Square Enix has taken their Play Arts Kai line of figures into new territories with their Variant theme over the last couple years. They’ve taken existing characters we all know and remixed them so to speak, giving us completely new and alternate takes on them while still staying recognizable. SE has done it with DC Comics properties and even their own Final Fantasy characters. Marvel is coming.
Square also has Star Wars – the first round of pics showing these guys off got picked up by tons of entertainment and movie sites because they just look damn cool. Movie accurate, heck no. Cool? Yes. Well, the first of the Star Wars Variants is out and it’s none other than Darth Vader. We’ve got ours in hand and have done up a gallery of over 70 HD shots. Read on to check out our thoughts and see the dark lord of the Sith in action!
Play Arts Kai Star Wars Variant Darth Vader
Paint apps are plenty even on the dark palette
Construction is best PAK to date, no breakages or weak points, smooth full range of movement
Alt hands and accessories all work
Cape system works better than on Variant Superman
Wow. I am blown away by this figure. I am all about new takes on old characters, so long as it doesn’t bastardize them for quick coin. This is a modern artistic vision of Darth Vader, and I’m completely down with that. When you take it out of the “that doesn’t look like the movie” context, and just look at it for what it is, IMO it works. The figure keeps all the key Vader points – black, glossy helmet, silver plating, chest box, layered cape and cloaks, light saber. All that’s been tweaked and flipped from the original design to just be bad ass. Standing at a whopping 10 inches he is a menace on the shelves next to (most of) your other Vaders.
The joint system is well done, peg based with strong clicky joints in all the right places. The torso connects to the legs via a big double ended ball joint, and the crotch is actually a hollow softer plastic, allowing for a wide range of movement while posing. Chest flex and twist, shoulder and elbow, wrist, double jointed knee, a form of ankle rockers and even a mid foot twist all allow great poseability. He’s sturdy too, heavy in the hand. Previous issues with Play Arts Kai fragility seem to have been worked out, I twisted and turned and swapped parts on this guy for a couple hours doing the pics and nothing even came close to breaking. He’s still in perfect shape after the session.
Check out some key shots below and the rest after that in gallery mode!