東宝大怪獣シリーズ 「キングシーサー（1974年版） ゴジラ対メカゴジラ」 少年リック限定版
JAPAN RELEASE: JULY 2013
NORTH AMERICAN (DIAMOND) REISSUE: CANCELLED
JAPAN REISSUE: APRIL 2019
SERIES: LARGE MONSTER SERIES
MATERIAL: SOFT VINYL
FROM: “GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA”, 1974 ゴジラ対メカゴジラ
HEIGHT: (EARS DOWN) 9 INCHES / 22.86 CM
WIDTH: 5 INCHES / 12.7 CM
LENGTH: (HANDS TO TAIL) 8.25 INCHES / 20.95 CM
ARTICULATION: ARMS, HIPS, ANKLES.
REVIEW AND PHOTOS: JOHN STANOWSKI
The sleeping, dog-eared monster King Caesar (Seesar, Shisa), protector of the Azumi Family in Okinawa wakes from his hibernation once again in the form of an X-Plus Giant Monster Series vinyl figure. And wow, did they get this guy right. Sorry to repeat myself again, but it really does look like it stepped right out of the movie! This is what X-Plus is all about!
This figure was originally released in Japan in July 2013. It was available as both a Standard and Ric Exclusive (which came with a mini statue). A North American (Diamond) Reissue was scheduled but later cancelled. A Japanese reissue (April 2019) was offered with no Standard version available. The Ric-only reissue offers light-up eyes.
This review features the original release.
Here’s the part we saw through most of the movie. The head of King Caesar framed in his rocky hibernation chamber. Moving on from the great resemblance, you’ll notice the eyes are a burning orange and must have been molded in plastic. Just below their shiny surface are a series of finely detailed concentric circles. Most of the teeth are individually sculpted. Curiously, though, the front bottom row is not. Hardly something to complain about considering the stellar job X-Plus did everywhere else on this figure.
How do you translate long tufts of knotted fur into vinyl? X-Plus found a way! Each of the long rows of fur falling from Caesar’s mane are detached from the rest of the figure giving them more dimension. There are also six extra tufts of hair glued on to the arms and legs as separate pieces. Awesome job! (I suspect the ‘crown’ over Caesar’s eyes is also a separate glued piece).
The armor-plated scales are very well done. They look accurate and the bottoms raise away from the rest of the body with precision. Some scales actually slightly overlap the ones below it.
JOINTS & SEAMS
As for moving joints, The X-Plus King Caesar has more than a few: both shoulders, legs and feet. Neither of these are likely meant to be moved. The arms don’t have much range to even bother with. The joints at the hips and the ankles are molded to fit snugly in their predetermined position. But you may have to wiggle these to make sure Caesar stands properly.
As for seams: there are quite a few around the mane but are hidden good enough. The seams where the legs meet the body, though, are another story. This is the lowest point for an otherwise fantastic figure. These seams are obvious, distracting and just overall heinous. Traditional vinyl collectors accept this is as just part of the nature of vinyls. But what drew me to X-Plus was the amazing realistic looks these figures have. Seeing these gaping lines at the tops of the legs are a turn off. Thankfully they not visible when the figure is rotated to one side a bit.
Most biped X-Plus figures without long tails usually have some balance issues either immediately or down the road. Some collectors have found that they need to rotate King Caesar’s feet outward to give the figure balance. The feet on my figure are most forward and it stands fine. Either way, it is easy to topple with a poke at the head. And I suspect the summer heat could, if allowed to, soften up the feet enough to make poor Caesar lean forward and take a tumble.
The pose of the X-Plus King Caesar has him facing his enemy and poised for action. The “personality” of Caesar is perfectly captured here. They did as a good a job on the pose as they did with the sculpt. Combined, the two make for one hell of an excellent figure. The only thing wrong with this picture are the ears which should be upright while in battle mode. The standard edition has droopy ears, something they really only did while KC was sleeping.
Awesome paint job! The hair has airbrushed gradients that span dark brown to tan. There are no ‘shadows’ per se (darker colors in the inner grooves of the hairs) but the graduated colors more than make up for that. As for the scales: they pretty much captured a difficult color pretty well. The scales on the suit were a sort of dark brown with a tinge of a purpleish red and the paint on the figure follows suit.
The X-Plus King Caesar vinyl figure is about nine inches tall and fits in very well with other members of the Large Monster Series.
Believe it or not, the X-Plus King Caesar vinyl is almost as long (nose to tail is 8.25 inches) as it is high. Still, as with most biped X-Plus figures, KC doesn’t demand a lot of space on the shelf at all.
