REVIEW: Ion Men – Uma-naut
Designed by Matts Walls (A.O.I.) and Daniel Smith (turboPISTOLA), the Ion Men are a series of 5” tall sofubi vinyl figures. The Ion Men are made up of a combination of 7 different parts. There are 8 heads, 2 bodies, 2 legs and 5 sets of arms (clockwork cannons, fists, mace, Seismic Ace head arm, and a UFO). The heads are named: Big Damage K16, Centurion K16, Kumatank (Beartank), Murder Boner, Seismic King, Strollbot, Trojan Hoss, and XLR8OR88.
There have been several color releases, as well as some hand-painted versions. For this review, we received the Uma-naut Clear Black colorway. It features the Trojan Hoss head and a translucent black look.
Series: Ion Men
Artists: turboPISTOLA (Daniel Smith) and A.O.I. (Matt Walls)
Material: Clear black vinyl sofubi
Dimensions: Around 5” tall
Points of Articulation: 6 points (neck, shoulders, elbows, waist)
The Japan-made sofubi vinyl comes bagged with a header card. There is a colorful illustration of the Ion on the front. The back of the card is where all of the information about the figure is located. Also, you can also see outlines of the various head styles in the background.
As you’re probably well aware, I have a slight bias towards Japan made (sofubi) vinyl figures. It’s not that pieces made in China are inferior; there are plenty that stack up equally to (or better than) their Japan-made counterparts. It’s that a good sofubi figure feels better in your hands (softer) and can be made in translucent colors without the bubbles that usually plague those made in China.
This Ion figure was extremely well made. I found a few tiny bubbles (insert Don Ho video here), but it’s definitely something I had to search for. There’s no paint on this version, so I can’t tell you how a painted figure looks. But I actually like the translucent smoke color of this colorway, without any paint.
There is plenty of articulation in the top half of the figure. Below the waist, he’s sadly not moving. It offers some playability if you’re not looking to set him up on your shelf. Uma-naut was also durable enough that I received him back from my 3 year old’s testing regimen without a scratch.
Since this is a series and there eight different heads available, I’m pretty sure that you’ll find one or more appealing. Personally, I like the Trojan Hoss head. But since all of the parts are interchangeable, there are a number of combos that you can create if you don’t find the exact pairing you like.
For a figure constructed similar to the Uma-Naut, you’re looking at $25.00. That’s a pretty good deal considering the quality of other similarly priced figures on the market. There are some more complex builds, or builds featuring alternate colors, and they will run you a little more.
You can purchase on from the following: