There are a lot of video game characters more popular than Final Fantasy IX's Vivi in the world of gaming, but few have such a devoted and dedicated fanbase as black mage Vivi's. What makes the Play Arts Vivi figure so remarkable is not only the way in which it's a cult classic, but because it's a practically perfect representation of the character. It's hard to make action figures that perfectly capture the essence and style of a character, but this one does exactly that, making it truly deserving of its own spotlight.
- Name: Vivi
- Line: Play Arts Final Fantasy IX
- Year of Release: 2009
- Manufacturer: Square Enix
- Scale: 6-inch
Sculpt and Design
It's hard to imagine a sculpt capturing Vivi any better than this one from Square Enix does. It takes a super polygonal on-screen character model and matches it perfectly by taking cues from the concept art and game's cut-scene footage. It's a beautiful piece that stands up as an interesting looking toy on its own, but it also brings the game to life in three dimensions too, which is all one can ask. Vivi's proportions are exactly as they should be, squat and wide, making him a round little fellow hiding underneath his big sinking-brim hat. He looks good from above, below, and all-around thanks to the great design.
Paint and Color
As easy as it is to adore Vivi's sculpt, his paint is on par with it. Unlike most superhero toys featuring only one or two colors, Vivi has many unique and engaging hues, and it's totally refreshing. Not only is the figure a kaleidoscope of color, but all the colors look good together too. A balanced color-scheme is a tough thing to accomplish, but it's done perfectly here. I particularly love the way the shades of blue on the torso all mix together so beautifully, giving off an amazing interplay of dark and light.
There are very few examples of slop, hardly any overspray, and all the smaller details came out extremely clean. The character's staff is painted in a way to really make it look like wood grain, the hat realistically simulates straw, and the head is the deep black it should be. Even the tiny oval eyes have a little life added to them with a splash of lighter yellow inside the darker yellow oval. All the details are nestled into the broader strokes, and it's gorgeous.
Articulation and Posing
Square Enix managed to sneak quite a few points of articulation into Viv's little frame, and since many of the joints are extremely well designed ball joints, he moves about as much as is possible considering his size and dimensions. All of those points combined make this a fun figure for play or display, as the subtle manipulations of his joints add tons of personality. Another benefit of the figure's articulation is how well hidden most of it is. It's difficult to tell that most of the points exist when looking at pictures, making the poseability a nice surprise. And most importantly of all, everything works splendidly, without a loose or broken joint in the bunch.
Play Arts Final Fantasy IX's Vivi might not be the best action figure ever made, but it might very well be the best Vivi action figure possible. Square Enix got everything right with this one, and true fans of the character will undoubtedly love this toy.