| 08/25/15- As usual, there's
the name thing. The box says "Seabozu", but many spell it
as "Seaboz", even though it's pronounced like "Sheboz"
or "Shiboz" (include the final syllable, and it's "Shebozu"
or "Shibozu"). That's relevant for Internet searches.
This one's like the invisible Medicom RAH Ultra series release
that no one knew about; information about it (in English) is hard
to come by. I believe it was available as a mail-order purchase
around 2009, and years ago, for a relatively brief period of time,
I recall seeing a few eBay listings. This is billed as a Hyper
Hobby Exclusive and only mentions that it's produced and manufactured
by Medicom in tiny print on the back of the box; it doesn't even
appear in the product
list of Medicom's website. Nevertheless, it clearly fits within
Medicom's 12" line of RAH Ultra series dolls.
This guy's pretty unique. Most of Medicom's RAH Ultra series products
have been Ultra heroes (most recently, their Project BM Bandai-Medicom
collaborations) and their human partners, rubber-suited aliens (Baltan,
Dada, Mephiras, Zetton, Zarabu, Metoron, Pegassa, Gatsu, Jamila),
and a robot (King Joe). This guy is a rubber-suit monster with a
tail, of which Medicom has produced very few (Kanegon and Garamon
from Ultra-Q). Seabozu is the most reptilian that they've produced
to date, other than their old "Combat Joe" Godzillas.
I don't believe they'll ever get around to doing any of the Ultra
series reptilian monsters with big tails like Neronga, Gabora, Red
King or Gomora. I'm grateful that Billiken and CCP have produced
similarly scaled vinyl versions to fill that void.
Like most other RAH releases, this one has an articulated RAH
301 figure inside the flexible monster suit. The suit is more complicated
than usual and appears to have three different components: The soft
rubber base suit casting, the slightly more rigid dimensional PVC
bones that are glued to it, and the even more rigid bony head and
jaw, which have simple hinge articulation. The hands are separate
PVC castings that have rotation articulation. The soft rubber base
is sculpted with bone detail and is a white casting, with the black
painted between the bones.
In the pics below, it looks like the ribcage and lower torso might
be separate pieces (as many hard plastic figures are constructed
to give torso articulation), but it's a single rubber casting, sculpted
to look that way.
You shouldn't expect much poseability in these rubber-suited dolls.
However, this one is slightly better than average because of the
loose suit fit. Even though the RAH 301 armature has tight joints,
this could be improved with an even tighter metal armature; a tighter
ankle joint would be an especially valuable improvement since this
doll is relatively heavy and the weight is balanced only on its
two legs/ankles because the tail is so short and flexible. If you
don't want it to fall over, a stand is a good idea. Although the
box says a stand is included, mine didn't include one (but not a
big deal because stands are easy to come by).
This is a wonderfully iconic monster design. Although it's a bit
fanciful and improbable (a skeleton on the outside?), it fits the
storyline of episode 35 ("Monster Cemetary") perfectly.
By this time in the series, Ultraman had killed quite a few monsters,
and most episodes had followed the same basic formula: Monster appears,
destroys stuff, must be killed. Only a few episodes (#23 Jamila
and #12 Dodongo, for example) had explored remorse about killing
them, since the monsters weren't really to blame for their clash
with civilization. This episode is fully devoted to the concept:
Man's technology unwittingly yanks monster from the solitude of
the Monster Cemetary in space, monster does what monsters do on
Earth, but wants to return to the solitude of the Monster Cemetary.
Ultraman/Science Patrol obliges in a more humane way (they don't
kill him) by furnishing him with an Ultraman-painted rocket for
his journey. It's an unusual episode in that it gives the monster
an opportunity to "act", to show recognizable human emotions
through body language and sound.
It's a great story and an entertaining episode, but it did open
the doors for improbable concepts... a weird thing to say for a
show about aliens and monsters! It sets up the idea that monsters
can be brought back even after being blown to smithereens without
relying on the more grounded-in-reality reproductive explanation
("it was representative of a species").
It's one of the things that I don't like about the Ultraman X/Ginga
series and the "Spark" dolls. Vanquishing a monster doesn't
kill it, but turns it into a portable toy (suspiciously,
like a Bandai toy) that can be reanimated when needed by
technical wizardry, like dropping freeze-dried Sea Monkeys into
water (a bad example but sounds cool). I guess it gives the monster
design$ a tremendous Return On Investment and shields children from
the trauma of thinking about the eternal real consequences of death,
much like the concept of "Heaven". However, snatching
a creature from the tranquillity of Heaven to do a job is actually
antithetical to the premise of the Sheboz episode. Maybe that's
just a quaint notion though, considering what digital technology
allows us to do with deceased actors (and what the future will bring
with autonomous AI)? Maybe someday we'll be able to summon grandpa
with his spark doll to mow the lawn?
The Ultraman-painted rocket is included, although it's a simple
and lightweight ABS plastic toy that's easily knocked over. They
didn't put much thought into its potential since it screams to have
been turned into a heavier, more substantial display stand.
That just about wraps up my binge of Medicom's RAH Ultra series
stuff; I don't believe that they'll be doing any monsters in the
future (but I'd love for them to prove me wrong). The only one I
didn't get was Kanegon. He's not a daikaiju and doesn't fit in with
the rest. (If you've watched the episode, you'll know what I'm talking
about.) The Billiken model is a perfectly good rendition and gets
his own display space.
It's an interesting predicament; if I want anything more, I can't
just buy it. I'll probably have to make it.