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
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.
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.