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Bandai Ultra-Act Ultraman


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Looks like we're getting an Ultra-Act Ultraman version 2.0

 

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It appears the new body might address some of the loose waist/joints issues the first one had. The energy effects are a bit different from the first one too.

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The Tamashii Features Volume 3 event by Bandai is happening in Japan this weekend where we get to see some upcoming figures for some of their lines including Ultra-Act line. Pics are starting to trickle out. Credit to AmiAmi for providing these.

 

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Just received my latest Ultra-Act in the form of Ultraman Dyna (Flash Type).

 

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I have to say the designers at Bandai are becoming more innovative with addressing some of the issues that some of the figures had.

 

For one, Dyna uses a body type similar to Gaia with changes to the upper body.

 

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The chest armor is removable to switch with an alternate chest armor that allows better movement for the shoulders and arms. Tiga was especially guilty of his chest armor hindering the shoulders, and limiting some poseability.The changeable chest armor corrects that issue.

 

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I hope they stick with the ball joint ankles as they're much more stable than some of the older joints that were used.

 

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Dyna approves!

 

Dyna also has the adapter option to plug into the Tamashii stands. Looks like this will be the norm for future Ultras.

 

And, of course...

 

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I should be on a break with Ultra-Act until Zoffy is released. Thanks for letting me share. :P

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...

more pics...

 

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Looks like it'll be a September release.

 

They also showed a different version of Agul. Possibly an exclusive?

 

http://p-bandai.jp/tamashiiwebshouten/item-1000015901/

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Did some hunting and got my Zoffy and mantle before he completely disappeared from the Japanese market without breaking the bank! Btw, awesome figure if you can get him!

 

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Snapped a few quick pics:

 

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I wasn't going to bother with the cape, but now that i have it, I think it looks pretty darned good on Zoffy! I guess that means I'll be getting another one for my Ultraman 2.0 when he's released.

 

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As for the rest of pics, I did something a little different called...

 

mwzoffy1.jpg

 

more in the next post...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Tamashii's website updated with a new Ultra-Act release of Ultraman Ace.

 

http://tamashii.jp/item/item.php?eid=01806&pref=1100

 

It appears he'll be released in October at a price of 3,360 yen.

 

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http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v436/Primeconvoy1/Ultraman/uaace6.png

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Another Ultra-Act update:

 

I had forgotten UA Andro Melos was officially out. While checking out some auctions on YJP, I found some box images:

 

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I'm hoping we get some reviews for this guy soon.

 

Is anybody else picking this figure up?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Even though we're only seeing a minimal amount of Ultra-Act presence at SDCC, Tamashii Nations has their new Ultra-Act display set up at the Akiba Showroom.

 

Looks like they're promoting the updated Ultraman 2.0 body, by showing off the poseability.

 

Photo credit goes to http://shishioh.info

 

http://shishioh.info/AKIBA_SHOWROOM_2012-7.php

 

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ua11.jpg

 

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I'm becoming more convinced the Ultraseven figure is sporting the newer body type in that group display.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Decided to do a review of my recently aquired UA Ultraman 2.0

 

ULTRA-ACT ULTRAMAN 2.0 Review

 

Up for review is the Tamashii Nations' Ultra-Act Ultraman 2.0 version that was recently released in Japan. This figure retails for 3,360 yen (about $43.00 USD).

 

This version of Ultraman is based off the character from the Japanese original television series of the same name. But wait! Didn't we already get an Ultra-Act Ultraman back in 2010?

With the now dated technology for the articulation and the quality controls issues that plagued the first version, fans and collectors were wanting for something better. Tamashii decided to issue a completely new and improved figure, learning from some of the previous problems. This review will take a look at some of those improvements and some comparisons to the original.

 

PRESENTATION

 

Ultraman comes in a window style box with silver foil and red graphics. The Ultraman figure is pictured on the right side of the box with the actual figure displayed in the center window. Gone is the black box with the large starry graphic of an Ultra character. Tamashii adopted the newer style box in 2011, and they have stuck with this design since. The style seems to be a better choice as it's more of an eye catcher compared to its plain predecessor.

My biggest gripe with the newer box style centers around the way the figure is displayed in the window. It's in the same static position as what is pictured on the right, so you're basically seeing the item twice in the same pose. An action pose for either the figure or the front picture might help sell the point that this is a superposeable figure with tons of articulation.

On the back of the box, several more pictures are shown of the figure in action poses.

 

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FIGURE

 

Inside the box, Ultraman comes in a clear tray with a good bit of accessories including 9 hands (including the fists that are already attached to the figure), Specium ray effect, Ultra-Slash effect, two running “dash” effects, and two interchangeable color timers.

 

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SCULPT

The sculpt has a slightly more muscular body, especially the thighs and chest area compared to the previous version. The abdomen is also slightly more defined.

The face has the traditional clear eyes for Ultraman with tiny sculpted details on the eye surface. Under the right light, the eye details give the illusion that they are on the painted parts, instead of the surface. The eyes also appear a bit wider than the 1.0 version.

