Updated: Feb 2
Oh man! Been waiting for this action figure for a LONG time! Finally I got the chance to pose her around and take pics! So here we are with Playarts Kai's Terra Branford as she appears in Dissidia NT (her character design is of course, highly inspired by Yoshitaka Amano's original design). I won't delay! Let's get on with the toy review!
Marketed as a Dissidia action figure, this #Playarts_Kai of Terra fits the mold of your typical packaging when it comes to this toy line. It has that dark and ominous clouds wrapping around all sides while the front is, of course, decorated with a promotional shot of the actual toy. I do enjoy Playarts Kai's packaging, but it won't kill the toy line if they are not as grand as they make it. Still, as long as the action figure inside has protection, then the box/packaging has done its job. But it doesn't really hurt to have the figure to be as decorated as it is.
The other portion has Terra's name and the numbered title she came from. Terra Branford belongs to one of the best of the franchise's main numbered series: Final Fantasy VI.
The back of the box shows more promotional pictures of the figure with some credits and warning labels.
The window design of the box is always something I like with Playarts Kai boxing. Its opens like a book, held by velcro, and when revealed, one has a transparent plastic that allows one to see the action figure inside. There's also a small bio on Terra and the world of Dissidia. Now there's no denying that Terra Branford is a favorite character of mine. Admittedly, Dissidia NT helped me recreate some of that lost love, but I fell in love with her when I played FFVI way back when. There was something about her story, her tragedy, her perseverance, and just something about that game in general that really resonated with me. It is my favorite Final Fantasy, and although FFX may topple FFVI here and there, I believe that if a FFVI remake/remaster does happen, I'm pretty sure it will be my favorite again (yes, graphics does matter). But no matter what, Terra was always the main character for me. Sure Locke, Celes, Sabin, Shadow, and Cyan are favorites of mine, but the story is primarily about Terra. She is an Esper, and for that, it truly does revolve around her. It wouldn't have been right if they chose anyone else to represent Terra to go against Kefka in Dissidia.
Now, let's talk about accessories with this action figure. As I had mentioned with Lightning and Noctis, Playarts Kai isn't up to par with what they provide their consumers. For the price point of each of these, quality isn't enough--it's good to have quality looking figures (though that is subjective depending on the person), but to also have quality accessories that plays off the characters that are rendered in plastic form is also undeniably, a must. Using Terra as an example, I think she would have benefited from spell/elemental effects and most definitely, alternate faces! And it's not like Playarts Kai isn't capable of doing so. They have provided us with such features before; the one that comes to mind that I own is Playarts Kai Supergirl. To continue not to rectify this issue, especially with characters as prominent as Final Fantasy characters who would benefit GREATLY from common accessories other high end imports provide... it's a bit baffling and discouraging. It's not like Playarts Kai's price point doesn't warrant with at least alternate faces. Shame, really.
What's even more of a shame is that I have to borrow from other lesser priced action figure to get some kind of "Terra-like" shot with some elemental effects (believe it or not, I'm borrowing from a Marvel Legends figure!). Okay, let's move on to the figure itself.
Now as far as the action figure itself, Terra is beautifully made. While the Magitek Knight outfit is no longer my favorite one that Terra wears, it is fitting that they would choose this over the Benevolent Maiden (although I'm hoping that Playarts Kai is generous enough to provide that sexier outfit of Terra in action figure form). From head to toe, the details that are given to us are quite nice. Anyone familiar with this version of Terra can see all the care placed, from the accurate sculpting of her boots, the lower part of her dress and waist scarves, the cape/cowl, and then, of course, the small little attention to the accessories on her hair. Her outfit is as accurate as they are beautifully done in their plastic form. Though for some, the way the cape is with all its joints and such may be a bit off putting, but that is a sacrifice one must have to take in order to give some dynamic form to it.
The shape of her body is also quite accurate since Terra isn't Tifa Lockheart in terms of voluptuousness and such, but the half Esper is not without her feminine shape and curves. Paired with the fact that her face has the same kind of accuracy with the way it is shaped, Playarts Kai did an amazing job molding the FFVI beauty.
When it comes to paint applications, Playarts Kai has some strong points here, more specifically, her clothing. Let's start with the cape since that is the first thing we see! There is a nice color shading that fades from yellow, to white, and then to pink; very accurate to her in-game appearance. The rest of her outfit has red dominating and peppered all over are floral designs, which are a good juxtapose to each other. Then, of course, the amalgamation of various different color schemes on her waist that are not only colors but also a handful of patterns that, for some reason, works out really well for Terra. The floral designs painted in are all also well done. All in all, the colors are done quite well.
