Category Archives: Toys

Ultraseven Toy Mask Is Here!

Japanese people customarily visit shrines in every part of the nation for New Year prayers whether they are religious or non-religious, and I also went to one of the shrines located nearby the other day.

In my case, I always give thanks to the shrine for the old year instead of making a wish when I visit a shrine, well…whatever.

And we often find many stalls set up by vendors along the approach way to the shrine mostly to sell snacks.

Among them I found by chance a stall selling toy masks called o-men in Japanese, and what jumped into my sight was an o-men of Ultraseven displayed along with ones of Ultraman and Ultraman Orb and the other tokusatsu and anime characters (darn, I should have take the pictures of them to show you!).

The moment I found them, I impulsively bought one of Ultraseven as I got an Ultraman toy mask last year.

While these toy masks available lately look much nicer with well-reproduced features of each character than the ones that had been around in my childhood although I do love the exactly toy-like taste of the o-mens we had in the past.

As I have the o-mens of Ultraman and Ultraseven now, I wish the ones of Type A and Type B Ultraman would become available as well!

Maybe I should have prayed for it at the shrine…


I Have Also Got A Toy Mask Of Ultraman!

In addition to the plastic model posted yesterday, I bought a fun thing: Omen of Ultraman. (Click the images for enlargement)

Omen means mask in Japanese. Compared with another term kamen also meaning mask, omen often represents a toy mask for kids.

There were toy masks of Ultraman around in our childhood, but they were based on the Type A mask, and they didn’t look like the real mask.

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Ultraman (Type C mask)

Oddly enough, there were omens with octagonal eyes, and their jaws and even mouths were painted red although they showed features unique to the Type A mask.

Come to think of it, they had red ears somehow as well.

You can see a standard Ultraman omen of the time based on the Type A mask in Episode 26 of Ultraman featuring Gomora that was worn by Osamu.

Ultraman (A Type)
Ultraman (Type A mask)

But this omen I’ve got is very much faithful to the Type C mask of Ultraman and looks so cool although I also love the touch of the old masks that I now find attractive enough.

The mask makers’ adherence to trying to imitate the real Type C mask makes me feel their affection and respect for the Ultra Series.

Looks like an omen of Ultraseven probably in the same omen series is also very much well made, so I’d like to get one sometime.

Anyway I’m going to display the omen of Ultraman somewhere in my room.

I personally want an omen of the Type B mask to get produced.

Osamu and one of his friends playing Ultraman and a kaiju (Peguila)

I Have Just Got Mini/Triangle VTOL!

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The other day I got a plastic model of the Mini VTOL (Triangle VTOL).

This is one of the tiny plastic model series I posted before.

While I had purchased the other ones, this one was not released yet at that time.

One of my readers kindly posted a video (sorry, the video in Japanese) on these model series in his comment on the above post.

And it tells us the kits can be assembled quite easily by snapping in each part without using adhesive.

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Billy Joek just for comparison in size

No painting is necessary, either, because the kits are distinctively colored from the very beginning.

To make it look more realistic, you can apply the decals which come together with the kit.

So these models are to be built without spending much time.

Despite the easiness of assembling and the sizes, I’ve found the finished models shown in the video look attractive and realistic enough.

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This kind of snap-in style models were not around when I was a kid, but I now find this could be the main stream of plastic models (especially in Gundom models) here in Japan.

As I wrote before, this series of tiny models stemmed from the Space Battleship Yamato series sometime around in the 1980s while I have none of them with me any more unfortunately.

They were highly reputed as well-made models despite the size and price then, and I had to use glue and paint them at the time although it was fun as well.

Daily hustles and bustles have still kept me from building these models at leisure (I don’t want to do it hastily), but I look forward to building them before long.


Newly released plastic models of Ultra

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The other day I came across plastic models newly released of the SSSP and UG equipment and bought them immediately.

They are Jet VTOL, Special Submarine S Series (S16) and Ultra Hawk1.

As you know, the first two are the aircraft and submarine the SSSP possesses and uses.

As shown with a CD on the side for comparison, they are small plastic models which can be easily assembled.

 

Actually I found Ultra Hawk 1 at a shop first by chance.

And I learnt the Jet VTOL and Sumarine S Series were already on sale.

Finally I also found them at another shop.

The lineup is likely to include the Mini-VTOL in the days ahead as well.

