Collector George Dixon lives right down the street from the coolest place EVER to take pictures of your figures. (All Photos ©, George Dixon.)
By John Stanowski Originally posted January 30th, 2014 on Kaiju Addicts.
Photoshop artist Trenddi Alexis assembled his work titled “Godzilla: The Destroyer of Worlds” which features the X-Plus Gigantic Series Godzilla 2001 vinyl figure. See it get assembled in the timelapse video below. (The timelapse starts one minute into the video.) And visit his DeviantArt page at http://trenzillaxdesigns.deviantart.com/.
By John Stanowski Originally posted January 24th, 2014 on Kaiju Addicts.
Is your X-Plus Large Monster Series Ebirah vinyl figure just laying there on the shelf in a lifeless lobster pose? Get a rock and read on!
Let’s face it: the X-Plus Ebirah doesn’t have great shelf presence. It just lies low on all fours (eights?). Granted, his body didn’t offer many options for the sculptor to create a dynamic pose. But that doesn’t mean your vinyl sea monster needs to hang low, making a big dip in your X-Plus shelf skyline.
Using a rock to give Ebirah a boost puts him in a better position to face the X-Plus Godzilla 1966. And it looks cool, too.
Choose your rock wisely. The sloped rock pictured here is a perfect size and shape. Plus it has some ridges which allow Ebirah’s smaller legs to grab on to.
If you’re worried about having something so heavy high up and potentially over heads, just look for a lighter rock. Metamorphic and especially sedimentary rocks are much lighter. Consider a piece of coral. That would be super light and fit the sea monster theme.
If you find yourself in a place where you can go rock shopping, but don’t happen to have your Ebirah figure with you, just remember a softball-sized rock will do the trick.
You can pose your Ebirah at different elevations simply by pushing him further up the rock. If he wants to slide back, support his tail with the wall, another figure or another, smaller rock.
And remember: the arms on the X-Plus Ebirah are poseable. They could be angled downward to hug the rock or raised even higher to engage Godzilla.
GOTCHA: Tilting Ebirah up so that some of his weight rests on his soft vinyl tail may bend it over time. It seems pretty sturdy to me, but you might have to consider this. To counter it, you could always… get another rock, and place it above his tail for more support.
By John Stanowski Originally posted January 19th, 2014 on Kaiju Addicts.
エクスプラス ギガンティックシリーズ 「ゴジラ（2001年版）」
JAPAN RELEASE: DECEMBER 2013
JAPAN BLUE FINS RE-ISSUE: LATE 2016
NORTH AMERICAN (DIAMOND) RE-ISSUE: JANUARY 2018
SERIES: GIGANTIC SERIES
MATERIAL: SOFT VINYL (TONGUE: PUR)
FROM: “GODZILLA, MOTHRA AND KING GHIDORAH: GIANT MONSTERS ALL-OUT ATTACK”, 2001
HEIGHT: 15.5 INCHES / 39 CM
WIDTH: 16 INCHES (TOE TO TOE) / 40.6 CM
LENGTH: ABOUT 31 INCHES / 78.7 CM
REVIEW AND PHOTOS: JOHN STANOWSKI
In October 2013, X-Plus caught collectors off guard and announced the Gigantic Series: a new line of ‘gigantic’ vinyl figures. First up was Godzilla 2001 (GMK). X-Plus had previously released a Large Monster Series GMK as well as a Toho 30cm Series GMK, but this new figure would tower over both.
The box is so large that they only come one to a case. The case is something you don’t usually see. And in this case, your seller will likely just slap the shipping label directly onto it and ship it to you just like that. It’s 25 inches tall (63.5 cm) and will cost you extra to have it shipped to you. EMS was charging something like $105 to ship from Japan to the U.S. FedEx is even more expensive.
Inside the case is a simple brown box with simple Ric Boy-style black art on the front. Since the figure is so heavy, it’s packaged into two pieces of thick styrofoam to make sure it reaches you safe and sound.
The X-Plus Gigantic Series Godzilla 2001 comes in two pieces: the main body and the tail. The hefty 20-inch tail is so big that it does not have the usual flanged (suction cup-looking) opening but instead has a thick rim to better support its weight. To attach it you need to soften the vinyl around Godzilla’s butt with a hair dryer so that it’s flexible enough to accept the tail. The vinyl on this guy is thicker than other X-Plus figures and so will take more time to get it to become soft. Don’t heat up the tail; leave it firm. If you are putting this together in the summer you may need to pop the tail into the refrigerator to firm it up. When the body is soft enough, just shove it in. Mine went in surprisingly easily.
