Final Fantasy Trading Arts Kai Mini: Cloud And Squall
Kazuo is busy with his exams so this week I’m filling in for the figure review. Now, I’m a big Final Fantasy fan so I was very happy when Square Enix announced their new Final Fantasy Trading Arts Kai Mini line. This post covers the Cloud and Squall Kai Mini figures, while next week’s post will cover Yuna and present some
crossdressing figure posing mayhem.
We’ll be looking at the figures in chronological order, starting with Cloud.
Inside the box the figure parts are divided into two compartments. The main figure, optional faceplates, arms and weapons come in front in a normal plastic box while the accessories (speech bubbles, poles, stand) are glued to the back of the box. The only way to remove them is to rip the box a bit so if you intended to show the figure with the original background behind it you can forget about that.
You will need to remove the parts from their plastic mold yourself and you might end up having some edges that need sanding (mine had anyway).
It was really hard to attach the figure to the included pole. It’s hard to see in these pictures but since the pole doesn’t bend at all poor Cloud is actually floating a bit in the air and is not firmly on the ground. The Kai Mini figures are the size of your typical Nendoroid Petite and even though their heads are smaller than Nendoroid Petites they can’t stand on their own since Square Enix didn’t bother making their legs heavy enough. So you are basically stuck with a none functioning pole as your only posing option. As for articulations…well Cloud can move his right hand up and down and his head can be lifted or dropped a bit. Since Cloud’s normal hand is a fist a second open hand is provided for him to hold his Buster Sword with.
This is how he looks with the sword. As you can see Cloud is pissed since this is the only way he can hold his sword. As there are no articulations to this hand the only thing he can do is keep the sword menacingly at bay. The details on the Buster Sword and Cloud’s clothes are really nice considering the tiny size of the figure. As you might have noticed this is the Advent Children version of Cloud not the
Lego PlayStation game version.
Cloud comes with two speech bubbles. Obviously someone at Square Enix didn’t bother to check the figure prior to production because if they did they would have noticed there’s just no place on the base to put Cloud and the speech bubble together! However neither can stand without the base so if you only have one base this is how it will look. Thankfully the other bubble can be positioned to the left of the figure, thus helping it appear better.
The speech bubbles present two of Cloud’s more memorable sentences from the movie: “I think I want to be forgiven” (top picture) and “Stay inside my memories” (bottom picture).
Hey Cloud is riding on his Bike! Or is he? Frankly SE didn’t handle the bike very well. It doesn’t resemble the bike he had in Advent Children at all. That bike was had a very large elongated body. This bike is bulky, slanted and very very short. It kind of looks like Haseo’s steam bike from .hack//G.U. Cloud’s bike comes already attached to a second body so you only need to attach his head and he’s ready to go. The bike can’t stand very well on its own and tends to fall on its sides a lot. I couldn’t tell at first but you can remove Cloud’s right hand and attach a sword-wielding arm instead for that full “FF VII minigame” effect.
The road sign. It’s super small and yet everything on it can be read and it even has a small scratch and some dirt on it. I really like this. Well, that’s enough of Cloud for today. Off to the Healin Lodge you go Cloud. Time to move on to Squall.
As you can see Squall is really really pissed off. That’s because the hole on his back was so small the pole for the base didn’t even fit. I had to enlarge the hole with a knife and even after that the pole just barely holds him in place. The figure tends to pop out a lot. Again, like the Cloud figure Squall has lots of small details and a nice paint job. He does seem to have his necklace but it is shaped more like a horse than a lion.
Poor Squally got a really chubby version of his Gunblade. Come on SE! Why are you being cheap on plastic!
Squall’s arms can’t move at all so the Gunblade can only be positioned in the two ways shown above. I don’t like either of these odd positions. It just looks weird. Since Squall suffers from the same speech bubble problem Cloud had I used the extra stand I had from Cloud to make the whole thing much easier. The stands do click and stick to each other quite nicely.
Squall’s Balamb Garden uniform. I’m holding him with my hand or leaning him on his box in these photos because the Balamb Garden uniform just doesn’t fit the stand pole. This really annoyed me and I gave up on trying after a few minutes. Also worth mentioning is the below average paint job on this uniform.
Other extras include Squall’s ultimate weapon Lion Heart and miniture versions of Pupu and Cactuar. Wait a second, I’ve seen this Cactuar figure before!
Yep. It’s the same design SE used for their Cactuar key holder. This makes me wonder if we are going to see a mini Tonberry figure included with a future Kai Mini figure.
Since Cloud and Squall’s parts are interchangeable you can have Squall ride on Haseo’s bike ;-_-
So are these two figures worth getting? I’m a hardcore Final Fantasy fan and let me tell you this is a really hard question. If I had known beforehand that the Final Fantasy Trading Arts Kai Mini figure are so hard to position and fall down all the time I think I wouldn’t have bought them. I am aware that these are cheap figures and are not meant to be perfect but some parts (like the positioning of the speech bubbles) were obviously mistreated in the design stage and a the inappropriate pole hole for Squall is abysmal. So to sum it up, these are really cheap figures that you can get for a cheap price. Just don’t expect them to stand up straight.
Next week I’ll review Yuna and have some overall fun with these figures.