JAPAN RELEASE: AUGUST 2014
BLUEFIN SDCC EXCLUSIVE 1999 ° VERSION: JULY/AUGUST 2016
JAPAN FROZEN VERSION: LATE 2016
SERIES: GIGANTIC SERIES
MATERIAL: SOFT VINYL
FROM: “GODZILLA VS. DESTROYAH”, 1995
HEIGHT: 18.5 INCHES / 47 CM
WIDTH: 18 INCHES (TOE TO TOE) / 45.7 CM
LENGTH: ABOUT 34 INCHES / 86 CM
FIGURE WEIGHT: ABOUT 7.5 LBS / 3401 G
REVIEW AND PHOTOS: JOHN STANOWSKI
The Gigantic Series Godzilla 1995 Version vinyl figure is the second entry into this new line from X-Plus. It follows on the heels of the Gigantic Series Godzilla 2001 Version which came out late 2013.
The ’95 was first announced in March or April of 2014 and a troubled production pushed its release date down to July (for the Ric Boy versions) and August (for the standard versions).
The two main things to note about this figure, the one before it, and any to come are their (gigantic) size, and the abandonment of hyper suit accuracy in the sculpt in lieu of hyper stylization. So, if you’re accustomed to having your new X-Plus figures look like they walked right out of the movie, you’ll need to adjust your perception in order to appreciate the artistic exaggerations that capture, instead, the power and spirit of these monsters.
The Gigantic Series Godzilla 1995 is based on the daikaiju’s appearance from the movie Godzilla vs. Destroyah. In that installment of the Heisei series, Godzilla’s radioactive energy rages out of control which turns his body into a walking overheating reactor. Energy forced its way through to the surface of Godzilla’s tough skin and gave him a firey, glowing appearance. Fans and collectors often refer to this suit as “Burning Godzilla”.
For this figure, the rights were acquired to use the sculpt from a previous kit from another company. That kit came with LED lights to illuminate its ‘burning’ skin. X-Plus had originally wanted to do the same for their release, but production concerns caused them to abandon that plan. But even without lights, this figure looks firey enough just the way it is!
As per usual, Godzilla comes in two pieces: body and tail. The tail is reinforced on the inside with hard foam. No doubt if this foam wasn’t there, the thicker part of the tail would tend to collapse with only a squeeze or firm grip. LEAVE THE FOAM ALONE. Don’t try to remove it. You’ll just make a big mess and ruin your figure.
INSERTING THE TAIL
The traditional procedure requires you to heat the body hole with a hair dryer to soften the vinyl. You would then press in the (unheated and firm) tail into the body. But, this process does not seem to work with this figure. I attempted assembly this way the first time. The tail slid in easily, however it then slid out again just as easily. I suspect that the inner flange inside the body, when heated and softened, becomes too weak to grab onto the tail.
Instead, give it a try with NO hairdryer. I left my figure alone in a warm room while placing the tail in front of an air conditioner for a while to firm it up. After that, the tail popped right in, and stayed in. …mostly.
While the tail may seem snug inside the body, it can still come off fairly easily if you tug on it while pulling downward. I have to admit I’m stumped as to why this happens. It may have been designed to do that for some reason. If you look at the photo you’ll see that the flange at the top of the tail does not flare out as it does on the sides and bottom. I don’t know what to say about this. All I can say is that the tail stays put while the figure is on display, and even while carrying it around the house as long as you don’t tug on it.
Note: one collector I spoke to about this claims his tail is “locked” in and doesn’t pop out with a light tug. Here’s hoping you get one of those.
The X-Plus Gigantic Series Godzilla 1995 vinyl figure is Big and Badass!
As already stated, the sculpt never tries to be super suit accurate, but instead exudes a dynamic, artistic interpretation the likes of which you’d find in comic books. Which is okay by me because this thing blew me away when I got it!
It doesn’t totally ignore “reality” because from certain angles it, at a glance, does look somewhat passable as an accurate sculpt. But from most angles, it’s clear this thing is embellished.
