JAPAN RELEASE: DECEMBER 2011
DIAMOND RE-ISSUE: NOVEMBER 2013
SERIES: TOHO 30CM SERIES
MATERIAL: SOFT VINYL
FROM: “GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA”, 1974
HEIGHT: 12.5 INCHES / 31.75 CM (ADD .75 INCHES WITH BASE)
WIDTH: 6.5 INCHES / 16.51 CM (WITHOUT BASE)
LENGTH: 9.5 INCHES / 24.13 CM (TOES TO TAIL, WITHOUT BASE)
ARTICULATION: NECK, SHOULDERS, RIGHT ELBOW, WRISTS, HIPS, FEET.
REVIEW AND PHOTOS: JOHN STANOWSKI
Mechagodzilla first reared his shiny head in an attempt to boost slumping ticket sales in the film “Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla” in 1974. The movie succeeded in generating more money, but not by much. The sequel, “Terror of Mechagodzilla” was the last Godzilla movie until the series was rebooted in 1984. But enough of the somber death-of-a-series talk. The series went out with a bang with a double dose of one of the franchise’s more memorable foes!
Mechagodzilla first got the X-Plus vinyl treatment in December of 2011. Being a limited run, as with all X-Plus offerings, this figure became scarce and collectors watched it’s price tag go up and up.
Enter Diamond Distributors, the folks who stock most of the comic shops in the U.S. and Canada. They struck a deal with Toho which would license X-Plus to manufacture reissues of old favorites for distribution in North America. To learn more, see my post on the Diamond North American Reissues.
The first wave of X-Plus / Diamond Reissues were announced earlier this year and preorders were taken back in April of 2013. After a long wait, Godzilla 1954 and Mechagodzilla 1974 have finally arrived in the hands of eager collectors!
This review covers the X-Plus Toho 30cm Series Mechagodzilla 1974 Diamond North American Reissue, which should be almost identical to the original release.
I have to admit, I wasn’t overly excited about my preorder finally coming through. X-Plus has blasted us with Mechagodzilla this year with a 25cm MG ’74, then a 25cm MG ’75. And then they did it yet again with another 25cm ’74 ‘base’ version! With that mecha-saturation, and the somewhat flat production photos of the 30cm version making it appear ‘simple’, I almost considered backing out of preorder.
I am so, so glad I didn’t. I LOVE THIS THING!
Though I have to admit that it still seems kind of ‘simple’ compared to the 25cm versions. These smaller figures seem more dynamic in the texture department. As you know, X-Plus strives to mimic the actual suit used in the movie rather than a stylized or idealized version. Like Ultraman, Mechagodzilla has a lot of smooth surfaces where the suit just loved to crinkle up with cracks and creases. The sculpt of this 30cm version does have them, but no where near as much as the shorter Large Monster Series versions. It’s this lack of crease detail that makes it seem simple to me. It just seems more “clean cut”. I’m beginning to think that, perhaps, the 25’s actually have too many creases and that this 30cm has it right.
It also seems to be thinner than the 25cm barrels of cosmic fun. Despite these shortcomings, there’s an aura about this sculpt that… I don’t know, seems solid and strong. And it just looks freakin’ amazing on the shelf with my other 30s.
The head boasts a rotating neck joint, hinged jaw for both open and closed poses and yellow, plastic eyes with great texture detail and light refraction. Though, again, it’s seem simpler than the heads on the 25’s with smoother details on top of the snout and on the sides of the neck. A nice touch is a hinged door on the chest which you can open to reveal an energy beam emitter. The door works well and stays shut when asked. I would probably still recommend not messing with it too, too much.
OH, GROAN. IT’S A BASE
One unusual aspect of this figure is the addition of a separate earthy-styled base required for the figure to stand properly. Hmm. Not diggin’ that. Myself, I’d rather the tail swooped down to touch the floor which would allow the figure to stand securely on its own.
I’ve seen photos from other collectors demonstrating that it is possible for the figure to stand on its own, but I imagine that would be a teetering, precarious arrangement. Either way, it’s out of the question for me as my figure has demonstrated zero ability to stand on its own without the base. I do, however, have a solution for those of you who would like to go base-free. Scroll down to the “Footprint” section to learn more.
JOINTS & SEAMS
Seam lines simply are not a factor on this figure because of it’s robot anatomy. And since the tail and body are one piece (with no assembly required) there’s nothing to see in the rear.
