Archive for July, 2008

Calamari Calamity

Posted in Customs, The Kaiju Art Collection, Toy Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 30, 2008 by REdYOdA

Header

I am a BIG fan of Mr.Frank Kozik.

I’ve been a fan since I first saw his hyper-colorful and wonderfully demented concert posters waaaay back, sorry Frank, I’m not saying your old…just…maybe I’m old..oh whatever…
I have a few of his silkscreen concert prints… I would plaster every wall with them if I could.
When I found out that Frank had got into vinyl..lets say I was more than a little excited!

THE CALAMARI:

My personal favorite vinyl creation of Frank’s are his IKA (Ika means Squid in Japanese).

The first release:  squidly creatures called IKA GILAS...an angry squid head & tentacles, produced in a variety of colorways and clear vinyls, and very cool! Next up are the SALARI IKA’s(working man- wage slave,and… remember ika?). Kozik, who designed these overworked squid men, teamed up with the fantastic toy producer Wonderwall for their ‘Kaiju For Grown Ups’ series to bring us these tasty beasties.
A real Salaryman…
The Salaryman

I really liked the Ika Gilas… but I must say… I REALLY liked the Salari Ika design!
Click thru to see my Kaiju Art featuing Kozik’s smartly dressed creation!

THE CALAMITY:

When the Salari’s were released in early ’08, I immediately acquired the glowing black suited version, the only version produced, of the white collar squid and… I love it.
Next…pre-SDCC ’08… I got my slimy hands on the Salary Ika in clear vinyl with an orange head & black highlights and… I love it!

Dammit!!!!! I jumped the gun…
Not realizing that Super7+Kozik+InTheYellow (I wonder who makes any $$$???) were releasing an SDCC ’08 Salari Ika version…exactly like MY clear Ika… but stuffed with shredded money! Dammit!!!!

Frank’s got so much money he’s shredding it up and putting it in his figures!
…I kid…I kid.

THE CURE:

I may still get one, but these don’t come cheap, so……since I already have this clear version…customize!

I’ve done a few customs before for myself and some friends. Time to get busy.
I love the their original ‘money’ idea, so I’m just going to tweak it ever so slightly… with Japanese YEN!

First…Hit eBay and track down ‘play’ YEN… Check! -I’m afraid I can’t shred any real yen.
Second…Get toy YEN from Japan… Check!
Third…Disassemble my favorite Calamari, break out hairdryer… Check!
Fourth…I have different sizes of YEN, so just…Stuffed Calamari! ...Check!
Finally finished! This will have to do for now…

Behold the Yen stuffed Salari Ika!!!

Click pic to summon the Giant Squid!
Salary Ika Part II!

I sure do wish I had the cool ‘squid money’ header card though..booo.

Regular pic of YEN custom…

Unprocessed photo

No YEN were harmed in the making of this squid.

…I must mention that there is another painted custom version of the Salari Ika, produced by the talented artist Leecifer, for StrangeKiss. This Salari Ika features original ‘One Night Only’ artwork that compliments the ‘rockin’ mollusk!

Check it out!

I‘ve seen Leecifer’s other customs and they are really something!

Who knew 2008 would see me up to my eyeballs in squid!

Thanks Frank!

EDIT: 8/1/08 Mr. Flynn and Mr. Kozik are a little bit richer. I went ahead & went over to Super7 and picked up Frank’s $$$ filled version…I just had to have that header card!

Rare Music & Themes!

Posted in Tokusatsu Music with tags , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2008 by REdYOdA

I’ve added a few choice tunes from my collection to the sidebar (scroll down).
The link will open a new window & play the song…hopefully.

ENJOY!

Ultraman Symphonic

Kikaida!

Posted in The Kaiju Art Collection, Tokusatsu with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2008 by REdYOdA

The Hawaiian mega hit … from Japan!

