JAPAN ORIGINAL RELEASES: 2010, 2011, 2015
DIAMOND RE-ISSUE: MARCH 2016
SERIES: TOHO 30CM SERIES
FROM: 地球攻撃命令 ゴジラ対ガイガン
“GODZILLA VS. GIGAN”, 1972
HEIGHT: 12 INCHES / 30.4 CM
WIDTH: 8 INCHES / 20.3 CM
LENGTH (TOES TO TAIL): 11.5 INCHES / 29.2 CM
FIGURE WEIGHT (WITH BASE): 1 LB / 453 G
REVIEW AND PHOTOS: JOHN STANOWSKI.
The Toho 30cm Series Gigan 1972 vinyl figure by X-Plus was first released in 2010. A polyresin Real Master Collection version was also released in 2010. It was re-issued in 2011 with an exclusive nighttime paint scheme for Wonder Festival. Most recently it was re-issued again as a Ric Boy Exclusive in March 2015.
This review is for the 2015 Re-issue but should be relevant to all releases with only minor differences, mostly with paint.
At first, I planned on getting this figure simply because I’ve succumbed to becoming a completist. Over the past two years I became tired of seeing the same old photos of this figure over and over. Plus I knew that he was short compared to most other figures in the line. But when I pulled it out of the box, yet again, I was floored. And the more time I spent shooting it for this review I’ve become a big, big fan.
The original Toho 30cm Series Gigan 1972 vinyl came in a blind box with color cover art on the front seen above on the left. If you’re hunting for an original release, this is what the box will look like. Also, it’s likely that when this figure is re-issued again through Diamond Distributors that this is the box design they will use.
The recently released 2015 Ric Boy re-issue of this figure comes in a plain, blind box with monochrome artwork on the front.
Inside the figure is wire-tied into a plastic shell in two pieces: body and tail. You also get the battery pack for the light-up feature on this version. There are additional pieces of plastic nested between each fin to help prevent them from getting distorted while in the box. Although I suspect that once again, the box has failed some of us on this release. Sometimes the figure in the box is too close to the inside of the lid and pressure on the box does get transmitted to the figure. (I.e. King Ghidorah and the 30cm Anguirus 1955 often has damage because of this).
I’ve seen photos of this Gigan figure with its leftmost fin curved inward. It shouldn’t be like that. All three fins on my figure are perfectly straight. If yours is curved and it bothers you, take a hairdryer to it and set it straight.
SEE AN UNBOXING
Check out the X-Plus Gigan 1972 Unboxing Video from YouTube user Ohgod itsoniichan for a great look at how this figure is packaged.
ADDING THE TAIL
Damn. This tail was one of the most difficult tails I’ve ever had to attach. The flange on the tail piece is not thin and flared like most are but is, instead, short and thick. To make things just a bit harder, the back piece (holding the fins) runs all the way to the tail hole on the figure so, even when you take a hairdryer to the body hole to soften it up, the top of the hole remains firm. If I had to attach this again, I probably wouldn’t try to get the hole overly soft with heat since the rest of the body will reach a consistency comparable to a piece of foam before the top part gives. Anyway, do you best. Ganbatte ne!
ADJUST THE FEET
The legs are attached to the body with unglued joints so that means they can move, but only a little because of restrictions in the sculpt. But they do move enough for you to adjust them which is something you’ll need to do if you want his feet flat on the shelf. Try to get eye level with the feet, make sure the tail is lying flat and then rotate each leg until the feet are flush with the floor.
FIX FINS AND SPIKES IF NECESSARY
As I mentioned before, I’ve seen some figures come out of the box with its left fin curved inward toward the center of the back. Hit it with a hairdryer and straighten it out. Some of the spikes may also be bent out of shape. I had one bent spike on my figure and it took very little to coax it back into position.
At first glance, I think it’s safe to say that X-Plus captured the Gigan suit very, very well. This is indisputably Gigan we’re looking at here! Once again, X-Plus knocks it out of the park.
