Ibuki’s Lab & More

From outside to inside

12.21.2023 (revised 12.24)

This has been one heck of a year for Godzilla and his fans! We have had an explosion of movies and merch. We have entered a stretch of years celebrating milestone anniversaries since the birth of Godzilla seventy years ago. Last year we celebrated Gigan’s 50th and this yea Megalon and Jet Jaguar celebrated birthdays. Each fan has their way to celebrate their favorites. Visiting iconic and obscure Godzilla movie places and locations on each trip to Japan has become my tradition. Earlier this year alone I discovered Odo Island and Fujimi Park, the residence of comic art Gengo Kotaka in Godzilla vs Gigan (1971). And in November, I found the Blue Box House, the laboratory of Jet Jaguar’s inventor, Goro Ikubi.

Blue Box House
The Blue Box House from Godzilla vs Megalon (1973)

In the course of travel and deep dives into my favorite Showa Godzilla movies, my love for each has just grown deeper. And my search for more unique monster movie merch has intensified. Along the way I’ve found some cool Special Effects Encyclopedia products (特撮大百科最) by the CAST Co., Ltd. (株式会社キャスト) for Godzilla vs Megalon (1973) that I’ve wanted for a some time. CAST figurines, although small, capture big movie moments unlike any other line. CAST regularly holds Godzilla screening events and monster talk rooms held in Tokyo, Osaka, and other locations.

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Cast Electronic Completed Robot Jet Jaguar Box (株式会社キャスト電子ロボットジェットジャガー完成) and Goro Ibuki’s Laboratory in Godzilla vs Megalon (1973)

First up is a corner of the Blue Box House, transformed into laboratory of Prof Goro Ibuki (伊吹吾郎博士) with the CAST Electronic Completed Robot Jet Jaguar (株式会社キャスト電子ロボットジェットジャガー完成) (see CAST ad). Fans can’t get into the Blue Box House but CAST gives us a collectible that give us a closeup look inside the home and laboratory of Prof Ibuki. This is the Cast Electronic Completed Robot Jet Jaguar (株式会社キャスト電子ロボットジェットジャガー完成). On the wall are the front and back diagram of Jet Jaguar with a white caster cart below and a red coat rack and pole to the right. Jet Jaguar can be stood in front upon a peg. His head can be removed and set on the cart as it appeared in the movie. The detail and feel makes you feel like the movie set has come to the collectible shelf.

CAST Special Effects Encyclopedia Electronic Robot Jet Jaguar Completed!! (キャスト特撮大百科 電子ロボットジェットジャガー完成!!)

Insert: Front side: NO. TEXO21SR-C | 特大百科 映画『ゴジラ対メガロ』より Extra Large Encyclopedia From the movie “Godzilla vs. Megalon” | 電子ロボットオーナメントジェットジャガー完成!! Electronic Robot Ornament Jet Jaguar Completed!! | レジンキャスト製 Made of resin cast | 彩色済 Painted | 再販 Resale | 材質/レジンキャスト Material/Resin cast | 原型製作/中村亘 Prototype production/Wataru Nakamura | TM & © TOHO CO., LTD. | ※ 掲載の写真は原型サンプルです。実際の商品とは形状や塗装などが異なります。* The photos shown are prototype samples. The shape and painting may differ from the actual product.

電子ロボットジェットジャガー完成!!とは Electronic robot Jet Jaguar completed!! What is it?

電子工学の権威である伊吹吾郎博士が、自宅を兼ねた研究所内で自ら開発、製造した電子ロボット。当初は良心回路を内蔵して、超音波や電波で操縦される等身大のロボットであったが、やがて自ら意志を持ち、巨大化可能な能力をいつの間にか身に付けた。その後、怪獣島のゴジラと共に、シートピア海底王国の守護獣・メガロや、M宇宙ハンター星雲から助っ人として駆けつけたガイガンと激闘を繰り広げた。This electronic robot was developed and manufactured by Dr. Goro Ibuki, an authority on electronic engineering, in his laboratory, which also serves as his home. At first, it was a life-sized robot with a built-in conscience circuit and controlled by ultrasonic waves and radio waves, but eventually it developed a will of its own and acquired the ability to grow into giants. Afterwards, along with Godzilla on Monster Island, he engaged in a fierce battle with Megalon, the guardian beast of Seatopia Undersea Kingdom, and Gigan, who came from the M Space Hunter Nebula to help.

ジェットジャガーの造形は東宝特美のベテラン、安丸信行が担当。なお、本キャラクターは、これまでの東宝特撮関係の文献で、井口昭彦がデザインを担当したと報じられて来たが、近年、取材陣に対して井口氏自身がこの事実を否定され、今後、更なる真実の追求が待たれるところとなった。(文中敬称略/中村哲) The Jet Jaguar was sculpted by Toho Tokubi veteran Nobuyuki Yasumaru. In addition, it has been reported in previous Toho special effects literature that Akihiko Iguchi was in charge of the design of this character, but in recent years, Mr. Iguchi himself has denied this fact to reporters, and from now on, it has been reported that Akihiko Iguchi was responsible for the design. The pursuit of further truth is now awaited. (Honorific title omitted/Tetsu Nakamura)

