Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Play Arts Kai Meryl Silverburgh Part 3

Robotic hip joints

An introduction of Play Arts Kai Meryl Silverburgh's articulation design after Part 2 of this review series. ^^

The head can be tilted upward and downward for a very wide range.

Horizontal tilt is not a problem at all for the head.

Almost unrestricted motion for the head using the ball-type neck joint. ^^

Typical swivel-hinge type combinational joint for the shoulder.

Very limited upward lift for the arm from the side of the body.

Swinging the shoulder around definitely helps to improve the range for the arm to be lifted upward. ^^

Using the swivel component of the joint shown above, swinging the shoulder forward/backward is easy for Meryl.

The very minor expansion of the shoulder blocks makes me wonder if it's even part of Meryl's articulation points. ^^;

Interestingly, even though there's an obvious split between the bandaged part of the bicep and the upper arm above it, there's no separate bicep swivel incorporated. ^^;
Not utilizing the split to give Meryl an extra articulation point for the arm is a missed opportunity I think. ^^;

A little more than 90 degrees for the elbow bend.

The forearm can be swiveled around the elbow joint, but the look of rotated forearm can be awkward when viewed from certain angles. ^^;

Very minor hinge movement for the elbow pad.

Typical swivel and hinge combo for the wrist.

Side-to-side and forward/backward bends are possible for the body.

Thanks to the separate ball-type joints inside the figure's abdomen and waist, the upper body of Meryl can be flexed to a wide range of direction very easily.

Standard but still pretty impressive range for the legs' horizontal expansion.

Unlike the last Play Arts Kai figure reviewed, Gabranth, Meryl features a pair of swivel-hinge type combinational joints for her hips instead of the more typical ball-type joints.
They may look robotic, complete with crisp ratchet clicks when the hips are moved, but the joints are very tough and can support the figure's hip movement firmly. ^^

The hips' forward/backward bends are restricted by the fixed belts in front and behind the pants.

Thigh swivel.

Over 90 degrees for the knee bend.

The knee pad and black color of the knee area help to reduce the look of the double-hinge joint in front and behind respectively. ^^

Vertical tilt for the foot is easy with the ankle joint.

Limited by the hard protruding edge of the boots on the both sides, the ankle cannot be hinged from side to side. Instead, the front section of the boot has a split that incorporates a separate swivelling point, which acts as the substitute for the missing ankle tilt. ^^

Combination of the hips' and knees' articulation range allows Meryl to perform a very realistic kneeling pose. ^^

As flexible as it is, the articulation design of Play Arts Kai Meryl Silverburgh is rather standard for an action figure I would say. That's definitely not a knock at the figure, since the standard design does well in supporting her posability. ^^

I really appreciate the boots' "ankle tilt" design, as it represents a compromise between good look for the boots and a functional ankle joint for the feet. While the articulation range for said joint is evidently poorer than that on other action figures, I'm willing to accept that weakness. As a matter of fact, that split between boot segments seems like a bonus joint - I would be completely fine if that joint was omitted in the first place as I prefer the boots to look as complete as possible. The split, which appears seamless in plain view, is a very clever touch despite its simplicity. ^^

On the other hand, considering the split between boot segments as an unexpected joint, the lack of a bicep swivel, which can be implemented easily between the upper arm and edge of the sleeve came as a surprise to me. ^^ Considering how the forearm swivel via the elbow joint can support some of the arm's action that would otherwise require the bicep swivel, the lack of that joint is definitely not the end of the world for the figure, ^^; but given how much Meryl depends on her arms for her pistol and knife poses, it would be most useful for the figure to get all the articulation points that can be designed for her arms to be provided. ^^

A preview of the action poses from this Play Arts Kai figure coming up next. ^^

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