More of the Ray Harryhausen vinyls figures by Star Ace are hitting stateside right now. Collector Marcellus Winters just got his Triceratops & Loana set from One Million Years B.C. (1966) and the Cyclops Deluxe based on the one-eyed creature from The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958). The cyclops comes with a polyresin diorama base with embedded nameplate and two in-scale miniatures of Sinbad’s crew. As you can see, the packaging is a definite step up from X-Plus’ usual garage kit box approaches.
Marcellus has his new trike and Loana vinyls on display with the previously released Allosaurus & Tumak set (also from One Million Years B.C.). His shelf is looking awesome with the diorama approach he’s taken.
“These two sets are absolutely incredible. Star Ace knocked it out the park with the clean and accurate details,” Marcellus said. “The scale between the Triceratops and the Allosaurus and Tumak set is perfect!”
Marcellus took the same diorama approach with his new Cyclops DX. “The Cyclops is just superb. The Harryhausen collection by Star Ace is a must have!”
Both the Triceratops and Cyclops are comparable in size with the X-Plus 30cm Series collection. These sets are finally arriving at stores in the U.S. If you placed an order, now would be a good time to ask for an update for your preorder(s).
[Star Ace is a subsidiary of X-Plus.]
By John Stanowski Originally posted July 12th, 2021 on Kaiju Addicts. Photos by Marcellus Winters.
Guys, you’re in for a real treat with a special video episode from the Kaiju Curry House Podcast. Alex Wainwright and Joe McIntee are joined by John Walsh who is a trustee of the Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation. Joe discusses his time with the legendary stop motion artist and just talks up a storm about all things Ray Harryhausen.
He also gives a hands-on look at the upcoming Cyclops and the One Million Years B.C. Triceratops and actually performs and unboxing of the upcoming Allosaurus vinyl about to release from Star Ace and X-Plus!
You also get to hear from David Stephan who is Licensing and Marketing Consultant for Star Ace as well as Jeremy Soles, Project Coordinator for X-Plus in North America.
Not enough for you? You’ll also hear from the head of X-Plus, Gee Okamoto and about his history with bringing the Harryhausen creatures to our shelves in vinyl and why he’s decided to bring them back for another round of releases.
By John Stanowski Originally posted November 14th, 2020 on Kaiju Addicts.
X-Plus collector and toy photographer, Ted Ekering, has set social media on fire with his recent set of diorama photos featuring the Gigantic Series Godzilla 2019 vinyl figure by X-Plus.
What makes these photos radioactively awesome is that he had employed not one, not two, not three, but FOUR tricks of the trade.
Trick #1: He has employed a set of Japanese N-scale buildings in the foreground and background. This size building model is most closely in scale with any X-Plus 30cm Series figure based on a 50-meter monster. That includes all of the Showa series Godzilla figures as well as most of the Millennium series figures. However, as you can see, you are really not limited to those figures. These buildings look fantastic with an X-Plus figure at any scale.
Trick #2: Ted had shot these photos out under the sun for a real sky backdrop. In addition to the authentic clouds and blue hue, the sunlight casting down on the diorama gives an extra touch of realism. (More on this later…)
Trick #3: Ted has further enhanced his diorama with some custom rubble so fine in texture that it looks ridiculously real.
Ted combined this mixture with some more recognizable debris in the form of pieces of N-scale building models, faux girders and more.
Add some buildings and your figure and you’re ready to rumble.
And for Ted’s final trick (#4), he has employed forced perspective. Did you notice the “real” buildings in the background yet? How about those power lines?
By positioning the camera down low and up close to the diorama and figure, the real background “lines up” with the scene infecting the foreground models with realism.
Pull the camera back and up and you can see what Ted really had to work with on his second floor balcony.
There really is no need for a fancy camera to capture amazing images like these. Ted used an iPhone 6, a model which came out 5 years ago!
If you are interested in acquiring some of those demolition buildings and building kits, you’ll have to go on the hunt for them. Some are made by Tomytec and a company called FidgetKute (broken link) or EatingBiting (??). One of the later may be knockoffs of the other so shop with caution.
