Ultra Monster Series (Classic)
Red King (1983 Gold)
6 Inch Scale
By: Bandai

Ultraman Week kicks off with a bang here at Infinite Hollywood, with a look at one of Ultraman’s most fierce foes. Dubbed the Red King, this character has never actually appeared as red as his name might indicate. While a few versions of this character have appeared in hues of red, his normal color is a yellowish-green. Many fans have appropriately refereed to him as the “corn cob monster” or the “angry pineapple” given his unique shape and body.

Red King made his debut in Ultraman Episode # 8, “The Lawless Monster Zone.” In that episode Red King proves to be the King of the Ultra Monsters by violently maiming Chandlar, ripping off his wing. Red King gets frustrated easily and shows this by pounding on his own face. He also has an affinity for throwing rocks. It’s also believed that Red King murdered three human observers on the island, before smashing friendly monster Pigmon with a rock. Eventually Ultraman defeats Red King with a snapmare, but Red King has returned numerous times and proven to be just as deadly as his first appearance.

Red King is an interesting character, because he just plain kicks ass. He doesn’t have any special powers, aside from raw strength and a somewhat tough skin. Instead he just clobbers other monsters when he sees them. Ultraman (and various other Ultra entities) have proven to be fairly successful in defeating Red King, but he remains a favorite because of his no nonsense style of brawling.

I bought this guy a few years back. I can’t recall if he came with a tag or not, but I’ve removed it. The more I think about it, I believe he did have a tag. Probably a mistake on my part to ditch it.

It’s kind of hard to find a lot of fault in the sculpt of Red King. While he has received countless figures through the years, this one definitely captures most of his trademark look. This is the 1983 Bandai sculpt, though I haven’t been able to clearly identify if this came out in 83 or one of the subsequent re-releases using this same sculpt.

In the original episode on which this figure is based, Red King definitely is more yellow than gold. Still the gold coloring doesn’t look too out of place and the color is only partially sprayed, leaving certain areas unpainted. Those unpainted areas actually look like shading and resemble the original Red King coloring quite a bit.

There were a few other versions of this figure released. One featured gold paint and a heavier aqua green coating over that. I prefer the straight gold to this version.

There was also a dark brown with bright gold highlights version. Again, the regular gold version looks better. There is a greenish gold version as well, which definitely looks superior to the regular gold version… Depending on how much spray was used. This mold was re-released several times in various colorways.

More recently Bandai released a accurate colored Red King, based off his appearances in Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle. This version is clearly the best Red King from Bandai, but the 1983 mold doesn’t different that much. Which shows how good the original mold was.

Red King has all his ridges and “slots” on his skin. The back area isn’t quite defined enough, but still holds up as fairly decent considering the age of the design. The paint work is obviously the weakest area, but these early Bandai figures were going for a more stylized approach with paint and weren’t intended to be overwhelmingly accurate.

Looking at the head sculpt, this is where you can most clearly see that Bandai did an excellent job. The attention to detail on the face is particularly good and the differences between the modern, more advanced mold and this “primitive” one aren’t that great. Again a testament to the faithfulness of the original design.

Unfortunately the lack of paint work definitely take the overall presentation down a notch. Simple black painted eyes and gold teeth, ruin the illusion some. This mold could easily be repainted to a better color pattern though and easily be presentable as a top notch piece.

Bonus Red King photos credit to COOP666.

Most of these Bandai vinyls don’t offer much in the way of articulation. Yet even for a figure that’s nearly 30 years old, this one has more than most. Red King has articulation at the arms, legs and tail. All basic swivels, given the design.

It doesn’t allow for a ton of movement, but Red King can sit down flat. His tail movement is a bit limiting, but it does have an added advantage to those figures who lack this crucial point of articulation.

The arm’s positioning also limits some of the posing opportunities. Still he’s more than capable to wrestle with Ultraman. Plus he’s one of the only versions of this figure that can do a proper clothesline, thanks to that odd arm shape.