One thing I was happy about regarding the eyes was the color. Promo shots showed the eyes with a more yellowish hue. The final product has the more whitish color that I associate with this character's look. I know the color can vary with Ultraman depending on which show or movie he appears in, but I prefer the white eyes.

 

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PAINT

 

The figure itself sports the traditional red and silver design that pretty much started the look of the Ultra-beings throughout their history. The silver has a nice sheen and the reds are pretty sharp with no real blemishes that I can see.

 

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ARTICULATION

 

Ultraman sports a substantial amount of articulation (I counted at least thirty points). When comparing the points of articulation with the 1.0 version, it has a similar amount of joints, however the execution of 2.0 version has improved.

The pivoting side to side ankle joints of the 1.0 version have been changed over to the socket ball joints that the more recent releases of the Ultra-Act figures now share. This allows for better stability and balance. In some instances, the 1.0 version may also become loose over time and difficult to balance.

After balancing the figure for a bunch of poses, I found that the joints on the new Ultraman have stayed pretty tight.

 

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The knee joints have also been revamped, and sport a different design that allow for better flexibility. I also found the these joints were just as tight as the ankles, even after I had posed the figure in different stances. These new joints have held up nicely so far.

 

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Some details that Tamashii boasts about was their new sculpt has redesigned abdomen and back areas. The 1.0's upper body basically had three parts connected by single ball joints. While this allowed for decent articulation, it was somewhat limited. Mine had issues where the lower torso would detach and fall off the ball joint completely with little force.

The 2.0 version sports seven interlocking parts that allow for better flexibility and stability The use of this newer joint system was actually introduced with the Ultra-Act Mirror Knight, and utilized for Ultraman. This allows for a better crouching pose or “fight pose” and offers a better center of gravity for the figure when displaying it.

 

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The elbow and neck joints have also been improved, and give a greater range of motion for the figure. I'm really impressed with the way the designers improved the articulation in this line. If this is the standard for future Ultra-Acts, collectors have a lot to look forward to.

 

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ACCESSORIES

 

Ultraman 2.0 comes with a few “special effects” accessories. The first accessory is the Specium ray that he usually uses to finish off a pesky monster that is harassing Japan. The sculptor took some artistic liberties on the design of the ray this time around. The ray has a more exaggerated look to it when compared to what I feel is more show accurate with the 1.0 ray. The blue color is a bit more vibrant too.

 

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Second, is the Ultra-Slash effect. Ultraman would throw this to slice his way through villains when it was called for. Again, the sculptor went for a more exaggerated look with sharper points on the effect and is a bit larger than its 1.0 predecessor.

 

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The last accessories are the two “dash effects” accessories. These items are a bit of a head scratcher for me. I know you place them around Ultraman's feet, and they're suppose to imitate the effect of Ultraman running fast, while kicking up dirt. I remember Ultraman running around in certain episodes, but I don't think these effects were necessary, and felt like they were kind of “phoned in” item to include.

I think his “Ultra Attack beam” would have been a better use as an accessory. I won't be using these with Ultraman, but may look good in a diorama as small explosions.

 

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Word of warning! These are sharp! I advise young children not to handle these.

 

There is one accessory that was included with the 1.0 Ultraman, and not available with the 2.0 version. The 1.0 version comes with a cape or early version of the “Brothers' Mantle”. This is the cape that Ultraman and the Ultra-brothers wore in the beginning of the movie, “Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy”.

 

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In order to get a cape for the new version, it has to be ordered separately. Both the 2.0 version and Ultra-Act Zoffy were both designed to sport the newer version of the cape as both figures have interchangeable ports on their backs to plug in the cape.

 

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I had Zoffy's cape handy and was able to try it on Ultraman. Even wearing the heavier cape, I was able to get Ultraman in a number of poses without the assist of a stand.

 

Like some of the recent Ultra-Act figures, Ultraman has a second removable port on his lower back to allow him to utilize Tamashii's display stands, usually for a unique or flying pose.

 

 

QUALITY CONTROL

 

I didn't come across any glaring issues with Ultraman. Paint apps were pretty even and clean. Joints are tight, and held up from all the posing without any resulting looseness issues.

I read a couple of reports that some of the 2.0 figures had loose or floppy joints out of the package. I'm hoping the one I received is the rule and not the exception.

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OVERALL

 

Ultraman 2.0 is proof that this line has made strides with improving the figures in the Ultra-Act line and has evolved nicely. Is this a worthy replacement for the 1.0 version? For the most part, yes. It addresses most of the issues that the original suffered from, and corrects them.

If you collected the first version and weren't completely satisfied with it, then the 2.0 version should meet or exceed your expectations for the definitive Ultraman in your collection. I do recommend it.

 

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ULTRA EXTRA

 

To satisfy my curiosity, I grabbed my Ultra-Act Multi-Type Tiga to see if the shaking hands accessory was compatible with Ultraman 2.0. The connection feels a bit tighter, but as you can see in the following picture, it works!

 

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I also posted a slideshow for the Ultra-Act Ultraman 2.0

 

 

Thanks for letting me share! :)

 

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Messing around with Ultraman 2.0 again ...

