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Leaving The Comfort Zone- Play Arts Kai Ezio

Welcome to Leaving the Comfort Zone, where I talk about an action figure that I picked up on a whim, either by Fwooshers talking it up or running across it when I have found nothing else to buy. I’ve been strictly a 6 inch superhero collector for going on ten years now so this allows me to throw out my perspective on some things not 6 inch scale and not superhero related. Plus it justifies making purchases that don’t exactly fit into my display. Basically, anything out of my personal comfort zone. Hence the title.

Today I’ll talk about Ezio Auditore Da Firenze by Square Enix’s Play Arts Kai line.

At SDCC 2010 carl picked up the Play Arts Kai Sneaking Suit Solid Snake from MGS. It was awesome. There’s nothing like a buddy picking up a toy that you get to play with. It’s like a free demo! Well, for me anyway, carl had to pay the $50 or so to get it. But totally worth it. Indy also reviewed that same figure here.  Based on both of their recommendations I knew I would have that Snake one day. But while wandering around the Square Enix booth I ran across Ezio and it was love at first sight.

It wasn’t until 8 months later that I would purchase some Play Arts Kai for myself. It was my birthday, I had some extra cash, and I found them on Amazon for about $40 a piece. So I figured “Why not?” I’m glad I did. I won’t talk about Snake much since Indy covered him already. He’s badass. Both Indy and Snake. So I’ll just talk about Ezio. Wow. Just wow.

First of all, the articulation. He’s articulated everywhere.  Double knees that are very well hidden, double elbows that aren’t so well hidden. Some ball joints in the torso that allow for all kinds of crunching and arching. The shoulders are balls that go both up and down, out and around, forward and back.  The wrists are also balls in between the hand and forearm so you get swivel on both ends. The ankles are the let down in the articulation department. Not a lot of movement there unfortunately. The head is all kinds of things I’ve never seen before. The hood and collar are one piece and attached to the top of the head. The head is on a ball joint at the top of the neck, but the neck is also a ball joint on top of the torso. What does that all mean? Some excellent movement all around with “losing” the head within the hood.

You know what I’m talking about. Those figures with hoods where you have to fight both the head and the hood to make it even remotely possible to be realistically plausible. Either the figure is looking at the side of the hood or the hood is floating up above the head. Not so with Ezio. You can crank his neck into all kinds of positions and he will always be looking like he should. Eyes hidden with the hood, his identity shrouded. And he can see to do his killin’.  Cause killin’ is what he does.

If I have anything bad to say about the articulation is that it’s almost pushing the boundaries too far, if that is even possible. Posing is pure joy, but keeping everything in place can be a pain. This is also due to the sheer amount of things attached to him. The armor pieces, the belt, the skirt, the shoulder covers, the cape, the pauldron, and some other things I’m probably forgetting are all separate pieces. And they all move. They only hinder articulation a bit, but can be cumbersome when posing.

Sculpting…what can I say that does the pictures justice? There is no detail spared here. Everything is there. Same goes for paint.  The eyes seem a little wide, but they are hidden in shadow most of the time so it’s not a glaring flaw.  I’ll just let pics do the talking in those two departments.

Accessories are very nice. And he has a few, but considering just how many weapons and outfit changes the character goes through in the games, I’d like to see more. Maybe accessory packs later? Or variations of the figure down the line. I’d love to have the  clean white costume from Brotherhood at some point. Anyway…

He comes with two sets of hands. Two open hands that can be easily switch with the open weapon holding right hand and the closed fist left hand. On Snake there is a ball on the end of his forearm. With Ezio there is a completely separate ball joint with a straight peg where the hands slide on, allowing for movement on both sides of the ball.

He also come with a dagger and Altair’s sword. Both are beautiful, but I can’t help thinking the dagger is large. Granted, I didn’t use that particular dagger a lot in the game so my memory may be skewed. Both the sword and the dagger can be stored in little slots on the inside of his sash. The sword looks great this way, the dagger not so much. Clunky and sticks out too much for my taste.

Then there’s my personal favorites…the arm blades. He comes with two, one for each arm, and then another attachment to simulate the blade retracted on the left arm. Just like in the game. All work perfectly. The right arm blade just slides up under the gauntlet and stays in securely. Without the blade inserted it looks natural still, you really have to look to see that anything even goes there. For the left arm blade, both the retracted and blade extended assemblies are separate pieces. The whole thing comes of to alternate between the two. Both are secure and seamless when applied. Wonderfully thought out and works absolutely great.

Leonardo! My equipment needs fixing!

I’ve heard of the scale issues between different properties within the Play Arts Kai line, and Ezio is no exception. At least when compared to Snake.  He’s fairly taller than Snake. It’s nothing that bugs me too much though. Not something that noticeable until you stand the two of them right next to each other, but when you do you see the difference.

One feature that I would have liked to see but am not to sure is feasible would be for his cloak to have the ability to swing around and cover his left side like in the game. For stealth kills, where you only see the end of his arm blade sticking out. It would be awesome, but like I said, probably not a very realistic possibility.

Overall, I’m happy with both Ezio and Snake. $40 may sound like a lot, but with 6 inch superheroes creeping up to between $15 and $20 at retail I think $40 is a hell of a deal for figures that are bigger, have more accessories, more detail (in some cases a LOT more detail), and arguably more articulation.  It’s Hot Toys quality at a smaller scale, no cloth, and nearly a quarter of the price. I just need a place to put them in the toy room, which isn’t that big of a deal I guess.

3 thoughts on “Leaving The Comfort Zone- Play Arts Kai Ezio

  1. Argh, I completely forgot a comparison pic with other toy lines. He’s about 10 inches tall.

  2. What is the size? I saw him at SDCC too and like this one a lot but not sure how well it will fit in with the rest of figures.

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