FATHER OF ULTRA
It’s been 25 days since my last Ultra-Act review, but man did that fly by for me. It feels like just yesterday I was reviewing Mother of Ultra, and today I’ll be taking a look at her husband, Father of Ultra! …Or if you’re feeling a bit less formal, Ken. But that doesn’t really have the same presence as “Father of Ultra!” Like Mother of Ultra, Father’s name is a bit misleading, as he’s actually only the father of Ultraman Taro. But, let’s not split hairs.
Father of Ultra was initially released late last year, but he sold out pretty quickly. He just received a second run of figures, and he’s just now showing up in the US. On to the figure!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Father of Ultra is one of the 2013 Ultra-Act figures, and he’s just received a 2014 re-release. Ken here (I feel like I can be on a first name basis with my action figures) stands around 6 ½ inches tall, not counting his horns. This makes him one of the taller figures in the line, and he’s certainly got the bulk to match. He also features the standard 40 points of articulation that most of the figures in the line have. Like his wife, Ken’s only really had the one look over the years, so Bandai had a pretty easy time picking which design to go with. Ken’s sculpt was something of a point of contention for some of the more die-hard fans, as he’s been depicted a little bulkier than his live action appearances. I can understand how that might annoy some, but honestly, it’s not that major, and I feel the figure really benefits from the change. As he is now, he really stands out from the rest of the line, and has a more commanding appearance. The sculpt is the usual fair for the line, and aside from the possible build issue for some, he looks accurate to the character’s appearance on the show. He’s got a paint job to match, with no slop or bleed over. It wouldn’t be a proper Ultra-Act release without a hefty compliment of accessories, and Ken certainly doesn’t disappoint on that front. He’s got an extra head, an extra color timer, the “Ultra Array”, his cape, and 8 hands: Karate Chop (L and R), Open Gesture (L and R), Fists (L and R), Grasping (R), and a right hand with and energy beam attached. The extra head and color timer are both in their “powered down” states, allowing you to show Ken after he’s been worn down in battle. The Ultra Array is his dumbbell shaped weapon that he’s frequently depicted using. It’s pretty cool and looks about right to the show. The hands look standard for the line, and are pretty easy to swap out. The cape is probably one of the coolest pieces. It has its own articulation to allow you to put into various poses, which is pretty cool, and a much better solution than trying to mess with cloth capes at this scale. My only complaint is that it can be a little easy to get it off of the figure once it’s attached.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Oh, boy there’s another story of annoyance, bad communication, and difficulty getting an item I had ordered. I pre-ordered Father of Ultra from Amazon back in December when they put him up. I was told he would be released on January 15th and I should receive mine shortly thereafter. So I waited. January 15th came, and nothing happened. It’s understandable, I thought, for there to be a little bit of a delay in the item being sent out. I’m a pretty patient guy. I’ll wait a few days. So, I waited a week, to the end of my projected delivery window. Nothing. No notification of stock arriving, certainly no ship notice. So, I contacted Amazon. I was told that estimates are just estimates, so the fact that it hadn’t shipped yet didn’t mean anything. They had received the stock and they were shipping it out. And they very kindly offered to bump mine to one day shipping so that I would get mine as soon as possible once they received the next shipment of stock.
Hold up, run that by me again. You claim to have them in stock, but you’re actually waiting on another shipment? That being the case, the next shipment must be arriving soon, right? Well, no. See, Amazon actually didn’t know when they’d be getting the shipment.
I’d like to point out, I’m not mad that they had to wait for a second shipment to fill my order. That happens sometimes. No biggie. I’m not even mad about the lack of a firm arrival date. That also happens. What I’m mad about is the fact that Amazon didn’t feel they needed to contact their customers waiting for the item about this change. If they’d just sent me an e-mail informing me that I’d have to wait a little extra time to get my item, I would have totally understood. Instead, I spent a week wondering if my order had just been forgotten, and worrying about having to track the item down elsewhere. A simple e-mail could have prevented that.
Anyway, as you can see, there wasn’t much of a delay at all. The figure arrived about a week after I contacted Amazon, and all was well. If they had just contacted me on the 15th, no issues would have been had at all!
BONUS MINI REVIEW!
As I mentioned in my review of Mother of Ultra, while staying at the beach over the Christmas holiday, I come across a nice little shop sell a few old Ultraman vinyl figures, and Father of Ultra was amongst them. I thought it might be neat to do a comparison like I did with Mother of Ultra.
This version of Father of Ultra appears to have been released in 1989. He stands aboiut the same height as the Ultra-Act version, though not as bulky. He has a whopping 3 points of articulation as most of the vinyl figures did. Like with Mother of Ultra the paint has worn off, which was a common problem with the older vinyl figures. The sculpt isn’t bad. The proportions could probably be a little better, but compared to stuff of the time it’s about average, and Father’s a bit better than mother in that respect. It’s a fun little throwback, and shows how far the figures have come.