Round-up: interesting Gara-auction pics

Superb build-up of the Atelier G-1 kit:

Goldarnit, why on god's grey earth has no one yet made a shopping bag that says "SPARKLING", adorned with many shots of Garamon parading arou-
hold up....

Lasterly, more drool-worthy vintage audio-comic goodness...seen this one on YJA many times before, but never had the pleasure of peeping the interior 'til now...rawkin'!

Looking at this spread, it's finally clear to me where Kaijuuken got the anatomical inspiration for their thick n' thuggish take on Garamon:

...which I actually never cared for...until seeing this latest, Yuji Nishimura-painted colorway...


Robo-Gary! ROBO-GARY!!!

SEE the fabulous step-by-step build-up of this classic Marusan model/toy!!!
READ the Japanese text (or be CONFUSED by a web-based translation)!!!
THRILL to the sight of Robo-Gary locked in battery-powered combat with Gojira and Gamera!!!

And please don’t forget to patronize our snack bar during intermission.

UPDATE: The venerable Alex Wald has checked in with a very thorough, informative skrying of the site's text- thank you, Alex!

"The translation really kicks my head--or does it kick my head's ass? The long strings of letters are occasionally intelligible: f'rinstance "NOSUTARUJIKKUHIROZU" is the toymaker "Nostalgic Heroes." "GIZAGIZAGOMURORA" believe it or not refers to the little rubber wheels; "Gizagiza" is a notched wheel like a mill and "gomurora" is "gum roller," --- "gum" being the colloquial term for any rubbery substance. And "RESUTOA" is simply "restore" meaning a restoration.

As for the "painting" section, I compared it to the Japanese and think I can come up with something less mysterious:

"Naturally it was in monochrome ( the real thing ) so not knowing the color is OK. There was a special issue of Terebi-kun with a color still and moreover in Uchusen, Mr. Ryosaku Takayama said of a newly built model "this is the way I felt it should be painted." He said the body was more like an orange (color) feeling but "that's the way it is."

Of course Terebi-kun and Uchusen are magazines your readers should be familiar with. So the deal is that Ultra Q was in B&W as we all know --"The real thing" is rendered parenthetically (hommono) which means "genuine" --- in this case the actual costume from Ultra Q. The auto-translation device rendered the name of the suit-maker "takayama, " which means "high mountain" as "alpine!" "This is the way I felt it should be painted" is a quote from Takayama. The wrap up is I believe a paraphrase and basically goes "ma --- kore wa kore de," which is "but--as for this--it's this."

I explored a little further in the original site--it's the "Karakuri Plamo Chushin," (karakuri is an ancient word for "mechanism, " plamo is "plastic model," chushin is "center," but also significant is that Chushin is a homonym for "one's true heart." So this guy--his name might be "mizuyon"--really LOVES wind up models (zenmai plamo) and the entire site is devoted to them.

As for me, I wanted to find any kaiju lurking about and was not too disappointed. There turns out to be one other kaiju-centric page I could find and that's here.

Here's the funky truth about auto-translations---they just don't have the capacity to get what's being written about! The translated header for this page is:
Mallon and monster moths Corps
--which turns out to be: GAMARON to Kaiju Gundan (Gamaron and the Monster Corps). The translation app don't know shit about model-maker Nitto Kagaku's 1970s Gamera-wannabe kaiju GAMARON so we get "monster moth Mallon," --- "moth" being "ga" in Japanese. In fact our Gamaron is a Behemoth Bufo--a frog monster--as "gama" is the frog word that indicates his lineage.

Then, still continuing in English, I came across the phrase "gimmick debauchery" which popped up in the GARAMON feature as well. Phrases like this fill me with conflict-- a battle between the desire for truth versus the preservation of a beautiful mystery; should I try for a more accurate rendering of the Japanese I run the risk of turning something sensationally weird into something merely mundane. The Japanese text shows "gimmick" written in katakana so it's clearly a loan-word. Gimmick means gimmick and that's that. The "debauchery" part turns out to be "douraku" which consists of the kanji for "street" and "pleasure." Cross-referencing one of my Japanese dictionaries I found that translations for douraku do in fact include "debauchery," also "dissipation." Reading on I found "passion," "hobby," and finally "mania." "Gimmick Mania!" Alright! Makes sense to me...