X-Plus vinyls are in the ‘statue’ category and usually don’t have articulation. That is, unless it’s a robot where moving joints don’t look at all out of place. The 30cm Mechagodzilla has multiple moveable parts and joints. There’s rotation available in the neck, shoulders, hands, hips and feet. The right elbow rotates also but the left elbow doesn’t seem to. There is also a hinged jaw and the chest door opens to reveal MG’s beam weapon. You may need to employ the ankle joints in order to get the figure to stand properly on its base.
The pose is neither overly exciting nor boring. The feet are spread out enough to create a sense of movement without the over-the-top stance which the 25cm version has. The arms are bent at 90 degree angles. And, of course, the available articulation points give you room to modify the pose. The tail gently moves to the left.
The X-Plus Mechagodzilla 1974 is covered in a base of dark silver with just a touch of gloss. It has darker silver airbrushed in as shadows. Overall, the figure’s appearance may be too dark… but I like it! The MG logo on both arms and the missile launchers inside the mouth are in a dirty red (nice!). The “ears” are done in a more metallic red and the smaller circles within are darkened (something the 25cm versions didn’t have room for). There are traces of red and pale blue highlights airbrushed here and there which are so subtle you have to consciously look for them. Like it!
Some of the Diamond North American reissues of this figure seem to have become deformed out of shape somewhere on its journey from Japan. The figures somehow settled into their packaging and come out warped into a curve, as if they were all leaning to one side.
See my separate article “Leaning Mechagodzillas And How To Fix Them”.
The X-Plus 30cm Series Mechagodzilla 1974 is a little on the tall side. Though it seems a perfect scale match with this 30cm Series Godzilla 1954 (also part of the first wave of Diamond North American reissues), Mechagodzilla is a tad taller than all of the other Gojis in the line. And he gets even taller (about three quarters of an inch) if you place him on his base.
Despite being on the tall side, Mechagodzilla still has to look up to the X-Plus 30cm Series Hedorah, as do most other figures.
Sorry, Kiryu. You may be sleeker and more advanced, but this 1970s barrel-chested retro space robot seems to be bigger than you! Actually both figures are 12.5 inches tall. Kiryu is actually a tad shorter if you measure by the top of their “skulls”, but it’s that fin on the top of Kiryu’s head that’s reaching up to the 12.5 inch mark. Also, heads on Showa suits seem to be larger in proportion to the rest of their bodies than the Heisei and Millennium suits and I think in this case that’s making MG ’74 seem even larger.
And for Mechagodzilla fanatics who have to have ’em all: here’s what the 30cm Mechagodzilla 1974 looks like beside its 25cm counterpart as well as the 25cm 1975 version.
For those who have yet to get their very first X-Plus 30cm figure and need a better sense of size besides reading numbers… Here’s the MG reissue beside a DVD, an iPhone and a Chogokin Mechagodzilla 1975. Yeah, looks like the X-Plus MG can kick that iPhone’s ass.
Even with its base, the X-Plus 30cm Series Mechagodzilla 1974 doesn’t ask for extra room on the shelf. You can thank the shorter tail.
GO BASE-FREE WITH THE TAIL LEAN
Mechagodzilla is already on the tall side. And the included base pushes it up higher by another three quarters of an inch. If this bugs you, then don’t use the base! Mechagodzilla’s tail does not touch the floor, but it is the perfect height for resting on the tail of a nearby Godzilla. In the photo above, my Mechagodzilla is getting support by way of a Godzilla 1984 tail. It works great and the figure is surprisingly stable. And it now looks more in line with the other figures.
Scroll up to see this ‘tail lean’ in action in the first three photos of the Size Comparison section.
The X-Plus Toho 30cm Series Mechagodzilla 1974 Diamond North American Reissue comes in the same box as its 2011 predecessor. The only difference is the “Previews Exclusive” logo printed on the box art. This should serve as a guide for aftermarket figure hunters trying to identify items found on Ebay and other sites.
Another difference is that the warning labels on the back of the box are printed in English. Finally we get to see what all those kanji and hiragana were going on about! (Click the photo above for a larger view which you can read.) The brief instructions found inside the box are also printed in English.