It’s like this: the sculpt doesn’t show the Godzilla you see when you look at the TV screen. It shows the Godzilla you see in your mind!
Basically, it’s fat. It’s feet and thighs are too big for its mid-section. And it’s mid-section is too big for its head. Going down: it gets bigger. Going up: it gets smaller. This is reminiscent of what it would look like if Godzilla were actually standing in front of you. He would be large on the bottom and smaller on the top. (Like in the photo above.)
The head sculpt more than aptly captures the essence of DesuGoji’s fierce roar and glare. But, on to the details!
The teeth and tongue look like something you’d find on a high quality resin model and not on a vinyl. The teeth are really pointy and sharp. And the tongue has a ridiculously fine and deep texture. No, these bits are definitely not vinyl. I suspect they are made of hard polyurethane (PUR) plastic like the tongue on the Gigantic GMK was.
Seeing this detail in person, combined with the glaring eyes above it will blow – you – away.
The dorsal fins are sculpted with exaggerated size and are made of sturdy, translucent vinyl with deep textures and are even rough to the very tips. Light from behind the figure passes easily through them.
I could be wrong, but as far as I can tell, most of the body is molded in colorless, translucent vinyl. The asphalt black paint covers the “cooler” skin. I suspect that red highlights are painted (on the outside) onto the higher elevations of the skin texture in the hot spots. And I’ll bet that the dominant yellowish hues are coming from another layer of vinyl inside the body acting like a “double wall” just below the clear outer layer. (I’ve seen this extra wall inside the body before adding the tail.)
However this effect was achieved, the end result is jaw-dropping! Words just can’t describe how awesome these burning patches look in person nor how their appearance slightly changes as you look at them from different angles. And photos DO NOT do it justice! You have to see this in person to really appreciate it.
The sculptor went above and beyond expectations when creating the treebark texturing on this figure. Deep and rough don’t even begin to describe it. You know how I always mention individually sculped teeth? Well, I almost feel I have to say that this figure has individually sculpted skin bumps! No, really. It looks like fanatical care went into every bump and groove. Just touching this thing will set your tactile sensors on overload.
Not much to say here except that the open hands with individually sculpted fingers are really expressive and that the claws have finely etched grooves on them. Other than that, the photos speak volumes about the quality of this sculpt.
JOINTS & SEAMS
There is only one joint and that is where the tail connects to the body. When pressed in, the sculpt lines up absolutely perfectly. However, an ever so slight sliver of a gap may appear along the top of this joint, especially when you pick it up. This is due to the tail not completely locking in.
What seams?? You will not notice a single sloppy seam this figure. None!
But what if you look for them? Okay, if you look hard enough, you’ll eventually find them even though they are expertly glued and filled. They’re really not worth mentioning though, but I suppose in the interest of know where to grab this figure when moving it, I’ll tell you what I saw.
The feet below the knees are separate pieces. Curiously, the tops of the these pieces are not open like the rest of the figure and have solid tops inside. I suspect they may contain extra material to keep the feet weighted down like the Gigantic GMK has. There appears to be a seam running around the waist. there is a peculiar seam running down the back on both sides. Normally, the body is all one piece except for the back strip of dorsal fins. But this dorsal piece extends well out to both sides. There is a tiny seam running over the forehead making me think the whole top of the face is a separate piece. You can’t really see this seam, however, you can and will notice a sudden change in texture complexity on the top of the head. It suddenly stops when it reaches this seam. This is the one and only possible complaint I could have about this otherwise awesome vinyl statue.
Not much to say about the pose. Once again, pretty standard stuff and it looks good that way. The figure’s left foot is slightly further back than its right. The arms seems to be gently swaying to the figure’s right which is logical if it’s taking a step forward with its right foot. Godzilla’s stare is directly slightly toward ground level (shelf level?) and is perhaps 30 degrees from the ground plane. So, this guy is not looking at Destroyah. He’s looking at little, tiny you. Get running.