As a figure, it’s a big winner. This multi-textured sculpt no doubt kept the sculptor on his toes with it’s combination of crinkly skin, scales, smooth areas and fabric-like fins. All this is on one figure and for that alone I think it deserves a prize.
But as part of a series, we should knock off points for it’s lack of height when compared to the group in which it belongs. Oh! What could have been. Can you imagine this thing an inch or two taller?
I’d be first in line should X-Plus ever decide to do a Gigan V2 as they did with the Large Monster Series Baragon.
There are actually a lot of shots of Gigan in the movie which don’t seem to agree with the X-Plus sculpt. No doubt this is because the suit bunched and bended in ways the X-Plus figure doesn’t recreate. And there are some suit details on which this sculpt outright fumbles. The “knee pads” for example are way too big on the figure. And the spines running through his back fins seem a tad too thick.
However, if you keep watching the movie, there will be several wow moments where you’d swear your figure crawled into the television. Overall, I’d say the X-Plus 30cm Series Gigan 1972 is a fantastic likeness. It’s a winner!
The figure has individually sculpted teeth which some say are too big. I’m inclined to agree, but not by much since his teeth were bigger and more spread out than on other monsters. I do think they’re a bit too bright though. I would have liked to see them a shade or two darker.
The tongue is molded into the lower jaw. The side pincers are separate pieces, somewhat soft and pliable. I don’t expect anything bad will happen if you mess with them, though. Worst case scenario, it pops out; you glue it back in.
A nice touch, and also a favorite X-Plus trick is the visor. It’s made of transparent plastic colored red and allows a bumpy pattern on the inside to be visible giving it that compound eye effect we’ve seen on other figures like Kumonga and Mechagodzilla.
And it looks good from all angles.
The sculpt of the skin looks awesome! These rough and crinkly bunches and creases are reminiscent of the suit and are very detailed. In fact, if you look really close, you’ll find a bunch of grungey scratches. I didn’t even notice these until my close-up photos revealed them to me.
The sculpted scales look great. They are no where near as good as the scales on the Large Monster Series King Ghidorah. But they still have good depth to them on the sides and bottom. And the dark paint wash on them make them look busy and realistic. However, this wash, to me, creates the illusion that the properly-sized scales are actually made up of yet even smaller scales. More on that later.
The fins (wings?) look great and the sculpt does a great job of reproducing that fabric look from the suit. The spines running through them seem to be a little thicker than they should be, but I’m not complaining.
This is a forced perspective camera trick to make both figures appear to be the same size. On the left is the Large Monster Series Gigan 1972 (25cm series) and the 30cm Series version on the right. With them lined up like this, we can compare the sculpts. The 25cm Gigan seems sturdier but I think the 30 got the head right. What do you think?
…There are a lot of subtle bluish/greenish highlights brushed on which aren’t overly obvious to the naked eye, but which must somehow register subconsciously. Very, very nice touch, X-Plus!
JOINTS & SEAMS
This figure has unglued joints at the top of both legs, both arms and, of course, the tail. The legs don’t have a lot of movement available yet they move enough to allow you to make sure the feet are flat on the shelf. The arms have a LOT of room for posing and can be placed hanging down, forward or up. Both of these joints do seem to have a place that they “want” to be, though, and that’s hanging down. You can detect this when you move the arm up and then back down again as it seems to sort of snap into place again.
Oh, ouch. You had to bring that up. Okay, let’s get this over with. There is a seam running around the base of the neck and because of the scale pattern, this seam is somewhat visible from the front. Nothing terrible, but it’s there. One nasty seam, though, runs from both cheeks up around the back of the head. This seam runs over smooth terrain and so can be detected fairly easily. The back piece, which includes the fins (fans?) is glued really well into place. On the sides, this seam is mostly hidden from view and can be seen only with super bright light and a close eye. This piece runs up the back of the neck and is a bit awkward looking. The seam from the tail joint is, again, more obvious than usual because of the scale pattern not meeting completely flush.