Despite the need for a base, the potential to receive a warped figure and the barrage of other Mechagodzilla figures offered this year, the X-Plus Mechagodzilla North American Diamond Release — or the original 2011 Japanese release — is pretty badass indeed. It’s a great likeness and it will break up the monotony of dark skin on your 30cm shelf. Get it! Get it noooow!
By John Stanowski Originally posted November 28th, 2013 on Kaiju Addicts.
Today was Box Day for me, but my elation soon deflated after I liberated my new Toho 30cm Series X-Plus Mechagodzilla Diamond Reissue from its box. The entire figure was deformed and sort of curved toward one side. Mechagodzilla is supposed to look badass, yet here he is leaning over in an apparent druken stupor after a night of too much sake.
I had heard complaints of “leaning problems” from other collectors. And now, I was seeing it in person. Needless to say I was somewhat annoyed, especially considering the big price tag on this figure.
The base gave a clue as to what the main problem was. I placed the figure’s left foot directly into the footprint left for it. As you can see, the figure’s right leg and foot were squooshed inward and the right foot was totally missing the mark. This is what must be causing the “lean”.
Moving my eyes up to the right leg hip joint, my suspicions were confirmed. There lie a gap wide enough to drive a Maser Truck through! Here is another angle.
The head (shown above) and torso were also leaning to the figure’s left side.
Since everything which was amiss was pushed toward the left side, it seems pretty clear that this soft vinyl figure “melted” into the plastic shell it was tied into for shipping. And it’s happened to enough of these Mechagodzilla reissues to generate some chatter online. Collector James Martinez took a double hit with this problem when he opened his recently shipped X-Plus Godzilla 1962 and Kiryu (which you can see below). They both had bent fins which were pushed out of place by the packaging.
Okay, enough complaining! How do we fix it?
I learned a while ago (from the X-Plus addicts at the X-Plus Kaiju Collectors Facebook Group) that simply blasting the figure with hot air from a hair dryer would fix most problems. I also heard that there’s some kind of mystical molecular memory which is supposed to kick in and return your warped figures back into their original shapes much like blowing up a pool float.
I gave it a try. The figure became soft enough to allow reshaping, but it didn’t move back into position on its own. I squeezed and pulled the figure a little in all directions to help make it forget it’s previously warped position and then used the base as a guide for where the feet should be. I then let it cool and, voila!
My X-Plus Mechagodzilla now stands straight, tall and proud!
And, as you can see, the feet now stand properly in the footprints left for them in the base. Plus, the gap at the right leg hip closed right up.
Since the cocked head didn’t have anything like the base to help keep it in its corrected pose, I just heated it up, and held it straight while I ran it under cold water. Bam, fixed!
So, before considering sending your warped Mechagodzilla Diamond Reissue back for a replacement, give this a try!
EXTRA: THE KAIJU EASY BAKE OVEN
X-Plus Collector Dan Mason said, “When reshaping an entire figure instead of just one area, I get a box that’s about the right size for the figure, cut a hole for the blowdryer on the side and cut a smaller vent hole next to it. Point that blowdryer into the box for a while and soon the whole figure will be warm and ready for reshaping.”
By John Stanowski Originally posted November 26th, 2013 on Kaiju Addicts.
KaijuCast Controller, Kyle Yount was recently in Osaka, Japan where lies X-Plus headquarters. Kyle got a tour and a great interview with Gee Okamoto and Kazuma Matsubara which he has just posted on the KaijuCast YouTube Channel. Watch the video to learn about the history of X-Plus, what “RIC” means, where’s King Ghidorah and more!
By John Stanowski Originally posted November 15th, 2013 on Kaiju Addicts.
JAPAN RELEASE: OCTOBER 2013
JAPAN RMC RELEASE: SUMMER 2014
JAPAN WONDERFEST REISSUE: SUMMER 2014
NORTH AMERICAN (DIAMOND) REISSUE: SEPTEMBER 2016
SERIES: TOHO 30CM SERIES
MATERIAL: SOFT VINYL
FROM: “GODZILLA X MOTHRA X MECHAGODZILLA: TOKYO SOS”, 2003
HEIGHT: 12.5 INCHES / 31.75 CM
WIDTH: 7.25 INCHES / 18.4 CM (TOE TO TOE)
LENGTH: 13.75 INCHES / 34.9 CM (TOES TO TAIL)
ARTICULATION: SHOULDERS, LEFT ELBOW, WRISTS. (BOTH ELBOWS ON RIC BOY VERSION.)
