Square Enix Play Arts Gets Even Weirder and That’s a Good Thing [NYCC 2016]
After a whirlwind year of big reveals, New York Comic Con is typically a chill place for new toy and action figure announcements. It being wedged between San Diego Comic-Con and Toy Fair means there are usually slim pickings when it comes to new goods, but Square Enix had a few tricks up its sleeve at this year's show that are sure to make comic fans... curious.
With the success of the DC and Marvel Variant lines of the Play Arts brand, Square Enix has defined its own corner of those universes. The highly detailed figures get a bit of a bump in the roster this year, at least on the Marvel front. When it comes to DC, all the attention is on Batman.
We've already seen the Batman: Rogues' Gallery Two-Face up close and personal, and we know the follow-up was going to be the Joker. At NYCC this weekend, Square unveiled the third entry in the wave, Mr. Freeze. In prototype form, this figure looks more like Batman than either of its predecessors. Though it invokes some Mr. Freeze elements, it has the appearance of one of those classic Kenner Bat-suits but given a very, very modern twist. There's a lot of cool (sorry) detail in there, but without the proper paint app, it's a bit of a challenge to see just how much of Mr. Freeze is really in there.
The real star of the display was the third figure in Tetsuya Nomura's re-imagining of the Batman universe. We've already seen his bonkers Batman and cyberpunk-ish Catwoman, but now that his attention has been turned to the Joker it seems Nomura has really let loose. That might seem impossible given how truly out there his previous two designs were, but this Joker is really something else. He's got two sets of huge robotic claws coming out of his back, each with its own set of smaller claws, and his default look is that of a deranged Moonwalker-era Michael Jackson. It's when you get to the seven different alternate heads that things start to feel a bit more familiar. He'll come with all of them, but my money is on the extravagant Jester mask as the front-runner for the best sculpt.
Elsewhere, Wolverine looks absolutely gorgeous in his Play Arts form. I love the glossy paint app, and both portraits are spot on. There's loads of articulation too, which means we'll be able to get him in some truly berserk poses. Deadpool still looks nice in prototype form, but there's not much different about Square's interpretation versus the one we've been seeing in the comics. That's a character that could have benefitted from some Nomura-inspired designs just so we could at least see Deadpool in a different light for once.