Tomopop Review: Play Arts Kai Cammy
4:00 PM on 11.15.2012
More of the same old, same old ... or a much-needed surprise?
So far, we've reviewed three of the four Street Fighter Play Arts Kai figures released by Square Enix. That could only mean the one who's missing is the one we're doing last: Cammy White, who is also this editor-in-chief's favorite character from the franchise. Naturally, I had high hopes for this figure, but my experiences with the recent run of Play Arts Kai figures had run from "It's alright" to "Ugh," and that left me a little ... how should I say it, worried?
Considering she came out before Kratos and the Mass Effect figures, though, I held out some hope she would be alright. Did Square Enix deliver this time? Hit the jump to find out!
One more time, we begin with the box, and yes, it's the same style from all the other Super Street Fighter 4 Play Arts Kai figures, except in green. I've had no problems with any of the other boxes, and likewise, there's no issues here.
Let's get her out of there!
My first thoughts on seeing her were that I was impressed. Not just because they'd done a nice job with the overall color palette or that they sculpted out her bodysuit instead of painting it on, but that they at least managed to make it look like Cammy with all the joints still included. Yes, the joints are glaringly obvious here because there's little to cover them up, but you can't be expecting something like Hot Toys does with covering the joints on such a small figure. You can see she does stand on her own, too.
However, there's a few things I want to touch on as individual aspects of her design, both good and bad:
So we're starting with the face because I'd like you guys to notice that, for the first time in a long while, I don't have any complaints. At all. The paint along her hairline is properly aligned unlike some of the other figures I've seen, the sculpt is clean and most importantly, it looks like Cammy. The one complaint I can muster up is that they missed a spot on her beret's logo, but that's about it. An auspicious start, for sure.
Most people's complaints, from what I've read, stem from her torso. The big problem is that the joints are rather visible, a product of the fact she's got on a skin-tight suit. Square Enix has tried to mitigate the problem the best they probably could, but it is still there, especially around the hip joints where you can see the gaps. These are older ball-and-socket hips, too, but they seem to be a bit more stable on Cammy. I don't know if it's because of the design where the legs are underneath the hip part or not, but I had little issues with Cammy keeping poses or stability, as you'll see later on.
As for the actual sculpting and paint job, though, it's not too bad at all. The sculpt itself had detail like her abs included and the joints do have a nice range of motion. The paint is missing a little bit along some of the edges, as if they were trying to avoid any seepage outside the lines. In short, it meets expectations without exceeding them.
The sculptwork continues to be good on her big red gauntlets, with all the metal plating detailed down to the riveting holding it in place. Each of the fingers is sculpted out individually on her fists, right down to the fingernails. The paint's a little thin in spots and a little rough around the fingers, but it doesn't serve as too much of a distraction.
Further on down, you can see that Cammy's legs feature a good amount of sculpted definition. They do seem a wee bit too big in terms of scale (she's got toned, muscular legs, but not the ham-hocks Chun-Li has) but on the plus side, the knee joints don't stick out so obviously when she's standing there. Her black combat boots could maybe have used a bit more detail on them, but I'm glad to see they didn't forget the red socks, and that the camo patterns on her legs are cleanly painted on there. I'd been quite worried about that, given the quality control issues we've seen in the past.
We're going to hop around back here for a second. It's not just to give you a look at the sculpt and paint work on the other side, though. I wanted to highlight something that's going to pop up in a few other pictures: Cammy's braided pigtails. Not just the sculpting, which looks fine, but the inclusion of two tiny joints where the braids meet the rest of her head. They are a bit of a pain to deal with being so small, as they sometimes stick inside the heads when you're trying to swap them out, but the inclusion of the joints is a benefit to the overall poseability of the figure. What you can do with them, and how they make Cammy seem more in motion when used properly, really adds something to the figure.
I'd get yelled at if I didn't do a butt shot here, so here you go. It also gives me a little time to talk about sculpting detail into every part of a figure, which seems to be something Square Enix is really, really good at. Heck, they remembered to sculpt in the fabric being bunched together down here, and no, I don't know why her butt's hanging out like this. Ask the folks at Capcom who designed her 20 years ago.
This one is actually my favorite pose of the bunch. You probably spotted it on the back cover, but it's a simple pose that makes Cammy look ready for a fight. It's also one of the few you can do with her standing upright that looks cool, and will probably be the one I choose to display her in.
You can also see the first accessory she comes with, a matching set of opened hands. Let's look a bit closer:
The detailing is correct and the paint is pretty good (there's a bit of the black PVC base visible in spots where the paint is a little thinner), with no real bleed issues. There are no problems with flash left over between the fingers from the molding process, though there is a slightly noticeable lean on her inxed and middle fingers when you see her up close.
The only real pain in the butt comes from the tiny joints used for the wrists. Like her braids, they have a tendency to come out with the hand rather than stay with the figure, and getting them out can be a royal pain in the butt. The newer Play Arts Kais switched to a different wrist joint that mitigates the problem,
To check out how Cammy articulates, I've decided to put her in a few poses that should look familiar to Street Fighter fans. That starts with the Spiral Arrow, and as you can see, you can make a pretty similar pose out of it. The poseable braided pigtails actually are a nice feature here, as you can use them, to give her a sense of movement.
On the other hand, Cammy is the one figure that is really, really hurt by the lack of a stand. In this case, the part of the stand is played by my left hand. Almost all of her signature attacks — from the Spiral Arrow to the Cannon Spike to the Hooligan Roll — have her in the air, and without a stand, you can't do ANY of them properly. I'm actually hunting for some stands right now so I can have Cammy displayed Cannon Spiking Ryu in the face (I mentioned Ryu's my least favorite character before, right?), but I wish I could have had one included with the figure or available for another US$10 or something. It would have really made a positive difference here.
Just to show off a little bit of the poseability, I've put Cammy into her Cannon Spike pose, just before she's about to leap off into the attack. I actually based this pose off the animation sprites from Super Street Fighter II ... yes, I know these things and admit to being a Street Fighter nerd. But it's a nice pose that gives you a sense of the range of movement you have with her joints.
Like the other Play Arts Kai figures with the older joint style and arrangement, her knee joints become super-visible when you start posing her, so if it's a problem for you, hate to say it's no different here.
Also, you can see she's got her alternate head on, so let's get a closer look:
Cammy's other face is, like the other figures in the series, her shouting face. There's some nice sculpting work around the mouth here, though I think a bit of paint might have danced off her lips and onto the side of her mouth. It's barely noticeable but still worth pointing out. The scar on her cheek also looks a little more rounded than on her regular face, but it's overall just as good as her default face.
This pose comes from the box, and it's almost halfway between the Cannon Spike and her default heavy kick from the game. It's a nice pose and again, a stand would have been great here, but you can also see the other included accessory: her effect piece. Let's look at this from another pose and angle:
Now with Cammy doing a sliding kick, you can get a glimpse of how the effect accessory looks on her. You can also see, once again, how those poseable braided pigtails come into play and give you more of a sense of motion.
The effect piece is cast in translucent yellow PVC and attaches to a simple hole in the bottom of either of Cammy's feet with a peg. There aren't any problems with it falling out once in there, and there are some nice spiraling effects sculpted into the design. It's really no better or worse than any of the other effect pieces for the Street Fighter line so far.
If you're expecting me to fanboy all over this and claim it's the greatest thing Square Enix has ever done, be prepared to be utterly disappointed. What Cammy amounts to is a fairly good figure, maybe the best of the four so far from the Street Fighter line, but she's really hurt by the lack of a stand. It's a figure that's pretty much required ownership for members of her fan club like me, and might surprise the rest of you out there, especially if you've been soured on the entire Play Arts Kai line. There are a few things that could have been tweaked to make her better, too, like the size of her thighs being a bit smaller or not using such tiny joints on her braids and wrists that make her feel more fragile than she really is.
All in all, though, it's the first time I've been legitimately satisfied with a Play Arts Kai figure in a long while. Play Arts Kai Cammy won't blow you away, but she should at least keep you content as a collector.
[Thanks to Square Enix for sending Cammy along for review!]
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