Play Arts Kai Cloud Strife Review

Final Fantasy is an extremely long, very convoluted and barely coherent game series. There’s… uh…13 of them so far, I think? The only one that matters right now though, is Final Fantasy 7, because we’re going to be looking at the game’s protagonist Cloud Strife. Put in the simplest terms, Cloud is an angsty super soldier with memory problems and a freaking massive sword. Google him if you want to know more, since it would take a VERY long time to explain him properly. I don’t play Final Fantasy, but I do play Cloud in Smash Bros. Ultimate quite often, which is what prompted me to pick up this figure.

The first thing I want to talk about is size. Cloud is my first 1/6th scale figure and he absolutely towers over the rest of my action figure collection. It’s going to take me awhile to get used to how big he is. Shooting him is so different from shooting my 1/12th scale figures. Posing is very different as well. Many of Cloud’s joints are ratcheted to help deal with his weight as he is NOT a light figure. This is both good and bad. Good because, for the most part, the joints do their job. Bad because fine tuning a pose to get that sweet spot for balance is pretty difficult.

Cloud’s articulation is very good and he has so many joints that I’m not going to give you a full rundown. If you want a pose, you can probably get it. The only drawbacks are that fact that his arms don’t reach across his torso real well and he has no ankle rockers. The ankle joint can rotate independently of the leg and foot, so you can sorta cheat an ankle rocker, but it doesn’t work the same as a real one. Like I said though, you can get any reasonable pose, and even some very unreasonable poses too.

For accessories, Cloud has a total of eight hands, an attachment peg for his back and the Buster Sword. Like Cloud himself, the Buster Sword has a long and complex backstory. All you really need to know is, A: it’s HUGE and B: it’s magical somehow, allowing its wielder to carve glowing lines midair, shoot energy and so on. The paintwork is done quite well and Cloud looks great holding it. Due to the strange top heavy design, the handle is a bit of a weak point. I found this out the hard way when I snapped the hilt off my first one. Luckily, Big Bad Toy Store has impeccable customer service and they quickly remedied the problem. When it’s in one piece, the Buster Sword is really cool to photograph by itself as well.

Now the figure himself. He’s a Toy Photographer’s playground. His face is done perfectly and is amazing for portraits. Every inch of his outfit is crammed with tiny details waiting to be discovered. The only complaints I can find with his look is, A: the groin area looks strange because they made it a softer plastic to allow for more posing, and B: the second figure I got has a few spots here and there. Both are minor problems though. I could describe the details all day, but just seeing them will be much quicker. I love Cloud’s hair especially. It looks awesome is a weird manga way.

FINAL VERDICT

The Good:

Excellent paint
Great articulation Super photogenic Game accurate

The Bad:

Fragile sword hilt
Stiff hand connections Awkward to balance
No ankle rockers

The Ugly:

A price tag of $160 or higher.

Yeah. That’s a tough pill to swallow. The only reason I purchased Cloud is because I was gifted BBTS store credit that covered most of the price. To be totally honest with you, unless you are a huge fan ofFinal Fantasy 7 or Cloud, I would suggest you pass on this figure. He’s a good figure with plenty of photo potential, but I don’t think he’s worth a hundred and sixty bucks. It hurts me to say it, but it’s true. Cloud’s oft spoken phrase in Smash Bros is “Genkai Wo Koeru” or “Exceeding/breaking limits.” Square Enix’s phrase is “Breaking wallets,” as that is exactly what will happen if you buy this dude at full price.

Zee (@demarcation-media)

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