Full Review: 30cm Series Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection Godzilla (2002) “Battle In The Storm” Vinyl Figure By X-Plus
東宝30㎝シリーズ 酒井ゆうじ造形コレクション ゴジラ(2002) 嵐の中の攻防
JAPAN ORIGINAL RELEASE: MAY 2019
SERIES: TOHO 30CM SERIES YUJI SAKAI MODELING COLLECTION
FROM: “GODZILLA X MECHAGODZILLA” (2002)
HEIGHT (HEAD): 11.25 INCHES / 28.5 CM
HEIGHT (TAIL): 13.375 INCHES / 33.9 CM
WIDTH: (FOOTSPAN) 8.75 INCHES / 22.2 CM
LENGTH: (DIAGONALLY FROM LEFT FOOT TO TAIL) 13 INCHES / 33 CM
FIGURE WEIGHT: 1LB, 5 OZ / 595 G
REVIEW AND PHOTOS: © JOHN STANOWSKI
The Toho 30cm Series Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection Godzilla (2002) “Attack in the Storm” vinyl figure was announced early in 2019 and was released late April / Early May 2019. It was an international release and came in both Standard and Ric Exclusive versions. The latter of which came with a light gimmick that illuminated the dorsal spines.
That Standard Version went for $220 at Hobby Search and $238 from the North American Shonen-Ric as X-Plus website. The Ric Exclusive commanded a price of ¥27,000 (about $250 USD).
It stands 11.25 inches tall from the top of the head down to the shelf. The upraised tail needs 13.375 inches of clearance. It’s length from head to tail can’t be calculated easily, but going by its footprint, and how much space it needs on the shelf, it’s about 15 inches from the left foot to the tip of the right leaning tail.
Being a vinyl, it’s lightweight and comes in at just over a pound. Yet, has a pleasant “heft” to it when handled. For a hollow vinyl, it feels somewhat solid and sturdy.
The sculpt is based on Godzilla’s appearance in the 2002 film Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla or, as it’s more properly known as in Japan, Godzilla x Mechagodzilla.
Master sculptor, Yuji Sakai, usually models his Godzilla sculpts after precise moments in a film. And in this case, I’m led to believe it’s Maser cannon attack scene in the rain which opens the film. Hence the phrase “Battle in the Storm” or “Attack and Defense in the Storm” added to the name of this release. Although, after rewatching the beginning of the movie, I could not find this exact pose.
The box is quite large for a Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection figure. It’s 16 inches tall by 16 inches wide and has a depth of 9 inches.
Inside, the figure is wire-tied to a concave, form-fitting plastic shell which, I’m pleased to report, is actually deep enough to keep the figure’s toes a good distance away from the inside of the lid. (This is often a problem in previous releases and results in figures arriving with scraped toes — booties or no booties.)
The figure’s tail comes as a separate piece which you will need to attach by softening the butt with a hair dryer (do NOT soften the tail). When you can easily squeeze the butt hole (:P), you can then insert the tail with a twist.
The tail is sculpted above the “ground” and so will need the included tail base to support it while it stands.
The 30cm Series Yuji Sakai Godzilla 2002 is without a doubt one of the very best releases from X-Plus this year. Definitely on of the first home runs of 2019.
This figure is RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME. And I have to say it yet again: it literally looks like it walked right out of the movie. It’s like they just shrank the suit down to fit on the shelf.
I’m literally at a loss for words. I mean, just look at it.
The head sculpt has a great likeness from all angles. And he looks pissed as hell. Especially from the front.
Yuji Sakai not only captured the appearance of this suit in this sculpt, but also the spirit of its movement. The position of the arms definitely have a Tom Kitagawa feel to them. And even though this figure is simply standing, there feels like there is a lot going on. Sometimes it almost seems like the figure is moving.
Next of note is the position of the tail. It curves to the figure’s right and then swoops straight up. The tip of the tail has a contrasting curve which makes it feel like it’s just been lifted. Very dynamic.
JOINTS & SEAMS
Adding to the excellence of this release is the fact that it appears virtually seamless.
Sure, if you look for seams, you’ll find some. There’s one above the left bicep, one in front of the right elbow and one below each of the knees. But they’re practically invisible. Even the tail connection has a perfect and snug fit.
Like all X-Plus Yuji Sakai Godzilla vinyls, this figure has a base coat of a deep, rich black which is noticeably darker than the off black or asphalt black of most non-Sakai X-Plus figures. This gives the figure more “contrast” when looking at it in any situation. (It also makes it hard to photograph.)
Now what we usually like to see next is some level of highlights with some kind of dry brushing with a slightly lighter black. This gives the figure more depth, more visual interest and — I don’t know, it somehow makes it seem more real, or more worth the price tag. Alas, as was said, this figure has none.
