X-Plus proved that it’s got the goods at the 2015 Summer Wonder Festival, ワンダーフェスティバル held at the Makuhari Messe convention center in Chiba today (July 26, 2015). And it looks like we’re in store for some fantastic releases in the coming months!
Starting on the left is our first good view of the upcoming Legion displayed with the Large Monster Series Gamera 1996 which you already have (or wish like hell you had now). Further down stands the new Yuji Sakai Godzilla 2000 followed by the Large Monster Series Godzilla 1995 which will hit shelves next month. (Make sure you grab this ’95 now while you can; Destroyah will be arriving later this year!)
This Large Monster Series Legion figure (from Gamera 2: Attack of Legion, ガメラ2 レギオン襲来) looks like it’s going to be a shelf-buster like Biollante, King Ghidorah 1968 and the upcoming Destroyah. It towers over the 25cm Series Gamera 1996 as well it should… but by this much? Time to pop the movie in and have a look.
UPDATE: Here’s a new angle!
Too tall or not, SIGN ME UP RIGHT NOW!
Next up is the Toho Gigantic Series Yuji Sakai Modelling Collection Godzilla 2000. You can get more information on this already discussed figure on my previous post here.
Here, we can get a glimpse of how well this sculpt translated into vinyl. As for those fins: I’m not sure but it seems to be the general consensus on the X-Plus Kaiju Collectors Club Facebook Group, that this represents Godzilla powering up for a blast of atomic breath (which was, indeed, orange in the movie.) We also think that this orange-finned figure will be the Ric Boy version. I say that because…
A more standard, purple-finned version of the X-Plus figure was on display at Yuji Sakai’s table in the same room. Methinks I’ll be gettin’ this one!
Finally, the 50 units of the awesome vinyl version of the Toho 30cm Series Kiryu 2002 Ric Boy (with blue backpack) sold out at the show. The web lottery for the remaining 50 units should start soon. Keep watching the Ric Boy site for that to begin.
Note: I really don’t know the source of these photos since they’re plastered everywhere now. If I used on of your pics, please let me know and I’ll add a photo credit below it.
So, what do you think? Are you getting Legion? Getting Godzilla 2000? If so, which version? Are you preparing for a face-off with Destroyah later this year and getting the Godzilla 1995 next month? Are you going for the Kiryu 2002?
By John Stanowski Originally posted July 26th, 2015 on Kaiju Addicts.
X-Plus just announced a new entry into the Gigantic Series and it’s about bloody time! Meet the Gigantic Series Yuji Sakai Modelling Collecting Godzilla 2000!
This is not based off the suit from the movie Godzilla 2000: Millennium (ゴジラ2000 ミレニアム) but rather a design from conceptual artist Shinji Nishikawa, the man responsible for making the initial designs for many Heisei and Millennium kaijus. The sculpt, of course, comes from the great Yuji Sakai.
I first saw this news when collector Brian Jow posted the photo above on the X-Plus Kaiju Collectors Club Facebook Group. (BTW, if you want X-Plus news as quick as possible, JOIN THIS GROUP! We have agents everywhere!) I do not know which publication this is, but I have some friends in Japan trying to find out. If you recognize it, please contact me and let me know by email or in the comments.
If you want a better look at the figure and have the Yuji Sakai Dream Evolution book, the resin version is on Page 19.
Hell, let’s get a better look now:
Yeah, I’m feelin’ this one! But, keep in mind the photo above is of the Resin version. We’re sure to loose some detail in the vinyl version.
Collector Dell Champagne Martinez used his Japanese powers to translate the text from the original photo. It reads:
X-Plus Gigantic Series Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection Gojira 2000 Millennium. It will be released in September and the price is yet to be determined. Limited sales.
It faithfully reproduces Shinji Nishikawa’s 2 dimensional design with the sharp dorsal fins and rows of teeth, in three dimensions. Height is approximately 400 millimeters. Prototype supervision by Yūji Sakai.