REVIEW AND PHOTOS: JOHN STANOWSKI
The third incarnation of Mechagodzilla, Kiryu (Machine Dragon), is a shiny, giant mecha built around the original Godzilla’s bones which first appeared in “Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla” (2002) and again in “Godzilla x Mothra x Mechagodzilla: Tokyo SOS” (2003). A while back, X-Plus released the 2002 version of Kiryu as a Real Master Series resin statue which was pricey and fragile. I used to daydream of a re-release of this figure in vinyl. And then, just as I had started to forget, X-Plus came through and announced a vinyl release of the 2003 version!
This release wound up being delayed and the usual month long stretch of anticipation was doubled. But now (cue heavenly-sounding chorus), the X-Plus Kiryu 2003 has finally arrived.
NOTE: This review is for the standard version of the new X-Plus Kiryu 2003 Vinyl Figure. While I do like the backpack and arm gear on the Ric Boy exclusive version, I was under the impression that it was not detachable. And since I had to choose one, I chose the standard version because that’s how we see Kiryu most of the time and my personal preference. See Rich Eso’s video review to see that version (link below).
And now feast your eyes upon Mechagodzilla 3… a.k.a. Formula 3 Machine Dragon… a.k.a. Kiryu.
For some reason, the X-Plus Kiryu box does not come with the usual 30cm box art and instead looks like a re-issue or Wonderfest box. Note that this is the box for a Standard version figure. The box for a Ric Boy version will have a thin, black sticker attached below the title on the front. Inside, Kiryu is tucked into a plastic shell and held in place with several wires. If you’re not a box keeper, don’t forget to pull out the extra Drill Hand taped into the middle of the shell!
Well, this is new. Instead of the usual hole in which a tail need be inserted, the Kiryu figure has a “nodule” (or a super scientific term would be “nubby”) which needs to be pressed into a hole at the end of the tail. In this case, I actually like it. Works good. I would suggest heating the hole in the tail (just the ridges inside the hole; not the whole end of the tail). It worked best for me when I heated it just a little. I suspect that if it were overly warm and squooshy (another scientific term) that it might work against you since the ridges wouldn’t have a pressing need to spring back into place. Just support the body, push and twist. X-plus reviewer, Rich Eso, suggests grabbing the tail end by running two or three fingers inbetween the tail’s spines when doing this.
The biggest thing that worried me about a vinyl version of Kiryu was whether or not X-Plus would do a good job on all of the machine details. Sure, they’ve done several Showa era Mechagodzillas before, but that guy didn’t have the smooth symmetry that Mechagodzilla 2 and 3 had. It turns out that there was NOTHING to worry about.
Every panel, shield, groove, pipe, piston and bolt is captured amazingly well in the X-Plus sculpt and brilliantly duplicated in soft vinyl. And since this figure is based on a robot, it must have been easier for X-Plus to make more pieces that usual — but without the lines! It’s hard to tell what was molded together and what was glued on. The eyes are molded in clear, yellow plastic with a line texture on the inside. Another fantastic touch is the individually molded black cable on the sides of the head and also at each hip. There are SIXTY-SEVEN little mini-dorsal plates on the tail alone!
Throughout the body, tucked under the openings at the joints in the shiny armor is the black, fibroid innards with incredible line detail.
Even the bottoms of the feet and tail are busy with detail! This is the X-Plus advantage!
The standard version of the X-Plus Kiryu figure comes with an alternate Drill Hand, the weapon which finally ended the fight with Godzilla in the movie. I found it interesting that a standard edition was given an extra feature; that’s usually something only the Ric Boy versions get. (See below for Ric Boy version details.)
While I’m on the subject of hands: they’re very soft, squooshy and thin. If you pop the right hand off and look inside, you’ll see just how thin they are. Also a good time for me to mention one gotcha about this figure. The right hand is really loose and could simply fall off if brushed. (In fact the hand was detached on my figure when I first unboxed it.) When handling or moving your Kiryu keep this in mind lest ye drop and misplace a hand.
RE-ATTACHING THE RIGHT HAND
The super thinness and squooshyness of the right hand makes it difficult to insert back into the forearm; it just crumbles under the pressure. When I had to re-attach the right hand I first placed it in the refrigerator for five minutes to let it get stiff. I then heated the front of the forearm and brought them together.
