Sunday 9 June 2013

Shadow Heartless (Square Enix)

Heartless.  They’re incredibly adorable until they slash or backhand Sora across the face, causing him to lose heath.  Then it’s all about beating them and then (maybe) feeling bad later.  I mean, they don’t know any better!  Personally, I can’t help but feel bad every now and then for beating one of these little guys in battle even if they attack me first.  They’re really cute for enemies, which is why I ended up purchasing this plush.  Let’s take a look at Square Enix’s latest plush toy!

Much like the Wonder Nyan / Meowow Plush I reviewed a long while back, the Shadow Heartless is big, squishy, and sewn really well.  I guess you can’t really go wrong with making a plush that’s 95% black fabric and cotton.  If Square managed to screw that up then I wouldn’t have any hope left for their products.  It’s bad enough their figures are poorly made.  Honestly, if they were to have a third party manufacture their figures they would sell far more than they do now.  It’s not just about design, Square.  Quality matters too!

In any case, Square's Heartless is approximately 25cm tall when it is sitting upright, antennae included.  35cm if you hold it up and add its dangling legs to the height.  This little guy is made of polyester, just like the Wonder Nyan / Meowow plush, so both of Square Enix's official plush toys are relatively soft.  It would be much easier hugging the Heartless than the Wonder Nyan / Meowow plush simply because it’s not stuffed to the brim. I remember trying to hug the Wonder Nyan plush before and it was pretty stiff.  Jenn and I even made jokes about that cat being punt-able.

The fun (and sad) thing about my Heartless plush is that it’s remarkably listless.  Seeing how broken this creature actually makes me feel bad about ever attacking the Shadow Heartless in the Kingdom Hearts games.  Good job, Square.  Good job. 

When I held it up in the air for the first time, its arms and legs just dangled like there were no joints—which there aren’t in the plush, but it certainly makes this poor thing appear defenceless. Its arms and legs are stringy making it look incredibly weak and vulnerable.  While I do like the Heartless plush the way it is, I’m just concerned that a simple tug or two could result in me tearing its arm off.  The stringiness, in a way, cheapens the product, but at least the rest of the plush is solid.  

As a huge Kingdom Hearts fan I can dismiss its little flaws.  If I can excuse Square's Formation Arts figures, I can most certainly excuse some weak limbs on a Heartless plush.  It’s not like I’m going to tug on its arms or legs like a sadistic monster anyway, but for those of you with pets or younger siblings who are curious, you guys best be careful!  Also, keep in mind you shouldn't hold the Heartless by its arms or legs.  It's best if you're cautious.

In any case, I'm rather impressed by the overall quality of this plush.  The eyes definitely don't feel as though they'll fall out any time soon.  They're really stuck in that Heartless's head! The antennae are really stable, much firmer than the limbs.  Its head is securely sewn to its body so no one needs to feel worried about it tilting in any direction.

I'm really content with the fact that cotton isn't spilling from any of the seams.  Clearly there's the right amount of stuffing in its head and body.  

There is, however, one small flaw with my plush.  This may not apply to all the Heartless plushes out there.  After placing the Heartless on my shelf I noticed it likes keeping one of its legs twisted.  I tell you, this one's a peculiar little guy...He has one leg facing forward and one completed twisted the other way.  I often try to adjust it, but it insists on looking even more deformed than it already is.   Every so often it submits to me and keeps its legs facing the right direction though, but that requires a bit of effort. 

Its head is slightly bigger than its body, but because there are beans packed in its bum, it’s able to sit up against a vertical surface without toppling over.  Seriously, if you grope its bum, you’ll notice there are lots of beans inside!  Huzzah for groping weird creatures!  But on a serious note, I’m glad Square put those in.  Otherwise my plush would be stuck face planting for life, and that’s just unimpressive, even for a lowly Shadow creature! 

 Sometimes it can sit up on its own too and I must say it looks adorable!  

I was impressed with how well my photos came out. I didn't have to struggle to keep my Heartless in a sitting position, which saved me a lot of time and effort.

I noticed that most of my photos make the Heartless look incredibly sad, as though tears should be streaming down its face while its expression remains...well, blank.  It's like a broken-soul cry.  The tears could tell all the tales...if it could cry.  There are times when its eyes can just rip through your soul, but that depends on how sad a story you give it.

Every now and then, when I stare at the Heartless on my shelf, I want to give it a hug, especially since mine insists on keeping its leg twisted. Heartless already lack proper bodies, brains (probably), and hearts, but this plush almost pushes it to the edge.  Maybe it just needs to feel something since it's already missing so much in its hopeless little life.  This Heartless can look sad and broken from all angles.  One glance at the preview icon I put up says it all!  It's leaning against a wall looking dejected, like it's mulling over its horrible day!  Or maybe it's mentally preparing itself for a beating.  Once Sora finds it, that's it man.  Game Over.   I finished off a Heartless by stabbing it in the bum with Sora's Keyblade in Re: Chain of Memories one time.  Jenn won't let me forget it even though it was an accident.  I can't help but feel guilty and my only excuse is, "It attacked me first!"  Not a very good excuse mind you, but it is one nonetheless.

Seriously, I feel the urge to hug it because it's just so sad! If you look at its eye in the picture above, it's slightly narrowed, making it seem as though it's about to choke out a sob or two.  Angles can really change your perspective on things... 

I think from now on I'll be wincing a little every time I beat a little Heartless in battle.  Playing Kingdom Hearts is going to get rough from here on out...  Once again, thanks a lot, Square for making this cute but depressing little plush.  It's making me feel things!

World-wary Heartless just needs some love.
And some alcohol.
There’s not much else to say except good job on another decent product, Square Enix! Keep it up! 

The Shadow Heartless is a wonderful addition to my Kingdom Hearts and weird plush collection.  Poor Flynn is just surrounded by strange creatures.  Are they friend or foe?  Who knows!  But I suppose he has a good reason to look unhappy now.

In any case, I recommend Kingdom Hearts fans pick this cute little guy up.  He looks great on my shelf and let’s face it, there were lots of us waiting for an official Heartless plush for a long time.  I hope people don't purchase the counterfeit ones anymore because this little guy is simply adorable!

Supposedly Square is going to release a Dusk (KH2) and Flood (BBS) in the future.  Let's look forward to those as well!

Manufacturer: Square Enix
Price: 2490 yen
Purchased from: Amiami

Thanks for reading!


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