I've quickly grown to like Square Enix's Play Arts Kai line, and no, it's not because of Cammy. It's because by and large, what I've seen from the line is well-detailed, larger-scale poseable figures sold at a price that's rather affordable when compared to some of the other options out there. Well, that and they tend to make figures from series I have an interest in.
The Halo franchise isn't necessarily one of those anymore; the days of me playing Halo 3 online late at night were way back in my college days, all three years ago, and my skills with the energy sword have probably declined. Still, I've always been a fan of a good science-fiction story, and the franchise delivers that, as well as some sweet looking armor. So when I had the chance to review Square Enix's event-exclusive Play Arts Kai figures, I figured it was well worth the chance.
Are these two worth the hoops you might have to jump through to get them? Hit the jump and find out!
Figure Name: Play Arts Kai Noble Six (Red and Blue ver.)
Let's start as always with the box. It's a nice box with a big window in front showing off what's inside, as well as a bit of Halo: Reach inspired design. The back of the box is nothing special; it shows off the line and the regular Noble Six design, which leands me to believe that beyond the Blue Team and Red Team stickers on the front of the box, these are the same boxes used for the regular release.
Now, with two identical figures, and two characters who like to squabble, I had to play peacemaker and figure out who got to do what parts of the review. Red won the coin flip for the first part of the review, meaning we'll see Blue a little later on.
Here's the figure out of its plastic statis pod! As you can see, Noble Six stands very well on its own without need for a stand, though I would still recommend one if you're going to be doing a more dynamic pose or displaying these figures somewhere that has a lot of vibration. At first glance, the sculpt certainly looks like Noble Six and the armor certainly has the proper Halo feel to it. There's a ton of tiny detail here, and not just in the seams in the armor! Some of the joints are visible, notable the elbow ones, but others are masked pretty well, only becoming visible when you have to pose this figure.
From the sides, it's more detail! You can also see that the colors used to cast and paint Noble Six are even throughout, so you don't have to worry about colors on the head looking off compared to the rest of the body, etc.
Blue won the right to handle the details, though, so we'll switch things up a bit here.
Let's start up top with the head. It's an accurate recreation of the MJOLNIR Mark V[B] helmet that Noble Six wears in Reach (and looks quite a bit like the ODST Mark V helmet), with a little bit of wear and tear on the armor. Except that spot on the visor isn't part of the wear and tear look; it's actually a defect that made it into my Blue Team figure. Thankfully, it's nothing too major and I can write it off to "combat damage," at least in my mind.
You can also see the UNSC Marines logo emblazoned on the upper part of Noble Six's torso. It's only visible when the knife is not sheathed, but it's a cool little touch to this figure!
Likewise, the torso part of this figure is well detailed, with an accurate reflection of how Noble Six's armor looks in the game. The hip joints are slightly visible if you look at them from the right angle, but there's two other joints in the torso that are practically invisible, thanks to the Mark V armor's design. I do spot a part where the paint kind of goes outside the lines on the torso armor, but beyond that, it's all pretty well detailed and painted.
The limbs? Yep, they're just as well detailed as the torso and head were, with of course the only caveat being the joints are a little more visible at certain spots than others. You can see some of the wear and tear on the armor parts ... I swear, they came that way! I do like some of the scuffing paint effect on the boots, for example, because while they make it look a little worn, these guys have been in combat; they're supposed to look that way, I think!
The figures each come with an extra set of hands that are posed to grip a trigger, as well as an assault rifle. The rifle looks exactly like the ones in the Halo franchise that gamers should be accustomed to, and the matching set of trigger hands allows you to pose your figure with the rifle in either hand. There's a peg on the left side of the rifle, though, that has a use but kind of sticks out, so you'll probably be better off posing Noble Six with the rifle in the right trigger hand.
I also managed to recreate the pose of Noble Six on the box in a crouched manner. It wasn't perfect and it took a few tries (because the legs kept popping off at the hip joints), but in the end, I achieved success.
You can see a lot of the detail here as well and how the alternate trigger hand fits into the rifle's trigger. It takes a little bit of finesse to get the job done, but once it's in, that gun will stay in place. You can also see how the open hand rests on the bottom of the rifle's barrel and offers a nice bit of support.
There are other accessories besides the hands and rifle, though. How about we give those a look?
Hyaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Blue is ready for hand-to-hand combat with his trusty knife and hand grenade! These two accessories round out what you get with the Play Arts Kai figure. The knife has a level of detail, mainly on the handle, and it fits snugly into the trigger hands that come with the figure. The hand grenade looks like the in-game models, but you might notice there's a little bit of an issue.
The problem becomes a little more obvious up close. As you can see, there's a longer peg on the piece, probably so it can be holstered on the back, but with the side effect of making it look like the grenade is just kind of floating there. You can also see some of the olive drab paint on the grenade's body kind of bleeds out onto the metallic parts as well.
Speaking of holstering things on the back, the peg I mentioned earlier on the assault rifle allows you to just that. It's a firm, snug fit in the back and lets you display an armed Noble Six without having to worry about posing him carrying his weapon in his hands. The knife also sheathes up on the body armor so you can display it with the figure as well, or just keep it at hand in case of a Covenant sneak attack!
And now, the part you've probably been waiting for: the meeting of the minds. I was a little wary of letting them meet, because of the long history between both Red and Blue in the annals of Halo history, but I figured maybe I could somehow kickstart a peace deal between the two sides at long last. For a good 20 minutes, though, they just stood there like this, I assume staring at each other because I can't see under their helmets.
Yay! It looks like they're going to get along after all. Great! I'll go get the cake-
That was uncalled for, Blue! Red didn't do a single thing to you and you just went and kneed him in the junk. Now, apologize and make up before I send you to time out.
Alright now, Red. I understand you're frustrated but that's not the right move to make. You didn't need to sweep the leg in retaliation. We're all even now, so let's get back on track so I can finish up this review-
That's enough, you two. Blue, get off of Red right this very instant!
... Not exactly what I meant.
Oh great, Red's not listening to me and now he's about to go full Macho Man on poor Blue!
Looks like Blue rolled out of the way of the attack! What a maneuver!
... Wait, what the heck am I doing?
Okay now, you've made your point, guys. Just put away the knife, Blue. Please. I don't want anyone to get hurt here. And hey ... wait a minute, something's off here. Anyone else notice it?
Blue, where is your rifle at?
OH HECK NO. This is done with right now. Timeouts for everyone!
So what do I think of these two? Well, they're pretty standard fare for the Play Arts Kai line, which isn't a bad thing, per se. They pose very well, there's few problems with the joints except the legs pop off a little easy (but they pop right back in without any issue), and there's a lot of detail to be seen here. The Red and Blue colors are probably their greatest appeal over the regular Noble Six figure for the Halo fans out there.
I would recommend them if you're interested, but remember: they are event exclusives. The next major event is New York Comic Con in October, so you may need to find a friend to mule one for you if you can't make it there, But by and large, you shouldn't be too disappointed at all with these event-exclusive figures. The price isn't excessive and there's no "Limited run of only 50 figures" to worry about, either. Check them out if you want them, but be sure you're well versed in 25th century diplomacy first!
[Thanks to Square Enix for providing review samples!]
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