Full Review: X-Plus 12in Series Godzilla 1999 (2000) Version 2 (Diamond) Previews Exclusive Vinyl Figure
JAPAN ORIGINAL RELEASE: NOT RELEASED IN JAPAN.
NORTH AMERICAN (DIAMOND) ORIGINAL RELEASE: AUGUST 2017.
SERIES: KAIJU 12IN SERIES (30CM SERIES)
FROM: “GODZILLA 2000: MILLENNIUM” (1999)
HEIGHT (HEAD TO FLOOR): 10.125 INCHES / 25.7 CM
HEIGHT (FINS TO FLOOR): 11 INCHES / 27.9 CM
WIDTH: (TOE TO TOE AT ANGLE) 8 INCHES / 20.3 CM
LENGTH (NOSE TO TIP OF TAIL): 21.5 INCHES / 54.6 CM
REVIEW AND PHOTOS: © JOHN STANOWSKI
GODZILLA: TM & © TOHO CO.,LTD.
A CURIOUS RELEASE
We first learned about what would eventually be named the Godzilla Kaiju 12in Series Godzilla 1999 (2000) Version 2 vinyl figure by X-Plus in July 2016. It was on display at Diamond Distributor‘s booth at San Diego Comic-Con.
Collectors pointed out that this figure originally appeared as a KOC resin kit, and later a vinyl, which came out around the same time as the movie did.
What’s curious about this vinyl is, it was never released in Japan by X-Plus. I assumed it would show up as a Japanese release at some point before we got it here in North America, but that never happened. This is pretty interesting. Might we get more surprises like this?
So, what we have here is a first. The U.S. and Canada get this special release and Japan does not. At least not yet. Perhaps it will show up on the Japanese X-Plus site at some point.
Either way, we have it NOW so let’s focus on that.
This North American Release arrived in stores on August 23, 2017. It has a suggested retail price of $160 and you can order one of these right now at your local comic store.
I originally dismissed this figure. X-Plus had already put out a proper 30cm Series Godzilla 1999 (2000) and I was more than happy with that one.
Plus, this new one looked a bit stylized to me. Perhaps I thought that way because of its dynamic pose and bright fins. It was hard to tell since we’ve had only one photo to stare at for over a full year.
Also, on not only my mind but many others’, was the drastic step the figure is taking. It looked like a prime candidate for Vinyl Topple Syndrome.
As it turns out, this figure looks really, really good. And, its balance is totally solid.
To help you decide whether or not you need this guy on your shelf, I present this review.
The first thing you notice about the box is its lively new cover art. On it, the figure is called “Godzilla 1999 Ver. 2” although the full name from Diamond has been “Godzilla 1999 2K Millennium Ver. 2” for the past year.
Next thing to notice is its height. At 18 inches, it’s much taller than the average X-Plus box. Open it and you’ll see why. Rather than placing the tail joint near the “butt”, X-Plus decided to have a 7-inch portion of the tail already permanently attached to the body. Since the dorsal fins are not in the way, I can only assume this was done to help keep the figure sturdy with it’s drastic footspan. (It does.)
The figure and an additional tail piece, which you must insert, come wired in a plastic shell. The fins on this figure seems to have a bit more room than the Toho 30cm Series Godzilla 1999 (original release) does. So if you order this figure in the cold winter, there will be less of a chance for getting one with broken fins.
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
Putting the tail on this guy is ridiculously easy compared to other figures.
Since the joint is about 7 inches away from the body, the female end is a lot smaller. And the male end on the smaller tail piece doesn’t have the usual, flimsy “suction-cup” flange which is often prone to coiling in on itself when attaching.
As usual, get your hairdryer and heat up the hole on the main body. KEEP THE TAIL COOL so that it remains hard. When the hole on the body softens up from the heat, just insert the tail and twist. The round joint makes twisting easier.
I was able to get this tail on very quickly and with no trouble at all.
The 12in Series Godzilla 1999 Version 2 vinyl figure by X-Plus sports a fantastic sculpt leaning heavily toward the movie accurate side of the dial. It’s dramatic pose, though, makes it somewhat difficult to really tell if it could be said to look like it walked right out of the movie.
