JAPAN ORIGINAL RELEASE: FEB-MAR 2017
NORTH AMERICAN (DIAMOND) REISSUE: JUNE 2017
SERIES: TOHO 30CM SERIES YUJI SAKAI MODELING COLLECTION
FROM: “GODZILLA, MOTHRA AND KING GHIDORAH: GIANT MONSTERS ALL-OUT ATTACK” (2001)
HEIGHT: 10.875 INCHES / 27.6 CM
WIDTH: (TOE TO TOE) 8 INCHES / 20.3 CM
LENGTH (RIGHT FOOT TO TIP OF TAIL): 15.75 INCHES / 40 CM
FIGURE WEIGHT: 1 LB 1OZ / 482 G
REVIEW AND PHOTOS: © JOHN STANOWSKI
GODZILLA: TM & © TOHO CO.,LTD.
The Toho 30cm Series Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection Godzilla 2001 vinyl figure by X-Plus was first announced in late 2015. It was released in Japan in late February / early March, 2016. It was re-issued by X-Plus for the United States and Canada in June 2017.
This figure is based on Godzilla’s appearance in the 2001 Shusuke Kaneko film, Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, the third movie in the Millennium Series.
It was sculpted by renowned Godzilla sculptor, Yuji Sakai. It is the fourth in the Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection. It follows the 30cm Series Godzilla 1989 (Osaka Landing), Godzilla 1991 (Hokkaido Version) and the Gigantic Series Godzilla 2000.
The 30cm Series Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection Godzilla 2001 comes in a plain box (14.25″ x 8.5″ x 13″) with color art only on the cover.
Note: the North American (Diamond) Reissue of this figure uses the same box with the exception of the PX (Previews Exclusive) logo added to the front.
Inside, the figure is wired into a form-fitting plastic shell. It comes in two pieces: the main body and a tail piece which you must attach. (Watch Rich Eso’s video on how to attach tails the right way.)
Like most of the Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection, this figure comes with a tail base which it will need in order to stand properly.
I really don’t understand Mr. Sakai’s constant need to have his Goji sculpts with their tails up in the air. I would love to be able to pick his figures up and put them down without having to worry about lining up the tail stand first. If you’re not one to handle your figures frequently, then this really shouldn’t be an issue for you.
If you choose to not use the base (or loose it) the figure will still display well from the front as seen in the photo above on the left. Side view is another story though, as you can see in the photo above on the right.
And, here it is. It’s practically a masterpiece.
X-Plus’ two previous attempts (in modern times – post 2009) at this suit had both fallen short on movie accuracy to varying degrees. While this sculpt is not completely movie accurate in all areas either (more on that later), it’s very, very close. And, it’s off the charts when it comes to its ability to capture the essence of the GMK suit.
If you ask me, this one right here is the ultimate X-Plus GMK — for those who prefer movie accuracy — to own. There may be some competition for it when the “vinylized” MM28 sculpt comes out in 2018, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We’re talking about THIS guy right now.
This is one of the areas where this figure really shines. Mr. Sakai did a fantastic job reproducing Godzilla’s head from every angle. No small feat, especially in the world of X-Plus. The head on the 30cm Series Godzilla 2001 was sort of bloated and soft. And the head on the Large Monster Series Godzilla 2001, though better, seems too thin from the front.
This Sakai here though… FIVE stars!
New collectors will find that the skin textures on this figure are an intricate playground for your eyes and tactile senses.
More experienced collectors may find that this figure has a … “sculptor-ly” quality about it. Not on the intricate details like the face and claws, but on wide patches of skin.
The skin texture may come off as being too intricate and too deep when comparing it to the suit used in the movie. I don’t think you should let that bother you though. All of the Sakai figures are like that, and you get used it pretty quickly.
The dorsal spines on Godzilla 2001 are totally unique to this one suit. And their bony, coral-like design is absolutely nailed on this figure. And an expertly added rough texture makes them look even better.
EXCEPTIONS TO MOVIE ACCURACY
As I wrote earlier, this sculpt is really close to being movie accurate and, currently, no other X-Plus GMK can match it. But if you want to nitpick, there are a couple of areas where it strays from the original suit.
The thighs stand out the most. They are overly muscular with bulging top quads down the front center of each leg. This area is generally smooth and roundish all around on the actual suit. The chest on the figure also seems to be a tad ‘chiseled’ compared to the usually flat chest on the suit. (Ironically, the original 30cm Series Godzilla 2001, which is considered a bit on the inferior side, gets both of these areas right.)
But even with these two liberties taken by the sculptor, the 30cm Series Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection Godzilla 2001 is currently still second to none when it comes to looking like the “real” thing.
If you ask me, this one right here is the ultimate X-Plus GMK — for those who prefer movie accuracy — to own.
Apart from the tail, this figure stands face front, arms at sides and legs spread in a pretty standard pose. That’s the way I like it! The figure stands in a neutral way allowing you to get sucked into all of the crazy good detail.