Godzilla’s tail swoops up and then down again like it’s being tugged on by one of special effects director Koichi Kawakita’s invisible strings. The tip of the tail does not reach the ground like the Godzilla 1964’s tail was apt to do. I think it looks great. …and really Heisei-ish!
Curiously, most of the embellishing stylization is absent from both side views. This is damn near a respectable accurate sculpt!
This figure has a traditional asphalt black for the cool, un-firery areas. And it’s mostly just that, black. The incredibly deep texture in the sculpt, though, adds TONS of highlights and shadows when you add light. As for paint highlights, there are slight dabs of a lighter black brushed on here and there. This highlight paint is glossy and gives the figure super, super subtle glistens. And while subtle in most areas, this highlight color is suddenly applied very liberally on the face which abruptly ends at the nearly invisible seam behind the eyes. You can see this somewhat clearly on one of my Photoshop composites below in the Extras section.
The eyes have vivid yellow corneas with thick black outlines floating on a dark red. These eye colors must be decals because if you zoom into the eyes from a high res photo, you’ll find tiny, notchy lines like those found on a clock. You can see a photo of one eye fairly close up in the Sculpt section of this review.
The lack of noticeable highlights on the black skin is quickly forgotten when you feast your eyes on the fiery reds, oranges and yellows on the burning areas of Godzilla’s skin. Words and photos can not even begin to fully impart how AWESOME this looks. As already mentioned in the Sculpt section of the review, it seems that most of the body is molded in colorless, translucent vinyl and that the base yellow color is actually painted on the inside of the figure! This allows the color to show through but also lets refraction give these areas a crystal like effect. Red highlights are adding on the outside surface where it borders the regular black skin.
The comination of paint, translucent vinyl and deep textures in the sculpt make this figure a feast for the eyes.
The Gigantic Series Godzilla 1995 looks like it’s a head or two taller than the Gigantic Series Godzilla 2001. But they still make for fine shelf fellows since the GMK is leaning forward. If the GMK could suddenly stand up straight, he’d be eye to eye with the ’95. The hands and feet are about the same size on both figures. They look great together. Okay, so who wants to start an entire collection of X-Plus Gigantic Series figures now?
And now a size comparison with… so, who’s this little guy here? Little? That’s the Toho 30cm Series Godzilla 1992! Breaks my heart to see that 12 inch badass 92 look so small! Do you see what you’re in for now if you get into the Gigantic Series?
REAL WORLD SIZE COMPARISONS
For a ‘real world’ size comparison I brought the old soda can back for a shot. Instead, I’m trying something new. To help you completely and utterly appreciate the size of this figure, here are some shots of collectors with their new Gigantic 95’s.
It goes without saying that this figure will demand most of the shelf. That’s if you have a shelf big enough to hold it. It’s 18.5 inches tall and 18 inches wide from foot to foot. And if that were not bad (good?) enough, it’s a whopping 30 inches tall from toes to tail. 34 inches if you go nose to tail. And that tail… it doesn’t curve to the side to let you push it closer to the wall. No, this tail goes straight back curving only up and down.
Finding a place to fit this figure into your collection is going to require some thought and planning on your part and might wind up being a big problem for many. But, like I always say: It’s a good problem to have!
RIC BOY EXCLUSIVE FEATURE
Planning the Ric Boy version exclusive feature for this figure seems like a no-brainer. The exclusive should come with a light gimmick. But as mentioned earlier, that option was off the table. Instead, we got a return to form for X-Plus with the inclusion of a mini figure/prop.
The Ric Boy version of this figure comes with a mini Oxygen Destroyer and it looks suuuh’weeeet! The oxygen destroyer rests on a solid resin base sculpted to resemble the rocky bottom of Tokyo Bay where it was used to dispatch the original Godzilla in 1954. It has a nice texture to it and bears the Godzilla vs. Destroyah title written in katakana. And overly obvious block of legal crap sits below it, much larger than it needs to be.
A nice touch: the oxygen destroyer can be removed from the base!
