Monday, March 5, 2012

Bootleg Larva Mothra by unknown maker

Mothra has been one of Godzilla's most prolific “friend-emies” over the last 4 decades. Appearing in over 15 movies, we've been bombarded with several incarnations of Mothra over the years. We've had Mothra in her egg, larva stage, cocooned and the ever important final stage (hint, it looks like a moth). Always by her side are the twin tiny high priestesses, called the shōbijin (or small beauties), that translate and interpret the monster's every thought. When Mothra appears it's usually to be the savior of Earth; often doing battle with Godzilla, Battra, King Ghidorah, Death Ghidorah, Gigan, Dagahra, Monster X and the Sea Monster.
(who is Mothra? Why are we playing such suspenseful music? You'll have to watch this 3 minute trailer to find out!)

(sing little ladies, sing!)

This piece was acquired through Planet Retro Gallery out of St Pete, Florida. I was nothing but impressed with the selection and prices at the store, as well as the owner's knowledge. He admitted it was a bootleg he picked up in Chinatown in the late 90's and had sold all but this one and couldn't guarantee that it worked or not. I love a restoration challenge, and even if it never works it's still a heck of a shelf piece for a portion of the price of the original. You just rarely get that sort of honesty from a collectibles shop. It's a factor that keeps me coming back for his monthly sales.
(adult toy or sofubi?)

(ribbed for your pleasure)

The rubber used for the skin of Larva Mothra is very similar to the original release from Bandai, the only different thing is the color. The bootleg is a very light green with white slopped across to bring out the texture while the original is a light bronze with silver and black accents along the body. After some slight tinkering and cleaning, I was able to restore the mechanical crawling function. From a restoration point of view, the components I worked on were of a lower quality than I would expect to be in the Bandai version. With two AA batteries, the bug “crawls” along with the aide of a wheel underneath while rearing his head back and lighting up it's red eyes. A real achievement for my collection and my restoration skills.

(lookin' up Mothra's skirt)

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