Square Enix's Deus Ex: Human Revolution Playarts Kai
The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades...
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My gaming schedule is pretty full at the moment, but I am itching to get my hands on Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the latest action role-playing title from Square Enix. While the stellar reviews have made me want to play it that much more, I was already hooked on the game's fantastic futuristic designs, especially the characters. I was first introduced to these during Toy Fair last February, when a visit to Square Enix's booth revealed the trio of Playarts Kai action figures up for review today. I was instantly blown away by their cool cybernetic appearances. Protagonist Adam Jensen with his slick augmented shades and killer machine gun, hulking Lawrence Barrett with an arm that transforms into a minigun (!), and the spry Yelena Fedorova packing heat in the form of two cool compact submachine guns. Arriving at retail NOW, these figures come priced at a SRP of $54.99 each and are available for order at several of our fine sponsors, including ToyWiz.com and BigBadToyStore.com.
The Deus Ex figures come packaged in your now standard Playarts Kai closed window box. Made to comfortably accommodate the large 9-inch scale Kai figure inside, the large packaging attracts with not only a clear view of the figure, but with plenty of action photos on the back. Like past Kai releases, the figures and all their accessories come on collector-friendly slide out trays, perfect for future storage or mint-in-box needs.
The first Deus Ex figure we're going to look at is the hero of the game: Adam Jensen. With his groovy goatee and slick shades, Adam comes across as a beatnik of the late 21st Century, except this cool cat isn't here to recite poetry. Armed with a FR-27 SFR (Sanction Flechette Rifle) and retractable blades that can pop out of his wrists (swappable arm parts on the figure), Adam is ready to take on the bad guys, future-tech style. The Adam Jensen action figure is the most accessorized of the bunch, the gear nicely balancing out his streamline attire. Aside from his awesome portrait, Adam features great looking upper body armor riddled with minute details like spare ammo clips and securing rivets. His pants and shoes have a nice neo-modern vibe to them, with a thigh pack strapped on just for that extra geared-up military feel. Overall, it's a minimalistic wardrobe, but one that oozes hip near-future science fiction. It also allows Adam's extreme articulation to really shine. In what has become the Kai trademark feature, articulation is off the charts. Ball joints are everywhere, from his head, shoulders and thighs, to two pivotal spots on his waist and upper torso. Best of all is how well incorporated the articulation joints are with the sculpt. These are all nice and firm for the most part, though I will say that Adam's feet could use some tightening. As is, he stands pretty well, though the slightly weak ankles have caused him to keel over a few times. If Square Enix can work to strengthen this joint, the Kai body would be perfect.
Continuing on, Adam's arms are both mechanical implants - glossy black cybernetic limbs that demonstrate just how common body augmentation is in the game's futuristic setting. To further illustrate this future-tech, collectors can swap-out his forearms with outstretched blades. Doing this is as easy as pulling off the arm from below the elbow and attaching the new limb via a secure peg and hole system. Adam's hands are also interchangeable, Square Enix giving you the option of open, weapon-grasping hands or balled up and fisted. This is also a pain free swap, though do take extra caution with the wrist pegs - they are extremely thin. As the main hero of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the Adam Jensen Playarts Kai is the one figure to get. He's my favorite, looking equally amazing equipped with his assault rifle or combat blades... or both.
Next up is one of the heavy-hitting villains, Lawrence Barrett. For the money, this figure packs the most value, standing in at almost 10-inches tall and carrying some serious bulk to him. Where Adam's appearance was that of a high-tech super spy, Barrett's look is fullblown future military. Black and grey camo patterns on his pants and augmented arms directly convey his combat background, but in case you weren't sure, just get a load of that battle vest. Of particular coolness are the six grenades strapped to the front. While they aren't removable, they pop with color and intricate stenciling ("Frag" - love it!). Also of note is Barrett's flashy gold bull's head belt buckle. It adds some civilian charm to his combat clothing and compliments the gold ring hooked in his nose. I am assuming he's a high commander of some type as I don't see piercings like that flying over too well in the lower ranks.
Barrett's main attraction is a killer minigun arm attachment. Like Adam, the part swaps out below the elbow via a thick post. Once on Barrett is instantly transformed into a walking tank, the huge ammo pack on his back providing an endless stream of metal death. Seeing that their is no ammo belt, I am assuming the bullets feed into his arm weapon through his body - a very cool design. Also included are two pairs of interchangeable hands - open and closed. Again, Barrett's Kai articulation is nearly perfect - except for slightly loose ankle joints. This hurts this figure the most due to its extreme top-heaviness. Luckily these figures are built Tonka tough, as my Barrett has already fallen a few times. Still, display with caution or do what I did: glue one of his ankle joints down so there's no fear of wobbling. The ankle joints aren't super floppy, but just loose enough that a bump will cause them to shift forward (or backwards). Still, this figure is incredible and highly recommended right after Adam.
Lastly we come to another baddie - Yelena Fedorova. I'll admit I wasn't too keen on her look at first, but having the figure in hand has really changed all that. Fedorova grows on you courtesy of those unique futuristic "chicken" legs. Hey, it's Robot Chicken! Kidding aside, her leg augmentation is extremely fun to play around with - especially posing her running with dual submachine guns outstretched. This is all possible thanks to an included clear display stand that comes with the figure. It works ingeniously by locking around Fedorova's right leg via a scissor-like clamp. With the clasp closed and her right foot planted in the corresponding indentation on the base, Yelena Fedorova is free to pose as dynamically as you want.
Her other accessories include those two wicked-looking guns and the option for weapon-firing or fisted hands. Fedorova has a very punk look to her, with her half-shaven head and glossy black leather outfit. It's not a look that I am instantly drawn too, but her cool guns and amazing ability to be posed in countless ways more than make up for it. She's one of those unusually designed figures that you'll probably regret not getting later on. My advice? Pick her up now. Like I said, she grows on you.
It has been a long time anticipating Square Enix's Deus Ex: Human Revolution Playarts Kai action figures, but the wait has been well worth it. My only problem now? These figures have me wanting to play the game all that much more...
Fans of near-future, Blade Runner-like sci-fi are going to absolutely be amazed by the look of these figures. Add on extreme articulation on the perfectly scaled 9-inch tall Kai body and you have yourself some collectibles that not only look good, but are a blast to play with.
Review and Photos by Jeff Saylor
Review Samples Courtesy of Square Enix