初販時は、ガイガンをヨイショと持ち上げるジェットジャガーが同梱されていたのですが、今回は「人間大」サイズだけで単品再販とさせていただきました。強化再販ということで伊吹邸内ラボベースを少しだけ拡張し、ジェットジャガー本体も腰と腕の角度を僅かに微調整しています。ジェットジャガーといえば、その痛快なまでに唐突な巨大化が常に話題となりますが、デフォルトはこの人間大サイズ。どちらかというと家事手伝い系の仕事がメイン(と思われる)のロボットです。商品名は「完成」を謳っておりますが、頭部は接着していませんので、外して棚の専用台に置くことができます。こうすると「電子ロボットジェットジャガー未完成!!」という商品にもなるので、一商品で二商品分楽しめる大変お得な商品であると言えないこともないような、そんなこともないような。(藤村) When it was first released, it came with a Jet Jaguar that lifts Gigan up, but this time we have decided to resell it as a single item only in the “human-sized” size. Since this is an enhanced resale, the lab base inside the Ibuki residence has been expanded a little, and the angles of Jet Jaguar’s waist and arms have been slightly adjusted. Speaking of Jet Jaguar, its shockingly sudden growth in size is always a hot topic, but its default size is the size of a human. If anything, it’s a robot whose main job is to help around the house (I think). Although the product name says “Complete,” the head is not glued on, so it can be removed and placed on a dedicated stand on a shelf. In this way, it becomes a product called “Electronic Robot Jet Jaguar Unfinished!!,” so it can be said that it is a great value product that allows you to enjoy two products with one product. (Fujimura)

※ 社内工房完全手生産商品 * Completely hand-produced in our in-house workshop

商品製作・販売:大阪府寝屋川市清水町20-12 TEL.072-829-7173 | Product production and sales: 20-12 Shimizu-cho, Neyagawa-shi, Osaka TEL.072-829-7173

株式会社キャスト Cast Co., Ltd. https://tdcast.exblog.jp/

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Underground kingdom of Seatopia and the altar ceremony in Godzilla vs Megalon (1973)

Prof Ibuki and his electronic robot are under the surveillance of the undersea kingdom of Seatopia. Seatopia is a “civilization which had existed for thousands of years” and whose “people lived a life of peace in underground cities.” This was the fate of the inhabitants of the Lemurian continent (a continent proposed in 1864 by zoologist Philip Sclater), who sank to the ocean floor due to a tectonic movement. They have built an undersea kingdom with their advanced scientific capabilities and have maintained peace for three million years. But when disturbed by nuclear tests they call upon Megalon to destroy the nations above ground. CAST has created the Seatopia Undersea Kingdom Altar (シートピア海底王国祭壇) (see CAST ad). This cool recreation is made up of a resin cast painted altar with an acrylic stand that slides under the base of the Moai statue (monolithic human figure carved by the Rapa Nui people on Rapa Nui (Easter Island) in eastern Polynesia between the years 1250 and 1500). Centerstage is Seatopia Commander Antonio (シートピア司令アントニオ) played by Robert Dunham.

CAST Seatopia Undersea Kingdom Altar from Godzilla vs Megalon (1973) (ゴジラ特撮大百科 オーナメント シートピア海底王国祭壇 映画『ゴジラ対メガロ』より)
CAST Seatopia Undersea Kingdom Altar from Godzilla vs Megalon (1973) (ゴジラ特撮大百科 オーナメント シートピア海底王国祭壇 映画『ゴジラ対メガロ』より)
CAST Seatopia Undersea Kingdom Altar from Godzilla vs Megalon (1973) (ゴジラ特撮大百科 オーナメント シートピア海底王国祭壇 映画『ゴジラ対メガロ』より)
CAST Seatopia Undersea Kingdom Altar from Godzilla vs Megalon (1973) (ゴジラ特撮大百科 オーナメント シートピア海底王国祭壇 映画『ゴジラ対メガロ』より)

CAST Seatopia Undersea Kingdom Altar (ゴジラ特撮大百科 オーナメント シートピア海底王国祭壇)

Finally, I picked up the CAST Jet Jaguar Ultrasonic Control Device (ジェットジャガー超音波操縦器) (see CAST ad) used by Prof Ibuki. He equipped Jet Jaguar with this device in case he fell into enemy hands. He was successfully able to recapture Jaguar with this device and to send him to Monster Island for Godzilla to fight Megalon and Gigan. His ultrasonic steering device was designed to be used in the event that Jet Jaguar’s computer becomes inoperable. Goro carries it in the form of a pendant, but it is only effective from a distance where Jet Jaguar can see it. The CAST pendant control device is reproduced in almost full size!

Godzilla vs Megalon (1973): Prof Goro Ibuki with his Jet Jaguar pilot controller
CAST Jet Jaguar Ultrasonic Pilot (ジェットジャガー超音波操縦器)
CAST Jet Jaguar Ultrasonic Pilot (ジェットジャガー超音波操縦器)

Godzilla vs Megalon (1973) is an intriguing, perplexing and sometimes ridiculed movie in the Showa series. Growing up it wasn’t on television as much as others. My earliest knowledge of its existence was on the pages of Fangoria issue no# 1 published in 1979. For some years it was very low in my list of favorite Godzilla movies. But the deeper I dig into its making and collect its memorabilia the more I love it.