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Monster Zero x SciFi Japan • The Ultimate 1991-1993 Bandai Ultramonster Checklist
Page 2 of 3

PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:28 pm
by Legion
#34 - Guts
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More intricate paint applications are what separates this figure from its earlier releases. Telling this figure apart from the ones that came before is incredibly easy. Just look for the blue painted beak and the lower body that's cast from vinyl of that same color. Every one of the '80s figures was totally cast in white. Differentiating this toy from the 2000 release is a little harder, since they're painted almost the same. Look for lighter color stripes on the back on the head and heavier paint on the hands on the 2000 release. A brand new Guts mold made its way into the Ultraman Mebius line in 2006, but has yet to be re-released.

#35 - U-Tom
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Another relatively overlooked figure, the Bandai U-Tom is an interesting toy based on only one of a number of identical (save for the insignia on the chest), human sized robots that never actually battled Ultraseven. All the '80s releases of this guy were painted silver and gold. While the gold remains on the 1991 edition, the rest of the figure is cast in a glitter-embedded grey vinyl, similar to what was used on the Mechaghidorah figure released the same year. U-Tom hasn't been seen since this release.

#36 - Kemular
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If this Kemular figure looks a little crude to you, that would be because this mold is derived from a Popy figure released in the late '70s. In fact, it's easy to see that the feet of the figure have been altered to include the Bandai logo and other copyright information. As mentioned earlier, this figure is unique in that while the date on the foot clearly reads "1983", the figure was never a part of that initial line. The 1991 version of this toy, the last time Bandai offered Kemular in vinyl, has blue paint down the back, while all earlier figures are painted silver. Lastly, it's worth pointing out that the Popy version of this figure is molded in light blue, so it's impossible to confuse it with the Bandai releases.


Comparison photos

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1986 and 1991 Guts figures

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1983 and 1991 U-Tom figures

PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:23 am
by Legion
#37 - Hydra
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Lavender vinyl and light pink highlights adorn all the '80s releases of this character. The 1991 version, meanwhile, is pretty much as loud as a figure could possibly get. The vinyl is blue and the painted highlights are a strong pink. Both colors are reminiscent of the paint sprays on the Namgeon figure. Another big difference between this and the older toys is that the finger and toe nails - pointed on the '80s versions - are filed down nice and stubby on the '91 figure. Hydra flew the coop after this release, and hasn't returned since.

#38 - Banila
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While his enemy Aboras dropped out of sight after its original "Ultra Collection" release, Banila stayed in production through the '80s and into this line, the final time it was offered. A relatively ugly character, Banila was done no favors by Bandai, who molded every '80s release out of dark orange vinyl, with red highlights . The only time they were ever really able to make this color scheme look attractive was in the original "Ultra Collection" release. The 1991 version adds a few darker grey/green sprays.

#39 - Salamandora
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With Ultraman 80's Salamandora, the line finally crosses over to the figures created for the 1989 Ultramonster series. This obviously means that none of the following figures have this large backlog of early-to-mid '80s releases all the previous toys had. Some of these toys stayed in release into the 2000 line, while others were retired after the '91 release. So not only are there less paint variants per figure, but telling most of them apart now becomes a lot easier. There were only two Salamandora figures made available. They're painted the same, but the 1991 figure is molded in dark grey vinyl. The '89 edition was brown. Though this sculpt was retired after this, Salamandora returned to the Ultra series with a new mold in 2006.


Comparison photos

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1983 and 1991 Hydra figures

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These two figures are not from two separate lines but both are from the 1991 series. The figure on the left is from an early release, before the tags were even numbered. The Banila on the right is from the very end of the toy line. How do I know that? Inside all Bandai figures starting in the early-to-mid '90s, Bandai included a small sticker indicating the date that figure was manufactured (YY,MM). This is the only surefire way to find out EXACTLY when the figure you own was made. The right Banila is dated "99,10". Bandai kept this guy in production until the bitter end of this line. In addition to being made of a super soft vinyl, the latter figure also has differences in vinyl and paint color. That's what happens when a toy is kept in production for almost a decade.