Ted is an English language teacher living in Okayama, Japan. After school, he’s a ravenous toy collector.
By John Stanowski Originally posted January 5th, 2020 on Kaiju Addicts.
The Toho 30cm Series Favorite Sculptors Line Godzilla (1962) surprised many collectors last summer with its lighter-than usual paint apps. It looks great. But it does have a way of sticking out on the shelf when surrounded by other X-Plus figures with the usual darker hues.
David Eric Dopko, a long-time Godzilla fan and X-Plus collector, has recently completed a repaint of his FSL Godzilla 1962 and he agreed to provide some guidance for those who have considered doing the same but didn’t know where to start.
KAIJU ADDICTS: David, what prompted you to repaint this figure?
DAVID ERIC DOPKO: Let me start by saying I really liked the paint job on the figure but it really wasn’t movie-accurate.
KAIJU ADDICTS: Agreed.
DAVID ERIC DOPKO: It was definitely a departure from the basic dark gray paint scheme which most of the X-Plus Godzilla figures have. I did like the nuanced detail and subtle dry brushing. But, I wanted to duplicate that vibe with a more movie-accurate a paint job.
KA: I happen to know that you are a modeler. Would I be correct in saying that this was probably something very easy for you to do?
DED: Yes, I’ve been building models for about 20 years. Although I was surprised by the color scheme, I actually really liked it. Initially I had not intended to repaint it. As you are probably well aware, it’s always a difficult decision on what color to paint a 1962 Godzilla.
The suit looks so vastly different from scene to scene, night versus day, etc. One could argue that the paint job we got reflected the last scene in King Kong vs. Godzilla where, on the slopes of Mount Fuji, Godzilla was dirty and dusty from wrestling with Kong.
KA: So, even though you decided to repaint, other collectors who have this figure shouldn’t feel like there is something lacking because of its paint scheme, right?
DED: Oh, absolutely not! I think the paint scheme you get is still one of the best X-Plus has done so far.
KA: That’s because of the large amount of highlights and its dusty/dirty effects, etc.?
DED: Exactly. If you look at it carefully, there are many different colors in there.
KA: But, despite this you still decided to give it a more standard look.
DED: Ultimately, I did. I just thought it was time for change! I think my motivation for doing it over this past weekend was due to a few things. First of all, I watched the newly released Criterion Showa Godzilla Collection blu-ray discs for inspiration. Then I saw that you had showcased this figure in your X-Plus Facebook group post and then it was discussed again in Leslie Chambers’ X-Plus Xplosion livestream chat on Youtube.
Honestly, when I first started to apply the new base coat I starting to regret my decision.
KA: Are you happy with how it turned out?
DED: Yes, in the long run it exceeded my expectations.
KA: Now, the idea of repainting or even touching up an X-Plus vinyl may seem crazy to some collectors even though these figures are basically vinyl kits which are just pre-assembled and pre-painted for you.
DED: You summed it up perfectly. With my modeling background, in my eyes, X-Plus figures are pre-painted and pre-assembled model kits. So to do anything from a slight touch-up to major deconstruction projects is second nature to me.
KA: Would you say someone who hasn’t done any modeling or painting probably shouldn’t get notions to “try this at home”?
DED: I wouldn’t say that, I think if they just need a few paint touch-ups for scrapes or scuffs it’s a pretty simple procedure.
A really important tip that I’d be happy to share with people who want to do paint touch-ups is to match the original paint color as much as possible. That seems like a pretty obvious thing to say, but people need to remember to mix several different colors until they find the right combination.
In other words, it’s not just dark gray paint. There are tones of blue, brown, red and even black in most of the Godzilla skin colors.
KA: Doesn’t the color of paint change from when it’s wet and when it’s dry? Can you trust what you see while you are mixing?
DED: That’s a really good point. What I suggest is to do a paint swatch on the bottom of the foot and let it dry and making sure the color is right before moving on.
