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Square Enix has debuted the first official photos of its Variant Marvel Play Arts Kai Captain America, seen last month in prototype form at Comic-Con International. As with other figures in the series, the design is a bit of a departure from what we’re used to seeing in comics or on screen, with a lot of body armor. Cap’s signature shield also receives a makeover; notice the grooves, raised stars and the addition of what looks like bolts.
While it’s perhaps not as awesome as Wild West Batman, or as outright crazy as Tetsuya Nomura’s reimagining of the Caped Crusader, the new entry in Play Arts Variant Kai’s Batman Timeless series certainly is … let’s go with elaborate.
Showcased by Square Enix at Comic-Con International, Steampunk Batman joins a line of collectible figures that envisions the Dark Knight in various historical settings. If at first glance you thought this was Medieval Batman, there’s certainly understandable. However, that figure is yet to come (along with Spartan Batman).
While Comic-Con International attendees got a glimpse of the unpainted prototype at the Square Enix booth, no one had seen the completed Play Arts Variant Black Widow action figure, until now.
Square Enix has unveiled the first two official photos of the upcoming figures, but has yet to provide any details. We can see from the images that Black Widow will come equipped with (for starters) two pistols, interchangeable hands and a blast effect for her “Widow’s Bite.” Plus, whatever those spiky things are at her elbows.
While not as radical of a departure as the recently revealed Batman and Catwoman action figures, this Variant Play Arts Kai Venom from Square Enix is sure to have its fans. Maybe even because, like the other Marvel releases, it’s not all that different from the character we know — just different enough.
The fourth figure in the Marvel Variant line, following Iron Man, Spider-Man and Thor, Venom features his signature t00-long tongue and unnerving grin — courtesy of interchangeable heads — but his traditionally black-and-white body here is armored and highlighted by purple. However, neither of those changes appears to affect his shapeshifting abilities, as the figure also comes with interchangeable hands, two of which possess oozing tendrils.
This morning at E3, Square Enix unveiled a new gameplay trailer for the long-anticipated Kingdom Hearts III, which the company confirmed will include elements from Disney’s Tangled.
The footage is sure to please franchise fans, who will be frustrated to learn there’s still no release date. That game was officially announced at E3 2013 following years of rumors and speculation, but there’s been little news about its development since then.
Eighteen years after the release of the original, Square Enix and Sony announced last night at E3 that they’re remaking Final Fantasy VII for PlayStation 4. Presumably other consoles will follow.
Development of the aptly titled Final Fantasy VII Remake will be led by key members of the original game team, including producer Yoshinori Kitase, director Tetsuya Nomura and scenario writer Kazushige Nojima.
We’ve written previously about Square Enix’s Variant Play Arts Kai line, which offers occasionally radical reinterpretations of characters ranging from Thor to Boba Fett to Wild West Batman, but for sheer weirdness, none of those even comes close to this Dark Knight action figure, hilariously described as “unique and stylized.”
Teased last year at Comic-Con International, it’s the work of Final Fantasy designer and Kingdom Hearts creator Tetsuya Nomura. It’s as if someone mashed together Zoltar from Gatchaman, Venger from the Dungeon & Dragons cartoon and Sauron from The Lord of the Rings into a horrible, glorious nightmare. A crime-fighting nightmare.
For fans who still have room on their shelves — and many in their wallets — after ordering the Darth Vader, Boba Fett and Stormtrooper figures, Square Enix has revealed the next release in its Star Wars Variant Play Arts Kai line: the 10-inch Darth Maul.
Although the design isn’t quite the radical departure we saw with the earlier reimaginings, it’s a pretty striking figure — one that comes complete with three pairs of interchangeable hands, dual lightsaber, split lightsaber, blade attachments and display stand.
With its Variant Play Arts Kai line, Square Enix reimagines familiar characters, ranging from Darth Vader to the Dark Knight. After teasing the prototype in February at Toy Fair, the company today officially unveiled its new take on Thor, and seldom has Marvel’s god of thunder looked so pumped, so angry and so metal.
This action figure isn’t a radical departure for the character (a Dark Ages-inspired makeover might’ve been fun), but it’s definitely interesting, with bulging veins, armor for days, and a hammer that’s half Thor’s height. The swinging Mjolnir attachment and lightning effect are nice touches.
Based on the new villain from the upcoming Batman: Arkham Knight video game from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Rocksteady Studios, the 11-inch figure is highly detailed, from the “A” chest emblem to the military fatigues to the translucent visor.
On the heels of Harley Quinn, the first images have surfaced of Square Enix’s Batman: Arkham Knight Robin Play Arts Kai action figure.
Based on the upcoming video game from Rocksteady Studios and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, the figure comes with removable hood, two pairs of interchangeable hands, bo staffs, bo staff shields and display stand.
Teased in February at Toy Fair 2015, Square Enix’s Batman: Arkham Knight Harley Quinn Play Arts Kai action figure is at last officially unveiled in a series of new photos.
Based of course on the upcoming video game from Rocksteady Studios and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, the highly detailed 6-inch figure boasts three pairs of interchangeable hands, two head sculpts, interchangeable ponytails, a police hat, a pistol, a candy-striped baseball bat and a display stand.
Square Enix’s Variant Play Arts Kai line has produced some terrific-looking action figures — we only recently spotlighted Darth Vader, Boba Fett and Stormtrooper releases – but this Wild West Batman may be my favorite to date.
Part of the Batman Timeless series teased at New York Comic Con that will include Spartan Batman, Medieval Batman and Steampunk Batman, it’s like a glorious return to DC Comics’ Elseworlds titles. Standing more than 10 inches tall, Wild West Batman is ridiculously detailed — ornate, even — with a tattered cape, chaps, boots, a grapnel gun (with holster), tomahawk and, best of all, a cowboy hat with its own little Bat-ears.
Looking at Darth Vader, Boba Fett and the Stormtrooper from Square Enix’s Variant line of Play Arts Kai figures, I’m reminded of Marvel’s 1977 adaptation of Star Wars, with its frequently wildly off-model characters. Here, of course, the deviation is purposeful — the Variant collectibles are all reimagined — and it works pretty well.
Sure, all three original designs are classic, but it’s kind of fun to see each of these armored warriors souped up, their looks taken more in a mech-infused direction (although as Star Wars reimaginings go, it’s tough to top Bandai’s samurai-styled Darth Vader and Stormtrooper).
Legal | The saga of Hi Score Girl continues this week, with the Osaka Prefectural Police charging creator Rensuke Oshihiri and 15 employees of publisher Square Enix with copyright infringement. Game publisher SNK Playmore originally filed criminal charges against Square Enix over the summer, claiming that Hi Score Girl, a comedy about gamers, used its characters without permission. Square Enix has recalled the published volumes of the series and halted serialization in its Monthly Big Gangan magazine. [Anime News Network]
Passings | Political cartoonist and collector Art Wood, a founding member of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists, died Nov. 4 at age 87. He donated more than 40,000 pieces of original cartoon art to the Library of Congress for its bicentennial, and the library published a book, Cartoon America, based on the collection. [The Daily Cartoonist]