CCP'S DORAKO FROM ULTRAMAN

 

CCP Dorako from Ultraman, 30cm/12

12/31/17- "Comet Monster Draco" is one of CCP's oldies, released circa 2006 - 2007. It's numbered "Vol.004" by CCP, preceded by Red King, Neronga, and Gigas. Three of the four are from Ultraman episode #25, which features a 3-way kaiju brawl (Neronga is from episode# 3). I think it's just a so-so episode; Gigas is a pretty hideous design, but the episode has some humorous moments.

Dorako made a brief repeat appearance near the end of the original Ultraman show, in episode# 37, looking very different-- no wings, extra head horns and normal hands instead of sickle hands. I liked the that episode, but not because of Dorako.

Dorako played minor roles in both episodes: The first time, its wings are ripped off before being pummeled to death by Red King. In its second appearance, it's brought back from the dead by Geronimon (the "chief" of all monsters). It maybe has slightly more screen time and plays a more essential role in the episode; it gets to trade blows with Teresudon, and kills Pigmon (It killed Pigmon??? Bastard!) but it's easily dispatched by Ide's latest superweapon. It doesn't ever get to fight Ultraman. So it's sort of a "furniture" monster. That's a shame because I think it's among the best of the monster designs of the series and deserved a more prominent role. This one's obviously from its first appearance in episode 25, and I got it because it looks great.

CCP's Dorako is basically an assembled and painted hollow vinyl garage kit; I doubt it was available as a kit because of CCP's practice at the time of selling fully completed products. One of CCP's strengths is their painting operations-- they take great pride in it, and because of the talent, labor, and time involved, it's been a big component of their product's production cost. I believe that because of it, they began exploring other processes (luminous, metallic, and black series) that were less labor-intensive, but looked cool. The black series is an especially ingenious idea because of its broader appeal to collectors of special editions, collectors of artsy-looking things, and the hobbyist who enjoys doing their own paint jobs.

Dorako's a good example of their corporate pride in their products, and CCP did an outstanding job. It's cast in cream-colored vinyl, painted black/grayish with a subtle airbrushing of white to tone down the black and give it a dusty appearance, especially near its feet (they brawled in a snowy field).

The painted transparent wings are clearly its most noteworthy feature. The clear plastic is fairly stiff (.3mm, "plastic bottle material") and formed with folds and wrinkles, inserted into slits in the vinyl support struts. The struts are inserted into holes in the body and swivel like most vinyl garage kits' appendages; the clear plastic isn't glued to the body-- so they wings are removeable. Per their blog postings (circa 2005-2006), they were especially difficult and expensive to produce, taking around 30 painting steps. It was clearly a labor of love.

Other blog postings point out details that they carefully modeled from the original suit (the blunted right sickle-claw, the different number of fins on the legs, and the mis-aligned crackle pattern on the head piece) to create the ultimate model representation of Dorako. (I sensed that they had a friendly rivalry with X-Plus, who also released very good versions of Dorako.)

Because I bought it used, I'm not sure how it was originally distributed. Mine was carefully packaged, wrapped in copious amounts of bubble wrap in a box, but arrived with the wings's struts distorted-- the clear wing material didn't line up with the white attachment lines on the back (visible in the show after the wings were ripped off); I used a heat gun to reinsert the wings and restore their shaping, so I'm curious about how it was distributed. The blog has many postings related to distribution: Apologies for shipping delays, shipping notices, offers to fix substandard paint jobs, etc.

I'm glad that I stumbled across their blog because it adds so much to the plastic thing that arrived in the mail. It humanizes the company, revealing the actual human creators behind these products, who have pride, passion, and opinions... and have to deal with a lot of details involved in production, distribution, world economic and marketing trends... It also reaffirmed my choice to enjoy making stuff as a hobby, and not pursue it as a career! I feel bad for trashing their Keronia figure now that I have an idea about their production scale and operations. It was interesting to read why they did both glossy and the more realistic dusty versions.

Speaking of that... one of my main complaints about their Keronia was its short stature. At the time, CCP didn't have a "1/6 Tokusatsu Series". Because this was released at around the same time as Keronia, when I was considering buying it, I was concerned about its size (even though I'd seen references to it being 30cm). Well, from toes to the top of its head, it's about 11" (27cm) tall; to the tip of its wings, about 11.5" tall (taller if you rotate & bend 'em). Even if it is shorter than some other 30cm/12"/1:6-sized Ultraseries toys in my collection, it fits in and doesn't look noticeably undersized or out of place. I think that's because it's a bulky reptillian figure, whereas Keronia is human-shaped and easier to visually compare with Medicom's Ultraman doll. Also, my collection's bigger now and there are more height variations around the 12" size, so it doesn't look out of place.

CCP Dorako from Ultraman, 30cm/12

CCP Dorako from Ultraman, 30cm/12

CCP Dorako from Ultraman, 30cm/12

The blog also showed me that CCP has released many other original Ultraseries monsters in this size, some that I've seen for sale, some not, some that I already have from other companies and some that I wasn't even aware that they'd made: Kemura, Red King, Magura, Eleking, King Joe, Borg Seijin, Zarabu Seijin, Jirass, Zetton, Gubira...

Yes, collecting is an evil sickness.

 

 

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