I’m not complaining about any of the seams. This is a vinyl figure. Vinyl figures have joints and seams. I’m just telling you what I see and I don’t really have a problem with any of them.
…except that friggin’ seam on the head!
At first glance the pose is pretty standard. Gigan is just standing there facing forward in a pretty standardy way. He comes out of the box with his arms hanging down and that seems to be the way the sculptor intended it to be, but as mentioned, they can be posed. The head is turned ever so slightly to the figure’s right. And the fins, as one whole unit, also veer toward the figure’s right side. This off-balance direction of the fins is very obvious when looking at the figure head on. I don’t see this as completely terrible though since the fins on the suit were pretty flimsy stuff and prone to swaying. Final judgement: looks good.
Now, looking even closer we see that Gigan seems to be tilted backward, the same way you might if someone got too far into your “space”. This pose also reminds me of a post I-can’t-believe-I-ate-the-whole-thing Thanksgiving dinner back lean and belly tap. OR, a better way to look at it is a sort of “yo, check out this saw, you want some of this?” pose. This is actually a pose unique to Gigan and I’m glad that at least one the X-Plus Gigan sculpts captured it.
He was often in this pose in the movie Godzilla vs. Gigan. Two scenes that come to mind is when he approached Anguirus with his chest saw spinning away. Gigan stood like this again when he and King Ghidorah watched as Godzilla tried to stand after the tower was finally destroyed and its relentless laser beam attack ended.
I’d probably rather that this figure stood taller like his shorter 25cm counterpart (huh?). But what we got is accurate and it’s nice to know that X-Plus’ sculpt not only captured the details of the suit, but the personality of the monster as well as his stance. F, yeah! X-Plus, I love you.
And, once again, the arms can move allowing you have some say in the pose as well.
The Toho 30cm Series Gigan 1972 vinyl figure from X-Plus has a muted, dark green coat on his non-scaley skin areas. It seems it’s a bit darker than on previous versions of this release. This coat appears to come in different shades as light plays off the sculpt, creating shadows and highlights against the skin’s creases and folds. Now, when you look closer (see photo above) you’ll find there are a lot of subtle bluish/greenish highlights brushed on which aren’t overly obvious to the naked eye. Nice to know they’re there. Nice touch, X-Plus!
The scales are painted with a semi-glossy gold. Again, the light plays off the sculpt creating shadows and thus creating the impression of different shades of gold. But not all of those impressions are just impressions. The scaly areas have a darker paint wash applied. (A wash is the addition of a second color meant to fill in the gaps of a sculpt and remain there while the paint is wiped away off the higher elevations.) This wash totally enhances the look of the scales adding “texture” on a hue level. Definitely a nice touch, however, the puddles of darker paint left behind can give the impression that the sculpt isn’t as intricate as it really is, but only when looking at it super close like only a camera can. My point is, if you see what appears to be sloppy work on the scales in the photos of this review, keep in mind you really can’t see that with only your eyes.
As mentioned earlier in this review, this darker wash can give the impression that the scale pattern is busier and finer than it should be. Well, I won’t nitpick any longer. I’m actually glad it’s there as it gives the scaly areas a realistic appearance and avoids a toyish look.
Gigan’s beak, pinchers, horn, spikes, claws and saw are painted in a bright silver with only a super slight gloss to them enough to make those bits seem like metal without being overly shiny. They are, though, in my opinion, too bright. When I look at it with the lights low, the silver seems perfect. But in normal light: too bright. I’m probably just over thinking this.
The silver feathers fairly well into the green. But it’s too clean. There was clearly more ‘grunge’ on the the claws in the movie.
The fins (back flaps?) have a muted, mustardy yellow base coat which feather into brown near the back and then slightly outward along the spines in the wing. Shadows are applied strategically along folds in the sculpt making them stand out even more. Light sprays of muted red highlight the base of each silver spike reaching out beyond the yellowish membranes.
