Sunday, December 11, 2011

Ultra-Act Review: Ultraman And Alien Baltan II

I have been pushing this review for a while, and I think it's high time I started on it now.
It would have meant more if this was the first review I did for this line, as it was the first release, after all. But due to the nature of the review itself, it just wasn't a good way to start off this blog.

Ultraman (The First) is our flagship character for the ultra series, the face of the ultramen. Ultraman(1966) was the first season featuring, of course, Ultraman, and the second in the ultra series (the first being Ultra Q), with a total of 39 episodes. It quickly became one of the most popular special effects show then, even till now, the ultra series is widely popular and is even considered to be iconic for Japan. Throughout the season (and even till now), there have been various changes made to his suit, thus he ended up with different "variants": Type A, B and C. This, of course gave Tsuburaya more marketing chances in merchandise especially with the Medicom line, coming up with 6 different dolls for 1 character. Luckily, they haven't seem to implement this in the Ultra-Act line yet.

For a character with such popularity and history, the Ultra-Act version of him certainly fails to impress. The Ultra-Act line started with his release in 2010. I am rather disappointed that in this era, there are still collectible toys that doesn't satisfy.

He is the face, after all.
Looking from afar and on camera, his sculpt does look okay for an action figure. But once you handled him, it's another story. To date, I have not handled any other figures in this line that got me more frustrated over loose joints. Ultraman is an agile character, with many classic poses. This figure can't hold half of them without his legs giving way few seconds into the pose. He almost flaps around like a rag doll if you swing him about. He has an okay sculpt and paint job, but the joints are terrible. Changing his hands is a pain because it's too hard to pop out, his color timer is too loose and has a groove that is useless, and his ankles just look ugly. The only joints that are strong enough are his wrist and neck. It's a pain to pose this thing. He does come with a campaign item though (So do Ultraseven and Ultraman Zero, but I missed those).

Alien Baltan the 2nd. I'm not too sure why Tamashii decided to release this first, rather than the original Baltan. Maybe they wanted to test waters first as this was still a new line back then. But, in contrast to Ultraman, this was decent. The sculpt is nice, and it has strong joints for such slim limbs. I appreciate the double jointed arm for increased articulation. The drawback was the lack of effect and campaign items for a not so friendly price.

Ending comments:
Ultraman: Seriously, if not for the campaign box, I would have failed him. Action figures are meant for action, otherwise they would be called limp figures, no? 5/10

Alien Baltan II: Nothing really wrong with this, not exceptional either. Just not as classic as the original Baltan, of course. 6.5/10

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