JAPAN RELEASE: OCTOBER 2013
NORTH AMERICAN RE-ISSUE (DIAMOND): JULY 2016
SERIES: TOHO 30CM SERIES
MATERIAL: SOFT VINYL
FROM: “GODZILLA VS. SPACE GODZILLA”, 1994
ゴジラ VS スペースゴジラ
HEIGHT: 14 INCHES / 35.5 CM (TO TOP OF SHOULDER CRYSTALS)
WIDTH: 8.5 INCHES / 21.5 CM (AT THE SHOULDERS)
LENGTH: 18 INCHES / 45.7 CM (NOSE TO TAIL)
REVIEW AND PHOTOS: JOHN STANOWSKI
Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla (1994) wasn’t a shining point in the movie franchise but it did provide an interesting foe. Who better to battle Godzilla than a copy of himself? Sure we got a taste of that with 1974’s Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla but that just turned out to be a poser or sorts. Space Godzilla is the real deal. And while he may not be the most imaginative kaiju, he still managed to have a distinctive look which is (mostly) faithfully reproduced in this new vinyl figure by X-Plus.
One of the first things I hear from other collectors is: ‘he’s fat’. But is it really? Well… sort of, yeah. It’s actually difficult to get a good look at the details on Space Godzilla in the movie with all of the smoke and energy weapons fire, but I did get good peeks here and there. The figure seems to be too wide from the front. And its thunder thighs from the side view offend authenticity even more. I’m left wondering what visual sources the sculptor used as reference. Is it possible he had good, clear views of the suit from production photographs? Could it be that SG just appeared to be thinner because the wide angle lens on their film camera on the set squeezed the image inward ever so slightly? Who knows? It looks like the X-Plus Space Godzilla is on the chunky side.
Here’s a side by side comparison. They do seem to be equally chubby. But note the groove across the belly on the figure. This groove is not there on the movie still which makes me think the suit actor is hunching forward making him look fatter. What do you think?
The dorsal crystals on the back are thicker than they are on the suit. They’re also ‘spread out’ more. In the movie, they were closer together more like standard Godzilla fins. Usually, details like this bother me. But everything else about this figure is so awesome that I find myself look on the positive side. I love this thing!
There are a lot of nice textures on this figure. Most notable are all of the tendon-like grooves than line his front section from throat to groin. The sculpt where the body starts to blend with the shoulder crystals looks awesome.
I’m particularly fond of the head on this figure. It just looks great from all angles! Every one of those tiny teeth are individually sculpted.
The dorsal fins on Space Godzilla are comprised of crystals. For these, X-Plus used a very translucent, almost clear, material. These would be perfect for lighting with LED lights, but even the Ric Boy exclusive verion’s light gimmick only extended to the shoulder crystals and head “crown”. Why, then, did they use this material? Even though they don’t light up, they do allow some light from the room to pass through them. You can also see some crystal-like refraction from inside them.
While this material is a nice touch as far as adding a new ‘texture’ to the figure, their fragile nature worries me. These fins are very thin, squooshy and bendable. If you ask me, they seem kind of cheap-looking since they clearly look like plastic and have hardly any paint applied except for near their bases where they are individually glued into the back.
The material used for the shoulder crystals is different and looks much nicer. I wished they used the same stuff on the fins.
One nice touch, though, is that the crystal fins on the tail piece use the same material as on the back. This would have been a good chance for X-Plus to save money and just mold them in vinyl and paint them white like they did on the crystals at the tip of the tail which does look different. Instead they took the extra steps to keep up appearances.
One final note on these: While reviewing this figure I found a scratch on one shoulder crystal and another on a dorsal crystal. I don’t know if this happened in the factory or if I’m the guilty party. But it’s clear that they scratch easily.
JOINTS & SEAMS
As far as I can see there are eleven different pieces (not including the head crown and individual dorsal crystals) and a myriad of seams to go with them. In standard viewing conditions only one sticks out and that runs around the neck just below the head. The neck, shoulder crystals, shoulders and upper chest comprise one piece. The seams where the arms are glued in are visible but are occur at natural creases in the suit. The feet, I suspect, are separate pieces but the seams are filled in well. (Don’t slam him down on the table!)
Viewed from behind there is a visible seam around the back piece to which individual dorsal crystal (made of another material) are glued. There is an unsightly intersection of seams where the back piece meets the shoulders which is not a problem from most display angles. The tail joint seam is acceptable on the left side but is, however, not flush on the right side and has a visible “step”. The strip on the back which holds the spines doesn’t quite make it all the way down to meet the tail so there is a small gap there.
I’m not complaining as most seams are out of view under normal viewing conditions.
Nothing fancy here. The X-Plus Space Godzilla is posed into a simple stance with even feet and claws reaching slightly forward. Not that that’s a bad thing since that’s how he appears in most of the movie. His head does seem to lean forward slightly like he’s unfearfully staring down Godzilla. A+, X-Plus!
(Click on the photo above for a high resolution view, as with all other images on this page!)
X-Plus did a great job on Space Godzilla’s bluish black skin color. The end result has only a tinge of unsaturated blue. It comes off looking realistic and very un-toy-like. There really aren’t any differing shades of the blue in the form of highlights or shadows. But there are super dark reds brushed in on the legs, thighs and sides of the tail.
