Toy Review: Ultraman Super Gun

Review by Iain Delaney: The full name of this toy is the “Science Special Search Party Ray Gun Super Gun”, but I couldn’t see that fitting in the title without getting messy. It was made by Tamashii Lab, a subsidiary of Bandai, for the 50th anniversary of Ultraman.

The Ultraman TV series appeared on Japanese TV starting in 1966. It followed the adventures of the Science Patrol, a special team responding to scientific threats, especially kajiu. One member of the team, Shin Hayata, has the secret ability to turn into the giant superhero, Ultraman for a short period. Each episode usually involves the Science Patrol discovering a giant monster, attempting to defeat it, failing, and Shin finally becoming Ultraman to vanquish the creature. Ultraman and the various creatures were performers in rubber suits acting on a miniature landscape, much in the style of the Godzilla movies.

The standard side-arm of the Science Patrol was the “Super Gun”, a deceptively small pistol kept in a holster on the person’s belt. When drawn, the user would flick a catch and the barrel would telescope out, ready for firing. Pulling the trigger would unleash what looked like a bolt of electricity.

As befitting a 50th anniversary commemorative item, the toy “Super Gun” has a lot of features and accessories. Unfortunately, because the manual is in Japanese and Google Translate was not cooperating with me, I have to guess at some features.

The toy uses 2 “button” type batteries in the grip. Inside the battery compartment is a two-position switch labeled ’A’ and ’B’. With the switch in the ’A’ position, each pull of the trigger will make the pistol emit the sound of a different monster from the show. With the switch in the ’B’ position, a trigger pull will make the “electric bolt” sound.

The barrel retracts into the body, and a catch on the back locks it. This is the configuration that is carried in the holster in the show. Flicking the catch lets the barrel spring out, just like the real prop.

Locking the barrel in the fully retracted position lets you add one of two barrel adapters. The adapter labeled ’1’ accepts the white and red missile. The sounds change to a roar of a monster on the first pull and the rocket launch sound on the second pull.

The adapter labeled ’2’ attaches to the extended barrel with the yellow and black spiral on it. Now, the sound is a different monster and the sound of gas. I think this is a tranquilizer gas barrel.

With all of these features and the very nice-looking display stand, I think the name “Super Gun” is well deserved.

The 50th anniversary “Super Gun” was produced in limited numbers in 2016. Examples pop up on eBay from time to time, with prices starting at $150.

Iain Delaney was born in the UK but moved to Canada at an early age. The UK heritage explains his fascination with British TV SciFi, including Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet, UFO, and, of course, Dr. Who. After fumbling through high school, he fumbled through university, emerging with a degree in physics. With no desire to pursue graduate studies he discovered that a bachelor’s degree had little to no job prospects, so he took up a career in computer programming. In his off time he reads, watches TV and movies, collects toys, and makes attempts at writing. To that end he has a small number of articles published in role-playing game magazines and won two honorable mentions in the Writers of the Future contest. He is working on an urban fantasy YA trilogy and entertains delusions of selling it to movies or TV.

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