Review by Gazbot
Shin Hayata was the original Ultraman host. He was a senior member of the Scientific Special Search Party (SSSP). He was involved in an accident that bonded him with the giant space hero Ultraman.
Why I bought this toy:
I had never watched any version of Ultraman. I always knew he existed but was never a fan. About a year ago I saw an Ultra Act figure in a local comic shop, it looked like a great figure, and I loved the character design. I wanted it, but I didn’t buy it. I don’t usually buy a toy unless I have a personal history with the property, or am a fan of the source material. I watched the first 2 episodes of the oddly dubbed Australian version from the 90’s on Netflix. It was the only version they had streaming. It was kind of a strange production and I wasn’t sure I liked it. I wanted to like it, because I wanted that figure it was so cool looking! So I ordered the original Ultraman series on DVD. I saw the difference immediately, even thought it was older and “cheesier” It had a real quality to it. The content of the episodes varied from goofy to poignant, but the series as a whole was very well done, the effects for the time amazed me and I could see them getting better and more innovative as the series progressed. The funny thing is, I found myself enjoying the human SSSP content as much or maybe even more than the Ultra fights! All the actors are great and really pull off the ridiculous premises with gravitas and/or levity that make me believe in their world and love them. I loved the suit/military/science uniform designs as well. I know they should seem garish to me, but I feel like they were a work of genius. I got the Ultra Act Ultraman figure for Christmas that year, and enjoyed it. The loose joints were a bit disappointing, but still, I had this well designed character and I loved his show all was right with the world. Except as I said I really liked the SSSP aspect of the show to the point where I knew I has to get at least a Hayata figure. Ultra act didn’t make one, seems like no one did. I found vintage cartoony vinyl and a small modern Gashapon version but no real figure. Then I wandered into the world of Medicom and the Real Action Hero line, they had tons of Ultraman characters from all series, including HAYATA! The only problem is the only place I could find one for sale was ebay, and the prices ranged from $400-2000.00. Around this time I also found out about Five Star Toys Hayata 12" Action figure. It was also pricey, going for around $350.00 it had more accessories, but the figure itself didn’t look as nice. I spent a long time trying to find info on the Medicom figure, and its renewal counterpart. With limited success, mainly finding stock photos or message boards threads that were out of date and unhelpful. Even the eBay auctions rarely said more than the price and product line. I looked on www.Hobbylinkjapan.com and www.buyjapon.com No luck on either site, though I did end up getting a good deal through Buy Japon, on a used RAH Ultraman type B, to go with my future RAH Hayata.
Then I found www.Plamoya.com They had one in stock for US $165.91, it was a bit more than I would prefer to spend on an un-reviewed figure from a line I had nothing from yet, (my Ultraman was still in transit). However it was by far the cheapest I had seen it for. But I couldn’t order it. There was a link to ask about shipping, but you couldn’t add it to the cart. I requested a shipping cost, no answer for a few days, I sent a customer service request to help me buy the thing, no answer for a few days, I sent a second request, they finally got back to me and said the link was fixed. It was and I ordered it. In retrospect while that was a bit annoying I wonder if that is why they still had one in stock at a (relatively) low price, because no one could order it?
The shipping was ridiculously expensive. The only option available was for JPPost EMS costing US $46.92. I have since checked and other releases in the same line:(Zoffy ver 2.0) US $27.96, Kamen Rider 555 – US $35.94, for example, are all cheaper. Odd. Regardless, the shipment did arrive very quickly from Japan, just 9 days after I placed my order. It was also very well packaged, with thick paper wrap filling the box, and tight bubble wrap on the box itself.
The packaging had semi-blurry photos and the design was not inspired.
The top and bottom are identical as are the right and left side.
The overall condition of the box was mint except it seemed a bit warped, not exactly rectangular. The box had thick shrink wrap over it but my particular box had a hole in the shrink wrap. This doesn’t really matter to me, but if I had wanted a mint in box piece to never open this would be disappointing.
My favorite thing about the box is that there was no tape holding the flaps closed, and no tape holding the plastic tray top to the bottom. Yet it still stayed securely closed figure in place.
The accessories included: beta capsule, super gun with removable barrel (has a slight paint flaw), spoon, extra right hand for holding gun/spoon, display stand with 2 claws.
First impressions when I pulled him out of the tray; I was surprised how light he was, the joints seem tight, he stands without assistance, The helmet looks great, and I found it odd that there is only one alternate hand. These pics are of the pose he was in right out of the box.
The likeness is decent, I think the sculpt is actually pretty good, although The nose may be a hair larger than it should be. I think maybe what it’s lacking is a bit of subdued paint application. Though the paint that is there is applied neat an clear. The details show up more in slight shadow, and he seems a bit flat when in bright light. I tried to dig up some comparison pics, it was surprisingly hard to find and decent resolution pics of the actor Susumu Kurobe in this incarnation.
The wrist joint can swivel and bend. It’s a bit ugly, but the sleeve and glove cover it in most poses. The hand has a thick peg attached that clicks into the hollow arm the plastic on the arm is separated at the seam slightly, but the hand still clicks in firm and holds the poses well. I compared it to my RAH Ultraman Type B figure. The Ultraman had a smaller peg on wrist and hole in the hand had less range of motion. I’m not sure which is better Structurally, but as far as ease of interchangeability the large hole in the arm is much easier to use.
The button/light on the tie has very nice detail lines. The buttons are all nice and shiny.
