#2762: Ultraman Ace Suit

ULTRAMAN ACE SUIT

ULTRAMAN (THREEZERO)

Another Ultraman review?  This soon?  But, it hasn’t even been two months since the last one!  How am I going to fit this into my “only managing one Ultraman review a year” set-up? I guess I’ll just have to adapt.  Poor, pitiful me.  My recent Ultraman focus has really been honing in on the recent(ish) Anime series, which has generally been pretty good in terms of merchandizing and the like.  Most of that merch has been courtesy of Bandai, who generally have the hold on the market for all things Ultra.  In the last year, however, ThreeZero has also been getting into the game, with a small handful of animation-based Ultras.  Today, I’m looking at my first one of those, Ultraman Ace!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ultraman Ace Suit is the third release in ThreeZero’s 1/6 scale Ultraman line, following the standard Ultraman and the Version 7 suit.  It’s a pretty sensible release order, what with following their order of appearance in the manga/show and all.  He’s specifically based on the animated version of the suit, which sports a slightly different color layout than the manga, adding a fair bit more red into the mix.  The figure stands about 11 1/2 inches tall and has over 30 points of articulation.  As with the Soundwave I reviewed, getting an accurate count on the joints is a little tricky, since a lot of the joints are there to help clear the way for other joints in the process of posing.  It’s still a little more straight forward on this guy than it was on Soundwave, making him generally a little easier to pose and re-pose, which does add a little bit to his playability.  I certainly had less concern about accidentally breaking parts off of this one, though it’s definitely still a good idea to glance over the included paper work, just to be a little more familiar with how some of those joints are supposed to move.  The hips in particular have a slight learning curve.  Ace is sporting an all-new sculpt, patterned on his appearance on the show.  Ace’s suit is definitely my favorite, and it’s very nicely translated here.  It’s clean and bold in design, and just generally looks very pretty.  There’s a lot of polish here, and the articulation has been nicely worked in so as not to impede any of that.  The figure has a worked in light-up feature, in both the head and torso, which illuminates the eyes and color timer.  It’s a nice, fairly consistent light, and definitely gives the figure that extra bit of pop.  Accessing the battery compartments is pretty easy, with the top of the head and one of his back plates popping out.  Ace’s paint work just adds to the overall slick look of the figure; that candy coating red color looks really sharp, and it adds up nicely with the clean look on the silver sections.  The application is all pretty nicely handled, with no real issues with slop or bleed over.  Ace is packed with four sets of hands (in fist, relaxed, open gesture, and flat posing), a Specium Blate effect piece that swaps out for his standard wrists, an alternate right arm in cannon formation, alternate extended wrist connectors, and swappable open panels for his arm guards and the thrusters on his back.  About the only thing I really think I might like to see extra is a display stand, but that’s not exactly a requirement.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I’ve established previously, the Ace suit is my favorite of the Manga/Anime Ultramen.  When the ThreeZero stuff first showed up, I was definitely intrigued, but I was able to hold off on standard Ultra and Ultra 7.  Ace, much less so.  I was pretty much sold from the word go on this guy.  He’s a really slick figure, and honestly he’s fantastic for the price they’re asking.  ThreeZero’s not a company I had much experience with prior to this year, but the two items I’ve picked up from them have left me very pleased.  I look forward to seeing what else they get into.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy for review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#1536: Ultraman Ace Suit

ULTRAMAN ACE SUIT

S.H. FIGUARTS X ULTRA-ACT (BANDAI)

