Ultraman

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DX Ultraman
Ultraman (Hayata)
14 Inch Scale
By: Banpresto
Price Varies

Many years ago, in the early 1990s, I would get an awesome catalog in the mail every so often. It was filled with page after page of the coolest toys and collectibles that were being made at that time. Far beyond the stuff you could get at Toys R Us or KB, there were Japanese and European imports and specialty products. Everything from rare collectibles to model kits, stuff from older-skewing science fiction and horror… It blew my mind as a child.

I loved Godzilla and the other monsters I would discover during TV monster weeks, probably on Monstervision. Suff like Godzilla vs Mothra and War of the Gargantuas. The only toys of Toho-type monsters I owned were knockoffs and imitations, up until Trendmasters started making them in the US. So every time the catalog arrived, several times a year, I would pour over each page and save the issue for months. I wish I had managed to save just one over the years, or at least could remember the name of the store that put it out. Even if they have gone out of business, I would love to look through the pages again.

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One of the coolest items in there consistently was a large scale vinyl Ultraman figure, about 12” tall. I had only seen a limited amount of Ultraman on TV, probably one of the later sequel series. But I knew who he was, and loved the idea of a giant superhero who fought Godzilla-like monsters. Unfortunately for me, my parents did not think it necessary to order something out of a catalog when there were perfectly good toys available in stores. I never owned one, or even saw one in person. Eventually we moved and I no longer received that catalog in the mail.

About twenty years later, I dug into a Walmart $5 DVD bin whilst killing time and came across Ultraman: The Complete Series. I bought it, watched it, and my childhood desire to own that Ultraman figure was reborn. Not knowing where to start looking for an obscure old toy, I took to eBay and started sifting through Ultramen, eventually settling on the subject of this review.

Despite all of that… This is not the figure from that catalog. This figure is stamped under its foot with the year 1999, long after I had admired the one on those pages of paper. However, it is very close to what I remember, whether those memories are real or muddled by time I cannot say for sure. The pose or size might be a bit different, but the idea is the same. It might even be from the same company, which in the case of at least this figure is Japanese toymaker Banpresto. Standing at 14”, this is actually the tallest figure I own. So after all this time, is this really the figure of a lifetime? Let’s take a look. Continue reading

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Ultraman: Towards The Future
Kilazee
10 Inch Scale
By: Dreamworks
$4-$10

I was a big fan of the 1992 “American” Ultraman show, Ultraman: Towards The Future. It was the first real relaunch of the character for the US market in decades and it had a lot of fun concepts. Sadly for whatever reason, it didn’t catch on. A short while later, Power Rangers would miraculously click with audiences where Ultraman had failed. Thankfully before the show ended it’s run, we got some great vinyl figures from DreamWorks.

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Kilazee wasn’t particularly memorable in the actual show, but he was the last villain in the Super Nintendo Ultraman game. I happened to have that game (still do) and this long necked gaseous monstrosity, certainly left an impression. As a younger man, I never owned this figure but about a year or two ago I came across one at a flea market for a couple of bucks, still in the box. Naturally I purchased it for Ultraman Week! Continue reading

Soul of Bullmark Red King

Soul of Bullmark
Red King
3 Inch Scale
By: Bullmark/Bandai
$4-$10

I always like to start out Ultraman Week with a review of a Red King figure. There’s no real reason why, it’s just tradition. Red King is one of Ultraman’s most infmaous kaiju villains, showing up in the original 1966 Ultraman show and having recurring appearances throughout the dozens of iliterations of the character through the years. He’s also been graced with quite a few figures, dating back to the very first Ultraman toys. Some of the earliest figures were vinyl toys made by Bullmark.

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These Bullmark sculpts were re-released by Bandai in a mini Gashapon (candy toys) series known as Soul of Bullmark in 2001. The figures are exact replicas of the vintage toys, but at a fraction of the size and cost. Naturally the ever popular Red King was one of the toys to get re-released. These guys are pretty easy to track down, but there were a couple of releases of varying sizes and styles so you have you may have to look around. Let’s take a closer look at the smallest Red King in my collection. Continue reading

Infinite Hollywood Ultraman
Starting today and running through next Wednesday, it’s Ultraman Week here at Infinite Hollywood. Why those dates? Because today is the date that Ultraman had it’s “pre-premiere” in 1966 on Japanese TV. A week later on the 17th (the last day of our Ultraman Week) is the day that the first episode of Ultraman officially aired. So in honor of Ultraman’s 47th birthday, we’ll celebrate all week long with reviews of toys, games, episodes and much more. Don’t worry, if you’re not a fan of Ultraman, we’ll have some regular updates scattered in as well.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the fabulous artwork above, which is sadly the last piece of art that I had commissioned from the late, great Bill White, before his passing. As always, Bill managed to hit a homerun with Ultraman facing off against our mascot Octo Joe in true low budget Ultraman style.


Matty stops back in to answer our questions for April 1st. He’s not got any tomfoolery in mind this year for April Fool’s Day. Instead he’s jumping right into the answers. But can he answer our lingering question from the 1970’s Godzilla’s Gang toy line? READ ON!

1. On the DCUC Superboy figure, I noticed that his earring isn’t present. That was a pretty common part of his attire, particularly for the time period the figure seems to be based on. It seems like an odd omission. Mistake, oversight or was there a particular reason?

It was a design choice made by the Horsemen.

2. We’ve started to see some army builders in the DCUC range. Is this something that will continue or have they not been as successful as core characters?

Yes, we would love to continue to offer some army building characters when they fit into the line.

3. In the WWE line, is a classic WCW Championship US Title belt something on the drawing board? This is one of the most highly sought after designs and yet, hasn’t appeared in figure form ever.

Sorry, but the WWE team was unavailable this week to answer questions.

4. Has Mattel ever considered doing an “Elseworlds” style crossover for DCUC and MOTUC? As an example, repainting He-Man as Batman? Like, what if Bruce Wayne lived on Eternia? It seems like a fun way to combine the brands for some fun one off figures.

A fun idea, but no, we have not considered this.

5. This one’s from the vault: In the late 1970’s Godzilla’s Gang line of figures, all of the featured monsters aside from Godzilla were actually Ultraman villains. The copyright on the back lists Tsuburaya (Ultraman’s parent company) as well as Toho. Did Mattel actually hold the Ultraman license at that time, or did they just license the particular Ultraman monsters? Any idea why Mattel would license Ultraman monsters instead of Godzilla monsters?

Toy Guru jumping in on this one:

“I’ll see if I can find anyone who was around at the time. I simply don’t have the answer as I was in preschool at the time!”