東宝大怪獣シリーズ 「ゴジラ1995」 少年リック限定版
JAPAN ORIGINAL RELEASE: SEPTEMBER 2015
SERIES: LARGE MONSTER SERIES
FROM: “GODZILLA VS. DESTROYAH”, 1995
HEIGHT: 10.75 INCHES / 27.3 CM
WIDTH: (TOE TO TOE) 7.5 INCHES / 19.05 CM
LENGTH: (HEAD TO TAIL) 15 INCHES / 38.1 CM
FIGURE WEIGHT: 1.5 LBS / 680 G
REVIEW AND PHOTOS: © JOHN STANOWSKI
The Toho Large Monster Series Godzilla 1995 by X-Plus was released in September 2015, not with the expected accolades and praise but with controversy and sometimes even ire. The main reason for this was a muddled head sculpt, so smothered in paint that it more resembled an inexpensive Bandai figure than a high-end X-Plus. I admit I was one of the first to get really disappointed.
But, so much of the Large Monster Series Burning Godzilla is good. REALLY good. That’s why I was so pissed off at that face peering at me from inside the box. Why did something so good have to get ruined with that face? I’ve since found that I just had to get over it and focus on the positive.
I’m kind of over it. It is what it is. There is still a LOT to like about it. And, it’s not like we’re getting another DesuGoji any time soon. So if you want Burning Godzilla in your collection — your proper, movie-accurate collection — you’ll have to pick this one up.
I’m glad I did.
I’ve been waiting for an X-Plus Burning Godzilla to come out since I started collecting. Yes, they did release a Gigantic Series version but that doesn’t really count, at least not to me. The Gigantic version is overly stylized and not modeled with the movie accuracy that X-Plus is so well known for and what I mainly want to collect. I wanted a Burning Godzilla that would fit in with the rest of my ‘accurate’ figure collection.
So, let’s now review the good, the bad and the ugly on this figure.
The figure is too large to fit into the standard Large Monster Series window box and so, instead, comes to you in a larger, white blind box with monochromatic art on the front. As usual, the tail comes as a separate piece which you’ll need to attach. New collectors: check out Rich Eso‘s “Squishy Soft” video to see how it’s done.
If you got the Ric Boy exclusive version, then you’ll find your “battery box” wired into the plastic shell below the tail. The round, orange sticker on the front let’s you know you’re lookin’ at a Ric.
Let’s set aside the soft features on the head for now and take a look at what else we get: a really AWESOME sculpt of Burning Godzilla. I just paused writing this to pick it up and give it a good look. I just don’t know what to say about it that I haven’t said a hundred times before. I’m trying not to repeat the same old thing: ‘It looks like it walked right out of the movie’.
Oh, the hell with. It DOES look like it walked right out the movie!
Hmmm. Well… hmmm. I don’t know what to say that you can’t already see for yourself. The head sculpt looks good from some angles and not as good from others. Some collectors have complained that the cheeks are too puffy. I tend to agree when looking at it from certain angles. Yet at the same time I can find the same “puffiness” in photos from the movie. This figure just has a way of making the puffy bits puffier.
It would be easier to judge the head sculpt if the face wasn’t so smothered in that thick light-blocking paint.
Here’s a dorsal fin comparison. A shot from the movie on the left and the X-Plus sculpt on the right. I invite you to look any fin and compare EACH spike on that fin. I think you’ll find the “spirit” of each spike, it’s direction, angle, etc. are matched on the figure. Holy shit! Who the hell gets THAT precise?
This is yet another example of how X-Plus delivers more accuracy than you can ever hope for compared with other lines.
…so much of the Large Monster Series Burning Godzilla is good. REALLY good. That’s why I was so pissed off at that face peering at me from inside the box.
Love the pose. It’s standard and subtle; just the way I like it. The front claws are done so well they seem like they’re actually moving. The tail is expressive and gives the impression that it’s getting jerked by that invisible Toho wire.
The pose looks GREAT from all angles.
(Don’t forget to click on the photos for a larger view.)
JOINTS & SEAMS
The only free joint on this figure is where the tail gets attached and I’m pleased to report that you can hardly see that connection after it’s been put together. In fact, I just picked it up to try to locate the joint and couldn’t find it right away. I actually had to look at photos I had taken of the figure still in the box to see exactly where the tail attaches, which is not near the body but almost half the way down.
Glued joints can be found under both shoulders and below both knees. Unfortunately, the sealed joints above the biceps do stand out in a tight-string-around-the-finger sort of way. The knee joints are almost invisible thanks to the baggy folds of skin above them.