A sort of blood red is brushed over the higher elevations in the texture of the throat, chest and (groin?). It doesn’t clash with the bluish black and just looks good, good, good. If you look closer you’ll find some extra effort put into placing red in veinish, lavaflowish cracks around the shoulders under the crystals. And even subtler red is brushed along the bottom of the tail. Not bad attention to detail for an area you hardly see! Great job!
The eyes are comprised of large black pupils are surrounded by a ring of firey orange which in turn floats on red ‘whites’. You can only appreciate the details here if you look closely. From a distance the eyes just look dark with a slight touch of orange. The mouth is a deep, dark red with off-white teeth. The tusks and claws are white with redish, purpleish color fanning out from the cuticles. The toes are a super glossy pearl white, and a little too bright and shiny in my opinion.
The head crown is molded in a clear, gold material. The dorsal crystals are mostly unpainted translucent plastic. While it gives off a crystal ‘vibe’ in contrast to the rest of the figure, they all seem ‘cheap’. The rest of the smaller ridges running down the tail are painted a glossy, pearl white with tinges of red.
The X-Plus Space Godzilla is noticeably taller than the X-Plus Godzilla 1992 (closest thing I have to a ’94). Some say that Space Godzilla was taller than Goji in the movie, but this seems to be pushing it. I reviewed the movie again and there were two scenes where the two monsters went nose to nose. In the first scene, Space Godzilla was, indeed, taller than Goji, but not by as much as seen in the photo above. In the next scene they were somehow mysteriously level with each other and appeared to be the same height. In the end it’s overly obvious that Space Godzilla is definitely larger than most other figures in the Toho 30cm Series.
Here’s a size comparison with the X-Plus Godzilla 2004. Would you believe both figures are in the Toho 30cm Series?
And for those collectors who have yet to get their first X-Plus vinyl, here’s the new Space Godzilla amid an array of common household items. (Common to most Godzilla fans, anyway.)
To sums things up: it’s big.
Big figures are always a challenge when trying to find space on the shelf for display. And the X-Plus Space Godzilla isn’t going to make things any easier for you. It’s 18 inches long from nose to the backmost curve of the tail. But for the shelf we only need concern ourselves with the distance from the toes to the tail and that still requires a whopping 15 and a half inches! To make matters worse, the tail curves and then swings forward again. This makes it difficult to get another figure close to Space Godzilla’s right side. Well, I’ll leave this problem with you to handle. This is the price we pay for big figures!
RIC BOY EXCLUSIVE FEATURES
The Ric Boy exclusive version of this figure comes with a light gimmick. Nested deep inside the figure lay wires and LED lights which make the shoulder crystals and head ‘crown’ glow.
The shoulder crystals look awesome when lit. The frosty, translucent material used diffuses gentle illumination perfectly and they look great with and without the light. The problem is the light is way on the faint side. You’ll need to carry your new Space Godzilla into the shadows or turn off the light to fully appreciate them.
The golden, crystal crown atop Space Godzilla’s head, on the other hand, glares like a hyperactive lighthouse. In my opinion, it’s too bright.
And then there’s this: pinpoints of light speckled over the shoulders creep out unexpectedly through the paint. It would appear that the shoulder crystals, shoulders, neck and chest are all one piece made from the same translucent vinyl. The bluish black paint over the skin was intended to conceal the light emanating from within, except in the crystal area. But on my figure, the paint runs thin in some of the cracks and crevices in Space Godzilla’s textured skin.
(The light leaks don’t photograph easily. In the photo above I used a very long exposure so that the leaks would show up. The result above is very close to what it looks like to the eye.)
While this is obviously a mistake or lack of quality control, in a way it does look kind of cool, even if it isn’t accurate. In the end, I’m not really complaining because I know that I will rarely use the light gimmick, if at all. I’m just happy enough to have this awesome, huge hunk of Space Godzilla awesomeness.
The X-Plus Space Godzilla box is huge! It’s 16.5 inches tall and 16 inches wide. If you order this guy through the mail, expect an even bigger shipping box! As usual, the figure inside lays wire tied into a plastic shell with plastic sheeting covering most of the sensitive parts and extremities. The tail comes in two pieces.
ATTACHING THE TAIL
If you’ve ever wondered where Godzilla’s butt is… Alright, enough of that. Pictured above is the main tail joint and I have to say this was one of the toughest assembly jobs I ever encountered. I usually heat the butt end of the figure with a hair dryer until the vinyl is very soft and squooshy. With the tail still firm, I then hook one side of the flange into the hole and then squeeze, push and twist until it’s attached. As you can see by the none-round shape of the hole, twisting had limited effect. After three attempts I got it in. Hopefully you’ll have an easier time that I did.
The tail comes in two pieces which, in my case I assembled together first. I’d like to suggest to you that you attach the main tail piece to the body first if you’re a twister like me. The tail’s curved shape when assembled got in the way for me.
The X-Plus is a huge, hunk of awesomeness. Its larger-than-usual size gives it a lot of presence on the shelf and its extra weight just feels good when holding it. When you get this figure, you’ll feel like you got something really cool. The paint job is awesome, especially since there is so much that could have gone wrong. But they did it right! The mixture of materials used on the figure gives it an interesting look. My only problem with it is that the dorsal crystals seem really cheap and flimsy. I’d be crying tears of joy if only they were made of the same material as the shoulder crystals. And, once again, I’m overly impressed with the head and face.
By John Stanowski Originally posted November 6th, 2013 on Kaiju Addicts.
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