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No.15
・Finally solved!? The problem of naming Ultraman
・Revive toys whose power units are omitted or broken (NO.1)

2021-08-18

Marusan plastic model reprint "Ultraseven" and "Ultraman"

News from Kochi-power Research Institute (Part 15)

※Below, all Ultraman photos are reprinted from “Tsuburaya Station-Ultraman, Tsuburaya Pro Official Website."
※The picture of “Panja" is reprinted from the official website of Osamu Tezuka “TEZUKA OSAMU OFFICIAL."


 Do you know the program “Confrontation! Supercar Quiz" that was broadcast from 1977 to 1978?
 Takao Yamada, who is still handing out cushions for the comedy program “Shōten," was the moderator.
 Just at the time of the third Ultraman boom, there was a section to introduce Ultraman in that program, but I was surprised when Takao Yamada said “Ultraman Seven" on the air. However, when I think about it, why does Ultraseven only, unlike other Ultraman, not include “man" in its name? In fact, I have recently come to think that Takao Yamada’s sensibility is correct.
 Also, you are concerned about things that are insignificant …
 In addition to Ultraseven, there are some strange points in the naming of Ultraman. See “Ultra 5 mysteries" below.
①Why is “Ultraseven" not “Ultraman Seven"?
②Why isn’t “Zoffy,"
a member of the Ultra brothers, called “Ultraman Zoffy"?
③"Return of Ultraman"
got the name “Jack," “Father of Ultra" got the name “Ken," and “Mother of Ultra" got the name “Marie" later, but why is the name of the first Ultraman still “Ultraman"?
④Why is the son of “Ultraseven" not “Ultraseven Zero" but “Ultraman Zero"
?
⑤Why is “Taro," which looks like “Ultraseven," called “Ultraman Taro"
?
These issues have long been debated among fans, and the correct answer is that the change of “Ultra Ace" to “Ultraman Ace" due to trademark registration caused confusion. However, that is not the answer to ④ and ⑤. So I think another bigger cause is hidden.
 I know the answer to ①. After all, “Kamen Rider V3" in the “Kamen Rider" series is not “Kamen V3" but “Kamen Rider V3" is natural. At first, the producer intended to finish with one work, but it was made into a series. So, isn’t it unavoidable that only the first generation is called “Ultraman," “Ultraseven," and “Kamen Rider," and the next generations are called “Ultraman Ace," “Ultraseven X," and “Kamen Rider Amazon"? In other words, “Ultraseven" and “Ultraman" can be thought of as separate works, and the names of all Ultraman are “Ultraman〇〇" because only the “Ultraman" series continues.
 Juwa! Emerium Beam!
 eek!
 Fool. So how do you explain “Ultraseven 21 who appeared in “Ultraman Neos of the Ultraman series? The residents of the Nebula M-78 also have the Ultraman clan and the Ultraseven clan. However, there is a reason why the number of Ultraseven clan is overwhelmingly small. Let’s explain in order.
①Why is “Ultraseven" not “Ultraman Seven"?
→This is because there are Ultraman and Ultraseven clans in Ultra’s country (there may be other races, but it is unknown at this time). And “Ultra" is the last name, and “Man" and “Seven" are the first names. “Ultra Man" and “Ultra Seven" are venerable names that can only be given to those who belong to the clan’s head family and succeed the family. Others have middle names such as “Man" and “Seven" depending on the clan to which they belong, and the first names “Ace" and “Taro" under them. Therefore, the nameplates of their homes are labeled as “Ultra Man Ace," “Ultra Seven 21," etc.
(Question 1) Why do everyone have the last name “Ultra"?
→I don’t know the details, but it’s close to the situation where there are many “Kim" and “Lee" like in Korea.
(Question 2) Isn’t it inconsistent with the fact that the Boss of Ultraseven said toward “Ultraseven" in the final episode that “No. 340, let’s call you “Ultraseven" according to the name on the earth"?
→The boss of the fixed-point observation center did not think that the head of the Seven clan was an observer, and rudely called him with a reference number. What’s more, because the boss thought that the subordinate wasn’t a real “Ultraseven" and that he was called by the abbreviation “Ultraseven" on Earth, he made such a statement. In other words, he was a boss with low ability to visit the workplace without conducting a survey of his subordinates in advance.
(Question 3) Who names the family’s first name?
→The other day, it turned out that “Ultraman Ace named a young Ultraman “Ultraman Z," and it became a hot topic. This is because the fact, that the first name of the Ultra clan is as light as a nickname which can be named by non-family member, has become clear. Since “Z" is longing for “Zero" and eager to become a disciple, there is a possibility that it will be renamed to “Zero-one" in the future.
②Why isn’t “Zoffy," a member of the Ultra brothers, called “Ultraman Zoffy"?
