大怪獣シリーズ ウルトラマン編 「油獣 ペスター」
JAPAN ORIGINAL RELEASE: MARCH 2010
JAPAN WONDER FESTIVAL SOFT VERSION: JULY 2011
SERIES: LARGE MONSTER SERIES
FROM: “ULTRAMAN” (1966-1967)
HEIGHT: 9.5 INCHES / 24.13 CM
WIDTH: (HAND TO HAND) 13.25 INCHES / 33.6 CM
DEPTH (FRONT TO BACK): ABOUT 3 INCHES / 7.62 CM
REVIEW AND PHOTOS: © JOHN STANOWSKI
PESTAR: © TSUBURAYA PRODUCTIONS
The Large Monster Series Pestar vinyl figure by X-Plus was released in early 2010. It was later reissued as a Wonder Festival exclusive soft version in July 2011.
It’s based on the oil-eating menace, Pestar which was featured in episode 13 (titled Oil S.O.S. / オイルSOS) of the original Ultraman television series which first aired in 1966.
This interesting monster was unique in that the suit required two actors to move it’s many “limbs”.
X-Plus has done an amazing job reproducing this kaiju in vinyl for the starry-eyed collector.
The Large Monster Series Pestar comes packaged in a wider than usual window box but with the usual Ultraman box art. The design is a little retro and I just know that if my 8-year-old self ever got to see this box, I would probably burst with excitement. At least Big John gets to have one!
The figure is saddled into a form-fitting plastic shell and tied securely in place with the same wires as other X-Plus releases.
You’ll note the long, thin, black sticker on the lower right corner of the window. This sticker indicates that this is a RIC Exclusive version. (More on that later!)
The Large Monster Series Pestar by X-Plus has an incredibly screen accurate sculpt which faithfully reproduces the giant oil-eating double-starfish from Ultraman’s very first year on screen.
Even those unfamiliar with this kaiju can appreciate the level of detail in the sculpt depicting the radiating ridges reaching out from the monsters two stomachs. The tendency of this suit to fold and buckle is also captured very well. Together, these two details do well to separate this high-end collectible from mere toys.
The tiny head sculpt, three-quarters of an inch wide and two inches from ear tip to ear tip is done remarkably well. When I look at it, I can almost see it move; quivering as it gulps up the barrels of oil from the episode. When that happens, you know they got it right!
One thing which X-Plus did not do correctly is the appearance of the surface of both stomachs. Those are the light bluish-greenish patches in the center of each “star”.
In the show, these areas were puffy and smooth; almost like inflated pool toys. Yet the figure sports a dramatic, rocky texture far more dramatic than the actual suit had.
I think this actually makes the figure look more impressive even though it does noticeably deviate from being screen accurate.
And, check this out! The back texture is a marvel of detail. I actually never realized that Pestar’s back looked like this until I got my hands on this figure.
While it may seem easy enough to sculpt by merely etching the patterned grooves, note that each shape is individually sculpted into a bevel. This must have been a laborious process for the one who sculpted it. Judging by how well it was done, it must have been a labor of love.
The back texture is a marvel of detail. I actually never realized that Pestar’s back looked like this until I got my hands on this figure.
X-Plus opted for a museum pose for this figure. It stands with both hands spread out to the sides as was frequently seen in the episode. But it was just as frequently seen bending forward and sideways, creating awkward buckles in the suit. While I’m sure X-Plus could have pulled it off a sculpt which realistically captured those buckles, I’m glad they went for this more standard — and grand — look.
JOINTS & SEAMS
Holy hell, yes, there are seams all over this thing. Each pair of legs is a separate piece of vinyl. They join with the upper body pieces by zig-zagging along the bottom edge of each stomach. The neck is molding with the figure’s upper left side body, and finally the head is also a separate piece.
Despite these five separate pieces being joined together, you will not notice them, or even see them without looking for them.
The paint apps on the X-Plus Pestar are a collection of primarily three reserved and unsaturated colors. But here lies the second detour from accuracy. The outer edge of each “star” is colored with a dirty, mustardy hue. The suit actually sported a lighter, more vivid yellowish color in that area. But like the rough, textured surface of the stomachs not matching the suit, this color actually looks better on the shelf.
Slits below the hands on both sides of the figure are painted a coral-like off-white with light mustard highlights drybrushed over top. You can get a look at these in the Footprint Section below.
