| 11/21/17- Gyango is one
of the more recognizable kaiju of the Ultraseries, in part because
its silhouette appears in the title sequence of the first Ultraman
series in the '60s (starting with episode #12 (Dodongo), right after
the Gyango episode). It's a memorable episode, being a playful one
where the monster acts like a giant kid suddenly thrust into a cityscape
of fragile playthings. Gyango isn't a malevolent city-destroying kaiju,
which is probably why it doesn't make repeat appearances in the newer
Part of its appeal is its outlandish and unlikely design, with
rotating antenna-like "ears", Lost In Space B9 robot claws,
and the colorful totem pole design on its front. The odd conglomeration
could be because in the story, it's the product of a gangster's
imagination... Actually, it's a reworked Bemura costume from the
first episode, and it looks like the suit designers had a lot of
In the '60s, I saw the show when it aired on TV, but I had a small
black & white 8mm movie reel (no sound) of Gyango's fight with Ultraman--
this was pre-VCR/DVD/computers so watching it on Dad's projector
was a magical experience. Apparently, they sold these in mom &
pop toy stores. Wish I still had it!
Pilot Ace's Gyango was released in 2002 (the company is
no longer in business), and I considered buying it then but didn't.
Later, when I wanted to buy it, it was discontinued. I've looked
for it periodically on eBay without success, and even considered
buying the X-Plus version (very expensive, and likely too small
for the 12"/30cm/1:6 collection).
I'm sort of obsessive about relative size of figures in a collection:
I don't display figures of radically different scales together.
One of the difficulties in buying 12"/30cm Ultraseries monsters
and aliens online is that I'm never quite sure of how stuff made
by different companies will fit in with my collection until it's
in-hand. That can be true of stuff made by the same company: I've
assumed Medicom's RAH series as a baseline, but their King Joe looks
undersized compared to their Ultraseven (at least according to the
impression that the show gives). CCP's Wyndam and Mikuras, although
released together in the same 1/6 series, don't look like they're
the same scale (Mikuras looks undersized).
Although measurements are sometimes given, sometimes it's the
package size and sometimes a height measurement doesn't account
for things like a crouched pose. Height by itself often isn't enough,
since height is just one aspect of volume or "scale".
While one might think that one or two inches shorter is close enough,
height scaled down can make for a noticeably smaller figure, since
width scales down proportionally. It's one of the things that steers
me away from X-Plus: I lucked out with their old resin Bira Seijin,
but they have several different sizes, and their series size names
are vague ("large"-- I think that means 10" in their
Ultraseries line). In short, it's a crap shoot.
When I finally found Pilot Ace's Gyango, I accepted that it might
be a shortie-- I wanted it, regardless. When it arrived I noticed
that the box was awfully short... not a good sign! However, on unpacking
it, I saw that it had been packaged with the legs and arms unattached.
Attaching them made it considerably taller-- still slightly short
based on the shoulder placement, but an acceptable size to fit in
with the rest of my collection.
The figure is very nicely sculpted, with sharp detailing of the
diamond-shaped scales and individual spokes in the "ears". An interesting
detail is that an outline of gripping hands are sculpted as if grasping
manipulators for the claws. The silver paint job on the feet could
stand to be touched up where it runs up into the scales, but it's
a trivial complaint. For the most part, the paint job is accurate,
but there are a few simple and minor accurizing touches that could
be done (like adding white to the eyes). Because it's a tall two-footed
figure and was prone to lean forward (and topple), I heated the
legs/feet, bent them back slightly and filled the feet and lower
legs with resin to keep them rigid.
One of the unexpectedly cool things is the Pilot Ace artwork
on the back of the box. I don't normally care about that sort of
thing, but this one isn't going into the attic.