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1989 and 1991 Salamandoras

PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:50 pm
by Baltan II

PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:55 pm
by Legion

PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 6:11 pm
by KaijuZoo

PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 6:20 pm
by Baltan II

PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:10 am
by UltraBunny

PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:08 am
by king_ghidorah
Welcome to the forum!

PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:45 pm
by UltraBunny

PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:22 pm
by king_ghidorah

PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:33 pm
by Legion
#40 - Gikogyler
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Another Ultraman 80 monster, the underrated and often overlooked Gikogyler figure is another toy that was originally derived from an older Popy figure. Kind of. It isn't exactly like the Popy version, but it's close enough to tell that the Popy was its original base mold. Regardless, the big difference between the '89 and '91 releases is again vinyl color. The first release was molded in a very dark brown vinyl that almost looks black. The second release was medium grey.

#41 - Takkong
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Takkong is listed here for the sake of completion. I have never seen a 1991-tagged Takkong, and official figure lists skip right over #41 entirely. However, there was a Takkong released in 1992 as part of a 30th Anniversary series of figures that included other difficult-to-find figures such as Grand King and a Baltan II sculpt that never made it into the main line. This Takkong was molded in purple with metallic red and silver sprays, in contrast to the original 1989 release, which was done in light brown with red and silver. Both of these releases are very different from the 1994 and 2000 issues which were cast in brick red and brown respectively and given more complex paint jobs on each suction cup (or whatever they are) running down the body.

#42 - Astromons
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The 1991 Astromons stands out and is easily differentiated from the mold's three other releases thanks to its stark yellow vinyl color. The simple red sprays that worked just fine on the '89 release don't do much to help this figure. It's an outright ugly toy that is indicative of Bandai's lack of care during this period, when giving these toys halfway decent paint jobs took a back seat to pumping out many toys in very little time. Interestingly, the mold for this toy was changed for its '94 and '00 re-releases, with the neck joint moving from the base of the neck on the older figures to the base of the head in the newer ones. If anyone knows why this was changed please let me know. Regardless, the latter releases of this toy are obviously the most desirable for anyone looking for an accurate Bandai Astromons. The 1994 edition is closest to the actual monster suit, as the 2000 release painted the arm whips gold instead of red.


Comparison photos


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1989 and 1991 Gikogyler figures

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From l to r: 1989, 30th Anniversary version, 1994 and 2000

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From l to r: 1989, 1991, 1994 and 2000

PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:51 pm
by Legion
#43 - Ron
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To me, Ultraman Leo's Ron seems to be one of those really obscure characters whose Bandai toy no one seems to own or talk about. It's one of those toy you forget about completely until you see it again. Only released twice, the 1991 figure substitutes a light green vinyl for the dark green original toy. The gold remains on the chest from the earlier release, but all the rest of the gold and silver sprays have been replaced by a nice, metallic magenta on the head, back, fingernails and toenails. It's a cool figure in general, and it's a shame that this guy didn't stay in release longer, as opposed to the next figure.

#44 - Satan Beetle
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The only other Ultraman Leo character released until Alien Magma in 2003, Satan Beetle mainly appeals to me thanks to its odd resemblance to Megalon, almost as if he was the Toho monster's "special" younger brother. Anyway, Satan Beetle has stuck around for an obscenely long amount of time, well paint the point of retirement for most figures of this earlier era. It's impossible to mistake the 1991 edition with the 1989 issue, which was cast in orange (what were they thinking?) nor is it possible to confuse it with the 2000 version, which has gold paint sprays. The '91 version is most similar to the 2007 edition, but even there it's not too difficult to tell them apart, since the older figure is darker and glossy and the 2007 toy is lighter and done in matte vinyl. A cute figure, but I don't get why it's stuck around for so long.

