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10:25 AM on 03.27.2015

Play Arts Kai Boba Fett and Stormtrooper, what could go wrong?

I'm still not sure what to make of the Play Arts Kai Variant Series. It's cool that they're willing to take risks with beloved characters, but I'm not exactly much of a fan of some of the results. I really don't know what to ...

Andres Cerrato

NYCC 2014: Square Enix photo
NYCC 2014: Square Enix
by Scarecroodle

Spider-Man, Catwoman, and Iron Man will be the newest inductions to Square-Enix's Variant Play Arts Kai line and are some of the most exciting designs to grace the line. If that wasn't enough, fans can look forward to a Final Fantasy Creatures Kai set (featuring Siren, one of the Bahumuts, etc), the recently announced PAK Hatsune Miku, many historical Batmans, and so much more.

The major highlight here might be the VPAK Spider-Man, which sports what may be a very neat armored design. That certainly doesn't take anything away from Catwoman, however, whose crazy design I didn't even recognize at first. Oh, and what's that? An awesome set of optional attachments for VPAK Iron Man? Could there really be this much want all in one place?

Be sure to check out the gallery for a closer look.

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Marvel at Square-Enix's Variant Play Arts Kai Iron Man photo
Marvel at Square-Enix's Variant Play Arts Kai Iron Man
by Scarecroodle

[UPDATE: New image]

Hidemi Matsuzuka has tweeted two images of Square-Enix's Variant Play Arts Kai Iron Man. This marks the first Marvel character released in the Variant Play Arts Kai line.

Square-Enix has always excelled at producing armored characters/robots and the VPAK Iron Man is a neat example. Although the design isn't drastically different from versions of Iron Man that we've seen in the past, the figure sports a black deco (in addition to his usual gold/yellow and red combo) and his arc reactor is now a crystal. It's both very Iron Man and yet fairly distinct. Although I'm not as much of an Iron Man fan in recent years (the explosion of popularity combined with the inundation of merchandise has curbed much of my enthusiasm), I think I like this design.

The tweets don't list where these photos were taken, but I'm guessing (from the timing) that it was probably at NYCC so we may have our own coverage soon.

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11:01 AM on 10.09.2014

Hatsune Miku goes from Letterman to new Play Arts Kai

[Update: Now with actual images. Duck face?] Yes, we all have seen that thing that happened last night. (In case you haven't it's after the break.) It's now time for better things and with New York Comic Con opening in just u...

Andres Cerrato

Check out the Light Side of SE's Variant Play Arts Kai Darth Vader photo
Check out the Light Side of SE's Variant Play Arts Kai Darth Vader
by Scarecroodle

Both Tomopop reader Kirin Lemon and Square-Enix's Hidemi Matsuzuka have tweeted photos showing the front side of Square-Enix's newly unveiled (unpainted) Variant Play Arts Kai Darth Vader (Star Wars) which is on display right now at Tokyo Game Show.

Despite the "Variant" label, Vader doesn't seem like a complete departure from his roots (or, at least, nowhere near as much as the likes of the other VPAKs). The upper torso looks a bit more buff and Vader's control panel is put further up along his chest (presumably to accommodate the somewhat ugly-looking joint). Vader's thighs, by contrast, are a great deal different from the normal design as the character almost seems to be wearing thigh-high boots with additional armoring protecting the inner thighs.

While additional differences may become more apparent when he's painted, it looks like Square-Enix didn't go crazy with this one. It might be a case of Disney/Lucas holding them on a tighter leash. At any rate, it's a pretty decent-looking design although the jointing currently looks a bit off.

Be sure to check out Kirin's and Hidemi's full images in the gallery.

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Check out the Dark Side of Square Enix's Variant Play Arts Kai Darth Vader photo
Check out the Dark Side of Square Enix's Variant Play Arts Kai Darth Vader
by Scarecroodle

Hidemi Matsuzuka has tweeted an image of an unpainted Variant Play Arts Kai Darth Vader (Star Wars) along with a notice that it will be on display at Tokyo Game Show this weekend.

Square Enix will be just the latest in a long list of Japanese companies suddenly producing Star Wars merchandise, including Medicom (Mafex line), Kaiyodo (Revoltech line), and Bandai. While I guess it's neat that we're seeing so much different (especially in terms of creative revamps) Star Wars merchandise lately, unfortunately it's beginning to make these announcements feel a little underwhelming. Oh well, expect to see Vader turn out for TGS this weekend.

