Cloud and Sephiroth Theatrhythm Static Arts Mini

5.7 Overall Score
Painting: 5/10
Scuplt: 6/10
Accessories: 6/10

Concise, thematic packaging | Cutesy, original look | Sturdy and balanced | Accurate coloring

Conspicuous gaps | No shading | Some discolorations and paint bubbles | No articulation | Cloud's Buster Sword not removeable | Poor painting on small pieces

“Jenova will be at the reunion.”
“Not interested.”

Capitalizing on its marketing for Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, SQUARE ENIX released a series of Static Arts figures based on various characters from the game—Tifa, Squall, Cloud, and Moogle, to name a few. Intrigued by the new design and curious about Static Art’s latest figurine releases, I picked up the Cloud and Sephiroth Theatrhythm figures for a closer look.

Packaging

IMG_2626Ultimately, the boxes are minimal. The figurine is clearly displayed within the plastic casing, which does away with any real need for alluring stock images. Transparent facing allows for unimpeded frontal and side views of the figures, while the secondary side contains printed photos of additional Static Arts figures in the Theatrhythm line. Those who opt to release the figures from their boxes will discover another concise nicety: namely, that the brief instructions for “assembling” these figures (read: putting the swords in their hands) are printed on one of the flaps just beneath the topmost covering. This is wise move on SQUARE’s part, as it negates the necessity for loose, paper-printed instructions. Bright, thematic colors pay homage to the game’s cutesy design.

Painting

IMG_2634I suppose “simple” is the word that best does justice here. The paint serves its purpose by adding a bit of life and character-inspired accuracy to the figures. That being said, shading is practically non-existent, which is a two-edged (Buster) sword. On one hand, it emphasizes the cute simplicity that is Theatrhythm. On the other, it gives the figures a bit of an uninspired “bootleg” flavor. I noticed this particularly on Sephiroth, where a plethora of beads and armor plating go unshaded and look flat by comparison. Cloud’s SOLDIER gear, despite also lacking shading, feels somehow less flagrant (mostly because the chiseled depth is more distinct).

While overt errors are unnoticeable at a glance, closer inspection reveals some discolorations—small smudges, mis-colored lines, and incomplete coloring. Certain details appear to be colored without any real inspiration, which, if not for the sturdy material and erect sculpt, would suggest the figures were bootlegged.

Sculpt/Articulation

These are single-pose figures that lack even the most common-place articulation. The only real customization comes from the fact that the swords can be inserted or removed into the figures’ little, round hands. Sephiroth, as fans will no doubt appreciate, is in fact left-handed, while Cloud wields his Buster Sword in his right.

featured imageThere’s little to complain about in terms of proportion. Over-sized heads, stocky torsos, and stubby legs pay homage to the design’s overall “roundness.” It’s a cute concept that hints at the chibi style while simultaneously granting its own, unique look.

While the little details are all in place, however, a plethora of conspicuous cracks and gaps (places where the figures were not-so-obscurely pieced together) leave a bit of a “rushed” impression on the beholder. While not apparent to the passer-by, both figures bear small etches and paint bubbles upon close inspection.

It’s note-worthy that both figures have incredible balance. When I first unboxed them, I searched frantically for some sort of stand inside the packaging and was alarmed when I couldn’t find any. To my surprise—despite the unwieldy heads and tiny feet—the balance is fine-tuned… to the point where I’ve never once had to set them back up after a middle-of-the-night topple (as I occasionally must do for my non-supported Play Arts and Play Arts Kai figures).

Accessories

Sephiroth comes with the Masamune and Cloud comes with his Buster Sword. While Sephiroth can be displayed without his ever-so-iconic weapon, however, Cloud cannot. The grip of the Buster Sword is attached directly to his palm (the rest of the blade and hilt slides into the hollow of the grip), meaning that he can’t be displayed without it (unless you don’t care if he looks like he’s holding a funny Taser).

Final Rating

IMG_2633Especially in comparison to SQUARE’s more detailed, articulate figures, the Static Arts Theatrhythm line is far from “must-buy” status. What you see is what you get: fixed-pose figures without articulation. They’re deceptively large (about 4-5 inches tall) and, at a quick glance, satisfactorily colored and detailed. Closer inspection of the painting and sculpting, however, reveals some faults and a complete lack of shading (which harms the brand’s professional look). This, coming from the more detailed Static Arts brand name, is especially shocking. As I mentioned earlier, if not for the firm material and sturdy sculpts of the blades and figures, the colors and painting might even come across as “bootlegged.”

In conclusion, this line portrays select characters for a select buyer-ship. The re-imagined Theatrhythm style may be considered attractive or cutesy by some, but that stubby, chibi-fied, Pikachu-faced look may be a total turn-off for other collectors who are more likely to invest money in the likes of Play Arts Kai or Trading Arts Final Fantasy figures.

That being said, if Theatrhythm’s style is your cup of tea—er, Mako—then this may be the ideal figurine line for your collecting needs. Otherwise, unless collecting every figurine of a specific character (or, if you’re especially ambitious, collecting every figurine in the Final Fantasy franchise) is your goal, then there’s really no need to invest your gil here.

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Author: Casey Covel View all posts by
Casey Lynn Covel (known online as “Cutsceneaddict”) is an award-winning, published writer, avid reader, and aspiring author. She runs a nerdy writing blog called Meek-Geek and founded PROJECT: Magic Kingdom Hearts in 2012. When she’s not writing for Geeks Under Grace, Florida Geek Scene, Beneath the Tangles, or FROM JAPAN, she enjoys cosplaying, and has won several awards for her work. Follow her on Instagram for her latest cosplay endeavors. #meekischic

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