KA: I‘m sure the big question on everyone’s minds is: What kind of paint do you use?
DED: Always use acrylic water-based paint. That’s very important. Never use oil or enamel.
When purchasing acrylic paint always try to search for a matte or flat color.
These are the colors I used for the ‘62 figure.
KA: Does this paint always come in tubes or can they come in jars as well?
DED: Absolutely. Usually it’s more economical to buy larger containers of paint. The good news is you can get all of these paints from Amazon and never have to leave the house. Also, I think Michael’s craft stores carry a few brands of acrylic paint.
KA: Earlier you said that you were floored by all of the highlights and subtle color changes on the FSL Godzilla 1962’s original paint apps. What did you do to get some of that back after you applied your new, darker base coat? How do you add shadows and highlights?
DED: After applying the base coat, I go back in with a darker wash on the areas that I wish to give the appearance of shadows.
KA: By “wash” do you mean a darker color which you water down in order to fill in parts of the skin texture?
DED: Yes, a diluted paint mixture.
KA: Then you add the highlights?
DED: Then, I go over some areas with a lighter version of my new base color. Drybrush effects are created by utilizing a very small amount of paint on an extra dry paintbrush.
Also, do not apply too much pressure. Brush very lightly.
Finally, be careful not to overdo it. It may look okay, but to me that’s the difference between it looking like a model kit or looking like it’s stepped out of the movie. Does that make sense?
KA: Yes. Highlights should be something that you “discover” after looking at it. Not something that jumps out at you as soon as you lay your eyes on it.
KA: How do you achieve the feathering on the dorsal spines?
DED: That’s basically an example of the drybrush technique.
KA: You just drybrush lightly and accumulate the effect?
DED: Yes. And, again, there are different tones in the colors of the dorsal plates.
KA: Do you have a magic recipe or starting off point for the color you use on the tips of the dorsal spines?
DED: Gray, yellow, tan and white. It all depends on what suit it is and how they look in the films. Sometimes, there are even tones of blue.
KA: But what is a good starting point? If there was a generic, acceptable shade to use on the fins in most cases, what would the recipe be?
DED: Tan, white and a bit of gray.
KA: Does customizing a figure with new paint devalue it?
DED: First of all, if the customization makes sense and it’s done well, then it definitely retains the value of the figure and sometimes even increases it.
Secondly, these figures cost a lot of money, so there’s no reason why you can’t customize them to make them exactly the way you want them to look. Take your time, ask questions, and have patience.
And, if it fails: contact me. In most cases, I can fix it for you.
KA: Where can you be reached?
DED: You can find me in the X-Plus group. You can also use the Contact Form on my Zenfolio site.
KA: Where can our readers hear more from you?
DED: The Gods & Monsters Photography Group on Facebook, and also at my photography portfolio at
You can also catch me on the Youtube Series Collect All Monsters. I’m part of an ensemble cast of collectors who will discuss collecting Godzilla!
By John Stanowski Originally posted November 28th, 2019 on Kaiju Addicts.
Norman Chan from Adam Savage’s Tested stopped by the X-Plus / Star Ace booth earlier this month at New York Comic Con. There he interviewed Jeremy Soles, X-Plus’ Project Coordinator for North America.
By John Stanowski Originally posted October 17th, 2019 on Kaiju Addicts.
Kyle Yount from the KaijuCast sat down to a video conference with Gee Okamoto, the man in charge of X-Plus‘ vinyl department, and presented him with questions gathered from the X-Plus Kaiju Collectors Facebook Group.
And WOAH! did he get some very interesting answers! Watch the video to see what’s going on with Frankenstein, King Kong, the anime Godzilla, some upcoming Gigantic Series figures — that are NOT Godzillas! — and a lot more.
If you aren’t already listening to Kyle’s KaijuCast podcast, get tuned in at KaijuCast.com. It’s also available on iTunes.
By John Stanowski Originally posted January 26th, 2018 on Kaiju Addicts.
