November 14, 2016

[Toy Review] Noctis Lucis Caelum FFXV Play Arts Kai


The first ever playable prince that's a main dude in the main line of Final Fantasy games. He's Noctis Lucis Caelum, Noct for short, from Final Fantasy XV or formerly Versus XIII if you've been following the long development cycle of the game. I got his Play Arts Kai right here and I'm happy to have one. FF fans are still rushing to the toy stores to hunt and get this Noctis action figure as I write this review. And it's funny that the FFXV figures came out first than the game.

It's a coincidence that I finished writing and proofreading this review on 11-14-2016, night of the Super (Duper) Moon. Very fitting for someone who have the name that literally means "Sky of the Light Night" or my version, "Light of the Night Sky" .

"Shouldn't a king protect more than his son?"
~ Noctis Lucis Caelum ~ 

PACKAGING

      
Box's front and back.

The packaging is, like always, coffin-type. The front is simple and well designed with a product shot of the toy on the open highway and FFXV/PAK logos. This is now one of my favorite box designs. The back shows just one product shot of the figure with the preview of his bros: Ignis, Prompto and Gladiolus.

Front cover opened.
When the cover is opened, it shows the toy and its accessories through the box's window and you can read a few bits about the character and the game's story.

Noctis now out for a journey... to my display shelf.
Packaging includes: Noctis figure, Longer sword, Shorter sword, Left/right gripping hands, Left/right open hands, Display stand.

THE FIGURE

Not only Noctis looks cool in the game but also his action figure counterpart. He looks like an opposite of (or almost at same level of coolness as) Cloud Strife.

Checking out the prince in 4 sides
Noctis looks good on 4 viewing angles and his overall appearance is awesome and really accurate to his game counterpart when viewing the figure from a distance. The figure isn't too heavy and can withstand some punishment like occasional/accidental drops.

Mug shot of Noctis-oji.
Trust me, his face is reddish in person.
The face is 98% accurate and its shadings is too reddish. It stands out because of the less shaded neck. It's like he's wearing makeup. They paid more attention to his hair, his black, glossy Visual Kei hairstyle looks nice, it's carefully sculpted/stranded.

Noctis' threads. Designed by Roen.
Being an incognito prince out for a roadtrip, Noctis wears casual yet expensive-looking clothes. His black short sleeve jacket with collar feels smooth. It's soft and well detailed with some folds and wrinkles and it also features pockets/pouches and silver painted studs and zippers for detail. He wears a normal dark gray shirt underneath the jacket. The shirt have really cool tiny skulls and crossbones design. I want that t-shirt!

The lower part of the jacket.
The lower back part of the jacket have an embossed skull and crossbones and few pockets.

Can someone describe the design of this glove?
The arms looks fine. They're painted well and also have some reddish shadings. The left have a long leathery glove that have some details like those little "round-ish" things and some parts are glossy. The right arm is just bare.

These shorts also looks similar to young Hope's shorts.
Noctis wears a normal-looking black 3/4 cargo shorts. It's also detailed, some parts also have silver studs. It reminds me of Cloud's (FFVII:AC) pants, but shorter. Straps are present near the belt buckles that I call "loose straps". It serves no function, so why is it there? Anyway, it makes the shorts look different and cooler than others.

Nice boots, bro.
His boots looks awesome, really well designed and very glossy.

The boots' threaded red outsole.
The red outsole gives boots more awesome points.

ACCESSORIES

Noct can use a variety of weapons in battle. This Noctis PAK have two weapons: a longer and a shorter sword, I don't know their names. He also got a pair of gripping hands and open hands.

As always, standard stuff.
If you bought/pre-order the game's ultimate collector's edition, you'll get a spear instead of a longer sword as an exclusive.

I'll just call this "Royal Sword".
The longer sword looks awesome. It's super detailed and have wings and ornamental design sculpted on. The handle resembles a motorcycle handlebar grip with a crossguard that looks like a clutch/brake. Be careful on attaching the gripping hands on this sword because there's a chance that you might break the crossguard.

A closer look at the sword, see the jewel and all the detail?
It also have a spherical jewel made of transparent plastic, it looks really cool.

"Engine Sword"... a fitting name for such a sword.
The iconic shorter sword (as seen on the old promo render of Noctis in Versus XIII) looks awesome too and features mechanical parts that resembles a motorcycle engine.

The swords are really sculpted, painted well. How did they came up with the swords' design?

The extra hands.
The default and extra hands are detailed, especially the gloved left hands that also features some glossy parts.

"Royal Sword equipped on the right hand.

"Engine Sword" on the left hand.
The pair of gripping hands are hard but still flexible, so attaching the swords can be difficult. I suggest you flex it first for a bit then attach the swords. Like I said be careful on attaching the swords especially the longer one.