Included with this figure is a “base” sculpted to look like a chunk of battle damaged concrete. It’s meant to go under the tail to help support its weight.
It’s hard to tell from the photo above, but there’s a slight depression across the top of the base that’s as wide as the tail. When I first saw it, I had the impression that the tail should fit into this depression completely from one end to the other. But the tail actually only needs to rest on about half of it. If you push the base too far under the tail’s lower curve, it will be pushing the figure up off its heels.
The figure stands fine without the base since it’s lower legs are filled with solid resin to help him keep balanced. But I would suggest using the base anyway to prevent gravity from pulling the tail down and possibly opening a crack in the top of the seam.
Okay, let’s get a couple of things out of the way first:
The new X-Plus Gigantic Series Godzilla 2001 strays from the norm of uber realistic sculpts and offers a powerful, dynamic, stylized interpretation instead. If you’re looking for movie-suit-accuracy, save your money for the March figures. On the other hand, if you’d like a powerful, dynamic, stylized behemoth of a Godzilla figure, this one’s for you.
This figure is the first in the aptly named “Gigantic Series” and it’s not just big… it’s literally gigantic. It’s head really is in the sky. It’s 30 inches of awesome. It’s so humonganoid that you’re going to find yourself wondering where the hell you can put it. Only the bravest, widest and sturdiest of shelves can hold him. Better idea: get him his own table.
I’ve seen stylized sculpts that were waaaay out there, but this one isn’t so bad. It obviously looks like GMK. His characteristic fat, feline head, unique dorsal plates and white eyes are all present, just with more flair.
This figure has larger legs, clearly more muscular and spread wider than the suit could ever manage. The upper torso is far too thin for GMK, but this can only be seen directly from the front, and looking up from a low angle.
Gigantic GMK’s dorsal plates are much larger. All three rows of fins also fan outward at a more extreme angle. This is mostly visible only from a rear or overhead view of the figure. Their stylized characterics are visible from most angles yet at others the fins can look better and more suit-accurate than those on the X-Plus 30cm Series Godzilla 2001.
The X-Plus Gigantic Series Godzilla 2001 has awesome texture. While all the skin patterns mimic the suit in all the right places, they are stylized in that their texture is so exaggerated and deep. Be prepared for your tactile sensors to go on overload while handling this thing.
The claws on the hands and, especially, the feet are also super detailed with deep ridges.
A really small detail worth mentioning is the tongue. The only polyurethane part on the figure, it’s covered in a super-fine, bumpy texture that really sticks out. (Oh, what the hell. Pun intended.)
Collector Rich Eso brought to my attention the detail on the roof of the mouth. I didn’t even notice it at first. Its gooey, red ridges are second only to the 30cm Gameras. It’s nice to know that should you choose to explore this figure closely that there’s plenty to discover.
JOINTS & SEAMS
There are no non-glued joints except for the tail which butts up against the butt pretty well.
The only obvious glue-seams are below both knees. They’re filled in well, but the deep, bumpy texture on the leg does not traverse it, thus making them noticeable.
There are glue-seams at the top of both legs. The seam above the figure’s right leg is filled in very well, but not as much care was taken with the left leg, no doubt because it will be facing the wall. If you want to find a line where the lower jaw meets the body, you can, but it’s really not obvious. All of the individual dorsal fins have visible lines where they meet the back but they are very well obscured by other fins and ridges. Overall, there aren’t very many panty lines on this figure which is a huge plus for me.
The X-Plus Gigantic Series GMK is posed hunched over in mid-roar, his body arced in a turning pose. And it looks awesome from almost every angle.
Click on the photos below for gigantic, hi-res versions!
The X-Plus Gigantic Series Godzilla 2001 is covered is standard, asphalt black which seems even darker with the addition of tiny shadows from its deep texture. The skin’s higher elevations are gently highlighted with a subtle, lighter shade. (I wish they painted the 30cm Series version this color!). The light in the room plays on the figure’s coarse skin for even more visual variation.