The Large Monster Series Pestar has a profile and footprint very similar to all of X-Plus’ Rodan figures. It’s very wide, demanding twice the side space of other figures.
FOOTPRINT / ON THE SHELF
The Large Monster Series Pestar has a profile and footprint very similar to all of X-Plus’ Rodan figures. It’s very wide, demanding twice the side space of other figures. Yet, it’s pretty slim from the side view. This figure is barely 3 inches from nose to back.
There’s no need to worry about space on the shelf though. This figure is well suited to standing at the back of the shelf behind other figures, blocking view of the back wall.
It’s overly wide shape will actually add a welcome bit of variety to your Ultra shelf.
Here is a size comparison of the Large Monster Series Pestar and the Large Monster Series Ultraman A-Type Fighting Pose vinyl which came out came at the end of 2015.
For an accurate pairing, you’ll need an A-Type Ultraman so that it matches the episode. As for the two being in scale, it’s hard to tell. In the episode, Pestar was already downed by a Science Patrol VTOL jet and only had one exchange with Ultraman, and that was while this monster was already flat on the ground.
It’s probably safe to say that any Large Monster Series Ultraman figure will be a tad too large for a perfect fit. This is, unfortunately, how it is with the entire series. I’ve never understood why X-Plus made the Ultraman figures slightly larger than the Kaiju.
Here is a size comparison with other Ultraman Kaiju also from the original 1966-1967 series. On the left is the Large Monster Series Gesura (which came out around Dec. 2015 – January 2016) and the Large Monster Series Gabora (I believe this may be the “Reborn” version).
Pestar scales well with the Large Monster Series Red King Reborn Version (released in September 2011) and the original release of the Large Monster Series Bemular Reborn (from December 2010).
If you’ve no Ultra Kaiju, here’s a comparison with the Large Monster Series Godzilla 1968 and the Large Monster Series Godzilla 1966.
Finally a comparison with the Large Monster Series Ebirah and the Large Monster Series Titanosaurus.
Here is a real world size comparison for those who have none of the figures above. Here, Pester stands beside the Ultraman bluray set.
RIC BOY EXCLUSIVE
The Ric Boy Exclusive version comes with a mini oil tank form the oil refinery scene. Unlike extra pieces from most of the Large Monster Series Godzilla figures, this tank is pretty much in scale with the figure itself. And that is a HUGE plus in my book.
While it looks like a simple piece, it manages to reproduce almost exactly how the tanks in the episode appeared. This tank in particular was specifically taken from the scene where Bemular shoots his fire beam at tank No. 8.
The Large Monster Series Pestar vinyl figure by X-Plus is an amazing replica of the giant double-starfish from the premiere season of the long-running series Ultraman.
Despite liberties taken with one texture and one color, it shines, and is an amazing collectible and keepsake from the series. It will look amazing with the rest of your X-Plus Ultraman collection.
By John Stanowski Originally posted December 31st, 2017 on Kaiju Addicts.
JAPAN ORIGINAL RELEASE: FEB-MAR 2017
NORTH AMERICAN (DIAMOND) REISSUE: JUNE 2017
SERIES: TOHO 30CM SERIES YUJI SAKAI MODELING COLLECTION
FROM: “GODZILLA, MOTHRA AND KING GHIDORAH: GIANT MONSTERS ALL-OUT ATTACK” (2001)
HEIGHT: 10.875 INCHES / 27.6 CM
WIDTH: (TOE TO TOE) 8 INCHES / 20.3 CM
LENGTH (RIGHT FOOT TO TIP OF TAIL): 15.75 INCHES / 40 CM
FIGURE WEIGHT: 1 LB 1OZ / 482 G
REVIEW AND PHOTOS: © JOHN STANOWSKI
GODZILLA: TM & © TOHO CO.,LTD.
The Toho 30cm Series Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection Godzilla 2001 vinyl figure by X-Plus was first announced in late 2015. It was released in Japan in late February / early March, 2016. It was re-issued by X-Plus for the United States and Canada in June 2017.
This figure is based on Godzilla’s appearance in the 2001 Shusuke Kaneko film, Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, the third movie in the Millennium Series.
It was sculpted by renowned Godzilla sculptor, Yuji Sakai. It is the fourth in the Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection. It follows the 30cm Series Godzilla 1989 (Osaka Landing), Godzilla 1991 (Hokkaido Version) and the Gigantic Series Godzilla 2000.