Kikaida!
‘Jinzo ningen Kikaida’  or ‘Android Kikaida’ was created on the heels of the successful ‘Kamen Rider’ series in Japan. The original ‘Kikaida’ tokusatsu (live action/SFX) series will have a run of 43 episodes between 1972-1973. Outside of Japan the show sees huge success with audiences in Hawaii…where there is still quite a cult following today.

Kikaida (sometimes referred to as Kikaider) is an android created by a Dr. Komyoji while he and his daughter Mitsuko are held captive by the evil Professor Gil. The demented professor demands Dr. Kimyoji build him an army of robot monsters to takeover the world. Secretly the good doctor starts construction of a sympathetic humanoid robot named Jiro.

The fiendish professor becomes aware of the robot’s construction and Jiro is forced to fight Professor Gil’s mechanical henchmen… destroying the lab in a horrible fire. Jiro is able to defeat the robots and rescue Dr. Komyoji’s daughter Mitsuko, but unable to locate the doctor in the blaze.
The displaced doctor, whom develops amnesia, wanders from town to town, unknowing that Jiro and his children are close on his heels. Every episode will see Jiro transform into the combat android Kikaida and battle Professor Gil’s onslaught of killer robot monsters that hinder their search.

When we see Jiro transform into the powerful Kikaida, he is half blue and half red…due to his incomplete ‘Gemini’ circuit which allows him emotions. The android would be all blue if  Dr. Komyoji had completed him. The red half allows for a dark side to the character… that Professor Gil is all to happy to exploit by using a special flute that confuses Kikiada’s Gemini circuit… and his loyalties.
Kikaida is aided by his ‘sidemachine’ a  Kawasaki super-cycle with a sidecar.

One more thing…Jiro likes to play a little ditty on his guitar before kicking some evil robot ass!
Jiro & Guitar

For me, Kikaida is one of the better live-action shows…and it had a lot of heart! There is a lot more to this show than I can write about in a few paragraphs, so I hope you’ll check it out.
You’ll find that the series abounds with interesting characters, lots of creative robot monsters, great action, comedy (though much of it is unintentional), and near the end…some interesting plot twists! I’m not saying watching Kikaida is going to make you smarter or anything…it’s just a lot of fun!

The original series will see a continuation … ‘Kikaider 01’ in 1973-74 that will pit kikaida against his evil android nemesis Hakaider… introduced during the finale of the original series. The series will also get an anime treatment  in the year 2000.

DVD Boxset by JN Productions

I’ve linked titles in this post to the great site: Generation Kikaida… a well stocked source for this exciting tokusatsu series!

Visit the K.A.C. gallery!

Atelier G1 & MaxToy’s Hedorah Review!

Posted in Toy Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on July 26, 2008 by REdYOdA

I received my Hedorah from Mark Nagata today.
Here is my review…

The pollution munching Hedorah aka ‘the smog monster’ is one of my favorite Kaiju. I have a few versions of this horrifying monster in my ever growing collection and am always looking for new versions.

Hedorah hails from one of the more campy Godzilla films made: Godzilla vs Hedorah… released in 1971. The film features one of the most famous and reprehensible scenes… Godzilla flying by using his breath!
I’ll talk more about that and the movie in a later post…for now back to the figure…

Box arrives…Nice Artwork…”Giant Sludge Grown Up Form”…
Nice Box!

Signed too…

Okuda san the artist

What do we have here…

gonna need a hair dryer!

I free the well wrapped Hedorah and my favorite, new vinyl & fresh paint smell, hits me…ooohh yeah!
Signed feet 20/30…good number I suppose…You can really see the glitter!

Hedorah's smelly feet!

HOLY CRAP!!!

Atelier/Max Toy Hedorah!

This figure is stunning…truly the best Hedorah this collector has ever laid eyes on! The varied metallic colors over the black vinyl glitter base are breathtaking. I am also impressed by the sheer size of the figure (11-12 inches with a very long tail).
Oh, wait did I mention…the eyes…WOW! Two different colored translucent plastic eyes set in the vinyl really make this Hedorah come alive! Incredible detail on these Smog Monster peepers! Did I mention that each Hedorah is custom painted by Okuda-san himself, then hand signed/numbered on the box and feet… each Hedorah is slightly different and uniquely your own!
Well, I’ve probably gushed on enough about this guy. Only 30 pieces produced in this hand painted colorway.

