June 26, 2015

[Toy Review] Serah Farron FFXIII Play Arts Kai


It's not complete if Lightning is just standing on my display area without her dear sibling so I bought this elusive Play Arts Kai action figure of Serah, Lightning's younger sister. Why do female PAK characters difficult to acquire? This is the non-combatant FFXIII version, not XIII-2. I bought this toy out of curiosity design-wise and build-wise, and yes, this action figure is cute, it's rare and got pink hair (I like hot chics with pink hair).

"You can save us... protect us all... save Cocoon"
~ Serah Farron ~

PACKAGING

[left] frontside of the box
[right] box backside

Earlier Play Arts Kai figures have window-type boxes as standard packaging. Some latest figures like Metal Gear Solid/Rising PAKs still use this type of packaging. Serah's box is full of pink and you can already see Serah and her accessories inside the box. At the back are some product shots and poses of this figure. This is volume 3 and Serah is the only character on this volume... what, no Cid Raines, Jihl Nabaat, or any NORA members? I would like them as an action figure too.

Yeah... wow... you're lucky you're cute, Serah Farron.
Packaging includes: Serah figure, Extra pair of closed hands... no manual slip!?

THE FIGURE

Wow, she really is cute. She's one of the reasons why Lightning, Snow and the rest of the party (except Fang) made some ruckus on the Purge train and became l'Cie fugitives. So cute girls means trouble? Hmmm, I can see the pattern right, Vanille?

Handle Serah with care
The sculpt, paintjob and overall presentation of this figure is great. The bad news is that she looks and feels very fragile. Anyways, Serah looks beautiful on any viewing angles. She's also colorful and pleasant to the eye, sort of a stress reliever after long hours of playing video games or working.

Cute!
Serah's cute face is about 90% accurate. She's got big glossy anime eyes and she looks like a cat to me, and I like cats. Her lips are rosy pink.

Looks like a twirled bubblegum
Her soft pink hair looks fine and her side-ponytail is articulated. Hair paint application doesn't have any highlights/shadings. Her hair reminds me of bubblegum.

That's cute and girly.
Serah wears a summer-themed fresh and pleasant looking sleeve-less buttoned top and plaid skirt. The whole get-up is colorful. The buttoned top on this toy doesn't reveal a much of her skin in the waist like in the in-game and promotional 3D renders, but it's still revealed a bit though.

The silky vest tied with ribbons
She also wears a pink silky vest that's tied with ribbons at the back. This makes Serah stand out with the rest of the other PAK figures. It's made of thin soft plastic and it's translucent. It also got some shadings on some parts.

Serah's engagement pendant
Her necklace is permanently sculpted. No problems on the paint job but it would be nice if this is a separate accessory, like classic Play Arts Selphie's necklace.

[left] The bandage is detailed. It even got a couple of metal clips
[right] the left hand with jewelry accessory

Her arms and weirdly huge hands have simple paint application. Serah's left bicep is bandaged to cover her l'Cie brand and her left hand have a sculpted accessory.

The black arm band makes the right arm less boring.
Serah's right bicep have an arm band that looks similar to Lightning's.

Nicely made skirt.
Her skirt looks good, It's plaid in pattern without any paint slacks present. It also got a gold metallic thing attached to it in front and a laced bottom. The skirt have a nice feature which I'll discuss later.

The stockings
Her legs have very long stockings with a diamond shaped accessory on the left leg. The garter part of these stockings got a waffle pattern design for detail. The stockings have thin skin color applied to it, to show that the stockings are thin that shows the skin a bit.

Her Chuck Taylors are custom made to look pointy
The Chuck Taylor style shoes of hers looks good and pointy. The shoelaces looks glued but they're well made.

Okay, for the perverts out there, she's got an almost flat butt (Kairi's butt is nicer). BUT, I want to (or let the modders) mod the panties into "skorts" (skirt and shorts combo) like those she wore in FFXIII-2's dream scene.

No paint chip, drops and sticks found anywhere in this figure.

ACCESSORIES

I don't like toys with few accessories, but I will let Serah cut the slack because she does absolutely nothing in the game, she's just one of the plot devices or Lightning and her party's driving force to fight their fate. The possible accessories she can have is the foldable survival knife or the Crystal Tear. Well I can find some unused Bowsword weapon from FFXIII-2 and let the modders make me more extra pair of hands.

Yep... That's all of it. They look good though.
She's only got an extra pair of hands, just like Rinoa Play Arts figure. Again the extra left hand have that sculpted wrist accessory.

She didn't came with a display stand, which is a downer for the others because the rest of the FFXIII crew have display stands. Anyways, she can stand on her own (with great weight balance) even though she's got a small pair of feet.

