Dragon Quest VIII
Square-Enix, Play Arts
Included in set:
Hero, Jessica, Yangus and Angelo

Much like the videogame series, Dragon Quest oriented collectibles have been completely slighted in North America up until recently. One might say with the release of Dragon Quest VIII, Square-Enix has seriously re-examined the position of this series (which is insanely popular in Japan). Yes, they've released some of the previous games in North America, but the tie-in collectibles have not followed. For Dragon Quest VIII, Square-Enix and Play Arts have created a series of figures, not unlike what they've done previously for their Final Fantasy games.

Packaged like the Final Fantasy VII Advent Children figures, this series features the four main characters of the game: the Hero, Jessica, Yangus and Angelo. Each of the figures has a good bit of detail in according to the way the characters were designed and feature a nice level of poseability without throwing in too many points of articulation. It's nice to see how the character designs of Akira Toriyama (Dragon Ball) have made the translation from 2D art to polygon-based in-game graphics to finally three dimensional figures. I especially like how Yangus turned out as he seems to capture the scruffy looking thug design from the game.

Each of the figures comes with a weapon and when you look at the whole series as a whole, they're scaled well in comparison to each other. Yangus is certainly the shortest, while Angelo stands as the tallest of the bunch. The packaging is the same as found with the Final Fantasy VII Advent Children set: in a window box where the figures can be set up for display quite nicely. Because of the poseability, they can also be taken out fo the package and even played with (though I can't see why anyone who would buy these would want to play with them).

One might hope that Square-Enix would be willing to make a second series, including Dhoulmagus, King Trode and Princess Medea, or maybe even the Frank Zappa looking Great Kalderasha. Maybe even a boxed set with the horse and cart would be nice.

I would have to say that this series is a bit pricy, but if you're a fan of the game and Dragon Quest, it certainly worth the money to pick up, especially considering how rarely Dragon Quest gets collectibles in North America. The series looks good and displays nicely.

- - Vane

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