Mother of Ultra
Review by Dkun
I have a bit of a hate-hate relationship with Bandai when it comes to female figures. Almost every single one of the ones that I have gotten my hands on have been unstable, unbalanced, and all around very frustrating (Cure Marine, I'm looking at you.). In fact that only one that I was really happy with was the Chogokin RAcaseal that was released a few years ago, and that's probably because the figure was at a higher price point and quality level than most of the Figuarts. So when this figure showed up, I was very curious to get my hands on it. Especially since it was an Ultra-Act, and a Tamashii Web Exclusive.
I'm not a huge Ultraman fan, in that I haven't seen a lot of the shows outside of a few of the Ultraman Zero movies which I like a lot. Despite that, this is a character that I've seen since I was a child thanks to visits to Japanese toy stores where they often sold Ultraman sofubis. This one always did stand out from the rest though because, well... It was a girl Ultraman! More specifically, this is Mother of Ultra, the mother to Ultraman Taro. I've seen her in a few scenes in a few of the Ultraman movies and mostly remember her from when Belial beat the crap out of her.
As a Web Exclusive figure, this figure comes packed in the standard cardboard mailer that all Web Exclusives come packed in. It also seems to follow the trend of having the box inside not have a window.
Mother of Ultra as just a figure looks pretty great. There isn't a lot of sculpted detail on most of the body, but that's mostly due to the source material.
The paint though, I wasn't quite as happy with. The silver is excellent, but the red is very ambitious and doesn't pull off everything its trying to accomplish. The red paint throughout a lot of the figure uses darker shades of red in order to try and make it look like the suit has shading and a natural flow of details the same way someone in this costume would. But it is very inconsistent from part to part and changes hues constantly. It's not a major problem, but it is noticeable if you stare at the figure for extended periods of time.
When I first had this figure in hand, I was actually very disappointed. Below the waist the articulation was great, but the shoulders seemed super limited with only a 45 degree range or so. I was annoyed and it immediately made me dislike the figure. It wasn't until I messed with Father of Ultra later on that I began to understand just how this figure worked. The shoulder sleeve piece is designed to go into the balljoint cover in order to provide a wider range of motion.
This also caused a bit of a problem as well. When using the joint to its full range of motion, the red paint on the shoulder would scrape off against the cover piece. I think for a figure that costs a premium price like this, that really shouldn't happen.
Despite all of that, now that I knew how the figure functioned, I found a new appreciation for the figure. A lot of the articulation is pretty solid and useful on her. Most of the articulation is pretty standard for an Ultra-Act. She features the newer style of ankle joints instead of the old ball jointed feet, which is much more useful and durable.
The only joint that is really limited on her are her thigh swivels. Because of the thickness of her thighs, there isn't a lot of swivel motion available. It's there, but you're more likely to pop the ball joint out of its socket than turn it. But hey, it seems to run in the family as I'll explain in a future review.
She has the ball jointed hip and torso joints that are on most Ultra-Act figures to allow her to hunch over more. Although it is a bit more limited than on some other figures.
Mother of Ultra's accessory count is pretty high and allows for a good range of display options. She has two alternate set of hands: a pair of fists, and a pair of gracefully splayed open hands.
She also comes with an effect part to emulate her heal beam. This works in a surprisingly interesting way. Instead of having a part with a hand attached to it, this beam just pegs right into the balljoint for the wrist. The end effect looks pretty cool for sure.
Although personally I prefer to pretend that her arm basically turns into a giant energy sword. I think she's been watching too much Metal Hero lately.
An alternate head is also included to make her appearance more accurate to her older design. At first I couldn't tell what was the different between the two heads, but after looking at the two side by side I found they were pretty drastically different, with her horns being in different locations, differently shaped and colored eyes, and a slightly softer looking mouth sculpt.
There are a few parts on her back that can be removed as well. The top one is for if you would want to put a mantle on her. The bottom clip can be swapped out for an alternate piece that allows you to peg a Tamashii Stage into her back if you're into that.
The last and most confusing accessory that is included is a bucket. That's right, a bucket. Some clear plastic is used on the inside to make it look like there is some rippling water inside.
This is apparently from an episode of Ultraman Taro his King Bracely is turned in a bucket used to awaken a drunk monster...? I don't know, Ultraman is weird. It comes with an alternate handle that has Ultraman Taro's hand attached to it. So if you have that figure, you get an extra display option.
It's neat, but since I don't have a Taro, that handle is pretty useless to me. But hey! A tiny bucket accessory is awesome to have on hand. I know that my Z'gok is excited about it at least. Now he just needs a shovel and he'll be ready to go to the beach.
And that's all there really is to Mother of Ultra. I went from being unimpressed to very pleased with this figure. It is incredibly sturdy and fun to pose once you figure out the shoulder joints and it makes a great desk toy. The paint scraping off of the shoulders is still a major disappointment though, and definitely something you should be careful of. But other than that I think it's a great figure and one of the best female figures that Bandai has done so far. If you're an Ultraman fan, this one is a no brainer. If you're not, I think you'd have to really like the way this figure looks before you pick it up, given its higher premium price point.
But for me? I think she looks just right next to her husband.
|Posted 7 June, 2014 - 10:50 by Dkun|