Final Fantasy VII Extra Knights Action Figures, from Bandai, 1997!

I’ve been on a bit of a Final Fantasy kick of late. It started when I got the PS4 a few months ago and blitzed through Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy X HD. After finishing X, I went and bought Final Fantasy XII, but before I could install it they went and released Final Fantasy IX HD on the Playstation store. IX was the first Final Fantasy game I ever played, and it remains my favourite title in the series to this date, so I couldn’t resist going back to that game before I started XII.  I don’t think I have ever written so many Roman numerals in just few sentences before. Anyway, after playing some FF games and realising that it had been about a month since I last posted anything, I decided to break out my collection of Final Fantasy VII figures.

 

 

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Now Final Fantasy VII isn’t my favourite game in the series (as previously mentioned, that honour belongs to IX) but I do like the game and think it has characters that are interesting enough that they translate pretty well into toy form.

These toys were released in 1998, with Cloud Strife, Tifa Lockhart, Barret Wallace and Aerith Gainsborough to my knowledge being the only figures released in Europe in the form of  a collectable boxset. Vincent Valentine, Red XIII and Sephiroth were only available in North America and Japan. So lets have a look at ’em all!

 

Tifa Lockhart 

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This figure made an appearance in a post a while back, where I said it was more of a statue than an action figure. My opinion hasn’t really changed any, and I still think it’s more of a statue than an action figure. Another thing I didn’t mention back then is how damn ‘fragile’ this figure is. I use the term fragile loosely, as I don’t mean the Tifa will break but she does fall apart if you try moving her head or arms. You can easily push her head and arms back into place, but it’s still irksome. This flaw isn’t just confined to this figure, but I thought I would mention it with the first one I looked at.

Overall it isn’t a terrible figure and I do like the fact she comes with a frog because giant frogs are awesome.

 

Barret Wallace

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I really dig this figure. It’s so chunky and solid, it really feels like your holding a plastic badass in your hands. This is one of the few figures that doesn’t fall apart as you play with it, which I obviously approve off. The machine gun also rotates which is really neat. I can’t say as I am too fond of the new design of Barret’s machine gun in the upcoming Final Fantasy VII remake. It looks too bulky and high-tech and AVALANCHE was supposed to be small and not exactly wealthy, so a small, older looking machine gun looks more appropriate. Meh, I dunno.

There are two things that I dislike about this figure, one of them is that it is lacking Barret’s distinctive tribal tattoo on the left arm, possibly because it came from the collectible box set. I have seen other figures that have the tattoo, probably the ones that are carded singularly, but this one doesn’t have it. The other thing I dislike is that I always got the impression Barret was one of the taller Final Fantasy VII characters, but he is much shorter than Cloud here. I can see that his legs are bent, maybe because he’s in a sort of action pose, but it still displeases me somewhat, but not enough for me to dislike this figure. It’s a chunky, angry looking Barret after all.

 

Aerith Gainsborough

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This is another figure that seems to fall apart if you look at it too hard. It is a pretty decent depiction of Aerith though, but I’m not keen on her face. I gather that these toys kind of go with the manga/anime style from the games, but I don’t think that it looks all that great with some of the figures. Aerith’s face looks a little too harsh. It’s a silly fault to pick really but I don’t care, most of these posts are comprised of me picking silly faults. Aerith comes with a baby chocobo which is adorable, as well her staff. The staff is made from a soft rubbery plastic that is very bendy, so sadly it looks like she’s battered something with her staff a little too hard and bent it. Overall, this isn’t my favourite figure in the set but it isn’t terrible.

 

 

 

Red XIII

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I love Red XIII. There isn’t really much to dislike, he’s a big red wolf/liony thing with tattoos and a tail that looks like is it is ablaze. This figure is pretty good, and what it lacks in articulation, it makes up for with just being a great depiction of the character in an action pose. The tail does move and like the other figures can easily fall off. I think this is one of my favourite toys of the line, perhaps because I just like Red XIII a whole bunch. This was the last Final Fantasy VII figure that I acquired which was a valentines present from my girlfriend last year.  With it not being released here in the UK, it meant finding him at a reasonable price from abroad was a bit of a challenge, but I’m glad that I finally own him.

 

Vincent Valentine

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Another one of my favourite characters from VII, Vincent comes with a display stand. His pistol is just part of his sculpt which is a bit of a shame but I would probably had lost it a million times over had it not been. Vincent doesn’t seem to suffer from his appendages falling off as much as some of the other figures, but his head does come off ridiculously easy, which wouldn’t be the worst if one of his limit break transformations was a headless horseman. Aside from looking more like a statue than an action figure, this isn’t a bad toy.

 

 

Sephiroth

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Dun-Dun-Dun-Dun Nah-Nah Nah-Nah Nah-Nah Nah-Nah. That was the opening  of Sephiroth’s One Winged Angel theme but in textual form. It isn’t quite as ominous and threatening as it is in audio form.

Like Barret, Sephiroth doesn’t really fall apart and is quite a chunky and solid feeling figure. He comes equipped with a stand (which oddly makes it harder for him to stand up than without) and his signature weapon, the Masamune Blade. I like this figure but it doesn’t come across as threatening or powerful like it should. Anyway, time to look at the final figure in the set.

 

Cloud Strife

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It’s the main man himself, Cloud is probably the worst out of all the figures for his limbs and head falling off, and his sword is too heavy for him to hold with one hand, it has to kind of rest on his other hand. But it’s still probably my favourite figure out of the bunch as it’s a lot more articulated than the others, at least at the arms.

 

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Along with his Buster Sword, Cloud also comes equipped with a stand and a Hardedge  sword which is nice though the Buster Sword is far more iconic, and I wouldn’t consider making Cloud wield anything other if he was on display really.

This loose figure Cloud I own is from the collectable box set but I also have a Japanese carded one.

 

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The Japanese one looks a lot less ginger than the loose version I have. I don’t know what it is about toy companies making ginger versions of characters, but Kenner did it back in 1978 to Luke Skywalker as well.

 

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The back of the packaging has an awesome scene with Cloud, Barret and Aerith stood on rocky terrain, and underneath are images of a few other characters like Red XIII, Tifa, Aerith and Cid. I don’t know what the text says as I can’t speak Japanese, but I do wonder if it hints that there were other characters going to be released in the future. If this is the case then it’s wrong as Cid was never produced to my knowledge, which is a damn shame.

 

So that concludes my look at the set of Final Fantasy VII Extra Knights figures. They aren’t perfect but are some neat little toys for the time, and to my knowledge some of the earliest articulated action figures based on a video game. Final Fantasy VIII and IX also had toys released alongside the release of their games which I will probably look at another time. But until then, here is a picture of a headless Aerith.

 

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One thought on “Final Fantasy VII Extra Knights Action Figures, from Bandai, 1997!

  1. Pingback: The ‘Square Minimum Collection’! Strange, Blockish Final Fantasy Action Figures! – The Forgotten Starship

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