The teeth are painted in an off white and the inside of the mouth is a sort of pinkish color and the visor is molded in dark red. Overall a fine, fine paint job.
…having one of these on your shelf is the next best thing to going back in time and using a shrink ray on the original suit.
Before getting into size comparisons I should point out to those who don’t already know that this Gigan figure is short. Noticeably shorter and thus technically out of scale with other figures in the series. However, when I finally got this figure in front of me, it didn’t seem all that bad. Still, I wish it was taller.
If you already own the Large Monster Series (25cm) Gigan 1972 then this should give you a good feel for the size of the 30cm version seen on the right. I had heard that the 30cm version is barely taller than the 25. Glad to see that’s not quite the case.
Toho 30cm Series Gigan 1972 and Gigan 2004 seem to see eye to eye, or visor to visor. Note that the 04’s shoulders and hips are higher than the on the 72 which means he’s bigger. Even so, visually, they size up pretty well next to each other.
Here we have some 30cm Series up-and-down height craziness. The 30cm Series Baragon 1965 vinyl manages to be even shorter than Gigan. And the X-Plus Mechagodzilla 1974 is clearly a whole head taller.
On the left, the 30cm Series Godzilla 1964 vinyl’s grumpy mug needs to look down on Gigan. On the right, the 30cm Series Godzilla 1968 is a bit closer to Gigan in the Height Department. Or should I say the Lack of Height Department, since the X-Plus G’68 is notorious for being short as well.
Here’s a new size comparison which I thought would be handy for new collectors. Here, the 30cm Series Gigan 1974 is surrounded by many of the most recently released figures, currently available figures and figures coming soon.
From left to right: 30cm Series Godzilla 1989, Large Monster Series King Ghidorah 1968, Large Monster Series Anguirus 1968, Gigan, Large Monster Series Godzilla and Minya 1968, 30cm Series Hedorah and the 30cm Series Gorosaurus 1967.
And for those who have no figures shown above we have a real world size comparison with a Godzilla vs. Gigan blu ray case, and iPhone set to one of my favorite websites and our old friend, the Coke can. (Did you miss him?)
FOOTPRINT ON THE SHELF
At only 11.5 inches long for a tailed biped, the 30cm Series Gigan 1972 doesn’t cause trouble on the shelf. It will slip in nicely between two other figures and won’t take up a lot of space. His tail even curves slightly to one side so that if you place him on an angle facing the right he still won’t hog up space.
RIC BOY EXCLUSIVE
The exclusive Ric Boy version of the original release and March 2015 Japanese re-issue both have light-up visors. (The March 2016 Diamond Reissue does not have the light gimmick.)
I’ve been bad mouthing light gimmicks for a while now but that has been because the translucent, plastic-looking fins lacking paint and paint detail on light gimmick Godzilla figures were not made up for by a light effect which would be used only occasionally. But Gigan’s visor is already plastic and nothing is lost here. And it LOOKS FANTASTIC!
The entire head is likely made of the softer, translucent plastic since it’s so squishy as pointed out in Ohgod itsoniichan’s review (see link below). I should have realized myself though since this gimmick unfortunately has light leaks creeping through the paint on the back of the head. And it’s not just the figure I have. Others have reported the leaks as well. On the bright side, these leaks can mostly be seen only from the back.
The light effect requires you taking the battery box/pack/dongle thingy and plugging it into the rear of the figure’s left foot and switching it on. The box takes two LR44 watch batteries (I believe) and can be replaced.
Apart from being a little short, the Toho 30cm Series Gigan 1972 Vinyl Figure by X-Plus does not disappoint. It has a couple of awkward seams, but all of its many contrasting textures are masterfully sculpted. The arms are poseable, which is a plus. And the visor lights, which is a big plus. It’s an amazing likeness and having one of these on your shelf is the next best thing to going back in time and using a shrink ray on the original suit.
By John Stanowski Originally posted March 11th, 2015 on Kaiju Addicts.
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