Play Arts Kai Gladiolus Amicitia

        The battle cry of TEN YEARS continues.  I mean, that's not really a reason or an explanation, but those are the words I'm using, so.  There.  Anyway.
        I pre-ordered Gladiolus at the same time I pre-ordered Ignis and Prompto, because while I'm not a completionist by any means, I sure wanted all four main party members and was not going to let a little thing like wondering how many organs I'd have to sell to be able to afford them all get in my way.  (Don't ask, I can't legally disclose the answer.)  I did not know at the time that Gladiolus and Noctis would be releasing in the same month and so shipping for both was... a bit.  Less than if I'd had them sent separately, though, so.  Tiny bullet dodged.

        These damn boxes.  At least I think the splash of color on this one helped the camera to focus, but it's still a horrible picture.  ...Once again the pose amuses me.  Mr. "Not a Model" probably tossing out brotherly advice or just... standing there in the middle of the road.  You know, whatever.  Any car that hit him would suffer more damage than he would.

        Oh, Gladio.  Could you make your lack of a shirt more obvious.  Well I guess you could take off your jacket, but I noticed that's impossible due to it being fused with your back. *cough*  Moving on.

        These pictures get worse and worse.  I mean, the image itself is nice, but the text is less so.  In that case, may as well type out the last bit there:

Warrior, friend and brother

Gladiolus is the eldest son of the House Amicitia, a noble family that has long served the royal line of Lucis.  He and Noctis have known each other since childhood, and their bond transcends that of lord and retainer.  Through rigorous training, Gladiolus has developed a formidable physique and prodigious combat prowess, with these qualities and his big-hearted nature earning him the trust, respect and love afforded an elder brother.

Brandishing a greatsword, Gladiolus reaps the benefits of reach while delivering devastation to foes.  Placing the safety of others above his own, he is the rock upon which both the party's defense and offense are built.

        Yes, his sword is technically a little bit taller than he is.  Final Fantasy!  He looks kinda ready to punch his way out, honesty.  I'm glad I got to enjoy that "etched" sword design again before he did.  Again, presentation is really something with these boxes... but in the end they're just boxes and are to be destroyed.

        Freed of his plastic prison and ready to kick some ass, it looks like.  Gladiolus comes with two open hands, two fists, and two sword-holding hands.  Then there is the big damn sword.  Pretty sure that's most of why Gladio's just a touch more expensive than his companions.  (The other reason: muscles.)

        Yes I dove straight for the obvious detail, okay.  Gladio's distinctive tattoos are certainly present (and more on that later), but his nipples... are not.  I guess I'm not surprised, but I hope this means he still has nipples on his game model.  Let me have hopes.  (And nipples.)
        Why yes it does truly appear to be an eagle.  Also, his necklace is clearly present, along with the skull button details.  And, okay, ignoring the obvious, chest and abs definitely present.  Showing off the bodyguard assets.  We're all quite aware that Square-Enix knows their audience by now.  Still, just, damn, that detail.  Very subtle shading on the skin makes it look pretty damn incredible even in this slightly harsh lighting.

        This is a dumb thing that only I would notice, but.  The head/hair seam here is phenomenal.  It's a little more obvious in the picture than looking at it with the naked eye... at least, if you know what you're looking for.  I'm just saying, damn fine job in design and assembly of the front and back of the head.  Yes, that is a ridiculous thing to comment on.
        Also, his hair is soft.  Not "doll hair soft", obviously; it's still plastic.  It's just a really, really soft flexible plastic.  I found that interesting and wonder if it'll be incorporated into later figures.

        I don't know why, I just needed this pose.  Vaguely threatening or celebratory... while being vaguely threatening.  He's a teddy bear though, really.  ...Depending...
        Of course I forgot to get a better shot of the scar over his left eye, but that's done really well too; obvious but faded as an older wound.  ...And I don't know why his sparkly shoes amuse me so.  They aren't supposed to be sparkly, just textured, but they have that high gloss sheen on them so they look a little like they're meant to be glitter shoes.  Points added to score.  Specified reason: "glitter shoes".

        "Not really posing" for the traditional ass shot.  And we're all appreciative.  More really great back detail on the jacket can be seen here, too.  Once again the image of an eagle graces his back, with "LOVE AND PEACE" at the top (haaaa) and... the scroll at the bottom is exceptionally difficult to read because of the way it reflects light and the fact that the text is ridiculously fancy.  ...This requires further investigation because now it's driving me nuts.

        Of course I only see now that I didn't push the sword handle in all the way, but most of the way.  So the sword is still taller than him, but not by quite this much.  Like it matters, but still, accuracy.  SWORD'S BIG GUYS.  You kind of have to have muscles like that to lift it.  I'm sure some kind of magic would help.

        Time for an ass-kicking.  Or, you know, death.  Death seems more likely.
        Here is a really great example of why I've been adoring these figures: nothing's holding him up.  He's balancing himself.  Even with that big-ass sword, even on freaking felt.  Yes it took some time to find the exact right angles and rotations for his knees and ankles, but he can do it.  It helps that Gladio's definitely a heavier figure; some of that extra money went into just the volume of plastic he's made of.  No complaints.

        I TOLD YOU IT WAS BIG.  Looks incredibly awesome, though.  Just.  Damn.  Where the hell am I going to keep this.

        Also, just.  A little point that I appreciated.  Bend his right leg and the chain extends all the way no matter what angle the hip is at.  It's a nice touch for detail.  Speaking of, look at that detail.  ...And another sparkly strip along the side of his pants.  It's a theme.

        I had to know if he had any of that tattoo on his back, since we've seen it in game footage.  I was incredibly surprised to find that there's a fair bit actually under his jacket, though if you tilt him enough you can see where it cuts off just below his shoulders, as the jacket is attached to him just above that spot.  Still, this is pretty cool and a great detail.
        ...And yeah I still feel... weird about this picture.

        The large man protecting the tiny prince.  By messing up his hair.  (Not that anyone can tell.)
        If you've read the other PAK FFXV not-reviews, then you already know I'm hugely in favor of the direction that the Play Arts Kai line has taken, particularly with the exceptionally detailed FFXV characters.  I continue to be astonished at the potential for balance without a stand, the range of movement, and the overall quality for the price.  They are pricey, particularly Gladiolus, but... damn, just look at the result.  Worth it.