What is clear is that every detail, if not accurate, it completely represented on this figure. Each dorsal fin is comparable to a fin on the original 30cm Series Godzilla 1999. The paths of the textures and even each bump on the face is all there. When comparing this figure to photos, it’s the same thing. All of the details, even the smaller one we never pay attention to, are there.
It’s very clear that the sculptor had good reference material and went above and beyond to capture every detail. He accomplished this without having the opportunity to get to know this suit and have this (then) new design burn into his brain with repeat viewings of the movie over a period of years. (This figure came out shortly after the movie was released.)
The head on this figure is fan-fucking-tastic! As I mentioned before, each of those bumps on his snout correlates to bumps on the actual suit. And the proportions and sizes look perfect as well.
Although the tongue is not individually sculpted, it certainly gives the appearance of being a separate piece.
The teeth, which ARE individually sculpted look …fan-fucking-tastic! I’m totally impressed with these incisors and think this may be one of my favorite set of choppers from X-Plus.
Not shown here: the roof of the mouth has a series of deep, radiating ridges. It’s good to know there is detail waiting to be discovered on this figure, even when it’s not out in the open.
Every angle of the head sculpt looks fantastic. Although the front view makes him look a little drunk in the eyes. But you can see the intentional Godzilla 1962 influence on the design here especially. The top of the head and the “eyebrows” seem a bit too large and high. The original 1999 release wins here.
Do you see that little bulge in the skin right under the jaw on the right pic? That bulge would appear whenever the mouth opened wide on the suit. I think it’s fantastic that the sculptor took the time to capture such a small detail.
The sculpted details on the chest match the suit and, in my opinion, actually appear to have received more attention than those on the original 30cm Series Godzilla 1999 release. While the lighter paint and subtle highlights play a part in making it seem that way, the details really are more chiselled and sharp on this Version 2.
The sculpting of the dorsal fins is incredible and perfectly capture the new look from this suit. But, there is more going on here than you may think when casually looking. While not completely perfect matches, almost each and every spike follows each and every turn and angle from the spikes on the actual suit. This is insane attention to detail!
(Just for the record, the original Godzilla 1999 release also deserves some praise for this.)
I have to say, the “personality” of the suit movement and suit actor Tom Kitagawa is captured really well in this pose when you view it from the front.
The 12in Series Godzilla 1999 Version 2 is posed in a braced and forceful forward march. It’s body leans heavily forward and, perhaps most notably, the right leg is reaching far back with the ankle in the air. It reminds me of when Godzilla comes out of the ocean and advances onto the beach before get attacked by the JSDF and also the scene where he advanced toward Orga later in the city.
I have to say, the “personality” of the suit movement and suit actor Tom Kitagawa is captured really well in this pose when you view it from the front. That’s the kind of detail that’s sometimes harder to capture than actual physical details. I almost get the sense of movie-accurate movement when looking at this from the front.
This figure’s best angle is the forward right angle as seen in the production shot we’ve been looking at for a year. This angle, though, will cause the tip of the tail to poke the back wall making it slightly more difficult to fit on a smaller shelf.
The forward left angle also looks great, and here the tail will curve out of the way of the back wall. Also from this angle, more of the chest and front of the figure is visible making an almost picture perfect angle good enough for a movie poster.
The left flank of this figure is also a great choice. But the full on right flank is crap because of that backward angled leg lining up with the slanted body.
Almost every rear angle looks great but they’re not good for anything other than toy photography since no one will pose this guy facing the wall.
I do particularly like the full-on back view of this figure. The combination of the figure’s pose and it’s sweeping tail just looks cool as hell.
A by-product of this pose, and the first of three minor complaints of mine, is the drastic forward lean seen from about a third of the angles of view.
From some views, Godzilla looks like he’s tilted at some near-impossible angles. Impossible, that is, unless he’s about to fall to the ground. I think that it’s just an “illusion”. This position is totally plausible when marching forward like this. Think of an olympic track and field runner first sprinting forward in a race. His whole body is slanted even more forward than Godzilla here.
