ULTRAMAN SUIT VER. 7 — ANIMATION
S.H. FIGUARTS (BANDAI)
It’s been over a year since I last reviewed anything Ultraman, so I suppose I’m right on schedule to get something else in here so that I can go another year and change before getting something else. Gosh, remember when these things were more prevalent? I sure do. And Pepperridge Farm does as well, because remembering’s the one thing they’ve got left. Okay, that’s not true. They’ve got Goldfish and Milanos. They can ride those into oblivion. Where was I? Japan, I think. There was something going on with Ultraman. New toy. Yes, very good. Let’s look at the new toy.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Ultraman Suit Version 7 is a fairly recent addition to Bandai’s SH Figuarts line-up, hitting roughly at the beginning of the year. He’s specifically patterned on the appearance of Dan Moroboshi’s Version 7 suit from Netflix’s animated Ultraman, which of course also means he’s patterned on the Version 7.2 Suit from the manga of the same name. The manga version got a release back in 2016 under the SH Figuarts X Ultra Act banner, and this one is essentially the same mold, with a few tweaks, and, of course, the dropping of the Ultra Act banner entirely. The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and has 39 points of articulation. Compared to the Ace Suit, Ver. 7 is in some ways a stiffer figure, and in other ways not. I found the legs a little trickier to work with, but the arms, especially at the shoulders, did showcase a slightly greater range of motion. Obviously, a lot of the restriction is coming from the design of the suit, and not from how the figure is made, to Bandai’s credit. He can get into a number of impressive poses, and can most notably get into the unsheathing the sword pose that is so commonly associated with this design. The figure’s sculpt is certainly a more complex one than the Ace suit was, again due to the source material, which has the Version 7 suit being a far more intricate and detail-heavy suit. It contrasts well with Ace’s boxier design, as something that’s far sleeker and pointier. Certainly appropriate given the sword wielding aspect. It also carries the most memorable elements of the classic Ultra Seven suit forward, but keeps in line with the more mechanized takes of the rest of the series’ Ultra suits. Paint work marks one slight change for this figure, contrasting with the original 7.2 release. This one makes the red sections a bit brighter and gives them a flatter finish than the original release. It’s a look that works very well for the sculpt and the design, and further hammers home those classic Ultraman vibes. The application’s all pretty clean. There’s a little bit of variation between the reds, but nothing too major, and the segmented nature of the armor helps break it up and keep it from being too obvious. The Version 7 suit includes his Specium Sword and its corresponding sheath, a separate attachment piece for the sheath, a throwing dagger (modeled after the original Ultra Seven’s head fin), a slash effect with a stand, and 8 swappable hands (in fists, gripping, and open flat combos, as well as two variations on gripping for the left hand). It’s not a bad accessory set at all, although it’s too bad there isn’t an unmasked head for Dan like there was for Seiji in the Ace set. Still, I can certainly live with this set-up.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
My new Ultraman purchases have really slowed to a crawl, which is too bad, honestly. I’m not the only one who feels that way, it seems. Prior to the holiday season, Super Awesome Wife asked if I had a list of the Ultraman stuff I owned, which I did, and she took that and decided to get me this guy to keep things going. I have the Figurise model kit, so I didn’t jump on this one when he was released, but in hand I do really appreciate the differences between the two. There’s a lot of cool stuff going on here, and now I feel like I need a proper Shinjiro to round out my cast.