New Bandai role-play toys bring the animated alien action to life...

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While the Ben 10 toy line from Bandai has included a ton of great action figures over the years, some of the most successful products have been role-play items. The cartoon really lends itself well to these sorts of toys, most obviously those featuring the different versions of the Omnitrix. Who wouldn’t want to pretend to have the most powerful and unique technological artifact in the universe on his or her arm? This year Bandai continues to up the ante with several new role-play toys for kids including a new version of the Ultimatrix and a line of “Alien Arms” that turn YOU into the heroic creatures!

Since the very first episode of Ben 10, Ben Tennyson has worn one version or another of the Omnitrix on his arm. Created by a brilliant scientist, the device transforms the wearer’s DNA into that of any number of alien species. The original model allowed Ben to access ten DNA templates, though since then we’ve seen many, many more. Similarly, there have been several Omnitrix and Ultimatrix toys over the years that incorporate the looks and features of the artifact from the show. The latest one is the Ben 10 Ultimate Alien Revolution Ultimatrix. This Ultimatrix is a sturdy, show-accurate toy that includes light up features as well as a fun action feature utilizing new mini figures!

Like any good role-play toy, the Revolution Ultimatrix comes in a “Try Me” package. With a bubble and card configuration there’s a lot going on. Press the button on the Ultimatrix to see it light up, or spin the plastic cylinder for a crash course on the toy’s functions. Also visible in the bubble are the included small figures and the spinner base used to launch them. The card itself is decorated with the current Ben 10 theme of white and green topped off by the Ben 10 logo and image of the hero with a silhouette of his 10 year old incarnation. The back of the Revolution Ultimatrix card has a large pictorial instruction on its use as well as close ups of the figures. Below that is a small display of other available figures in the 4 inch line that now come with mini figures useable with the Revolution device!

At first glance, the Revolution Ultimatrix looks pretty similar to some of the other Ultimatrix role-play toys that have come out in recent history. In essence it’s a large wrist cuff that’s sort of rectangular with a short cylinder at its front end. The Ultimatrix is a bright neon green with sculpted tubes and technological effects that add a lighter green hue, black, and gray. The Plumber symbol/activator is a gray ring with a black top that has embedded translucent green sections. Press the gray button in the middle of the Ultimatrix to turn on the light inside! On the underside of the device is a flexible and adjustable plastic strap that fits a wide range of wrists. When you’re done playing with the Ultimatrix, you can also turn off the light with a slider at the bottom.

Of course, this Ultimatrix is special; in fact, it’s “revolutionary!” Packed with the device are two small translucent figures representing Ultimate Big Chill and Ultimate Cannonbolt. These are great on their own as display figs (especially Big Chill, the coolest of the Ultimate aliens), but they also work together with the Revolution Ultimatrix for “battle action.”

[ame=""]Ultimatrix In Action[/ame]

Once the device is off your wrist, remove the strap and deploy the fold-out “feet” so that it stands in place. Pick any of the miniature figures from this set or the ones that come with the Ben 10 4-inch figures and attach it to the Ultimatrix spin top. Flip open the Ultimatrix, put on the top, wind it up, and press the button to launch it! Off flies the figure on its top. You can battle your friends, other figures, or the included cardboard standup characters.

For the young (and young at heart) fans who want to get in on the alien action themselves, look no further than the Alien Arms role-play toys! Capturing the look of specific Ultimatrix aliens with fun projectile-launching action, the Alien Arms bring the characters to life in a whole new way. Today we’ll be looking at the Ultimate Echo Echo Alien Arm. These larger toys come packaged in sizeable boxes that tie in visually with the rest of the current Ben 10 products. White and green with Plumber symbol background graphics and the ubiquitous Ben Tennyson logo, the front of the box features a huge image of the Alien Arm in action. At the bottom is its designation as Ultimate Echo Echo’s arm, and there are two images of the cartoon character in case you forgot which one is which. The back of the box shows what the arm can do, as well the other one in the current series: Ultimate Humungousaur. Finally, there’s a cross promotion for the Ultimate Ultimatrix toy.

The Ultimate Echo Echo Alien Arm comes in five pieces, and assembly takes just a moment with the instructions. Once put together it becomes a large plastic appendage recreating the blue forearm and black clawed hand of the alien hero. Simply slip yours underneath and hold onto the crossbar to wield the Alien Arm!

[ame=""]Ultimate Echo Echo Alien Arm In Action[/ame]

Like the Ultimatrix it’s made of sturdy plastic that’ll stand up to some play, but don’t go hitting anyone with it. Not only does the arm look cool, but it also shoots projectiles. Included in the box are four light blue discs emblazoned with the Plumber’s logo. Push them down into the hole on the top of the arm to load them, and then pull back on the trigger underneath to launch them out of the front. As the instructions clearly show, you shouldn’t shoot them at other people’s heads. The action is smooth and the discs shoot a good distance.

Check stores near you this summer for these and other new Ben 10 items. Both the Revolution Ultimatrix and Ultimate Echo Echo Alien Arm retail for about $15, and both should be big hits with the younger fans of the cartoon.

Review and Photos by Scott Rubin

Review Samples Courtesy of Bandai America