Original Japanese:
静岡ホビーショーのモデラーズクラブ合同作品展に参加する『ギミック道楽 』

Translation app:
"Tokyo Game Show MODERAZUKURABU participate in a joint exhibition of debauchery, gimmick Springs to display his monster, dark moth welcome to participate!"

Alex’s version:
"(I participated in)Tokyo Game Show MODELLER'S CLUB Joint Exhibition of Goods. "Mr. Gimmick Mania" springs to display his monster, GAMARON is also welcome to join."

So now it turns out that "Gimmick Douraku" is the nome-de-plamo of the modeler! Still not sure if Mr. Gimmick Mania is the correspondent or some other attendee."


Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy!

Colorado checks in again- second time in a week!
Is that place a hotbed of Garamania or what?!

From Jack “ratcrtur” Gray comes this totally great Kricfalusian take on Garamon- the Gara-Stimpy!

Jack says that this Gara-blog o’ mine served as inspiration for the piece- color me honored! How awesome!

You can keep tabs on Jack’s prodigious output of wonderfully monsteriffic work at Pickled!


Spotlight: Atelier G-1

I’ve long felt that Atelier G-1 is an underappreciated gem of a company, and that Shigeki Okuda, mastermind of the largely one-man operation, occupies a unique space in the world of modern kaiju toy producers. Okuda strives for faithfulness to the source material in his sculpts, while imbuing everything he does with his own distinct style. His toys are charming in a very classic way; you can easily see the enthusiasm and substantial reverence for kaiju culture in every piece that Atelier G-1 has released over the years. I have a hunch that Eiji Tsuburaya himself would have given strong approval of Okuda san’s work.

Of course, he’s done some great work in the Gara-realm, with three pieces that have seen commercial release: a wonderful Pygmon sculpt, and two Garamon sculpts (the Atelier G-1 kit version and its cousin, last year’s Okuda-sculpted Medicom RAH Garamon). All three of these are highly regarded additions to the Gara-toy scene.

Atelier G-1 Garamon kits and Gameras on display at a hobby show

The Atelier G-1 dealer table is a mainstay at the various toy fests in Japan. At these events and on his webstore, Okuda sells his own custom paint-ups and limited edition pieces (some of the small-run and one-off colorways of his Hedorah sculpt have been mindblowing).

This is a company well worth checking out and supporting!


Pygmon puppet pics for your perusin' pleasure

Colorado’s own Matt Allison (yes, his aim is true…and yes, he’s part of the Eaten by Ducks crew) sends along shots of a great piece from his own collection. I’ve seen this puppet on YJA a few times, but it’s great to get some nice clear pics of it and a look at the very interesting packaging!

Much thanks, Matt!

Mind if I smoke?

Half a carton of Larks a day…eats the filters…

From this blog.


Where in the world is Minoru Takahashi?

I beseech thee, interwebs and all who trawl them…open up and spill your secrets of the life and times of the diminutive actor who helped bring my fave monster to stompin’, smackin’, shimmyin’ life!

I launched one of my semi-annual searches for info on TM over the past week, and have come up dry, dry, dry…even the great Herr Ragone, in his years of research, has apparently never come across anything on Takahashi.

If any of you dear readers have some info to share, please do, by all means! I’d like to know any facts at all of his life and work, and of course it would be fantastic to find any comments from Takahashi himself on his experiences as Garamon.

On our old computer (which died some time ago, natch) I had a bookmark to an incredible page of behind-the-scenes Gara-stuff. It was a real treasure trove, with in-progress shots of the suit construction, a couple great pics of suit-designer Ryosaku Takayama’s Gara-notes and drawings, and many wonderful pics of Takahashi hanging out in the suit (with various parts of it on or off), on set and on the lot. Somehow, though I have been digitally squirreling away Gara-material like that for years, I didn’t manage to save those pics at any point (I know, I know…what the hell?!). Mega-bummer. My recent searches for this page have also come up fruitless…so, once again, if anybody knows what I’m talking about, please get in touch!

