Welcome back to the top 10 list of Sephiroth toys. Please check back for the figures that made their way to 10-6 on the list.
On January 31 of 1997, SquareSoft released Final Fantasy VII to store shelves and created a global phenomenon. Final Fantasy VII became the gateway to the RPG genre and Final Fantasy series for many children, including me. The expanse of the world and its characters enthralled players even to this day. For me, no character had a greater impact than the One-Winged Angel, Sephiroth.
On April 10th of 2020, Square-Enix will reintroduce players to the phenomenon with the release of Final Fantasy VII Remake to the PlayStation 4. In celebration of this release, I will be counting down my top 10 Sephiroth toys. Continuing from the previous article, here are the top 5 Sephiroth toys.
5. Bring Arts Kingdom Hearts
In November of 2019, Square-Enix revisited the Kingdom Hearts Sephiroth design and updated it for the Bring Arts line. This toy is shorter than its prior incarnation, standing at around 7 inches tall. Despite the shorter stature, the Bring Arts toy highlights the advances in joint design and paint application.
The most obvious improvement over the Play Arts toy is the joints in the wing. Where the original figure’s wing only moved up and down, the Bring Arts’ wing has both a removable segment and an extra joint. These improvements open the options to display the wing as folded up against the back or as flared out. The plastic found in the Bring Arts toy’s wing is significantly lighter than that found on the Play Arts.
The next joint that received significant updates were the ankles. Unlike the original figure, this toy spots an ankle pivot. With the addition of the ankle pivot and lighter wing, the Bring Arts easily balances without the aid of the included stand.
As a final note, there is a Square-Enix Store exclusive version that comes with a second head. This limited-edition head offers the opportunity to pose Sephiroth with closed eyes.
4. Banpresto UFO Catcher Plush
In 1997, Banpresto released a 7-inch-tall plush that was obtainable as prizes in UFO catcher machines in Japan. Unlike the modern plushies released by Square-Enix, no stores carried this product.
Finding one of these plushies in pristine condition is a rare event. Not only did this toy have limited release due to its prize status, but there are wear and tear issues. Banpresto used pleather for the clothing and sword for this plush. This material tends to crack and peel over time.
While more modern Sephiroth plushies have improvements in cloth choice and stitching, the rarity of this figure raises the ranking for this toy. Even though my figure has required some repair, I still hold in in high regard.
3. Play Arts Kai
In January of 2017, Square-Enix updated one of the oldest toys ever released by the company. The Advent Children Sephiroth joined the Play Arts Kai line. Elevating over the older Play Arts line, this figure demonstrated the improvements in joint engineering between the two lines. This toy stands at over 10.5 inches, over an inch taller than the older figure. Further elevating the design, this Sephiroth may don a removable black wing.
The improvements in removing and replacing the hands are the most notable improvements for this figure. Unlike the original Play Arts, swapping the hands is occurs without creating stress on the plastic. The pivots in the ankles are also a notable improvement. While the wing does unbalance the figure, the ankle pivot permits Sephiroth to stand on his own.
The lower ranking for this figure is purely an aesthetic choice on my part. The buckles on Sephiroth’s coat clutter the design.
2. Bandai Extra Knights
In 1997, Bandai released the Extra Knights line of Final Fantasy VII figures. The Legendary Soldier Sephiroth toy stands at around 5 inches tall. There is limited articulation in this figure, with only the arms being capable of rotating at the shoulders. While the included stand is not necessary, it does assist in stabilizing the figure for display.
What this Sephiroth lacks in options and articulation, it makes up in by representing the character model artwork for the game. Moreover, the paint application for this figure is clean without any signs of wear.
This toy also holds importance as the original toy ever released for the character. Before the Play Arts line, the Extra Knights toy was the best Sephiroth figure around.
Honorable Mention Static Arts
In April of 2009, Square-Enix released the definitive piece of Sephiroth merchandise in existence today. The Static Arts figure stands at over 14 inches. The use of semi-transparent colored resin provides the impression of magical fire swirling around a meteor. The detail present in the contours of the hair and coat are also noticeable.
Unfortunately, the best classification for this figure is a statue rather than a toy. As such, it is not suitable for this list. Still, it is a notable figurine for any Sephiroth fan to collect.
1. Play Arts Final Fantasy VII Version
In June of 2008, Square-Enix released the Final Fantasy VII design of Sephiroth in the Play Arts line. Unlike the Advent Children toy, this version returns to the aesthetics of the game model. The buckles are not present on the coat, and the bangs are shorter and more noticeable.
This 9-inch-tall figure does not have the advanced articulation of the Kai line. Despite lacking a full range of ankle pivot, the articulation does not disappoint. This toy easily stands unassisted in dynamic poses.
For me, the likeness to the aesthetics of the 1997 game is most important. At the same time, this figure fleshes out the polygonal design from the PlayStation era to give the impression of what the model may have looked like if rendered today. At this time, the only means of replacing this figure would be a Kai release of this same design.