It’s kinda silly but… who’d thought such a tiny toy could resonates with such huge happiness within the heart of a grown… big boy? Aaaaah, so here we are, a small gashapon or gachapon (ガチャポン/がちゃぽん) set of mini diorama featuring an ultra-masked young boy drawing a kaiju (Gavadon A) on a cement pipe.
Yep, did I say this thing is TINY!? It must’ve come from a small size gachapon, for a regular gachapon would’ve been way too big to house this mini set. The kneeling boy is only x’ tall, while the size of the concrete pipe, rather fitting, is only 1”x1”x1”. Aint this just BRILLIANT?
On the bottom of the pipe it reads in tiny tiny print: POPY 2003 (I think it’s 2003, or it could be 2002). So the toy’s already almost a decade old! Though nowhere near as old as the original story that aired in 1966, Ultraman episode#15: 恐怖の宇宙線 (Kyōfu no Uchūsen) or TERROR OF THE COSMIC RAYS/Terrifying Cosmic Rays (Alternate DVD Title: The Space Ray of Terror).
Nope, I was not yet born, but I was absolutely fascinated with this story as a kid many years later…. how I wished my drawings would come true too (and I still do)!
Now before we get into the stroy, for the record, I just wanted to say that I’ve always thought that the A & B of Gavadon A and Gavadon B should be reversed… you know. A for ADULT and B for BABY. But as it is, Gavadon A is the larva baby, and Gavadon B is the grown kaiju… I know it makes sense alphabetically but hey… anyways.
Unlike other classic kaijus such as Baltan, Garamon, Redking, Eleking or Gomora, all Gavadon ever gets is one lousy appearance and it gets bullied big time… both as a baby and an adult… BAH!
Speaking of which… BANDAI, where are our Gavadon A & Gavadon B from the BANDAI 6” Ultra Kaiju Series line??? It has been 45 yrs since the story and they’re still not made!!!
Enough of my toyless rant, so the story goes like this:
All across the world, strange space rays begin to bombard earth along with sunlight. When the rays hit the crude drawing of a larva-like kaiju on a pipe drawn by a boy in Tokyo, the 2D drawing comes to life as a small 3D kaiju, Gavadon A!
This newly born tiny monster crawls about, looking for a place to sleep, when the noisey-n-good-for-nothing Science Patrol comes to investigate and blows off a chunk of Gavadon’s tail (AHHHHH!)! Baby Gavadon simply tries to get away but falls asleep in the process while more tanks confront it. Good thing it vanishes when the sun goes down before another attack could be made.
With Gavadon A gone, the children begin drawing a more defined and ferocious looking Gavadon with limbs and more colors in the hopes that it may fight back. But, like the original larva-kaiju, the new adult Gavadon’s also peaceful and only wants to sleep as it comes alive with the ever shinning cosmetic rays. Once again, the military moves in and fires upon the sleeping kaiju (AAAAAH!)!!
Confused and hurt, Gavadon tries to escape as Hayata transforms into Ultraman only to beat its ass with ultra wrestling moves some more (AAAAAH!)!!! With teary eyes, the shell shocked kids plead Ultraman to stop torturing their kaiju, to which he complies (phew!) as he gathers Gavadon into his arms and flies into space and transmutes the poor sap into a constellation of stars for the children to admire afar, tho only once a year.
At least the episode’s got a semi-happy ending. And it remains one of my favorite kaiju stories to date. If only BANDAI would release a 6” sofubi of both Gavadon A & B…
Well, the mini diarama captures the essence of the scene during which the boy is still happily drawing his kaiju on the pipe before it was three-dimensionalized and bullied by the adult humans. Absolutely lovely~
I’ve juxtaposed a thumb puppet SD gavadon next to the boy for kicks as it seems rather fitting. You know, right before Gavadon A grows up to be a threatening size, I bet the boy would ride on it just like this.
So there we have it. And i want to place a big shout out to my friend in the land of the rising sun, as i’ve received this toy as a special surprise gift all the way from Kyoto, Japan. Thank you Nobuhiko for allowing me such geeky indulgence! : )