Play Arts Kai Ignis Scientia

        I feel a distinctive need to start this with the phrase, "ten years".  What was once Final Fantasy XIII Versus eventually became Final Fantasy XV, and 2016 has been the year of Square-Enix bestowing many gifts upon us all.  Or mostly just giving us things to spend more money on, but considering I've been following the development of this game since the first trailer, it's still kind of a novel idea to buy merchandise for it.
        I think I was doomed from the beginning.  Well, from the initial demo (Episode Duscae), anyway.  The characters, the banter, the feel of the world and the combat... yep, screwed completely.  I held my breath in wishing that the four main characters would get action figures, but also... let's face it, hell yes I'm going to jump on that.  Especially after my experience with PAK KH2 Riku.  Good-bye, money, I never knew you.

        This.  Stupid.  Box.  This is the best picture I could get.  It's glossy and desaturated and absolute hell to get a decent picture of.  Whatever, it's going to be destroyed anyway, but the point is it's really classy looking.  Pretend I managed to capture that.  Also there are shiny foil bits.  I mean, you've gotta.

        I'm afraid the back of the box only makes it more difficult to wait for the other figures.  Also, apparently I'm not supposed to choke on small parts or something.  I'll see what I can do, but no promises.

        The inside flap is also pretty classy, I have to say.  ...And yes, that was the clearest I could get the text regardless of lighting and camera settings.  The box was giving me some problems but now it will never hurt anyone again.  All you need to know: Ignis is smart and deadly.  And definitely uses some kind of product in his hair.  That's probably not really all that important.  Text:

A composed and brilliant young tactician

Ignis was raised alongside Noctis to be adviser to the heir apparent.  An intensive education instilled in him the resourcefulness and composure required for his role, his tactical acumen proving invaluable to the prince's retinue in the wake of Niflheim's attack on the Crown City.  Before all else, however, he is Noct's trusted friend and confidant; having grown up together, he knows the prince like few others do.  Versatile and meticulous, Ignis wears many hats during the journey, looking after his companions as both chauffeur and chef.

In combat, Ignis wields a pair of short swords with consummate speed and precision.  Ever at Noctis' side, he watches the treacherous tides of battle, plotting a course to a victory for his allies.

        Another terrible picture, but by that point I just really wanted to get him free already.  I have to say that the "etching" of his two knives/short swords on the plastic was once again a really nice touch.  That's not the flash's work, either; they have a very neat "glow" to them.
        But then I had to get done admiring and let the poor kid breathe.

        FREEDOM.  And parts.  Here's Ignis modeling the hand set that I find most hilarious: the "fixing his gloves" hands.  That is how you know he means business.  Or that his gloves are loose and he's fixing them.  Which could also mean business.  Along with those, he's got open hands, fists, and the "weapon hands" (more on those in a minute), along with those two utterly lovely knives.  Though they're officially referred to as swords, so I guess that makes sense with the length and all.  They're sharp and effective, this is the important bit.

        Now, again, I was already impressed with PAK KH2 Riku.  The detail was great... but Riku didn't really have all that much detail.  Ignis is another story entirely.  Having become familiar with the game model, the actual figure is really astonishing.  He has his skull pendant (which is ridiculously impossible to get a decent picture of without everything else going out of focus), his buttons are tiny skulls, and the shirt.  We cannot get past the purple leopard print shirt.  Then there's the belt bukle, the texture on his jacket, the glove... this is insane and amazing and still very flexible and painted remarkably well.

        See, hair product, I'm telling you.  ...But also the glasses.  I couldn't tell exactly what they were doing in the prototype product images, but seeing that they are actual clear plastic lenses pleased me.  More than it should have.  I may seal them with s protective gloss just so they won't get all scratched up, though.  Iggy needs to see.

        BACK TO THE SWORDS.  Oh the design is so gorgeous, and once again really pulled off in toy form.  Elegant, shiny, well-painted, sturdy, and S-E finally learned how to make a weapon work without potentially damaging either hands or the weapons themselves!  You just... pull the hilt right out.  Then slide it through the hole in the weapon fist.  Then reattach the blade bit.  It's so brilliant that it seems a little ridiculous that it wasn't used before.  Function!

        I don't know why the shoes amuse me.  They just do.  Patterned, high gloss.  And yes they do have red soles.  Ignis just has fancy freaking shoes for his delicate ass kickings, I guess.

        He's not a model, but.  The joints are pretty stellar.  The weight-bearing joints lock and click, the others move freely.  He's easy to pose and doesn't necessarily need his stand, though the height and the weight of the figure can make it a little challenging to find the right balance so he doesn't tilt over.  Luckily that's where getting to position the legs and ankles in so many different ways comes in handy.

        Still not a model, though also totally a model.  Of course I'm not going to pass up the opportunity for the ever important ass shot.
        A note on joints, as they are exceedingly obvious here: I get that a lot of people don't like Play Arts Kai joints.  Which is fine; aesthetically, some of them aren't so pleasing.  But the fact that S-E has learned to blend them into the clothing better, plus the fact that they work and don't leave the figure a limp mess that can't stand on its own, kind of balance everything out.  Even if the knees are still weird.  But then all knees are weird, that's just how they are.

        With the stand, going to kick someone's ass and/or set them on fire.  Not sure, hard to tell.  Also a great side shot showing off that line of... whatever.  On his pants.  I've been unable to determine what that is.  ...Possibly racing stripes.  Well it's an accent, anyway.  Fashion, I don't know.

        There, now I got that shot properly.  Laying on purple snakeskin velvet, being not-a-model.

        But of course I wouldn't want him to get lonely, so I introduced him to a friend.
        In all, is my bank account happy about all he money I'm spending on these things?  Oh, it weeps every night.  But are they worth the money?  Again, depends on individual preferences, but I really have to say yes for myself.  I'm able to see where improvements have been made, not just in sturdiness and range of motion, but in detail.  And while I really don't care much for the boxes, that really was some great presentation.  Are there exceedingly tiny paint mistakes?  Sure, like there always are, and they're always easy to fix.  I'm happy with Ignis, and I can't wait to welcome the rest.  Then be very, very poor but playing video games, so what else do you need really?