Rocket Toy Review: Play Arts Kai Snake (Sneaking Suit Ver.)

August 12, 2013

The Metal Gear series has proven to be extremely popular, with numerous spin-offs, comics and even some odd promotional items surfacing over the years. Up until a couple of years ago though, it was difficult to find quality collectibles of the various characters from the games, let alone decent action figures. Released in 2010, the Play Arts Kai run of Metal Gear SolidPeace Walker figures sought to change this.

Figure Name: Play Arts Kai SNAKE Sneaking Suit Ver
Figure Maker: Square Enix
Released: June 2010
Retail Price: ¥4800/ AUD$58

The Play Arts line, owned by Square Enix, is unsurprisingly best known for its various Final Fantasy figures and the high price they command. The past year or so has seen the toy division releasing and announcing several other figures from various other series, including Agent 47 from Hitman, Nathan Drake from Unchartedand even the Mass Effect cast. Before all that came the Peace Walker line of toys which includes two versions of Snake, Miller and the four AI weapon mechs.

Snake comes in a distinctive yellow version of the regular Play Arts Kai box that perfectly matches the game’s branding. Given the figure’s rather large size (23cm/9inches), the box is quite hefty as well. If you buy a lot of Play Arts, expect to have to build a new room just for the boxes.

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As you can see, there isn’t much room in the packaging for accessories, which is quite typical of most Play Arts releases so far. Snake comes with two pistols (one with a detachable silencer), a shield and an extra pair of hands for holding his guns.

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On to the big boss himself. Snake is quite well detailed, with his face looking as rugged and aged as you would expect. You can even see details like the sewing holes in his eyepatch.

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A figure of Snake wouldn’t be complete without amazing muscle definition and that’s something you can tell has been given a lot of thought just by glancing at it. The body-hugging sneaking suit itself deserves the same praise, with seams added where material would stretch if Snake were actually wearing it.

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Other additions such as pouches and straps punctuate Snake’s suit nicely, making him look well-equipped, just as he would have to be if he were off on a sneaking mission. The straps look and feel as they would in real life and I suspect the same material was used but sprayed over or sealed to make it more plasticky.

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Snake’s also got a weapon holster that can actually be opened and used to store one of his guns.

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On the back of his waist are a canteen and utility pouch. The canteen looks as good as the other things hanging off Snake, but I’m not a fan of the utility pouch. It looks like it was crafted lazily, not having the same amount of detail as Snake’s other accessories.

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The shield is quite basic, but looks cool nevertheless.

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Given Snake’s weight, he’s tricky to pose. He also doesn’t have a lot of points of articulation, and most are quite limited because of the sculpting. It’s hard to create basic ones such as having him hold a gun with both hands and some poses just look plain unnatural given he only has two sets of hands. An extra set of open hands would be nice and would give collectors the opportunity to create even more poses.

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The difficulty of posing Snake is also due in part to the aforementioned utility pouch; it would be nice if it was detachable. Also lacking is a stand of some sort which would allow him to make more dynamic poses. Not such a big deal in this case, but you won’t be re-enacting any Super Smash Bros. Brawl fights without the use of a custom stand.

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But of course, it’s easy to pose him a prone position.

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Play Arts Kai Snake seems to suffer from what a lot of other figures in the same range do – pretty sculpts with nice detail, but poor articulation and limited accessories. With his limited articulation and subsequently, limited number of poses, Snake is just barely an action figure. If you’re comfortable shelling out $60+ for what is essentially a slightly poseable sculpture, you’ll like Snake. If you’re after something that’s more along the lines of a full-on action figure, you’ll be better off waiting to see if any other manufacturers tackle the series.


Gorgeous sculpt | Great attention to detail | Stupid sexy Snake


Poor articulation | Bulkiness limits poseability | Pricey

Overall Score: