Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ultraman Monsters

While Earth may have formed special organizations to deal with Aliens and Monsters, it was ultimately up to the Ultra Beings to protect Earth and destroy the Monsters. One outstanding feature of the Ultraman series was the use of various monster costumes, known as kaiju in Japan. As the series progressed with the different Ultra Beings manifesting, new monsters had to be created and sometimes, old monsters were re-introduced or with tweaks made to make them look slightly different.

In 1993, Bandai released the Ultraman Sound Battler Series. While offering little articulation, the cool factor was the interactive play that could be achieved when Ultraman was placed in close proximity to the monster. On its own, you could produce sound effects like Ultraman's cry and explosive effect by pressing a button on each Ultraman's back, shaking it or tapping his feet on the table or floor (like he's stomping). When placed within fighting range of the monster, a sound made by Ultraman would generate a corresponding sound from the monster, creating a battle sound, hence Sound Battler.

The other cool thing was the monsters. Until recently, no company had released monsters of this scale. There had always been the small vinyl versions but they were not big enough nor had enough detail to them. Although Medicom began releasing the monsters recently, Bandai's Sound Battler Series' monsters was a lot less expensive and much more affordable. They were at least 12 inches tall and the ones with tails would measure up to 15 inches in length.

First up are these trio (from left to right): Gomora, Red King and Eleking.

Since this is the year of the OX (in the Chinese zodiac, each year is named after one of 12 animals and this year happens to be the year of the OX), Gomora looks appropriate for the part as it looks very much like one - ha! ha!

Close-up of Bandai's Sound Battler Series Gomora Kaiju. The sensor for interaction with Ultraman can be seen on its chest.

Bandai's Red King Kaiju Sound Battler, looking all ribbed and toned

Man, does he need a good dental plan - LOL

Last but not least, Bandai's Sound Battler Eleking Kaiju. Eleking only appeared from the second Ultra series, battling Ultra Seven and not Ultraman

Is that a Mona Lisa smile we're detecting?


supekudx said...

Great suggestion Alex.
Medicom is too expensive and this series from Bandai could be a good choice.

alex teo said...

These monsters were available then and I had the opportunity to pick them up :) I won't be getting Medicom's because of the price.