Sunday, January 31, 2010

Little Blue Bot

I've been looking back over the older posts in the Glyos blog and noticed something I had forgotten about: This crazy Exellis in Standard Pheyden's color scheme.

According to collector extraordinaire John Kent, this dude is super-rare, so, seeing as I'd probably never see a real one, I decided to make my own.

I like the Hybrid Sarvos chest design a lot, and I happened to have an extra one. Sooooo... now I have a fake Blue Exellis (not sure what his name should be... the standard Exellis scheme is totally different than Pheyden's, so that name doesn't apply) I painted an extra Eidrellim Exellis head I got in a Junk Pile set to match the standard scheme. I worked my butt off to match the exact color, but matching the standard blue is a tough nut to crack. In these pics the difference shows up like crazy, but in person it looks dead-on. I'm satisfied, so I guess it's ok.

Extra bonus: because he's based on the Sarvos chest, he can sport a spiffy little backpack! Weeee!


Thursday, January 28, 2010

New old stuff

Got this guy in the mail today. I never really cared for the American version of the Power Rangers, but I always dug the villains-- Goldar in particular. I missed out on getting a figure of him back in the day, because Power Rangers stuff was rare, rare, rare in these parts. I snagged this goon on eBay for 4 bucks, which is honestly a great deal-- most times the big vinyls go for a good chunk more than that.

He's an 8-inch-tall, rotocast vinyl figure, and he's made from some pretty dense vinyl. The quality on these Bandai vinyl figures is always top notch. He's pretty darn well-sculpted with a considerable amount of detail work for what was essentially a toy from a kid's show. He has cut joints at the shoulders, waist, and hips, so he's pretty nicely poseable.

The paint has held up pretty well considering that the toy was a kid's toy and that it's over 17 years old. I'm going to need to touch it up a bit, but that's part of the fun.

I had no idea just how huge this guy is until I had him next to some of my other figures-- he's an impressive addition to my kaiju collection!

Not too shabby for 4 bucks, huh?

Now... in addition to that I'm posting pics of this big sucker: the 13 inch tall rotocast vinyl Hulk figure from the first movie (you know... the one that sucked). Bad movie/great toy! I picked this dude up in 2003 when I was still in college (ZOUNDS!). They had just put them out on the shelves at Walmart, and these bad boys only cost 10 bucks. 13 inches of nicely articulated vinyl Hulk. WITH PANTS!!! Not too shabby!

There were two different versions: one with a slightly annoyed expression and one that looked like he was about to rape an elephant. I snapped up this one because I liked the face sculpt better. There's something powerful about the facial sculpt that says "calm before the storm." It's like potential energy as opposed to the other one that looks like an enraged wrestler who just realized someone peed in his beer.

When I say that this sucker is huge, I mean HUGE. He stands 13 inches tall and he's just about as wide as he is tall! He has 3 ball joints-- something that more rotovinyl toy makers need to explore-- which give him an impressive range of motion. His shoulders and ribcage areball-jointed, and he has cut joints in the neck, biceps, wrists, waist, hips, knees, and ankles. He looks great standing in his standard pose, but he can take on a nice amount of dynamic poses due to the clever articulation.

It's a really nice figure with some delightfully intricate sculptural details. If you ever see one at a good price, I'd say "snag it!" It looks really good on a shelf, and it's a lot of fun to goof around with.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Some older things...

I'm feeling kinda yucky today, so I figured I'd share some old drawings and such.

First up: some old sketches from the sketchbook:

A drawing for an online calender:

Several pieces that were in art shows:

And a few I did just because I felt like doing them!

Friday, January 22, 2010


I really like silver toys. I have no idea why, I just do. Way back when I first saw that Onell Design was coming out with the rotocast vinyl Armodoc, I knew I wanted a silver one. For some reason or another, there isn't going to be an all silver one, so I did what I usually do. I made one. I got the Standard and Reverse Ayosire Armodocs and swapped out the colors to make an all black one, and I used the all purple one to make this figure that I now call the Alloy Armodoc. I thought about making it solid, clean silver, but thought it would look cooler all gritty and worn. There are mud stains, rust, old paint, and alien blood (not real!) smeared all over this guy. The way I see it, he's been at the game a long time, and I wanted that to show through.

I think he looks pretty spiffy with my other silver Glyos figures. Yay for silver toys!

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Little Update

I have received some questions about the modifications I did on my 3.75" Terminator figure. I've updated that post with some diagrams that might help folks with customs and such.

Check it out here.


I've been holding off on this review for two reasons: I wanted to watch the whole DVD set, and I wanted to get the figure to go along with it. Well... the figure arrived in the mail today, so... on with the review!

Not too long before Christmas I found a pretty good deal on eBay for a set of the complete original Ultraman television series on DVD. I think I paid about 10 bucks for the set and the shipping. Not too shabby for a 4 dvd set that contains 39 episodes and a few extras. I watched Ultraman when I was a kid (my mom says I would run around and say "UTCHAMAN!" all the time), but I hadn't seen the show in years. How would it hold up after all these years?

