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No.19
・Tweet about the Tokyo Olympics
・What kind of work was “Ultraman 80”?
・Revive toys whose power units are omitted or broken (NO.5)

2021-08-18

Abolas and Banila appeared at the New National Stadium
Abolas and Banila appeared at the New National Stadium
(The photo of the monsters is from “Monster Photo Book" (Asahi Sonorama))

News from Kochi-power Research Institute (Part 19)

About the Tokyo Olympics

 It has been decided that most of the competitions of the Olympic Games will be held without spectators.
 ・・・
 By the way, Professor was in the opposite position to hosting the Olympic Games in Tokyo in the first place.
 ・・・
 Why are you silent?
 Switch on! One, two, three!
 In the first place, the Olympic Games in Japan had the goal of rebuilding the Tohoku region, so it should have been held in the Tohoku region. However, foolishly, it was decided to hold the Olympic Games in Tokyo, which has nothing to do with reconstruction, because foreign understanding was not obtained or the nuclear power plant problem in Fukushima was not solved. Next, the government says that the Olympics will be realized as a proof that human beings have overcome the new coronavirus, but the fact is that even the supply of vaccines, which are the trump card, has been stagnant due to repeated ad hoc measures. Furthermore, there is the emptiness that most people have to watch the Olympic Games, which was invited to Japan by injecting huge taxes, on TV. With the above three points, it can be said that the holding of the Olympic Games in Tokyo was completely unsuccessful and meaningless. This is not due to the new coronavirus, but to the ignorance and arrogance of humans who decided to invite the Olympic Games to Tokyo, a city vulnerable to natural disasters and infectious diseases due to over-concentration of population and facilities. When it was judged that it would be difficult to hold the Olympic Games in the Tohoku region, they should have given up holding them in Japan.
 This robot told everything I wanted to say about the Tokyo Olympics, which is the second time since I was born.
 I lost my memory for about 90 seconds, but what was I doing during that time …

■What kind of work was “Ultraman 80"?
"Separate volume Televi-kun ⑨ Ultraman 80" (Shogakukan)
Separate volume Televi-kunUltraman 80" (Shogakukan)

 Let’s pull ourselves together and proceed! Today, I would like to say what I think about “Ultraman 80."
 As the name suggests, it’s not a 70’s work, but why suddenly?
 It will be a long time to talk, but last time I mentioned that the grandson of Jūshirō Konoe was playing Ryū Aihara of “Ultraman Mebius." After a while, in the 16th installment of this blog, I remembered saying that “Ultraman Max" was the last high-quality Ultraman series. I wondered if there was no really good work in the later “Ultraman Mebius," but there was.
 It is Episode 41, “A Memorable Teacher," isn’t it?
 It’s Bingo! It was a work supported by fans as the true final episode of “Ultraman 80." I has recorded that episode at the time of the main broadcast of “Mobius," so I was going to watch it for the first time in a long time …
 What was happen?
 I couldn’t watch the DVD because it was deteriorated! This story is 26 years after Takeshi Yamato who is “Ultraman 80," suddenly left Sakuragaoka Junior High School. It is a moving story in which Takeshi’s students planed a class reunion, and “Ultraman 80" who defeated the monster returned to Takeshi and reunited with students. However, upon closer examination, all the students were played by actors different from those at that time, and I was little disappointed. The child actors at the time would have been surprised because the setting of the school drama suddenly ended, and I thought if that was a true class reunion, they would have been able to organize their thoughts.

"Separate volume Televi-kun ⑨ Ultraman 80" (Shogakukan)
The students of “Ultraman 80" / From the top left: Super(market), Doctor, From the bottom left: Fashion, Rakugo, Right: Yukio
Reprinted from “Separate Volume Televi-kun ⑨ Ultraman 80" (Shogakukan) (partially modified)
"Sannen B-gumi Kinpachi Sensei"
From "TBS Channel" HP
Sannen B-gumi Kinpachi Sensei
From “TBS Channel HP

