CCP'S PANDON FROM ULTRASEVEN

 

CCP 12-inch/30cm/1:6-scale Ultraseven Pandon

11/29/17- Pandon's a relatively well-known monster and has been brought back many times as the monster-of-the-week (with slight redesign) in some of the newer Ultraseries shows. It's not one of my favorite Ultraseries monsters, but it's distinguished by appearing as the Big Bad in the final two Ultraseven episodes. It wasn't a particularly powerful monster, but Ultraseven was severely weakened and (barely) manages to dismember it at the end of the first part. It comes back with mechanical replacement limbs in part two.

For what it's worth, Pandon and its alien masters (Gosu/Goth seijin) are just obligatory Macguffins in a farewell story about the character, Dan Moroboshi/Ultraseven: That's what makes it a compelling set of episodes. But hey, even if it isn't really about them, the monsters and aliens are the reason I like the shows and why I identify the episodes by them.

Although I like many of the Ultraseven creature designs, I think it's got some sub-par creature designs-- something that I believe just got worse as the Showa-era Ultraseries wore on. As obsessive as I think I am about this stuff, there are some toy representations that I would pass on, even if made as 12"/30cm/1:6 merchandise... like CCP's current preorder, Giradoras from Ultraseven. It has a forced "let's do something different" design that doesn't appeal to me at all. I'm not totally against different designs, and do like some non-traditional designs like Ultraseven's Kool Seijin, Bira Seijin, & Chiburu Seijin. (In fairness, designers probably have a different perspective since they have to come up with new designs week after week.)

Personally, I think Pandon's two-headed design looks phoned-in... not that there's anything wrong with having two heads, but if you've got two heads, it makes sense to have them on two necks so that they could both be facing forward at the same time! I know... that would require more operators or fancy animatronics that weren't in the budget (or maybe weren't possible at the time). Despite having two heads, both heads were immobile and spewed flames one at a time, so when faced one way, flames spewed from the forward-facing head, and vice-versa. (Later incarnations of Pandon fixed this by having two necks.)

For me, Pandon was right on that line between a yea or nay purchase. Even though I wasn't enthralled by the design of the spikey two-headed chicken monster, it follows the traditional pattern of bipedal-monster-with-a-tail, and it's an Ultraseven monster, which are rare in the 12"/30cm/1:6 size. Another motivator was the "snooze-lose" rule: It had recently been released, and I found the last one in stock at only one Japanese online store, right before the "sold out" sign popped up.

CCP sales sheet for 12-inch/30cm/1:6-scale Ultraseven Pandon

I wasn't so lucky with its optional add-on product, a pack-o-limbs so that you can replace the limbs it lost in the first episode with mechanical ones to model its look in part two. While they could have included them in the product, they went for the toy version of DLC. It reflects the fierce state of commerce these days. At least you buy and own them without paying a monthly subscription or worrying about them vanishing if CCP were to go out of business.

CCP sales sheet for 12-inch/30cm/1:6-scale Ultraseven Pandon

CCP sales sheet for 12-inch/30cm/1:6-scale Ultraseven Pandon

CCP sales sheet for 12-inch/30cm/1:6-scale Ultraseven Pandon

It's shy on articulation, typical of a soft vinyl figure: The tail, one foot and the arms rotate; one leg is removeable, but that's so you can replace it with the mechanical version.

The right arm is sculpted splayed wide with an odd open-handed gesture-- not a very versatile pose. From the frontal view, it looks like it's sway dancing or belting out one of Journey's hits. No matter how you position either arm, you can't get a typical monster attack pose. The solution is to display it turned counterclockwise with the right head facing forward: It's the only way that the arm pose and immobile head thing makes sense. Another solution would be an Exacto blade, epoxy putty, and paint. For what it's worth, it looks like the replacement arms are better posed for a full-frontal view.

CCP 12-inch/30cm/1:6-scale Ultraseven Pandon

CCP's sculpt and paint job are very good (although the paint job isn't terribly demanding). I thought it was interesting that the eyes are painted as black airbrushed blotches; I never realized that it even had eyes because they're so hard to see on the suit, mixed in the shadows of all the spikes.

CCP 12-inch/30cm/1:6-scale Ultraseven Pandon head closeup

It comes in an enormous box that could easily hold 10 Pandon figures instead of the single black plastic tray holding the assembled figure. They're extremely generous with the included air!

I can't say that it's a good value for 15,000 yen (plus postage), since it's just a hollow vinyl figure... especially considering the back-in-the-day MSRP of the much more ambitious Medicom RAH figures. Back in the day, CCP packaged their stuff in plastic bags with a simple cardboard header, not fancy giant black boxes: CCP has gradually positioned itself as a boutique producer, much like X-Plus. Like X-Plus, they've got a very devoted (though probably not very large) following who snap up their offerings as soon as they're released or available for preorder. "Previously-owned" (used) releases tend to be highly sought-after as well. Collectors of 30cm original Ultraseries stuff (who are probably older, have a nostalgic connection to the old shows, and have more disposeable income) don't have a lot of choices, so consequently, CCP charges whatever the market says they can.

Despite the snarky tone of this article, this codger is grateful that they're making this kind of stuff!

 

 

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