The Nova Ubiquitous UB01LS is possibly the most frustrating action figure related purchase I’ve ever made. It’s also possibly one of the coolest.
Much like anyone who purchased this set, I saw the early solicits and it was an instant purchase for me. As an action figure photographer, something like this looked like a gift from the heavens.
A sci-fi diorama that is only limited by your imagination AND lights up? It was like someone finally realized that the action figure photography market was completely untapped. The only thing that limited my purchase to just one was the price. However, the concept that it was modular negated that limitation.
The reality was a box full of parts and instructions that seemed to be missing. This is my story.
It took me a few months to even open the box. It arrived during my recent display restructuring.
When I finally opened the package, I felt immediately overwhelmed.
So many parts.
I started following the instructions and a few days of work later (I’d usually only get an hour or two with it an evening) I was ready to put on the finishing touches.
The entire time I kept thinking, “I wonder how these lights will get powered?”
Long story short, if you’re not paying attention, there are a few sets of instructions in the instruction book. The SECOND SET is for the version with the lights. I had to tear most of it apart and start over.
That was fun. But not nearly as “fun” as what I went through next.
Getting those wires ran in those tiny compartments were a nightmare. The “instructions” are small pictures with no words. I rage quit the whole process at least three times. This whole frustrating experience could have been avoided with a clear set of video clipped instructions on their website.
Because of the ill-fitted compartments, some of the panels don’t quite fit. Which leads to things like the front panels falling out constantly. I accidentally put the “floor” in the wrong place. This led to me tearing it completely apart for the third time.
Needless to say, I am never taking this thing apart. I would guess that is why every pic you see of it that didn’t come from Nova is usually that one build out… it’s the only ones they give you instructions for!
The lights can rotate between four different colors. White, red, purple and blue. They can stay one continuous solid color, they can phase in and out on the same color (a choice of 3, 7 or 10 seconds before they phase out and start the process over again) or you can have it rotate through all the colors for that same time period. You can control all of this with a series of four buttons on top (well, wherever you put the panel with the IR receiver in it)
It can be powered with a mini-usb cell phone charger, or, as I have done, you can purchase a portable cell phone charger so you can set it up anywhere you want to take your pictures.
Finally, it comes with a little remote that allows you to have the same control you would have by using the aforementioned buttons.
I can’t say this set up won’t make you want to punch loved ones. What I can tell you is if you’re on the fence, and you don’t do action figure photography, you may want to pass.
However, now that I have it built, I can’t say I am sorry I have it. Having built it once and am a little more knowledgeable on its inner workings, I would buy it again. It makes for some great pictures. Unfortunately, one of my corner light wedges did not light up when it is set to blue and purple. Here are some of those pictures if you are wanting me to be the little devil on your shoulder.
Update: As of 1-26-19 I was able to get a replacement wedge from BBTS, free of charge. At least all of my lights work now.