400 millimeters is 40cm, or 15.74 inches. Hmm. Gigantic Series Godzilla 1995 is 18.5 inches tall. This new figure will be about 3 inches shorter than GBG, and only about 4 inches taller than the 30cm Series. But, don’t get so disappointed, that’s still a pretty BIG figure! The higher it is, the wider it is, and the overall more bulk it has. Don’t worry, it will certainly command attention.
Also, note how the tail is raised off the ground; a Sakai trademark I’m beginning to dislike. Looks like this figure will need a base to support the tail like the Gigantic Series Godzilla 2001.
As for price… I’m almost afraid to know what it will be. Gigantic Series figures have hefty price tags. Yuji Sakai Modelling Collection figures also have hefty price tags. Put the two together and I fear we’ll have a price so high that most of us will have significant trouble being able to cover. We’ll have to wait and see.
Oh, and did you notice something interesting? The Yuji Sakai Modelling Collection is no longer confined to the 30cm Series. I wonder if we’ll get even more different sizes in the future. Time to pull out your Yuji Sakai Dream Evolution book and flip through for possibilities.
By John Stanowski Originally posted July 24th, 2015 on Kaiju Addicts.
JAPAN ORIGINAL RELEASE: JULY 2015
NORTH AMERICAN DIAMOND REISSUE: JUNE 2017
SERIES: TOHO 30CM SERIES
FROM: “GODZILLA”, 2014
HEIGHT: (HEAD TO FLOOR) ABOUT 12.75 INCHES / 32.3 CM, (TAIL TO FLOOR) 14.5 / 36.8 CM
WIDTH: (FOOT TO FOOT) 8 INCHES / 20.3 CM
LENGTH (NOSE TO TAIL): ABOUT 17.5 INCHES / 44.4 CM
FIGURE WEIGHT: 2 LBS 4 OZ / 1020 G
REVIEW AND PHOTOS: © JOHN STANOWSKI
The Toho 30cm Series Godzilla 2014 vinyl figure by X-Plus was released in Japan in July of 2015. It’s 12 3/4 inches tall from the top of the head down with a tail that reaches almost two inches higher. This looked cool as hell right out of the box, and after having spent so much time with it for this review, I’ve come to like it even more. I do have a few nitpicks, but they’re not enough to kill the excitement of adding this AWESOME vinyl to my collection.
First, I have to mention that the size of the box is a lot larger than I expected. Because of G’14’s long, curling tail, the box is about 150% wider than usual. Below the 2014 box are a couple other of other boxes from somewhat recent releases.
The box sports a new cover design. Unlike X-Plus’ last attempt at new art (for the Sakai’s), this design is pretty freaking cool. If you’re shopping for this online, or you find this on a store shelf, this is what the box for the Standard Version looks like. If you’re after the RIC BOY version, the box is the same except that the RIC has a round, yellow sticker on it. Inside, as usual, the figure is nested in a plastic shell in two pieces: body and tail.
ADDING THE TAIL
Hmm. Looks like we’ve got a diamond-shape thing going on here. That means not much twisting is possible when attaching it. Fortunately, adding the tail on this guy isn’t as bad as it looks. Just make sure you keep the tail end cool and/or hard while you soften up the butt with a hair dryer. You may have to soften it up more than usual since the leg joints are close to the hole which makes that area a bit less pliable even when heated. Also, note where the back fins meet the tail that there are two layers of vinyl which will restrict movement even more. As Rich Eso always says, “Make it Squishy Soft.”
Even though you can’t fully twist this tail on, you can wiggle a little bit back and forth while you try to get the tail flange securely in the hole and not bunched up. Collectors are reporting this task as both easy and difficult. Make sure it’s easy for you and get that hole on the body really warm and soft first.
Sad to say that this tail joint, like the Gigantic Series Godzilla 1995, leaves a little bit of a gap. It sort of looks like it’s not properly on but I think that’s just the way it fits due to all of the pieces which intersect at this joint. If you see this gap, just push again a little harder, wiggle it back and forth a little and then push even more. When that gap is mostly gone, PUT IT DOWN and let the body cool around the tail while it’s snug. You might also want to try running the joint under cold water to harden the figure while pressing the tail in.
