid Snake that Hideo Kojima has been teasing on twitter were on display. If there were ever any two P.A.K. Metal Gear figures to get, these are the two.

Thankfully, Sony is expanding their figures out to more than just DC Unlimited, with a P.A.K. Nathan Drake and Kratos coming down the line. With Sony jumping on the P.A.K. train, I hope we'll get see a Helghast soldier make it into the line. I wasn't sure if Vanquish was a huge hit or not, but apparently it was big enough to get at least two figures. For new Halo figures, Master Chief and the "Square Enix envisioned" black armor Spartan were on display. Of course, there were the new figures for Final Fantasy XIII-2 with armored Lightning and an unpainted prototype for Serah. Finally, Deus Ex: Human Revolution has three figures coming out.

Square Enix's exclusive figures for the show were a red and blue Mark V Spartans. I'm not sure if they sold out, but if they did it wasn't nearly as fast as the exclusive Solid Snake from last year. If you love Square Enix's Play Arts Kai, there is a lot to get excited about in the coming year.

Cammy is very articulated, jointed, and flexible. It's the Cammy you've always wanted.

Chun Li look near perfect. Also, those thighs.

Could these figures be better than SOTA's? Maybe. We'll see when they are finalized and out.

Akuma looks fantastic... but those huge Play Arts Kai ball joints still bother me.

This is definitely better than DC Direct's Arkham Asylum Batman, but it still has that damn blue on the costume when it wasn't in the game.

If the Joker wasn't freaky enough, here's the taller Play Arts Kai version to haunt your dreams.

That ninja...

Snake! You're in glass! Snaaaake!

The Vanquish dude looks incredible.

Hey, it's the purple Vanquish guy. I really have to play this game.

Will this be the first real Nathan Drake action figure on the market? (The Minimate doesn't really count.)

Finally, a Kratos that

Your friendly neighborhood Master Chief gets the Play Arts Kai treatment.

The black armored Spartan was envisioned by Square Enix. Did they envision anything besides the black coloring?

Lightning gets some fancy armor in FFXIII-2.

Who's even more useless than Serah from FFXIII? Serah from FFXIII-2.

It would be cool if Adam Jensen from Deus Ex: Human Revolution included his trench coat, but that would probably end up being a variant figure.

It's that one girl from the Deus Ex game that isn't out yet. Check out those feet.

It's Red Vs. Blue at the Square Enix booth, too.

- Shawn - 7/28/11