Play Arts Kai has been getting a lot of flak lately for some of the things happening internally in the line. We’ve seen some price increases most recently with Solidus as well as the Cowboy Bebop figures. While I don’t mind the price hikes per se (as long as the quality is still there and the QC problems are fixed), it’s nice to still be able to grab the currently released figures for some decent prices before they hit the aftermarket. That’s exactly what I did with Cyborg Ninja, aka Gray Fox from Metal Gear Solid.
Starting with Cyborg Ninja’s packaging: you get the typical Play Arts Kai window packaging from Square Enix. There’s some nice photos of Cyborg Ninja on the back of the box, as well as some cool graphics on the front and sides. Nothing out of the ordinary here if you’re familiar with Play Arts Kai figures.
Starting with the figure, I wasn’t expecting to see so much detail in the font across the figure. You can immediately see how much effort Squenix put into the figure from this alone. The “TOKUGAWA” across his head is tiny, but legible. Not to mention the wording across his rail gun. That stuff is extremely small. I have no idea what kind of machine they use to print that, but it needs some more recognition.
The paint apps on Cyborg Ninja are also fantastic. There’s that slight metallic sheen on the figure that really gives off that incredible 1998, Playstation One aesthetic (kidding of course, but the paint looks absolutely stunning.)
The articulation is all there for a figure of this size. What I REALLY liked about Cyborg Ninja was that just about every joint on him is ratcheted other than the obvious shoulder, hip and neck ball joints. Typical neck articulation in the figure, as well a nifty gimmick that allows the shoulder pads to slide over the shoulder closer to the neck when the arms are raised up. At first I thought my shoulder pads were loose, but this actually works very well. Kudos to Square for this feature.
Gray Fox also has the “newer” bit of bicep swivel articulation for the line that Square Enix has introduced that’s halfway through the upper arm where the blue and gold meet. It looks a little bit awkward if it’s bent too much due to the natural shape of the arm, but if you do it slightly it can give a little bit of extra movement if you’re looking to push the hands and arms closer towards the middle of the chest.
There is also a little bit of standard chest articulation. Not a huge amount by any means, but definitely worth nothing. Good hip articulation as well (I could fully rotate the legs around the body), and the knees are very solid and sturdy, and liked previously mentioned have some great ratchet joints. Even though there’s good articulation in the waist and knees, it’s a bit hard to get him in a sturdy kneeling position.
My biggest complaints with Cyborg Ninja come from the feet. The articulation is kind of “Meh”. Actually, it’s really “Meh.” Not much side to side action with them, and the from toe section articulation can only be twisted side to side giving the feet a really weird and unnatural look. I guess this is supposed to be a substitute for the lack of ankle articulation? Cyborg Ninja is also a bit tough to balance. I’ve seen a lot worse, but I really think it would’ve been in Square’s best interest to include a stand with this guy.
His accessories are another A+. The included katana w/hand, and rail gun are both sturdy and feel really solid. You won’t be finding Gray Fox’s sword on a Viagra commercial any time soon. The railgun also shines with the figure. The detail is just as good as the main figure (even smaller text on this!), and it looks absolutely beautiful attached to Gray Fox’s arm. I do wish that a few more accessories would’ve been included; maybe an alternate head?
Overall Cyborg Ninja/Gray Fox is a GREAT figure. Sure he has some downfalls with the feet and balancing (maybe some more hands too), but what figure doesn’t? He feels very solid with some stunning paint apps, and not to mention the awesome katana and railgun.