Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Review: Ultra-Act Ultraman Zero

Figure Information
Manufacturer: Bandai
Origin Series: Daikaiju Battle:
Ultra Ginga Densetsu
The Movie
Scale: Non-scale
Height: Approximately 16cm tall
Original Price: 3,360 Yen


Since Zero is one of the first few releases from the line, the boxes of old Ultra-Act releases were quite simple, just a plain windowed black box with a saturated art of the figure's head. And yep, as you have it, we get Ultraman Zero's head as his art beside the clear window provided. As I always do not do in my reviews, I skip the back shots of boxes since it's usually just product advertising... Below is an image of the packaging with Nendo Petit Hachune Miku in it to give a sense of size difference.


Being the fourth release in the entire line, the details of Zero are spot on. I love how the armor is sculpted as it still has the ability to look like one solid piece of armor even if his shoulders are articulated, they do not look saggy and I think that's really a great plus! Zero's core is also sculpted using a really neat clear blue plastic.

While the upper body sculpted is too praise worthy, the lower half does look nice when aligned, but since he IS an articulated figure. The lines and whatnot become really messy when his articulation points have been tampered with. I know it's not the figure's fault but it just looks weird at times; still, it's a very good work as there aren't any sloppy lines on mine and yes, it's better to have all those rich details rather than leaving them out.

Ultra-acts, though using the same frame as S.H.Figuarts, are taller than the said line by a few centimeters. Below is a height comparison with S.H.Figuarts Kamen Rider Ichigo (The Next) and again with Nendoroid Petit Hachune Miku.


Accessories of Zero are definitely loaded, practically everything you could ever want to recreate scenes from the Mega Monster Battle Movie are here. His sluggers come in the three different modes: the twin sluggers, the Zero Twin Sword and the core with the sluggers when he uses the Zero Twin Shoot. 

Alternatively, to go with his Twin Sluggers, he comes with an alternate head that has them removed; he also comes with a low energy red core for switching (which happens rarely lol). As for his hands, the default are a pair of gripping hands, a pair of chopping hands for his Wide Zero Shot, a pair of open hands and lastly, a pair of gripping hands for his sluggers.

Articulation Points:

Now even as an early release, Zero has quite q decent range of articulation... Starting off with his head, his neck has 2 joints, the lower portion being used to swivel around and the upper part for a hinge to look upwards (yes, upwards only); by default, the upper portion of the neck is primarily to have him look up or to restore his view to normal heights. He can tilt just a bit downwards via the lower portion ball joints.

His torso points are pretty much similar to the neck joint, although both upper and lower portions can swivel for the torso but as for hinging upwards and downwards, the upwards motions have a better flex while the lower portion has little to none in terms of movement. It's typical for most articulated figures so, it's still pretty good and he IS a 4th in the line.

Arm articulation are great although it comes with a catch; while the shoulders are on ball joints and while his chest armor can be adjusted by a bit, the shoulder armor does limit the backwards movement, as well as backward bicep swiveling, for some really dynamic poses but aside from this one point, everything else is pretty nice. The elbows are double jointed (I think) since the upper part does hinge but it's hard to move it.

Zero's hip joints like most of bandai's works have this "weird" ability to be pulled down; it's weird in a sense that it looks weird when you leave it as is, but the main goal of this joint is to provide a better upward kicking for the legs.

The rest of the leg points work wonders: thigh swivels, double hinged knees, ball jointed ankles which doesn't get in the way (unlike a certain Rider Figuarts) and really really effective tow hinges which can support  quite dynamic leg spreading/running poses.


Playing around with Zero was totally a lot of fun, but the scary part was when switching around the hands; I had to sand down my wrist ball joints to make the switching a less nerve wrecking task. But yeah, Zero can do quite a lot of poses, from simple to really dynamic ones to boot. One thing I noticed was it is quite hard to pull off his Zero Wide Shot pose as the arms couldn't flex that well to properly recreate it, but hey, still a really neat figure considering he's one of the ancients from his line.

The Sluggers really add a great play value to this skilled Ultra, I really enjoyed posing him around with his sluggers. (I am also quite a fag for dual wielded weapons :p) Even his Zero Twin Shoot poses give this really powerful feel with his head sculpt.

His  Zero Twin Sword was probably the neatest of his accessories. It's huge and it totally looks badass; too bad I got lazy in pulling out some revoltech Kaijus (Gyaos or Legion lol) for this shoot. With Zero's array of accessories, he really a quite an all time high for play value for me. (More so if you decide to get Ultimate Zero since it has his Ultra Zero Lance packed with it)

Last but certainly not the least, his low energy core does give him quite a nice feel and IMO, he looks better with it since the red core adds to the character when shooting him from the camera's lens.

Final Thoughts:

Ultraman Zero is definitely a crown in his days as his release was totally magnificent during his time and hey, the proportions are nice too! I don't regret stepping into the Ultra-Act line this year and yes, being a late bloomer is quite hard since I'm after Zoffy and Gomora. Zero was definitely a good start for me and I am pretty sure I'll be stepping into this line even more after I complete the Ultimate Force Zero. Zero is in no ways perfect but his worth is way beyond his price point. Really lucky to snag this awesome Ultra at Great Toys Online! From recent news, I think he will be having  a renewal version soon, featuring a new and more buffed body frame as well as a battered cloak which was seen in the Ultra Zero Fight mini series, so I think those who haven't gotten Zero yet and do want to add him in their collections would be better off waiting for the new version. :D

I give this Ultra Warrior a perfect score of 5 out of 5!

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