Tamashii/Bandai is releasing the S.H. Figuarts 100th Commemorative Ultraman Figure, which features what is called "the true bone carving method". The figure is designed using a body scan of the suit actor in this case Bin Furuya, the original Ultraman suit actor, it gives the figure more lifelike movement and detail. This figure stands 15cm tall, comes with extra hands and color timer, Specium Ray, and Ultra Slash effects, support for effect, and extra hands for Tiga Multi-type (bone carving method version), this figure will retail for 7,700 yen. It will be available for pre-order tomorrow (Feb 8th), with release scheduled for July 2022 from general retailers.
Interview with SHFiguarts (true bone carving method) Ultraman Bin Furuya (reprint from Tamashii.jp)
Come on, our true bone carving Ultraman!
The origin of the series and the eternal hero, "the first" Ultraman, has finally become a true bone carving method! The series has been scanning famous actors so far, but this time we invited legend Bin Furuya. Real Ultraman revives in the world of Reiwa. In the first place, Ultraman was designed with the image of Mr. Furuya, and the head and body, style, and its unique form could not have been created without Mr. Furuya. In addition, the secret story of the birth of Mr. Furuya is also in the Specium Ray and the stoop pose unique to Ultraman. Mr. Furuya talks about the early days of Ultraman along with the episode of true bone carving development!
SHFiguarts (true bone carving method) Ultraman
――How do you feel about the real bone carving in front of you?
Furuya: It's really cool! I wonder if I have such long legs. Then, when I looked at my body again, I said, "It's cool after all" (laughs). Looking at the finished product so far, I feel that the true bone carving is one step closer to me. There is no fixed pose like soft vinyl, and it is really nice to be able to move and determine the pose coolly.
――How is it compared to Ultraman at that time?
Furuya: It's the same, isn't it? That's because I lost 9 kilos to get closer to the body at that time because of the true bone carving scan. Please wait for a month because you will build your body. At that time, it was really hard.
――You worked on your best body shape, didn't you? Was this your first time scanning yourself?
Furuya: Actually, I used to scan for figures, but it wasn't the whole body like this time. This time, with a big scan, I honestly thought it was amazing. I thought it was a bit painful, but I was convinced when I saw this.
――Thank you very much.
Furuya: I did it all the time without a break (laughs). And compared to the shooting at that time, there was no (difficulty). It's like being bitten by an insect. The shooting of "Ultraman" was tough. BANDAI SPIRTIS's studio was beautiful. It's a difference (laughs) at all (from that time).
――Please tell us about the pose you were most particular about in the scan.
Furuya: After all, it's a Specium ray. The warp of the hand that everyone often praises. I am proud that this can only be done by me. Only for this, I'm confident and clean my hands properly. In that sense, it's the most proud pose. If I couldn't do this "warp", I would be done (laughs).
――How did you make the pose of Specium Ray?
Furuya: It's the first Ultraman, so there's no precedent for everything. Therefore, we have to think about the shape of the Specium ray from the beginning. Haruo Nakajima, a senior in the Toho era, said that when he became a Godzilla suit actor, he went to Ueno Zoo to see and study various animals, but Ultraman is not an animal, so he went to Ueno. I can't do any research (laughs). Please consult with various people at that time. And Ultraman is the same as naked, so he doesn't have any weapons. How to defeat the monster ... The hint from that was the karate chop of Rikidozan.
――The special move of a famous professional wrestler in the Showa era was a model.
Furuya: In short, Rikidozan was a childhood hero. You can beat foreign wrestlers who couldn't win with just one karate. It is exactly the same as "Mito Komon's Inro". It is a pose made from karate chop in consultation with director Toshihiro Iijima and Mr. Minoru Nakano of optical photography. Consider the angle so that the color timer can be seen properly. I wasn't told by the director or cameraman, but it's cool to see the color timer properly. I practiced in front of a three-sided mirror 300 times a day while thinking about the camera image.
――It seems that showing the color timer in any pose has been taken over by all Ultraman as the current regulation of Tsuburaya Productions.
Furuya: I'm glad that you can do that. It's worth the effort.
――Speaking of poses, the fight style with a forward leaning posture like a stoop is also impressive, and it is a pose that is particular about true bone carving.
Furuya: I'm so particular about that attitude that I think it's my patent. After all, no one else can. When I saw James Dean's fighting scene in the movie "Rebel Without a Cause," I wanted to do this scene if I became the main character. So, I decided to play the leading role in Ultraman, and I definitely want to do this. The appearance of James Dean fighting is incorporated into the acting as it is in the pose of holding a knife.
――The monsters come in a variety of shapes, such as quadrupedal and bipedal humanoids, but did you notice the difference in how you hold them depending on the opponent?
Furuya: Of course, that's right. If you don't face each other in that pose, you won't be able to fly right away. I don't even know the strength of the other party. In my acting plan, that pose is used to identify it.
――What pose do you want to reproduce with true bone carving?
Furuya: It's a Specium ray, absolutely. I was able to reproduce it properly. Scanning is amazing. The line is really beautiful.
――Ultraman was designed by Tohl Narita. What was your impression when you first saw the design?
