Friday, May 9, 2014

Out of the Box: Play Arts Commander Shepard

The Play Arts Commander Shepard
I've posted before about the DC direct Mass Effect figures and the limitations of that line, so this figure makes an interesting comparison piece, since it's a character from the same franchise produced by a different company.  To be fair though, this figure is in a larger scale and at a higher price point, so it goes without saying that the smaller, less costly figures are going to suffer by comparison - this toy is simply superior in almost every way: sculpt detail, paint work, articulation and accessories.  It does lack some of the charm that a few of the less detailed figures had (namely the Mordin figure), but some of that is simply due to the fact that this is a human character.

I actually hesitated in picking up this figure originally as I'm not generally a fan of default character figures from games that allow for character customization, but ultimately I decided that the default Shepard was iconic enough that I wasn't really bothered by the fact that he doesn't particularly look like my version of the character.
The Box

The figure is packaged in a standard cardboard package - all sided, but with a book-style flap that's secured with Velcro.  The box art is quite attractive - it actually looks quite similar to the game's box art, but with the action figure front and centre. I actually took longer than usual to de-box this figure specifically because I was so fond of the look of the box that I considered keeping him on display inside it.  Ultimately though, my desire to save on space (and to handle the figure) won out.

With the flap open.
The figure comes with a solid set of accessories: two firearms of different sizes, a second set of hands (posed to hold the weapons - the default hands are fists), and an omniblade (the orange dagger/personal computer/communicator device from the game).  The details on all of the accessories are top notch, although I found it a little challenging to fit the fingers of the gun-hands around the guns.  I was also less than thrilled that the omniblade can't be slipped onto the figure without first removing a hand.  It seems like it would have been simply enough to add a slit to the straps, and I may end up modifying it along those lines (depending on how I decide to display this guy).

Standing on his own.

In terms of balance, the figure is nicely symmetrical,  but not to an unnatural degree.  He's also very well balanced and can easily stay upright without the assistance of a stand and without too much fiddling with the pose.

In terms of articulation, the figure is well-jointed and can move through a variety of poses.  I'd expected the head movement to be somewhat limited by the collar on the armour, and it is, but not nearly to the extent that I'd feared. 

The only issue I had in terms of joints was in removing the figure's left hand - although one only needs to take off the hand itself to swap hands, I found it a little too easy to take off the wrist piece along with it.  That may be an issue unique to this particular piece though, as the right hand worked perfectly, and I've not had the same problem with other Play Arts figures with option hands.

Imagine some waist-high cover here. ;)
A closer view of the armour
Overall, I'm very pleased with this figure.  His posing is solid, the details of his paint and sculpt are spot-on, and the accessories are nearly perfect. 


  1. His face is cute: can you remove the armour?

    1. The armour is sculpted on, so it's permanent, but I think the head would come off fairly easily for someone wanting to do a head-swap onto a different body.

    2. Thanks for the information about his head. I might see if I can get the head to put on another action figure body. Nothing I want tomorrow, but something I can add to my One Day List ;-)

  2. Wow he is a Very Handsome figure Congratulations!