Updated: Mar 8, 2019
Here is the next #Playarts_Kai in my collection for this year: Dissidia NT's Lightning Playarts Kai! I've been off and on about buying this wonderful piece, but in the end, I caved in. So is she as grand as her in-game counterpart has made herself to be? Let's get to my review.
Much like the previous Playarts Kai/Final Fantasy figure(Noctis) I reviewed, Claire Farron is a 30th anniversary homage of the franchise as shown by the box. Pretty much the same idea with the nice picture of the figure and a tribute to the game this figured is based on. Since this is a Dissida product, it features said title and not FFXIII. But it does show some love for Lightning's original game at one side of the box.
More nice images of the figure on the back of the box. A lot of these promotional images I have seen before and I like how they replicate some of Lightning's famous wallpapers from FFXIII's introduction. These pics also requires stands that... well, you now, Playarts Kai doesn't have. I also had a terrible time getting the window box to show since the 'cover' of the box is far more unforgiving than Noctis'.
When it comes to accessories, once again Playarts Kai has a hard time selling me on the idea that this is enough. We get her gun blade in different forms: as the blade itself, as the gun, and then we get a part for the weapon so it can be sheathed. She gets two pair of hands and one right hand for a trigger hand. Again, nothing spectacular in terms of numbers, but at least it's not that horrible. Alternate faces and special effect would do well for Playarts Kai.
Right off the get go, we are once again graced with Playarts Kai's amazing aesthetics when it comes to Final Fantasy designs that are unique, busy, convoluted, and sometimes (more times than some, actually) a bit impractical. Lightning's is not the worse offender in those areas, but she has her own set of complications; on that topic, this is most definitely my favorite costume for Lightning.
There is a lot of sculpting and molding done just to replicate all the things that goes with Claire's costume. Pouches, straps, arm bands, etc. are all carefully sculpted, which could have all been easily been given the shortcut treatment, but we are talking about a higher end figure so for all the sculpted details to not be there would be a disservice. There are several differences in material; harder plastic to softer are everywhere and I'm really happy that they made her "cape" the way it is.
Her outfit is also not a symmetrical one so I'm glad that translated well into Playarts form. Also, I love her hair. It's sculpted to accurately portray how she it looked during her FFXIII and Dissidia appearance. The sone shoulder pads, the gloves, the wrinkles on her attire, it's impressive, that much is certain.
Beyond the already complicating designs of Lightning, Playarts Kai did not spare us from the amazing painting that would be done on their iconic heroine from FFXIII. Everything is accurate, sharp, and very clean. The way the clothing attire and accessories are painted does give off the idea off what texture said apparel are supposed to be (leather looks like leather, metal looks like metal, etc). Lightning's hair may not be as shiny in the game, but it works. But again, the skin tone is the least impressive with its doll-like shade, but it isn't bad at all. At the very least she has some shadowing on her bare skin.
As usual, accessories don't come in abundance with another Playarts Kai. One thing I can say is that at least the ones we get with Claire are very dedicated to her in-game appearance. The pics above already shown the option of her sheathed weapon. Then she of course, has the gun version and the blade version of her weapon (Squall, eat your heart out). A funny fact, I don't think Lightning uses the gun version of her weapon in #DissidiaNT. I could be wrong though since I don't use her as often; I don't use anyone as often as I use #Terra. But all in all, in regards to Lightning's accessories, as long as she has some alternate hands and her weapon is accurate to her appearance in FFXIII, I can't complain that much. But, again, alternate face/head anyone? Expressions could do a lot for a figure. Also, a working and practical figure stand will do wonders.
As far as her articulation goes, it's more or less the same as the other Playarts Kai I own. Because of the way they engineered the joints (and the characters' clothing design), there are some awkward things that comes out of moving Lightning to different poses. Yes, she can definitely be articulated, but her aesthetics will really suffer. Again my main issue are her ankle joints that are really agitating. Same issue I had with Noctis and an issue I HOPE I don't have with Terra (Espers, heed my call!). I wish Playarts Kai can at least just take some pointers from #Marvel_Legends. But what abates that issue a little bit is she has a swivel on her foot that I've only come across with Playarts Kai. Her 'cape' also has joint that allows it to go up and down. The only issue is that said cape is made out of a soft material so it doesn't go with the dynamics of some of the poses; it's useful, but at times not. Other than that, it's pretty much familiar territory with all the bend, swivels, etc. of an import figure.
Believe it or not, I was a huge fan of Lightning at one point. I own THREE Playarts Kai of Lightning. The first Playarts Kai of hers I bought was I believe was the first batches of Kai and I kept that inside the box (for some reason) and never opened it. But here's my new Lightning next to her older, Knight of Etro version. And yes, there is a significant difference in height. Both very detailed, but both have the same articulation issues. The Dissidia NT version's face is more accurate to her in-game appearance and sharper, but the Knight of Etro one isn't that bad either.
At the end of the day, I can say that I am happy with my purchase. I still stand firm that Playarts Kai has a lot to do with their figures and if they have these continuous glaring issues, my main thing with them is that they should really take the route of a lower price point and not by much, but a few extra bucks could help sell their figure and help please collectors who are really weary about purchasing their product (there are quite a few out there, honestly). Other than that, Lightning is beautiful, she has accessories that play enough tribute to her in-game form, and all in all, she looks good on my shelf. I recommend her, for sure, to anyone willing to look past the said issues with the price point over her head.
Until Next Time!