Before you do all of that though, take a look inside the figure and see how it was assembled. You’ll note that both arms and legs have joints the same as the tail (with the only difference being that they were glued and filled after assembly). Knowing this now, you might want to avoid lifting the figure up by grabbing just an arm or a leg.
And now, the figure:
First let me say this: HOLY HELL! THIS FIGURE IS AWESOME!
Next, I’ve only had a little over a year of seeing this Godzilla in action so I haven’t memorized every nook and cranny of the design. I’m relying more on the “image” of this Godzilla in my mind from seeing the movie about 6 or 7 times (often fast forwarding past most of the Aaron Taylor-Johnson scenes and many of the Serizawa gawking / having assistant speak all of his lines scenes (rant over)). And based on the Godzilla 2014 in my mind, this X-Plus sculpt is a Home Run. Well, mostly anyway.
Kaiju-sized kudos to X-Plus for accomplishing such a complex sculpt! Think about it. All Godzilla designs in the past have been suits made by hand. And nothing against them (I love them), but they didn’t really take that long to design and build. But, this guy…
This guy needed to have a plausible animal design to satisfy mainstream audiences while at the SAME TIME needing to appease US as well as 50 years of history! That’s a tall order. This design was pored over. And over and over. There were separate people nailing down the design on every part of his body. The scales alone had 4 CGI artists working for almost 6 months to get all of those textures looking the way they do now. That’s not animating or rendering; that’s just designing!
What I’m saying is, every little part of this design was tweaked and tweaked and tweaked to perfection (or their idea of it). With so many people working on every part of this design, it’s bound to be more complex. The texture of the skin alone is complex changing from square scales to boney plates to pointy scales, etc.
So what’s left for X-Plus’ sculptors to do? Nail every part of this complicated design in clay and vinyl. And, I think they did just that.
I compared this X-Plus figure to NECA’s 24-Inch Head-to-Tail articulated figure which was created using CGI information right from the monster’s 3D model. I used NECA’s figure as a roadmap to the 2014 design and compared the X-Plus to it. And get this: TONS of details, some down to particular scales and fins, are extremely similar — even down to the spacing between these features! X-Plus absolutely took their time and looked at every square inch and replicated it.
What this means is the Toho 30cm Series Godzilla 2014 vinyl figure has crazy-accurate detail far beyond the point with which you’re even aware of! So, just know this: this figure has a whole level of accuracy which you can’t even see. Now, that makes me feel good. I really, really like knowing that the 2014 sitting on my shelf right now is the shit. Once again, X-Plus proves it’s worthy of our devotion.
Ah, the front view. Not crazy about the front view. But that’s a design issue, not a sculpt issue. In fact, I’m not crazy about the front view on this X-Plus sculpt almost exactly as much as I’m not crazy about the front view seen in the movie. So, I reckon’ X-Plus did a devilishly good job of recreating this design in vinyl.
And here we have the flank. Once again, it’s a dead-ringer for the “real” thing, yah? Or maybe… it’s a bit fat? I know this design is intentionally fat, but… I don’t know. I think maybe this sculpt is a tad more bloated than it should be. Look at this photo of a comparison between it and the CGI-derived NECA. Keep in mind that the NECA is shorter. What do you think?
Impressive. Most impressive. I’m not a huge fan of the snouty look on the 2014, but I’m getting used to it. And now I can get used to it with my X-Plus figure because it’s a great replica. I’m totally impressed by the tiny eyes and tiny INDIVIDUALLY SCULPTED teeth. Granted, in close-up photos the teeth can look a bit rounded but… they’re TINY. You don’t see that rounding normally. With the naked eye they look FANTASTIC. I give them an A+. Also note the individually sculpted tongue. Yet another awesome perk feature from X-Plus.
Oh. Not very happy with that mustardy overspray around the mouth. It’s on a bit thick. But, I’ll save the bitchin’ for the Paint Job Section.
Great googly moogly! LOOK at that! I freaking LOVE those crocodilian features on the back of the head so reminiscent of the GMK design (which also lended its “gills”). And they look crazy good on this figure.
Not overly nuts about the wildly diverse and “leafy” patterns hugging the sides of the fins. But my opinion aside, X-Plus nailed those, too.
They also nailed the dorsal fins.
All hail X-Plus!
I really, really like knowing that the 2014 sitting on my shelf right now is the shit. Once again, X-Plus proves it’s worthy of our devotion.
X-Plus says that this pose is right out of the movie, though I’m not sure which scene it came from. It certainly looks like a well-captured standard G’2014 look. And it’s neutrality is a big plus, at least for me. Extreme poses, like the one on that Sideshow statue kind of limit your interpretation of the piece. This pose here… looks good for all occasions.
One little thing I’d like to nitpick on is the position of the tail. It swoops up into the air, no doubt to make room for the figure to fit into an already large box. Thing is, at some angles it sort of reminds me of a scorpion or something. The tail looks alive and ready to stab like one of Iris’ tentacles. Fortunately, you don’t get this vibe when the figure is facing mostly forward.
And one last thing I just noticed which shows the insane amount of attention this figure got: About 3 or 4 inches away from the very tip of the tail is a super slight kink. Almost looks like this Godzilla got his tail slammed in a door when he was a pup. This kink is right out of the movie. Remember right before the bridge scene when Godzilla’s tail towered out of the water over the battleship? You can see this kink there clearly. And now, thanks to mammoth OCD from X-Plus, it’s on the figure, too.
X-Plus… more than meets the eye.
JOINTS & SEAMS
There are no “working” joints on this figure. But, that’s not how the figure started. As I mentioned earlier in the Tail section, peering inside the figure reveals that both arms and legs are attached to the body in the same exact way the tail is. The only difference being that the joints were glued and the remaining seams filled and painted over. Now, collectors seem to be generally happy with this figure as far as seams go. And, I hate to be a whiner, but, I need to do it anyway.
These seams on the legs are hidden only fairly well within the creases and texture of the sculpt. The arms, however, are not so well concealed. With nothing in the sculpt to help hide them, and a flat texture in that area, the arm seams have no choice but to reveal themselves. To me, I see them every time I look at the figure. It’s the fact that I keep reminding myself that this is a vinyl, and this is how vinyl’s can be, which is preventing me from actually getting annoyed with this.
Not helping matters, these over-the-shoulder seams work in concert with the lower neck seam to create a cacophony of lines concentrated in too tight a space. This group of lines together make a sort of tank top pattern with a loop under the neck and around both shoulders. Sigh. At least that lower neck seam isn’t as deep as it was in the early production photos.
There are other filled seams traveling away from the corners of the mouth, and down the side of the neck before angling to loop around the lower neck. This is all a separate piece. the lower jaw itself may actually be yet another separate piece, but if it is, it’s well hidden.
As we’ve seen from the Tail Section, the tail is actually several pieces. Most notably the final segment. I don’t really detect any seams here. But the tail joint itselfisn’t very snug and leaves a gap.
The back dorsal fins are sculpted onto a separate piece of vinyl which is glued onto the back which, as we’ve already seen from the Tail Section, actually has a wall there for added support. Seams running laterally along this piece are fairly well hidden. However, on my figure at least, I have a couple of tiny holes from either a poor fit or a poor filling job. (the same sort of holes which are common on the 30cm Series Gorosaurus 1967). I really didn’t even notice them though until I took the figure out under the sun to get a good look at the paint job. So, if you’ve got them too, they’re probably not very noticeable.
When photos of the X-Plus Godzilla 2014 first started appearing online, I began to panic. Many photos showed an overly vibrant and gaudy belly glowing in bright yellows. If you’ve seen these shots as well, rest assured: what you’re seeing is just crazy phone camera tricks.
In hand, the figure has a very subtle paint scheme. The unsaturated yellows (or tans) on the chest spread out onto the insides of the arms and legs and traverses almost the entire length of the bottom of the tail. This touch of color is pretty much the only thing added over the flat, asphalt black base coat. Very un-toylike, very cool, very X-Plus.