It’s Day 5 of my post-Christmas reviews, and today I’ll be returning to one of my very favorite franchises, Ultraman.  My Ultraman reviews have gotten few and far between.  That’s the sort of thing that happens when they end the main line you collect of something, I suppose.  Without a steady stream of new Ultra-Act offerings, there’s a bit less regularity to my Ultra-collecting habits.  The Figuarts offerings are very cool, but there’s also a bit of overlap between the two collections, so I haven’t really picked up anything from that line.  Well, until now, anyway.  Today’s figure is based on the currently running Ultraman manga, which is a sort of soft reboot of the franchise, taking only the original show as canon, and following the adventures of Hayata’s son Shinjiro as he takes up the mantle of Ultraman.  The series has also introduced some of the later Ultras as recurring characters, though they aren’t proper Ultramen like they were before.  So, without further ado, here’s the Ultraman Ace Suit, piloted by Seiji Hokuto, a reimagining of one of Ace’s two hosts!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Ace Suit is the third offering in the SHFiguarts X Ultra-Act line, following the standard manga Ultraman and the Ver7.2 Suit.  As the Ace Suit is the third suit to appear in the manga, it’s a sensible release order.  The figure stands about 5 3/4 inches tall and he has 40 points of articulation.  Ace is the shortest of the three manga Ultras, and the figure reflects that.  I will admit, after messing around with CaRB for a few days, Ace’s articulation felt a little bit restricted, but compared to the average Figuarts offering, he’s not too bad.  The shoulders are the most  difficult thing, because they have to be configured just right for any given move.  But, once you get a feel for the figure, it’s not too hard to get him posed how you’d like him.  Ace’s sculpt is unique to him, and it does a pretty respectable job of translating the manga design into three dimensions.  It certainly helps that Ace is my favorite so far of the manga Ultras.  I definitely appreciate the common elements between this design and the classic Ace design, especially filtered through the manga’s more tactical design aesthetic.  His suit is pretty sleek and clean, and I quite like the more squared off nature.  It really goes well with the classic Ace elements, such as the pseudo Greco-Roman style helmet.  The sculpt gets all of these design elements worked in quite nicely, and doesn’t skimp in the smaller details.  I like that you can tell what’s actually armor and what’s a more flexible undersuit, just through the shaping of the materials.  In terms of paint, this guy’s pretty much on par with the various Ultra-Act figures I reviewed.  Everything is pretty clean and sharp, and the metallics look top-notch.  I particularly like that his lenses are translucent yellow; they look amazing when the light hits them the right way.  The Ace Suit is quite well accessorized.  He includes three sets of hands (in fists, open gesture, and flat poses), extra gauntlets, his specium blade, a slightly longer set of wrists (for use with the blade), and an alternate unmasked head with two different facial expressions.  The blade can be a little tricky to get set-up the right way, since it requires swapping out the wrists and getting the hands and bracers swapped over to the new ones, as well as getting the blade properly seated between the arms.  It took a few tries to get my figure to hold the blade the right way.  The extra head is certainly a nice touch, especially after a similar piece was left out of the first release of the main Ultraman.  The separate expressions work much the same as they do with the DBZ figures, and add a nice bit of character to the figure, though I hardly see myself displaying him unmasked.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Ace is Tim’s fault indirectly, and I suppose my parents fault directly.  It’s Tim’s fault I know this figure exists.  Which is a bit weird, when you get down to it, since I’m the Ultraman fan, but somehow this one slipped past me.  Once I saw him, I knew I wanted one, and my parents were nice enough to get me him for Christmas.  It’s kind of funny, because, while I like the original Ace, he’s never been one of my favorites.  This figure, on the other hand, very definitely is.  He’s a ton of fun, and just really cool looking to boot.

#0266: Ultraman Ace

ULTRAMAN ACE

ULTRA-ACT

UltramanAce1

My Ultra-Act reviews have slowed down a bit since I first got into the line, but that doesn’t mean my interest in the line has waned. I still have a few of the upcoming figures and re-releases on pre-order, so there should be a few more reviews on the way, just a bit more spaced out. I recently acquired Ultraman Ace, the 4th main Ultraman, and the star of Ultraman Ace, as well as a recurring character in the following Ultraman Taro. He’s also the adopted brother of Taro, and the adopted son of Mother and Father of Ultra, for those of you attempting to map out the family tree.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ultraman Ace was a third quarter 2013 release in the Ultra-Act line. As is the usual standard with this line, Ace wasn’t part of a series; he’s just a single release. The figure stands about 6 inches tall and features the standard 40 points of articulation sported by most of the figures in the line. Ace was released around the time of the second version of the original Ultraman, which means he fits in nicely with the line’s more recent releases, and looks perfect with the rest of the Ultra Brothers. Ace’s sculpt is a pretty decent recreation of Ace’s look from the show. The shoulders are perhaps a tad bit broader than they should be, but the proportions look great otherwise. The paintwork on Ace is nice and clean, with no noticeable slop or bleed over present. Like any good Ultra-Act release, Ace features a nice selection of accessories, including: an extra color timer, a sword, a clip to attatch Ace to a stand, and 11 hands: fists (L and R), open gesture (L and R), karate-chop (L and R), sword-holding (R), peace sign (R), a right hand with an energy beam attatched, and two hands with a different beam attached. While that’s not quite as many accessories as my last Ultra-Act figure, Leo, it’s still a pretty impressive assortment. The sword adds some uniqueness to Ace, and the hands add for some additional character as usual.

UltramanAce2 UltramanAce6 UltramanAce5 UltramanAce4 AceWilson

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Ace was a purchase I took my time on. I’ve picked up several other Ultra-Act figures in the last year or so, and I had the majority of the early Ultramen, so Ace was the biggest hole in my collection. Ace’s price came down a bit on Amazon, so I decided to go for him. I’m really glad I did. Ace has a great design, and the figure conveys it really well.

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