JOINTS & SEAMS
There is no need to discuss seams since lines fit right in to the robot motif.
As usual, the tail is a separate piece and is further comprised of three parts. Each of these are not glued and have wiggle room, but they are not meant to be twisted or rotated. The body/tail joint is a perfect, flush fit. However, on my figure, it tends to pull away from the body on the bottom of the joint when standing on its own.
Kiryu has a pretty standard pose, but it’s mostly a good one. He stands tall and straight with his feet level (no stepping motion). It seems to have its “shoulders back and chest out” and looks sturdy and formidable. Click on the photo above for a larger, hi-res view (as with all other photos on this page).
The only disappointment with the standard figure is the default position of the arms. When relaxed they seem to be in a typing pose. When raised at the shoulder they look like a knitting or a getting-a-manicure pose. Either way, it’s not very kaiju-like. A far cry from the arm positions shown in the early production photos.
Kiryu has articulation in the shoulders and hands. And, though stiff at first, the right elbow also rotates.
THE LEFT ELBOW
I’ve noticed that my figure will allow me to rotate the left elbow. It doesn’t do this without complaining, and every time I do it I wonder if I’m about to break it. It seems X-Plus didn’t want you to rotate this joint for some reason. And I suspect they did this by making the joint inside shaped like a square. I don’t know this for sure, and I’m not about to pull it off to find out. But when I wrestle with the left forearm and rotate it, it fights back, but it does move. And after about 90 degrees it suddenly finds a new “place” it like to be. That’s what made me think of the square joint. Just to be clear: the black elbow piece does NOT move. It is GLUED to the bottom of the upper arm. If you attempt to rotate the left arm on your STANDARD Kiryu, press and hold the elbow to minimize pressure on the glue seal. Doing this doesn’t really accomplish much except making the arm straighter. I’ve decided to stop messing with it and just leave it in it’s standard position.
Ignore all of this if you have the Ric Boy version which has elbows that move freely in any direction.
The X-Plus Kiryu vinyl is covered in a base coat of glossy silver that’s just right. It’s not overly shiny (like the S.H. Monsterarts Kiryu) and the light loves to play off its surface with lots of speculars. They also did a fantastic job of airbrushing soft, super-subtle shadows with an ever so slight darker silver which, combined with the speculars make this figure look AWESOME.
The ‘fiber’ surfaces lurking beneath Kiryu’s armor at all of his joints (waist, thighs, knees, tail segments, etc.) were given a lot of loving attention. After being covered with a base coat of black, all of the elevated fibers and lines in the sculpt were brushed over with a dark silver to create a visual texture on top of the one in the sculpt. OUTSTANDING!
The figure also has a few extra colorful details such as markings and emblems. The “warpaint” arrows on both cheeks are overly hand-rendered and splotchy unlike the perfect red triangles on his arms and knees and the MFS-3 logo on his chest.
I started this X-Plus review site to try to help spread the word on this great line of vinyl figures, not to complain or point out flaws. But another reason I started this site was to provide the kind of information I was seeking when I first discovered these figures. And since this figure has a hefty price tag, I feel the need to go on a little mini rant about the lack of quality my figure seems to have received on the assembly line.
The jaw on my Kiryu figure leans to one side and is very obvious when viewing it from the front. I tried to nudge it back into position but it’s been glued in and wants to stay where it is. Same deal with the neck. The factory folk glued the bottom of the neck in on a slight angle and his head kind of tilts to his left. On the bright side, both of these are not noticeable from the side view. Also on my figure, the three doors which lead to the Triple Masers buried in the chest is one piece… and was glued on crooked enough to bug me. But the left shoulder is the worst offender. Over the left upper arm is a dome shaped shoulder piece… and it was glued on crooked. Now this is one flaw that’s highly visible.
Finally, after attaching the tail on my figure I noticed right away that it swoops down LOWER than the plane the feet are meant to stand on. Either that, or, the lower legs were glued to the knees improperly. Bottom line, when I place my figure on the shelf, the tail pushes the figure up slightly so that its heels are off the ground. This force also pulls slightly at the tail joint and there’s a sliver of a gap on the bottom.
All of these problems were on the particular figure that I received. That’s no guarantee that if you get this figure that yours will be the same way. Reviewer Rich Eso has reported that his Ric Boy version is perfect. I still felt the need to mention these problems to alert you that should you go after this figure you’d be playing a game of X-Plus Roulette. I also want to point out that, despite all of these flaws, this figure is still AMAZING and if I had the chance to buy it again, I would.
