Monday, January 11, 2010

Super Festival 51: Specterman and Hiroshi Fujioka

Nobody enjoys waiting in lines, especially in the middle of the winter. But the risk of dying of pneumonia is preferable to the alternative of missing out on limited edition Ultraman figures, so it’s to the back of the queue we go.

Artstorm continues their excellent line of Ultraman figures based on Umezu Kazuo's character designs from his late 60's manga. If Ultraman looks pudgy and awkward, it's because Umezu was given dody reference materials and had to compensate for missing details on the fly. Like all worthwhile pieces, these guys glow in the dark.

Of course, there’s more to the event than just frivolous spending. This Super Festival's special exhibit was a dedicated to 70’s super heroes who made the hearts of a generation burn with the fires of justice, including Boken Rockbat (upper left), Lion Maru, (upper right), Specterman (bottom), and Tetsujin Tiger Seven.

Ever wonder how the actors navigated their foam rubber prisons? Kaiju logistics are simple and no-nonsense.

These old props and toys have a certain kitsch charm that their modern counterparts lack. Somehow they feel more innocent, authentic, and pastel. Though objectively flawed and technically awful by today's standards, they provide enough wonder to make the user want to fill in the tangible gaps with their imagination.

You'd think that Dr. Gori would outfit his goons with something fancier than a wind-up go kart.

Our special guest was Hiroshi Fujioka, most famous for his roles as Segata Sanshiro or the first Kamen Rider. Fujioka looked great for a man who recently rounded sixty. His physical prowess filled the room and his smooth baritone voice shook the floor. His stint as Sega’s marketing hit man may have led Western audiences to lump him in the unfortunate category of “Wacky Japan,” but in reality he is a serious method actor who advocates volunteer work and worldwide peace through love for your fellow man. He also has a black belt in coffee brewing.

See the album and our coverage of Super Festival 50 for more pics!

Super Festival 51

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