June 09, 2013

[Toy Related] Play Arts Vs. Play Arts Kai

Lightning PAK against Kadaj PA
Check out their review!
I always wanted to do this and this is the right time to do it, because I think I already have enough EXP (pun intended) to differentiate some of PA's and PAK's ups and downs. It's time to a comparison between the old-school Play Arts action figure and the new-school Play Arts Kai action figure. So let's get started.

** BTW I will update this post as soon as I encounter new differences between the two.

- Window-type packaging with premium feel to it.
- Great build quality except for FFX/FFX-2 figures.
- Sculpt and paint application is great.
- Most late figures looks (or almost looks) like their game/movie counterpart.
- Display stand/base is standard issue except for Kingdom Hearts figures.
- They have Play Arts Arms accessory packs.
- Over 20 points of articulation.
- Highly playable.
- Can take a 4ft. drop and will never break.
- They're cheap this days except for the rare limited editions.

- Some early figures look horrible and doesn't look like the original, like first-gen Cloud and Vincent a.k.a. Michael Jackson.
- Some minor inaccuracies on the accessories or the figure itself.
- PA figures have different amount of articulations.
- Figure articulations can get loose from too much playing and re-posing.
- Limited poseability on some characters (character design issues).
- Few amount of accessories. This is where Play Arts Arms comes in.
- Only Square-Enix characters are made.
- The market is infested with bootlegged PA's.
- Some PA figs are hard to find now.

Reno PA questions Catwoman PAK
Click the links for their review
- Premium packaging.
- Latest packaging type are which what I like to call "Coffin" or "Book" type and it's highly presentable.
- Super accurately detailed sculpt and paint applications.
- PAK's now looks like their master/original model figure
- More accessories on some figures.
- Some figures are larger (MGS, DMC, FFXIII, Assassin's Creed).
- Over 26 points of articulation.
- Latest PAK's have ratcheted joints that clicks into position when adjusting the elbow/wrist/knees/feet/legs.
- PAK's features and details improve whenever a new figure is released.
- Playable and highly pose-able.
- Can take a 4ft. drop and will never break, if you're lucky.
- PAK's now have characters from 3rd party games and movies.

- Some figures have random problems from paint apps to build quality.
- PAK action figure parts may break or fall off even from unboxing.
- It's really hard to make them stand without a display stand especially if they're girls wearing high heels.
- PAK's are very expensive.
- Most figures lack display stands/bases.
- Inconsistent scaling.
- 1st party game characters became secondary priority.
- Few popular PAK figs are bootlegged.
- With careful observation and luck, you may obtain your perfect and highly durable PAK figure.

That's all what I know so far about Play Arts and Play Arts Kai figures. Obviously PAK's won because of its advantage but also lost because of its disadvantages especially the build quality to PA's. Even with flaws, PA's and PAK's are good subjects for toy modders. They improve their action figures by repainting and re-sculpting them to perfection. I think they can repair their broken PAK's too. But that's not the case for average toy collectors like us, because we don't know anything about customizing/modding PA's/PAK's. Hope this blog post helps. :D

Cheers and Happy Collecting!


  1. I can see that you are putting a lot of efforts into your blog. Keep posting the good work.Some really helpful information in there. Nice to see your site. Thanks!

    Play Arts Kai

    1. You're welcome buddy! And Thank you too! :D