#45 - Velokron
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The 1989/91 Velokron mold really isn't anything special, and that has a lot to do with the limitations of the molding process. Unlike his Ultraman Ace buddy Vakishim, whose original mold got a full four distinct releases, Velokron didn't make it past the end of the decade, and then had to wait until 2006 to see a brand new, easily superior mold made for Ultraman Mebius. The similar paint jobs might make the two releases of this toy tough to tell apart initially, but once you get used to what each release is supposed to look like it gets easier to tell them apart. The 1989 release is more of a blue/green color with richer, darker red sprays and heavier silver paint on the face. The 1991 figure is far more blue, with flatter red paint and less silver. The original release has far more overspray in general compared to the 1991 toy.


Comparison photos


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1989 and 1991 Ron figures

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From l to r: 1989, 1991, 2000 and 2007

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1989 and 1991 Velokron figures

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:11 pm
by Legion
#46 - Agira
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Capsule monsters Micras and Windam were mainstays of the Ultramonster line through the '80s. Agira didn't get to join them until 1989. What primarily makes its 1991 release different from the earlier figure is the vinyl color. The 1989 figure is cast in the same kind of bright yellow that hurts the 1991 Astromons so much. The second release is molded in a dull, dirty tan vinyl with substantial gold sprays. After this line, Agira spent a long time in retirement, only to return in 2009 as a new sculpt to tie in to the movie Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle.

#47 - Gamaira
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The 1991 issue of Ultraman 80 monster Gamaira is incredibly easy to tell apart from its earlier and later releases. The '94 and '00 variants are fully painted with multiple colors and details on the eyes and teeth. The '91 figure is cast in lime green with silver sprays, making it stand out from those later toys and the very first, 1989 release, which was molded in dark blue with silver. There's a terrific aesthetic appeal to this figure, which features some outstanding spiky texturing (which isn't ruined by a tail joint, the body is all one piece) and a fierce malevolent expression. The later repaints are true must haves.

#48 - Gudon
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The original 1984 Gudon was a beautiful toy, molded in deep brown and highlighted in metallic green. It took a relatively basic sculpt and brought it to life with some well thought out colors. Unfortunately, when the figure finally returned to the Ultramonster line in 1989, the sculpt was simplified by shortening the horns and arm whips and the off-white vinyl with black sprays that was used ended up looking terrible. Despite being issued another three times, similar vinyl colors kept being used, with the 2000 and final release being the only one to try a substantially different paint color (red). The 1991 release is a very, very dull grey/brown with dark grey highlights. It looks better than the '89 version, but the 1994 version edges it out with silver sprays and red eyes. Bandai has since replaced this figure with a new mold, made for Ultraman Mebius in 2006.


Comparison photos

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1989 and 1991 Agira figures

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From l to r: 1998, 1991, 1994 and 2000

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From l to r: 1984, 1989, 1991, 1994 and 2000

PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:54 pm
by Legion
#49 - Twin Tail
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Twin Tail is another one of those early figures that disappeared after its first issue in 1984 and didn't appear in the Ultramonster series again until 1989. Unlike Gudon, however, which simply returned with a slightly modified sculpt, Twin Tail's re-appearance featured a brand new sculpt. Between simplified sculpt, the elimination of the articulation of the whips/tentacles and the fact that it was molded completely in red vinyl, the 1989 release is pretty poor compared to the far superior original. The 1991 release of this new sculpt is cast in green, which helps a little. If one was to run across either of these toys without their tags though, you'd be forgiven for thinking they were bootlegs. Bandai wisely went back to the original sculpt in 1994, which is what they continue to use to this day.

#50 - Mukadendar
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Mostly known today for a widespread (and extremely juvenile) Internet dirty joke, Bandai's Mukadendar is a fairly unique toy of a fairly unique character. It's one of those designs that really jumps right off a shelf thanks to its bizarre design. Its 1989 and 1994 releases are both a dark green vinyl, which makes its bright neon green 1991 release all the more eye catching. Sadly, the paint job on this one is extremely basic, with some simple dark red sprays, mainly going down the front and around to the back of the figure. The 1994 figure has the best paint job of all three figures and is definitely the one to track down, unless you really like neon green.