I listed this guy at $20, but truth be told I paid far less many years ago when I purchased him. Tracking down this particular colorway from this 1983 series is much harder to do now. I’d say he’d run about $20, but he could cost significantly more. Many of these older Bandais are especially hard to get a hold of, and price can be subject to market speculation.

Score Recap:
Packaging – N/A
Sculpting – 8
Articulation – 5
Accessories – N/A
Value – 7
Overall – 7 out of 10

Many of these old Bandais feature weak sculpts and strange paint variations that aren’t really very well representative of their characters. The gold 1983 version of Red King certainly has some of those weaknesses, but overall he’s still a strong sculpt and a decent version of this iconic character.


There are numerous versions of this character out there. Some are better. Still this is a decent version and a classic Bandai vinyl figure. If you can score him for a decent price, he’s a worthwhile addition to your collection. Given that Red King has shown up in various forms and colors through the years, this solid gold version certainly seems plausible.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter for updates about ULTRAMAN WEEK! And check out the site all week for more Ultraman goodies.

8 Responses to 1983 Ultra Series Red King Review

  • CompyRex says:

    Nice review. I remember a long time ago getting four Ultraman kaiju knock-offs, and Red King was one (he was yellow and blue). I hope to see you do reviews of the ones I owned knock-offs of soon, because frankly, I have no idea what they are.

  • Thanks man. I think Red King is pretty standard for being knocked-off. He's one of the more popular Ultra Kaiju, so I suspect he's gotten a fair share of those through the years. If I don't cover anyone you might have a knock-off of be it toy or somewhere else, let me know and I might be able to help you ID them anyway. Either via pictures or descriptions. With any luck anyways.

  • CompyRex says:

    Thanks. From the other three I had, one was a bronze version of an Ultra Kaiju called Black King. One was a yellow/green monster similar to the Black King, but with a slim reptilian head and a horn. I know I've seen picture of him before, and I believe his name is something like "Something X" or "Something Z", if I'm correct. He looks kind of similar to one I just saw called Neronga, but with a slimmer body, one horn, and normal teeth. The other looked like a black furred version of Godzilla with a horn. Unfortunately, that fourth one is missing, so I can't supply a picture of him. Thanks

  • CompyRex says:

    Heh, only minutes after just posting that, I found a Flickr group with pictures of all (or most, I wouldn't know) of the Ultraman Kaiju, and so I discovered the yellow/green Kaiju I have is Terresdon with a horn. If this helps at all for the black, furred one, he had this white, buzz-saw type thing on his torso, similar to Gigan, and had a long snout. Also, his arms faced forward and were only articulated at the wrists. Thanks.

  • Telesdon definitely sounds like your man on the yellow/green one.

    On the other though… Hmm, not 100% on the snout but sounds a bit like a bootleg of Gomess.

    See if this is similar: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2140/2243479614_dc

    Gomess is popular and has had a lot of various bootlegs. I could see him maybe having a black fur look.

    The snout sounds a bit like Hipporito: http://farm1.static.flickr.com/145/390572436_7d4c

    And the wrist thing is often found on Bemler: http://www.coolstuffvideos.com/images/vinylultra2

    None of those fit all the specifics though, so it may be different because of the bootleg or it may not be close at all. Let me know, we'll see if we can crack it. Always fun, haha.

  • CompyRex says:

    Maybe a little bit like Gomess. Oh, an by snout, I meant more so like the one Gomess has, not Hipporito's pachyderm trunk. Thanks.

  • CompyRex says:

    Also worth noting: I believe he should be an Ultraman Kaiju because I also remember Neronga, Seagorath, Tyrant, Agira, and a giant eye monster (forget which one it is).

  • That definitely is an original '83 Redking you have. The earliest versions actually came in a bag with a header card.

    I always wondered why Bandai, who got the color of the plastic right, never did a version with a blue wash that would have come very close to the classic colors. The reason RK's color is so hard to pin down is that the recessed areas are actually BLUE although 98% of the skin surface is that kind of mustardy/sand/tan/khaki color. Which gives him an overall color that is very hard to nail down– since the dude is always a blur of furious motion!

    Could you post a link to the FLICKR page with all the variant Redkings? Thanks.

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