AnimeNYC is one of the biggest anime conventions on the East Coast of the United States, held annually at the Javits Center as a 3-day event. With Ultraman having close ties to anime, it is only natural that we would find Ultraman and related Kaiju sneaking around in this convention. In celebration of the most toy-oriented time of year, we thought it would be fun to look back at some of the great Ultraman-related toys and merchandise we found at the convention!
It was time to put on my GUTS (Global Unlimited Task Squad) gear and get myself prepared to search for Kaiju and friends from the Land of Light. For those who are not familiar with GUTS, it is a special investigation squad from the hit tv series, Ultraman Tiga (1996). As I entered the convention and walked towards the wonderful Tamashii Nations displays, the S.H. Figuarts Event Exclusive figure of Ultraman shines brightly by the Tamashii checkout center. This event exclusive figure is based off Ultraman: The Rise of Ultraman original miniseries from the Marvel Comics and has been officially licensed from Tsuburaya Productions. It first premiered at New York Comic Con 2022 earlier in October. What’s special about this figure is that it features a subtle blue tint in the silver paint and has slightly more muscular shoulders, reflective of the Marvel design.
On the other side of the checkout counter was a bright wall of Figuarts Minis! And what do you know… Ultraman Z Original and Ultraman Trigger Multi Type along with their respective human hosts, Haruki Natsukawa from STORAGE and Kengo Manaka of GUTS SELECT can be found!
These are very adorable in this cute chibi figure style! Not only are they more affordable, but they also don’t take up too much room and would make great holiday gifts for the Ultraman fans out there!
Haruki and Kengo have their matching outfits from the show plus they also have their transforming devices, the Z Riser and GUTS Sparklence. The miniaturized accessories will allow you to recreate the different poses for these characters and add in a lot of play value in such a compact size.
As I wandered further into the convention, I stumbled upon this small business from Philadelphia called Megaroad Toys and Entertainment. They had quite a selection of the S.H. Figuarts Ultraman line with Ultraman Leo, Ultraman Ribut, Ultraman Trigger, and some harder to find releases including Ultraman Belial, Ultraman Orb Origin, Ultraman X & Gomora Armor Set, and two special S.H. Figuarts Shinkochhou Seihou figures of Ultraman Tiga, both Multi Type and Power Type.
The latter two figures features a 3D scan of the original suit actors, Shunsuke Gondo for Ultraman Tiga Multi Type, and Koji Nakamura for Ultraman Tiga Power Type. This 3D scanning technology gives these figures even more realistic proportions with the screen accurate minute details allowing for outstanding poseability!
For the gigantic Ultraman fan, Plex has you covered with the Jumbo Sofvi Shin Ultraman figure which is 24” (60cm) tall, towering over the rest of your collection. Also, an Ultraman Onesie was there too (briefly as it sold a few minutes later)!
Heading down to the next row of merchants I spotted Book Off which is one of Japan’s largest chains of used bookstores. Not only do they carry books, but they also have an excellent selection of used classic Bandai figures in which several are from the Ultraman series. Just check out these bins of gems with many classic Kaiju and Ultra Heroes on top of one another.
Just eyeballing these crates, I can see Redking, Windom, King Joe, Gudon, Kodalar, King Joe Black, Ultraman Taro, Ultraman Gaia, Ultraman Chuck, Pedoleon, and Tyrant to name a few. Be sure to check out their New York locations if you’re in the city.
Going down to artist alley to see some wonderful art from my friend, John Bellotti Jr of Robo 7, to my surprise, Seismic Toys was also in the house! With them, they brought their totally awesome and brand-new Ultraman 55th Anniversary Edition of Sevenger from the Ultraman Vinyl Odyssey series. This figure of the 2020 version of Sevenger from the TV show, Ultraman Z, features interchangeable eyes, translucent red vinyl parts with of course, a collectors’ favorite, glitter! This was such a treat to see this figure in person. Highly recommend collectors to seek out this limited and unique figure from Seismic Toys! You can order a Sevenger of your very own by clicking through to Seismic in this link!
