Ultraman is undeniably the king of all Japanese heroes when it comes to Japanese Tokusatsu entertainment. In Japan, Ultraman and all his various forms and his monstrous foes the Ultra Monsters are more widely recognized than Gamera or even Godzilla. Making its television debut in 1966, Ultraman was created by Eiji Tsuburaya and his own special effects company Tsuburaya Productions. This review will cover probably Ultraman’s most widely recognized arch nemesis and Ultra Monster known to fans as Gomora. Ultra Monster Gomora made its debut appearance in the Ultraman tv series (1966-1967) in the episodes entitled “The Monster Prince: Part 1” and “The Monster Prince: Part 2”. Scientists in the show along with the Science Patrol find a revived dinosaur on a remote island and successfully tranquilize it. An airlift operation is concocted to bring the giant monster back to Osaka, Japan for a World Expo event. The plan of course fails and the monster awakes prematurely and escapes. Gomora eventually faces off against the military and Ultraman. One of Ultraman’s strongest foes, Gomora actually wins the first time the two giants do battle. Only with the cooperation of the military and science patrol does Ultraman ultimately prevail in a rematch. Gomora has since made countless appearances in subsequent Ultraman tv series and movies, making him a very popular and recognizable Ultra Monster. Ultra-Act Gomora can be considered Bandai/Tamashi Nations’s first attempt at making a highly articulated tokusatsu monster with extreme sculpt detail and articulation facilitated by ball joints. Designed and manufactured by Bandai/Tamashi Nations, the Ultra-Act toyline can be considered the forefather of the SH MonsterArts toyline, pioneering much of the same figure design advancements and features seen in later Godzilla figures. Is this figure worth your attention, time, and money? You know the cue! Hit the jump for more!
Once again Bandai/Tamashi Nations does a fantastic job with the packaging. The box is much thinner and smaller than your average SH MonsterArts packaging. Decked out in black and brown, this box is made to be classy. Each side of the box is labelled with the words Ultra-Act Gomora. The packaging’s front features a black background with a prominent picture of Gomora’s face in a stylized brown and beige streaked design. A nice plastic window showcasing the figure inside is also present. The box’s reverse side shows the usual promotional pictures showcasing Gomora in variety of poses. One of the box’s sides showcases a profile picture of Gomora. Inside the box Bandai/Tamashi Nations pleases again with the inclusion of plastic trays that hold the figure and accessories in place without the use of twist tie wires. All that’s been applied to secure the parts from moving around is plastic tape. A cardboard sheet is included in the box as well, with one side being lined in plain flat grey.
Overall it’s another product that showcases great packaging design from Bandai/Tamashi Nations.
The set is very simple by nature and features Gomora along with a handful of accessories including a beam accessory, long tail, and tail stump.
Sculpt and Paint: 5/5
Like the SH MonsterArts series that has come after it, the Ultra-Act toy line offers the collector with excellent sculpt designs and well done paint applications. Ultra-Act Gomora originally released sometime in 2010, definitely set a new standard for the articulated monster figures that would come after it. By nature Ultra Monsters feature creature designs that are more varied and outlandish in execution than those featured in Toho’s Godzilla and Science-Fiction movies. In comparison to the hundreds of other Ultra Monsters, Gomora is definitely one of the more conservative creature designs. The sculpt depicted in this Ultra-Act Gomora is a fusion of Gomora’s original 1966 Showa appearance and his more recent appearances in shows and movies, most notably in the Ultra Galaxy television series and Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle movie. Despite his more conservative creature design, Gomora still looks more goofy and cartoony than Toho’s monsters.
Gomora’s likeliness has been faithfully reproduced in this Ultra-Act figure very well. From the folds of skin on its body and the bony protrusions on his head to his fat tail and pinecone-like belly, all the details you’d expect on Gomora are present on this figure’s sculpt design.
Paint is a very important element that if used effectively can make a well sculpted figure look that much better. Ultra-Act Gomora has been blessed with a plain brown scheme on the main body is complemented with dark brown used on the spots covering Gomora’s back.
