Play Arts Kingdom Hearts Axel


"The following is a guest review.  The review and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the guest author."

We have a new reviewer tonight, Kani Oz! He's looking at one of the cool Kingdom Hearts figures - take it away, Kani!

PLAY-ARTS is famous for their coverage of Final Fantasy VII Advent Children and Dragon Quest range for their top quality products. Back in 2006 Play-Arts thought that it would be a good idea to stray away from the Final Fantasy series and test out the popular Kingdom Hearts series from the recently released game Kingdom Hearts II. I was lucky enough to get my hands on this axel figure (which was the last one n the shelves) from my local EB Games store.

Today I will be reviewing Axel who is a Member of Organization XIII, a group of beings called nobodies looking for their lost hearts. And please mind the medium quality photos for my camera is 4 years old.


Packaging: ****
As you would expect from Play-Arts this figure’s box is beautifully presented with the kingdom hearts logo in the top left and a complete show of the full product. As usual from Play-Arts are also the windows on the top and both sides to show off the figure from all angles and to allow light to go through.

The back includes copyrights and a rather large picture of the product and 3 smaller portraits of other characters from the series.

Sculpt: ***1/2
Axel’s sculpt is almost a perfect liking to his In-Game counterpart. All body parts are in perfect proportion.
His hair has been recreated perfectly with every spike accounted for. 

There are also several crease lines on his costume and this makes his cloak looks very realistic and adds t the incredible detail put into this figure.

Another thing I'd like to point out is the draw string on Axel's cloak which is made of actual rope giving him more of a realistic look.

One thing I’d like to complain about is the lower half of the cloak which restricts the movement of the legs and prevents you from doing decent poses.

Paint: ****
Play-Arts is well known for its quality and Axel is no exception. He has no bleeding anywhere, perfect symmetrical eyes, clean and consistent paint everywhere possible.

I'd also like to point out how wonderfully painted Axel’s hair is. Most toy companies paint al of their figures one single colour but this figures hair is coloured as if  a sense of light was shone on it with the lower half of his hair (between the spikes) being deep red and getting lighter more towards the tip.

Articulation: ***1/2
The level of articulation on Axel is fairly good but it could be slightly improved.

Axel has 18 points of articulation including a ball joint neck, ball joint chest, ball joint shoulders, cut elbows as well as hinged elbows, ball joint hands, cut legs, cut thighs, hinged ankles and pinned feet.

Most of these joints work perfectly for many poses but one problem is that the cut legs are extremely restricted because of the lower half of his cloak allowing you to move each leg only a couple of millimetres.

Accessories - ***1/2
There are few accessories that come with this figure but I don’t see much need in too many because all axel does is try to pick fights.

The first thing you can notice when you see axel is the odd hula-hoop rings he uses. These are called chakarm and he uses both to make rings of fire and throws them at an enemy like you would a boomerang. Both of these are in extremely high quality and are painted to the perfect liking of its videogame counterpart.

The other accessories included with Axel are an extra pair of hands gripped into a fist. I don’t think many would use these hands but it is an added bonus for certain poses.

Axel stands well on his own but a stand might have been a good idea to include for those who want to pose him on an angle or are having problems finding his centre of gravity.

Fun factor- **1/2
Although many would have fun playing around with Axel I’d like to think of him being more of a display figure that you create a pose for and then you place him on your shelf to bathe in all of the kingdom hearts glory.

Value: ***1/2
This figure set me back $35 AUD (Australian dollars which is about 30 US). It’s worth you hard earned money but it could be slightly cheaper and I am sure that you could purchase it from eBay and discount online stores for about $20-$25 US.

Overall: ****
This is an awesome figure to add to your collection, even if you are not a fan of kingdom hearts this will be a great asset to your collection. It has perfect paint, great articulation, and a small amount but excellent accessories.

Score Recap:
Packaging ****
Paint ****
Articulation ***
Fun factor **
Value ***
Overall ****

Figure from the collection of Kani Oz.

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