#51 - Vakishim
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Easily one of the most popular Ultramonsters of the 1970's, Bandai's original Vaksihim figure does what it can with the molding limitations of the '80s to turn out a fun, quirky little figure. The inside of the mouth isn't sculpted out, the spikes on the hands are short and stubby and the toy is severely undersized. This is simply one of those toys that would ALWAYS catch my attention whenever I would shop for Bandai Godzillas, long before I even know the character's name or what show it was from. First issued in 1989, this figure would end up being released three more times, even if it meant that by 2000 the figure was looking way too retro compared to some newer sculpts. The 1994 and 2000 issues are easy to tell apart from the earlier toys thanks to their intricate paint jobs, softer vinyl and metallic green sprays. It's the '89 and '91 releases that look similar. The best (and really the only way) to differentiate them would be in the vinyl color, which is a lighter blue for the '91 release. Of course anyone who wants an truly accurate Vakishim figure will want to get a hold of either issue of the 2006 mold (first released in purple for Ultraman Mebius and then again in blue for the standard line) but this earlier toy is essential for anyone who wants to recapture what the Ultramonster series was all about in the early '90s.


Comparison photos

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1989 and 1991 Twin Tail figures, with the 1994 version for contrast

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1991 and 1994 Mukadendar figures

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From l to r: 1989, 1991, 1994 and 2000

PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 5:31 pm
by Legion
#52 - Ace Killer
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An Ultraman Ace foe that's surprisingly popular despite its limited screen time, Ace Killer first appeared in the 1989 line and has appeared in every major Ultramonster release since then. Paying attention to the vinyl color is really the only way to tell the '89 and '91 releases apart. The 1989 figure is made from orange/red vinyl while the 1991 edition is molded in basic red. The colors are similar enough to be confusing if you're not looking at the figures in person. Both the 2000 and 2007 Ace Killer figures have deeper red and gold colors, with the latter release being done in matte vinyl.

#53 - Kilazee
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The final enemy faced by Ultraman in Ultraman Great (known as Ultraman:Towards the Future in the US) the Bandai Kilazee may not be as large and fully painted as the Dreamworks figure, but it's still a relatively solid figure by the standards of this line. The '90 and '91 issues of this toy are extremely similar and almost impossible to tell apart, especially if they don't have their tags. The only difference I can spot would be that the gold paint used on the 1991 toy is slightly darker than the 1990 release. While Bogun did not make it further than the 1991 series, Kilazee was lucky enough to get a slight repaint in 1996, with some extra gold spray on the wings and cast in a lighter shade of red. Regardless of whether or not you own the Dreamworks version, the Bandai still stands as a unique addition to the 6" line.

#54 - Bogun
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If anyone remembers going to conventions containing Japanese kaiju dealers in the mid '90s, then they probably also remember the one Ultramonster figure that almost nobody wanted. That tiny little slug guy with the cruddy sculpt and the basic paint job. That would be Bogun from Ultraman Great/Ultraman, Towards the Future. Most people in the US are more familiar with the superior Dreamworks figure of this character that was released in 1992 in this country. The Bandai toy, on the other hand is barely three inches tall and molds the monster's main weapon - it's long whip-like appendage - to the rest of the body. First released in 1990, when the show was initially issued on video in Japan, and then again in 1991, the two issues of this figure are somewhat similar. The '90 release is a dull pea green while the '91 edition is much bolder blue/green. And for anyone who owns this figure complete with tag, isn't it odd that they used a photo of the monster suit when it was very obviously already in serious decay?


Comparison photos

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From l to r: 1989, 1991 and 2007

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From l to r: 1990, 1991 and 1996

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1990 and 1991 Bogun figures

PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:54 pm
by Baltan II
What's the infamous Mukadendar joke? I mean, I can imagine the gist of it given his appearance, but I'd never heard or known of the monster until the Mebius appearance and hadn't seen anything about him in the fandom since. Apparently I missed a memo somewhere.