The boney protrusions of the claws and dorsal fins are painting in a wildly, stark white. If this figure didn’t have as much detail as it does, I’d say it was toyishly white. But as it is, it seems just another embellishment in this figures stylized design. I have to say, though, it’s mighty bold and seems to demand your attention.
Godzilla’s possessed eyes of white aren’t fully painted, but instead are airbrushed near the front which gradiates to black in the rear. Another paint stylization which tries to keep the look of the suit while making these souless eyes look like they’re aimed forward. Nice touch.
The teeth start out white but feather into a saturated yellowy-orange which, to me, seems to be calling for attention much the same way a bright stripe on a racing car does. I think this could have been toned down to more of a tan or brown. But it is nice to know the teeth are so big that there’s room for paint detail.
Not many other X-Plus figures can compare to this. The Large Monster Series Viras beats it in height by half an inch, but keep in mind that Godzilla is slouching. The only figure that even comes close to the Gigantic GMK as far as overall size and mass is the Large Monster Series Biollante, but even that giant of a figure gets dwarfed. (I have her boxed up right now else I’d pair them up for you.)
(Pictured above: 30cm Series GMK on the left, Large Monster Series on the right. I believe you know the one in the middle.)
It’s almost 16 inches tall, 16 inches wide and a whopping 31 inches long. Many of you, myself included, won’t even have a shelf capable of supporting this beast. But if you do, its curved pose makes it easy to display on the right end and leaves plenty of room on the left for other figures to creep in beside it if you don’t mind them getting hugged by GMK’s huge tail.
Like I said earlier: you might consider just getting it its own table. Or if you really, really love it… a pedestal.
RIC BOY EXCLUSIVE FEATURE
STILL BEATING HEART
Well, isn’t this lovely? The Ric Boy version of this figure comes with a reproduction of GMK’s ejected heart as it was seen at the end of the movie, still beating at the bottom of the bay. I don’t have the Ric Boy version so please enjoy this slimey production photo from X-Plus.
When I first saw the announcement for this figure I gasped at its immense size, but quickly shrugged it off when I noticed just how inaccurate it was. But I wound up ordering it anyway because I just had to have a big, giant Godzilla in my collection. And in the end this thing did not disappoint. Now, I kind of like it’s stylized sculpt, pose and paint scheme… a lot.
It’s big, bad and dynamic. X-Plus controller Gee Okamoto was right: it is powerful. And it’s now the star and centerpiece of my Godzilla collection.
Kyle Yount (KaijuCast) was at X-Plus headquarters in Osaka, Japan Friday (in 2013) where he got to hold the new Gigantic Series Godzilla 2001. Who knows what other wonders he got to lay his eyes on while there? To find out click on the video link above from the Kaijucast Youtube Channel.
By John Stanowski Originally posted January 18th, 2014 on Kaiju Addicts.
One of Collector Ryu Hayabusa’s favored techniques is dark and dynamic. I love them because his use of Photoshop filters strips a bit of the real world away from the images leaving only the important bits: the shape of Godzilla’s features and adds a wispy, painterly touch that can better be appreciated if you click on them to view their larger versions. Well, that’s what I think about them anyway. I’m glad he allowed me to share them with you. (All Photos ©, Ryu Hayabusa.)
By John Stanowski Originally posted January 18, 2014 on Kaiju Addicts.
Photos copyrighted by Rich Eso.
By John Stanowski Originally posted January 16th, 2014 on Kaiju Addicts.
夏 東宝30CMシリーズ 「サンダ＆ガイラ」
JAPAN KIT RELEASE: 2007
JAPAN FIGURE RELEASE: 2008
JAPAN WONDER FEST RE-ISSUE: 2011
DIAMOND REISSUE: 2014
SERIES: TOHO 30CM SERIES
MATERIAL: SOFT VINYL
FROM: “THE WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS”, 1966
HEIGHT: (SANDA) 12 INCHES / 30.4 CM, (GAIRA) 10.5 INCHES / 26.6 CM
ARTICULATION: SHOULDERS, WRISTS, KNEES, ANKLES
REVIEW AND PHOTOS: JOHN STANOWSKI
DISCLAIMER: When I was five years old I got angry every time these guys came on TV. One reason was that they weren’t Godzilla and they were taking up Godzilla’s slot on Creature Double Feature. Another reason was they weren’t even proper monsters; just “regular guys in leaf suits” as my five-year-old self called them. Because of this, I’m no Gargantua expert. I only recently started appreciating the movie and now think that it is one of the best―even though it still doesn’t have Godzilla in it. I’m not sure how qualified I am to do a review on these figures. I may not have the same sensibilities you longtime Gargantua lovers do, but I’ll do my best.