Furuya: Well, I thought it was cool. With just the finished design. There were several processes before becoming Ultraman. At the beginning, it wasn't in the form of "Ultraman", it was just a plane. I couldn't imagine what would happen when I entered and moved. But you knew Mr. Narita. Mr. Narita is a sculptor. I had already seen that "when Furuya is added, it looks like this".
――It is a famous story that Ultraman was designed with Mr. Furuya.
Furuya: I was in charge of the Kemur people and Ragon in "Ultra Q" and said, "I will never do this kind of work anymore", but the leading role of Ultraman has been decided. Mr. Narita seems to have decided something like "There is only Furuya!" With the image of Ultraman from the Kemur people. That's because I didn't even audition (laughs).
――How was your impression of wearing a suit?
Furuya: Masks and suits are made exactly for me. I didn't feel any discomfort. The dimensions of the face are also matched to my eyes, nose, mouth and me. However, when I'm C type, it feels like my muscles are moisturized, and I don't really feel the sensation. When something touches me, I don't feel like I'm hitting my skin like A type.
――Is it that you were able to absorb the damage?
Furuya: That's right. It wouldn't hurt to be beaten, but it's hard for me to do. Rather, it must all be transmitted. A type, the first suit was directly transmitted to the skin. It was easy to grasp the movement. Well, it's good or bad. As for the shape, C type may be better, but I like the first one.
――By the way, even at the time of Ultraseven, it is said that you were initially designing with Mr. Furuya in mind, and you were disappointed that it did not happen.
Furuya: Well, I wanted to join Seven. Because when I first saw it, it was cool. But before that, the role of Amagi in the Ultra Guard was decided. I declined it. Seven, if we can create the "dual wield" that is popular now ... I wish I could join Seven and be both an Amagi member.
――So that's it! The dual wield is amazing.
Furuya: If we could dual wield, it might have become a different Seven. But even a little thought is difficult. It was so hard even with Ultraman. However, if the director was okay, I might have done it (laughs).
――It has become a historic work with the 55th anniversary now, but what kind of existence is Ultraman for Mr. Furuya?
Furuya: It's great. I was able to infuse the soul inside, make the infused image into a video, and send the video to various places because various people have made efforts in their own positions. Tsuburaya Productions still inherits the intentions of the great director Eiji Tsuburaya. Director Eiji Tsuburaya is a person who spread the culture of special effects to the United States. We are also working in the United States, hoping to follow that area as much as possible. The transmission power of the United States is amazing. Because it is a global scale. Special effects are not limited to Japan anymore. However, Japanese special effects have faded a little. There are too many CGs (laughs).
――How about overseas fans?
Furuya: It's really amazing. With tears that made me so happy, "I wonder if foreigners shed so much tears?" That's about 50 years old. Of course, children all over the world are now surprised by Ultraman. At recent events, not only old fans but also young fans in their twenties and those who do not know the time will line up in Japan.
――I think Ultraman still has an overwhelming presence.
Furuya: Yeah. I hope it will continue to be so. In that sense, it depends on the efforts of Tsuburaya Productions (laughs).
――While there are many new Ultraman, many children like the original Ultraman.
Furuya: Not only old children, but also young people today. The other day, I heard about the children watching the new Ultraman at the event, their 7-year-old and 10-year-old brothers. I'm watching Ultraman now, but in the end he said he likes my Ultraman the most. There are a lot of Ultramans that are cooler than the first generation, right? For children, I think blue, red, and colorful and flashy are cooler. I'm happy. I hope those people will continue forever.
――Did you expect to be an eternal hero at that time?
Furuya: No, I don't. No one was working on the staff at that time. That's probably not what Mr. Narita did. At that time, children's programs weren't until the end of the broadcast, usually. Because children grow up and graduate. I won't watch it anymore. But even after 50 years, Ultraman is still fresh. After all the design is fresh.
――The 60th anniversary will surely be in no time.
Furuya: I want to be fine until the 60th anniversary. I'm 83 years old on the 60th anniversary. It's my dream now, but I still have an Ultraman suit, so I want to go inside and do Specium Ray. I would like to take a picture of the new Ultraman and my first Ultraman lined up.
――This is a dream that fans should definitely fulfill.
Furuya: Ultraman will deliver your dreams properly. I'm happy. At that time, many of the friends who worked hard together and made the work went to the land of light, but while I was on the earth, as a evangelist, I told the world about the goodness of Ultraman. I have to go.
――Please give a final message to the fans who are looking forward to the true bone carving.
Furuya: Looking at this, I feel that I finally made a figure that is close to the real thing. Not a flattery. If you are a fan, I definitely want you to pick it up and make it a heirloom. I want people all over the world to have it. As Ultraman himself, I highly recommend it.
Born in Tokyo in 1943. He joined Toho Photo Studio with the 15th New Face. In "Ultraman", he appeared as a suit actor of the first Ultraman, and in "Ultraseven", he appeared as an Amagi member. He is also in charge of the Kemurs and Ragon of "Ultra Q". His memoir, "The Man Who Became an Ultraman," also tells the story behind his many births.