I’ve mentioned before of my love of Final Fantasy and have already covered some of the toys from FF VII but today I thought I’d take a look at some figures that are a little bit different.
It’s the ‘Square Minimum Collection’! The idea of this line is that they would take popular Final Fantasy characters and make toys of them, but make them simple and blocky, almost like a Minecraft character.
As far as I can tell, there were only eight Final Fantasy figures ever made, with three of them also being released as a promotional figures with alternative colours, which seem to be a bit rarer, (which I don’t own). I may as well start chronologically in order that these figures were released, so here’s the first three.
The box that these figures come in is stunning. I don’t usually get too excited over the packaging of the things that I buy, as most of the time I just rip ’em out of the box or card without much attention spent on anything but the contents. But this is really nice and I can’t help but appreciate it, especially the Yoshitaka Amano artwork on the top part.
This set is known as the ‘Final Fantasy Premium Package’ and was released in Japan in 2002. It was actually a box set that contained Playstation ports of the original Final Fantasy I and II Famicom games. As a bonus it also contained three Warriors of Light figures- the Warrior, the Red Mage and the Black Mage. All three of these figures were also available in alternate colours although in limited quantities that came in single boxes. Some sources online say these were just given to Square employees, though I can’t find any way to validate that. Regardless, I don’t own ’em anyway.
The Warrior comes equipped with a sword and is garbed in red. He’s meant to look like the original Warror sprite from Final Fantasy I on the NES, and overall I think it’s a pretty good representation. However, straight out of the box, it doesn’t take me long to find a few issues with the overall design of the figure. For something that’s meant to be ‘minimum’, there is an awful lot of articulation in this figure. Most of the time articulation isn’t a bad thing by any means, but in a figure this small it doesn’t really work. I could barely get him to stand up as his articulated limbs are really loose, and that flaw isn’t just limited to this figure as they are all like it.
The Red Mage is even harder to stand up than the Warrior. He doesn’t come with any accessories which is probably a blessing as it would jsut overbalance him even more. This figure is probably my least favourite of the whole bunch, just because he was a pain in the ass to get to stand for just three seconds for me to take a picture, and I’m not particularly fussed on Red Mages.
The Black Mage is definitely my favourite out of the three. This figure has barely any articulation except for his hands and head, but it works much better as it isn’t flopping about all over the place. He does have movable legs, but with his robes, they don’t really do much to hinder the figure standing. He also comes with a staff, perfect for clobbering goblins and other low level monsters (as that’s about all it’s good for in the game).
Anyway, those are the three figures from the box set. The next set is a two pack featuring Cloud and Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII, but as they appear in the Kingdom Hearts game.
These figures look a little more detailed than the previous three. Although it’s nice to have a bit of variation with the characters being based on their Kingdom Hearts appearance instead of the Final Fantasy VII appearance, I actually think I would have preferred these figures based on their VII look, as being quite blocky they look a little bit like the in-game models, and it would have been neat to own figures that look like they were actually pulled from the screen of VII.
Sephiroth comes equipped with his Masamune Blade which is nearly twice the size of him. He’s probably one of the easiest figures to stand up, just because his sword can be used to balance him. Sephiroth is articulated at the waist but there is a tiny little peg, so he kept falling apart which was irritating.
I also had a load of trouble trying to get Cloud to stand upright, as his Buster sword is about as heavy as he is, so he kept falling over. He also seems to fall apart even more than Sephiroth which pissed me off. I snapped a photo of him with his hands off, and it totally looks like he lost a duel with Sephiroth.
Onto the final set which is the Final Fantasy X-2 set with Yuna, Rikku and Paine.
Though X-2 isn’t my favourite game in the series, I don’t think it’s as bad as what a lot of people make out, and I have fond memories of playing it as a kid. I actually beat Final Fantasy X-2 before I did Final Fantasy X, just because my version of X was glitchy and wouldn’t play past some cutscenes.
Yuna comes equipped with her two pistols and like most of these figures is a pain to stand up. It kinda goes without saying now, so I don’t know why I keep repeating myself. They’re all a pain to stand up, or they fall apart.
Rikku I actually didn’t have too many problems with, mainly because her articulation is limited on her arms, as she has long arm-guard things on which make it so you can’t actually bend them. She’s probably my favourite out of the X-2 figures, just because she’s really vibrant colour-wise.
Paine is my least favourite of these figures, probably because I don’t really care for her in the game either. She was just in your party from the onset, and that didn’t wash with me as she didn’t appear in FF X. I would have rather had Lulu come back as a party member in X-2. If I had to have a quiet, red-eyed female on my party, I would rather one that I knew, not someone new.
So that concludes my look at the Square Minimum Collection! What do I think of ’em overall? Well, they’re okay. I just don’t see the point in them really as they don’t display well and you can’t really play with them as they fall apart far too easy. The only good thing is that the two packs have blister packaging which slides onto the card, which means you can put them back inside even after opening. Which is probably the only decent way to display these figures.
This style of toy was all the rage for a while, as I remember seeing eBay just full of Kubrick figures around 2008. I also had a set of Halo mini-mates around that time as well. I like the idea of overly simple feeling figures, but these feel too flimsy for me to really appreciate, and they’re usually pretty expensive now on eBay with their price not really reflecting their quality.
There was also one other figure in the Square Minimum Collection line that I don’t own, that I completely forgot about, a Sora figure that was given away with platinum versions of Kingdom Hearts in Japan. I did have a look for it so I could review it with these figures, but they seem to be pretty pricey with the cheapest being about £30 along with the platinum game, which is too much considering I don’t really have any use for a game that won’t even play on my PS2 due to it being PAL region.
If you are going to pick any of these figures up, try and do it on the cheap. They do turn up from time to time, as I managed to get all of these sets for a good price, but it might take a bit of patience.
Final Fantasy things will make a return on here again soon, hopefully with something I can be a bit more enthusiastic about, as these weren’t the most exciting!