3 Inch Scale
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.
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.
Depending on what variation of set you purchased, these will have slightly different packaging. By that I mean VERY slightly different. These all come in little plastic bags, but whether the figure is contained in a plastic ball as well or not would pretty much depend on where you bought it. There’s nothing interesting about the bag, other than it makes the figure smell very much like vinyl.
Sometimes these were packed in a stylish paper box and that had this plastic bag inside of it. There is also a little paper insert that serves as both a checklist for the series and an instruction pamphlet to put the figure together. Yes, this guy is just a bunch of pieces at first.
The sculpt is timeless, as this figure is based on the original Bullmark sculpt from decades ago. You can’t really hold it to the same standards that you would a modern sculpt of the same figure. It has a certain stylized nature about it, but in all honesty, it’s pretty darn accurate for Red King.
Bullmark did a pretty incredible job on these early Ultraman sculpts. They’re startlingly realistic compared to many vinyl figures of the era. I’m not sure if it was because the Ultraman suits were kind of cheap to begin with or if Bullmark was just really trying hard.
The paint is very basic, as he just has some yellow coloring, a little bit of a darker wash on the shoulders and head as well as a blue stripe on his stomach. He also has painted eyes, teeth and a red mouth. Obviously it’s not overly accurate to the real Red King in terms of coloring, but it’s not that far off either.
You have a tiny bit of movement on the head, enough to look slightly to the left or right. If you trimmed up the vinyl neck post, you could probably get a 360. The neck post has a unique shape that restricts movement. I’m not sure why Red King’s head is that way, none of the other figures are.
This figure was designed to come as a prize for a toy machine. It’s not really the type of thing that would have accessories. However, toys like this do from time to time come with stuff. Red King, however, does not.
I love these little guys. I don’t know why I love them so much, but they’re the perfect vinyl toys for me. Great recreations of classic sculpts, at a scale that’s ideal for the desk. These are clear winners in my book and given that you can get them for so cheap, it’s a great buy. The individual figures can often range in price, but you shouldn’t pay more than $10 for any single figure. Red King can be had for a few bucks if you buy the whole series.
I’m not going to grade the packaging, as it’s really just not an accurate representation of how this toy was intended to be sold. Even if I gave it a low score, it wouldn’t have effected the overall toy grade anyway. Red King is a lot of fun and definitely something you can fiddle around with for hours on the desk. Great way to get yourself or your kid some affordable vinyl toys as well.