Decided to do a review for the Ultra-Act Ultraman 2.0. It's my second time attempting this, so be gentle. 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.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.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.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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.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.
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!
I also posted a slideshow for the Ultra-Act Ultraman 2.0http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xsqtva ... shortfilms
Thanks for letting me share!