The oxygen destroyer piece is a reissue of sorts of the one which accompanied the 30cm Godzilla 1954 Ric Boy original release. It’s made of plastic and features a clear tube to reveal the “ball” inside which held a large helping of Dr. Serizawa’s oxygen destroying powder. It also features real metal posts along with nicely sculpted knobs, dials and bolts.
The only difference with this version is that it’s lost all of its shiny, new looks and instead is painted with a darker silver and expertly dabbed or sponged with dark, grungey paint texture to represent 42 years of salt water corrosion. Oh, and the ball is open! It really is a pretty incredible model.
Is it worth the extra cash? That’s for you to decide. Myself, I have to say it’s pretty nice having a miniature of such an iconic device from Godzilla history on my shelves.
GIGANTIC SERIES GODZILLA 1995, 1999 DEGREE VERSION, SDCC EXCLUSIVE (BLUEFIN)
The Gigantic Series Godzilla 1995, 1999° Version SDCC Exclusive was released in the fall of 2016. This version was licensed to Bluefin Distribution in the U.S. and was sold at San Diego Comic Con. Leftovers are being made available to online stores and comic stores.
It came with the tail already permanently attached. The vinyl also featured larger red patches. The smaller, non-translucent dorsal fins are more of a stark white.
GIGANTIC SERIES GODZILLA 1995 FROZEN VERSION
The Gigantic Series Godzilla 1995, Frozen Version, ギガンティックシリーズ ゴジラ1995 凍結ver. was released in the fall of 2016. It featured the same details as the original Japanese release with an added ice effect to mimic the scene where Super X III attempted to freeze the monster in the water.
It came with a mini Super X III.
The X-Plus Gigantic Series Godzilla 1995 (original 2014 release) vinyl figure is AWESOME. I am literally full of awe when I look at it. It may not be uber-accurate and true to the suit, but… it’s AWESOME! And it’s BIG. It’s HUGE! I was never really a fan of stylized sculpts which is the main reason I became an X-Plus groupie to begin with. But the Gigantic Series has won me over. I LOVE this thing!
It has super-detailed, deep textures and looks fantastic with it’s translucent burning patches. And it’s BIG! It totally captures the raw power and spirit of Burning Godzilla and its pretty damn BIG, too!
Wow. Just, wow. Sign me up for the next in the series right now!
NOTE: THIS FIGURE DOES NOT LIGHT UP!
The photos depicting glowing light below are merely Photoshop embellishments meant to celebrate the figure’s awesomeness.
By John Stanowski Originally posted July 28th, 2014 on Kaiju Addicts.
X-Plus King Ghidorah Vinyl Figure Rears Its Heads
X-Plus has just revealed the first image of the much anticipated Toho Large Monster Series King Ghidorah 1968 (東宝大怪獣シリーズ キングギドラ1968)! It’s currently on display at their booth at the Summer Wonder Festival show in Tokyo. The image was just posted on X-Plus’ Twitter account.
It will be a part of the Toho Large Monster Series where most figures are typically 25cm tall (about 10 inches), but as you can see in the photo, the figure looms high above other figures in the series and has wings that teeter over even 30cm figures.
They tweeted that the figure will be available later this year and that it is still pending approval.
New 30cm Godzilla 1989 Figure by Yuji Sakai
But wait! That’s not all! Images ’round the web are showing a sign on the same table showing a new 30cm sculpt of Godzilla 1989 which was sculpted by Yuji Sakai. The image on the sign matches this sculpt (shown above) found on page 28 of Sakai’s book Godzilla Dream Evolution.
An X-Plus figure based on a Yuji Sakai sculpt is a dream come true. But it’s going to come at a steeper price. ¥29,700. (Currently converts to $291.)
X-Plus may have looked like it was falling asleep at the wheel for the past few months, but apparently they were hard at work getting ready to knock our socks off!
No word yet as to pre-order or release dates.
By John Stanowski Originally posted July 27th, 2014 on Kaiju Addicts.
東宝30CMシリーズ「アンギラス（1955版） ゴジラの逆襲」 モノクロ塗装版
JAPAN ORIGINAL RELEASE: 2011
DIAMOND RE-ISSUE: DECEMBER 2014
BANDAI RE-ISSUE: MAY 2015
SERIES: TOHO 30CM SERIES
MATERIAL: SOFT VINYL
FROM: “GODZILLA RAIDS AGAIN”, 1955
HEIGHT: ABOUT 10 INCHES / 25.4 CM
WIDTH (TOE TO TOE): ABOUT 8 INCHES / 20 CM
LENGTH (NOSE TO TAIL): 19 INCHES / 48.2 CM
FIGURE WEIGHT: 1 LB, 4 OZ / 566 G
REVIEW AND PHOTOS: JOHN STANOWSKI
The X-Plus Toho 30cm Series Anguirus 1955 vinyl figure was originally released in 2011, shortly after the Godzilla figure from the same movie. Godzilla Raids Again was the second movie in the franchise and the first ever to include a foe for the title character. Anguirus was that foe and was, if you ask me, the most fierce version of all the incarnations to follow, including the one from Godzilla: Final Wars in 2004. (Yeah, Anguirus was pretty cool in 2004, but rolling around and hitting your enemies with your back while your head and limbs are safely tucked in is as admirable as kicking in a fight if you ask me.)
Despite his badassery, Anguirus 1955, or Angilas if you prefer, isn’t as popular as the suit design which came after it. And collectors most likely have set their sights on going after an X-Plus Anguirus 1968. Fair enough. But there’s no reason to turn your head and pfft at this historical kaiju suit and X-Plus’ beyond awesome vinyl rendition of it. There’s lots to love here, whether you grew up with the movie or you just dig the 1950’s retro thing. The Toho 30cm Series Anguirus 1955 is a prize.
As with (most) other X-Plus vinyl figures, the Toho 30cm Series Anguirus looks freakishly similar to the original suit. As far as I can tell, every minute detail was studied and faithfully recreated in this sculpt. It’s hard to appreciate at first since Anguirus was veiled behind dark, grainy 1950’s film stock quality. But if you compare it to good photos from the film you’ll find that it’s an outstanding likeness.
They got the head right, and from every angle. And, once again, individually sculpted teeth… and lots of them. And even though it lays flat in the mouth, the tongue is also a separate piece glued in on one end and loose at the tip.
The texturing on this figure is just kerr-aazay! Folds of rough skin and scales cover this beast. New collectors: note the sculpted holes in the neck which recreates the holes the suit actor used to see through!
Now about those scales. Holy. Shit. They look like they were sculpted one at a time and pressed into the body. This is in no way a “toy”.
The back is covered with individually sculpted spikes. There was no cheap, easy-way-out sculpting done here. This must have been a tedious labor of love to create.
The tail is a masterpiece of foldy skin covered with the same precisely sculpted scales found on the arms and legs along with more sharp spikes which vary from a quarter of an inch to half an inch long. And, yes, these things can hurt you if mishandled!
JOINTS & SEAMS
Not much to complain about here! The only truly visible seam is around the neck and most of that is cleverly conceiled in sculpted folds of skin. The elbows and knees are all joints which seem to be glued into place and hidden the same way as the neck.
The tail is in 4 pieces. One joint is glued and two aren’t but are tight. The final joint is where it connects to the body and that seam is masterfully hidden by the sculpt. Overall: it seams to be pretty seamless. (Yes, that was a pun).
As for the pose… it’s PERFECT! It literally looks like a snapshot from the movie. Angilas was often balancing on his two rear legs and aiming his front claws and teeth at Godzilla. Even if you don’t recognize the pose from the film, it’s still an awesome position for a monster of a vinyl figure.
And it looks good from all angles. Though its left side is better than its right because of the leg positions. Click on the photos for larger versions.
Doh, I feel so stupid. After two years on my shelf and after taking all of these photos I find out that Anguirus’ tail should curve DOWNWARD. As you can see in all the photos on this review, I have Angy’s tail curving straight up in the air. And why wouldn’t I? That’s how it came out of the box. But X-Plus collector Michael Erickson set us straight on the X-Plus Kaiju Collectors Facebook Group by posting one of the original production photos. It’s clearly pointing down.
