大怪獣シリーズ 大映特撮編 「バイラス ガメラ対宇宙怪獣バイラス」 少年リック限定版
JAPAN RELEASE: AUGUST 2013
SERIES: LARGE MONSTER SERIES
MATERIAL: SOFT VINYL
FROM: “GAMERA VS. VIRAS”, 1968
HEIGHT: 16 INCHES / 40.64 CM
WIDTH: 10.5 INCHES / 26.67 CM
ARTICULATION: NECK, WAIST
REVIEW AND PHOTOS: JOHN STANOWSKI
The third of Showa Gamera’s foes, Viras, is finally unleashed. Though a part of the smaller Large Monster Series line, Viras is tallest vinyl figure to walk out of the X-Plus factory.
It’s hard for me to tell how faithful the new X-Plus Viras vinyl is to the original. I was never really big on Showa Gamera movies except when I was a kid. And even with that, the only things I remember from back then are images of a spinning Gamera in flight, and Viras. Having to rely on photos and a viewing of “Gamera vs. Viras”, I’d have to say the vinyl comes pretty damn close. All the details are there. They’re in the right places and are in scale relative to itself.
The overall sculpt is a striking resemblance that not only captures the look of the suit, but the subtle ways the suit carried itself. The chisled angles of the face are dead on with the possible exception that the eyes are too dark. The head… spike… things are shaped perfectly as are the tips of the lower tentacles.
The X-Plus Viras is multi-textured. Under an array of elephant trunk-like grooves is a subtle bumpiness that makes this figure visually interesting. However, X-Plus definitely went a little overboard with it. They have the pattern right, there’s just too much of it. The Viras in the movie was a lot smoother than this figure, especially from the neck down. Not that I see them all, but the last time I saw this sort of skin textures going too deep was on the 25cm Ultra kaiju Gomora Reborn. It makes for a nicer figure, but the tradeoff is accuracy.
JOINTS & SEAMS
Okay, let’s get this out of the way. You’ve probably already noticed the heinous seam around Viras’ neck. It’s there because part of the Ric Boy exclusive version is an interchangeable second head. Okay, that makes sense. But that seam! Groan. I would GLADLY send my spare head back to X-Plus if they would glue seal this joint and fill it in. See the pic at the bottom to see how much better it would look without the necklace.
There are seams where all of the tentacles meet the body just below the neck. Though they are glued and covered over with paint, they’re still obvious if you look closely. The rear tentacle has an obnoxious seam that looks like a flap. This is intentional as this was part of the actual Viras suit and was visible in the movie.
The waist can be rotated but I don’t see any benefit to doing this, though it may need to be adjusted. When I took mine out of the box I found that the legs weren’t inserted all the way. The neck can be rotated only slightly because of it’s elliptical shape.
X-Plus had a few poses to choose from since this six-tentacled kaiju did have some moves. They chose the standard standing pose and is the way we see Viras most of the time while he stood in his cage onboard his spaceship. The mood/feel/personality of Viras’ tentacles and posture in the movie are captured very well in the figure.
Viras stands on his own two feet and is also supported by the front and rear tentacles. As for the former, I found that it hung down too low and didn’t allow Viras to keep his feet flat on the ground. I just gave it a squeeze and it stands fine now.
The X-Plus Viras vinyl figure has a good looking paint job, and an interesting one too. It looks like it was first given a base coat of a dull purple and was then gone over with a light blue, almost teal color. This second color fills in many of the cracks in the texture of the skin, and yet only ‘clouds’ over the rest. It’s hard to describe but it look really good. The paint job overall is semi-glossy and almost seems iridescent. It also seems a bit darker than it should be.
The beak is a glossy silver and, if you can see that close, the eyes are full of detail with arteries fanning out around black pupils with firey orange irises (no pun intended).
Viras is huge and seems to dwarf the X-Plus Gamera 1966. At first they didn’t look to be in scale with each other. Yes, Viras was much taller than Gamera… but this much? I revisited the movie and I’m still not sure. It’s hard to tell as Viras was often squishing and squooshing around Gamera during the fight. Ultimately, I’ve come to feel that, yes, they are mostly in scale with each other. It’s just that the Viras figure is standing tall, and Gamera is slouching.
So, yeah, look at this. Viras is from the smaller Large Monster Series line and yet is taller than the two tallest figures I have from the 30cm series (Godzilla monochrome 1954 and Hedorah). He’s taller than Biollante. The only figure that comes close to Viras’ height is Mothra Imago, and she’s held up high on a pole!
Even with tentacles off in every direction, Viras still takes up about the same space a other biped figures. Also, conveniently, the two tentacles that spread out the farthest are in the front and make it easy for other figures to fit behind them. But forget all of that. It’s Viras’ height you need to contend with. At 16 inches, the only shelf this vinyl fits on is the top one.
RIC BOY EXCLUSIVE FEATURES
The Ric Boy version of the X-Plus Viras vinyl comes with a second head. It sports all three head tentacles retracted into a giant spear perfect for impaling boulders and giant turtles. But it may also be capable of doing some damage to vinyl collectors. (You should probably keep this one away from the kids.) This alternate head also features an open beak and derpy eyes looking toward the left. The joint for the head is elliptical and can be a little more challenging to switch than with rounder ones.
But, wait! That’s not all! The Ric Boy version also comes with a miniature “bumblebee” spaceship. The detail and quality of this item is fantastic except for some flash line artifacts on each of the radar dish thingys. Also some of the antennae feed horns are bent, but can be somewhat coaxed into being straight again. As for paint: good show! The concentric circles of black and yellow are perfectly “in the lines”. The dishes, landing gear and ring are colored in a metallic blue. A+!
The X-Plus Viras comes in a plain, white, blind box just like the ones for Kumonga, Mothra Imago and the Rodan figures. Viras is wired into the plastic shell with two ties.
Here’s a Photoshopped example of how perfect Viras could have looked without that ugly seam running around his neck.
By John Stanowski Originally posted September 7th, 2013 on Kaiju Addicts.
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