JAPAN RELEASE: DECEMBER 2011
DIAMOND RE-ISSUE: NOVEMBER 2013
SERIES: TOHO 30CM SERIES
MATERIAL: SOFT VINYL
FROM: “GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA”, 1974
HEIGHT: 12.5 INCHES / 31.75 CM (ADD .75 INCHES WITH BASE)
WIDTH: 6.5 INCHES / 16.51 CM (WITHOUT BASE)
LENGTH: 9.5 INCHES / 24.13 CM (TOES TO TAIL, WITHOUT BASE)
ARTICULATION: NECK, SHOULDERS, RIGHT ELBOW, WRISTS, HIPS, FEET.
REVIEW AND PHOTOS: JOHN STANOWSKI
Mechagodzilla first reared his shiny head in an attempt to boost slumping ticket sales in the film “Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla” in 1974. The movie succeeded in generating more money, but not by much. The sequel, “Terror of Mechagodzilla” was the last Godzilla movie until the series was rebooted in 1984. But enough of the somber death-of-a-series talk. The series went out with a bang with a double dose of one of the franchise’s more memorable foes!
Mechagodzilla first got the X-Plus vinyl treatment in December of 2011. Being a limited run, as with all X-Plus offerings, this figure became scarce and collectors watched it’s price tag go up and up.
Enter Diamond Distributors, the folks who stock most of the comic shops in the U.S. and Canada. They struck a deal with Toho which would license X-Plus to manufacture reissues of old favorites for distribution in North America. To learn more, see my post on the Diamond North American Reissues.
The first wave of X-Plus / Diamond Reissues were announced earlier this year and preorders were taken back in April of 2013. After a long wait, Godzilla 1954 and Mechagodzilla 1974 have finally arrived in the hands of eager collectors!
This review covers the X-Plus Toho 30cm Series Mechagodzilla 1974 Diamond North American Reissue, which should be almost identical to the original release.
I have to admit, I wasn’t overly excited about my preorder finally coming through. X-Plus has blasted us with Mechagodzilla this year with a 25cm MG ’74, then a 25cm MG ’75. And then they did it yet again with another 25cm ’74 ‘base’ version! With that mecha-saturation, and the somewhat flat production photos of the 30cm version making it appear ‘simple’, I almost considered backing out of preorder.
I am so, so glad I didn’t. I LOVE THIS THING!
Though I have to admit that it still seems kind of ‘simple’ compared to the 25cm versions. These smaller figures seem more dynamic in the texture department. As you know, X-Plus strives to mimic the actual suit used in the movie rather than a stylized or idealized version. Like Ultraman, Mechagodzilla has a lot of smooth surfaces where the suit just loved to crinkle up with cracks and creases. The sculpt of this 30cm version does have them, but no where near as much as the shorter Large Monster Series versions. It’s this lack of crease detail that makes it seem simple to me. It just seems more “clean cut”. I’m beginning to think that, perhaps, the 25’s actually have too many creases and that this 30cm has it right.
It also seems to be thinner than the 25cm barrels of cosmic fun. Despite these shortcomings, there’s an aura about this sculpt that… I don’t know, seems solid and strong. And it just looks freakin’ amazing on the shelf with my other 30s.
The head boasts a rotating neck joint, hinged jaw for both open and closed poses and yellow, plastic eyes with great texture detail and light refraction. Though, again, it’s seem simpler than the heads on the 25’s with smoother details on top of the snout and on the sides of the neck. A nice touch is a hinged door on the chest which you can open to reveal an energy beam emitter. The door works well and stays shut when asked. I would probably still recommend not messing with it too, too much.
OH, GROAN. IT’S A BASE
One unusual aspect of this figure is the addition of a separate earthy-styled base required for the figure to stand properly. Hmm. Not diggin’ that. Myself, I’d rather the tail swooped down to touch the floor which would allow the figure to stand securely on its own.
I’ve seen photos from other collectors demonstrating that it is possible for the figure to stand on its own, but I imagine that would be a teetering, precarious arrangement. Either way, it’s out of the question for me as my figure has demonstrated zero ability to stand on its own without the base. I do, however, have a solution for those of you who would like to go base-free. Scroll down to the “Footprint” section to learn more.
JOINTS & SEAMS
Seam lines simply are not a factor on this figure because of it’s robot anatomy. And since the tail and body are one piece (with no assembly required) there’s nothing to see in the rear.