• • •
A sequel to “Frankenstein Conquers The World” (1965), “War of the Gargantuas” (1966) features a double dose of mayhem. Apparently, Frankenstein had survived his fall into the fiery earth and continued to grow in size while hiding in the mountains. At some point some of his live cells broke away and traveled down the river to the sea where they, naturally, grew into a watery clone in the completely and utterly plausible way in which anyone would expect.
After growing nearly as tall as his brother, Gaira discovers a taste for humans and ventures out of the sea in search of more. This leads him, of course, back to the mountains where the Japanese Defense Force nearly kill him with masers and an electrified lake. (Take a good look. This is probably the only time you’ll see the army so effective against a kaiju!) The army’s deathblow was interrupted by the surprise arrival of Sanda, the original Frankenstein. He saves the life of his younger “brother” and nurses him back to health, only to discover that being an older brother isn’t so easy.
Sanda and Gaira were first put out by X-Plus as vinyl kits back in 2007 and have since enjoyed three more incarnations. The latest is a two-figure set licenced for North America and circulated by Diamond Comic Distributors. This set was released early in January of 2014. The original Japanese releases are very hard to come by and have the appropriate higher price tags. If you ever wanted the X-Plus Gargantuas, the time to get them is right now.
Both figures come bundled in a standard X-Plus 30cm Series Box: plain cardboard with art on the front. This set is the Diamond re-issue. You can identify it by the “PX Previews Exclusive” logo on the front.
Both figures are wrapped loosely in plastic and kept in place by a single wire twist tie each.
THEY STAND FINE
Once you free your Gargantuas from the box, you should adjust some limbs. Knees and ankles were twisted out of position so that they would fit into the package better. Also, Gaira’s arms were pushed down to his belly. Be sure to raise them up as they’re an important part of his balance. Consult the photos here in this review and tweak the joints until both figures are able to stand on their own. If you lightly poke a figure and it wobbles too much, you have more tweaking to do. It’s completely possible to get both of them into a fairly balanced and sturdy stance.
To my untrained Gargantua eye, these figures are awesome representations of the suits. To doublecheck, I revisited the movie last night with both of these guys on my lap. I must have hit the pause button 50 times to compare the figures to what was on the screen. I really couldn’t find anything wrong with the sculpts except for one thing: both of their torsos seem really wide when viewed from the front or back. Sorry if I got that wrong, but it bugged me enough to want to mention it.
FACES: I’m really impressed with both faces. To me, not only did they get all of the features down, they also seem to capture each creature’s personality. I may just be imagining it, but Sanda seems wiser while Gaira looks a touch childlike and primitive.
TEXTURE: I realize how difficult it must be to represent hair, fur or leafy bodysuits in a sculpt but I think the sculptor did a great job on these figures. Gaira is particularly impressive.
JOINTS & SEAMS
Both figures have moveable joints at the shoulders, wrists, below the knees and the ankles. Gaira has an extra joint on the left elbow. Every one of these joints has a special place they want or need to be. Correctly positioning the joints in the legs will ensure that your figures stand well on their own and don’t topple over. The hands are the only joints where you have a little freedom to tweak.
These joints are somewhat well hidden on the Sanda figure which was sculpted to have material drape over and hide them. Gaira isn’t as lucky and these joints are a bit more visible.
On both figures, the head and shoulders are molded onto one piece, the bottom of which is a jagged line which zig-zags up and down over the top of the body. Also on both, these glued seams are not an overly perfect match. If you’re picky like I am and want to find something to complain about, look here closely. Thankfully this mismatch isn’t nearly as obvious from the front as it is the back.
Also on both figures, the lower teeth, lip and chin are a separate glued piece. On Gaira, this is well hidden, but not so much on Sanda.
Both figures have a pose which faithfully captures the personality of each Gargantua.
Sanda’s pose shows he’s ready to rumble, yet knows restraint thus proving the older brother is wiser.
Gaira’s pose shows his immaturity; that or his acceptance that he’s the smaller guy. His arms are raised to protect himself from his non-people eating bully of a brother, yet he seems ready to kick some ass if pushed too far.