When I went in to get a close look at the communicator pin, I started to see Some flaws. First, the insignia color was wrong! Purple and orange? Am I crazy, or wasn’t it supposed to be blue and red? I looked at some TV stills and in certain light, or when a bit faded it cans look purple and orange-ish. But, looking at the replica pin I have, the Ultra Ultrawiki page, and the BOX ART IT CAME IN, it is clearly blue and red. If they were going for a Lo Fi flawed screen accurate color, then the orange suit should have been a more subdued orange-brown. Regardless, it was an odd choice that they applied across the figure on the boots and helmet insignia as well. Also, I noticed a small dark spot on the lapel, not terrible, but disappointing. Of more concern was the loose thread. It is not extremely noticeable, but I worry that it will worsen over time.
I also noticed a fabric pull or pill on the lower left leg, again very small but troubling right out of the box.
The pants are held up by suspenders under the shirt and jacket. There is a strip of Velcro up the shirt front.
I had originally planned on taking off the clothing to better examine it, and to see the joints underneath. But, when I swapped out the hand I noticed, or caused, a thread loop out of the sleeve. At this point I decided to not risk further damage to the costume, and leave it all on.
The belt is a fixed loop, not adjustable, seems ripe for breaking. There is a Holster for the super gun, to make it fit you must remove the extender piece. Also there is a small strap, I tried to get the gun to go through it, or get it over the back of the gun handle, to no avail. I thought maybe it was just for show, but I found a pic of the Cool Girls brand Fuji, with the same strap fitting over her super gun. I think the long slumber in packaging has warped my strap. Also that Fuji Figure included a MARS 133 gun. I wish I was given one for my Hayata, or a Spider shot gun.
OK, so lets try some poses out, first I tried to match the poses on the box sides. I was able to reasonably replicate them, although not perfectly. The main issue I encountered is the arms keep springing back out toward the sides after I posed them. I’m not sure if it’s the costume or the joints but they don’t want to go all the way down at the armpit.
Some full body poses:
Without the stand his feet sometimes sit oddly on the ground as you can see:
I actually had a lot more fun posing him for close up acting than I did for the action poses. Oddly the spoon doesn’t really fit in the beta capsule hand, (as it should to replicate the scene from the show):
The pics I have here all seem to show the orange a bit more subdued than it really is, I used the flash here to show the difference
The articulation reminds me a bit of the Ultra Act Ultraman. A few less joints, but similarly it all started loosening rather quickly and was a little difficult to get to stand after a while, I started using the stand about halfway through. I was surprised it was missing the “gi-joe” swivel arm above the elbow. The arm poses were unnecessarily awkward for not having it. The loosest joints seemed to be the horizontal swivel on the ankles, with the stiff boots it didn’t affect stability too much, but seemed oddly loose for a brand new figure.
On to the helmet, I love it, but it is severely flawed. There is a rough spot on the top of the visor, possibly from where it was cut of the sprue.
I didn’t want to remove it, but unlike the rest of the clothes, I felt I had to. I wanted to see Hayata’s full head. The chin strap has a non-functioning buckle I could neither loosen nor unfasten it. I had to stretch it up and over his face to get it off. The two flaps came loose when I moved it. I noticed a blue tint to the bottom of his chin. That gave me flashbacks to my childhood Wayne Gretzky 12 inch figure who had blue hands from leaving his gloves on too long. Apparently The dye from the Helmet’s “leather” had transferred to Hayata’s face!
I went ahead and removed the helmet carefully. I was terrified I would snap the chin strap. I managed to get it off intact, but…the flaps are splitting apart! The glue had apparently given up and the 2 pieces are separating!
The dye transference was not limited to Hayata’s chin either!
Another thing I noticed without the helmet, the neck joint is kind of ugly. The neck and head plastic colors don’t match, and there is a very noticeable gap.
Another costume flaw discovered/created, the tie, which is attached with an elastic strap under the shirt collar, is fraying.
Here are a few pics of my Hayata posed without his helmet on. Once I put it back on, it’s never coming off again.
The face quality is halfway between Hot Toys and a Hasbro 12 inch.
The Usual suspects:
SSSP call to action, a new menace has arrived to threaten the earth!
The super gun is ineffective! BAKANA!
Now it’s on!
Overall a 6 out of 10
I don’t regret buying it. I love it on my shelf. I do not recommend it.
I am convinced this is the best version of this character available, but it’s not worth more than 75.00. Only buy it if you have a great love for this character, and try to get it as cheap as possible.
It has a similar cost to Hot Toys, but is far inferior.
The articulation is fine but not extraordinary. The neck joint is ugly, but OK with the helmet on. No swivel arm at elbow the main issue. Joints feel like they will loosen over time. Clothing inhibits some movement
Clothing looks OK, but the quality is bad. I started having issues immediately. Seems odd, like a figure of someone cos-playing a SSSP member.
The figure is very light. It has a slim realistic body frame which I think represents the character very well.
Accessories are minimal, an alternate head, more hands, or other SSP gear would have been nice.
All the flaws mentioned are not very noticeable from a bit of a distance but are certainly not to be expected for a figure of this caliber/price point.
The renewal version was released in 2010 as Real Action Heroes- 480
It has Different box art, and a clear visor, still has the oddly colored insignias. The renewal contains the same base RAH301 body. I believe it has all the same accessories. Not sure what the other differences are.
I like this figure more than I should. I don’t recommend it, it cost way too much. It is very flawed. I love it.
|Posted 27 November, 2013 - 08:00 by Gazbot|