KNIGHTS OF THE ZODIAC (BANDAI)
And now for another installment of “Ethan reviews a figure from a source he’s completely unfamiliar with.”
Knights of the Zodiac is…this thing? Hang on, I can do better than that. It’s actually a manga and an anime, originally titled Saint Seyia, which showed up in Japan in the ’80s and eventually made its way to the US in the early 2000s. It’s a story that’s rather heavily inspired by Greek myths…and that’s really it. Not sure where the whole Zodiac thing came into it. I’m gonna go ahead and blame the French, since they’re the ones that stuck it in the title when they imported it. It’s always the French, isn’t it? Odd blaming of an entire nation aside, today I’ll be looking at one of the many figures to come out of the property, based on Phoenix Ikki!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
When the Knights of the Zodiac anime was imported to the US in the early ’00s, Bandai America picked up the license and put out few different styles of figures. Phoenix Ikki comes from the deluxe line, which was larger scale a featured fancy removable armor. The figure stands 8 inches tall and has 25 points of articulation. All of the deluxe figures were built on the same standard body. It’s well articulated, though perhaps a little mannequin -like in its build. Given that it’s really just meant to be the starting point of a much more complicated design, it’s not a terrible sculpt. He gets a unique headsculpt, which is decent, I suppose. It’s a little bit odd, since Ikki has long hair and they still have account for the helmet and other armor, which means the shaping is a little weird. Not awful-weird, but still no-human-could-have-that-weird. At the very least it’s unique. To complete his look, Ikki includes several pieces of clip-on armor. There’s a helmet, chest piece, skirt/belt, wrist bracers, and shin guards. They’re a little bulky, and any gold sections are rather flaky, but otherwise, it’s pretty cool. The chrome is certainly eye-catching, and I really dig the wings, which are individually articulated. My figure is missing the skirt and one half of each shin guard, but I find I actually like him better without those pieces. In regards to paint, the figure’s somewhat basic and a little bit drab for my taste, but the application is at least clean, and nothing notable appears to be missing. The armor was the main extra here, so no real other accessories were included, but he did include a small dummy to store the armor in, which was pretty cool.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
When I was much smaller, I watched this show called Mystic Knights, which had a toy line very similar to this one. Many years later, I found a few of these figures on clearance at KB Toys, so I got them out of an odd bit of nostalgia. I actually have several volumes of the manga, which I even read, but for the life of me, I couldn’t tell you what happened in any of them. Nevertheless, this is actually a pretty fun figure, and I’m glad to have it.