RIC BOY EXCLUSIVE FEATURES
The X-Plus King Caesar Ric Boy Edition comes with a few exclusives. A miniature of the King Caesar statue (which actually might have gotten more screen time than Caesar did himself in the movie) is in the box. It’s a great likeness but it doesn’t contribute as much to the figure as the extra set of upright ears!
The ears pop right in and out with just a tug. The figure may have to be warmed up a little in colder climates to make the switch. Both sets of ears have tiny clues in the sculpt as to where they were intended to be adjusted to.
The X-Plus King Caesar vinyl figure comes in the standard Large Monster Series no frills window box. The figure is held in the plastic shell with a single wire tie.
By John Stanowski Originally posted August 31st, 2013 on Kaiju Addicts.
大怪獣シリーズ ジャイアント 「スカイドン」
JAPAN RELEASE: MARCH 2013
SERIES: TOHO 30CM SERIES
MATERIAL: SOFT VINYL
FROM: “ULTRAMAN”, EPISODE 34 “PRESENT FROM THE SKY”, 1967
HEIGHT: 7.25 INCHES / 18.41 CM
WIDTH: ABOUT 7.5 INCHES (FOOT TO FOOT) / ABOUT 19.05 CM
LENGTH: (HEAD TO TAIL) ABOUT 15.5 INCHES / 39.37 CM
REVIEW AND PHOTOS: JOHN STANOWSKI
The head is overall a good likeness though I feel it has overly smooth texturing below the eyes. The entire piece is made of a translucent material which allows the lights from the Ric Boy Exclusive version to shine through. Opaque paint hides the light from emitting anywhere except the eyes. Unfortunately, on my figure, there are pinpoints of light visible is some of the cracks in the sculpt. And though light doesn’t emit from the four horns, their semi-translucent quality gives the figure a nice touch.
Overall, the sculpt is a mostly faithful representation of Skydon. All of Skydon’s features are there and are ‘mostly’ in the right place. Multiple textures make this figure visually interesting. There are brick-like armor plates on the back, rough skin on the sides and legs. There is also the combed line texture on the belly left over from when this suit originally belonged to Gamakujira, the pearl-eating kaiju.
X-Plus’ attention to detail shines for fashioning most of this figure from the actual Skydon suit. The eyes on the Skydon suit were ridiculously out of allignment with each other as his right eye was much higher than his left. The figure recreates this.
However, X-Plus dropped the ball on the tail which is larger than it should be. And to make matters worse, the two spikey horns on the tail seem to be twice as tall as they should be.
JOINTS & SEAMS
The Ric Boy exclusive version of this figure has a removeable head and that features gives you an obvious seam line which runs around the “neck”. From above, this line is only somewhat disguised into the sculpt as it conforms to the shape of the first row of armor plates on the back. The seam is move obvious from below but, thankfully, you don’t really get to seem him from the angle most of the time.
The tail seam is the same as the head. It’s somewhat cloaked on the top by conforming to a row of armor plates and is more visible from below.
The only other seam I can detect runs laterally along both sides above the first row of plates, just above the side spikes. This seam is mostly invisible having been filled at the factory. However, on the figure I have, they “missed a spot” leaving behind what looks like a crack in the body. The seams on the legs are really invisible and you’d have to look really close to find evidence of them.
The pose of the X-Plus Skydon vinyl figure is pretty standard stuff. And that’s fine with me. Skydon was a lazy kaiju and basically was seen as pictured here, or flat on the ground taking a nap.
There really isn’t much of a paint job here on this figure. The teeth are a stark, toy white which probably is appropriate for an early Ultraman monster. The inside of the mouth and the “lipstick” area were painted in a desaturated color that’s sits somewhere between red and pink, but being neither. I like it.
Though not part of the paint scheme, the translucent parts are part of the coloring. The four horns on the head are a bronze color and change appearance depending on the light. The eyes themselves are clear, with black pupils painted on. Inside the domes of clear plastic is a colored material giving the eyes an overall yellowish appearance.
As for the rest of the body from the neck to the tail… It’s brown. Just brown. No highlights, tones, shades, etc. Just brown. There does seem to be some attempt at darker shades here and there, but you need to close out the rest of the world, meditate and super focus on them just in order to see them. So, basically, they’re just not there. And it’s a big blob of brown.
But because this figure has so many deep textures, light plays on it very, very well giving it a ridiculously good amount of highlights. It looks especially good in the sun (though I wouldn’t recommend keeping it there!)