Both swords equipped.
Thanks to the gripping hands, Noct can dual-wield swords.

The "sigh".
The open left hands are for stylish poses. You can also do some gestures with them.

PAK display stand.
Use the display stand if you want to pose Noct in a dynamic/aerial pose. As for me, nope, still not gonna use it.

ARTICULATION, POSING AND SCALING

Noctis' FFvXIII pose.
This is a PAK action figure of Noctis, that means it got lots of articulation points making it highly poseable. Some articulation points might be limited because of the figure's design... we'll see.

Being cautious

Ready for some hand to hand combat.
Noctis' head can look to the left and to the right easily. He can look down, but it's difficult for him to look really up high because of his hair and collar. The neck articulation really helps Noct's head to move a little more.

Using the "Royal Sword' to attack.
This fig have a hinge-ball joint hybrid articulation. The stiff hinge part makes it difficult for me (who is afraid to break the toy because of my strength) to pull an ab crunch on this fig. On the plus side, Noct can still lean on the ball joint part. The waist joint moves well too, but it may look odd and expose the hollow areas when totally moved to one side.

Ah yes, in case you are wondering, yeah I checked the back of this toy if it's hollow. I don't want to take apart this figure so I just peeked underneath the sides and back of the jacket. I can't confirm it but it looks like it's hollow and it's really not obvious.

Turning back hand sword swing.
For more convincing dynamic poses, the lower back part of the jacket is also articulated via ball-hinges and they're made as a two-piece part.

Knuckle crunching.
Shoulders are ball-hinged with nice range of movement. There's a cut on both sides of the jacket to lessen the limitation of the arm's movement forward to the chest.

Casually preparing to cast a spell.

Dual sword defensive stance.
Biceps can't swivel (odd) but the ball-hinges on the elbows and wrists can. Elbows have nice range of movement, it can fold up to 45 degree angle. I don't have any problems on the wrist/hand movement.

Cross swords pose.

More sword swinging.
The crotch part have cuts in front (that's new) for leg movement. Both legs twists normally. They can move up front, a little to the back and up to the sides.

Advancing.

More spell casting pose.

The knees are double-hinged and looks good when folded. Noct looks good when doing some moves in the game. Fortunately this toy does too, but it's difficult to make him sit down because of the lower part of the jacket, you'll need to figure it out how to make him sit right.

He can really pull poses without falling down.
The feet are ball hinged and can move freely thanks to the character and toy design. The feet have toe swivel, but I wish they have toe hinges instead.

The height measurement of this Noctis PAK is around 10 inches, so he'll definitely look good with the larger scale PAK figures.

Wow blurry photo, I must have bumped the tripod while taking the pic.
Let's start with the FFVII:AC group. Wow, Noct is taller than Cloud and Tifa, but he's still shorter than Barret. Good scaling.

It's good that Noct broke free of from the XIII series.

Noct is taller than these two FFXIII girls: Lightning (LR:FFXIII) and, for the lols, Serah (FFXIII).

These kids are short.
Both Kingdom Hearts boys Sora (KH3D) and Riku (KH2) looks awkwardly shorter than Noct.

Noct with two archers from two different worlds.
Lara Croft (RotTD) is at the same height as Noct while Fran (FFXII) is taller. Did I ever mention in previous reviews/posts that I measure their height/scale depending on their eye level?

These two girls can really fit in with Noct's world.
The Variant (Nomura-designed) girls have pretty nice scaling with Noct. Catwoman (Variant) and Noct have the same height while Hatsune Miku (Variant) is shorter.

Raiden, Noct, Harley amd Leon.
Finally, comparing Noct's height with characters from multiple titles. Raiden (MGR) is the tallest, Harley Quinn (B:AK) is shorter, she could use a bit more height though, Leon (RE6) is the shortest in this picture.

QUALITY ISSUES

I intentionally didn't inspect this toy that I got so I can share some of the toy's quality issues in this review. Luckily this toy doesn't have any major/toy breaking flaws and I didn't find any paint drops/smudges/sticks on it. It's almost a perfect figure! Still I encourage you guys to better inspect the figure first before purchasing it.

CONCLUSION

This Play Arts Kai action figure of Noctis is pretty cool and sturdy. I'm glad to have him on my collection. His design is simple and more practical, because of that, the articulation points works well. I don't like the reddish skin shadings. His accessories are limited to 2 weapons and few necessary extra hands. Cloud (FFVII:AC) PAK is superior to Noctis PAK because Noct is expensive and have fewer stuff than Cloud who's cheaper and have lots of stuff. I only recommend this to Final Fantasy fans and those who have enough cash to buy one.

Cheers and Happy Collecting!

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