Full Review: Gigantic Series Yuji Sakai Modelling Collection Godzilla 2000 By X-Plus
ゴジラ1999 （ゴジラ 2000 ミレニアム）
JAPAN ORIGINAL RELEASE: EARLY OCTOBER 2015
NORTH AMERICAN DIAMOND REISSUE: MARCH 2018
SERIES: GIGANTIC SERIES
FROM: “GODZILLA 2000: MILLENNIUM” (1999)
HEIGHT (HEAD): 14 INCHES / 35.5 CM
HEIGHT (FINS): 15 INCHES / 38 CM
WIDTH: (TOE TO TOE) 11.5 INCHES / 29.2 CM
LENGTH: (HEAD TO TAIL) 28 INCHES / 71.12 CM
FIGURE WEIGHT: 2 LBS, 10 OZ / 1190 G
REVIEW AND PHOTOS: © JOHN STANOWSKI
In July of 2015, X-Plus announced the then next figure in the Gigantic Series. And, to everyone’s surprise, it was a Sakai.
The Gigantic Series Yuji Sakai Modelling Collection Godzilla 1999 (2000) would be the third entry in the Gigantic Series, and the third in the Yuji Sakai Modelling Collection (which, apparently, can now jump into other series).
To the disappointment of some—and the delight of others—this would not be a sculpt based on the movie suit but rather an early conceptual work by Yuji Sakai.
I’m not clear on the history of this design but I’ll tell you what I think I know. Apparently, this Godzilla was originally created on paper, drawn by Shinji Nishikawa (who was responsible for most of the Heisei monster designs). Sculptor Yuji Sakai then took Mr. Nishikawa’s drawing and realized it in three dimensions.
I’ve always wondered why the Millennium suit departs from it as much as it does. Did the producers have it changed on purpose? Were there real world technical considerations which called for the changes? Or could it be that the Millennium Godzilla we all know simply be the best translation that suit-maker Shinichi Wakasa could accomplish?
But, back to the figure. I was reluctant to accept this sculpt over a movie version. It was the completist in me which demanded that the Add to Cart button be pressed. I’m glad I did.
Three months later, this badass landed on my doorstep. I’ve since come to appreciate this version… A LOT.
(UPDATE: This figure was reissued for the North American market thru Diamond Distributors in March 2018.)
The first two Gigantics came sandwiched inbetween two large blocks of styrofoam housed in a plain, brown box. The first thing you should notice about this box is that it looks like it belongs to the 30cm series. Yet, at 19″x19″x9″, it’s still pretty big.
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
The tail comes in two pieces. Plan ahead and decide which piece you want to attach first. Either way, something is going to get in the way during the next step.
I attached the small tail piece to the middle tail first. I used a hair dryer on the hole end and really warmed it up good. The hole is pretty small so there’s less room for the vinyl to make way.
I then attached the assembled tail to the main figure. Same as before, I heated the “butt hole”. This took a bit longer than usual. There is a piece of vinyl which runs down the back and holds all of the dorsal fins. It’s glued over the top of the hole making two layers you’ll need to soften up.
It’s been quite a while since I had to do this and I don’t remember how easy or hard it was to do. Gomen nasai.
One of the first questions that arises when a new figure gets delivered to your door is “did the sculptor get this one right?” In this case there is no question. Yuji Sakai created this version of the design. And this vinyl comes from his own sculpt. In that sense, this is probably the most accurate X-Plus figure in your collection.
The only thing left for you to review is the awesome design he created. This thing is fierce and powerful—everything you’d want a new Godzilla to be. And it’s dynamic—even though it’s a static vinyl statue just standing there on your shelf.
It seems that every part of the design is rushing to dagger-like points. His dorsal fins are a set of crazy, lightning bolt swords. His frightening head and snout arrows into a point ready to stab his foes with yet more points in the form of his triple set of fangs. His arms are thin, armed with four dagger-like claws on each hand. The tail, unlike previous designs, tapers to a point like a giant spear. Even the texture of his skin seems to want to extrude further into sharp edges.
This thing is sharp!
The head looks like a dragon. It’s mouth, filled with individually sculpted teeth, looks real enough to bite. It’s inch and half long tongue is finely etched with detail. It’s crazy how much there is to see (and touch) in such a small space.
The skin texture is a tactile playground. It’s deep and complex and runs all over the figure. I’m sure it probably looks even better on the original resin version, but this is still one hell-of-a-good-looking vinyl.
Probably the most drastic departure from previous Godzilla designs is the look of the dorsal fins, now Millennium Godzilla’s signature feature. And they are so well done on this figure. Each individually sculpted fin is damn near a work of art and protrudes from the figure’s back creating an entire gallery of awesome.
But, wait. There’s more! This intricate, radiating array of spines doesn’t end at the base of the back. It continues down almost half of the tail. This toy ain’t no toy!
Yuji Sakai created this version of the design. And this vinyl comes from his own sculpt. In that sense, this is probably the most accurate X-Plus figure in your collection.
Sakai’s Godzilla 2000, in mid-roar, is in a standard walking pose which looks pretty fantastic from practically every angle.
You’ve no doubt noticed that clunky base supporting the figure’s raised tail. This is the main (and perhaps only?) drawback on this figure.
