Bandai Japan's Ultra-Act ULTRAMAN
Ultraman Mebius, Ultimate Zero and Zamsher...
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Ultraman, the heroic space crusader that got his start in Japan in the mid 1960's, is still going strong in Japan though briefly holding its own in the States. The always impressive Bandai Japan delivers an assortment of action figures that is sure to excite Ultraman fans everywhere called Ultra-Act. Essentially these are elaborate action figures with a good amount of accessories and swappable parts.
The more basic of the three is Ultraman Mebius, an update of the Ultraman TV series that made its debut in 2006. The samurai looking baddy is indeed Zamsher, foe of Ultraman Mebius. The odd man out this time around is Ultimate Zero from the 2010 film Ultraman Zero: The Revenge of Belial, but all in the Ultraman universe just the same.
The box for each figure is unique and visually striking with a rendering of the character made up of patterns and colors alongside a window that reveals the figure. Solid photography adorn the back of the box showing you exactly what you’ll find within and the many variations that could come of it. Within, the figures are trapped in plastic trays with their accessories secure in each section. Instructions with images are also included and while the text is all in Japanese, it’s easy enough to follow the pictures.
The sculpting on each of the three figures couldn’t be more different as each one captures a different look or show. Mebius and Zamsher are my favorites of the bunch for various reasons. Mebius reminds me most of the normal Ultraman and it has that classic style that I like. Zamsher is more or less a wicked Samurai and pretty cool looking at that. The helmet and armor are graced with some really nice detail. Ultimate Zero is possibly the goofiest design and since I haven’t seen the movie, might not be Bandai’s fault. The proportions are also what make him look more awkward than Mebius but it’s the massive shoulder armor that doesn’t help either.
The paint is all very clean on all three figures but Zamsher here is the real stand out. From the gold trim to his teeth to his metallic finish, they’ve really made this figure shine. The sculpted hair could be a darker shade though as it seems halfway fluorescent but not too bad.
While the sculpt and paint are all fine in this series, it’s the articulation that really knock my socks off. The amount of articulation in these figures is to die for. There are joints here that are truly unique and I hope that more toy companies will adopt them as they do make a difference. The neck joint is an interesting one where the head is on a hinge that goes up and down in a natural way while the bottom of the neck allows for a left to right motion. Then there are the ball hinged shoulders, double elbows, wrists, upper and lower torso, double knees, heels, toes and the double hinged hips. The hips are an amazing feat of engineering as they can be popped out ever so slightly for a more extreme bend or higher kick. It really is genius.
Zamsher has all those joints and a few more of his own with the ponytail and shoulder pads adding to the count as well as his ball-jointed wrists. The individual pieces that build up his skirt are also adjustable one-by-one so there’s quite a lot that could be done with these figures.
It wouldn’t be a Bandai release without the great accessories included with these action figures. And though they’re only about 5 inches tall, they’re treated to such great detail that these could rival most Sideshow 12” figures today.
Mebius comes with two extra sets of hands, an action punch, hand ray, as well as a sword that swaps out on his removable wrist piece on the left arm.
Zamsher comes with an alternate ponytail, sword and sheathe (that also attaches to his back) and three additional sets of hands.
Ultimate Zero comes with three additional sets of hands, various swappable chest plates, sword and staff.
Getting these toys could be a pain, but BigBadToyStore.com has them all in-stock for U.S. collectors:
- Ultraman Mebius - $37.99
- Ultimate Zero - $54.99
- Zamsher - $42.99
Fans of Ultraman, you need to add these to your collection!
Review and Photography by David Yeh
Review Samples Courtesy of Bluefin