|Condorman book + flexi disc set|
Enter flexi discs, the thin, clear plastic records that might be green, blue, or red. These were so cheap that you could pair them with a mini book and still sell them for less than the cost of a vinyl EP. In the late 60s, flexi discs were really thin and floppy, and they were easily damaged. These were known as "sonosheets." Asahi was one of the main companies in the field, and their Asahi Sonorama (朝日 ソノラマ) series included book + sonosheet sets for titles like Ultraman, Mighty Atom (Astro Boy), etc.
|Asahi Sonorama Mighty Atom mini book + sonosheet set|
In this series, the paper was thicker for the mini books, though the internal binding wasn't the best, leading to pages easily becoming separated.
|Mini books were typically around 6-8 pages long. In this Condorman book, the lyrics to one of the flexi disc's songs are on the right-hand page, and a mini story (not recorded on the disc) starts on the left.|
|Condorman "punch sheet" containing one song on each side.|
More after the jump:
Forty years later, the discs you see often have some scratches, but that isn't surprising considering they were made for kids. All in all they've held up pretty well, thanks probably in large part to the sturdy cardboard sleeves that were built into the sets.
Anyway that's just a quick intro to the series. The one I want to show you now is a cool set for a minor tokusatsu show called Condorman (コンドールマン). This is a tough set to find, but what really got me was the crazy villains. I mean, man, back in the 70s they seriously went out of their way to think up some funky bad guys!
|So you've got King Monster (キングモンスター) - the dude with horns and three faces, Red Baton (レッドバットン) - the red-winged character with nunchucks, and Zeni Crazy (ゼニクレージー) - the guy with a giant coin on his head.|
|Red Baton + Zeni Crazy|
|Check out the big yen symbol on his costume - classic!|
|On the set's cover, there are photos from the TV show with more villains. This rogues gallery is even funkier and creepier in person!|
|There are some Condorman toys out there, but these super-fun villains didn't get as much love back in the day. There was a (very rare) 3 pack of minis made back in the 70s. It included Condorman + two of his enemies. And I found this link to some Condorman toys made for the 2009 Summer Wonder Festival, so someone out there has paid tribute to these wacky designs.|
|This is Satan Gamekku (サタンガメツク). That's some nightmare fodder right there!|