Square-Enix Kingdom Hearts 2 Play Arts Vol. 2
Sora and Mickey return for another adventure...
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The first Kingdom Hearts game was released in 2002; one year after the Playstation 2 was released in the US. The new formula that combined the magic and characters of Disney with the style, design, and video game expertise of Square-Enix was an instant smash hit. Also unique was the new game play style that did away with the turn-based combat of Final Fantasy and allowed players to explore and battle in three-dimensional worlds, which were often those out of Disney films.
The series has since turned into a franchise with games featured on multiple systems including PS2, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, and the upcoming Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep for the PSP. Square-Enix has continued to create an impressive line-up of Play Arts figures based on both Kingdom Hearts 1 & 2 spread over multiple series. However, the latest set of figures is based on the Japanese exclusive re-release of Kingdom Hearts 2 entitled Kingdom Hearts 2: Final Mix which featured additional scenes and content such as the new Christmas Town level with themed costume for Sora. Along with the Christmas-garbed Sora, fans are treated to a new King Mickey Mouse figure wearing his Sora-themed duds seen throughout the game.
PACKAGING: The packaging of this series is similar to previous serious of Kingdom Hearts figures, but sans the j-hook hanger. The box is primarily white with KH-inspired border designs on the various sides. The package has windows on the sides, top, and the front allowing a full view of the figure within. On the back, each figure is featured against a backdrop featuring a courtyard within Traverse Town. On the inside of the box, each character is kept in place by a plastic shell and has a colored insert as a backdrop, with Mickey’s being yellow and Sora’s dark grey.
SCULPT: Christmas Town Sora takes many elements from the previously released Halloween Town Sora figure to create his more simplified and festive look. While he maintains his baggy pants, striped socks, and pointy shoes, he loses the bat wings and jack o’ lantern mask. His face is still partially covered, but this time by a fur-trimmed black Santa hat. He has fur-lined black glove in place of the over-sized white ones, but they still have long pointed fingers. Lastly, he gains a new form-fitting fur-lined coat with buttons-shaped like crowns and tightened belt. His overall look is sleek, but baggy, and most of the detail in his costume comes from the folds in the clothing and the shagginess of the fur.
King Mickey on the other hand takes the best things about the previous Organization outfit Mickey and makes and even better figure with the detail and sculpting of Sora’s traditional costume. The figure has tons of small details such as the zipper of his top, the straps and buckles on his top, pants, and shoes and the pouches on his pants. Just like the other Mickey figure, he has perfect facial sculpt of the character along with the trademark oversized feet and hands and long tail.
PAINT: Both characters in the set are painted beautifully, but while Sora has little to no defects or sloppiness, mistakes are much more evident on Mickey this time around. Sora, much like his previous figure, uses a lot of the same colors; this time he is primarily black and white. Despite that, he is given some nice airbrushing that brings out the fibers in the fur of his costume and give his face a shadowed look. His silver buttons and belt buckle and red-striped socks add some additional contrast to the figure. Mickey, on the other hand, is exactly opposite of his previous figure in that instead of being very simple and plain-colored, he is extremely detailed and brightly painted with a variety of colors. Many of Mickey’s zippers, seams, buckles, etc. are painted fairly well, but just as many have overrun paint and flaws in the application, especially on his shoes. But Mickey’s head is absolutely flawless and this makes the difference in the figure.
ARTICULATION: Both characters feature a fair amount of articulation, but nowhere near character in previous series. Sora has around 18 points of articulation including four points in the arms, three in the legs, his neck, waist, and feet. While Mickey, due to his short stature, features just 12 points allowing the necessary movement in major joints, but not allowing for very dynamic positions.
ACCESSORIES: Both Sora and Mickey come with Keyblades as accessories with Sora’s being the Christmas-Town themed Decisive Pumpkin while Mickey includes his standard Kingdom Blade “D” or Dark Side Kingdom Key. Mickey also includes a set of alternate hands.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: These two figures are great additions to the growing Kingdom Hearts figure collection (although it's not growing fast enough for me). The only other figure that has been revealed and which should be available soon is Jack Skellington. It will be interesting to see what figures are released next as we’ve had several series of figures and five games and still don’t have figures of two of the most important main characters: Donald and Goofy. Aside from these, it would be great to see figures based on the newest game, Birth by Sleep. The Kingdom Hearts Play Arts Christmas Town Sora and King Mickey are available now from Square-Enix.
Review and Photos by Michael Klein
Review Samples Courtesy of Square-Enix