I would, for that matter, love an updated Mukadendar mold or even a new release of the original mold.

In the Kilazee comparison, the third figure's listed as 2006 instead of '96.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 4:42 pm
by Legion

PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:50 pm
by Baltan II

PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:57 pm
by Legion

PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:22 pm
by Legion
#58 - Reconstructed Pandon
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The first new Ultramonster release of 1992, Reconstructed Pandon is the first figure that's completely unique to this line, never released before and never to be released again. An odd figure - it doesn't look much like it's screen counterpart thanks to its oversized arms and legs - it's red and silver color scheme stands out pretty well on a shelf of darker figures. Bandai eventually released a much more accurate original Pandon figure in 2001, which was also never re-released. A bootleg of this figure pops up from time to time, but it's bizarre appearance makes it impossible to confuse it with the legitimate Bandai figure.

#59 - Dada
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It's surprising to think that it took almost a decade for Dada to finally arrive in the Bandai vinyl line. The figure that we eventually got was nothing special and shows unfortunate signs of severe cost cutting in the black painted stripes, which stop dead at the sides of the figure. The 2000 re-release has a better paint job that wraps around the entire figure, so that's the best way to tell both issues apart. Bandai retired and replaced the sculpt in 2004 before the 2000 series had even ended.

#60 - Gesura
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This odd-looking, chocolate-eating sea monster appeared once and only once in the Ultramonster line in 1992. Although simplistically painted and suffering somewhat from molding limitations (that seaweed-like body texturing must have been a pain to try and sculpt), the Bandai Gesura is still a pretty cool little figure, with its big pink fish lips being the figure's standout feature. There's always something appealing about these one-and-done early '90s Ultramonsters, and Gesura is a great example of this. 2008's King Gesura trumps this toy in terms of sculpt and paint, but this original figure is still truly a must own.


Comparison photo

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1992 and 2000 Dada figures, showing the differences in paint on the back.

PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:48 pm
by TripMasterMunky
Yeah yeah, throwin' it up for all my Gesura brothers!

PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:07 pm
by king_ghidorah

PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:26 am
by Legion
#61 - Aboras
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I have no idea why the Aboras figure finally returned to the Ultramonster series in 1992, nor why it was gone for so long in the first place. Whatever the reason, this re-release is very easy to tell apart from the original. All you need to do is look for the light blue/green vinyl color as opposed to the darker vinyl and white and yellow sprays of the original. Of course it's easy to tell that it uses the majority of the Red King mold, the same way the Aboras costume was the Red King body with a new head. Honestly, I prefer this figure over Red King. The original Aboras figure tends to be rather difficult to find and on the expensive side. Since this toy was only issued one other time, even the 1992 version can end up being somewhat pricey when it turns up.

#62 - Seagorath
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In a sea of brightly-colored Ultramonsters, Seagorath stands out by NOT standing out. It's amazing how much restraint Bandai showed with this figure. Molded in a deep green/grey vinyl, the figure's only painted highlights are a subtle gold spray up the belly and chest and some cream-colored paint on the teeth, eyes and nose horn. If anything, this figure could have used MORE paint. Released only this one time, it's a shame Seagorath's mate Seamons was never released by Bandai as well.

#63 - King Crab
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Among Bandai's strangest decisions during this era was dipping deep into Ultraman Ace's rouges gallery for a handful of figures that were only released once. And King Crab is pretty much as obscure as you're going to get. Although the toy could have used some more variety in its color apps (a few green and silver sprays don't seem enough when you get a look at how colorful the monster costume was) the resulting toy is still really appealing for what it. It's goofy, but when it comes to Ultraman Ace monsters, goofy comes with the territory. I like how the exaggerated pincer mouth is a separate piece entirely from the rest of the head.