Gee Okamoto has been the main force behind the X-Plus line of Godzilla and Ultraman vinyl figures for the past 17 years. His work has culminated into the modern line of ultra-realistic figures (post 2009) which so many collectors love and are now so addicted to.
He has graciously agreed to spend some time for an interview with Kaiju Addicts to let us know what in the works at X-Plus as well as a taste of what’s to come in the not too distant future.
KAIJU ADDICTS: Diamond Comic Distributors visited Tokyo last week hoping to finalize plans for the Godzilla figures to be sold in North America. Did the meeting go well?
GEE OKAMOTO (X-PLUS): Yes, it did. Currently there won’t be any more changes in the current plan, basically.
[ Diamond will be putting out about 5 Toho 30cm Series Godzilla figures sometime during 2016-2017. ]
KAIJU ADDICTS: Can you tell us anything about which Godzilla figures DCD will carry?
GEE OKAMOTO: Only that they will come from the Toho 30 series.
KAIJU ADDICTS: Is it possible that the North American (Diamond) versions of some of the figures will be different? E.g. a Godzilla 2014 in Roaring Pose, or a Godzilla 1984 with closed mouth?
GEE OKAMOTO: We are planning to go ahead with the same figures which were released in Japan. However, I am examining the possibility of different versions.
KAIJU ADDICTS: Bluefin Distribution will distribute the Toho Large Monster Series Biollante and Ghidorah. There was often trouble with the Ghidorah boxes since the figures would break while shipping. Has the box been modified to prevent this?
GEE OKAMOTO: Yes, of course. The packaging has been revised. A release date has not yet been decided.
KAIJU ADDICTS: Is it possible that Bluefin will distribute more reissues from the Large Monster Series? Even the smaller figures closer to 25cm?
GEE OKAMOTO: It’s possible because the license permits it. As I understand it, as of now, DCD is licensed for 1/6 scale which would include the Toho 30cm Series. BlueFin is licensed for 1/8 Scale figures, which includes the Large Monster Series.
[ Gee goes on to explain that the 1/6 scaling applies to the size of the suit actor which would fit inside the figure, not the figure itself. ]
KAIJU ADDICTS: X-Plus will soon release the Toho Large Monster Series Total Advance Complementary Set Vol. 1. (Manda and Mothra). Will there be more sets to complete a DAM line-up? Can you tell us more?
GEE OKAMOTO: I want to keep an open mind and consider things. I will wait for ideas from Kaiju Addicts. (laugh)
[ Vol. 2 with Baragon and a mini Flying Varan has since been announced. ]
KAIJU ADDICTS: You made a Large Monster Series Godzilla 1995 and then almost immediately after that, a Destoroyah. Can we expect more Heisei figures to come out soon?
GEE OKAMOTO: I will start making plans for a Heisei Mechagodzilla next year. I am also interested in a Heisei King Ghidorah, but that would be more costly, so we’ll see.
KAIJU ADDICTS: There have been many 2-figure sets coming out lately. There was a Godzilla 1966 and Ebirah set. A Mothra Imago 1964 and Godzilla 1964 set. And most recently, a Biollante and Godzilla 1989 set. Are there plans for more re-issue sets in the future? Maybe a Large Monster Series Godzilla 1971 and Hedorah Landing Stage set?
GEE OKAMOTO: Of course, I would like to think so. I like the idea of putting out a color set of Gigantis The Fire Monster.
[ He is referring to the Toho Large Monster Series Godzilla 1955 and Anguirus 1955.]
KAIJU ADDICTS: Collectors everywhere want a Female MUTO figure. But, so far, a company has not stepped up to make one. Are you interested in making a Toho 30cm Series Female MUTO?
GEE OKAMOTO: Of course, I am interested. But, I am considering it carefully because the MUTO’s are not very popular in Japan. An X-Plus MUTO release may be slightly difficult.
KAIJU ADDICTS: Do you still want to make figures of kaiju from Pacific Rim?