Sanda’s body has a base coat of a medium brown with a myriad of tan highlights and darker brown shadows. All of these colors are much more visible in person and I’m afraid my photos don’t do them justice. The finger nails are a glossy brown which is a nice touch for a toy, but they’re a bit too glossy to be realistic.
The much less impressive Gaira is covered in mostly one shade of green with sparse darker green shadows and just a scant touch of light brown here and there.
The brightest color on Sanda is on his hair and parts of his shoulders. His face is a dull, unsaturated brown which looks pretty good to me. The transition in the paint from hair to face is done well. But for some crazy reason, the ears share color with the hair, not the face… lazy and disappointing. The teeth are very well done. And, the eyes are very impressive in that they’re so small yet somehow they managed to add whites and pupils.
Gaira disappoints again with a face that is far too dark. It looks like this time they tried to make the ears closer in hue to the face rather than the hair, but the attempt is barely noticeable. Teeth here are also well done and the reddish inner lip feathers nicely into the green of the face. Again, the eyes are really good seeing as how they’re so tiny. Even more impressive is that they managed to fit in some color around the pupils unlike Sanda.
In movie reality, the Gargantuas aren’t nearly as tall as Godzilla. Yet, these figures look perfect beside other figures in the Toho 30cm Series like the X-Plus Godzilla 1964 seen above. If anything, they’re actually a little larger than the others. And, of course, they’re absolutely taller than the X-Plus Baragon 1965 (right) and other figures in the Large Monster Series.
Finally, an X-Plus figure damn near in scale with the Revoltech Type 66 Maser Cannon! If I remember correctly, Gaira’s foot was just larger than a car. The tank pulling the 66 is much larger than a car so this looks like a perfect match!
Usually, discussion of a figure’s footprint, or the shelf space it takes up, isn’t warranted when it comes to biped figures, especially those without tails. They just don’t take up a lot of space. But Sanda and Gaia are a two-figure set and many, if not most, collectors will want to display them together. As a unit, including the space inbetween them, they could take up the same amount of space as two 30cm Series Godzillas. Here are four ideas on Gargantua arrangements which take up slightly different spaces.
FINDING MORE BALANCE
It’s usually a precarious arrangement when you let biped figures stand on their own two feet without support. Though, I have to say I am amazed at how well both Gargantuas stand without any aid. They look as if they are top heavy, yet they just laugh at my little test pokes.
However, There’s no reason why you shouldn’t invest in a little insurance for the long-term shelf arrangement. You may not have noticed but the figures in all four of the photos above are touching each other. This is further enhancing their already pretty solid balance so accidental bumps into the shelf should be of less concern. Just get them both arranged around about how you’d like and then, while making sure both feet are flat on the shelf, slowly push one figure toward the other until they touch. Take care not to have one slightly pushing the other. The rough texture on both make it easier for them to “lock” together. Now they’re working as a team!
I think this set is just amazing. The sculpts are true to the suits, especially in the faces and have awesome texture. Though Gaira does disappoint somewhat with obvious seams, an overly dark face and a mostly monochome paint job. Both are super well-balanced and have great shelf presence. Most of all, it’s nice that so many collectors finally had a chance to grab these super rare figures once again thanks to Diamond Comics. If you didn’t already order these, get them while you still can!
By John Stanowski Originally posted January 12th, 2014 on Kaiju Addicts.
大怪獣シリーズ ウルトラマン編 「宇宙忍者 バルタン星人（REBORN）」
JAPAN RELEASE: AUGUST 2010
JAPAN REISSUE: 2012
SERIES: LARGE MONSTER SERIES
MATERIAL: SOFT VINYL
FROM: “ULTRAMAN” EPISODE 2, “SHOOT THE INVADER”, 1966
HEIGHT: 9 INCHES / 22.8 CM
WIDTH: 5 INCHES / 12.7 CM
ARTICULATION: ARM, WRISTS, ANKLES
REVIEW AND PHOTOS: JOHN STANOWSKI
Alien Baltan (or Baltan Seijin, also sometimes referred to as ‘Baltan 1’ in toy circles) is one of the most popular and beloved of Ultraman‘s foes. He’s shown up numerous times with many suit upgrades in multiple Ultraman series. He’s even shown up in the original “Ultraman” twice, the second time with one such suit change. But our guy here is the original, as seen in the very second episode of “Ultraman” titled “Shoot The Invader!”