However, if you think about it, a lack of highlights is actually what is needed here for the figure to fulfill its role as a representative of Godzilla’s appearance during the movie’s opening Maser battle. This scene was shot in the rain, at night. There wasn’t enough light to allow any earthy scoffs on the skin show on camera.
Even the dorsal spines give little contrast with very subdued color not very far off in range as compared to the black skin. What color is there is slanted toward the cool, blue end of the color spectrum to reproduce it’s nightly appearance.
By the way, I fracking LOVE the subdued color. It looks far more realistic than the often over-cranked ashy whites on other X-Plus Godzilla figures.
The paint (or decals) on the eyes do a fair enough job of capturing this suit’s unique eye design.
Thankfully, the teeth are not a toyish, stark white. Instead they are a very dirty bone color. They do seem to be a little messy with the red from the gums though. In this super close-up (above) you see very clearly how the red intrudes over the tops of the teeth. Now you can’t really see this much detail with the naked eye, but with the gums just visible, the teeth have somewhat of a bloody color, almost as if he just tore into some prey. And that’s something we never see Godzilla do. So I do wish the reds would have been toned down a bit here.
Fantastic attention to detail on the claws – especially on the feet. The saturated dirty bone color – almost looks like a mustard color – are brushed onto only the higher elevations of each “toe”. The deep grooves in the sculpt which form the nearer you get to the body evade the claw paint and create dark ridges. Looks better than most X-Plus toes.
It has a wildly movie-accurate sculpt and captures the personality of this Godzilla all the way.
The Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection Godzilla 2002, like all of the Sakai entries, are a tad shorter than their full-blooded 30cm Series brothers.
The top of the head is 11.5 inches high and the figure’s overenthusiastic tail climbs up to over 13 and a quarter inches.
FOOTPRINT / ON THE SHELF
You’ll need 8.75 inches of shelf space to fit the footspan of this vinyl. From the outer edge of the left foot to the space below the tip of the tail is 13 inches.
Again, the high-rise tail may be of some concern to collectors with low shelves. You’ll need about 13 and a half inches of vertical space.
Overall, though, I’d say this figure takes ‘the usual’ amount of space which a 30cm Series entry would demand. You may be limited with your front viewing angle though since this tail may get in the way of his nearest neighbor.
RIC EXCLUSIVE VERSION
The Ric Exclusive version of this vinyl came with a light gimmick. By connecting a small battery box to the back of the leg, you can make Godzilla’s fins glow white.
As usual, I tend to prefer the Standard Versions as the color and quality of the dorsal spines always seem to be better.
The only photo I have to demonstrate the light-up is the official X-Plus production photo. But note that this pic recreates the light with Photoshop and therefore is not visually accurate. And all other reviews I’ve seen on this figure show only the Standard Version.
Here is a size comparison with other figures from the 30cm Series Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection (L to R): Godzilla 1954, Godzilla 1989 Osaka Landing Version, Godzilla 1991 Hokkaido Landing Version and the new Godzilla 2002 on the far right.
And more Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection figures (L to R): Godzilla 1992 Tanzawa Advance Version, Godzilla 2001, Godzilla 2002 and (Shin) Godzilla 2016 Fourth Form.
The 30cm Series Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection figures come up a little short (only up to 27.5cm). The newer 30cm Series Favorite Sculptors Line also comes up short the same exact way. Figures from both series don’t quite reach the same height as other figures in the 30cm Series. So, it only seems natural to display the Sakai’s and the FSL’s on their own shelf.
Pictured here (L to R): Favorite Sculptors line Godzilla 1962, Godzilla 1964, Godzilla 1999 Ver. 2, Godzilla 2001 and up front, Varan.
Note: the Godzilla 1999 Ver. 2 is technically not a part of the Favorite Sculptors Line. But it may as well be. It suffers from falling short of other 30cm Series figures the same way that FSL figures do. It just came out before that series name was created.
Also note that the FSL Godzilla 2001 is actually a part of the Large Monster Series. I have no idea why.
You may be tempted to display your new Yuji Sakai Godzilla 2002 with your 30cm Series Kiryu 2002. After all they come from the same movie. And, while they are both technically in the same (30cm Series), the figure comes up a little short. You could try placing your Godzilla 2002 nearer the front of the shelf and your Kiryu figure further back nearer the wall to at least make them appear to size up.
We have the same issue for you Millennium collectors. The new Yuji Sakai Godzilla 2002 is a tad lower in height than the previously released 30cm Series Godzilla 2003. But since one is looking down and the other looking up, the difference in size isn’t so apparent.
The 30cm Series Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection Godzilla 2002 “Battle in the Storm” vinyl figure by X-Plus is a home run. And it’s one of the best releases in 2019.
It has a wildly movie-accurate sculpt and captures the personality of this Godzilla all the way. If you grabbed this one on preorder, then good for you! If not, it will be a little hard to get on the aftermarket, but it will be well worth it.
By John Stanowski Originally posted August 18th, 2019 on Kaiju Addicts.
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