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BringArts

BringArts – Final Fantasy VII – Cloud Strife

Final Fantasy, and Final Fantasy VII were once a pretty big part of my interest many years ago. I probably would not be Ramen Junkie online if not for alt.games.final-fantasy on Usenet. FFVII is probably the most popular game in the series, and while I prefer FFX, a lot of people consider it to be the best.

With the recent remakes, and all the spin off games and movies, the original character designs felt like they were kind of pushed to the side. I don’t really pay much attention to any of Square’s various “Arts” lines either I did not even realize these were being made until I got an email about the second “wave” with Yuffie, Cid, Vincent and Cait Sith. Fortunately, I was able to put in orders for the first group that I had missed.

I am going to put this out though up front. I missed the existence of these because I don’t follow BringArts because they are way overpriced. I have made an exception on these figures because I really like this game and these designs, but they are all overpriced. And I buy plenty of pricey “premium” figures. For the amount of accessories and the size, you get less than a Figma or S.H. Figuarts for 50% more in price.

Also, since this is the first of these, I wanted to mention Square’s lines a bit. They have several lines, all called “Arts”, two of which are figures. Originally it was PlayArts, these were around 7-8″ tall, larger than a standard 1/12th figure. Then it was PlayArts Kai (PAK) which were even larger figures with a bit of dramatic style to them. More recently they started doing BringArts, which are closer to Figma/Figuarts and 1/12th scale. I don’t have a ton of interest in the huge PAK figures, but these Bring Arts figures were neat and a better size.

So, enough history what about the figure itself?

Overall, Cloud looks really nice. These are modeled more on the original art than the goofy PS1 era 3D models. The sculpt is nice and crisp and the colors are really good.

The main issue on Cloud are some of the joints, specifically in the legs. In a static pose everything is fine, but the knees are extremely ugly when bent. It’s a huge single joint with no attempt to hide it in the sculpt. There are plenty of figures of characters with baggy pants that are able to mask the joints from other companies.

Otherwise pose-ability is alright. He is fairly easy to balance and his joints are stuff enough to hold a pose, which is especially important with his arms, since his sword is quite large.

The bigger issue for the articulation is the hips have a tendency to pop off. It’s not as loose and annoying as I have had with some MAFEX figures, but it’s there. It affects both hips, but on mine it’s worse on (Cloud’s) right hip.

He also only has one facial expression, which, granted, is pretty consistent for Cloud “…..” Strife. He has 4 extra hands (2 alternate sets) and his Buster Sword, to round out his accessories.

Another sword option would have been a nice extra to a have, though the Buster Sword is quite iconic and would likely be the only thing anyone used anyway. Maybe some sort of slashing effect piece or something would have been a good accessory to pad things out a bit.

A lot of this is not really bad, except it feels bad when paired with the premium premium pricing Square charges for these figures. I could forgive all of this a lot more easily on. Figure that was half or even just three quarters the price. For a $100+ figure, it’s kind of unacceptable how lazy it feels.

I also probably should mention, I think originally these had some sort of NFT nonsense attached to them, but I believe I saw somewhere those were removed for some reissues. There may have been something in the box but I have no care or interest in that.

All in all, Cloud isn’t a bad figure, he just, costs too much.