Originally posted on slangards.mulitply.com on Mar 22, 2010
Having already explained what I love and hate about Final Fantasy in my review of Lightning, I'll let it slide this time. Suffice to say that while I dislike the storytelling of the series, I am in awe of their designs. Vanille is no exception. This particular figure is based on the playable character in Final Fantasy XIII which was just released a week or so ago and is a very nice rendition of the "mysterious but upbeat young girl" as she appears in the game.
Again, like the old Play Arts figures, Oerba Dia Vanille comes in a plainly shaped box with a nice big window on it that shows off most of the figure, as well as the accessories that come with it. She has comes with two extra hands and two versions of her fishing rod; one folded and one extended.
When I first saw these, I had no idea about what the game was about, and I still have no real intention to play it. I thought the rod was some kind of magic staff from some kind of pantheistic religion that the other games seemed to have. Apparently, it's "a foldable fishing rod with multiple lines that can be reeled and used to attack enemies" (Wikipedia).
It looks rather odd to say the least, and I can't fathom how it is actually meant to be effective in combat, but it's a video game, so I'll cut them some slack. I hear that there's anime out there with characters that use giant staplers for weapons, so this is small potatoes right here.
In game, the rod is supposed to fold up and fit behind her back, but like they did with Lightning's Blaze Edge, they just gave us two seperate pieces. A word to the wise, you're going to want to be extra careful with them. I've already broken the folded one twice and had to glue the "arms" to the main body to keep it from snapping off again.
The folded version fits nicely in a pair of hoops that are attached to her fur skirt. The hoops have little nubs in them that are supposed to lock into holes in the skirt, but it doesn't work nearly as well as Lightning's holster. Still, you'd need to really work at it if you wanted the rod to fall out, so it's not a big deal.
The extended staff/rod looks really... ridiculous. There's no other word for it really. As a weapon it doesn't look effective at all, which is why I thought it was a staff or wand for a magic user. Who knows, maybe in game she grows into that role, but you'll need to ask one of those Game reviewers about that.
The staff is pretty slender and fits easily into her clenched pair of hands. It's so slender that it's actually a loose fit, so tends to flop around a lot. Again, it's not a big problem, since there are plenty of ways to pose her where it doesn't matter.
The other thing that's included with the figure is a stand. I've already explained the cons and... cons of this stand so I won't go into to much detail.
Let's just say that it took me FOREVER to balance her in the pose in the second picture below:
Articulation is just as impressive as the other female figure of this line. She's got just as many joints (give or take a few) as Lightning and is just as flexible. Like Lightning, she does suffer from some pretty loose hinges, but that is preferable to locked joints, especially in something that costs this much money (Php 2,300.00).
Below is a peek (pun intended) at the hip joints that Square Enix put into her. If she didn't have that skirt covering that set up, it would be awful, but thankfully, the design really does well in hiding it all.
Sculpt is even more impressive than the first figure. While I have to say I like Lightning more than Vanille overall, I can't fault her design or details. There is so much more here than on the other toy. From the tiny beadwork on her bag and necklace, the awesome pigtails that seem to flow naturally no matter how you turn them (yes, there are joints there, too), to the fur textures on her skirt; all of it is amazing.
The extra pair of hands are included as well, but they're really just soft gesturing poses. Good for casting I guess. I just use one set and left the others in the small box where I keep all my extra body parts. One day I'm gonna collect all those extra parts and make me a monster.
Scale wise... she's a monster. While she's no where near the 12" mark, she's getting there. She's a full head over the old Final Fantasy toys, and taller than even my GI Joe Sigma 6. Sad, really, since I used to display Play Arts and Joes together since the Joe line up was such a sausage fest. Hasbro I hate you for never making a Scarlett figure.
The height is still passable really, if you have them in an action pose, or if you pretend she's a supermodel in heels and the Joes are all Asian.
Overall, I think this was still a pretty good buy, especially since the production runs didn't seem all that crazy, and stores didn't import them in terribly large numbers. If I decide that I don't need to keep her, I could probably get a good price for the figure down the road and only lose a couple hundred bucks or so.
However, if you're going to only buy one of these figures, I'd have to recommend Lightning. She is just so much more impressive than Vanille.