Phoenix Ikki EX
|Character Design||Masami Kurumada|
Review by SentaiSeiya
Phoenix Ikki is a Saint that just oozes an aura of badass-ery. He is the Bronze Saint whose base power is unrivaled by that of any other Bronze Saint. With good reason too, as his fighting skills were forged in the hottest, most soul-crushing place on earth... No, not Arizona... Ikki won the right to become a Saint on Death Queen Island, a living hell on earth… kind of like Arizona.
Although Ikki aids the Bronze Saints in their endeavors to save Athena and the world, he is not really quite part of the “team”. Ikki plays by his own rules, because that is how Ikki rolls. He usually shows up when he wants to or when his brothe Shun is in trouble. In the Poseidon chapter, which is the story arc in which Ikki wears the Cloth that is represented by this figure, Ikki shows up to defeat Lymnades Caça. Up to that point, Seiya, Shun and Hyoga had easily been defeated by Caça, who had manipulated their memories in order to lull the Saints into a false sense of security.
After mentally breaking down Caça, Ikki proceeds to repay the dastardly Sea General for having played with the emotions of the Bronze Saints.
After that Phoenix Ikki tells Seiya that destroying all of the pillars in order to save Athena is for squares. He is going to skip all of that and go straight to kicking Poseidon’s ass.
Unfortunately for Ikki, things do not go as planned. He encounters the mysterious Sea Dragon, who as it turns out is quite powerful. Although Ikki takes a beating from Sea Dragon, he is able uncover the identity of Sea Dragon, his plot to awaken Poseidon and also the means by which they can defeat the God of the Sea.
What would the Bronze Saints do without this rogue Saint? Anywho, lets check out the toy.
Once again, the box of this release is covered by a nice glossy sleeve.
Also, like the other boxes in the EX line, the actual box is designed to look like the Pandora Boxes that hold the Cloths of the Saints. The design Bronze Saints’ Pandora Boxes are different from the ones of the Gold Saints.
The Object mode for Ikki is the majestic phoenix, the mythical bird said to rise from the ashes every time it is defeated, only to return stronger than before.
The object mode looks really good. The upwardly-aching wings of the figure make it look impressive. It is also fairly faithful the design of the series. The only major discrepancy is that in the anime the sides of the headpiece seem to fold in, giving the headpiece a more pointy appearance.
The Phoenix object mode is not very complicated to put together. However, this task is made a little bit harder by the fact that the pieces of armor are located in central location of the body. So it inevitably results in knocking pieces off, while trying to place others on. The pieces that had the biggest tendency of falling off were the feet, which do a poor job at being stopper pieces for the leg armor ( thank god the leg armor has a snug fit with the legs of the phoenix).
Also, the fit of the left knee pad on my figure was not very good from the beginning. It kept falling off quite a bit. I did not have that issue with the kneepad for the broken cloth at first. Then for some reason, when I put the regular Cloth in the Object Mode one last time, the fit was totally shot between both of the regular kneepads and the body of the phoenix. So if any sharp-eyed readers notice a shot or two where the kneepads are not present, it was not carelessness, the kneepads would not stay on worth a damn anymore.
As with the EX Seiya, Bandai included a set of broken armor for Phoenix Ikki, which can also be displaed in Object Mode. However, there is only one body for the Object Mode, so both cannot be at the same time.
Phoenix Ikki looks great in his EX incarnation, although he looks a bit on the lanky side. But that is just the nature of the EX figures.
While there may be much debate over which version of the Gold Saints is better, the EX or their counterparts. It is not the case with this release. Like the EX Seiya, the EX version of this character is the definitive one for Ikki (at least in their second armor).
Everything of the releases surpasses the original: the proportions, the fit, the sculpt of the head (yay for no baby-head!) and the noticeable lack of porcupine-hair.While the original releases were good for their time, they have not aged so well.
As mentioned earlier, this figure comes with two sets of armor: one regular and one broken.The broken Cloth also looks great on Ikki, with its broken shoulder pad and crack lines around the armor.
The inclusion of a Broken Cloth Ikki is step forward for Bandai because up until now the only character to get the “Broken Cloth” treatment has been Seiya. Having a set of broken armor is a big plus for the figures of the Bronze Saints, as they get broken quite often.
However, the addition of a Broken Cloth for Phoenix Ikki, while a great extra for this figure, represents an oddity of sorts. In the Saint Seiya anime, Phoenix Ikki wears this armor from the Poseidon Chapter through the end of Hades Sanctuary Chapter, but it never breaks. Then in Hades Inferno, he shows up wearing his brand-spanking-new V3 Cloth, no explanation as to how he got it. Nor does he need one. Phoenix Ikki answers to nobody. The only time that Phoenix’s V2 Cloth gets severely broken is during Movies 3 and 4.
Unlike the Seiya EX release, the Phoenix does not have two complete sets of armor, because there is only one set of feathers included. So you cannot quite get two display pieces out of this, but it comes close.
The fit of the armor on Phoenix Ikki is good for the most part. I only had a couple of minor issues. The first is that the fit of the armguards was a bit loose and they have a tendency of moving around, especially when the arm is flexed. The other issue I had was that the buckle on the belt has a tendency of popping off. Not a big deal though, as it is fairly easy to pop back on. It was much A LOT less annoying than having to deal with Virgo Shaka’s skirt armor.
Since Ikki is light on armor, he is not restricted much and thus can achieve just about all of the range of motion that the figure can without the armor.
He can pull off all of his signature moves.
The Phoenix Genma Ken (鳳凰幻魔拳)
The Hōyoku Tenshō (鳳翼天翔)
And that is pretty much it. I guess the articulation is not super-important for pulling of his moves, but it is there for any other dramatic posing that may be required of Ikki
As for extras, Bandai has included a good amount : 4 face sculpt and 4 1/2 sets of hands.
The metal content for this release is kept to a minimum. Besides the feathers, which are not highlighted in the photo, only the headpiece, covers for the back of the hand and buckle are made of plastic.
Phoenix Ikki is the badass amongst the bronze Saints and this is a badass figure to pay tribute to the character. My only real gripe is that I really wish that Bandai would have included some effect parts with this release, instead of nickel and diming us with the web exclusive effect part sets. The one for Phoenix and Virgo looks really great, Bandai even reminds its buyer of that by including a sheet advertising the effect parts.
Onore Bandai!!! I may just have to break and buy one of your expensive effect parts for that sweet looking phoenix effect. It makes Ikki performing the Hōyoku Tenshō Hōyoku Tenshō look much more complete.
|Posted 29 December, 2012 - 08:45 by SentaiSeiya|