As I continued my search, Shin Ultraman seemed to be a big hit in all different sizes too! The Bandai 6” Movie Monster Series Shin Ultraman figure was present along with Bandai Spirit’s 16” (40cm) Dynaaction Shin Ultraman figure. This is my favorite Shin Ultraman figure in my collection so far! Not only does this Dynaaction figure come in a large scale but also features high articulation and the LED light up eyes!
It was so impressive that I brought this figure with me to the US Premiere of Shin Ultraman at the New York Asian Film Festival earlier this year in July and the New York Comic Con 2022 screening in October. And another Plex Jumbo Sofvic Shin Ultraman is looking down from the top shelves. My wallet says no but my desire grows stronger the more I see this gigantic figure!
Taking a sharp left to the next aisle and squeezing between the crowds, I spot Ultraman yogurt drinks featuring Ultraman Zero and Ultraman Geed from the Taiwanese brand, Ocean Bomb. These neat drinks with cool art covered cans are typically found at Asian supermarkets so it was quite a surprise to see them at Anime NYC too! Ultraman Zero features the original yogurt flavor and Geed features peach flavored yogurt. Gotta try these for sure!
Heading straight ahead I find more Tamashii Nations products on display. The current full arsenal of the S.H. Figuarts Shinkochhou Seihou figures of the highly sought-after Ultraman Type C, Ultraman Tiga Multi Type and Ultraman Tiga Power Type. Can’t wait for Ultraman Dyna to join the lineup!
Looking high up at the very top shelf, I then spy the one and only, Figuarts Zero Ultraman Tiga Multi Type diorama statue! This statue was sculpted under Tsuburaya’s supervision capturing the intense battle between Ultraman Tiga against Gatanothor from the final episode of the show.
One last stop before the Ultraman Connection panel starts, I saw that the Ultraman Nano Blocks were on the center display by the Bandai Namco booth. Aren’t these neat? We see Ultraman, Baltan, Ultraman Taro, Gomora, Ultraseven and Zetton can be constructed from these mini blocks. There’s so much fun packed inside the small packages!
Alright the next big stop was of course, the main event for Ultraman fans, the Ultraman Connection Panel! It was quite the honor to be invited to be part of the panel alongside my amazing teammates, Ultraman Connection Producer Jeff Gomez, Editor-in-Chief EJ Couloucoundis and writer Evangelia Artemis (“The Noob”).
On stage, I brought with me the Ultraman Tiga Multi Type Hero's Brave Statue by Banpresto and the Bandai Namco Ultra Replica Sparklence, which the AnimeNYC security had questioned me thinking that this transformation device might be a dangerous weapon! Fortunately, all questions were cleared up and we had a wonderful time at the panel. We even had some awesome giveaways including a double-sided lithograph featuring art from Marvel’s Ultraman comics, and an exclusive Shin Ultraman poster!
You can check out the following article for the full detailed coverage of the Ultraman Connection panel at Anime NYC 2022 here.
After the UC panel and autograph signings, several fans from the audience and even AnimeNYC staff came up to pose together for photos. We talked about all things Ultraman, favorite shows, characters, Kaiju, collectibles, and so much more! It feels so incredible to be able to speak freely for our love of Ultraman and tokusatsu which is totally different from the past.
This awesome Ultraman fan in particular had such a blast at the Ultraman Connection panel and showed off his Bandai DX GUTS Sparklence! Very neat to see the similarities and differences between Ultraman Tiga’s Sparklence with Ultraman Trigger’s GUTS Sparklence in person and AnimeNYC is a great meeting place for fans to gather.
It’s truly wonderful to see the Ultraman legacy from 1966 continue to this very day with fans from all generations sharing stories of their favorite Ultra Heroes. 2022 has been quite a year for Ultraman and 2023 will have even more ultra-awesomeness starting with the US Theatrical release of Shin Ultraman with Fathom Events in January! Be sure to catch the details on ticket sales here.
Can’t wait for the next ultra-exciting event! Shuwatch!
Andrew Wong (GForever)