Baltan, and 2.3 billion of his arthropod buddies, escaped from their dead world by miniaturizing themselves and fitting into one spaceship to find a new home. After scoping out Mars and realizing it was loaded with Spacium (their own version of Kryptonite), they came to Earth. Originally, they only wanted to swipe some scientific equipment from 1960s Japan which somehow was a perfect match for their super-advanced interstellar craft. But they soon realized that Earth wasn’t just a nice place to visit and that they would like to live there. Unfortunately for them, Earth had Ultraman and the Science Patrol to greet them.
This character is the very first alien to battle Ultraman here on Earth. Yes, Ultraman’s first foe, Bemular, was from another planet, but he was a kaiju. Baltan is a seijin, or alien. Baltan is also known for his ability to change his size, create multiple copies of himself to confuse enemies and also for his famous laugh which was borrowed from the 1963 film “Matango” (マタンゴ), or as we know it better in the West: “Attack Of The Mushroom People“.
X-Plus has made numerous Baltan figures (some of which you can see here). This review features the 2012 re-issue of the original 2010 Large Monster Series Space Ninja Alien Baltan (Reborn).
Sculpt-wise, this figure is an insanely accurate representation of the suit used in the 1966 episode. Not only is it a deadringer for the “real” thing as a whole, it’s finer details, up close, are remarkably authentic.
Every single detail on Baltan’s lobstery, insectoid face has made it onto the figure. I’m talking about tiny details you never even even got a good look at when watching the show. See those grooves on the forehead? There’s 10 of them on either side. This is precisely how many there are on the suit! Crazy! X-Plus does not disappoint!
Baltan’s buggy eyes are made of clear plastic molded in orange. While smooth on the outside, they have a bumpy, insectoid texture on the inside. I think this is just incredible attention to detail.
The sculpt of Baltan’s claws are freakishly accurate, even down to the subtle bumpy texture. While reviewing the episode, I paused the DVD on a close-up of the claw and compared it to the X-Plus figure and I was pleasantly surprised at the level the sculptor went to reproduce it. On the TV I saw that the inside edge of the top pincer was fairly straight, while the lower pincer had more of a curve on the front half. The X-Plus sculpt mimicks that precisely!
As for that row of rectangular indents: there are nine… exactly how many there were on the suit.
INNIE OR OUTIE?
This row of indents occurs only on one side of each claw; the other side being simply smooth. These claws are removeable and both fit on either arm. I shot all of the photos for this review with the indents on the inside, but it would be just as accurate to switch them and have the indents face outward.
All of the scenes featuring Baltan at human-size had the indents on the outside. However, when they shot the scenes of Baltan on the miniature set to battle Ultraman, the indents were on the inside. Perhaps the indents were meant to switch sides when Baltan increases his size, but I’m thinking that someone on set simply wasn’t paying attention and let suit actor put the claws on the wrong hands.
On the shelf, I’m keeping the indents on the outside of the claws, and have them rotated slightly inward to more mimic the posture of the suit as it was seen inside the science building in the episode.
JOINTS & SEAMS
There are joints above the biceps which are worked into the sculpt very well. My figure will allow me to rotate the left arm at this point. The right doesn’t want to budge and I don’t plan to force it to find out if it does the same. The ankles rotate but the seams are well hidden because they occur at the top of Baltan’s “boots”. The right foot is a bit loose possibly because of the wiring installed for this 2012 Ric Boy light gimmick release. The giant claws can rotate easily at the wrist and can also be removed. This joint is a curious design with the wrist being just a simple cylinder that slides into the claws with no “suction cup” flange to hold them in place. They’re long enough, though, that I wouldn’t worry about the claws falling off. The only joint that does bother me the waist. Though it could be said that this joint is worked into the sculpt, it still ‘sticks out’ to me but is nowhere near a deal breaker.
Baltan stands in an uneventful pose showing neither action nor personality. He may not look like he’s about to do battle with Ultraman, but it’s just fine for display. It could be said that Baltan was often in this pose while stalking the Science Patrol as they investigated in the science building .
Baltan has a dark blue base color with light blue highlights and markings. They did an especially good job on these triangular patterns as they were applied on totally smooth surfaces with no “lines” in the sculpt to stay inside of. No doubt, stencils were used. The colors here look great!