But I can see how it would bother some. One might say, ‘well, don’t display him at any of those angles’. And, I’ll say it now since it has to be said. But it would be nice if we didn’t have to avoid these sides of the figure.
On the bright side, this pose is very dynamic and that’s not something we X-Plus collectors are used to getting. And this dynamic pose really does a good job of capturing the essence of this suit’s movement.
The first thing you’ll notice about the this new Ver. 2 vinyl is it’s lighter greenish-black base coat. This is one of the many things that sets it apart from the original 30cm Series Godzilla 1999, which made no attempt to acknowledge the greenish shades of the Godzilla 2000 suit in its paint apps.
JOINTS & SEAMS
There are obvious seams above both biceps and below both knees. Seams are commonly found in these locations on many X-Plus figures. It’s just that all four seem to be more visible than usual on this figure, possibly due to the lighter paint apps. Click on the photos from the Pose Section for larger views to see these.
The is a nearly invisible seam running around the right ankle. You’d have to actually look for it to see it.
Since the upper half of the tail comes already attached to the body, there is no gap at all near the butt like we’re used to seeing. The actual tail joint, being halfway down the tail is totally invisible, hidden within a ridge in the sculpt.
The first thing you’ll notice about the this new Ver. 2 vinyl is it’s lighter greenish-black base coat. This is one of the many things that sets it apart from the original 30cm Series Godzilla 1999, which made no attempt to acknowledge the greenish shades of the Godzilla 2000 suit in its paint apps. (You can see the original figure in the size comparison section below.)
So which figure has it right?
While the suit was technically a dark green, we barely got to see this in the movie. The only time I can recall seeing the green actually showing up in the film was during Godzilla’s first encounter with the flying meteorite. This was shot at the Toho “pool” and was straight photography whereas most of the other day shots containing Godzilla were so badly composited (and color corrected) against actual locations that he wound up looking like he had the traditional charcoal black color. (There was, though, some effort to show the green in the one CGI shot of Godzilla swimming under water.)
Dusty, subtle highlights cover the higher elevations of the skin textures and this is, as always, a really nice touch.
The next thing that stands out is the intensity of the magenta/purple dorsal fins. They’re kind of on the bright side. A bit too bright to be movie accurate. I do recall the fins actually looking the same as this figure in a few shots of the night scene where Godzilla confronts Orga. But other than those, the fins tended to appear to have a much more reserved color. So, yeah, this figure is a bit on the flashy side.
The paint used on the fins is somewhat metallic and because of that, they’re pretty “shiny”. Perhaps if they were a bit duller, they would appear more movie-accurate.
The attention-getting color of these fins is my second minor peeve with this figure. Though I have to admit, they don’t offend all of the time. In darker light they look just fine. They may look a bit crazy in my photos, but remember that I’m blasting them with two huge lights. The figure will look a lot better on your shelf with normal light.
Godzilla’s teeth are a (to me) perfect shade of tartar, dirty white and look much better than the overly pearly whites on the original 1999 figure.
The eyes are a definite improvement over the original figure as far as contrast and visibility goes. But, I actually prefer the cloudy eyes on the original.
Overall, this figure will stand out on your shelf with its lighter, greener skin and flashy fins.
As collector Leslie Chambers first pointed out, the Ver. 2 may be a good stand-in for a Godzilla vs. Megaguirus vinyl.
My third concern about this figure is that, for all intents and purposes, it’s short.
At first glance, this new G2K figure seems significantly shorter than it’s predecessor, the Toho 30cm Series Godzilla 1999.
But it looses a lot of height because of it’s forward leaning pose. That fact does not console, though, for at the end of the day, on the shelf, it “looks” shorter.
If it makes you feel any better, it’s actually almost the same size as the first version when you lay them down on their sides. Here, the figures line up almost perfectly in height. So, “technically”, this figure is a good match for the 30cm Series.
But, if you still can’t get around that, just remember that the 30cm Series Godzilla 1984, 1968 and 2004 are also short.
