#49 - Twin Tail
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
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
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.
1989 and 1991 Twin Tail figures, with the 1994 version for contrast
1991 and 1994 Mukadendar figures
From l to r: 1989, 1991, 1994 and 2000