Square Enix has broadened their non-video game licenses to include the Marvel Universe, by virtue of their Play Arts Kai Variants line. Variants reimagine characters with hyper-stylized designs. With their DC, Square Enix used Variants to extend their DC lines beyond the movie and Arkham lines they already had in place. Marvel Variants, in contrast, allows Square Enix to skirt the edges of existing comic book or movie licenses that may belong to other licensees.
The Marvel Variants line begins with Spider-Man, Iron Man, and Thor, and Square Enix also teased an upcoming Venom in silhouette. With prices creeping up, the DC Variants are now in the $95 and up range from $60 – 70 a couple of years ago. If Marvel comes in at these prices, what’s your interest in the new line?
If you’re trying to recover from Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the ongoing Cyber Week, then Entertainment Earth isn’t making it easy. They’ve got a limitless supply of daily deals, and today’s Entertainment Earth Daily Deal is for Robocop, classic and… well, not so classic. EE has two Play Arts Kai figures by Square Enix. They’ve got the classic Robocop, and while the remake may not have captured the same magic as the original, the new Robocop suit makes for a cool figure. I’ve not been buying as many Play Arts Kai figures this year, since the prices have kept going up – but at 40% off today, I’d buy that for a dollar fifty-four dollars!
It’s always a joy for me to visit the Square Enix booth at events like SDCC – they’ve always got a slew of their Play Arts Kai figures from their video games, DC, and movie licenses. Most of the usual suspects were there – notably, DC Variant figures continue to see heavy activity (sadly, my picture the most interesting of them, the Harley Quinn, was blurry).
Some licenses are seeing a slow-down, at least in terms of display space. I saw only one Halo figure, while Street Fighter and Rorschach from Watchmen was a no-show, despite the fact that it hasn’t hit production yet. The Square Enix rep couldn’t definitively explain Rorschach’s absence, but it may be as simple as a lack of display space. However, with no other Watchmen figures on display, I wonder if that DC sub-license has stalled.
Square Enix’s Play Arts Kai lines have been favorites of mine for some time, and I’ve been a big fan of their figures from the Batman series of figures that started with Batman: Arkham Asylum. We’re now up to Arkham Origins, and for San Diego Comic-Con this year, Square Enix has an exclusive color variant of Batman.
There’s been some price creep over the past couple years (like with most action figures), to the point where these seem a bit out of reach. At $99, this would be the most expensive Play Arts Kai figure I’ve picked up. The run is limited to one thousand pieces, half of which are available to pre-order at the Square Enix site.
This will likely be a fast sell-out, so pre-ordering may be key. Happy shopping!
As a thank you for hitting 100K followers on the Sideshow Facebook page, they are offering free shipping on a bunch of products, including some from Hot Toys, Medicom, Square Enix, their own stuff, and more. When combined with their May the 4th $25 gift card, which is still redeemable and good through May 31st, there’s a whole bunch of options up for grabs.