Yuji Sakai just seems to love sculpting tails up in the air. If can be honest for a sec here… I f*****g hate it. Once in a while, on one or two Sakai figures is okay. But, damn near all of them?
I’d like to be able to pick a figure up and put it down without having to line up the tail with that damn base. Grrr! Aaargh!
JOINTS & SEAMS
Nothing bad to report here. The joints below the knees, above the biceps and round the neck are practically invisible. The joins there are filled in very well and really can’t be seen unless you specifically look for them.
The tail joint is a perfect fit and doesn’t stand out at all. It looks more like a statue than a vinyl.
This figure has a base cost of the usual, reserved, asphalt-like, off black. In certain light, it often gives off a hint of having a tinge of green.
There are lighter blacks brushed in as highlights but they’re used sparingly occurring mostly at the feet and the side ridges along the tail. Greenish highlights are present on the tail as well.
The attention to coloring the inside of the mouth is astounding. The teeth are way-off-white, yellowed and come with a tartar brown near the base of each fang. The tongue is a reserved, dark red with an even darker wash in all of the grooves in the sculpt.
A final, clear gloss makes everything look organic and, well, wet.
As for those purple fins: what a strange and daring move by Yuji Sakai (and perhaps Shinji Nishikawa?)
The fins on the figure are coated with a dusty, almost metallic, purple which are very reflective in the light. This dark shade of purple is very reserved and so are not overly “Goofy Grape” as on a toy. Also, in the right light, plentiful specularities seem to create a band of magenta before fading back to purple.
More attention was paid to the toes than we’re used to. The base black feathers up each toe from the cuticle area, but also washes up even further in each ridge in the sculpt. Very nice touch.
Sakai’s Godzilla 2000, in mid-roar, is in a standard walking pose which looks pretty fantastic from practically every angle.
This third entry into the Gigantic Series is the smallest. While its actual height is technically almost the same as the Gigantic Series Godzilla 2001 (which leans forward drastically), this figure has noticeably less mass to it, making it less “gigantic”.
But, it’s still big. And it’s definitely bigger than anything in your 30cm Series collection.
The top of the head is 14 inches high. But, this figure actually needs 15 inches of clearance as the dorsal fins creep up another full inch.
Its footspan varies depending on how you angle it. 11 to 11.5 inches.
Despite it’s large size, this figure weighs only 2 pounds, 10 ounces. It’s very light in hand.
FOOTPRINT / ON THE SHELF
From the tip of the snout to the tip of the tail, this figure is about 28 inches long and is a clear shelf hog. But the curve of the tail easily tucks it out of the way and against the back wall making room for another figure to stand beside the main body.
Take special care of the dorsal fins to make sure they don’t get scraped by the next shelf up when putting him away. As already mentioned, it needs 15 inches of vertical space.
Here is a size comparison of the Gigantic Series Godzilla 1999, and its box, with a couple of real world items.
Godzilla 1999 is the smallest of the Gigantics. (Left to right: Gigantic Series Godzilla 2001, Gigantic Series Godzilla 1995, Gigantic Series Godzilla 1999/2000).
This one is for Sakai groupies. The Toho 30cm Series Yuji Sakai Modelling Collection Godzilla 1991 (far left) and Toho 30cm Series Yuji Sakai Modelling Collection Godzilla 1989 (far right).
Millennium fans, here is the Gigantic ’99 with the Toho 30cm Series Godzilla 1999 (far left) and the S.H. Monsterarts version (far right).
RELEASES NEAR WINTER 2015
Here is a size comparison with other figures which were released relatively near the same time the Gigantic Godzilla 1999 was released. Left to right: Toho 30cm Series Godzilla 2014, Large Monster Series Godzilla 1995 and Large Monster Series Biollante.
RIC BOY EXCLUSIVE
The Ric Boy Exclusive version of this figure comes with translucent dorsal fins blazing in yellows and oranges just as they did before Godzilla fired his atomic breath in the movie.
They don’t light up, but the translucent vinyl used does allow light to pass through them. You can see more photos of the Ric in the Collectors Gallery below.
This figure is large and it has all manner of toes, teeth, fins and tail bits stretching out in all directions. When adding or removing this guy from the shelf, your eyes have to be everywhere. Take particular caution not to scratch the top spikes on its dorsal fins when placing on a shelf (especially if you have the metal units like I do).
To prevent any warping at his ankles, take care to position the tail base in an area that doesn’t cause the figure to lean forward. I usually put the figure down, lift the tail until both feet are flat, and then slowly slide the base along the tail until it just makes contact.
And watch out for those dorsal spikes while handling. They made be made of soft vinyl, but they can still do some damage. You’ll take your eye out, kid.
The Gigantic Series Yuji Sakai Modelling Collection Godzilla 1999 is big, bad and sharp. While not as large and certainly no where near as massive as the first 2 entries in the series, this figure still dwarfs the 30cm Series. It’s smaller… but it’s not small.
Although at first this seems to carry on the tradition of very heavy Gigantic Series stylization, this figure is actually dead-on accurate for what it is: a conceptual design which preceded the suit. It’s extremely detailed and intricate.
Having this thing in your collection is sure to turn heads!
NOTE: From here down, photos may be sweetened in Photoshop to over dramatize the figure a bit beyond reality.
COLLECTORS’ PHOTO GALLERY
By John Stanowski Originally posted June 28th, 2016 on Kaiju Addicts.
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