→"Zoffy" is the same female name as Earth (same as Sophie’s German pronunciation). In other words, he (she) is a woman. As evidence, “Zoffy" has a brooch-like decoration on his(her) chest, but it resembles that of “Mother of Ultra." However, since his(her) body is not as plump as the “Mother" and is a male itself, there may have been various things. According to the convention of Ultra’s country, women are supposed to be called “Ultra Woman Marie" like “Mother of Ultra." Therefore, “Zoffy" is also “Ultra Woman Zoffy" in the family register. However, even in the country of Ultra, there is a lot of debate about gender equality, and there is strong resistance to grouping working females as “women." Since “Zoffy" has the title of Captain of the Space Guard, he(she) especially hates being called “Woman." Therefore, the people around him(her) get tired of it and call “Zoffy" only by his(her) first name.
(Question 1) That is strange. Didn’t the Ultra brothers call “Zoffy" “Brother"?
→Because if they call him(her) “Sister," they will be beaten by “Zoffy."
(Question 2) What about the women of the Seven clan?
→This is an important point. In fact, the illness that affects only the Seven clan has changed the sex chromosomes, resulting in the inability to give birth to a female baby. In other words, in order to leave offspring, it was absolutely necessary to mate with the Man clan. The number of pure Seven clan has decreased to dozens, including the head “Ultraseven." On the other hand, the country of Ultra is advanced, and not only couples but also children can freely choose a middle name. Since “Zero" has a personality that is easily swept away by the trends of the world, he chose the name of “Man" which is overwhelmingly popular despite his father’s wish. Therefore, although he is currently calling himself “Ultra Man Zero," it is decided that he will succeed the head of the Seven clan, and eventually he will inherit the name of “Ultra Seven."
(Question 3) It turned out that there are no women in the Seven clan. So, was the name of the woman who once existed, such as the wife of the predecessor “Seven" (that is, the mother of the current “Seven"), “Ultra Woman Seven OO"?
→If I could name it, I think it would be cool to call it “Frau Seven" like Germany.
(Question 4)Astra also doesn’t have “Ultraman" in its name.
→Many of the Man clan who had been chased from the head family lived on the L77 Star, and “Astra" was initially “Ultra Man Astra." However, he had a habit of wandering before being attacked by Alien Magma. “Astra" didn’t want to be compared with his excellent brother “Leo," so he joined a bad group and repeatedly ran away from home. It is conceivable that “Astra," who was disowned by his father “Ultraman Panja?" lost his family register and could no longer called himself “Ultra Man Astra."
※"Panja" is the name of Leo’s father Lion in the anime “Jungle Emperor" based on Osamu Tezuka.
“Return of Ultraman" got the name “Jack," “Father of Ultra" got the name “Ken," and “Mother of Ultra" got the name “Marie" later, but why is the name of the first Ultraman still “Ultraman"?
→This is because ”Ultraman" is the head of the clan, as shown in ①.
(Question) Isn’t “Father of Ultra" the head of the Ultra clan?
→He has the name “Ken," so he is not from the head family. As proof that he is not the head, “Ultraman" was the almost undefeated but “Ken" has never beaten the enemy (vs Alien Hipporit ,vs Belial: 2 games 2 losses). It is unknown why he calls himself “Father of Ultra." To be correct, it is just “Father of Man Taro," but he may have omitted “Man Taro" without permission, or perhaps he is the uncle of the first “Man" and pretended to be the father. Since the first “Man" has no real brothers or children, “Ken" is trying to make his son “Taro" to the next head of the Ultra clan. However, “Taro" is spoiled by his mother “Marie" and has problems in his personal life, such as having a hidden child called “Taiga." “Taro" belongs to the Space Guard, but is currently in the position of an instructor due to failures such as being changed to a soft vinyl doll by Dark Lugiel.
Why is the son of “Ultraseven" not “Ultraseven Zero" but “Ultraman Zero"?
→This is because, as shown in the answer to ②, he chose the name of the Man clan. In fact, there are rumors that he is aiming for the head of the Man clan, not the declining Seven clan.
⑤Why is “Taro," which looks like “Ultraseven," called “Ultraman Taro"
→The appearance of “Taro" is “Seven" itself, and the only difference from “Seven" is the same head horn as his father “Ken." Therefore, there is no doubt that “Taro" contains the blood of the Seven clan. However, if “Taro" was a child of “Seven" and “Marie," no horns would grow, and if “Seven" had an affair with the wife of a man who claimed to be “Father," it would have been a big problem. Perhaps “Seven" is innocent, and “Marie" is a mixed race of the Man and Seven clans. But there is a possibility that “Seven" did something to “Marie" who was pregnant by using ultra psychokinesis.
ーThat’s allー
 What would you do if you were sued by Tsuburaya Productions?
 There is no reason why Tsuburaya Productions in the world will not accept such a perfect story setting. By the way, in the Ultraman Corner of “Supercar Quiz," the unused transformation scene of “Return of Ultraman" has been aired. The world was a supercar boom, but I only watched the Ultraman Corner, so I remember it well.
 That’s why, far from being a supercar, you’re riding only cheap domestic cars that are about to undergo a model change, don’t you?
 Juwa! again!
 arrrggg!

(Supplement) Did you notice that there is no picture of “ULTRASEVEN X" above? Surprisingly, not only the photos but also the work is not introduced on the official website of Tsuburaya Productions. It is thought that the cause is that it was a work for adults that was aired at midnight, and that there was no actual situation of “Seven X" and it was suggested that it was the same person as the original “Seven" in the final episode. However, it was a broadcast during the period when Tsuburaya Productions was arguing over the management rights, so I hope it doesn’t mean that the later managers hated and eliminated the work in which Kazuo Tsuburaya, the last president from the Tsuburaya family, was involved.

Revive toys whose power units are omitted or broken (NO.1)
Marusan and Bullmark products (Part 1)

From this time, I will take a break from the project to electrify the soft vinyl dolls of monsters that appeared in “Return of Ultraman," and will deliver the theme of “Revive toys whose power units are omitted or broken" five times. About 20 years ago, there was a boom of reprinting old plastic models with soft vinyl dolls and plastic models, and many products were on the market. Some products were reprinted with power units, such as “Marusan battery powered Ultraman" by Nostalgic Heroes (1999) and “Bullmark wind-up powered Godzilla" by Bandai (2001), but there were many non-powered reprinted and resold products such as “Midori Shokai Moguras series" by Doyusha(1998), “Great Mazinger" by Bandai(1998), and “Battery powered Monster Club" by Nostalgic Heroes (2004).
In 1992, the collection of my plastic models and soft vinyl dolls triggered by Arii's resale plastic model “Nitto Remote Control Gamera" (powered by its own original gear) that I casually got at the special sales floor of the supermarket began in earnest from around 2005. However, I have set an upper limit on the amount of money that can be used for one product. To get the original product, I need enough military funds to win the money game, but I can’t sacrifice the life of my family for my hobbies. Therefore, most of the items I collect are inexpensive reprints / resale goods or original product junk. However, for me, a toy that doesn’t move due to non-powered reprint or a breakdown doesn’t make sense to have it, like a hamburger with no meat in it or the taxidermy of animals. Therefore, for the past 15 years or so, every time I take a break from work, I have devoted myself to the work of transplanting power units to the empty bodies of monster soft vinyl dolls and toys such as SF tanks. Since I started from a time when I didn’t have any knowledge about tools and materials, the early works are not good. But I would like to introduce toys because I have lovingly revived them. Then, this time is the “Marusan and Bullmark products (Part 1)."

