Square Enix's latest Play Arts Kai figure takes its inspiration from one of the fiercest soldiers to ever take on the Reaper menace, Commander Jane Shepard.
BioWare's Mass Effect series gave players the option to play through the game as either a male or female Commander Shepard. While Jane Shepard had her fans in the first two installments, much effort was spent on crafting her look for the marketing of Mass Effect 3. What once was just another option had become a central aspect of what made Mass Effect 3 such a grand adventure.
Now, more than a year after Mass Effect 3's release, Square Enix has turned its attention to creating the action figure persona for Commander Jane Shepard. A male version was released in 2011, but ever since its San Diego Comic Con unveiling, fans had been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the affectionately named FemShep. Boasting more than two dozen points of articulation, the classic N7 armor set, and a small handful of weapons and accessories, the Play Arts Kai version of FemShep is a stunningly detailed figure that brings the character to life.
For those unfamiliar with Play Arts Kai, it's a high-end action figure line in which Square takes familiar characters and puts its own unique touch on the design. The figures are often elaborately detailed, and have a highly stylized head sculpt. It's immediately apparent just how fine the sculpting work is on the FemShep after one quick glance. Her armor allows the deft handiwork of Square's artists to show through every hardened edge and every honeycomb of the carbon fiber-esque plating. The head perfectly captures all of Shepard's attitude, and even just looking at the figure, you feel like you're about to get your butt reamed out on the Normandy bridge.
Despite all the armor, Shepard is still surprising flexible. Some of the joints are more hidden than others, but that's always been part of the Play Arts style. The figure can stand well on its own, and can be arranged in a multitude of action poses or hard-ass stances. Unfortunately, some of the joints are a bit more fragile than others, at least on this particular figure. The left wrist joint snapped at the first bit of tension. Luckily just the tip snapped off, and the moving parts of the wrist joint were not damaged. It was easily fixed with some super glue, but for $65, that's a pricey bit of DIY repair. Once everything was back in place however, Shepard was as good as new, and was wielding her Omni-blade like a pro.
This particular version of Shepard included the aforementioned Omni-blade, as well as the Valiant Sniper Rifle, the Hurricane SMG, and two alternate hands (a set of clenched fists, and open hands for the weapons). The hands can be swapped out very easily if you grow bored of any given pose, or want Shepard to be at the ready for an attack. Something Square does very well is incorporate multiple accessories like this to provide buyers with as many options as possible. The parts are all easily interchangeable, and our unfortunate wrist malfunction aside, getting Shepard to look the way you want involves little effort.
Square's Female Commander Shepard is really an impressive piece of work. She's highly articulated, features some very intricate detailing, and the paint job (right down to the freckles on her cheeks), is spot on. All of those factors really help this figure stand out on a shelf. The Play Arts Kai Mass Effect 3 series is miles above every other Mass Effect line on the market, and this Female Shepard is no exception. If you can manage to track one down, this is one Alliance hero worthy of joining your party.
The Square Enix Play Arts Kai Mass Effect 3 Female Commander Shepard is available now at specialty stores for ~$65.