I’m especially glad this yellowish highlight is so subtle because, honestly, I didn’t even know why it was there in the first place. I don’t remember seeing this ‘yellow streak’ in the movie. And, I was perplexed when I saw it coming out on other toys like the S.H. MonsterArts, Bandai and NECA figures. It turns out this coloring is present on Gareth Edwards original maquette as seen below on a page from the book Godzilla The Art of Destruction.
Okay, so the yellow is on the maquette. But I still don’t remember seeing it in the movie. Do you see any dominant yellow highlights contrasting the black in the shot below? (Keep in mind this is a warm, yellowish shot.)
How about here?
I’m not seeing it. I appreciate the fact that it’s “supposed” to be there. But, it just doesn’t show well in the CGI. So I guess what I’m saying is that I wish this coloring was a bit more subdued, as in almost not even there. ESPECIALLY around the snout. Surrounding the mouth is a gaudy spray of the same yellowish color applied to the chest. And there is far too much of it. Again, yes, it’s on the maquette. But I don’t pop the maquette into my DVD player every now and then. The only one who sees that maquette is Gareth Edwards who, I think, got to take it home.
All in all, I’m not against the yellow. They do add a little something to the figure. I just wish there were less of it. Especially around the mouth. If I ever get the nerve to try to find a black paint which matches the figure, I just might drybrush over it.
Lighter shades of the black bring new meaning to word “subtle”. Sparingly applied over the higher elevations on the sculpt, these are true highlights in that they are no doubt meant to use brightness in order to mimic light hitting some of the peaks on the skin texture in the sculpt. They are applied mostly on the sides of the legs and can also be easily seen on the top and sides of the head. You have to really look for them on other parts of the vinyl. But they are there. Seems a lot of effort went into applying a nearly invisible shift in color. Kudos to X-Plus for making that effort. This figure wasn’t just churned out of the paint department. They really worked on it.
The eyes are freakishly tiny on this 30cm Series figure. And, get this, they measure LESS than 1/32 of an inch! And yet, somehow, they managed to add color there without “going out of the lines”. On top of that: they managed to paint ULTRA SMALL black dots to represent the pupils and irises. Once again: AMAZING effort and attention to detail.
MOUTH INTERIOR & TEETH
The mouth interior has a medium, unsaturated red/pink coat which is just enough color to make it look… mouthy, and yet not toyish.
Now the teeth… WOW. I’ve already gone into how TINY the individually sculpted teeth are. But, can you imagine the nightmare it would be for one to paint those? And to paint them realistically? Well, they’ve gone and done just that. They are colored with a bony tan with dabs of overly bright white added to make them stand out. Now, usually I am against bright whites on teeth as they are too bold and unrealistic and toyish. But these practically microscopic dabs of bright white blur into the surrounding colors when viewed by the naked eye. Again, highlights done right. Now you may see photos of the teeth and think that perhaps they look gunky in a Sakai ’89 sort of way, but keep in mind you don’t stand a chance of seeing the same thing with your naked eyes as a good camera close-up could. All in all, teeth are painted surprisingly well.
The claws on the hands are painted fully with an orangeish, bony tan. Very subtle, yet they stand out just the right amount. The claws on the feet, however, did not get the same treatment and were, instead, lightly sprayed at the tips. Not sure if it is supposed to be that way or if this was a creative decision. Either way, I’m actually GLAD the toes were merely misted on the tips with an airbrush. The toes are too large and painting them fully would have made them stand out more.
JUST ADD LIGHT
The overall paint job can look a bit flat in certain lighting conditions. If you want to really make your 2014 shine, just add some hard light and let it play off the insanely awesome skin textures in the sculpt.
It’s big. It’s detailed. It’s accurate. And it’s AWESOME!
Up until now, our best option to have Godzilla 2014 on our shelves at this scale was the NECA 24-Inch Head-to-Tail articulated figure. And so, a comparison is in order. Especially for those non-X-Plus collectors who are trying to decide which figure suits them best.