I do see this figure becoming THE Hedorah to have in your collection…I know it will be a centerpiece of mine. Until you see this in person, you won’t truly appreciate the beauty and artistry in this piece.

I think there may be a few left of this soon to be legendary piece, so…HURRY and get over to Max Toy and try to score one!
Great job and thanks to Mark & Okuda-san! for making them available to us!

Click any Smog Monster Pic to visit the Gallery!

I like 70's music

But wait…there’s more…

crack rock?
Thanks goes out to Anthony who commented that I left out Hedorah’s damaged eye piece. Well Anthony, you’re right… I missed it ! The little eye piece is bagged, like a little silver crack rock, and stuffed in the tail piece.

I actually didn’t connect the tail as it didn’t fit on my shelf very well…it’s quite long.  Anyways, pic below…what great attention to detail!

Thanks again for reading Anthony …and for pointing this out!
Ouch!

Booska!

Posted in The Kaiju Art Collection, Tokusatsu with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 24, 2008 by REdYOdA

‘Kaiju Buusuka’ or ‘Booska’ aired November 9, 1966 to September 27, 1967 and featured 47 episodes.

Booska sees stars!

The comedy program was created by the visionary Eiji Tsuburaya & Tsuburaya Productions. Booska makes another suitmation television hit for Tsuburaya… just months after the popular Ultraman debuted in Color.

In the program, an iguana is fed an experimental herb called ‘Kuropara’ that transforms it into the forever grinning and pudgy Booska. Booska becomes the protector of his creator…a 10 year old boy named Daisuke Tonda.
Booska, who survives solely on ramen noodles (30 bowls a day!), will have many wacky adventures with Daisuke and his friends and family.
Booska eventually acquires a sidekick during the show named Chamegon. Chamegon is made after a chipmunk is fed into one of Daisuke’s inventions. In the final episode, Booska & Chamegon board a rocket to leave Earth…with a promise to return one day.

Booska Trivia:

  • If you press Booska’s navel… he can’t stop laughing.
  • Booska can fly, has super strength, and can become invisible.
  • The crown thing on Booska’s head is called a ‘boo-kan’…the source of his powers.
  • Booska is said to have the intelligence level of a 6th grader.
  • When Booska is happy he cries “Barasa!” which seems to be a nonsense word.
  • When Booska is low on energy he cries “shio shio no pa“…”No Energy!”
  • Booska will have a girlfriend named Boosko…who is pink of course!

I’m afraid I don’t have any links to purchase this rare show..
Booska enjoying his ramen

Side note…for this KAC Booska, I used my Max Toy version. Max Toy is located in San Francisco and is owned by the uber-talented artist Mark Nagata. Mark teamed up with Martin Ontiveros (Design) and Gargamel Toy Co.’s Kiyoka Ikeda (sculpt) to produce this stylized version…which is fantastic!

Make Booska happy…visit the Gallery!

MechaGodzilla!

Posted in The Kaiju Art Collection with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 22, 2008 by REdYOdA

The giant titanium robot first appears in 1974’s Godzilla vs MechaGodzilla.

In Godzilla vs MechaG, the metallic terror is sent to Earth disguised as Japan’s nemesis Godzilla by the evil alien race the ‘Simians’ aka “The Black Hole Aliens’. With the help of the kaiju ‘Anguirus’, MechaG’s charade is discovered. In no time, our real anti-hero Godzilla shows up to finish exposing the deceitful robot.

A ferocious battle takes place… requiring Godzilla to enlist the help of the mythological Kaiju ‘King Caesar’.
It will ultimately takes the monster’s combined efforts to behead the heavily armored and deadly MechaGodzilla.