The Nerdstrom Collection, Pt. 4

Well, the custom mini-dioramas which I snagged on YJA (mentioned in an earlier post) finally arrived in the mail yesterday…and I can let you know right off the bat that they are two of the most special pieces I’ve had the pleasure of adding to the collection. These are just so much damn fun; the love and care that went into making them shines through. The alterations to the figures used (some fairly extensive repositioning/puttying/repainting) were flawlessly executed; the diorama props employed are top-notch; and the whimsically comic situations they depict are quite inspired. My heartfelt thanks go out to the seller/creator for offering them up!

I realized once I got them in-hand that I probably wouldn’t take better pics of them than the seller used in the auction, so here you go (click the pics- it's worth it to have a look at the bigger versions):

How do you think Kanegon lured Pygmon into the phone booth?
“Hey, check it out! The coin return’s fulla delicious pistachios! No, really, c’mere! Look!”

Gara-project: Green ES Garamon work completed

Here he is, kids, at last!
Dr. Allred didn’t end up taking a “before” pic this time (you can click on the pic in my last post for a gander at the pre-paint up head), but he did snap these two eerie “Eyeless (but repainted) in Arizona” shots:

And…heeeeeere’s Gary!

If I wore a hat, it would be off to John yet again. He did another super-fine job with everything, especially in producing natural, well-highlighted monster-green skintones.
He ships back to VT on Tuesday…I’m psyched!

Now all that remains is the struggle to get his head back on once he’s here…urgh…

Been a slow week here on Garamania, but don’t worry…I’ve got plenty o’ posts in the hopper! A flurry of Garactivity to come! Stay tuned!


Gara-project: In-progress shot from Allred Laboratories

Yes, green 12" Eye Scream Gary is gettin’ the Here Be Monsters treatment, just like his red bro.
Shots of the completed work to come soon...


The Nerdstrom Collection, Pt. 3

Yamanaya x Gargamel Garamon visits the decrepit skatepark...

These snaps were taken by Son of Nerdstrom.

Redking is a jerk.

Where to begin a detailed list of Redking’s misdeeds and general ne’er-do-well-ism?

I could talk about the various pyramid schemes and soured business deals; his graft-tainted forays into politics; the very interesting things that his four ex-wives have said about him…

Really, though, it all comes down to one awful, heartless moment in 1966, doesn’t it?

Still above taken from the opening credit dance sequence of his short-lived sitcom, Shparrr For The Course (FOX Broadcasting, 1997)


Gara-grillin' with Bill

One of the first sites I discovered in the early days of my Garamania was Bill's Kitchen. Bill Gudmundson has been sculpting kaiju and doing pro kit build-ups for a loooong time. His stuff is phenomenal, as a visit to his kitchen will attest.

Just a few days ago, Herr Alex Wald (who also created the image above) hepped me to the fact that Bill has been making licensed resin kits available from many of his sculpts- somehow, I was completely unaware of this! Visit the Resin Chef/Team Ukeke site, and check out the kits on the shop page (second link down).

Bill seems a little dismayed in the pic above, but I'll tell ya- if you're gonna grill Garamon, in-the-garadama is the only way to go. Cooks in its own juices, that way.


Ultraman crest

From the super-talented Greasebat...featuring a certain spiny someone...

Round-up: pulptastic Gara-stuff

Wicked papercraft Garamon (check out the little build-up gallery at the bottom o' the page) looks like it would be a hoot to build...I haven't tackled it yet, but it's on the list:

Creepy-cool take on Pygmon from a recent kaiju card-battle game:

Okay...DAAAAAMN!!! is all I've got to say on this one.
Up on YJA right now...

Too freaking cool!

If anyone out there owns this piece and would be so kind as to contact me, I'd truly appreciate it- I'd love some scans of this!


Hittin' the slots...

Cool repaint of Bandai Pygmon

I recently picked up some utterly bitching custom mini-dioramas featuring Pygmon in some funny situations (I'll post pics when they arrive); the same genius who made them just sold a very nice repaint of a Bandai Pygmon (the sculpt is of a recent (but pretty cool!) incarnation from Ultraman Max).

Here's a pic from the show: Here's the standard-issue Bandai:

...and here's the repaint:

Nice work!

Ready-to-eat Pygmon

From this blog:

...and from this site: