In the past few years, the Ultraman Series’ journey as a worldwide brand has accelerated immensely, starting with Ultraman Connection and Ultraman Connection Live shows that offered exclusive sights for fans, and extending onwards, into a full-scale mobilization across North America through special screenings and convention appearances. Anime Expo 2022, New York Comic Con 2022, and now, as of last weekend, Fan Expo Canada 2023.
Fittingly for this sense of progression, Fan Expo was perhaps the biggest salvo yet from Tsuburaya Productions, the Licensing Group, and Iceberg Theory, the forces that make Ultraman Connection happen.
We’ve covered the individual events across a number of pieces in the last week, but let’s dig into what exactly the Ultraman Series — specifically, Ultraman Blazar — brought to this massive meeting of pop-culture and fans.
Thursday started with a series of meet-and-greets by Ultraman Blazar, first with a visit to the booth of vendor Anime City, where Seismic Toys was selling a number of their exclusive Ultraman Vinyl Odyssey figures. Fans flocked to the booth to meet Ultraman, and Blazar, though he doesn’t speak, we could tell that even he was surprised at the turnout of fans eager to get a photo with him.
A few hours later, Blazar migrated to his second meet-and-greet, out of the Bandai Tamashii Nations booth! Positioned on the opposite side of a statue of the original Ultraman (as well as the new S.H. Figuarts figurine of Blazar himself — we kept them apart to avoid some sort of time paradox), Blazar got to meet more fans young and old.
Come Friday, it was back to the Bandai Tamashii Nations booth bright and early, the first of two appearances at the booth that day. However, the main event was at 1 PM, when Ultraman Connection held its first of two special screening panels, featuring the ADR director of Ultraman Blazar!
Hosted by EJ Couloucoundis, editor-in-chief of Ultraman Connection, fans were treated to the first episode of Blazar, “First Wave,” alongside commentary from the table. Afterwards, fans got to ask questions to EJ or Rawly, and received prizes from Monogram international and RR Parks Cards! Also handed out was a special Ultraman Blazar Thumb Drive containing cool digital souvenirs from the Blazar series!
Of course, Blazar himself had to make an appearance — maybe he heard his own voice in the episode and got curious? Regardless, fans got to enjoy meeting the giant in an exclusive venue.
When Saturday arrived, another visit to the Bandai Tamashii Nations booth was followed by the second panel. EJ and Rawly returned, this time to screen and discuss the at-the-time brand new seventh episode of Ultraman Blazar, “Rainbow Appears, Part 1.” As this was the first time that most of the audience had seen the episode, there were of course a lot of questions — as well as some panicked begging to know how the story ends. No spoilers, folks!
EJ and Rawly answered several other questions, however, and gave out more prizes from Monogram and RR Parks, as well as those nifty Ultraman Blazar Thumb Drives. And of course, before the panel was over, Blazar returned to greet the fans again!
As Saturday drew to a close, Blazar made one more appearance, this time at the booth of licensed partner RSVLTS for a red-carpet style event! While we couldn’t get him into a RSVLTS shirt, as the con went on, we kept seeing the images of Ultras and Kaiju on more and more people, so clearly the shirts were popular…
Sunday was the last day of Fan Expo, and Blazar made the most of it, reappearing at the RSVLTS booth to greet more adoring fans. After that, he made a final appearance at the Bandai Tamashii Nations booth, only to receive gifts from fans he’d met over the course of the convention! Even Blazar, who does not understand human speech, was able to receive sincerity from the fans, and certainly appreciated it.
With that, the con was over — Fan Expo had been conquered, and Ultraman Blazar flew off to parts unknown. We at Ultraman Connection are also back, but we carry the memories with us, and — hey, the Ultraman Connection Collection contest is still going on! Fan Expo was only the start — visit our contest page to enter yourself! And to find out what’s next for Ultraman Blazar and the Ultraman Series, stay close to Ultraman Connection!