Play Arts Kai Kingdom Hearts 2 Riku
Kingdom Hearts 2 released in Japan in December of
2015. In the US in March of 2016. In what has become an odd
theme in my life, I've been waiting an entire decade to see Kingdom
Hearts 2 Riku (a.k.a. "congrats on the puberty, Riku") in action figure
form. I think I quite understandably gave up that hope some years
ago, so... imagine my surprise when an unpainted prototype popped up,
seemingly randomly. ...Actually it was less like surprise than
one very long noise of anguish and everyone who knew me considerably
well sighing, but nevermind that.
I waited. I saw. I pounced the second the pre-order went up even if it felt like a bit of a gamble; the Play Arts Kai line had seen some retooling several times. And a huge price increase. The last Play Arts Kais I'd bought were some of the first: Dante, Nero, and Dissidia Squall. Gorgeous and awesome, and at a $40-ish price point... but not really the best at sturdiness. Then in comes the newer line, twice the price and then some... I just didn't know. I thought this, of all figures I never thought I'd see, was worth the leap of faith.
This is what I saw upon opening the shipping box. Hi there. Hi there a lot.
On a side note, I'd forgotten how enormous the PAK boxes were. Geez. I mean, it's a lovely presentation, with a fold-out flap so you can see the figure on the right side and a write-up on the left, the flap actually held in place with magnets (which I cut off the box immediately for later use, naturally). But the box itself is just. So big. And definitely a larger chunk of the final price than I'd like. But, moving on.
Actually, while I wasn't prepared to build the stand myself, I hadn't actually thought he'd come with a stand at all. For a long time they didn't, so this was a pleasant surprise; especially in the fact that it's quite sturdy and actually pretty nice as far as stands go. Didn't take too long to put together despite my dread, either.
So. Articulation. Seems that S-E has continued taking a cue from Revoltech with "clicky joints" (easily moved but slightly locking), which I'm sure some people will hate... but they're really helpful for keeping certain joints IN PLACE. Like LEGS. And KNEES. Which I had a lot of problems with on previous PAKs. There are also some surprising points of articulation, like the balls of the feet AND the ankles, not one or the other. The knees... still look a bit weird, but they work well. And while there is a separated/articulated chest and abdomen, the rubber clothes actually cover that up so you can't see it. I like that feature and can understand why it wouldn't work with the pants, since they'd have to be a lot thinner and more flexible.
Also shiny gold snaps on his vest collar. ...Just pointing that out.
Also, a decent look at the Way to Dawn. It's really solid plastic this time around, and the eye is... really creepy. I can understand some nitpicks; it's standard paint job stuff, a few nicks here and there that are completely repairable, and the eye on one side is actually looking slightly to the right... which is kind of interesting. It's "imperfect" but well detailed and still looks good, as well as the key chain looking damn good even if it's not real chain.
A note on that specific Keyblade-holding hand, though. I was terrified to try and bend the fingers open to get the hand around the hilt. I guess I really shouldn't have been, as they are very flexible, but still do be careful. They're built well, but all plastic has a breaking point.
And also ass.
Unfortunately, Play Arts KH2 Sora and Play Arts Kai KH2 Riku are definitely not to scale. Close, but. Surely this was only to present a reason to make an updated Sora. Which they did. But I'm kinda happy with mine, not-to-scale or otherwise.
Now the tough question: was he worth the asking price? If I'd paid the full $100 USD for him? Aaaaaahhh, I don't think so for me personally. Sorry, S-E. I wound up paying about 3/4 that, though, and I gotta say... I don't think it's wasted money. The detail is good, the scale is actually really nice (even if it doesn't match the older figures), the motion and poseability is pretty fantastic, the hands don't feel like they're going to break when you swap them, it feels like good, heavy, quality plastic in my hand. While the price point means that I'll be able to afford far fewer figures from this line, it also means that the ones I do invest in will be quality. At least, if S-E continues down this road. The FFXV figures are going to kill me, though.
I'm happy with him. Not just because he's one of my favorite characters, but because it's a well-made toy that feels meant to be played with as much as posed. I'm... pleasantly surprised, I have to say. Even if his knees are still weird. I guess that and the jump ring can be forgiven for all of the amusement this will allow me.