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Ultraman Figures - Japan v. Korea

ultraman kaiju country of origin japan korea

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#1 arpadokay

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 11:11 AM

Hey there Ultraman experts, I need to pick your collective brains.

 

I have been sorting through and selling piles of Ultraman action figures for the last few months, but today I had a first: normally figures are manufactured in Japan or China, but I came across a handful of smaller figures made in Korea. Check this out:

 

Attached File  korean-japan.jpg   570.67K   1 downloads

 

The Korean mold- on the left- for the same figure (supposedly the same year) is a little more squat than the Japan one on the right. Does anyone know anything about Korean Ultraman figures? Is there lore? Is it just my first time coming across something common?

 

Any light you could shed on this would be greatly appreciated!


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#2 TinyPink

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 11:41 AM

(Waits to hear from Baltan)

 

My vote is bootlegs.


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#3 arpadokay

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 12:05 PM

They are both stamped Bandai, which I know probably doesn't make a difference, but they don't feel like bootlegs, just like a weird alternate mold. I am curious as to Bandai's manufacturing holdings. I was actually thinking Baltan would be the dude to ask.

 

Attached File  stamps.jpg   56.43K   0 downloads

 


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#4 Jesse

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 01:07 PM

(Waits to hear from Baltan)
 
My vote is bootlegs.

Haha... Dude youve learned the boards functions fast :lol:
Damn true though, if ID needed wait for BaltanII to reply first.
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#5 Rubberhammer

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 05:08 PM

Especially with Ultraman/Kaiju stuff.


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#6 BaltanII

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 05:17 PM

Couldn't say for certain, but I think the Korean figure is a Yutaka release. They became part of Bandai in the 90s and were a source for all sorts of cheaper, less "deluxe" toys, often seen in boxes with windowed packaging, the kind of stuff where at a glance you might think was more bootleg-ish. Their brand doesn't exist anymore but products similar to theirs still appear under the PLEX brand.

 

Anyway, I know they were a source for shorter 5" Ultraman vinyls in the 90s, probably the origin for your Yullian and other non-pictured figures. I know back then Bandai was beginning to transition from their long tradition of Japan-only manufacture of vinyls, but it would make sense to have their budget lines done in an even cheaper country, because who'd care?


Edited by BaltanII, 10 July 2015 - 05:19 PM.

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#7 redjarojam

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 07:14 PM

Thanks to BaltanII I was able to find this.


http://www.ebay.com/...=item3f1f0bc28e
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#8 BaltanII

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 10:09 PM

Ahhh! That makes even more sense because the smaller Yullian still had a Bandai trademark. Bandai does love itself some lower-budget boxsets.

 

So in this case if you can't tell, this is the result of one of Bandai's older habits of making boxsets of a bunch of Ultraman characters, but to make it more affordable (and not render the Ultra Hero Series obsolete) they're downscaled to 5" but otherwise virtually identical.

 

It's been a couple years since Bandai's done them because... well, the Spark Dolls are practically the size of these figures anyway. Any smaller and they're basically candy toy vinyl sized.


Edited by BaltanII, 10 July 2015 - 10:11 PM.

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#9 arpadokay

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 05:13 AM

So definitely spot on, the Yullian I have and Ultraman both look like they are straight out of that set. I also have a Father of Ultra same size, same stamps.

 

Thanks (everybody) for the assistance, as always I bow to your encyclopedic store of knowledge on these things. I am super grateful to have a place like this to turn with my questions.


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