 

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Fiddling around with Gomora has me clamoring for Red King now. I might have to put him on order soon.

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  • 1 month later...

Tamashii updated their site with some more information about the Tamashii Web Exclusive Agul 1.0 with Korin Effect:

 

http://tamashii.jp/item/10161/

 

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Price : 4,410 yen

Release Date: February 2013

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Had some time to finish up my review on Ultra-Act Red King:

 

ULTRA-ACT RED KING

 

Up for review is the Tamashii Nations' Ultra-Act Red King that was released on August 31, 2012 in Japan. This figure retails for 5,040 yen (about $65.00 USD).

 

This figure is based off one of the most popular monsters that has appeared in several different Ultraman series including the original series, Ultraman Max, & Ultraman Mebius just to name a few. Red King is a pretty iconic monster in the Ultra universe, and to see him issued in the Ultra-Act is a welcome addition.

 

PRESENTATION

 

Red King comes in a window style box with red, brown, and silver foil graphics. The Red King figure is pictured on the right side of the box with the actual figure displayed in the center window.

 

While the brighter graphics are eye catching compared to the older black Ultra-Act boxes, I still wish Tamashii would design the boxes differently for the monsters and aliens.

 

On the back of the box, several more pictures are shown of the figure in action poses with his accessories.

 

The box is a bit larger too, compared to a standard Ultra-Act box. Given the size, you know you're getting a character with some heft to him.

 

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FIGURE

 

Once removed from the box, Red King comes in a clear plastic tray with a few accessories including 2 extra interchangeable hands, rock accessory, and rock blast effect. More on those later.

 

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The figure is pretty impressive standing at about 7 inches from head to foot. Like his kaiju predecessors in this line, the plastic is pretty solid, and has some weight to it when you pick him up.

 

Red King is cast in a solid beige plastic. In early promotional pictures, the beige appeared as slightly lighter in color than what appears in the final product, but the difference is negligible.

 

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SCULPT

 

Red King has a very distinctive look in the Ultra shows, and the sculptors manage to capture the saurian looking creature with an amazing amount of detail. The sculpt sports Red King's ribbed scales from top to tail giving off a heavy armored or plated look for the monster.

 

The head details are pretty effective as well, with a subtle amount of scales sculpted underneath the eyes and nose. I'm really fond of the attention to detail that was given to this figure. The sculptors also did a fine job with capturing Red King's toothy mug right down to the larger fangs on the sides of his mouth.

 

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PAINT

 

Most of the figure was given a light blue wash to help accentuate the sculpted details on Red King's body. The blue paint was also lightly added around the eyes to help bring out those details on the facial scales that I mentioned earlier. Red King's mouth also has various paints apps including red for the inside, pink for the lips, and white for the teeth.

 

Overall, the paint apps were neatly executed with only a minor blemish or two that I could find on the figure.

 

ARTICULATION

 

Red King sports a decent amount of articulation with about 21 points that were counted. Most of the articulation is present in the arms, legs, and tail.

Many of the points are connected through single solid ball joints. This allows a good range of poseability where the articulation is most present on the figure.

 

One thing I did notice with where some of the larger joints meet. Some may tend to pop off with minimal force due to the weight of the plastic. This happened a couple of times, while posing the tail, however it's no effort to pop it back on to the ball joint.

 

Red King's arms and shoulders probably have the greatest range when moving them up and down for poses. Also, you can reenact those scenes of Red King slapping himself in the face when he's in pain or frustrated.

 

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The legs have a decent range for posing to the point that you can even place Red King in a sitting position.

 

Red King also sports 5 points of articulation in the tail and can be positioned in a few different poses.

 

Where the articulation becomes a bit more restrictive and suffers the most, are the main body and head areas of the figure. The lower waist is designed to turn, however Red King's large thighs prevent this from occurring. The lower neck and upper chest also have a similar issue.

 

I found that the biggest issue with articulation was the head. Red King's mouth is meant to open and close. However, that ability is limited due to the way the head sits on top the neck. The mouth only opens a bit, because of this. Also, if you try turn Red King's head leftor right, the lower jaw doesn't turn with it, giving Red a bit of a derpy look.

 

It looks like the designers gave Red King the ability to look up, so the mouth will open wider. Unfortunately with my figure, the head doesn't stay in the looking up position, if I'm not holding it in place.

 

This was probably my biggest issue with the figure.

 

The articulation is a little more guilty of breaking up the sculpt on Red King, when comparing to the other monsters, and it could be a bit jarring for some collectors who prefer a more flowing sculpt than what they're use to. Around the knees, might be the biggest offenders to some. Out of the four monsters we received in this line, Red King may stand out the most with these issues. Personally, I don't have a problem with it, as I get these figures for both the sculpt and articulation.

 

ACCESSORIES

 

Red King only comes with a few accessories. The first accessory is the second set of interchangeable hands. The hands are spread slightly wider than the regular hands, and the right has a peg sticking out of Red King's palm. What's the peg for? Well, that's for the next accessory.

 

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