If you like your figures large, then Skydon delivers. He fits in well with the X-Plus 30cm Godzilla figures and is borderline difficult to manage with one hand because of his bulk. As for scaling with the Ultraman figures: he’s really too big for that. They may look okay next to each other on the shelf (see photo below under Ric Boy heading), but scale freaks will likely be disappointed overall.
A good match for the X-Plus 30cm Series Anguirus 1968.
When sized with another quadroped from the smaller line (Gabora), Skydon is significantly larger. Scale freaks will want to keep their Giant Series figures on a different shelf.
From the front, Giant Series Skydon seems to fit in well with this gang of mostly non-Giant Ultra kaiju.
(Left to Right: Gyango – rear, Gomora, Skydon, Red King, Bemular and Gabora. Only Gyango and Skydon are from the Giant Series.)
As with all four-legged figures, Skydon has extra space requirements. His tail goes straight back but is short. His extra Giant Series size though makes him more difficult to place on a standard shelf.
RIC BOY EXCLUSIVE FEATURE
The X-Plus Skydon Ric Boy exclusive version vinyl figure has a light gimmick allowing his yellow eyes to shine just like they did in the television series. Above he is seen beside the X-Plus Ultraman C-Type Standing figure, also with light gimmick.
To get the magic to work you’ll have to pull off the head, flick the switch and push it back in. Groan. The figures already comes ready to go with two LR 44 batteries already installed. You’ll have to be careful though as the inner workings of the head comes in two pieces. The vinyl head is precariously glued onto another plastic piece which the switch anchors onto. These two pieces promptly divorced and came away from each other the first time I removed the head. Luckily it all went back together again for me with no problems. You can try to avoid this yourself by heating the parts with a hair dryer. Probably more so than you would need to add the tail.
By John Stanowski Originally posted August 11th, 2013 on Kaiju Addicts.
東宝大怪獣シリーズ 「クモンガ（1967年版） 怪獣島の決戦 ゴジラの息子」 少年リック限定版
JAPAN RELEASE: JULY 2013
JAPAN REISSUE: JULY 2016 (WONDER FESTIVAL SON OF GODZILLA SET)
DIAMOND REISSUE: EXPECTED JANUARY 2019
SERIES: TOHO 30CM SERIES
MATERIAL: SOFT VINYL
FROM: “SON OF GODZILLA”, 1967
HEIGHT: ABOUT 3.75 INCHES / 9.52 CM
WIDTH: (LEGSPAN) ABOUT 20.25 INCHES (FOOT TO FOOT) / ABOUT 51.43 CM
LENGTH: (FRONT LEGS TO ABDOMEN) ABOUT 13 INCHES / 33 CM
REVIEW AND PHOTOS: JOHN STANOWSKI
Kumonga is one of my favorite things from the movie “Son of Godzilla” and the X-Plus vinyl figure is easily one of my favorite figures. It was originally released in July of 2013 and was re-issued as part of a “Son of Godzilla Set” for Summer Wonder Festival in July of 2016.
I was tempted to say ‘Really, now, how hard would it be to match the sculpt to a giant spider?’ But after reviewing scenes from the movie I immediately saw distinct details that give Kumonga’s form personality. And I actually recognized these details readily because I had spent so much time with the figure for this review. So, if you ask me, X-Plus did an amazing job of capturing this kaiju in the sculpt. It really does look like it stepped crawled right out of the movie!
If I had to find something to complain about, it would be the stubby spikes scattered over Kumonga’s long appendages. In the movie, the giant spider had large thorn-like hairs which were translated to the vinyl as spikey triangles. Granted, it’s not that easy to reproduce this feature in vinyl, and even if they could it would make for a painful handling experience. So, to me, what we got in the end is close enough.
Kumonga’s set of eight eyes are multi-textured and mimic the (real) thing well. The eyes themselves are semi-translucent plastic domes tinted purple or blue. And under the dome is a bubbly texture creating the insectoid compound-eye look. Nice job!
Nice texturing on the body helps to make up for the lack of any highlights in the paint job.
The X-Plus Kumonga is posed on an incline so that the front half of its body is higher than the rear. Both the standard and Ric Boy versions of this figure comes with a base to help him keep that posture. Pictured here is the base that comes with the Ric Boy exclusive version. It’s larger than the standard base and comes with a Kamacuras entombed in Kumonga’s webby spray.
The Ric Boy exclusive base is, in a word, awesome, and, in a way, gives you two kaiju for the price of one (or for the extra price of a Ric Boy). The detail on the giant mantis is sharp, maybe too detailed for something under a coating of goop, but I’m not complaining!
