Ultra-Act: Ultraman (Renewal Ver.)

This is the 2nd Shodai (1st Generation) Ultraman released under the Ultra-Act title. The accessories included are mostly the same as the original with a bit of an upgrade in appearance. The updated ‘Brothers’ Mantle’ is now sold separately, but a pair of effect parts made to be positioned near its feet has been newly added.

My old Shodai Ultraman wore out in no time due to the poor quality joints, and is as floppy as a rag doll. So I was very excited to get my hands on this upgrade after hearing unanimous approval that this issue has been corrected recent Ultra-Act releases.

Alas, my experience with this figure tells me otherwise. The thighs hasn’t been improved much, and are very loose on mine. The ankle articulation does not look much different to the old one, and is only marginally firmer, but still not stable enough for my taste. Be warned, this is no S.H. Figuart, despite the similarities in appearance.

The upper arms and neck articulation seems more restricted than the old one, and is more difficult to pose naturally. Whilst the articulation department proves to be disappointing, there is a noted improvement in the texture, paint application and overall aesthetics of the figure.

Muscle tone is significantly improved (though arguable whether this is screen accurate to Ultraman Hayata), the red on the suit is no longer the basic plastic red seen on the 1st release, and the complexity of the compound eyes also show an improvement.

The new Original Ultraman on the left, and the pioneer Ultra-Act release (2008) on the right. Both has its own pros and cons. There’s something about the slimmer physique of the old one that makes it more akin to its screen counterpart, whereas the new one appears more refined and modernised.

Power’s up! I’m too lazy to pry out the piece to change into the red Colour Timer, but it’s included.

Much like the ‘Spacium Ray’, the ‘Cutting Halo’ effect piece has been updated, and is now 72% cooler than its predecessor.

As you can see in the picture below, there’s a short of texture within the compound eyes, as seen in the show’s costume.

I’ve missed out on the Baltan Alien figure, due to a lack of budget at the time. So I don’t have any monsters for Ultraman to fight. Hoping Bandai would bring out the chubbier Baltan Alien in its earlier appearance in figure form soon.

I’ve always been more fond of Masked Rider myself. But the original Ultraman and Masked Rider are no doubt two of the most recognisable household names of Japanese pop culture. Here’s a shot of the two heroes!

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