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Painted PAK Fran coming to SDCC? photo
Painted PAK Fran coming to SDCC?
by Scarecroodle

Hidemi Matsuzuka recently tweeted an image of a painted Play Arts Kai Fran (Final Fantasy XII) along with some accompanying text which apparently translates to, "Painted towards the comic-con-exhibition in ‼︎"

Fans will recall that an unpainted PAK Fran was shown back in February. The sculpting looked good and, assuming that Square-Enix doesn't add too much shading, this one should turn out pretty well. I look forward to seeing more of it presumably at SDCC.

Full image in gallery.

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Variant PAK Darkseid and Hawkman receive new photos photo
Variant PAK Darkseid and Hawkman receive new photos
by Scarecroodle

Square-Enix has chosen to threaten our galaxy with new photos of its upcoming Variant Play Arts Kai Darkeid and Hawkman.

Darkseid previously appeared unpainted at Toy Fair earlier this year where he instantly attracted my attention and, thankfully, looks even better painted. The figure will apparently include either optional Omega Beam effect pieces or an alternate head with the parts mounted in. Darkseid's powerful Omega Beam (capable of disintegrating living things and sending Batman back through time) is among the character's most iconic powers so it's neat to see it referenced here.

Square-Enix has also done something pretty right with Hawkman, as the figure looks incredible. He appears to come with an assortment of weapons and the design, while different from other appearances, seems like something we'd actually see in the comics (unlike some of the previous DC Variant Play Arts Kai designs).

The Variant line has really started to look great and hopefully it continues to shine going forward. Be sure to check out all the photos in the gallery.


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New Dragon Quest X plushes are a sleepy mole and a pair of girls photo
New Dragon Quest X plushes are a sleepy mole and a pair of girls
by Natalie Kipper

If you were checking out Square-Enix Merchandising's twitter feed last night, you would have spotted two choice images of upcoming Dragon Quest X toys. The first tweet previewed a sleeping Mad Mole plush from the Nakama Monster or Friendly Monster series. I love how it still looks cross even as it naps. Too darling! This beastie is actually already up for pre-order on AmiAmi for ¥2,160, where it is listed as "Suyasuya Itazura Mogura" ("Mogura" is what the monster is called in the Japanese version).

The next tweet depicted a set of two doll-like girl plushes. They are modeled after the characters, Rizerotta and Rukoria. Now, I know who Rizerotta is (white dressed girl on the left) but I must confress that I have no clue about Rukoria. Anybody care to shed some light on this?

Like previous Dragon Quest X plushes, these new toys come with codes that unlock items in-game. For the girls, the codes (unsurprisingly) gift the player a pair of dolls resembling the actual toys. These can be used to decorate your character's house. The Mogura plush will grant you 20 Happy Hearts. I regrettably don't know what those do but I am sure they are very useful. Heck, even if they aren't, I still get the awesome plush so it's still a win in my book.

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Tomopop Review: Square-Enix's Play Arts Kai Helena Harper photo
Tomopop Review: Square-Enix's Play Arts Kai Helena Harper
by Scarecroodle

Resident Evil is one of those franchises you'd assume a horror fan would be into, but it's never quite caught on with me. The zombies and assorted monsters are cool, but I've always been turned off by all the convoluted conspiracies (and, at times, also the gameplay). However, I've enjoyed a few of the games and I like many of the character designs like Resident Evil 6's Helena Harper. As such, I was happy to see Square-Enix give the character the Play Arts Kai treatment.

Full review after the jump.

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10:00 AM on 06.13.2014

Star Wars finally to be mass merchandised by mass manufacturers

If a catalog coming out of the International Tokyo Toy Fair is to be believed, there is going to be a lot of people involved in Star Wars over the next few years. Bandai has already revealed their hand partially with S.H. Fig...

Andres Cerrato

Square Enix reveals upcoming Play Arts Kai at E3 2014 photo
Square Enix reveals upcoming Play Arts Kai at E3 2014
by Natalie Kipper

E3 2014 is in full-swing and while most of its attendees are plugged in and glued to screens of various sizes, several booths displayed toys as well as electronic media. One such booth was Square Enix and their headliners were two upcoming Play Arts Kai figures. The first was Halo 2 - Anniversary Edition- Play Arts Kai: Master Chief. The toy is still in the prototype phase with no set release or price. We do however get to see some of his accessories, two different guns and that close range weapon thing that always seemed to kill me repeatedly (I was the designated "free-kill" amongst my friends).

The second reveal will certainly be of interest to San Diego Comic-Con 2014 attendees. This Batman: Arkham Origins Play Arts Kai: Batman - Limited Color Ver. will be exclusive to SDCC. Packaged with different hand parts, a Batterang, and a grappling gun, this special variant will cost US$100.

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