Welcome back to another installment of Disney Stuff.
When I was a kid I went through a serious comic book phase. In particular, I spent a lot of time at Mike's Comic Hut in Flushing, Queens (New York) sifting through the comic bins and spending my allowance. I wasn't so much a superhero guy. I was more into the character-based books like Archie, Sad Sack, Richie Rich, and many others. Of course, the Disney classic comics were always favorites of mine as well.
Now that I'm a dad, on a fairly regular basis I take the kids to the local comic book stores. We kill an hour or so looking through the comic boxes and make our way home with some great finds. Of course, nowadays the comic shop has so much more to look at. The shelves are packed with action figures and toys, both vintage and new and all sorts of collectibles. That's where I stumbled across the item I'm featuring today. Sitting there on the shelf one particular visit was this very cool Kingdom Hearts Mickey Mouse figure—more specifically, King Mickey.
For those of you that aren't aware, the Kingdom Hearts series of video games began in 2002 and was a collaboration between Disney and video game developers Square (now known as Square Enix.) Kingdom Hearts was an action role-playing game that featured classic Disney characters interacting with Square's most famous video game characters from its Final Fantasy series of games. What reportedly began as a chance meeting in an elevator between a Disney executive and game producer Shinji Hashimoto has turned into a mega media franchise. There have been seven different Kingdom Hearts titles released so far and more are in the works. Over 17 million copies of Kingdom Hearts' various games have been sold. As one would imagine, this success has propelled the Kingdom Hearts characters into all different sorts of merchandising. There are Kingdom Hearts books, soundtracks, collectibles, toys, novels, and of course, action figures like this one.
I own only one game in the Kingdom Hearts series; the original version for the Gameboy Advance. I'm not such a big fan of the role-playing genre of video games, but I am a big fan of Mickey. That day in the comic book store I just couldn't pass up this King Mickey figure for my collection.
Play Arts, one of the real masters of figure production, produced this line of figures. They are known for producing excellent likenesses with finely crafted details. King Mickey has 18 points of articulation, which is pretty impressively packed into a figure less than 6 inches tall. This Mickey is representative of the second installment of the game, Kingdom Hearts II, and is considered part of the Series 4 wave of figures.
Here, you can see Mickey out of his box and holding his Keyblade.
I love the fact that there is a little "Hidden Mickey" medallion dangling off of his Keyblade.
His jacket is incredibly detailed. It's a fine example of the craftsmanship that is put into these figures.
If you're a Kingdom Hearts fan then you should try and find yourself one of these Japanese imports for your collection. They sell on the collectible market for around $30 or so. But even if you're not such a fan of the video games, and you're just a good old Mickey Mouse fan like me, then you should probably own one of these as well.
Kingdom Hearts represents a rather unusual success story in Disney history. I'm not sure anyone could have predicted that the combination of Final Fantasy and Mickey, Donald, and Goofy would have been such a hit. Millions of games and millions of dollars have certainly proved the contrary.
Once again, our favorite mouse has managed to find his way down yet another avenue of stardom. If it looks like Mickey and sounds like Mickey… and it does, his voice for the games was none other than Disney legend and long time Mickey voice the late Wayne Allwine… then it must be Mickey.
And if it must be Mickey… then I must have said Mickey on my shelves.
What do you think of Kingdom Hearts Mickey? Is it too far from the traditional path for you? Or can you appreciate how he's found his way into a whole other audience through these games? Click on the "Discuss this article on MousePad" link below and let us hear your thoughts.
I'll see you next time with some more of that great Disney Stuff.
(Send an email to Chris Barry)
Chris Barry lives on Long Island in New York with his wife and three kids. He has had a lifelong love of cartoons, comics and animation. Those who know him well say he has truly, "earned his Disney PhD." Chris has been involved with Television Production for 20 years and began his career working with The Muppets at Jim Henson Productions in NYC. Currently teaching TV Production to high school students, Chris has been writing about many different facets of The Walt Disney Company for several years now.