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Thread: Captain Action Ultraman

  1. #1

    Captain Action Ultraman

    Hi all!

    Some questions regarding the Captain Action Ultraman costume set came up on the Yahoo! Groups Captain Action list, and as someone who has the set, I wrote this reply. Danny suggested that people here might be interested in seeing the write-up as well. I hope you'll enjoy it!

    James

    ******************************

    I do have the Ultraman set. Two, in fact, so I could keep one boxed as well as put one on a figure (Yes, one of these was actually opened! The horror...!).





    For its intention, trying to replicate the look of the Ultraman suit prototype that appeared in a couple issues of Shonen Magazine when Captain Action was first released in Japan, it does a good enough job. The two known images of that prototype suit are hardly perfect, so photos references are lacking, but Medicom did a good job of replicating what was seen. However, I won't say the set is flawless.

    The material used for the suit is nice and thick, and at first glance, it looks similar to the fabric used in the vintage Captain Action outfits, but appearances can be deceiving. The material lacks the stretchiness of the original fabrics, so it fits very, very snugly on a Captain Action figure. It was a struggle to get it on the figure, and the snug fit made it difficult to pose the figure once he is dressed. I had wanted to pose Ultraman in his famous "Shuwatchi" pose (As seen in the photo used on the costume box), but it was impossible to move his arms that much.

    The mask included in the set certainly looks like Ultraman, but it lacks solid detailing, giving it sort of a soft look. If the prototype had a similar appearance, I could understand why they did this, but it did not. It had the sharp, crisp lines that you'd expect, looking much more like the masks in the Henshin Cyborg Ultraman sets that came out in Japan a few years later.

    In its package, the uniform comes on a replica Captain Action body dummy. Unfortunately, Medicom did not include something like cardboard inserts in the legs and arms to give them shape, so they tend to look floppy inside the packaging. The graphics on the cardboard backing are very reminiscent to the types of things used in the original Captain Action packaging, and add some visual life to the packaged set. The back of the box uses the standard Captain Action image and "Introducing Captain Action" text, with a large picture of Ultraman in place of the other hero set images, most likely due to licensing issues. While not exactly a copy of the vintage set boxes, thanks to the inclusion of barcodes and child safety warnings, it's close enough to give a vintage feel.

    As was oft mentioned here when the set was first announced, there are no accessories included in the set. On the one hand, I can understand the reasoning for this; this release was meant to finally bring to market a lost prototype set, and the only photos for that set showed no accessories or gave any indication that any were ever planned. Being 100% faithful to what was shown would mean no accessories. One the other hand, we all know that Captain Action costume sets each came with a nice pile of accessories. Sometimes goofy accessories that had foundation in the comics (I'm looking at you, Captain America's rifle and Spider-Man's giant spider), but accessories nonetheless. From that perspective, it would have been nice if they had created some accessories to make the set more "vintage like," even if they weren't completely appropriate. Throw in a Beta Capsule or some Science Patrol weapons, or perhaps a mini Hayata figure -- something -- anything! But, they didn't. If it weren't for those backing card graphics, the Ultraman suit would look awfully lonely sitting in that otherwise empty box.

    Despite these issues, I am glad I have the set. I've wanted a Captain Action Ultraman set since I first saw those prototype pictures, and now I have one. Other people might feel differently, and that's fine too.

    At the time I ordered Ultraman from Japan, the set was listed on Amazon Japan, but still being fulfilled by Medicom's Project 1/6th retail arm. As a result, I had to use a proxy service in Japan to place my order for me. Since I have used several of these services (ZenMarket, Rinkya, and Celga, to be specific) numerous times before without any problems, I wasn't worried about their service when I ordered the set. The set isn't cheap. When it was first released, it retailed for 12,800 yen, plus tax (About $118.00 at current exchange rates), and last I looked, Project 1/6th was asking 14,080 yen, plus tax (Around $130.00) for them. They're no longer listed on Amazon, but Project 1/6th still has active web pages for the set on several other sites, so they might still be selling what (If any) they have left.

    Anyway, I hope this helps!

  2. #2
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    Thanks James for posting this!

    Here's two of his pictures that went along with his nice description.




  3. #3
    after seeing the uniform out of the box, i'm glad i didn't pay the premium for it (at least not yet). i am not sure why, but i was under the impression that boots came with this one. i'd pop on a set of jet pack boots to make it look more complete.

    thesharkman

  4. #4
    Intriguing and fun. I'm not paying through the nose for one, but man it'd look good in my collection. Medicom makes good stuff.
    Looking for Iron Man Belt, Green Arrow accessories, Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver, and Japanese Popy Megos (Battle Fever J, Battle of the Planets, Kamen Rider, Ultraman)

  5. #5
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    Congrats on picking them up! I do like the box design. Not as crazy about price or the execution. A Beta Capsule and Hiyata Mask I think would have made the set. A Ultrasquad rifle or pistol would have put me over the moon happy. It feels like a bit of a cash grab for a mask, and suit for me. Ultraman was a great character choice and I'm sure many collectors are happy to have it in their collections.

  6. #6
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    This is the kind of thing I would have gladly paid $15 for.

    It was such a weird thing when CAE announced this, cause they hyped it up on a bunch of US sci-fi and toy websites and then it was only available in Japan and not available to be shipped to the US without a lot of extra trouble. Truthfullly I felt like this was pretty major misfire. The mask, while perhaps correct to the prototype (not sure) features a face fin that runs down to the nose, which is not accurate to Ultraman at all and gives this figure a very strange look.

    The outfit, is fine, but certainly nothing special. When you look at the amazing Henshin Cyborg Ultraman costume compared to this, it sort of boggles the mind that this came out so much later. Perhaps it was just too slavishly beholden to being like the unreleased vintage set.

    Still a cool piece and certainly rare.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for posting. Been on the fence about this but the prototype value history really nudges at my wallet strings. I think it is a beautiful piece.

  8. #8
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    Here's a scan of that original Japanese ad.


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