Romando Ultimate Muscle


The Romando Ultimate Muscles line is a new Japanese line of large scale Kinnikuman characters. The figures are based on a 7 to 8 inch scale. Many different Kinnikuman characters are available in the line.


The cards are relatively boring, with little information on the toy line. Here is a pic of the packaging. Multiple versions of the card back exist (only the tops of the cards are different): the older basic blue card and the newer green flash card. Some Ultimate Muscles cards are similar to most Japanese toy packaging in that the bubble can be slid off the card. This way, the figures can be removed from the card without damaging the packaging.

Reviews of individual figures follow...

Akuma Shogun


Akuma Shogun is another of the larger of the Ultimate Muscles figures, standing at a little over 9" tall! The figure is painted in flashy metallic sky blue. Here's a direct scan of the figure with a MUSCLE. Akuma Shogun also came with a gold Kinnikuman mask, which can replace his current head. Akuma rides his steed!

Looks: 5 out of 5
This is another Romando that combines a nice sculpt with a wonderful paint job to create an awesome toy! The reflective paint is very impressive, and his size adds an imposing air to the figure!

Articulation: 4 out of 5
As with other Romandos, Akuma has 12 points of articulation: shoulders (ball-in-socket), forearms (swivel), elbows (hinge), hips (ball-in-socket), knees (hinge), and ankles (hinge). That's a nice range of movement, although the armor on the hips restricts the legs slightly.

Accessories: 3 out of 5
The gold Kinnikuman mask is a nice addition, and adds some extra play value to the figure.

Value: 3.5 out of 5
I believe this figure cost me $35. Like Buffaloman, the price is not particularly objectionable since the figure is a good size and made of nice, solid plastic.

Coolness: 5 out of 5
The wonderful paint job, nice articulation, and impressive demeanor come together in one of the coolest Romandos available!

Overall: 4.1 out of 5
As with Buffaloman, I feel that Akuma is a must-have for a Romando collection! Back to top...

Buffalo Man (Terri-Bull) Repaint


This Buffalo Man figure is actually a repaint of the first version. At 9 inches, it's one of the largest of the Ultimate Muscles figures, and has a great sculpt! Here's a direct scan of the figure with a MUSCLE. Buffaloman displays his power prominently!

Looks: 5 out of 5
This Buffaloman looks friggin' awesome with the red "devilish" paint job, which goes very well with his devil-like sculpt. Also, the paint is not flat, but shows a variety of hues giving the figure a solid and structured look.

Articulation: 4 out of 5
Buffaloman has 12 points of articulation: shoulders (ball-in-socket), forearms (swivel), elbows (hinge), hips (ball-in-socket), knees (hinge), and ankles (hinge). You can put Buffaloman in a variety of nice poses.

Value: 3.5 out of 5
I believe I bought this Buffaloman for roughly $35. He's quite solid, though, and a really nice size, so I don't feel ripped.

Coolness: 5 out of 5
His neat paint job makes this Buffaloman one of the coolest Romandos. He is definitely a nice display piece, and a fun figure to play with as well!

Overall: 4.4 out of 5
This is not only one of my favorite Romandos, but one of my favorite toys as well. This guy's a keeper! Back to top...

Kendaman


This Kendaman shows off one of the more flashy paint apps in the Romando line! Kendaman is roughly the same size as Akuma Shogun. His ball can fit well on his head, as shown in this pic featuring Kendaman with his MUSCLE cousin! Although the kenda ball is great, I think that Kendaman would be a lot cooler with a different ball as a head!

Looks: 4 out of 5
Kendaman's sculpt is very much like the classic MUSCLEs (check out the MUSCLE abs). And his paint job looks fantastic with beautiful reflective paint that lends itself to plenty of awesome color variations. The choice of colors is a bit awkward (dark blue with yellow?) but the quality of the paint aps is very nice.

Articulation: 2 out of 5
Kendaman has 6 points of articulation: shoulders (semi-ball-in-socket), forearms (swivel), and hips (semi-ball-in-socket). The articulation is enough for some good displays, but Romandos are famous for great articulation and I expected much more. Waist and knee joints should have been minimum requirements for this guy.

Value: 2 out of 5
I bought this Kendaman for $37... which is a crapload of money to pay for a toy of this size. Also, Kendaman seems rotocast, which makes him feel hollow and light-weight.

Coolness: 3 out of 5
This Romando looks pretty cool on display! I love matching his pose to those of the classic Kendaman MUSCLEs. The ability to put his head on his shoulders is nifty, although getting it to stay on is somewhat problematic. However, the lack of playability limits this figure's coolness.

Overall: 2.75 out of 5
This is a great-looking Kendaman that really adds some flash to your display. But the lightweight plastic and sub-par articulation limits his use as a toy. Back to top...

Sunshine


The largest Ultimate Muscle figure (besides maybe Big Budo), Sunshine (shown here waving at parade onlookers) towers over the rest! Here's Sunshine with his MUSCLE counterpart. Sunshine's chestplate can be removed to reveal his press! And since Sunshine's so big and angular, he makes a great base for a cheerleader pyramid!

Looks: 4 out of 5
Sunshine looks great with a nice sculpt and nifty paint job with some great color variation! And as previously mentioned, he looks quite impressive as he towers over the other Romandos! Keeping him in scale with the other figures is a nice touch, especially for dioramas.

Articulation: 1 out of 5
Sunshine has virtually no articulation. His only useful joints are on his shoulders. Other joints can rotate, like the ankles, but that rotation serves absolutely no purpose.

Value: 1 out of 5
Sunshine is one of the rotocast hollow Romandos, so he feels like a somewhat flimsy toy. And he is insanely expensive: I bought mine for roughly $60. Although Sunshine is one of the largest Romandos, $60 is still crazy to pay for a relatively cheap hollow toy.

Coolness: 3 out of 5
Despite the price and the lack of articulation, Sunshine is still pretty nifty because of his nice looks... and his sheer size!

Overall: 2.25 out of 5
Sunshine would have benefitted from better articulation and a more reasonable price. Back to top...

Wars Man Extreme


Wars Man Extreme is an updated (and repainted) version of a previous figure. Wars Man appears to be one of the smaller of the Ultimate Muscles figures, standing at 7" tall. Here is a direct scan of the figure with a MUSCLE. He comes with an extra arm, and three extra faces with different expressions. Wars Man lunges!
Looks: 4 out of 5
Warsman Extreme looks awesome, with an impressive sculpt and a varied paint job. His hands look a bit funky, and his proportions are a bit too bubbly, but overall the figure looks quite nice. The sculpt of the maskless face is especially nice!

Articulation: 4 out of 5
Warsman has 12 points of articulation: shoulders (ball-in-socket), forearms (swivel), elbows (hinge), hips (ball-in-socket), knees (hinge), and ankles (hinge). His articulation lends itself to some awesome poses!

Accessories: 3 out of 5
This Romando comes with an extra arm and three different faces. The extra faces are a nice touch and let you customize him in various MUSCLE-esque poses.

Value: 3 out of 5
I believe I got Warsman for around $30. The figure is made of solid, heavy plastic, so that price is not particularly revolting... although it is somewhat expensive for a 7" figure.

Coolness: 4 out of 5
Warsman looks awesome and poses well. Also, his masks are oodles of fun! This is definitely a cool toy!

Overall: 3.6 out of 5
One of the cooler Romandos, Warman Extreme is a good, quality toy.