■Revive non-powered toys of the Marusan and Bullmark products
(Part 1: Soft vinyl dolls reprinted by Nostalgic Heroes)
Marusan plastic model "Garamon" reprint soft vinyl doll
Completed in 2007

1)Marusan plastic model “Garamon" reprint soft vinyl doll
As you know, the original Marusan battery powered monster plastic models are traded at a terrifying price. According to a survey by “Aucfree," the winning bid for “Garamon" over the past five years is 650,000 yen (1 case) for unassembled items and 170,000 yen (7 items average) for assembled items (including junk). A large number of Marusan monster plastic models of the Ultraman series has reprinted as “Battery powered Monster Club" by the motivated maker “Nostalgic Heroes" that once reprinted “Ultraman" and “Godzilla" with new molds. This time, I would like to introduce these soft vinyl dolls that have been revived by my own hands as (Part 1). In recent years, the transaction price of the soft vinyl doll reprinted by Nostalgic Heroes has soared to about 15,000 yen, but I got it at the fixed price (5,500 yen) in 2007.
Originally it was just a plastic model, so there is enough space inside to install power units. For this reason, it is much easier to work than remodeling a normal soft vinyl doll. As you can see from the photos below, it is a childish work using limited materials such as Tamiya's “Universal Arm," “Universal Plate," and other plastic plates. And unfortunately, it can’t walk very well. I think the cause is that the soft vinyl is thick and fairly heavy, and that the reverse rotation prevention function of the sole roller that I made is low.
Using the current tools, materials, skills and knowledge, I can improve it, but it is a valuable resource for knowing my progress, so I dare to leave it as it is.

Marusan plastic model "Garamon" reprint soft vinyl doll
Left: The soft vinyl doll is divided into two pieces. It is colored in the same green color as the “Marusan soft vinyl color."
Right: Structure inside the foot. A painstaking work with the materials available at this stage.
Marusan plastic model "Garamon" reprint soft vinyl doll
Left: Internal power unit, Middle: Sole, Right: Double-arm operating shaft with the same mechanism as the original
Marusan plastic model "Booska" reprint soft vinyl doll
Completed in 2006

2)Marusan plastic model “Booska" reprint soft vinyl doll
According to a survey by ”Aucfree,” 6 unassembled items have been listed in the last 5 years. The average winning bids for the 2017 and 2018 listings was as high as 690,000 yen for the two items, but since then the average winning bids for the four items has settled down to 240,000 yen. I think this is the risk of getting what you want at auction. In addition, the original assembled product was not exhibited.
Like “Garamon," it is a work in the early days of my remodeling, and the power unit design relying on Tamiya’s “Universal Arm" and “Universal Metal fitting" is unsophisticated. Also, in this era, I used my own crank for the output shaft of the “Universal Gearbox," but I had some troubles such as I couldn’t process the crank well, I couldn’t fit the worm wheel after processing, and the crank slipped while the gear was operating. The finished product does not walk very well for the same reason as “Garamon," but the original modeling by Marusan and the coloring by Nostalgic Heroes are both wonderful, so it is a very cute finish as a doll.

