Square Enix’s Bring Arts line is going from strength to strength, with regular releases and more on the way. What I’m most excited about is that Final Fantasy character are starting to arrive, heralded by Estinien from Final Fantasy XIV.
As the first character from the main Final Fantasy games to be released in the Bring Arts line, Estinien seems like an odd choice due to the complexity of his design. There are also serious concerns about the durability of the figure, as early reviews showed arms breaking at the joint. But the design alone is enough to make me take the risk by buying this figure and see for myself. Shout out to Hubbyte Toy Store for helping me secure this figure.
Estinien Wyrmblood is an Elezen NPC in Final Fantasy XIV. He is the current Azure Dragoon, mightiest hero of Ishgard and Bearer of the Eye of Nidhogg. A Dragoon is a type of lancer – a class in Final Fantasy games that attacks with spears. Dragoons inflict a lot of damage, and it’s a shame Estinien cannot be controlled in the game.
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Estinien’s character design is quite elaborate: in addition to their stylized armor, it also has a lot of points. My first concern is whether the armor will hamper the articulation of the figure. Typically, figures with elaborate armor are also notoriously difficult to pose.
There’s also the fact that the figure has had durability issues made me pretty wary about posing it. It turns out that I will experience an issue, but thankfully it wasn’t as bad as I feared.
The figure’s design is faithful to the original. Square Enix spared no expense at replicating the intricate armor of a Dragoon. The sharp points do make posing quite a chore, but the over-all design is impressive.
The edges and curves in the armor has been replicated with a high level of detail. Rarely do figures get this visually impressive, and even the unhelmed head of Estinien has a bust to accommodate it when not in use. This gives the figure army-building opportunities as the head with the helmet looks like an ordinary Dragoon.
The Bring Arts line has decent articulation, and this figure continues that trend. I liked making poses with Estinien more than I did with both Figma and Marvel Legends, but not quite as pleasurable to pose as SH Figuarts. But the figure does have its drawbacks which are related to the character design.
As is the case with armored figures where the armor is a separate mold, there is always a possibility that it will affect the range of articulation. Bring Arts Estinien has intricately molded parts, and it is very good aesthetically. However, it does hinder certain poses. The shoulder armor, for instance, can get in the way of the shoulder articulation.
The waist armor makes it difficult to adjust the waist at times. But I think the waist armor is used to mask the articulation since it can sometimes look awkward. One of my biggest issues though, is the hips, which I found notoriously difficult to put back into neutral position. Several times, I’ve had to be an action figure chiropractor to put the hips back in place.
That said, posing this figure can be maddenning, but not outright atrocious. You just needed to have a lot of patience especially with the armor, and the hips.
Bring Arts Estinien has a lot of accessories. The figure comes with a stand that is standard to all Bring Arts figures. Then there are two pairs of alternate hands, a right hand holding the Eye of Nidhogg, the lance which can be deconstructed into three parts, a deployed “wing” for the lance, and a bust containing the unhelmeted head of Estinien.
Despite having basically just one weapon, it is an elaborate lance. I had some trouble posing it because of its length and weight. But the poses I got out of me were satisfying. I’ve always collected sword-wielding characters, and I had a kick out of playing with my first lance-carrying figure.
Since I haven’t played Final Fantasy XIV, I wasn’t sure how the lance’s wings worked. I figured that the deployed phase is used during battles. Here’s where the durability issue came up as while I was trying to put in the deployed wings, they broke right in the middle.
As it turns out, the wings are actually comprised of two different parts glued together. While that means I can repair the part easily, I am quite troubled as to why Square Enix chose to make two parts and then just glue it. I didn’t even exert that much effort into the part, it just came apart.
I guess I should be happy that I didn’t experience anything major like other reviewers who has had an entire arm broken off. But it is an inconvenience, and it definitely takes points off the figure’s score.
Bring Arts Estinien is so fun to play around with mainly because of its aesthetics and its ability to make cool poses. Although the waist joint can be a chore, the armor can get in the way, and you’ll be worrying about keeping the whole figure from falling apart, it still manages to pull through in the end.
As it is, the figure doesn’t really have a lot of balance because its core area – especially its waist – is ill equipped to handle the weight of both the armor and the weapon. But that is off-set by the action stand, which allows you to support the figure while you are making it do very dynamic poses.
As for the scale, it is tall enough to be comparable to Hasbro’s Marvel Legends. Figma and SH Figuarts are dwarves when standing next to Estinien, especially with that armor. That said, the exposed head seems a little too small for the body, which is a shame given that the face is well-sculpted. It almost seems as if the figure was more Dragoon first, Estinien second, as the head with the helmet seems properly scaled compared to the one that isn’t.
Bring Arts Estinien is a fine figure worthy of anyone’s collection. It has its faults, but the young action figure line can well benefit from learning from these issues as the Final Fantasy license has loads of flamboyantly designed characters. Until now, Bring Arts has produced fairly safe designs, and with Estinien, the line now has experience dealing with fairly complex ones.
Square Enix has always created action figure versions of its Final Fantasy characters, and we can be sure that Bring Arts is the first of many. Already, pre-orders are up for Bring Arts Cloud Strife Another Form (Kingdom Hearts) ver. Sephiroth too, has been displayed already. And with Final Fantasy VII Remake in full development mode, we can be sure that there will be Bring Arts version of characters from that title as well.