PILOT ACE'S GYANGO FROM ULTRAMAN

 

Ultraman Gyango, TV series title

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 shows.

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 fun.

Pilot Ace 12-inch/30cm/1:6-scale Ultraman Gyango

Pilot Ace 12-inch/30cm/1:6-scale Ultraman Gyango

Pilot Ace 12-inch/30cm/1:6-scale Ultraman Gyango

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.

Pilot Ace 12-inch/30cm/1:6-scale Ultraman Gyango

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.

Pilot Ace 12-inch/30cm/1:6-scale Gyango

Pilot Ace 12-inch/30cm/1:6-scale Gyango

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.

Pilot Ace box artwork (back)

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.

 

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