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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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!