The animated “ULTRAMAN” series was released worldwide on Netflix in April 2019, and now the star of the show, Ultraman himself, is appearing as an S.H.Figuarts figurine! Cutting-edge technology has been used to refine appearance and movement, and special effect parts (included) allow owners to recreate Specium Blades, Ultra Slash, and the super ability inherited from Ultraman’s father, the Specium Ray. Prior to the official retail release on August 24 (in Japan) we got out hands on a sample of the final product, allowing us to take full set of photographs of the “Next-Generation Human-Sized Ultraman”.
Note: Photographs depict sample product. Actual product may differ.
The package. The “ULTRA-ACT × S.H.Figuarts ULTRAMAN” based on the monthly serialized comic “ULTRAMAN” (referred to below as the “original version”) was released in July 2015, but this edition features newly designed packaging.
A full four years after the last Ultraman, S.H.Figuarts has produced another, based on the animated show. Beginning with the armor, approximately 80% of the figurine has been re-sculpted. Not only are the proportions meticulously matched to the animation visuals, joints such as those at the shoulders and hips have been reworked.
Compared side-by-side, you can see clear differences between the original version and animation version, and not just in coloring. In contrast to the flowing lines of the original version, this animation version has a more mechanical look overall. As we will see when we look at the action poses below, the addition of bendable waist is a major plus, too.
The S.H.Figuarts approach makes the figure feel like an animated model “come to life”, compared to the more hero-like presentation of the “ULTRA-ACT × S.H.Figuarts” collaboration.
The 3D CG animation has more details on the armor, and this is meticulously recreated in the figurine. The silver highlighting and shading imparts a sense of weight, and the signature red color of the Ultraman superhero is shaded throughout.
This Ultraman version is a “powered suit” version, rather than the giant transforming hero, and the under suit is visible on the thighs and at the side of the torso. The contrast between the matte texture and the hard armor is a key point of interest on the figurine.
The Specium Blades that deploy from each arm are one of Ultraman’s distinctive weapons. They are recreated here with replaceable forearm parts. Another effect part (also included) inserts into the wrist to recreate the Ultra Slash ability. Both accessories are made from clear blue plastic to increase the fidelity of the reproduction. The blue light on the palm of the Ultra Slash band also comes fully painted.
Despite the integrated armor, the design has plenty of clearance at the hips and shoulders for a wide range of motion. In particular, the shin-guards hinge at the ankle, enabing lunging poses with sharply bent foot poses. In addition to all this, elements throughout the design reveal the modelers’ efforts to render the 3D CG in physical, three-dimensional space.
The control unit on the right wrist connects to the left wrist connector to recreate the signature Ultraman pose--firing the Specium Ray. The Specium Ray effect part is not only significantly bigger than the original version’s, it has been completely redesigned to match the visuals of the animated show.
The shoulder joints have pull-out mechanisms that allow both arms to be crossed in front of the figurine. The chest and abdomen are hinged to enable forward leaning fighting poses, which can be supported with the included “Specium Ray Armor Replacement” effect part.
The “S.H.Figuarts ULTRAMAN SUIT ver7 -the Animation-“ is scheduled to go on sale in stores a month later, in September. This is Dan Moroboshi, colleague of Shinjiro’s at the Scientific Special Search-Party and a fierce fighter armed with a Specium Sword.
(Note: Photographs of the “S.H.Figuarts ULTRAMAN SUIT ver7 -the Animation-” are of the prototype model. Actual product may differ.)
The new figurines draw on all the technical expertise that S.H.Figuarts has developed over the years. They faithfully recreate the cybernetic design of the originals and form a natural-looking silhouettes in all action pose. Owners of these new figurines will not only be thrilled by the adventures of the “human-sized Ultraman”, Shintaro, but will also feel the presence of his father, Shin Hayata.
Embracing a new era while paying respectful tribute to the great hero, “S.H.Figuarts ULTRAMAN -the Animation-” goes on sale in stores August 24!（in Japan）