The tail, on the other hand, is kind of radical in it’s sweeping curl up along the figure’s right side. If you view the figure from the front, you’ll see that the tail is almost totally pulled to one side. This may cause a little congestion with a neighboring figure on the shelf. Though I don’t have any trouble with it, even though my figures are packed in tight on display.
JOINTS & SEAMS
The only free joints on this figure is where you connect the tail and below the knees. All three connections are well hidden. Apart from that, it’s other parts are virtually seamless.
This figure has the usual asphalt black applied over the main body. Like other figures in the Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection, it’s base coat seems to have a richer quality to it.
Apart from a touch of lighter black drybrushed onto the chest, it really has no more highlights. But for some reason this doesn’t need them. This thing looks stellar just the way it is. Perhaps because of the way the light plays on it’s deeper textures.
Instead of the usual bony tans, the claws are painted a sort of blueish gray which feather well into the feet and well enough on the claws.
The most impressive work can be found on the dorsal spines where an off-white (with almost a tinge of blue) expertly feather into the dull black where each bony plate meets the back. Very, very well done.
The individually sculpted teeth are individually painted in an off tartar white. A reserved deep, dark red coats the mouth and skillfully fills the space between each tooth.
Godzilla’s dead white eyes are sprayed with an off white which does not rush to meet the edges of the skin. This creates a sort of faux shadow look which gives each eye more depth. (It was most likely the easiest way for them to get painted in the factory. Regardless, what you get looks pretty damn cool.
The most impressive work can be found on the dorsal spines where an off-white (with almost a tinge of blue) expertly feather into the dull black where each bony plate meets the back.
The most important thing I could say about this figure’s size is that, compared to the bulk of the Toho 30cm Series, it comes up short at only 27.6cm (10.8 inches). Because of this, it does look smaller all around. But, if you are collecting other figures from the Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection, you’ll find that it fits right in with the rest of the figures.
All I can suggest is realize that you now collect 30cm figures and 27.5cm figures. Keep them on their own separate shelves and they’ll look great. If you already also collect the Large Monster Series, you know what I mean.
FOOTPRINT / ON THE SHELF
As you can see from the photo, and as already mentioned, this GMK has a swooping tail which takes up a lot of space on the figure’s right side. Fortunately, that tail also rises up just enough to let you slip the standard tail of another Sakai below it. So if you do it right, you won’t have a lot of unusable dead space next to this guy.
This GMK fits perfectly in scale with the rest of the Toho 30cm Series Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection vinyls: the Godzilla 1989 Osaka Landing Version, the Godzilla 1991 Hokkaido Version, Godzilla 2001 and the Godzilla 1992 Tanzawa March Version.
Unlike most other figures in the Toho 30cm Series, these are actually reach up only as much as 27.5cm tall. If you don’t like zig zags in your X-Plus skyline, just do what I do and display the Sakai’s on their own shelf.
The newer Yuji Sakai Godzilla 2001 is the clear winner when it comes to matching the suit in the movie. The Toho 30cm Series Godzilla 2001 on the left has some issues, but I’m still glad I have one!
On the right is the original Large Monster Series Godzilla 2001 (which came out in 2010). It has a far better sculpt than the 30cm version. But, both of them can’t even touch that Sakai in the middle.
The Sakai GMK is a lightweight nothing when compared to the mass of the Gigantic Series Godzilla 2001. But it does have accuracy on its side. The Gigantic’s stylized approach can’t even come close to the accuracy on the Sakai.
Here is an essential size comparison with the Large Monster Series King Ghidorah 2001. Even though they are about the same height, the KG is actually from a smaller scale. But, seeing as how the Sakai Godzilla 2001 is a couple of centimeters short for its series, it’s a good-looking match for this KG.
Technically, the Large Monster Series King Ghidorah 2001 should be paired with the Large Monster Series GMK on the left. But, yeah, I’m pretty sure he’s lookin’ a little small to be a good match.
The so-called 30cm Series GMK on the right looks like a better match. I suppose this means the new King Ghidorah falls into that newer category of figures which are a bit too large for the line — just like the Large Monsters Series Godzilla 1995, Destoroyah and Shin Godzilla.
But getting back on track, if you are lucky enough to have purchased the somewhat recently released GMK King Ghidorah from Japan, your Sakai GMK Godzilla will make a great companion for it.
Quick size comparison with some other figures which new and potential X-Plus collectors may have around the house: the S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla 2001 and the 8-inch Bandai.
And, finally here’s a size comparison with a blu ray disc for those who have yet to obtain anything seen above. I hope this shot gives you a good feel for the size of this awesome vinyl.
RIC BOY EXCLUSIVE
A Shounen Ric Exclusive version was available with light-up fins.
The Toho 30cm Series Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection Godzilla 2001 is, in my opinion, one of the best vinyls X-Plus has to offer. It’s very close to movie accuracy and succeeds brilliantly in properly capturing the look of that suit where so many other figures have failed.
Its amazing sculpt will quickly cancel out any beef you have with the tail base or it’s unruly tail (which may make it a little difficult for it to coexist on the shelf).
By John Stanowski Originally posted December 30th, 2017 on Kaiju Addicts.
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