 How was Ultraman’s school drama in the first place?
 If Kinpachi Sakamoto, a teacher at Sakura Junior High School instead of Sakuragaoka, had the ability to transform into, for example, “Ultraman Golden Eight," it would be very unlikely that Mieko Osanai, the scriptwriter, could make use of that setting.
※"Kinpachi Sakamoto" is a passionate teacher who is the main character of the popular school drama “Sannen B-gumi Kinpachi Sensei" (means Teacher Kinpachi in charge of classroom B in the third year of the junior high school) that was broadcast at the same time as “Ultraman 80."
※Mieko Osanai is famous for the script of “Return of Ultraman" Episode 48 “I’ll Get the Earth!
Three months is the limit for the pattern in which a student’s evil mind gives birth to a monster, a student falls to the dark side and becomes a monster, and students fall into a crisis due to the appearance of a monster. The failure of “Ultraman 80" lied in trying to go through the year in the school drama. It might have been an interesting series if school dramas and non-school dramas were broadcast alternately, or if the teacher was simply set up as a profession of Takeshi.
 I hear that the setting of the school drama is the result of TBS's strong intentions working …
 The producer of TBS certainly was proudly talking about things that were incomprehensible to anyone other than him at that time.1)In the end, he didn’t realize until he started broadcasting the fact that his ideals deviated from the demands of the fans. I am also dissatisfied with Tsuburaya Productions. From the 2nd to 3rd period series, there are too many setting changes in the middle of the program. A typical example is that Yapool and Yūko Minami of “Ultraman Ace" were dropped off in the middle of the program. This is the weakness of the production company that doesn’t have a strong relationship with TV stations. The situation is different from the “Kamen Rider" or “Power Rangers" series, which can push through the settings once decided even if the audience rating is poor.
 Was “Ultraman 80" a bad work?
 Fans appreciate episode 41 of “Ultraman Mebius" not because the school drama of “Ultraman 80" was good or bad, but because it completed the suddenly ending story for the first time in a quarter of a century. I criticized “Ultraman Ace" earlier, but in the final episode, producer Hashimoto had Shinichi Ichikawa, the main writer, write the script to settle the battle with Yapool or the super-beasts.2) On the other hand, “80" suddenly discontinued the school drama and left the viewers alone until the final episode. Also, even after the end of the school drama, there are few works called masterpieces, so I have to mention the ability of the scriptwriters of “80." It took 16 years for Tsuburaya Productions to feel the response of the Ultraman series revival with “Ultraman Tiga," and this fact shows the lack of power and the low amount of heat other than the special effects part of the work “Ultraman 80." It’s a shame that good actors such as Hatsunori Hasegawa, Jin Nakayama, and Eri Ishida were appearing but couldn’t make the most of them.
1)From “Separate volume Televi-kun ⑨ Ultraman 80" (Shogakukan) : “In the production of Ultraman 80, TBS producer Kiyoshi Nomura
2)From “TV Magazine special edition Ultraman Daizenshū II" (Kodansha) : “Three major creator roundtable discussions: Ultra series monument" (Yōji Hashimoto, Shōzō Uehara, Shinichi Ichikawa)

Revive toys whose power units are omitted or broken (NO.5)
SF vehicle toys (Part 2)

In this final installment, I will introduce SF vehicle toys represented by the Moguras series of Midori Shokai, which was resold by Doyusha in 1998 and 2008.

"King Moguras" resale plastic model
Completed in 2005

1)"King Moguras" resale plastic model
According to “Character AGE" Vol.02 (Gakken), the original first edition was released in 1966 at a list price of 300 yen. I purchased the original product at the time of resale in 1974 (the price was raised to 400 yen). I was in trouble because the stick that supports the switch broke immediately, but I remember recovering the function by adhering a thumbtack. The gimmick is crawler drive (climbing capacity 45 degrees), front drill automatic rotation, a miniature light bulb lighting on the cockpit, and two missiles manually launched from the rear of the body.
The results of a survey using “Aucfree" regarding the transaction status over the past five years, in relation to original products sold by Midori Shokai and products with power units resold by Union, are shown below.
Unassembled: 19 listings with an average winning bid of about 55,000 yen
Unassembled (without box): 1 listing with a winning bid of 23,500 yen
Assembled (including junk items): 5 listings with an average winning bid of about 17,000 yen
Box only: 2 listings with an average winning bid of about 14,000 yen
Union “King Moguras" unassembled: 2 listings with an average winning bid of about 36,000 yen
Union “King Moguras" in the process of assembly: 2 listings with an average winning bid of about 23,000 yen
Union “Vega" unassembled: 9 listings with an average winning bid of about 18,000 yen

Looking at it in this way, I think that the union “Vega" is overwhelmingly inexpensive for unassembled item with a power unit. By the way, in 1998, Doyusha suddenly resold four products: “King Moguras" (2,750 yen), “Big Moguras" (3,850 yen), “Junior Moguras" (1,650 yen), and “Atlas“(3,850 yen). All of them were resold without power units, but I think there were many collectors who were impressed by the reunion for the first time in 25 to 30 years. I was one of them, and I proceeded with the motorization of each model in order.
Motorizing the “King Moguras" is easy with Tamiya's “Universal Gearbox," which can only be thought of as being developed for drill tanks. It seems that many modelers actually used this gearbox. In recent years, the display type has become the mainstream of Tamiya’s military models, but Tamiya’s efforts to increase the number of plastic model fans through the sale of such craft goods and tools should be evaluated more.

"Big Moguras" resale plastic model
Completed in 2006

2)"Big Moguras" resale plastic model
According to “Character AGE" Vol.02, the first edition of the original was released in 1967 at a list price of 500 yen. Unfortunately, I had never seen it at toy stores when I was a kid, and I didn’t know its existence until I ordered a catalog. The gimmick is crawler drive (climbing capacity 45 degrees), front drill automatic rotation, catapult door automatic opening / patrol airplane automatic launch, a miniature light bulb lighting in the cockpit, manual launch of one missile from both sides of the body.
The results of a survey using “Aucfree" regarding the transaction status over the past five years, in relation to original products sold by Midori Shokai and products with power units resold by Union, are shown below (excludes items that may be resold by Doyusha). Also, since the display of the initial box looks like “Bic Moguras," there are quite a few cases where it is listed under that name, so be careful when finding a product.
Unassembled: 10 listings with an average winning bid of about 127,000 yen
In the process of assembly: 1 listing with a winning bid of 39,500 yen
Assembled (including junk items): 5 listings with an average winning bid of about 33,000 yen
Box only: 1 listing with a winning bid of 16,500 yen
Union unassembled: 1 listing with a winning bid of 61,000 yen