Pretty darn well. It's a campy, Japanese sci-fi series from the late 60's, so you can't expect it to be Shakespeare. However, I was impressed with some of the ideas and themes presented in the series. Even some of the effects weren't too bad either. The main thing is that this show was and is a lot of fun. It's exciting, funny, scary, and sometimes even sad. I've read a lot of reviews where folks say that the show is too formulaic. I disagree. I was expecting that going in, but saw that a lot of the times the writers of the show tried deliberately to shake things up episode to episode. Sure, every episode had Ultraman fighting a giant monster, but you know that going in. That's like watching football-- you know it's going to be a bunch of guys knocking the crap out of each other to get a ball to either end of a field. It's the how that matters.

The American version of the show was dumbed down greatly. I recommend that you watch the Japanese version if you really want to enjoy the series. The Japanese gave kids a bit more credit than we do as far as being able to handle complex concepts like death and betrayal.

So enough about the feel of the show... what the heck is Ultraman???

Ultraman is set in the near future from the time it was made(the show mentions at one point that it is set in 1990's). The Science Special Search Party ( called the Science Patrol for short) is Earth's first line of defense against aliens and monsters. In the first episode Science Patrol Deputy Captain Shin Hayata heads out to investigate a UFO sighting over Japan. When Hayata's ship collides with a ship piloted by an alien law enforcement agent called Ultraman, the alien binds his soul to the soul of the injured captain and the two form a symbiotic relationship. When danger rears its head, Hayata uses the Beta Capsule to call Ultraman to aid humanity. Danger usually comes in the form of a guy in a floppy, rubber suit. Did I mention that Ultraman is a giant? Well he is. Now you know.

The rest is just figuring out how to fit a monster into the story and how to have Ultraman kick its butt before the end of the episode. Ultraman's a pretty tough dude, but he can only be active for about 3 minutes in Earth's atmosphere. You have to limit your superheroes somehow, or they get boring fast.

So how is the DVD set?

Pretty darn good. It's from Mill Creek, the guys who make those collossal 50 dvd genre sets you see on Amazon and other online dealers, so don't expect this to be Criterion Collection quality. That said, these DVD's aren't bad quality at all. I was impressed with how clear the image and sound were. Each DVD has both the English and Japanese versions. The subtitles are great--very clear and very true to the nature of Japanese storytelling. There was only one episode that had any problems, and it was because the subtitles were a bit off from the soundtrack-- even then it didn't really destroy the watching experience.

The last DVD has three special features: An interview with the American voiceover cast, a kaiju encyclopedia, and the American opening credits. The interview is pretty long, but it's very interesting. It's weird seeing these older folks who have done voiceover work for almost every kids' show you ever saw growing up in the 70's and 80's talking about behind the scenes stuff. The kaiju encyclopedia ("kaiju" is a Japanese word that means "mysterious beast" ) is pretty neat. It just gives character files for each monster that appears in the entire series. The American opening is really weird, because the episodes on the DVD set all feature the Japanese opening, and it is strikingly different.

Overall, this DVD set is well worth the price and well worth your time watching it. Nothing beats grabbing a good snack, a cold drink, and kicking back to watch hours and hours of dudes in rubber suits tearing up miniature cities. That, and you won't find the line "Aim for the anus!" anywhere else in kids' programming.

If you want a cheap copy of this set, check out Their set is $7.99 with only a couple of bucks shipping. You can't beat that with a stick!!!

So on to the second part of this far too long blog:

I have been hunting for this figure for quite some time. I happened to find it on eBay a little while back, and it arrived today in the mail. It's an Ultraman "sofubi" figure. Sofubi are soft, rotocast vinyl figures made by Japanese companies to represent movie, television, comic book, and video game characters. They are hollow, but usually feature really nice sculpts and paint jobs-- usually much better than anything produced in the states. They usually run about 8-10 bucks in Japan, but getting them here in the States will usually run you a few more bucks. It's not unusual to pay 20 bucks for a newer sofubi from an online seller in the States. I lucked up and found someone who had listed one without pictures on his eBay listing. Ebay buyers get skittish when they don't see pics. I did some research before buying and found out it was the figure I was looking for, so I wound up paying about 5 bucks less than any of the other Ultraman figures on eBay at the time.

The figure stands around 6 inches tall and features 3 points of articulation. His shoulders and his waist are cut joints. This is pretty normal for sofubi-- they're more for display than anything else.

The sculpt is extraordinary. Much like my Jet Jaguar figure, this Ultraman looks just like a guy in a suit. All of the folds and creases in his outfit are perfectly translated here. Even little details like the eye holes in the costume's mask are faithfully reproduced here. This is the newest release of the figure and features the closed fists. The version that was available before this one had loose, open hands. I kinda like this one better, because he and Jet Jaguar can give each other respect knuckles.

He has a really nice paint job with the only real area at issue being the minor slop around the left eye (I can fix with with a swipe of a paintbrush-- no biggie).

Overall a very, very nice figure who looks fantastic next to my other kaiju figures. I am quite pleased with my purchase!

I don't have any recommendations as to where to find an Ultraman figure like this one, because most of the online dealers are either sold out, or the toys cost way too much. Your best bet would be to lurk eBay and keep an eye out for a good deal!