MARMIT'S SHAPURAY SEIJIN FROM ULTRASEVEN

 

Marmit Shapuray Seijin, 30cm/12

12/06/17- While Ultraman featured lots of giant monsters, Ultraseven featured more alien invaders than monsters. Some aliens were mentioned but not seen, some were humans with no alien features, some were puppets, some wore full rubber suits and grew to giant size, and some, like Shapuray Seijin, showed little bare alien flesh: just an alien headsculpt and some alien-ish clothes (or what we think of as clothes).

1:6 or 12" or 30cm
1:6 is most accurate when referring to the scaling down of suit actors and creatures that are human-sized (like Shapuray Seijin). However, it's a useful designation even for giant-sized monsters because it identifies the 12"/30cm-sized class of toys. CCP identifies products by the 1:6 designation and Marmit includes it parenthetically.

Obviously, the giant monsters don't exist in real life. There are published size & weight statistics for the ficticious creatures, but often the older shows weren't very concerned about accurate scaling (if you judge height relative to the model buildings they destroy). The toys rarely reference a scale for giant monsters. Knowing or picking a scale can be useful for selecting models that do publish scale size information.

I believe that a good scale for the giant monster is roughly 1:144 - 1:160, which conveniently corresponds to model railroading's N-scale. This is great for diorama displays because a ton of Japanese-style buildings, vehicles and tiny figures are available, made by companies like Kato and Tomix.

If you want your giant monsters to look really big, you can use Z-scale (1:220) buildings, but there's not as much made in this scale and it tends to be pricey.

Ultimately, I think that most of us just eyeball it.

Marmit Shapuray Seijin, 30cm/12
Where's mommy?

The design treatment that the alien received appears to depend on its prominence in the story, but also on the budget. (As the series wore on, I believe the budget considerations played a larger role.) It's cheaper to imply an alien or just sculpt its head than it is to sculpt a full rubber suit.

The episode (#20) that Shapuray Seijin appeared in probably wasn't particularly cheap; it had to spread its budget between the alien and the monster (Giradoras), like episode #2 (Pitto Seijin and Eleking + Mikuras). Like episode #2, the giant monsters got the full rubber suits, while the human-sized aliens got cool headsculpts and fancy space-duds. The Shapuray Seijin character (in alien form) received very little screen time, so it's surprising that they put as much effort into the design as they did.

I think that they did a great job with the design; the headsculpt's interesting and the gold outfit with pointy shoes and transparent outer garment go well together. In fact, I think it's the best thing about the episode.

In my opinion, it was a pretty unmemorable episode with only a few things going for it. The human interactions were entertaining and funny. We got to see the Magmarizer (earth-tunneling vehicle; it's an attractive design) deployed and put to work. But I watched the shows mainly for the aliens and monsters. Frankly, I don't like the design of the monster, Giradoras: It looks like they were trying too hard to come up with something different, instead of accepting the limitations of rubber suits and designing a monster that just looked good. On the other hand, I think it would have been a shame to waste a good monster design on a lackluster plot.

So why did I get Marmit's Shapuray vinyl? After getting their excellent Icarus Seijin, I was curious about other figures Marmit had made in the realistic 30cm style. Most of their releases have been the colorful toy-like vintage style. They don't appear to be making realistic replicas of the creatures from the shows nowadays; most of those releases are from about 5 to 10 years ago (this one is stamped "2007" on its foot), so the opportunity to get one doesn't come up all that often.

To be honest, it's a bland-looking 30cm vinyl figure. It's posed straight-armed and looks as if it were pulled from cryogenic storage. It looks like a large version of their 6" figure (although the shaping of the heads from a sideview are different-- oddly, the 6" version is more accurate to the backlot photos). I think it would have been more interesting if they'd sculpted it holding a raygun pistol-- one of the few things that it did in the show, besides falling off a cliff, engulfed in flames.

I like the headsculpt. The body has typical articulation (head, arms, torso), and is cast in a gold vinyl with embedded flecks of glitter. However, the arms and torso are covered with clear vinyl; the clear tunic is printed with small black dots, and decorated with a pewter "transformation tool" pinned to the chest. The clear tunic is an interesting effect and gives a glimpse into fashion and novelty textiles of the '60s. The curley-toed boots are a separate part, glued to the legs.

Marmit Shapuray Seijin, 30cm/12

Marmit Shapuray Seijin, 30cm/12

Marmit Shapuray Seijin, 30cm/12

Marmit Shapuray Seijin and Medicom Ultraseven, 30cm/12


 

TOMIX N-SCALE SCIENCE PATROL FIGURES
(SSSP, Science Special Search Party from Ultraman)

Tomix N-scale Ultraman Science Patrol SSSP squad

I saw this set of diorama accessory figures and couldn't resist! If you're not familiar with N-scale: The figures are tiny, about a 3/8" tall (1:150). For those in the know, the distinctive colors of the uniform tell you what they are. Although they don't have facial features, it's easy to identify Hayata, Hoshino, Arashi, and Fuji. I think the last two are Muramatsu and Ide.

Ultraman 30cm Gabora with Tomix N-scale Science Patrol SSSP squad

For what it's worth, Preisler makes incredible N-scale figures with faces that have discernable facial features; I like to brag that in my glory days, I could paint their eyes and mouth... Very time-consuming. It takes good eyesight and magnification, steady hands, a tiny brush, and paint thinned to just the right consistency. These days, I could probably find a tiny brush, but that's about it.


Unfortunately, they're really easy to lose! This is the only one that I could find, and he's really grimy.

 

 

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