December 05, 2016

[Toy Review] Gabranth Final Fantasy XII Play Arts Kai


I gave up on finding a Dissidia Gabranth PAK after my multiple failed attempts to find it on lots of toy stores. Few years later, Fran PAK got announced. Then the HD remaster of FFXII got announced this year (2016). My hype and anticipation of seeing another Gabranth PAK got ignited once again. And now it's here, the new large scale Gabranth FFXII Play Arts Kai figure on my mitts, wow! Sometimes it's good to wait.

"I slew your king, I slew your country.
Do these deeds not demand vengeance?"
~ Gabranth ~ 

PACKAGING

Front and back of the box.

The design of Gabranth's packaging is similar to Fran but wider because he's a big figure with more accessories. The front cover shows a large product shot of Gabranth. Play Arts Kai, Final Fantasy XII and other relevant logos are here. The back shows more product shots.

Front cover opened.
Ooooh red hue.
Opening the front cover reveals the figure and its accessories on the right. That blood red hue on the viewing window really attracts attention. You can read some info about the game and Gabranth on the left.

Gabranth unleashed
Packaging includes: Gabranth figure, Chaos Blade (long sword), Highway Star (short sword), Sword connector, Left/right gripping hands, Left/right open hands, Special pose dual hands, Display stand.

THE FIGURE

Being a bigger figure, this version of Gabranth is better than the Dissidia PAK and the PA version when it comes to details and presentation, it's kinda heavy too.

Gabranth at four sides
I always liked armored characters, especially if they're well designed. That's why I'm going to say that Gabranth looks amazing. BTW he is like the Darth Vader of Final Fantasy. Another reason why I like armored characters is that the armor covers up most of their figure's joints.

No, they're not the five Judge Magisters...
It's just Gabranth.
I wish SQEX also made an alternate no-helmet head. Anyway the helmet looks great, it's super detailed. You can peek in the helmet to see Gabranth's eyes that are sculpted and painted black.

Dark yet shiny armor.
Judge Magister Grabranth's armor is like a mix of samurai and knight armor. It's highly detailed and designed pretty good. There are lots of "swirly" designs around the body armor and shoulder guard. Every parts of the armor is textured and got a gun metal and bronze-like paint application.

Garanth's belt
The belt is a separate piece so that it wont hinder any leg articulation. It looks like it's made of real leather because of the belt's texture.

The cape of a Judge Magister
I think the cape should be a wired cloth/pleather instead.
I like this figure but I don't like its cape. Because of the articulation, the cape's emblem is lowered. The plastic cape also makes the fig heavier. Anyway, the cape is textured to simulate fabric material and the emblem is embossed. There are some dark reddish hues on the cape.

The arms looks really good.
The whole design of both arms to both hands is consistent to the top armor with those swirly designs present on them. The shoulder (or pauldrons), elbow and wrist guards hides the articulation.

Gabranth's armored legs.
Gabranth's legs isn't entirely covered with armor, you can see the wrinkly undersuit and he doesn't have a crotch armor. But his legs have side armor plating. The knees looks amazing too.

The greaves
His greaves looks simple unlike his top armor but it's also detailed and textured. All I see is some silver paint washes on this part. The feet looks good, it got some gold and silver parts and other details, but the outsole is not threaded.

ACCESSORIES

Like his past action figure versions, Gabranth only have the standard stuff. He got his swords: the long Chaos Blade and the short Highway Star.

Pretty awesome looking accessories!
Other accessories include the sword connector accessory (new to this version), a pair of gripping hands and open hands and a special pose hands (also new to this version).

Chaos Blade
The Chaos Blade looks cool. This is a dark colored sword that reminds me of falchions. The sword is well designed and it looks kinda steampunk-ish.

Highway Star
The Highway Star is Chaos Blade's little brother. It's designed and detailed the same. Both swords have a spiral grip design that looks cool. After looking at them closely, I saw some paint smudges on the swords.

Combined sword pommel accessory
The pommels of both swords are removable and can be replaced by the combined pommel accessory that links the two swords together.

Chaos Blade and Highway Star combined
You might loose the sword pommels if you're not careful. This is a downgrade compared to the old PA and Dissidia PAK.

The extra hands.
These extra hands gives Gabranth more poseability options. All hands (including the default pair of fists) looks really good.

[left] Chaos Blade on the right hand.
[right] Highway Star on the left hand.

[left] Gabranth's fighting stance
[right] Holding the combined swords

Gabranth can fend off a group of people by switching stances: dual sword wielding and combined sword combat. The gripping hands makes that possible for the figure too. The grip is a little loose though

"Nooooooooo!"
The open pair of hands is for gestures and stylish poses.

These pair of hands is a single accessory.
SQEX also added a special two-hand accessory. For me it makes this figure a bit more special.

Using the special hand accessory for the swords.

The accessory's purpose is for one of Gabranth's iconic pose where he rest both of his hands on the pommel of any of his swords. Removing the pommel and connect the sword to this hand.

Display Stand
Gabranth mostly does his devastating attacks on or from the ground as far as I know. So this display stand is almost unnecessary, unless you're having trouble on balancing this figure.

ARTICULATION, POSING AND SCALING

Judge Magister Gabranth
Gabranth PAK have lots of articulations, but I don't know if it stayed the same as the older Dissidia PAK version.

[left] I think this is one of Gabranth's known pose.
[right] Looking up

Gabranth's head can only tilt a bit because of the horns. The head can still look around and the neck joint widens its movement range.

Judge Magisters are intimidating.
The chest is a combination of hard (back) and soft flexible plastic (front) that's unusually very thin. The chest part moves well but some gaps might get exposed. The waist  move and twist very well. The torso articulations are well hidden.

"Hmmmm..."
Both arms moves pretty good because both pauldrons is articulated by a ball-hinge, it also helps the head to look around more. Both arms can also cross the chest.

"Basch, I AM YOUR TWIN BROTHER!"
The biceps can swivel and it feels like the right bicep might detach off the figure because it's not "secured" properly. The elbows and wrists have ball-hinges, it can move really well and they can swivel to.

That's one deadly weapon!
The legs can't really raise really high forward but it can raise up sidewards better. The legs can twist and have a badly designed thigh swivel articulation that gives more leg movement but its side armor gets misaligned.

Dual sword wielding.
The very tight double-hinged knees looks good when folded. The ankles are ball-hinged and the ankle plating is soft, it lessens the feet movement limitation. The feet can turn, point up and down really well. It can also pivot and have a toe hinge.

Loyal to his king.
This is my first figure with articulated cape. It got a ball-hinge that's connected at Gabranth's back not on the top part of the cape. SQEX didn't make it a two-piece cape that can be spread wider, because it might ruin the emblem.

A Judge Magister with a prince and a Viera Sky Pirate
I compared Gabranth first with his fellow FFXII character, Fran. Well judging by their eye level, Gabranth is taller. I also compared him with the shorter Noctis (FFXV).

Gabranth with the AVALANCHE
Gabranth have nice scaling comparison with the FFVII:AC characters. Cloud and Tifa are shorter while Barret is taller.

Gabranth is huge in this pic.
Serah (FFXIII), Lightning (LR:FFXIII), Riku (KH2) and Sora (KH3D) are puny compared to Gabranth. It looks awkward but I gotten used to it.

Gabranth with random people.
Leon (RE6) is the shortest in this group. Raiden (MGR) is taller, Lara (RotTR) is a bit shorter and Harley (B:AK) is a head shorter than Gabranth.

With the Variant Girls.
The variant girls: Catwoman (Variant) is a tiny bit shorter Gabranth even when her legs straighten and Hatsune Miku (Variant) is shorter. Pretty nice scaling comparison.

QUALITY ISSUES

There are some issues on my Gabranth PAK fig like few paint problems around it and its accessories, we can consider the paint problem as wear or scratches on the armor and swords. Also, my Gabranth fig have warped left ankle plating. It can be fixed by heating it up a bit then putting it to the right shape. I also mentioned the "loose" right bicep.

CONCLUSION

Sure I got some gripes on this figure like the cape, the leg swivel, and other quality issues but I still like this Gabranth figure because it's awesome. It's highly presentable and the joints work well. The figure have standard accessories and could use some more. I only recommend this fig for Gabranth and Final Fantasy fans. I now have a Gabranth figure on my collection, that's one more favorite character crossed out on my list, huzzah!

Cheers and Happy Collecting!

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