Saint Seiya Gemini Saga
Review by Showapop
Last year when I reviewed my Spiral Zone Saint Seiya Sagittarius figure I bemoaned the fact that I was never able to purchase the companion piece to it, the Spiral Zone Saint Seiya Gemini Saga. After the review I made it a priority to locate what I though was the last Spiral Zone figure I needed to complete my collection. One was eventually listed on Yahoo Auctions Japan and $80.00 less in my account I am now able to review one of the rarest items in the Spiral Zone collection.
Gemini Saga was one of three Saint Seiya figures that were manufactured using the 36-point articulation Systeminjection figures as used in Bandai’s SF Spiral Zone action figure line. I had only seen one once when I was a kid at Pony Toy Go Round in Los Angeles Little Tokyo district and it has always haunted me since, as I was never able to purchase one for my collection.
There are a few first with this figure. First off it is the only SZ figure that features a supernatural appeal to it as the figures face is molded in blue, the eyes are red and the hair is grey. Second it is the only Spiral Zone set that includes two uniforms: The Gemini armor and the Pope armor.
The best part about purchasing this set was that it was in NOS condition and had never been put together before so all the parts were verified and included. Accordingly one would think that the parts would be in perfect condition but after years of the parts rubbing together in the box some of the once beautiful chrome has rubbed off in the raised areas of the armor. Bandai asks you to paint the parts that need to be painted such as the figures under-suit and fists and the many armor highlights and the beads and spikes on the Pope armor. Many of the raised parts are to be repainted but since I do not paint any of my Spiral Zone figures those defects will stay exposed.
As stated before while the SZ Kamen Ride Black was pure toy and the Spiral Zone line proper was the fine line between toy and model kit the SZ Saint Seiya figures were pure model kit. The packing is typical of model kit packaging with a lid top and no artwork on the underside of the box. The artwork on the top of the box is beautifully rendered and there is one clear window showing the Gemini Saga figure.
The Gemini Saga figure needs to be assembled but due to the age of the figure I did it very carefully as old plastic becomes brittle. I suggest picking up a good set of sprue cutters from a local hobby shop so one could get a clean cut of the parts from the sprue.
The parts are molded in three colors, black, Chrome Gold and Chrome Red. The molding is excellent and all the minor details of the armor are included, the best features are the Gargoyle on the Pope headdress and the evil and good twins likeness on the Gemini helmet. The set also comes with two real cloth capes for the armor sets that attach to the back. This Gemini set is actually easier to review if I split it into four parts: The Gemini figure, The Pope, The Gemini armor and the Statue.
The Gemini figure is perhaps one of my favorite Spiral Zone figures. The sculpt is great and captures the evil twin of the Gemini Saga character and definitely stands out among all the Spiral Zone figures. The blue face, grey hair and red eyes demand attention on the shelf. The figure features all the above average features of Spiral Zone figures including moveable fingers and 36-point articulation.
The Gemini Armor is much more complex that the Sagittarius armor to apply to the figure. The real cloth cape is a nice touch. Sadly the Gold chrome has faded over the years so it does not shine like it once did. I especially love the helmet. While the Sagittarius helmet is just a headband with wings this is a full on helmet that needs to be assembles around the head and it looks great. The only fit that was not easy was the leg armor and the boot armor to the figure. There just does not seem to be enough area to go around for both parts at the same place and it feels like you are going to break the parts when you apply them both at the same time and there is a very visible gap between the parts and no articulation.
The Pope armor is what really makes this figure work. After being somewhat let down by the Gemini Armor the Pope Armor is just top notch. The red chrome was beautifully done and the parts were crisp and well sculpted. The Pope’s helmet sculpt just left me speechless, there is nothing like it in the entire Spiral Zone universe and the helmet something that demands to be looked at. The Gargoyle and its wings is one of the best examples of the Saint Seiya armor design and helmets fits snug on the figures head. Together with the white robe and the long spikes of the shoulder armor this uniform really takes the place as one of the best Spiral Zone sets.
Finally I always thought the Gemini Armor Statue was one of the evilest looking statue of the all Saint Seiya statues. It looks like a weird two faced, four-legged spider with these inhumanly long limbs. The SZ satutes captures all the weirdness and most importantly it stays together quite well unlike the SZ Sagittarius statue.
The only feature I am let down with is how the gold chrome had faded over the years. This is a good example of just because a toy is NOS does not mean its perfect example of a toy. This set had never been touched but time can still get to an item and do it in.
Finally, the day after I received this figure set from Japan I had the thought if there was one other Spiral Zone Saint Seiya figure that was produced besides Sagittarius and Gemini it would have been Pegasus as he was the lead character of the series. I got to talking with a fellow Spiral Zone collector and he informed me with photographic evidence that was indeed a Spiral Zone Saint Seiya Pegasus figure manufactured by Bandai. He stated that the standard figure was molded with silver chrome but a premium figure was also manufactured with Gold Chrome as well. A Spiral Zone Pegasus is definitely a rare figure and I hope to locate one to review on CollectionDX.
I am happy I was finally able to pick up Gemini, an item I was never was able to purchase as kid, and include it in my collection. The Pope armor more than takes this one over the top and it has a lot of presence on the shelf even next to other Spiral Zone armor sets. If you are a hardcore Saint Seiya and Spiral Zone collector this set is definitely worth picking up but generally due to high cost, rarity and better examples of this character on the market I would pass this one up.
©2009 article and photos by Leonardo Flores and CollectionDX
|Posted 28 January, 2009 - 14:11 by Showapop|