The monster’s teeth are painted with a dirty light brown and beige mixture. The horn is coloured with a brown ivory tinge and the claws on the hands and feet are coloured with a subtle orange brown paint. Gomora’s bwlly is coloured in a nice walnut brown. The eyes are also accurately painted in white, red, and a touch of orange-brown. The odd bony protrusions on Gomora’s head are also coloured by red zigzag patterns which contrast nicely on the brown paint used underneath. The sculpt detail on the figure is beautifully accented by the great paintjob that this figure displays. Overall Gomora’s sculpt and paint job gets high marks for its screen accuracy and overall likeliness to the Gomora suits used over the years.
Despite the figure’s bulkiness, Ultra-Act Gomora is a figure that possesses fluid articulation that far exceeds that of even SH MonsterArts Godzilla. The figure’s arms and bulky thighs/legs are unhindered by their design and the figure is a joy to fiddle around with. The arms and hands are actually able to touch Gomora’s chest.
The head and neck have decent articulation. The mouth can open and close and is noticeably stiffer than other monster figures that have been released since. This is not necessarily a bad thing as I would like my monster figures to avoid floppy lower jaw syndrome like SH MonsterArts Godzilla. The tail has decent articulation as well. The joints on the figure are all reasonably tight and allow for a number of poses that would be expected of Ultra Monster Gomora. There really isn’t much more to be said about the articulation with Ultra-Act Gomora. Its a very straight forward type of action figure that sets the standard for all future monster action figures to come in the future. If there’s one thing that has been a bit of complaint its the pelvic joint that they gave Ultra-Act Gomora. Due to the nature of the sculpt you can’t really swivel the figure’s waist too much making the addition of that joint nearly pointless. Other than that I can’t really fault the figure for much of any other issues.
Ultra-Act Gomora comes with a conservative set of accessories. Included in the set is a beam accessory with alternative nasal horn attached, and Gomora’s tail. Visually speaking it was an odd choice to have the tail stump accessory attached to Gomora in the box as opposed to having the tail attached instead. I would assume this was just done to save space and to minimize the size of the packaging. There isn’t too much to write about here.
Gomora’s nasal horn beam accessory can be swapped in easily by pulling off the nasal horn from Gomora’s head. The accessory fits snugly into the slot on Gomora’s nose. Painted with a flat orange colour with some white paint spray, the piece is flexible and able to bend slightly if needed.
The tail stump accessory is already plugged into Gomora as you take the figure out of its package. It’s a nice accessory that depicts Gomora’s terrible dismemberment at the hands of the science patrol and their laser guns in the original Ultraman tv show. Swapping out this accessory with Gomora’s tail is very easy and involves popping out and inserting large ball joints that are fairly sturdy and durable. An extra ring of PVC covers the exposed balljoints on both the tail stump and tail.
Gomora’s tail is definitely huge just like its on-screen television and movie appearances. It’s very large and thick and has many points of articulation. Due to the sculpt there are some limitations present with how one may be able to pose the tail. Otherwise it makes a welcome addition to round out the set. Afterall, would Gomora even look right without a tail? I would say no.
Quality Control and Design Issues:
Ultra-Act Gomora is a figure that has little to no quality control issues present with its general release. This was definitely a surprise as it has become exceedingly rare to find even very simple figures like Gomora to have distracting and noticeable quality control issues. If anything the only issues I may have wit the figure are the slightly stiff neck and tail joints due to the figure’s sculpt. However, its really not a big deal and shouldn’t distract any casual collector or Ultraman fan from enjoying Ultra-Act Gomora.
Fun with Gomora!
Gomora is generally a very fun figure to play around with. As you can see below I had a blast placing him in some very cool poses.
Gomora Attacks Ultraman!
Agh....get it off me...get it off!!!
Ulta-Act Gomora has become a benchmark figure that has established traits that all future monster figures should possess. The figure features a great sculpted and painted body that at its core is highly articulated, perfect for ushering in new fans to Ultraman and appeasing old collectors/fans alike. The figure is a joy to play around with and comes with a sparse yet well executed selection of accessories. What can I say that hasn’t already been said? Aside from a few qualms about the figure’s articulation hindered by certain points in the body, the figure is a stellar release. This casual Ultraman fan is definitely more than satisfied with this release. Highly Recommended!
Overall Score: 4.5/5 (Not an Average)