I can’t find any seams around the jaw or head. And the seams on both sides of the back piece which holds the dorsal fins are equally cloaked with perfect fits. If it weren’t for those shoulder joints, I’d say this is one of the most seamless figures they’ve ever put out.
It’s part of the Large Monster Series and should level off around 25cm (9.8 inches) but instead it reaches up to 27.3 cm (10.75 inches)! But WHY?
As usual, and for the benefit of new collectors: this figure has a base coat of a dusty, off-black color which looks PERFECT. Too often lower end Godzilla toys and figures are too dark and toyish looking. The asphalt black on this figure looks GOOD and is a complement to the realistic sculpt. I have to mention, though, that this off black can come off a little shiny on the head and torso. This is no doubt because these areas are made of translucent vinyl. I don’t know if the change in material is causing this, or if they used a different kind of paint (more likely) which has the ability to block the Ric light gimmick on the inside.
There are easy-to-miss subtle highlights on the side of the tail and possibly on the sides behind the arms. (It’s hard to tell with the shinier paint there.)
The claws and toes are painted with a tannish, bony color which feathers into the black fingers and toes well. This bony color looks good, but seems a bit too bright for my taste. Then again, I think that’s true of ALL the X-Plus Godzilla figures.
Soft ashy whites are added to the smaller dorsal “bumps” from the middle of the tail down. This color is also expertly applied to the small row of fins rising up the back on both sides of the larger fins. Again, very un-toylike and a big part of why X-Plus is so, so good.
The tongue and the inside of the mouth are a dark, reserved red and those teeth… HOLY SHIT! The teeth are probably the most impressive part of this figure’s paint applications. Each TINY, individually sculpted tooth is painted an off white which meets the gums PERFECTLY. I don’t see how it’s humanly possible for this to be done by humans on an assembly line. WOW! No, really. F’N WOW! Scroll back up to the Head section to see what I mean. Keep in mind those photos are extreme close-ups.
Now, I’ve saved the best for last…
The X-Plus Burning Godzilla’s burning patches look IN-FREAKING-CREDIBLE and are made possible with a technique I first saw used on the S.H.MonsterArts version, and then again on the X-Plus Gigantic Series Godzilla 1995. Translucent material is used on the body and painted yellow and orange from the INSIDE. The colors from the inside show through while the surface is clear enough for light to refract through the sculpted texture. Dark, opaque paint in added on the outside to confine the effect to the signature patches as seen in the movie. The effect in ingenious and amazing.
The same technique was used on the dorsal fins. They don’t look as cool as the patches on the front, but X-Plus has managed to get them to look ALMOST EXACTLY, colorwise, as they do in the movie. Scroll back up and take another look at that fin comparison above!
I don’t usually have a “Size” section on my reviews but this figure has made it necessary due to its unexpected larger size.
It’s part of the Large Monster Series and should level off around 25cm (9.8 inches) but instead it reaches up to 27.3 cm (10.75 inches)! But WHY?
I have to assume that X-Plus needed more room to work with when installing all of the lights for the Ric Boy versions. I’m still not sure how I feel about that move, though. I am a scale freak and I want everything IN SCALE! I want all of the Godzilla’s on my Large Monster Series shelves to line up at the heads. That is just one (but an important one) of the most important things that make the collection to me.
Granted, I (we) should be used to and prepared for minor discrepancies like this since a full third of the 30cm Series figures are too short. At least this figure is taller than it should be instead of shorter. One could also argue that Burning Godzilla was technically significantly taller having shot up to 100 meters near the end of the Heisei series’ third installment Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah. Okay: small consolation. But consolation nonetheless. Until you realize that most of the Showa Godzilla’s were only 50 meters tall.
In the end my solution was just to get the hell over it. Like I said, at least it’s BIGGER than it should be.
Let’s move on and see just how much bigger this guy is…
Before we get to the most obvious size comparison (with the Large Monster Series Destoroyah), let’s take a quick look at a shot from Godzilla vs. Destoroyah.
As you can see, Destoroyah is a good deal larger than Godzilla.
I’d say these two scale up perfectly. (Keep in mind that Destoroyah’s head is tilted up in the screenshot and lower in the figure shot.)
By the way: check out the UNCANNY resemblance between the top of Godzilla’s head in both the screenshot and on the figure. The slope of the forehead and nose are captured so perfectly on the figure that it’s almost scary. Now, THAT’S why we collect these!
Side by side comparisons. (Don’t forget to click on the photos for larger views.)