Comparison photo

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1983 and 1992 Aboras figures

PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:25 pm
by Legion
#64 - Aribunta
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Let's cut to the chase here: Aribunta is really something else. The monster itself appeared in one of the better directed episodes of Ultraman Ace, and the Bandai toy really knocks it out of the park with terrific detail and an excellent color scheme. They did the best they could to hit as many details as possible on a 600 yen toy and the paint job features several different shades that combine with the magenta vinyl color to create one of the best (if not the best) figures in the entire line. If you have a chance to get one, grab it.

#65 - Mechabaltan
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I don't know much about the 1981 series Andro Melos, but I do know it included several mechanized versions of monsters, including Baltan, the only character from that series to show up in the Ultramonster line. The last release of 1992, most of Mechabaltan's body is cast in glitter-embedded mustard-colored vinyl. The entire left arm and the rotating claw on the right arm are molded in grey, glitter-embedded vinyl. I guess this was Bandai's way of avoiding silver and gold paint. The figure was re-released in 2000 and 2008 and both times the silver sections of the monster were actually painted silver, which is how you're going to tell those versions apart from the 1992 release.

#66 - Gamakujira
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I'm not sure why Bandai decided to do this particular character, nor do I know why they decided to lavish so much attention on it. I'm glad they did because, despite how unbelievably goofy this pearl-eating monster is, the actual figure is a winner in almost every way. The texturing on this figure is absolutely incredible. The underside of the toy has this great ribbing pattern running from the head all the way down to the tail while the back of the figure is covered in small bumps and warts. It's impossible to not enjoy holding this thing. To top it all off, the cream-colored vinyl gets a really nice green paint job that gets heavier as it gets closer to the top of the toy. Released only this one time, the Bandai Gamakujira is one of the best pieces in the entire line.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:20 pm
by Legion
#67 - Barrabas
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Sadly, out of the three Ultraman Ace super beasts that Bandai introduced in the early '90s, Barrabas is easily the weakest by a large margin. The toy is undersized, minimally painted and has the overall proportions of a 1960's vintage toy. It's a shame considering the monster is such an out-there design, with so many crazy little details. The most unique aspect of this figure is the little plastic sword that's attached to its head. I'd love to see this character appear some day with a brand new sculpt, but that's not going to happen any time soon.

#68 - Alien Borg
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For their final three releases in this line, Bandai turns to Ultraseven to give us a trio of very different characters. On the surface, Alien Borg is a very simplistic, humanoid alien. What really helps it are its top-to-bottom silver paint job and incredible detail work, with hundreds of little lines etched into the vinyl. It's a very underrated figure, and hasn't been seen again after this release.

#69 - Crazygon
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Bandai really got creative with their last two figures, and it's hard to get more creative than the car-munching robot Crazygon. The figure is full of all sorts of great details and you've got to love it's big goofy face. The 1993 release of this toy is cast in a basic brown, glitter embedded vinyl with rubber arms. I'm assuming the arms were made in rubber so that they wouldn't warp, bend or break as vinyl would, but I'm not sure. This figure was re-released in 2000, but done up with a lot of gold paint. There's no way to confuse the two releases.

#70 - Narse
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Finally we come to the last figure in the 1991-1993 Ultramonster line. This toy has an interesting history in America as many collectors (far more interested in Godzilla than Ultraman, at least though the '90s) were quick to observe Narse's resemblance to the Toho monster Manda. In fact, many dealers would mark up the toy 500% or more and sell it as some sort of "Mechamanda". One solid piece of vinyl, this toy certainly isn't going to win any articulation awards, but it's definitely one of those unique toys that is different from literally everything else in this line. It's 2000 release features a reddish paint spray down the back, making it different from the 1993 and 2008 issues. Telling those two apart is a little harder and you've probably have to see both figures side by side in order to do so. The 2008 release is a colored a deeper copper hue. It's actually surprising this figure has lasted into the new Millennium like it has.


Comparison photos

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1993 and 2000 Crazygon figures

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1993 and 2008 Narse figures