Terra is pale according to Dissidia NT, but I don't mind the flesh tone they used for her skin. The hair has some fuzzy moments, but the sculpt and the accessories (especially the bow) makes it good enough--also, they're trying to replicate a 'green-blonde' hair color, which is kind of odd on its own. Now as far as the face goes, it's actually pretty good. I was a little worried looking at videos of her review but having her in person does make a difference. I like it and the purple eyes are clean as well as the eye liner and the lips. Again, I'm going to go against the fact that she has no alternate face swap which makes her a bit dull. She looks pretty and she looks like Terra... with a slave crown on. And let's be honest, she was very expressive in Dissidia NT.
As far as her weapons/accessories, the funny thing is that they gave her the dagger that she never uses in-game (Dissidia or FFVI). I'm glad they made it removable so it's not just decoration but since she only has one alternate hand for the right arm to have a weapon holding hand, I can't make her dual wield, or anything. This dagger is kind of useless, but cool to have.
Then there's Terra's Enhancer; her sword that she uses in-game as a conduit for her magical spells. She never actually uses it for melee, at least not gameplay wise. But there was a cut scene where Terra attempts to go one on one against Sephiroth and... loses pretty bad. Well, beyond that, the Enhancer is done quite well. It's a very simple sword, but it's unique enough and the purpose it serves its purpose especially in Terra's hand. It compliments the action figure well both in the portrayal of her in-game counterpart and for aesthetics.
Now as far as Terra's articulation, her Playarts Kai form has some strong points. Unfortunately, just like my previous reviews on the Playarts Kais that I managed to grab this year, there are some flaws that carries over to Terra. I'm going to point out what is truly a consistent mishap on Playarts Kai's part: those ankle joints that don't necessarily work as well as they should; it's awkward and it reminds me of the Y-joints on legs with some figures that I have. Definitely nothing like #Figma, #Figuarts, or nothing close to your everyday Marvel Legends. Playarts Kai is hard to work with and with characters like Terra who have high heels, tall, slender, and comes with a cape that isn't very light, well, it's a problem. Now I Was able to get some poses because I forced myself to make sure that the PAK figure stand works (because they are also not that great), but vanilla poses was a fight most of the time. The other thing, Playarts Kai hasn't figured out how to make the joints in the armpit look somewhat 'natural'. Characters like Lightning and Terra who are bare flesh in that area do not have good looking poses. With Noctis or any other fully armored/clothed character, it's easier to hide those joints--duh.
It's also hard to get a dynamic pose with a magic user like Terra who does not come with any special effects. Believe me, I tried to replicate some of her actions from Dissidia NT and I succeeded, somewhat, but all thanks to Hasbro and Bandai. But hey, at least I got some awesome pictures!
Speaking of Marvel Legends, here she is next to Bucky Cap. Definitely not in scale with your average 6 inch action figures.
Here is Terra next to the previous generation Playarts Balthier from FFXII and next to the first generation Playarts, Rikku from X-2. Obviously they do not scale well with past action figures from the same toy line.
And here is Terra Branford next to two of her Dissidia NT companions, Noctis and Lightning. Both I got earlier this year (seems like Playarts Kai got my attention and money this year too). They sort of scale good, but I think Lightning is a little shorter than I would like. I feel as if Claire Farron should be taller than Terra and Noctis is the tallest but not too tall next to Lightning. But all in all, they scale well together.
So I've been waiting for this action figure for a long time now. What's the conclusion? Well, as much as I really wanted it to be a strong contender for "Toy of the Year", I don't think it's going to have that title. It retains the ongoing articulation flaws of Playarts Kai, the lack of "ESSENTIAL" accessories, and the price point is holding it back. Come on, if I have to borrow from a Marvel Legends to give a high price point action figure a feeling of 'completion', then there's an issue. There's definitely a disconnection between the price tag and what is stuffed inside the box. Now me saying all that makes it sound like I don't like this action figure, the truth is, I do. The paint application are nice, the details are there, and she's pretty, and overall, I do feel as if Terra Branford finally has a quality poseable action figure on her belt! If I was to rank this, I think it's a good B minus or B, which, overall, it's pretty darn good! I love it and it will definitely have a memorable slot for 2018. For any Terra Branford fans, this is a must if you can stomach the price. Even then, that's a lot to stomach. I feel as if the price tag is the biggest hitter and believe me, I don't have a problem spending money with action figures--it's what I am given that makes or break the idea of it. At any rate, that's about it! Hope you all enjoyed this review! Can we make a Benevolent Maiden alternate, Square Enix, please? I would really, really, love that! We don't need more Cloud Strife variants. Seriously. Better yet, a Playarts Kai version of Rikku?
Until Next Time!