Marusan plastic model "Booska" reprint soft vinyl doll
Left: “Universal Gearbox" and self-made crank
Middle: Structure inside the foot. Since it is based on a plastic plate, installing rollers have been difficult.
Right: Arm attachment. It is connected to the crank with “Universal Metal fittings."
Marusan plastic model "Redking" reprint soft vinyl doll
Completed in 2006

3)Marusan plastic model “Redking" reprint soft vinyl doll
“Garamon" and “Booska" are put up for auction once or twice a year, and if you have enough money, getting an original product is not a dream. However, the products introduced below are rarely put up for auction, and even if you are lucky enough to find them in the shop, the selling price is over 1 million yen, which is beyond the reach of the general public. The original “Redking" has not been listed in the last 5 years according to a survey by “Aucfree." Only duplicate casts made by “Aurora Fan Club" were traded for 21,500 yen (average of 2 cases) when assembled and 17,000 yen (1 case) when not assembled. I bought the reprinted soft vinyl doll directly from Nostalgic Heroes, but I remember having trouble with this doll because the faces were off on the left and right.
As for the power unit, except for Tamiya’s “Universal Gearbox," I diverted the parts of “Bullmark wind-up powered Godzilla" reprinted by Bandai. This is because the mainspring of previously purchased “Godzilla" was rusted immediately due to scratches or something at the time of shipment, and as a result of having to buy it again, parts other than the mainspring was left over.
As expected, it was a Bullmark product (reprint) that inherited Marusan’s DNA, and the compatibility of each part was perfect. It was difficult for the anti-reverse roller to have the same performance as the original until a good alternative product was found, so like “Garamon" and “Booska," it has been difficult for a while to make a monster that walks better than this remodeled “Redking."

Marusan plastic model "Redking" reprint soft vinyl doll
Installation status of the power unit (“Universal Gearbox" and parts diverted from “Wind-up powered Godzilla")
Maruzan plastic model "Ultraseven" reprint soft vinyl doll
Completed in 2006?

4)Maruzan plastic model “Ultraseven" reprint soft vinyl doll
According to a survey by “Aucfree," the original almost unassembled product was listed once in the last five years. The winning bid was 730,000 yen. In addition to this, precision replica products were exhibited three times, and the average winning bid was 240,000 yen. As you know, it was a product that was released with the company name changed from “Marusan" to “Maruzan," and “Maruzan" went bankrupt immediately after the end of the “Ultraseven" broadcast, so it was a rare product with a small number of sales in the first place.
Nostalgic Heroes had previously reprinted “Battery powered Ultraman" with a power unit, so there were expectations for this “Ultraseven," but this became a reprint with soft vinyl doll. However, since both are the same size, the power unit of “Ultraman" can be transplanted to “Ultraseven" in its entirety. The walking performance of the reprinted plastic model “Ultraman" seems to exceed the original, and the “Ultraseven" with the transplanted power unit also walks very smoothly. However, recently, the chances of seeing this reprinted soft vinyl doll “Ultraseven" have decreased. It seems that the reprinted plastic model “Ultraman" is still in stock, so if you find a soft vinyl doll “Ultraseven," please buy it without hesitation and try to reproduce the super rare plastic model. 

Maruzan plastic model "Ultraseven" reprint soft vinyl doll
Left: After disassembling the soft vinyl doll, Right: After transplanting the power unit of “Ultraman"

Celebration! “Return of Ultraman" 50th Anniversary. 
The project to make soft vinyl monster dolls walk on batteries
(Extra edition)

Did you notice in the video above that “Garamon" and “Booska" are walking on the sumo ring? In this project, I am currently planning a sumo wrestling “Koti-Grand Sumo Tournament" participating 20 monsters and Ultraman. I think I’m doing something really stupid, but I’ve been increasing the number of monsters because I wanted to do this …I am holding a practice game to decide the ranking and efforts, but it is feared that this tournament will not be held due to a series of injured monsters such as a broken leg of “Billgamo." I hope you will wait patiently for the completion and release. The video below is a trailer that has already been uploaded to YouTube. I wanted to use the cool BGM that flows in the ending on the final day of the NHK Sumo Wrestling broadcast, but I never be able to get the permission. Therefore, I bought and used similar BGM from “PIXTA" (I am satisfied with the very good song).