The claws are a semi glossy silver which have dark brown “drips” falling from the wrists. These brown lines are the least impressive aspect of the paint job since they are crude representations of what was seen on the suit. They also exude a “by hand” quality. Bright tan areas and hard plastic eyes molded in orange steal some of the attention away from the bright claws. Overall, if it weren’t for the sloppy brown lines on the claws, I’d give this paint job and A+.
At first glance the X-Plus Baltan looks to be a good match for the Ultraman figures… that is, if they’re crouching. (Above: X-Plus Ultraman C-Type Specium Pose).
Size comparisons with standing Ultraman figures is another story. As usual, the Large Monster Series kaiju don’t have the same reach as the Ultramen do. At first, Baltan seems to be just a little shorter than the X-Plus Ultraman A-Type Standing Pose (above), but if you attempt to line them up at the shoulders, you can see these guys just aren’t in scale with each other.
However, Baltan is a great match with other Large Monster Series Ultra kaiju. It lines up perfectly with other X-Plus Reborn figures: Gomora, Bemular and Red King.
It’s obvious the X-Plus Baltan does not take up a lot of space on the shelf, especially if you don’t use the included clear stand and base (seen below). If you don’t, you may need to apply some putty under the front of his feet. This figure has weak ankle joints and leans slightly forward. Even if you’re able to balance him on his own, it would be a precarious thing to do without some extra support.
RIC BOY EXCLUSIVE FEATURE
The original 2010 Ric Boy release came with an extra set of arms which were bent at the elbows for an alternative look. (See photos below close up photo.). The 2012 Re-issue Ric Boy (seen above and below) did not come with the extra arms but instead offered a light gimmick.
LEDs behind the buggy eyes run down through the body and accept power from the batteries in the base via a port under the right foot. The included base holds two LR 44 batteries and a plug rising out of the top. A switch on the side of the base controls the power. I need to mention that the base is made of thin plastic and not very sturdy. And, as often happens, the figure doesn’t stand completely straight while the heel is impaled with this plug. You might want to consider using the clear plastic arm, which also attaches to the base, to keep your figure from leaning.
Fantastic! Fantastic! Fantastic! The X-Plus Large Monster Series Space Ninja Alien Baltan (Reborn) is a dead-ringer in looks, has accurate details you didn’t even know were there and a (mostly) incredible paint job. The figure is not very stable standing on its own, but does come with a base and arm for support. This figure is an incredible likeness of the original Baltan and I’m so stoked about adding him to my collection.
By John Stanowski Originally posted January 12th, 2014 on Kaiju Addicts.
JAPAN RELEASE: MARCH 2012
SERIES: LARGE MONSTERS SERIES
MATERIAL: SOFT VINYL
FROM: “GODZILLA VS. GIGAN”, 1972
HEIGHT: 10 INCHES / 25.4 CM
WIDTH: 5.75 INCHES / 14.6 CM
LENGTH: ABOUT 11 INCHES / 27.9 CM
ARTICULATION: SHOULDERS, HIPS
REVIEW AND PHOTOS: JOHN STANOWSKI
X-Plus made a few Gigans. There is a 30cm Series Gigan in vinyl, a variant with “nighttime” paint scheme, a polystone version and, in 2012, a Large Monster Series (25cm) version. This review is for the latter.
Green, rubbery skin, gold scales, winged fins, hooks and pincers! There’s so much to see on this kaiju and I think this figure got pretty much every detail spot on. It’s a winner!
Gigan’s cyclops visor, as well as the bead above it, is molded in clear, red-tinted plastic. It’s smooth on the outside and has a bubble pattern texture on the inside which shows through to the front. This is a technique X-Plus was to use again on Kumonga. It’s a great effect and it looks awesome.
Gigan has a short row of individually sculpted teeth on either side of his beak which aren’t visible at many angles, further obscured by the side “pincers”. But they’re a nice touch to discover while handing the figure.
The golden scales that run across Gigan’s belly, back and tail are rendered impressively on this figure. It must have been a monotonous task for the sculptor to make every single scale and to take so much care as to give each and every one of them depth. Now THAT’S X-Plus for ya!
The “chest saw”, one of Gigan’s key weapons and distinguishing characteristics looks great on this figure. The spikes look particularly impressive from the side as they recede behind the previously mentioned scales.