The 30cm Series Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection Godzilla 2001 comes in a plain box (14.25″ x 8.5″ x 13″) with color art only on the cover.
Note: the North American (Diamond) Reissue of this figure uses the same box with the exception of the PX (Previews Exclusive) logo added to the front.
Inside, the figure is wired into a form-fitting plastic shell. It comes in two pieces: the main body and a tail piece which you must attach. (Watch Rich Eso’s video on how to attach tails the right way.)
Like most of the Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection, this figure comes with a tail base which it will need in order to stand properly.
I really don’t understand Mr. Sakai’s constant need to have his Goji sculpts with their tails up in the air. I would love to be able to pick his figures up and put them down without having to worry about lining up the tail stand first. If you’re not one to handle your figures frequently, then this really shouldn’t be an issue for you.
If you choose to not use the base (or loose it) the figure will still display well from the front as seen in the photo above on the left. Side view is another story though, as you can see in the photo above on the right.
And, here it is. It’s practically a masterpiece.
X-Plus’ two previous attempts (in modern times – post 2009) at this suit had both fallen short on movie accuracy to varying degrees. While this sculpt is not completely movie accurate in all areas either (more on that later), it’s very, very close. And, it’s off the charts when it comes to its ability to capture the essence of the GMK suit.
If you ask me, this one right here is the ultimate X-Plus GMK — for those who prefer movie accuracy — to own. There may be some competition for it when the “vinylized” MM28 sculpt comes out in 2018, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We’re talking about THIS guy right now.
This is one of the areas where this figure really shines. Mr. Sakai did a fantastic job reproducing Godzilla’s head from every angle. No small feat, especially in the world of X-Plus. The head on the 30cm Series Godzilla 2001 was sort of bloated and soft. And the head on the Large Monster Series Godzilla 2001, though better, seems too thin from the front.
This Sakai here though… FIVE stars!
New collectors will find that the skin textures on this figure are an intricate playground for your eyes and tactile senses.
More experienced collectors may find that this figure has a … “sculptor-ly” quality about it. Not on the intricate details like the face and claws, but on wide patches of skin.
The skin texture may come off as being too intricate and too deep when comparing it to the suit used in the movie. I don’t think you should let that bother you though. All of the Sakai figures are like that, and you get used it pretty quickly.
The dorsal spines on Godzilla 2001 are totally unique to this one suit. And their bony, coral-like design is absolutely nailed on this figure. And an expertly added rough texture makes them look even better.
EXCEPTIONS TO MOVIE ACCURACY
As I wrote earlier, this sculpt is really close to being movie accurate and, currently, no other X-Plus GMK can match it. But if you want to nitpick, there are a couple of areas where it strays from the original suit.
The thighs stand out the most. They are overly muscular with bulging top quads down the front center of each leg. This area is generally smooth and roundish all around on the actual suit. The chest on the figure also seems to be a tad ‘chiseled’ compared to the usually flat chest on the suit. (Ironically, the original 30cm Series Godzilla 2001, which is considered a bit on the inferior side, gets both of these areas right.)
But even with these two liberties taken by the sculptor, the 30cm Series Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection Godzilla 2001 is currently still second to none when it comes to looking like the “real” thing.
If you ask me, this one right here is the ultimate X-Plus GMK — for those who prefer movie accuracy — to own.
Apart from the tail, this figure stands face front, arms at sides and legs spread in a pretty standard pose. That’s the way I like it! The figure stands in a neutral way allowing you to get sucked into all of the crazy good detail.
The tail, on the other hand, is kind of radical in it’s sweeping curl up along the figure’s right side. If you view the figure from the front, you’ll see that the tail is almost totally pulled to one side. This may cause a little congestion with a neighboring figure on the shelf. Though I don’t have any trouble with it, even though my figures are packed in tight on display.
JOINTS & SEAMS
The only free joints on this figure is where you connect the tail and below the knees. All three connections are well hidden. Apart from that, it’s other parts are virtually seamless.
This figure has the usual asphalt black applied over the main body. Like other figures in the Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection, it’s base coat seems to have a richer quality to it.
Apart from a touch of lighter black drybrushed onto the chest, it really has no more highlights. But for some reason this doesn’t need them. This thing looks stellar just the way it is. Perhaps because of the way the light plays on it’s deeper textures.