The Large Monster Series Godzilla 1995 (100 meters) is actually kinda close to how much taller than he really should be compared to the Large Monster Series Godzilla 1989 (80 meters) on the left. However, the Large Monster Series Godzilla 2001 (60 meters) reaches up higher than the ’89. We’re just going to have to accept that the heights on X-Plus figures can go up and down.
Here, the Large Monster Series Godzilla 1995 is flanked on the left by Godzilla 1989 and Godzilla 1991 from the Toho 30cm Series Yuji Sakai Modelling Collection, which are both short for 30’s. So, here we have an overly tall Large Monster Series figure leveling off with two short 30cm Series figures. That’s actually kind of cool in a way.
Here’s a size comparison with the Gigantic Series Godzilla 1995. I often hear collectors say that there’s no need for this Large Monster Series version when one has the Gigantic. That doesn’t work for me, though, since the GBG is so utterly stylized. Movie accuracy is more important to me. And my collection as a whole is, too. I’m absolutely glad this figure in my collection standing with the other movie-accurate 25’s.
Here’s a size comparison with other recent and somewhat recent releases specifically for new collectors. Left to right: Large Monster Series Mechagodzilla 1975 (this is vinyl, but the RMC version is more recent), 30cm Series Godzilla 2014, Gigantic Series Sakai Godzilla 1999, Large Monster Series Ultraman 1966-1967 C-Type Appearance Pose and the 1968 Manda and Mothra DAM set in the front.
FOOTPRINT / ON THE SHELF
The Toho Large Monster Series Godzilla 1995 by X-Plus is 15 inches long from nose to tail and takes up a tad more room than other Godzilla’s in the same line. The tail curls in toward the figure’s left side making it a little easier to fit on the shelf.
RIC BOY EXCLUSIVE
The Ric Boy exclusive version of this figure comes with a light-up feature. And of all the light-features put out so far, this figure is surely one of the most deserving, if not THE most deserving.
Plug in the power and all of Godzilla’s fiery patches, dorsal fins and eyes go ablaze with light. Well, sort of. It’s not really that bright. But I like it exactly the way it is. It’s subtle and not overbearing. Too often, light gimmicks are way, way too bright. This one’s just right.
It’s still a shame, though, that we had to trade in crisper facial features for this light feature.
A nitpick: the eyes on this figure light completely opposite the way they do in the movie. Here the pupils are dark and swim in lit whites. But in the movie, it should be the other way around, with blazing pupils and dark whites. Honestly, though, I don’t think there was much X-Plus could have done about this since the pupils here are likely light-blocking decals.
This photo was shot with a long exposure to make the light appear brighter in order to make it clear where the light was coming from, how the paint laid over it and the potential for leaks.
The eyes on my figure are not evenly lit as the right one is noticeably dimmer than the left. Not all figures are like this though. Some collectors have told me that the eyes on their figure are even.
Another peeve: note how hot the lights are at the base of the dorsal fins, and how dim they are up higher where it matters more.
The glow from inside can leak though in areas which didn’t get a thick enough coat of light-blocking paint. Look closely at the photo above. You can see speckled light leaks on the face, neck, etc.
The light feature is powered with an external “battery box” which plugs into the back of the left leg.
Note that with this figure we now have a box much larger than we’re used to. This new design first appeared with the X-Plus Bandai Exclusive Large Monster Series Biollante.
I liked the older, smaller boxes better. But, I suppose more batteries and a bigger box to house them is needed here.
This figure comes with a sculpted “plug” to cover the power jack when not in use. A nice new touch which X-Plus began implementing with the Yuji Sakai Modelling Collection Godzilla 1989.
BE CAREFUL that you don’t loose this piece! It can fall out easily and disappear when you move the figure.
The Toho Large Monster Series Godzilla 1995 has a lot going for it. Crazy accurate body sculpt, larger size and wicked burning patch effects.
But it also has a lot going against it. Very soft facial features due to over thick paint which doesn’t even manage to prevent light leaks.
If it weren’t for these issues, I’d give this figure 4.5 Rads. I almost feel like I still want to rate it that way because I’m so glad it’s finally on my shelf. But in order to more accurately rate this for the collecting community, I’d say this figure is only warm at 3 out of 5 Rads. So much potential lost on this one.
Still. I’m beyond glad that I have one. 99% of the time, I see this figure facing off Destoroyah on my shelf unit, too far away to notice the soft face sculpt. (…but I know it’s there! AARGH!)
COLLECTOR’S PHOTO GALLERY
By John Stanowski, Originally posted February 7th, 2016 on Kaiju Addicts.
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