The back fins look amazing and true to the suit. I have to say, though, that the “ribs” seem a tad thicker than they should be, and the foldy, wrinkly texture between them seem a bit overdone. The suit did have these wrinkles… just not so many of them. But without nitpicking, the back fins look remarkably like the “real thing”, especially with the crazy-accurate paint job they have.
JOINTS & SEAMS
There are highly visible, doll-like seams at the shoulders and hips, but just like on robotic figures, these make sense. The actual Gigan suit did have “seams” of it’s own in these areas and was part of the design. So no complains there. But there are a couple of real nasty lines which are not inspired by the suit. The neck is a separate piece and a seam can be seen running along the base of it. Because of the gold scale texture in this area, this line is deep and dark. A similar crack can be see where the tail meets the body, also visible because of the scales. Though not glaring, they are still visible enough to make me notice and wish they weren’t there. The only other seam worth mentioned is one between the head and the neck. It’s worked into the sculpt really well and visible only from above. Overall, this figure doesn’t do a very good job of hiding some of its lines. It’s not too good, yet not too bad. And considering how great this figure looks (I like it better than the 30cm sculpt), I wouldn’t let them dissuade you from hunting this one down and adding it to your collection.
Gigan sways his stance ever so slightly to his right. I noticed this for the first time in almost a year while taking this photo. So, the pose is mostly standard yet with a touch of character. And, since the arms are moveable at the shoulders, you’re able to tweak the pose significantly.
THE GREEN & THE GOLD
Gigan’s green is flat and subdued. Again, just the way I like it. It’s looks like a good match to the suit and make the figure more realistic and less toy-like. The scales are gold and only slightly glossy. And because the texture is so deep at the underside of each scale, shadows abound making the whole area come to life with realism.
The rear fins have a ton of paint detail over the “over-sculpted” surface. They are an off, dark yellow with browns radiating out from the back. I’m pleased to report that it is almost scary how well X-Plus completely and accurately reproduced the colors here. A+.
Finally, the silver bits: beak, claws and chest “blades” are a clean, bright silver. I was originally going to write that these areas were too bright and because of that, seemed a bit toy-like. But every Gigan photo I look to for reference just proves that X-Plus did a great job a matching this color. They may still seem to be too bright under the lights of a photography set-up, but on the shelf I think the color is spot on. I just wish they took the time to add some grunge and grit as they seem overly “clean”.
Okay, so the visor is a plastic piece and not painted. But it is a part of the color scheme. It’s molded in a sort of watermelon red which seems to get deeper on both sides, in the “corners”. Lots of reflection and refraction add lots of visual interest here.
SIZEWISE, IT FITS RIGHT IN
At ten inches, the X-Plus Gigan fits right in with other figures from the Large Monster Series. (Pictured left to right: King Caesar, Godzilla 1968, Gigan, Mechagodzilla 1975 and landing stage Hedorah.)
Gigan’s tail is shorter than a 25cm Godzilla’s tail and this immediately makes it easier to fit this guy on the shelf. Because the tail slightly curves to the figure’s right, I display mine on an angle facing the left. This leaves room on the left (from your view) to have another figure fit in beside him. I like to keep the arm closer to the edge of the shelf down low, and the arm further away raised up. This way you see everything and obscure nothing.
RIC BOY EXCLUSIVE FEATURE
The Ric Boy Exclusive version of this figure came with a light-up eye gimmick. I don’t have it, so I can’t show you. But I can tell you that it pre-dates the current light gimmick arrangement which includes a battery pack “dongle” which plugs into the figure. The Ric Boy Gigan requires you to pop the head off in order to flick a switch to activate the visor light.
I’m not a big fan of having a black box stuck in a figure’s leg, but having to pop the head off is far worse. I have the 25cm Ric Boy crawling Baragon and Giant Series Skydon which both require popping off the head. Needless to say I pretty much never play with the light feature on these.
Despite a few crack-like seams, the X-Plus Large Monster Series Gigan 1972 is one helluva figure! Its superb sculpt, myriad of textures and truly excellent paint job make this figure an outright prize. It’s rare but deserves to be hunted down and added to your collection.
I postioned these in a way reminiscent of the scene in Godzilla vs. Gigan where Gigan stands watching Godzilla get laserbeamed by the tower, unaware that Anguirus is sneaking up from the side.
By John Stanowski Originally posted January 1st, 2014 on Kaiju Addicts.
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