Michael told us to line up the spikes. I never noticed but Anguirus has only 3 rows of spikes: one down the top and one on each side. Use those as your guide. There are two joints you’ll need to rotate to get the right look. And right it is! Now it more resembles the tail on the suit as it was tugged on by a wire on the set.
It would seem the X-Plus factory folk rotated the tail out of shape and into a single curve in order to make it fit into the box. Oh well. Now we know. Take note, though, that twisting the tail into the correct position will add a few inches to Anguirus’ overall length. Yeees, he’s even longer now. If he doesn’t fit on the shelf anymore, you could always just put it back the way it was.
…it does wonders to summon up visions from Godzilla Raids Again when gazed upon. It may not be your favorite Anguirus suit, but it is one hell of a figure.
The X-Plus Toho 30cm Series Anguirus 1955 is monochromatic to match his look in the black and white film. The figure is a very light, dusty black; some might say it’s gray.
The eyes, teeth and claws are a super light gray, almost white. And the spikes on its back are a brighter, dirty white. The feathering of this white into the base of each spike is beyond impressive. Also, many of the spikes, especially the crown of them on the head have a nice grungey texture to them.
Subtle highlights are brushed on to the higher ridges on the belly. And perhaps most impressive is the freckling of silver scales on each shoulder. The painters in the factory actually targeted individual scales to brighten. And it looks exactly like it did in the movie.
Now, all of this was done back in 2011 when X-Plus was still trying to prove itself with this line. Let’s just hope that the upcoming Diamond Reissues will have paint jobs which match the quality of the original.
The X-Plus 1950s monochrome monsters. The 30cm Anguirus fits right in with the 30cm Series Godzilla 1954 and 1955. His height is only 10 inches compared to the 12ish of the other two, but remember, Anguirus is leaning forward.
While we’re comparing Anguirus ’55 with Godzilla ’55… One possible annoyance is that, however they’re arranged, these two monsters just don’t see eye to eye. Anguirus almost looking straight up, while Godzilla seems to have set his sights on something at the horizon. It would have been nice if this pair could at least look at each other. But I won’t complain any more. Both of them have perfect poses copying signature moves from the movie and they look GREAT next to each other on the shelf.
And here’s probably the second most obvious comparison to make. On the right is the Toho 30cm Series Anguirus 1968. They size up…..
Uh, hello? Are you still reading?
You’re staring at the ’68, aren’t you? Come on, this review is all about the ’55.
Fine, stare away. I’m moving on.
And, finally, for those who don’t yet have an 30cm X-Plus, here’s a shot of the figure with a DVD to give you a good idea of its size.
WARNING: SHELF HOG
Even with its tail curved up into the air to cut it’s length, this figure is still 19 inches (48.25 cm) long! If your shelves aren’t that deep, you’ll need to pose this guy on an angle (which you’re likely to do anyway). But, if needed, you can subtract 4 to 5 inches off the length if you’re only concerned with keeping his feet inside the edge of the shelf.
If you also have the X-Plus Toho 30cm Series Godzilla 1955 you’ll be pleased to know that you have the option of interlocking it with the Anguirus ’55. I don’t know if it was planned this way or not, but these two figures actually fit pretty damn closely together. Anguirus’ head fits in between Godzilla’s outstretched arms like he’s going for the throat! And Godzilla’s and Anguirus’ arms are all at different heights so they allow for a really close fight!
This kind of set-up is probably only for diehard Godzilla Raids Again fans since it takes up three feet of shelf space.
The sculpt, likeness, detailing, texture, pose and paint job on the Toho 30cm Series Anguirus 1955 is very, very impressive. No, really. This figure is a fine example of the sort of quality you would expect from X-Plus. And it does wonders to summon up visions from Godzilla Raids Again when gazed upon. It may not be your favorite Anguirus suit, but it is one hell of a figure.
By John Stanowski Originally posted July 16th, 2014 on Kaiju Addicts.
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