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Astro Toy
Myth Cloth EX Pegasus Seiya

by David Cabrera,

Myth Cloth EX Pegasus Seiya
Saint Seiya
Maker: Bandai
Price: $60

Hey, everyone! Who wants to hear about the behind-the-scenes of the column again? You do, of course. I had four things set to ship out this month, and last week all of them were pushed back to either November or, at the very least, past the column deadline. What do we do in these situations? Well, my friends, I don't miss columns, so I try to have a figure set aside for times like this. And today it's Saint Seiya!

I consider the Myth Cloth EX line a treat to review: this is by no means a popular series here in the States, so the figures rarely make it onto the schedule, but it has one of the most amazing toy lines around. This one's been sitting around for about a year waiting for its moment.

The series was likely conceived in some sense with its toy gimmick in mind: warriors called Saints wear magic armor called “Cloths” (hence the toy line's name) and punch each other while yelling. (Read more in Jason Thompson's excellent writeup from a few years ago).

So of course, the gimmick was that you had a bare figure who you'd “dress up” in armor. You can see an example of the old toys here, at a dedicated collector's site. This line is an update of those (30-year old!!) toys, for collectors who've grown up and have some cash to burn. It's very similar to Soul of Chogokin in that sense, with the same kind of no-compromise ethos, attention to detail, and some metal.

I tend to leave packaging out of my reviews, but I think the Myth Cloth EX packaging is some of the better work in the business. The whole thing comes neatly packed into a big ol' cube. First you've got this glossy plastic slipcover with advertising copy and PEGASUS SUISEI-KEN...

And then you take it off to reveal a box decorates like the boxes you see the guys actually carry their armor around in in the series. Clever, classy, series appropriate. I like it.

As you can see the base body is pretty much a doll body. It has Kurumada's look in an essential sense (lanky, tightly muscled), and the face is spot on, but detail is second place to not getting in the way of the armor. You probably noticed the strange shoulders first: they certainly don't look like those of a human being, but they're shaped that way so that the shoulder armor is easier to snap on. Also note the diecast metal feet, which come “armored” already.

Speaking of which, here are the first couple of pieces of armor! Since we've done this line in-depth before, I thought it would be cool to look closely at the armor bits themselves and do a piece-by-piece “transformation” to keep things interesting.. These armor pieces are solid metal-- aside from the plastic joints and connecting bits-- and as you see the chestplate and the belt open up so that they can be wrapped around the body.

Let's do a transformation!! AAAAAAAA--

AAAAAA-- The shoulder armor clips onto the edge of the breastplace in a way that is not extremely obvious, so look closely. Again, the reason the shoulders on the base figure are like that is so that the shoulder plates have a ton of wiggle room.

AAAAAA-- The belt buckle is still the Achilles' heel of this toy line after years and years of releases. This one snaps onto the belt rather than the hellish slide-on buckles on the Sagittarius and Andromeda figures, but it will still pop out as it pleases and there is nothing you can do to stop it. They've been making these for a long time, they're very high-quality and expensive figures, so there has to besome kind of reason the belt buckles are always so bad. But I'll never know.

AAAAAA-- Arm and leg armor are put on by sliding the hand/foot off and slipping the armor over the appendage. The fit's nice and snug with just a small amount of give for the various poses you might want to take with the armored figure.

AAAAAA-- nice kicks. This is a significantly less armored figure than the Gold Saints like Sagittarius-- there's nothing up on the thighs, the chestplate is pretty skimpy-- but also it's quite a bit less trouble to set up the armor.

If you're going to set this up like a magical girl transformation-- and I have, that's exactly how I'm shooting it over here-- the wings have to be the next to last thing to go on, right? These are plastic and clip onto the back without any trouble. You can of course also put a flat metal plate onto the back, since the character doesn't usually appear like this.

And finally, the “mask”. You remove the front hair piece and use a second hair piece, which is recessed so that the mask can sit a little bit “inside” the hair. This piece is also plastic: you'll need to give it a little bend to properly get the very snug fit that is intended.

AAAAAAA!! It's done!! Seiya, you're a strong as heck dude!

So that's the appeal of this line: you assemble something really heavy and beautiful. I love these damn things! The articulation is better than it looks like; the body twists, the arms curl up, the legs can swivel all over. The joints are just a little tight, so as to hold their place. However, you will find that belt buckle coming off all the time when you don't need it to be. The figure stands well enough on its own but you'll probably want a Tamashii Stand if you want to get fancy at all.

Extras, aside from hands and faces, are an extra damaged set of armor and the Pegasus Object, built by assembling the various pieces of armor onto a plastic piece. The Object itself is always kind of an afterthought in this line, a flimsy plastic thing that falls apart in your hands as you struggle to assemble it. After a bit of a struggle-- and a realization that this article was already plenty long-- I let Pegasus lie.

Because it's such a niche line and because so many different characters are produced, Myth Cloths really do sell out and go to absurd prices in the wildernesses of Ebay and Amazon. I bought this one a year and a half ago for $60 on Amazon, but these days demand has driven that price up to an average of $100. Figures of characters that aren't the protagonist often shoot up to $200. However, these figures are easy to get when they first come out (sometimes they go down to $30-40) so if you're at all curious about this line I recommend just seeing what armored pretty boy is in stock with Bluefin this time. You probably won't go wrong!

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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