Thursday, May 11, 2017

S.H. Figuarts Ultraseven Review

Hello, collectors, and welcome to my text review of the S.H. Figuarts Ultraseven! Our third Ultra in the S.H. Figuarts line, the father of Zero finally gets an action figure of his iconic Showa design from Tamashii Nations with a ton of bells and whistles, but  do you need yet ANOTHER Ultraseven figure from Bandai? Well, let's take a look to see if this first figure to celebrate 50 years of Ultraseven is worth adding into your collection.

In regards to sculpt and paint, while the figure does capture Ultraseven well, the figure does have some flaws in the looks department, namely two, one large on the focal point, the other minor depending on how you define accurate. Without further ado, let's take look at the big one... the eyes.

So the problem here is that the black dots aren't centered and the silver behind those isn't, either. Some are defending it because whatever reason they want to give, but they're wrong, because it varies from figure to figure, and it's off from the prototype, so not matter how you spin it, it's Bandai's fault here. The yellow paint over the eyes looks a bit sloppy, too. Otherwise, the head looks good in terms of sculpt and silver paint apps. The green on the forehead is translucent plastic painted over, which does differ from the proto as well. It's not exactly bad, it just looks different.

 The other issue, if it might be one, is the red around the neck. YouTuber BoatsCanFly showed me various shots of Showa suits, and later Showa appearances dropped this, so while it's not entirely accurate to the whole era, it's specific to one suit. Some won't mind, others will. Just pointing it out.

 Anyway, the rest of the figure checks out pretty well. We have nice creases and folds in the suit and the back fin, and the chest armor looked nice. The silver on the prototype for the 
lines was changed to a grey, which I'm not happy with, but it's still applied pretty well. All in all, it's a solid representation of Ultraseven from the Showa era.

(Look at this pin. Yes, it is coming out. I can actively push it out if I wanted to....)

Now what looks section wouldn't be complete without a comparison to the Ultra-Act? The renewal anyway. Clearly size and bulk are different here, and you can see the engineering is different.

ULTRA BULGE. Who has a better one?

I'm not gonna go too deep into the articulation section, because that's next, but as you can see, the SHF doesn't need an alternate chest piece, and the articulation from the waist down is improved in some spots, specifically at the ankles. In some aspects, the SHF wins here.

Next up we have articulation, and this one's pretty similar to what we've seen before in the SHF line. The head plugs into the neck on a swivel-hinge, allowing for side-to-side, up and down, and tilting movement. He can look in all directions easy peasy. Something to note, though, the eye slugger LOVES to fall out. It's a very loose fit, so handle with extra care.

Ab crunch and waist joints are on balls, and we get some great forward and back movement. Rocking side to side is a bit limited here, but as you'll see in a bit, the hips accommodate for that depending on the pose.

Arms plug into the shoulders on a ball joint, usual swivel-hinge for the shoulder itself, and bicep swivel.

Double-hinge elbows along with a swivel in the elbow! Love this. Hands are the usual configuration with them popping on a ball joint, hinge for the bulk of the wrist, all spinning on a swivel plugged into the forearm.

Swivel-hinge hips with double-hinge knees, and then standard ankles with the swivel-hinges allowing for ankle rocker goodness! Toe hinge works fine, but as shown above I can pop out the little pole that inserts in the pole easily enough. Be careful here!

(Interestingly enough, this picture shows off he has "butterfly hinges" in the shoulders so you can move them forward a bit more. Pretty cool!)

Note: It's difficult to show off the entire range of movement with pictures, so be on the lookout for the video review with a better breakdown of the articulation!

Now the awesome part, the accessories. Ultraseven comes with a bunch of hand parts, an extra eye slugger, hands for the emerium beam and the beam, and the wide shot!

 So first up, the hands. Standard stuff. Default fists,splayed hands, hands to throw the eye 
slugger, chopping hands, and hands to hold the eye slugger. All hands feature nice sculpting as well! To swap the hands, pop them off at the wrist, as usual. For me,  it's super easy, which is nice.

 Now the eye slugger. Remember the one that kept falling off of the head? Here's a side by side with the other one. Which one is the extra? Huh? Can you tell? The one on the left. Yeah no real difference, I don't get it. Anyway, slides right into the extra hands no big deal, and he's ready to slash away. 

Next the emerium beam. Somewhat easy enough. You have to coordinate attaching the hand parts onto the wrist joints, line the orb up to the forehead, and then attach the beam that, once again, looks like peepee. 

Now something to note, it's kinda hard to see, but the beam and the orb it connects to have pre-sculpted notches, so make sure you line it up correctly. Otherwise you might break it. Other than that, it looks nice, and with the combined length and thickness, there's no worry with this figure displaying the effect part over a long period of time. And the best part, you don't have to pay $100+ for a web exclusive for it like the Ultra-Act.... at least for this accessory.

Last, the wide shot. Instead of something squat, we get a nice... wide beam effect, and it's long, too. It being wide is kinda detrimental, though, because when you put it on the wrist joint, it can be difficult to get a good grip, since it's the whole length of his forearm and  you don't want to feel like you'll break it. At least with big hands like mine. It makes for a great display, since it looks accurate, and with other  accessories, it enhances the display.

All in all, we get a nice package here, but maybe we could've gotten more? Iunno, I have a feeling we'll be seeing future SHF  releases with more accessories... like with a potential Eleking... yeeeaaahhh.. Anyway, to be clear, good on the accessories. We get our money's worth.

Now the size comparison to wrap things up. Here ya go, he's small, but not super duper small.

So, buy now, skip, or wait for a deal? Looks wise, those eyes really kill the figure for some, just another mark on Bandai's record for not getting eyes down, and the figure is specific to the early Showa era if my sources are right, and i'm pretty positive they are, so that's a bummer... for some. Articulation's solid, eye slugger aside, and the accessories are nice. All in all, despite some draw backs, I'm really liking this figure, but those eyes knock the figure down quite a few pegs for me. There's no excuse for this at the price point these figures go for, and no post-purchase rationalization can justify this... even though that explains it. Point is, this quality control issue aside, this is a  nice Ultraseven action figure and if you can forgive the eyes, you'll be pleased.

NOW FOR SOME FUN PICTURES! Of course, there are more shots, but you'll have to wait for the video review for those~~~

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