If you’re going to let this visually shorter figure bother you, consider placing him on a different shelf. Here, the Ver. 2 is flanked by the Toho 30cm Series Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection Godzilla 1989 and Godzilla 2001. This line is notorious for being too short for the 30cm Series.
Some collectors, like myself, choose to display them on their own shelf where they can line up perfectly with one another.
The Ver. 2 is, visually, a good match. And, it’s not the only one…
Several recent Toho Large Monster Series figures are far too tall for their line. The Large Monster Series Godzilla 1995 (left), Destoroyah (not shown) and Shin Godzilla 2016 Fourth Form actually line up well with the Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection, and our new guy here, Godzilla 1999 Ver. 2.
If you don’t already have a “27.5cm” shelf, perhaps now is the time to start one.
For you Godzilla 2000 super fans, a group shot with the Gigantic Series Godzilla 2000 and the 30cm Series version.
Godzilla is posed into one large arc, curling slightly inward on its left side. The tail swinging to the left helps the figure keep perfect balance, despite it’s wide step. It also makes it easier to get this guy closer to the back wall.
A GOOD STAND-IN FOR GODZILLA VS. MEGAGUIRUS?
As collector Leslie Chambers first pointed out, the Ver. 2 may be a good stand-in for a Godzilla vs. Megaguirus vinyl.
Think of it. How likely is it at this point that X-Plus will put out a (Megaguirus) MireGoji figure? You could take this Ver. 2 and use it as a stand-in.
The same suit was used for Godzilla vs. Megaguirus after a few minor tweaks. And, unless you’re a super detail freak, you probably wouldn’t even know the difference. Well, I wouldn’t anyway.
What most anyone could notice, though, is that the second movie featured what appeared to be more of a greenish Godzilla. As I mentioned earlier, the 1999 suit was definitely dark green. But due to an abundance of poor composite work, and a lot of night shots, most the green simply got lost.
However, Godzilla vs. Megaguirus is packed with straight, in-camera cinematography shot on the sound stage under mostly bright lights. Because of this, we tend to think of MireGoji’s second movie as being greener. And the Ver. 2 vinyl is definitely greener.
Plus, it’s my guess that we’re more likely to get a new Megaguirus vinyl from X-Plus than a new MireGoji Godzilla. And, if and when that happens, you’ll already be prepared to pose the Ver. 2 beside it!
The 12in Series Godzilla 1999 Ver. 2 Previews Exclusive vinyl figure does have a few issues. It’s short. The fins are a bit too vibrant. And its marching pose makes him appear to be leaning from several angles.
But it ain’t all bad. This figure has a movie-accurate sculpt which skillfully incorporates little details casual viewers aren’t even aware of (including me!). It has a fantastic, dynamic pose which accurately captures the spirit of Tom Kitagawa and the G2K suit.
Having spent time with this figure for this review, I can’t imagine not having it on my shelves. It may not be the best. But, it’s certainly no where even near the worst. Plus, it makes for a great stand-in for a Godzilla vs. Megaguirus Godzilla.
It’s definitely a keeper and worth getting.
WHERE TO GET ONE
(Note this sections information is not valid now but is included as it was part of the review.)
As of this writing, the 12in Series Godzilla 1999 Ver. 2 vinyl figure has just now been released. Now is the time to grab one.
So far this figure is a North American release only. You probably won’t find any from Japanese stores unless they find their way over there via the gray market.
This figure is a Previews Exclusive and available only from authorized Diamond Comics Distributors retailers. To find one you need look no further than your local comic book store. There not likely to be in stock when you get there, but they can certainly order one for you.
Keep in mind that this figure is not the only Godzilla 1999 figure Diamond ever released. So to avoid confusion, tell the guy behind the counter that you want the GODZILLA 12IN SER GODZILLA 1999 2K MILLENNIUM VER PX FIG.
Even better, give them the current Item Code which is AUG162829.
If you’re not up for a two to three week wait, you can order one online from a mess of online retailers.
By John Stanowski Originally posted August 27th, 2017 on Kaiju Addicts.
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