JOINTS & SEAMS
Kumonga is virtually seamless! There are some faint lines here and there around a leg or mandible but this spider’s segmented limbs are covered in ringed lines anyway. The only out-of-place seam is under the spider’s abdomen (the large bulb at the end of his body). There, a round line follows the outer curve of that section. This is curious. It would seem to me that the entire back abdomen section would be molded as one piece but I suspect Kumonga’s entire top half is all one piece, and the bottom half another single piece. Strange choice but they must have had their reasons. Either way, there are no awkward joints or seams killing the look of the great vinyl figure.
The Pose is Meh
With eight prickly treebranch arms you’d think there are a lot of choices to pick from when deciding how to pose this vinyl. In the end, though, what we got is just standard in a cheap rubber-spider sort of way. Okay, the pose is neutral and let’s it fit in the box well. Plus I understand that any interesting pose would likely melt away as gravity would pull down against the spider’s soft legs. Under these circumstances I think X-Plus did a good job. I was surprised to see that Kumonga’s body does not lie flat against the shelf but actually tilts upward. Not bad. But I wouldn’t have minded having a leg on each side retracted a bit more, pushing its spider knees over it’s current three and a quarter inch height.
Kumonga is covered in a flat, one-shade off black and airbrushed with yellow markings. The feathering from the sprayed yellow attempts to mimic the combing of the yellow hairs mixing with the black hairs on the original beast, and it does a good job of creating that illusion. But that’s it; pretty standard stuff.
I wouldn’t have minded seeing some highlights (or shading) to mix up the black a bit. It might also have been nice to get some sandy, dirt splotches sponged into the top side dimples on Kumonga’s back to mimic the dirt he just crawled out of.
On a positive note, Kumonga’s dark exoskeleton has decent texturing on the sculpt off which the light plays, creating real highlights.
Fitting in with the ‘Family’
The X-Plus Large Monster Series Kumonga 1967 vinyl at first seems large when placed with other 25cm series figures but is, as far as I know, in scale with them. I have no other 1967 figures so I placed Kumonga here with the next best thing: his Destroy All Monsters buddies, Godzilla 1968 and Anguirus 1968. Yes, Kumonga looks big beside them. But he’s supposed to be big!
Sizing up to the 30’s
The nice thing about Kumonga’s large size is that it fits in well with the 30cm series figures as well. Here he’s posed with the 30cm series Godzilla 1968 and though the scale may be off, they still look great together.
Size Comparison with other Huge Figures
The final inevitable size comparison would be with Biollante. Both of these figures are in the Large Monster Series and are supposed to be in scale with each other. As for Mothra Imago, Kumonga has pretty much the same width as her wingspan.
Real World Comparisons
One the left is a fully grown adult cat of average size which is a tad larger than this huge vinyl spider. And for those of you who do not have a fully grown adult cat of average size handy, the photo on the right shows the X-Plus Kumonga atop a soda can which should give you a good idea of its girth.
Talk about shelf hogs! The X-Plus Giant Monster Series Kumonga vinyl figure has a ‘legspan’ of a whopping 20 and a quarter inches! This guy is gonna own the shelf! If you are planning to display him on a standard width shelf (like a bookcase), you’ll have to devote most of it to Kumonga. There’s room left for two more biped figures with short tails such as Mechagodzilla, King Seesar or maybe even a Gigan.
Kumonga is about 13 inches from the tip of his front legs to his butt. On a standard shelf, his front pincers may hang over the edge. The standard base adds nothing to this figure’s space requirements. And the Ric Boy exclusive base, though larger, can still occupy the space already claimed by this figure’s outstretched legs.
It is ironic that such a large figure which demands so much space is not even 4 inches tall. Unless you’re creative with some sort of support mechanism to hoist your Kumonga higher, your kaiju skyline is going to get a new dip.
The X-Plus Kumonga comes in a box similar to Mothra Imago and several of the Rodan figures. It’s plain white with black printing. Inside your vinyl kaiju spider lies nested in a plastic shell retrained by a single wire tie. Below the figure rests the base, also held in place with another wire tie.
A Word of Warning
Be careful when trying to pull your untied wire out from around the base. While I was removing my base, the untied, yet still twisted end of the wire didn’t want to come out of the hole in the plastic shell. I pulled a little too hard and, without realizing it, the wire was pressed hard against one of the small spikes on Kamacuras’ back and I wound up nicking it. A spot of glue will save mine, but a little more patience would have saved me the trouble.
Below is a fan video I found on YouTube which has tons of scenes featuring Kumonga. I’ve embedded it here so that you can review it, pause it, and compare it to the photos above.
By John Stanowski Originally posted August 5th, 2013 on Kaiju Addicts.
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