Instead of the usual bony tans, the claws are painted a sort of blueish gray which feather well into the feet and well enough on the claws.
The most impressive work can be found on the dorsal spines where an off-white (with almost a tinge of blue) expertly feather into the dull black where each bony plate meets the back. Very, very well done.
The individually sculpted teeth are individually painted in an off tartar white. A reserved deep, dark red coats the mouth and skillfully fills the space between each tooth.
Godzilla’s dead white eyes are sprayed with an off white which does not rush to meet the edges of the skin. This creates a sort of faux shadow look which gives each eye more depth. (It was most likely the easiest way for them to get painted in the factory. Regardless, what you get looks pretty damn cool.
The most impressive work can be found on the dorsal spines where an off-white (with almost a tinge of blue) expertly feather into the dull black where each bony plate meets the back.
The most important thing I could say about this figure’s size is that, compared to the bulk of the Toho 30cm Series, it comes up short at only 27.6cm (10.8 inches). Because of this, it does look smaller all around. But, if you are collecting other figures from the Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection, you’ll find that it fits right in with the rest of the figures.
All I can suggest is realize that you now collect 30cm figures and 27.5cm figures. Keep them on their own separate shelves and they’ll look great. If you already also collect the Large Monster Series, you know what I mean.
FOOTPRINT / ON THE SHELF
As you can see from the photo, and as already mentioned, this GMK has a swooping tail which takes up a lot of space on the figure’s right side. Fortunately, that tail also rises up just enough to let you slip the standard tail of another Sakai below it. So if you do it right, you won’t have a lot of unusable dead space next to this guy.
This GMK fits perfectly in scale with the rest of the Toho 30cm Series Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection vinyls: the Godzilla 1989 Osaka Landing Version, the Godzilla 1991 Hokkaido Version, Godzilla 2001 and the Godzilla 1992 Tanzawa March Version.
Unlike most other figures in the Toho 30cm Series, these are actually reach up only as much as 27.5cm tall. If you don’t like zig zags in your X-Plus skyline, just do what I do and display the Sakai’s on their own shelf.
The newer Yuji Sakai Godzilla 2001 is the clear winner when it comes to matching the suit in the movie. The Toho 30cm Series Godzilla 2001 on the left has some issues, but I’m still glad I have one!
On the right is the original Large Monster Series Godzilla 2001 (which came out in 2010). It has a far better sculpt than the 30cm version. But, both of them can’t even touch that Sakai in the middle.
The Sakai GMK is a lightweight nothing when compared to the mass of the Gigantic Series Godzilla 2001. But it does have accuracy on its side. The Gigantic’s stylized approach can’t even come close to the accuracy on the Sakai.
Here is an essential size comparison with the Large Monster Series King Ghidorah 2001. Even though they are about the same height, the KG is actually from a smaller scale. But, seeing as how the Sakai Godzilla 2001 is a couple of centimeters short for its series, it’s a good-looking match for this KG.
Technically, the Large Monster Series King Ghidorah 2001 should be paired with the Large Monster Series GMK on the left. But, yeah, I’m pretty sure he’s lookin’ a little small to be a good match.
The so-called 30cm Series GMK on the right looks like a better match. I suppose this means the new King Ghidorah falls into that newer category of figures which are a bit too large for the line — just like the Large Monsters Series Godzilla 1995, Destoroyah and Shin Godzilla.
But getting back on track, if you are lucky enough to have purchased the somewhat recently released GMK King Ghidorah from Japan, your Sakai GMK Godzilla will make a great companion for it.
Quick size comparison with some other figures which new and potential X-Plus collectors may have around the house: the S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla 2001 and the 8-inch Bandai.
And, finally here’s a size comparison with a blu ray disc for those who have yet to obtain anything seen above. I hope this shot gives you a good feel for the size of this awesome vinyl.
RIC BOY EXCLUSIVE
A Shounen Ric Exclusive version was available with light-up fins.
The Toho 30cm Series Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection Godzilla 2001 is, in my opinion, one of the best vinyls X-Plus has to offer. It’s very close to movie accuracy and succeeds brilliantly in properly capturing the look of that suit where so many other figures have failed.
Its amazing sculpt will quickly cancel out any beef you have with the tail base or it’s unruly tail (which may make it a little difficult for it to coexist on the shelf).
By John Stanowski Originally posted December 30th, 2017 on Kaiju Addicts.
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