Right off the bat, the X-Plus vinyl is noticeably taller (and un-riddled with joints), but even coming in over 2 pounds, it’s a lot lighter than the NECA which has a lot of I-must-be-expensive heft to it (even though it’s only around $60).
I suppose the most important comparison should be made against the sculpts. Supposedly, the NECA is built from 3D data from the original 3D model. It doesn’t get any more accurate than that. That’s why I’m comparing the X-Plus to it. And it’s close! At a glance, there’s little difference between the two. Looking closer, the X-Plus seems fatter from certain angles. Most of the differences seem to be found on the head, even though it looks totally fine to me.
For those of you who had been using the NECA as a placeholder for the X-Plus version on your shelves, there’s no reason to discard it now. It’s still a great figure. Put it in a different room. If you have a desk job, take it to work. (Just lay off the roar feature!)
On the left, we have the original King of the Monsters, the Toho 30cm Series Godzilla 1954. And on the right, X-Plus’ newest entry: the Toho 30cm Series Godzilla 2014. At 12 1/2 inches, both are some of the taller figures from the 30cm Series.
Here’s the new guy flanked on the left by fan favorite: the Toho 30cm Series Godzilla 1964 which has a very typical height from this series. The new 2014 stands just a tad taller than the ’64 and most other 30cm vinyls.
To keep the size comparison relevant to recent releases, on the right we have the Toho 30cm Series Yuji Sakai Modelling Collection Godzilla 1991, way shorter than Godzilla 2014, and shorter than any other 30cm Series Godzilla for that matter. (But I think it’s still, hands down, figure of the year with Godzilla 2014 being a contender for second place… so far.)
For those not avidly into X-Plus as a line, but still love to collect the Hollywood Goji figures, this size comparison is for you. Towering in the rear is the Jakks Pacific. In the middle row is the NECA 24 Inch Head-to-Tail figure and to the right is X-Plus. In the front row, left to right: the NECA 12 Inch Head-to-Tail quasi-articulated figure, the Bandai Movie Master Series vinyl and finally the S.H. MonsterArts articulated figure.
FOOTPRINT / ON THE SHELF
The X-Plus Godzilla 2014 is surprisingly friendly on the shelf, assuming said shelf has enough headroom for the 14 1/2 inches of the upraised tail. But, it’s thanks to that upward tail that this figure doesn’t cause any trouble on the sides. As you know, long tails run to the back of the shelf, hit the wall, and force us to pose them at angles (at least on narrow shelves) whether we want to or not. This figure is 17 1/2 inches from the tip of the nose to the back of the curved tail. As usual, subtract 2 or 3 inches if you place the feet right at the edge of the shelf and let the figure’s head hang over the edge. (14 1/2 inches long if you go that route.) Not bad.
The figure’s 8-inch legspan is only a tad wider than what we’re already used to and also doesn’t hog extra space on the shelf.
RIC BOY EXCLUSIVE
I have the Standard Version of this figure so I do not have this mini Male MUTO which comes with the Ric Boy Exclusive Version. I can’t really comment on anything which I can’t glean from the above photo taken by X-Plus. I can tell you that this mini figure is definitely NOT in scale with the main figure, but if placed at the rear of the shelf, you could go for a faux perspective look (as in: it looks smaller because it’s further away.)
I heard this mini MUTO has a nice “sand paper” texture on its wings. And though it lacks the whiteish front from the “real” monster in the movie, it looks like a decent replica.
Overall, I give this figure an A-. It has some flaws: seams, gappy tail joint and mustard moustache. Everything else, though, is FANTASTIC! It’s my favorite Godzilla 2014 figure/statue to date and I think it’s a runner up for X-Plus Figure of the Year. It’s big. It’s detailed. It’s accurate. And it’s AWESOME!
Do you know what would make me flip out right now? A female MUTO by X-Plus. Is it possible? I don’t know. But what do you think about the very idea? Do you want a 30cm female MUTO? Say so in the comments; X-plus looks at this site!
By John Stanowski Originally posted July 18th, 2015 on Kaiju Addicts.
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