Collector James Martinez originally posted these photos of his new Kiryu figure at the X-Plus Kaiju Collectors Facebook Page showing how numerous fins were significantly curved out of shape. Luckily, for me, my figure did not have this problem anywhere near to this extent. But while I was untying the wires in the back of the plastic shell which the figure ships in, I could see what happened to James’ figure. The fins were touching the shell as there wasn’t enough room left for them. Still, not bad though for a figure with over 60 small, thin fins on the back and tail. I’m just glad they were able to make this figure in vinyl.
It all worked out in the end for James, though. He heated them with a hair dryer and nudged them back into their intended shape.
At 12.5 inches the X-Plus Kiryu vinyl figure fits in perfectly with most of the rest of the Toho 30cm Series. Most importantly, it looks great next to its foe, the X-Plus Godzilla 2003 which was released three and half years ago. It was a long wait, but these two are finally ready to tango! (And for those of you who missed out on the original release of Godzilla 2003, you’ll be glad to know that it was re-issued late December 2013 / early January 2014 as a Ric Boy with light-up fins. It’s also going to become available again as a standard re-issue in North America in 2014.)
If you have yet to get your first 30cm Series X-Plus figure, knowing that it’s 12.5 inches helps but doesn’t really illustrate its size. The photo on the left shows the Kiryu vinyl beside a DVD and iPhone for a sense of scale. And on the right a photo for those collectors who think their S.H. Monsterarts Kiryu is enough Kiryu for one collection.
It’s 13.75 inches long yet isn’t much of a hog on the shelf. Placed at an angle, the tail easily slips behind its nearest neighbor.
RIC BOY EXCLUSIVE FEATURES
The X-Plus Kiryu Ric Boy version comes with the Back Unit and Arm Units. The Back Unit does come off as a separate piece. The Arm Units, however, are glued into place. This version also has freely-moving elbows for easier articulation. See Rich Eso’s video review for more information. (Link below!)
By John Stanowski Originally posted November 11th, 2013 on Kaiju Addicts.
JAPAN RELEASE: OCTOBER 2013
NORTH AMERICAN RE-ISSUE (DIAMOND): JULY 2016
SERIES: TOHO 30CM SERIES
MATERIAL: SOFT VINYL
FROM: “GODZILLA VS. SPACE GODZILLA”, 1994
ゴジラ VS スペースゴジラ
HEIGHT: 14 INCHES / 35.5 CM (TO TOP OF SHOULDER CRYSTALS)
WIDTH: 8.5 INCHES / 21.5 CM (AT THE SHOULDERS)
LENGTH: 18 INCHES / 45.7 CM (NOSE TO TAIL)
REVIEW AND PHOTOS: JOHN STANOWSKI
Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla (1994) wasn’t a shining point in the movie franchise but it did provide an interesting foe. Who better to battle Godzilla than a copy of himself? Sure we got a taste of that with 1974’s Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla but that just turned out to be a poser or sorts. Space Godzilla is the real deal. And while he may not be the most imaginative kaiju, he still managed to have a distinctive look which is (mostly) faithfully reproduced in this new vinyl figure by X-Plus.
One of the first things I hear from other collectors is: ‘he’s fat’. But is it really? Well… sort of, yeah. It’s actually difficult to get a good look at the details on Space Godzilla in the movie with all of the smoke and energy weapons fire, but I did get good peeks here and there. The figure seems to be too wide from the front. And its thunder thighs from the side view offend authenticity even more. I’m left wondering what visual sources the sculptor used as reference. Is it possible he had good, clear views of the suit from production photographs? Could it be that SG just appeared to be thinner because the wide angle lens on their film camera on the set squeezed the image inward ever so slightly? Who knows? It looks like the X-Plus Space Godzilla is on the chunky side.
Here’s a side by side comparison. They do seem to be equally chubby. But note the groove across the belly on the figure. This groove is not there on the movie still which makes me think the suit actor is hunching forward making him look fatter. What do you think?
The dorsal crystals on the back are thicker than they are on the suit. They’re also ‘spread out’ more. In the movie, they were closer together more like standard Godzilla fins. Usually, details like this bother me. But everything else about this figure is so awesome that I find myself look on the positive side. I love this thing!