X-Plus vinyls are in the ‘statue’ category and usually don’t have articulation. That is, unless it’s a robot where moving joints don’t look at all out of place. The 30cm Mechagodzilla has multiple moveable parts and joints. There’s rotation available in the neck, shoulders, hands, hips and feet. The right elbow rotates also but the left elbow doesn’t seem to. There is also a hinged jaw and the chest door opens to reveal MG’s beam weapon. You may need to employ the ankle joints in order to get the figure to stand properly on its base.
The pose is neither overly exciting nor boring. The feet are spread out enough to create a sense of movement without the over-the-top stance which the 25cm version has. The arms are bent at 90 degree angles. And, of course, the available articulation points give you room to modify the pose. The tail gently moves to the left.
The X-Plus Mechagodzilla 1974 is covered in a base of dark silver with just a touch of gloss. It has darker silver airbrushed in as shadows. Overall, the figure’s appearance may be too dark… but I like it! The MG logo on both arms and the missile launchers inside the mouth are in a dirty red (nice!). The “ears” are done in a more metallic red and the smaller circles within are darkened (something the 25cm versions didn’t have room for). There are traces of red and pale blue highlights airbrushed here and there which are so subtle you have to consciously look for them. Like it!
Some of the Diamond North American reissues of this figure seem to have become deformed out of shape somewhere on its journey from Japan. The figures somehow settled into their packaging and come out warped into a curve, as if they were all leaning to one side.
See my separate article “Leaning Mechagodzillas And How To Fix Them”.
The X-Plus 30cm Series Mechagodzilla 1974 is a little on the tall side. Though it seems a perfect scale match with this 30cm Series Godzilla 1954 (also part of the first wave of Diamond North American reissues), Mechagodzilla is a tad taller than all of the other Gojis in the line. And he gets even taller (about three quarters of an inch) if you place him on his base.
Despite being on the tall side, Mechagodzilla still has to look up to the X-Plus 30cm Series Hedorah, as do most other figures.
Sorry, Kiryu. You may be sleeker and more advanced, but this 1970s barrel-chested retro space robot seems to be bigger than you! Actually both figures are 12.5 inches tall. Kiryu is actually a tad shorter if you measure by the top of their “skulls”, but it’s that fin on the top of Kiryu’s head that’s reaching up to the 12.5 inch mark. Also, heads on Showa suits seem to be larger in proportion to the rest of their bodies than the Heisei and Millennium suits and I think in this case that’s making MG ’74 seem even larger.
And for Mechagodzilla fanatics who have to have ’em all: here’s what the 30cm Mechagodzilla 1974 looks like beside its 25cm counterpart as well as the 25cm 1975 version.
For those who have yet to get their very first X-Plus 30cm figure and need a better sense of size besides reading numbers… Here’s the MG reissue beside a DVD, an iPhone and a Chogokin Mechagodzilla 1975. Yeah, looks like the X-Plus MG can kick that iPhone’s ass.
Even with its base, the X-Plus 30cm Series Mechagodzilla 1974 doesn’t ask for extra room on the shelf. You can thank the shorter tail.
GO BASE-FREE WITH THE TAIL LEAN
Mechagodzilla is already on the tall side. And the included base pushes it up higher by another three quarters of an inch. If this bugs you, then don’t use the base! Mechagodzilla’s tail does not touch the floor, but it is the perfect height for resting on the tail of a nearby Godzilla. In the photo above, my Mechagodzilla is getting support by way of a Godzilla 1984 tail. It works great and the figure is surprisingly stable. And it now looks more in line with the other figures.
Scroll up to see this ‘tail lean’ in action in the first three photos of the Size Comparison section.
The X-Plus Toho 30cm Series Mechagodzilla 1974 Diamond North American Reissue comes in the same box as its 2011 predecessor. The only difference is the “Previews Exclusive” logo printed on the box art. This should serve as a guide for aftermarket figure hunters trying to identify items found on Ebay and other sites.
Another difference is that the warning labels on the back of the box are printed in English. Finally we get to see what all those kanji and hiragana were going on about! (Click the photo above for a larger view which you can read.) The brief instructions found inside the box are also printed in English.
Despite the need for a base, the potential to receive a warped figure and the barrage of other Mechagodzilla figures offered this year, the X-Plus Mechagodzilla North American Diamond Release — or the original 2011 Japanese release — is pretty badass indeed. It’s a great likeness and it will break up the monotony of dark skin on your 30cm shelf. Get it! Get it noooow!
By John Stanowski Originally posted November 28th, 2013 on Kaiju Addicts.
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