What is a Saint Cloth Myth figure?
Successors to the Saint Cloth Series toys released from 1987 onwards, Saint Cloth Myth figures were first produced in 2003 by Bandai Tamashii Nations to celebrate the launch of the animated OAV series dedicated to the Hades arc of the Saint Seiya manga. These articulated and highly detailed collector's figures were designed to allow fans to recreate memorable scenes and poses from the series.
Since their introduction to the global market, they have gained widespread popularity. Many "Knights of the Zodiac" have found their way into collectors' displays worldwide. In addition to the main bronze saints of Pegasus, Cygnus, Dragon, Phoenix, and Andromeda, other characters also have figures in their likeness. The gold saints, of course, but also the silver saints, the god warriors, Poseidon's marinas, and Hades' specters.
How are Saint Cloth Myth figures made?
The articulated bodies of Saint Cloth Myth figures are made from high-quality ABS plastic, giving them great strength and durability.
The armor pieces are produced using a sophisticated manufacturing process. Molds are created from 3D models, which are then 3D printed to create prototypes. The prototypes are used to create production molds. The figures are then mass-produced from these molds.
After molding, the metal parts are filed and polished by skilled craftsmen. They are then galvanized, coated with a copper underlayer, and nickel-plated. Finally, several layers of colors are applied manually.
This lengthy process, combining the use of quality components and skilled labor sensitive to inflation, often leads to manufacturing cost increases that unfortunately reflect in the final selling price. Nevertheless, you benefit from a total guarantee from Bandai Tamashii Nations, ensuring high-quality after-sales service through your favorite store.
Feel free to check out this video summarizing the steps of the Saint Cloth Myth figures production chain.
What are the specific features of Saint Cloth Myth figures?
Each figure measures 15 cm in height and comes with armor pieces made of metal and plastic. This armor can be placed on the character or assembled separately as a totem.
Interchangeable hands, hair, faces, and (sometimes) an articulated cloak are also provided to offer a wide range of character presentation possibilities.
What are the differences between Saint Cloth Myth and Saint Cloth Myth EX?
Since 2011, Bandai Tamashii Nations has been offering Saint Seiya Saint Cloth Myth EX figures. These are an enhanced version of the "classic" Saint Cloth Myth figures, slightly higher (around 18 cm) and refined.
They feature next-generation articulations that allow for more dynamic poses. The faces and armor of a Saint Cloth Myth EX figure are also more detailed than its predecessor.
What is a "revival" version?
In 2017, Bandai Tamashii Nations began reissuing some of the figures that were out of stock in stores and online shops. These reissues are labeled as Saint Cloth Myth Revival and Saint Cloth Myth EX Revival.
However, be aware that Revival versions may have differences from the original edition, such as different (and improved) interchangeable faces.
What does "OCE" mean?
Each type of figure may be released by the manufacturer in an Original Color Edition, also known as OCE.
This is a figure faithful to the manga's colors, while the standard collection is primarily based on colors inspired by the Saint Seiya animated series.
Are Japanese Saint Cloth Myth figures of superior quality?
The answer to this question is very simple: no.
This confusion is partly due to the history of product distribution in the European territory, specifically in France.
Initially, Bandai Japan distributed Saint Cloth Myth figures targeting an audience of at least 15 years old, while in France, Bandai France aimed the figures at children aged 8 and older. Consequently, to comply with European safety requirements, some figures with too sharp parts had to be modified (like the classic Saint Cloth Myth of Siegfried, the Asgardian Alpha god warrior).
This differentiated production lasted about 2 years. In 2008, European sales were officially redirected towards adults, ending these specific adaptations for the European market.
The other element that fueled the legend of "JAP" superior quality is the difference in stickers applied to the packaging of Saint Cloth Myth figures depending on the territory where the products are distributed. Besides the different color of the metallic Toei sticker, stickers are applied on the bottom of the boxes by different importers and distributors.
These stickers are actually necessary to identify the company responsible for after-sales service in case of problems... but they do not affect the product's quality in any way.
In conclusion, to this day, there is no longer any difference in design or technique between figures imported from Japan and those sold elsewhere in the world (as explained in Bandai's official statement on the matter).
However, the "myth of Japanese superior quality" persists in the collecting community. It is not uncommon to hear collectors talk about "JAP" (meaning Japanese), Spanish, German, French (FR), European (EU), or even HK (meaning Hong Kong) versions... when they are simply products distributed by different companies, all supplied by the same production line of Bandai Tamashii Nations.
Moreover, as you may have noticed, the difference in resale price between Japanese second-hand figures and European second-hand figures has become almost negligible... it rarely covers the extra paid during the purchase (which owes its existence to customs fees paid in the context of parallel imports).
How to display a Saint Cloth Myth action figure?
It can sometimes be tricky to give your collectible figures a nice pose in order to display them properly. This requires patience and experience.
Therefore, we have prepared a tutorial on our blog to help you pose your Saint Cloth Myth figures more easily. Feel free to check it out and send us photos of your finest creations!
Should I buy a Saint Cloth Myth figure for my collection?
Saint Seiya Saint Cloth Myth figures are essential collector's items for fans of the manga and anime. They are made with high-quality materials and have an impressive level of detail.
If you are a Saint Seiya fan, then Saint Cloth Myth figures are a must-have for your collection.