There are a lot of nice textures on this figure. Most notable are all of the tendon-like grooves than line his front section from throat to groin. The sculpt where the body starts to blend with the shoulder crystals looks awesome.
I’m particularly fond of the head on this figure. It just looks great from all angles! Every one of those tiny teeth are individually sculpted.
The dorsal fins on Space Godzilla are comprised of crystals. For these, X-Plus used a very translucent, almost clear, material. These would be perfect for lighting with LED lights, but even the Ric Boy exclusive verion’s light gimmick only extended to the shoulder crystals and head “crown”. Why, then, did they use this material? Even though they don’t light up, they do allow some light from the room to pass through them. You can also see some crystal-like refraction from inside them.
While this material is a nice touch as far as adding a new ‘texture’ to the figure, their fragile nature worries me. These fins are very thin, squooshy and bendable. If you ask me, they seem kind of cheap-looking since they clearly look like plastic and have hardly any paint applied except for near their bases where they are individually glued into the back.
The material used for the shoulder crystals is different and looks much nicer. I wished they used the same stuff on the fins.
One nice touch, though, is that the crystal fins on the tail piece use the same material as on the back. This would have been a good chance for X-Plus to save money and just mold them in vinyl and paint them white like they did on the crystals at the tip of the tail which does look different. Instead they took the extra steps to keep up appearances.
One final note on these: While reviewing this figure I found a scratch on one shoulder crystal and another on a dorsal crystal. I don’t know if this happened in the factory or if I’m the guilty party. But it’s clear that they scratch easily.
JOINTS & SEAMS
As far as I can see there are eleven different pieces (not including the head crown and individual dorsal crystals) and a myriad of seams to go with them. In standard viewing conditions only one sticks out and that runs around the neck just below the head. The neck, shoulder crystals, shoulders and upper chest comprise one piece. The seams where the arms are glued in are visible but are occur at natural creases in the suit. The feet, I suspect, are separate pieces but the seams are filled in well. (Don’t slam him down on the table!)
Viewed from behind there is a visible seam around the back piece to which individual dorsal crystal (made of another material) are glued. There is an unsightly intersection of seams where the back piece meets the shoulders which is not a problem from most display angles. The tail joint seam is acceptable on the left side but is, however, not flush on the right side and has a visible “step”. The strip on the back which holds the spines doesn’t quite make it all the way down to meet the tail so there is a small gap there.
I’m not complaining as most seams are out of view under normal viewing conditions.
Nothing fancy here. The X-Plus Space Godzilla is posed into a simple stance with even feet and claws reaching slightly forward. Not that that’s a bad thing since that’s how he appears in most of the movie. His head does seem to lean forward slightly like he’s unfearfully staring down Godzilla. A+, X-Plus!
(Click on the photo above for a high resolution view, as with all other images on this page!)
X-Plus did a great job on Space Godzilla’s bluish black skin color. The end result has only a tinge of unsaturated blue. It comes off looking realistic and very un-toy-like. There really aren’t any differing shades of the blue in the form of highlights or shadows. But there are super dark reds brushed in on the legs, thighs and sides of the tail.
A sort of blood red is brushed over the higher elevations in the texture of the throat, chest and (groin?). It doesn’t clash with the bluish black and just looks good, good, good. If you look closer you’ll find some extra effort put into placing red in veinish, lavaflowish cracks around the shoulders under the crystals. And even subtler red is brushed along the bottom of the tail. Not bad attention to detail for an area you hardly see! Great job!
The eyes are comprised of large black pupils are surrounded by a ring of firey orange which in turn floats on red ‘whites’. You can only appreciate the details here if you look closely. From a distance the eyes just look dark with a slight touch of orange. The mouth is a deep, dark red with off-white teeth. The tusks and claws are white with redish, purpleish color fanning out from the cuticles. The toes are a super glossy pearl white, and a little too bright and shiny in my opinion.
The head crown is molded in a clear, gold material. The dorsal crystals are mostly unpainted translucent plastic. While it gives off a crystal ‘vibe’ in contrast to the rest of the figure, they all seem ‘cheap’. The rest of the smaller ridges running down the tail are painted a glossy, pearl white with tinges of red.
