Thursday February 26th 2015 by WALLEYE

I've been an avid collector of Square-Enix's Play Arts Kai figures ever since the line was first brought to my attention when they announced they were making a series of figures for METAL GEAR SOLID: PEACE WALKER in 2010. Fast forward five years and I have a collection of no fewer than 17 Play Arts Kai figures, and they're not all from Metal Gear games. The latest MGS figure to arrive is 'Venom Snake', from METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN, so without further ado, let's get into it and explore in detail.


Scale is something Square-Enix seem to have trouble with from figure to figure. As a standalone piece, there are no problems with Venom Snake's size or proportions, but next to other figures of the Big Boss character, you start to see a small problem. This is the fifth sculpt Square-Enix have come up with for Big Boss, and no two figures have been the same height. Since the first release in 2010, Snake has got progressively taller. This new figure stands at approximately 27 centimetres (10.62 inches), which is a little over a centimetre taller than the Ground Zeroes version. The difference doesn't sound like much, but when displayed side-by-side it's quite noticeable.


A good sculpt does a fantastic job of portraying an accurate representation of the character, while also hiding as much of the articulation as possible and that's exactly what Square-Enix have accomplished here. Many of the joints, in particular the swivel joints in the biceps and thighs, have been placed in locations where they are virtually invisible, thanks to the sculpt.

"This new figure stands at approximately 27 centimetres (10.62 inches), which is a little over a centimetre taller than the Ground Zeroes version."

Snake's clothes and pouches genuinely look like they could be made from cloth and the figure, over all, stays very true to the quality of the pre-production samples. I've seen figures in the past shown at trade shows and conventions with fantastic, detailed sculpts, only to have the vast majority of that detail lost when it comes to retail due to the mass production process, poor moulding or bad paintjobs. Thankfully, Square-Enix have done a fantastic job on Venom Snake and have matched the source material exactly.


The paint applications on Play Arts Kai figures are usually incredibly well done. In a few rare cases, entire figures can be let down by an over abundance of shading washes on the faces in particular that leaves the figure looking dirty - the MGS1 Solid Snake figure in this line is a very good example. With Venom Snake, this is not the case. Infact, there is barely any shading wash on him at all, and the figure is far more convincing and realistic as a result.

The camouflage pattern that covers the majority of Snake's torso and legs is superbly done and the prosthetic left arm is painted in slightly glossy red to really give it a metallic look. There are no paint leaks anywhere, as far as I can tell and it's clear the painting process has been handled with care and attention. Darker tones have been applied to the creases and folds in the sculpt of Snake's clothes to simulate depth and texture, and the careful application of the paint really brings out the scarring on Snake's head and right arm.

One thing worth mentioning is that there is a Diamond Dogs logo hidden within the camouflage on the side of Snake's left leg. I'm not entirely sure if this is just on my figure, or on all of them. I am equally unsure if it's is supposed to be there or not as I have not had a chance to really look at Snake's model from The Phantom Pain in any real detail, with the game's release date still yet to be announced.


Snake comes with a ball jointed neck, ball jointed head, ball jointed shoulders with butterfly hinges so they can be brought forward across his chest, ball ratchet elbows, ball ratchet wrists, double hinge knee, bicep swivel, thigh swivel, ball ratchet ankles, ball ratchet hips, swivel boots, and two ball joints in the torso. None of the articulation is really hindered by the sculpt and the use of a softer plastic in certain areas like the scarf, torso and crotch give you some flexibility in areas where you really need a wide range of motion.

"A great sculpt combines with solid articulation and a superb paintjob to create one of the best figures Square-Enix have produced."

Unlike earlier Play Arts figures, none of the joints on my Snake figure feel lose in the slightest making Snake very sturdy and is a good indicator as to the increasing build quality of this line.


Snake comes packaged with a knife, a pistol, an iDroid, an alternate head with goggles, an alternate extension of the scarf to cover his face, two sets of alternate hands and an assault rifle that has a removeable stock, barrel and magazine. I'm not entirely sure why all the parts of the gun can be removed, but I guess it gives you the option of tying some string around the inner tabs of the frame of the rifle to hang the gun from Snake's shoulder instead of putting it in his hand, like the Ground Zeroes Snake Play Arts Kai. In addition, as is standard for new releases now, Venom Snake also includes the Play Arts Kai Hexa Stand.



Venom Snake is another great figure from Square-Enix's Play Arts Kai line and has very few issues. A great sculpt combines with solid articulation and a superb paintjob to create one of the best figures Square-Enix have produced.



Manufacturer :Square-Enix
Line :Play Arts Kai
Scale :10 Inch
Release Date :December 2014