For ”Big Moguras," it is necessary to rotate the horizontal gear on the upper surface of the gearbox for patrol airplane launch, which requires axial rotation in three different directions. Fortunately, the parts needed for this gimmick are made of plastic and are also molded in Doyusha’s resale products, so they can be reproduced. As shown in the photo, the combination of pinion gear, spur gear, and crown gear obtains rotational force around the orthogonal axis from the 2mm output shaft (for drill rotation) of the Universal Gearbox. However, as the load on the motor increased, I increased the gear ratio to deal with it, but the running speed of the vehicle decreased. Also, in reality, the door is pushed up and opened by the catapult rise, and then the patrol airplane is designed to launch, but the opening of the door could not be reproduced well, probably because the parts position was a little different from the original.

「ビッグモグラス」再販プラモデル
Patrol airplane automatic launch gimmick. The gray parts is original.
"Junior Moguras" resale plastic model
Completed in 2006

3)"Junior Moguras" resale plastic model
According to “Character AGE" Vol.02, the original first edition was released in 1968 at a list price of 200 yen. There are four Moguras series including the most expensive kit “Ultra Moguras" (released in 1968, list price 1,200 yen, not resold by Doyusha), but this “Junior Moguras" is the only mainspring power. The gimmick is crawler drive (climbing capacity 30 degrees), front drill automatic rotation, upper cutter automatic rotation, and manual launch of one missile from both sides of the body.
The results of a survey using “Aucfree" regarding the transaction status over the past five years, in relation to original products sold by Midori Shokai and products with power units resold by Union, are shown below.
Unassembled: 2 listings with an average winning bid of about 67,000 yen
Assembled (including junk items): 2 listings with an average winning bid of about 13,000 yen
Union unassembled: 1 listing with a winning bid of 21,500 yen

Unlike other Moguras series, the number of items listed in the auction is small. It depends on the number of original shipments, but I think this tendency is strong for low-priced and well-selling products. In motorization, it was difficult to reproduce the power of the mainspring, so I decided to make it an electric specification that uses the Universal Gearbox. The hardest part was the rotation of the cutter. The original cutter was only directly connected to the winding shaft of the mainspring, but in this time, like the “Big Moguras," it was necessary to prepare rotating shafts in three directions in a small body. As a result of trial and error, Tamiya’s “Pulley set" was used to pull the rotational force around the orthogonal axis from the 2mm output shaft (for drill rotation) of the Universal Gearbox. A rubber band is used for the drive belt of the pulley, and it needs to be replaced regularly, so the body has a structure that can be divided into upper and lower parts and left and right parts.

"Atlas" resale plastic model
Completed in 2005

4)"Atlas" resale plastic model
According to “Character AGE" Vol.02, the first edition of the original was released in 1967 at a list price of 350 yen. I bought an original product that was resold in the 70’s at that time. The gimmick is crawler drive (climbing capacity 45 degrees), large front cutter automatic rotation, front wheel cutters rotation, disk-shaped spacecraft manually launched from the rear of the body (vertical climb distance 6m), a miniature light bulb lighting at the top of the cockpit, and manual launch of one missile stored on both sides of the body. Despite having so many gimmicks, the price of the first edition is 350 yen, so Midori Shokai is a really conscientious manufacturer.
The results of a survey using “Aucfree" regarding the transaction status over the past five years, in relation to original products sold by Midori Shokai and products with power units resold by Union, are shown below. In addition, there were some people who were tricked into making a successful bid for the Doyusha resale products that were put up “like the original." In some cases, the seller controls the number of participants in the bid and the bid price, so you should not trust the item listed based on the bid status alone as genuine. The item such as that the box is too beautiful for the original or the picture of power units is not shown should be suspected at first.
Unassembled: 12 listings with an average winning bid of about 64,000 yen
Assembled (including junk items): 8 listings with an average winning bid of about 24,000 yen
Union unassembled: 5 listings with an average winning bid of about 32,000 yen
Union in the process of assembly: 1 listing with a winning bid of 30,600 yen

Regarding motorization, I had a hard time reproducing the launch gimmick of the disk-shaped spacecraft by the mainspring. I tried using a motor instead of the mainspring, but the spacecraft hardly raised due to lack of power. Also, since the motor for this gimmick had to be installed at the position of the battery box, I had to change to the remote-control specifications. I think that it is possible to reproduce the gimmick by removing all the gears other than the mainspring part of a slightly smaller mainspring box, so I would like to try it on another occasion.
In addition, the rotation of the large cutter is performed by rotating the crown gear adhered to the cutter by the pinion gear attached to the 2mm output shaft of the Universal Gearbox. This succeeded in obtaining stable rotation of the cutter.