OBJECTION! You know, ’cause he’s Phoenix. And Nick says Objec-OBJECTION!
Yea or Nay?
The sculpting’s a little dated, but this is still a solid little piece which puts even modern figures to shame. Recommended if you can find it for cheap.
The top line of action figures from Japan right now is S.H. Figuarts (SHF) and its derivatives. But before SHF there was Souchaku Henshin (SHS), and before SHS there was… Saint Cloth. A toyline based around the Saint Seiya (Knights of the Zodiac) property. Aaaand that’s pretty much it, Phoenix Ikki here is a character from that series and in all honesty, that’s all I know. I tried to research the exact toy line this guy’s from, but I just can’t find any with pics to confirm.
Is this from the Saint Seiya Myth Cloth series? An early run perhaps? Or a late run of a previous series? Or something else? Says here, Bandai 2003, which means it could have been released in 2004, or the second half of 2003.
If it means anything, at the least, I think I’ve defiled a moderately rare toy when I broke the seal and removed this guy from his packaging. The MISB gods would surely desire to smite me for my heresy.
This is a rather interesting figure. This particular guy came out in 2003, a couple years into the Souchaku Henshin line. So the sculpt is a little dated. Actually, to tell the truth, it almost looks like a sleek, improved… late 80s/90s toy. Nice, but no cigar. Or IS there a cigar? While the proportions aren’t as great as a modern figure, and the sculpting is quite plain; the thing is, the proportions aren’t THAT bad, they’re actually almost kinda acceptable by modern standards; and a smooth textured look is in keeping with the figure’s anime roots. Although he’s kind of short, much like the earlier SHS line. He’s only thereabouts 4 and a half inches tall.
What makes this guy interesting though, is the articulation, which puts even modern figures to shame. In fact, one very interesting thing about the design of this figure is that the creators seemed to have favored function over form. Where it made more sense to do something functionally, that’s what they did, even if it meant the sculpt was sacrificed as a result. For instance, the ankle joints are very obvious on this guy, but gives him plenty of clearance for posing options, thus allowing him to do the Michael Jackson Smooth Criminal Lean.
Heck, he can even do a Matrix Dodge.
Ultimately, choosing function over form turned out to be the right decision, as this guy is able to stand the test of time. Aesthetic preferances might have changed over the years, despite all this stuff being based on the same source material, but being constructed a decade ahead of his time means that Phoenix Ikki is still a good toy today.
Anyway, as you can see, he comes with plenty of chromed armor bits. What you can’t see is that a bunch of it is die cast as well. Since this guy was misb before I ruined him, the chrome’s held up pretty well. Although the tail section has suffered significant crackling in the box, and future chipping and flaking is to be expected, now that he’s free from his plastic and cardboard prison.
If you can find this guy for cheap, grab him. He’s a good figure all around. The aesthetics is a little retro, but he’s still somewhat passable. Scale might be a problem though, he doesn’t really scale with many modern figures. Of course, if you can find a modern Saint Seiya Cloth Myth figure for a good price, you’ll probably want those first, as they have far better proportions. This guy’s still good on his own though.
Pros: Looks cool despite retro-ness. Highly articulated. Plenty of armor bits.
Cons: Look is dated. Chipping & flaking is inevitable.