Astro Toy
Myth Cloth EX Andromeda Shun

by David Cabrera,

Myth Cloth EX Andromeda Shun
Series: Saint Seiya
Maker: Bandai
Cost: ~$70

So what else can I buy in Astro Toy wild card season before the preorders start to roll in? Oh, I know, I know! Saint Seiya! I've been wanting to buy another Myth Cloth figure since the Sagittarius figure so thoroughly won me over last year. The Myth Cloth line is coming up on its 10th anniversary, which entails a new set of the main characters, and the addition of the recent Omega anime to the line. And, because they can, Bandai is comissioning a 2kg solid gold Sagittarius Cloth. Not for sale. So it's definitely one of the busier high-end toy lines!

Now all that fancy stuff is due for way later in the year and we probably won't buy any of it, because it's expensive and this is not exactly a priority series... but there's some time for it now, right? So I bought Andromeda Shun. He's the kind-hearted, androgynous one.

Like we always do with these figures, let's look at it bare. This isn't the exact same base body we saw on the previous figure-- the torso is a bit bulkier-- but it's also very slim and lanky.  This is both in the style of the characters and for the purposes of the toy. For example, the shoulders are nothing more than exposed ball joints. Think of it in the same way as you would a doll body: you get the best possible articulation, and because clothing (in this case armor) will go over the body, there's no negative impact on the final appearance of the thing.

Now let's get to the fun part, which is the armor. The Andromeda Cloth is much lighter and less ornate than Sagittarius', of course, but the basic idea remains the same. The chest and belt armor wrap around the body, whereas the rest of the armor slides up onto the limbs or snaps into a shoulder or knee. It's all gleaming metal, aside from the smallest bits, which are simply shiny plastic. Though Shun's long hair bends a bit, it still gets in the way of the big shoulder armor: probably not preventable. Belt buckle is unfortunately still rather ill-fitting.

However, Shun's light armor also happens to expose to everybody that he was built by Bandai last year in a Chinese factory. Even if the legal department demands a copyright notice on the figure, why would you put that stuff right in the back like this and not some place that will be covered by armor? I don't understand!

Shun's weapons are Andromeda's chains, as seen in Greek mythology. As you can see, these are actual metal chains. The fingers on these hands bend a little bit to hold the chains, so you can do whatever you like with them. Alternate armor pieces for the forearms are used to secure the chains at Shun's wrists. Very cool: this is probably how I'd opt to display the figure.

Now in the manga the character has the power to manipulate the chains as he pleases: obviously this is not possible with real chains in real life, so the figure comes with some plastic pieces to simulate the attacks from the series. This one is the Rolling Defense: the swirling plastic chain comes in a set shape and has to be assembled out of four fragments. It's really impressive the way they've made it look like one big chain: once it's put together, you can't tell where the connections are.

And here's the Thunder Wave. This is a single piece that you'll find coils around the hand neatly without any tabs or direct attachments.

But that's not close to all! As is common in the EX line, Shun is supplied with a whole new set of battle-damaged armor! Not only is this a whole new set of diecast metal armor, it isn't quite a duplicate: the edges are heavily chipped, and the cracks all over the armor are engraved, not just painted on. Great attention to detail here, fantastic work.

Of course there's a crying face supplied as well. Poor guy!

All the Myth Cloth figures use the armor for a second purpose: to assemble the “Objects” from the manga. Last time, with Sagittarius, I was like “screw this!” but this review isn't quite that long, so here it is. It's Andromeda herself, chained as it went down in that Greek mythology. Poor Andromeda! I did my best to replicate the picture on the package, but action figure bondage wasn't exactly something I'd been studying up on. The plastic base carries the armor at various key points, including some armor inside the object. It's not really a storage option, nor is it intended to be.

These figures are always fantastic. I always know what I'm getting into with them, and when I get a chance, well... I buy them. Myth Cloth, especially the new EX stuff, is easily among the very finest Japanese toy lines. Of course I recommend.

We paid about $70 at Amiami, where he's on backorder. Shouldn't be a problem. This may not be still running by the time this article goes up, but Amazon has it at $37! Whaaat?! If it's still on a discount that deep when this runs, I don't just recommend it, I implore you to pick it up. If you like action figures at all, man, these things kill. Take this chance and try one out.

When he isn't killing time on fighting games and mahjong, David Cabrera makes moe 4-panel comics about videogames at Kawaiikochan. You can follow him on Twitter @sasuraiger.

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