GEE OKAMOTO: I am already developing a Razorback (sic.) figure and a Knifehead figure. They will be in the Large Monster Series, but their size will be substantial, about 1/350 scale. These will be releases for Japan only.
[ I’m not familiar with a PR Kaiju called Razorback. It’s possible that he is referring to Leatherback. Arlo Hansen from The Kaiju Planet has told me that the production team had different names for the PR kaiju, so “Razorback” may actually be something else. We’ll have to wait and see. ]
KAIJU ADDICTS: Do you want to make an X-Plus figure of Shin Godzilla 2016?
GEE OKAMOTO: We weren’t able to obtain any significant details on this design yet. If we do get any advance information on it, it would come only slightly earlier than it would for the public. Either way, if we do plan to make a Shin Godzilla, it would come well after the movie is released. We need to be motivated to start development for this figure and that can only come after we see the movie.
KAIJU ADDICTS: Do you have plans to make figures based on the newly designed CGI Kaiju from the new Ultraman TV series coming out in July 2016?
GEE OKAMOTO: No, I’m sorry. There are currently no plans for that at the moment.
KAIJU ADDICTS: The Large Monster Series Gesura has been announced. This is the last kaiju to complete the X-Plus line-up of original Ultraman kaiju. What will happen next for original Ultraman 1966-1967? Will you make more Reborn versions?
GEE OKAMOTO: There are a lot of figures I’d like to make Reborn versions of. However, there are also a lot of other kaiju which we haven’t made at all yet. I will proceed with both and try to keep a balance between the two.
KAIJU ADDICTS: Collectors often say they would like X-Plus to make vehicles from the movies that are in scale with the figures. The Xilian Saucer or Super X for example. Did you ever consider making these?
GEE OKAMOTO: I’ve never considered that, but it does sound interesting. I do like dioramas. I will keep an open mind concerning this in the future.
KAIJU ADDICTS: X-Plus made a flying Mothra Imago 1961 and a flying Mothra 1964. Do you want to make any other kaiju like Rodan, Hedorah, Battra or Megaguirus in a flying pose?
GEE OKAMOTO: I often consider making Rodan in a flying pose. As for Hedorah, we have already made a small one [ as a Ric Boy extra]. I will consider this more in the future.
KAIJU ADDICTS: Kaiju like GMK Baragon 2001 and Fire Rodan are smaller kaiju. Is this preventing them from being made into figures?
GEE OKAMOTO: No, not at all. We’ve examined the possibility of both of them many times. But we never seem to get to the development stage with them.
KAIJU ADDICTS: Do you have any ideas for the next Gigantic Series figure?
GEE OKAMOTO: I want to make a Gigantic Series Godzilla 1954, Godzilla 1962 and Godzilla 1989. At some point, I’d also like to make something from Ultraman.
KAIJU ADDICTS: Is X-Plus going to make a Dogora figure?
GEE OKAMOTO: I hope so!
KAIJU ADDICTS: Will X-Plus ever make a King Kong 1962, King Kong 1967 or Mecha Kong figure?
GEE OKAMOTO: I love Kong very, very, very much! However, the license is difficult to get. I’m very disappointed by this.
KAIJU ADDICTS: Do you bring your work home with you and collect X-Plus? If so, how big is your collection?
GEE OKAMOTO: I love them all. But, the Japanese house is not so big. I cannot fit all of them. It would be great if I could gather all of the things I’ve helped to create for X-Plus for the past 17 years. That includes the Ray Harryhausen figures and the X-Plus ALIEN cookie jar! (laugh)
I am sorry if my answers were short and simple. Thank you and your readers for your continued support!
By John Stanowski Originally posted November 2nd, 2015 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.
Kyle Yount from the KaijuCast interviews Diamond Distributors for details on the X-Plus vinyl figure re-issues coming to North America. Diamond says they will be releasing two figures every three months and seem to be committed for two years! And after that…. well, just watch the video!
By John Stanowski Originally posted July 24th, 2013 on Kaiju Addicts.
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