Having their robot ‘s head handed to them, the ‘Simian’ aliens give it another shot in ‘Terror of MechaGodzilla‘ …just one year later in 1975. This time MechaG is controlled by a Cyborg woman.

The ‘Simian’ aliens reanimate & install a  monster remote control into a  scientist’s daughter named Katsura after she is accidentally killed in her father’s laboratory. The scientist… Dr. Mafune, has a tortured past and is responsible for inventing the remote control device for a dinosaur like creature named ‘Titanosaurus’. Titanosauraus also shows up in this outing to make Godzilla’s life more difficult by helping MechaG in his bid for domination.
Decapitation occurs once again at the hands of the mighty Gojira...but wait… before Godzilla can contemplate another victory jig, MechaG surprises everyone with the ability to function quite well headless. We get our first look at the actual Brain behind the terror! Katsura will have to make the ultimate sacrifice if she is to save humanity. I’ll give up no more of MechaG’s or Katsura’s fate…check it out on Classic Media’s excellent DVD release!

MechaG will make a final appearance in 1993’s Godzilla vs MechaGodzilla II. This time the robot is assembled on earth using technology from the time traveling ‘Futurians’. This outing sees MechaG battle with ‘Rodan’, the birth of another ‘baby Godzilla’ , the discovery that Godzilla and son have (2) brains (one brain controls their nether regions, hey…like my brain!), and a very difficult battle for Godzilla.
Godzilla vs MechaGodzilla II ‘s plot was originally intended to build a bridge to the upcoming American Godzilla by having the new baby Godzilla grow up and star in the new movie. Sony pictures, in their infinite wisdom, decide to have a stand alone G-film and abandon the idea. Thus giving us the critically acclaimed and well loved American Godzilla.
…Just kidding about the well loved, critically acclaimed part. The movie isn’t really that bad…it’ s just not a Godzilla movie any way you look at and I think most G-fans will agree with me.

Click MechaGodzilla to see his brain…really!

MechaGodzilla!

King Kong vs Godzilla!

Posted in The Kaiju Art Collection with tags , , , , , , , , on July 21, 2008 by REdYOdA

The Highest grossing Godzilla film in Japan and… both monster’s debut in color!

Opening on August 11th, 1962, Kingu Kongu tai Gojira was a tremendous hit in Japan. Oddly enough… this controversial Japanese movie actually had it’s start in the United States.

Willis O’Brien, the lesser known stop motion SFX pioneer and mentor to Ray Harryhausen , penned the original script called ‘King Kong vs Frankenstein’. Unable to get financing and unhappy with his treatment in Hollywood , O’Brien takes the storied script to Tokyo.

TOHO studios decides to produce the project, with a big change…King Kong will duke it out with Japan’s own Gojira! RKO studios supplies the rights to KK and the legendary film is born.

The ultimate Kaiju Eiga (monster movie) team of Ishiro Honda and Eiji Tsuburaya take on the Directing and SFX duties respectively.  Honda’s filmed vision of the movie employs a more tongue in cheek and humorous tone meant for the Japanese audience…humor in which critics and studio heads in the U.S. don’t quite get. For the release in the States, most of the humorous bits are cut and filled in with ‘newsreel’ footage of the two monster’s path of destruction. The U.S. version ultimately fails miserably. Horrible plot holes, ruined pacing, and poor editing, massacres the film shown for the American audience.

I feel that the American studio execs and critics of the film didn’t quite get what they expected and definitely took the film too seriously…the laughably horrible Kong suit in the film didn’t help matters. Honda and Tsuburaya’s King Kong vs Godzilla was meant to be a more ‘fun for all ages’ monster movie.

With the film’s major success in Japan, the Godzilla series would see continued success using the ‘VS’ device.  King Kong vs Godzilla marks TOHO’s permanent shift towards an ‘all ages’ audience, and best of all, continued to bring us all a wonderful parade of monsters!

Which goliath survives this titanic clash?…You’ll have to watch this fun, action packed film to find out!

Click Godzilla 1962 to visit the gallery…

Godzilla 1962!