ARTICULATIONS, POSING AND SCALING

Serah's got fewer articulation than the other PAK figures. And since this is an earlier PAK figure, it doesn't have those fancy clicky ratcheted ball-hinges. But she can still pose pretty well enough. Careful on posing her though, most of her joints tends to get loose and get wobbly.

Hello Miss Farron.
Serah's head have nice range of motion with minor limitation by her collar. She can look up, down, left and right well. Like I said earlier, you can also move her side-ponytail that can swivel.

Just standing around, worried about her l'Cie brand.
She doesn't have chest articulation, a minor gripe that can be forgiven easily. Waist articulation is kinda limited because of the bottom part of her sleeve-less top.

Startled!
The arms, which can move just fine have classic Play Arts shoulder hinge where its hinge is on the center not on the front facing part of the figure like the butterfly hinges. It's tight but it moves a bit to the front and back.

[left] Pageant pose (Yes, she can hold that pose without the aid of the display stand or blue tacks).
[right] "Up yours!"

The bicep can swivel and this articulation point is almost hidden because they're located on top of the bandage and her arm band.

[left] This is how she introduce someone (as seen in FFXIII-2)
[right] Wishing

The elbows are single-hinged with decent movement and the pegged wrists, this toy's most fragile part, can only swivel.

"This time I'll fight... ...with magic!"
The legs have superb range of movement (left leg is a bit loose though). The simple ball-joints in the legs makes them, raise up, move a little to the back and raise sidewards. It can also twist just fine.

Leaning against a wall, waiting.
The skirt have cuts on the side, making it a two-piece skirt that will give more space for the legs to move. This is the feature I mentioned earlier. Sorry I forgot to take a photo of her sitting. :(

Kneeling like she want some herbal tea.
The ratcheted double-hinged knee looks weird when folded, but does a good job. Serah can kneel Japanese style.

She wants to cast magic
The shoes ankle part have ratcheted hinge, it can point up and down. It also have a foot swivel for solid flat stepping on a ground.

I consider this a large 10-incher scale PAK but this toy was made during the time when SQEX is having trouble with PAK scaling consistency (they still do today, but more tolerable). So for the heck of it I will make a super scaling comparison, LOL.

We know Serah is a short, petite 18 year old girl (21 in FFXIII-2). But this toy's scale is so ridiculous it makes her look like a 14 year old, but she does look like LR:FFXIII's Lumina. That reminds me... Hey SQEX, where's Lumina and Snow's LR:FFXIII PAK? I'm still waiting...

I guess the scaling is tolerable between the pink-headed siblings
Serah's looks shorter than usual when she stands beside her sister, Lightning (LR:FFXIII). She's unexpectedly taller than Sora (KH3D). Sorry Sora, you're still the shortest large-scale PAK in my collection.

Serah as one of the orphan kids to be adopted by Cloud and Tifa
Serah awkwardly looks like a young little schoolgirl when she's around Cloud, Tifa and Barret. She gives color to my collection of action figures that wears mostly dark colored attire.

Mini Ms. Serah with Mr. Lightningbolt and Mr. Kennedy
No problems when Serah stands beside Leon and Raiden (MGR)... they don't know Serah's height anyway.

Lightning and Serah look like twins.
Catwoman is still the tallest  in my smaller scale PA/PAK collection.
Woah! This time, she's about the same height as Lightning (FFXIII-2)! Catwoman is even taller than her!

The colorful crew
She looks great with Selphie and Kairi but she's inaccurately taller than Reno and Kadaj. Bottom line is she looks good with these classic Play Arts figures.

Sibling hugs!
Just like Kairi, Serah unlocks her action figure potential when she's with the other figures...

Serah as NORA's reserve member
...or if you gave something like this for her to play with.

QUALITY ISSUES

Well, no factory problems on this toy. Just don't pose or abuse the figure's joints too often, the joints might get loose or worse... broken. We don't want a vegetable Serah Farron now, right?

CONCLUSION

Okay, this Serah Farron Play Arts Kai figure reminds me of two female Play Arts figures - Rinoa and Kairi - that I call a "doll-type" action figure. Her redeemable values are her cuteness, passable poseability and overall presentation. She scores low in accessory and build category. Get her if you have a spare toy budget and/or if you're a Final Fantasy fan, like me. This toy's status is rare, almost extinct in stores. Serah is also a flexible character so she's a pretty good addition to your cast if you make toy comics or stop motion toy movies/episodes. I'm happy to have her in my collection.

And now, another nice and simple toy edit.

Pulse l'Cie crystallization/de-crystallization process.
I made her close her eyes.

A awesome shout out for Kian and Gerson from Play Arts Kai Philippines (PAKPH) for letting me adopt this MIB (and super plastic wrapped) Serah action figure for a nice, fair price. Thanks guys!

Cheers and Happy Collecting!

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