We had such a series of plastic models in the past as Space Battleship Yamato Series about more than 20 years ago in Japan.

Yamato is a TV animation series broadcast in the 1970s.

 

It was a very much popular series with several movie series included.

I’m a fan of the first TV series actually.

As the first series of Yamato was remade recently, plastic models of the spacecrafts appearing in the series went on sale as well.

These models featuring Ultra followed the Yamato plastic model series.

As I’m so busy everyday, I don’t think I have time to enjoy assembling these plastic models for a while.

I bet I’ll let you know when I have made them!

(Regrettably looks like Hawk 1 doesn’t separate into three.)


Bullmark & Marusan

I now remember that I also had soft vinyl toys of Returned Ultraman and Takkong.

I think that it was around the same time when I had the one of Galvan.

I guess the far left one of Returned Ultraman was the one I had.

And a generous friend of mine gave them to me when we were elementary school students.

I often gave him the cartoons I drew, and I think he gave me the soft vinyl toys in return.

 

Takkong is a monster which appeared in Episode 1 & 2 of “The Return of Ultraman.”

I didn’t have the soft vinyl toys of Ultraman and Ultra Seven.

Partly because the toys looked too cute for me at the time.

Anyway, the soft vinyl toys were so popular among children at the time for sure.

The ones I had in those days were produced by Bullmark (1969-1977).

 

According to the information on Web, Bullmark was a company established by three of the former employees working with Marusan (or Maruzan 1947-).

Bullmark developed a lot on the occasion of “the second Kaiju Boom” centering on “The Retuen of Ultraman” in the 1970s but folded in 1977.

I’m fully aware that they were really well-made and attractive when I take a second look at them now.

Their products also contributed greatly in helping us to expand our dream in our childhood.

(The photos of the toys are the ones I found on Web.)


Memory of soft vinyl toys

As far as toys of monsters are concerned, it’s not that I have been a dedicated collector of them.

But I had a few of the soft vinyl toys of the Ultra monsters.

I remember I had the one of Windom, Eleking, King Joe and U-tom.

All of these are the monsters of “Ultra Seven.”

I was a bit disappointed at the time that they didn’t look like the real ones we saw on TV.

 

The idea to make such toys look like the real monster suits faithfully didn’t exist at the time.

There were many of them which were painted in a different color from the real suits.

It’s likely that they were intended to stand out among the other bright-colored toys.

As to the appearance of the toys, they were more simplified and looked much more lovable than the real monsters.

I was dissatisfied with their deformed look in those days.

 

It should have been impossible to make the molds so much detailed as to make them look just like the real things.

Also, the producers seem to have tried to avoid making them look scaring to children.

They might also have taken account of the possibility of injuring children with a sharply pointed part and so on.

Aware of these, I’m impressed with the producers’ thoughtfulness toward us.

Now I also find attractiveness unique to such soft vinyl toys.

(The photos I fond on Web are the same soft vinyl toys I had at the time.)


Memory of Galvan

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Galvan

Spiegel of “Captain Ultra” is said to be something innovative which introduced the idea of joining and separating to a mecha of an SFX series.

The idea was taken over to Ultra Hawk 1, and it might have brought about the inspiration of King Joe, that is the super enemy robot appearing in Episode 14 and 15 “Westward, Ultra Garrison” of “Ultra Seven,” which also separates into three and rejoins.

Hawk 1 designed by Tohl Narita looks marvelous, of course.

But Spiegel also looks nice with a different taste from Hawk 1 though I don’t know who designed it.

 

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King Joe designed by Tohl Narita

Turning our eyes to the monsters as well, “Captain Ultra” had unique ones of those with a different attractiveness from the Ultra monsters designed by Tohl Narita.

Browsing through them on the Internet, in addition to Alien Bandel and Metalinome posted before, I remember Galvan very well, too.

If my memory serves me right, it was set to be a robot monster made of iron scraps put together.

 

The idea and the appearance matching it are so much fun!

I also remember very well that I had a soft vinyl toy of Galvan which was my favorite.

I’m not sure, but I feel like a friend gave it to me when I was an elementary school student.

I remember he had lots of such soft vinyl toys of monsters.

The below is a photo of the toy I found on Web.

I think the one I had was painted in red.

Looks so cute!!!

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Toy of Valgan