The X-Plus Space Godzilla is noticeably taller than the X-Plus Godzilla 1992 (closest thing I have to a ’94). Some say that Space Godzilla was taller than Goji in the movie, but this seems to be pushing it. I reviewed the movie again and there were two scenes where the two monsters went nose to nose. In the first scene, Space Godzilla was, indeed, taller than Goji, but not by as much as seen in the photo above. In the next scene they were somehow mysteriously level with each other and appeared to be the same height. In the end it’s overly obvious that Space Godzilla is definitely larger than most other figures in the Toho 30cm Series.
Here’s a size comparison with the X-Plus Godzilla 2004. Would you believe both figures are in the Toho 30cm Series?
And for those collectors who have yet to get their first X-Plus vinyl, here’s the new Space Godzilla amid an array of common household items. (Common to most Godzilla fans, anyway.)
To sums things up: it’s big.
Big figures are always a challenge when trying to find space on the shelf for display. And the X-Plus Space Godzilla isn’t going to make things any easier for you. It’s 18 inches long from nose to the backmost curve of the tail. But for the shelf we only need concern ourselves with the distance from the toes to the tail and that still requires a whopping 15 and a half inches! To make matters worse, the tail curves and then swings forward again. This makes it difficult to get another figure close to Space Godzilla’s right side. Well, I’ll leave this problem with you to handle. This is the price we pay for big figures!
RIC BOY EXCLUSIVE FEATURES
The Ric Boy exclusive version of this figure comes with a light gimmick. Nested deep inside the figure lay wires and LED lights which make the shoulder crystals and head ‘crown’ glow.
The shoulder crystals look awesome when lit. The frosty, translucent material used diffuses gentle illumination perfectly and they look great with and without the light. The problem is the light is way on the faint side. You’ll need to carry your new Space Godzilla into the shadows or turn off the light to fully appreciate them.
The golden, crystal crown atop Space Godzilla’s head, on the other hand, glares like a hyperactive lighthouse. In my opinion, it’s too bright.
And then there’s this: pinpoints of light speckled over the shoulders creep out unexpectedly through the paint. It would appear that the shoulder crystals, shoulders, neck and chest are all one piece made from the same translucent vinyl. The bluish black paint over the skin was intended to conceal the light emanating from within, except in the crystal area. But on my figure, the paint runs thin in some of the cracks and crevices in Space Godzilla’s textured skin.
(The light leaks don’t photograph easily. In the photo above I used a very long exposure so that the leaks would show up. The result above is very close to what it looks like to the eye.)
While this is obviously a mistake or lack of quality control, in a way it does look kind of cool, even if it isn’t accurate. In the end, I’m not really complaining because I know that I will rarely use the light gimmick, if at all. I’m just happy enough to have this awesome, huge hunk of Space Godzilla awesomeness.
The X-Plus Space Godzilla box is huge! It’s 16.5 inches tall and 16 inches wide. If you order this guy through the mail, expect an even bigger shipping box! As usual, the figure inside lays wire tied into a plastic shell with plastic sheeting covering most of the sensitive parts and extremities. The tail comes in two pieces.
ATTACHING THE TAIL
If you’ve ever wondered where Godzilla’s butt is… Alright, enough of that. Pictured above is the main tail joint and I have to say this was one of the toughest assembly jobs I ever encountered. I usually heat the butt end of the figure with a hair dryer until the vinyl is very soft and squooshy. With the tail still firm, I then hook one side of the flange into the hole and then squeeze, push and twist until it’s attached. As you can see by the none-round shape of the hole, twisting had limited effect. After three attempts I got it in. Hopefully you’ll have an easier time that I did.
The tail comes in two pieces which, in my case I assembled together first. I’d like to suggest to you that you attach the main tail piece to the body first if you’re a twister like me. The tail’s curved shape when assembled got in the way for me.
The X-Plus is a huge, hunk of awesomeness. Its larger-than-usual size gives it a lot of presence on the shelf and its extra weight just feels good when holding it. When you get this figure, you’ll feel like you got something really cool. The paint job is awesome, especially since there is so much that could have gone wrong. But they did it right! The mixture of materials used on the figure gives it an interesting look. My only problem with it is that the dorsal crystals seem really cheap and flimsy. I’d be crying tears of joy if only they were made of the same material as the shoulder crystals. And, once again, I’m overly impressed with the head and face.
By John Stanowski Originally posted November 6th, 2013 on Kaiju Addicts.
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