Welcome, the Kaiju Museum is now open. Please enter in an orderly fashion and take care not to touch the glass or any of the exhibits. They’ve known to bite and even, occasionally, to fire energy weapons. Please enjoy your stay.
THE KAIJU MUSEUM
The X-Plus Kaiju Museum is a line of small polyresin figurines. Eleven were made a year or two ago based on the original Ultraman television series. They are about 4 inches tall on average and yet have amazing detail and likenesses. Each one came with a sturdy, plastic display case.
I thought now would be a good time for an overview of these amazing figurines since the line is getting re-booted with a focus on Godzilla characters. X-Plus has told me that those will start coming out sometime in the first quarter of 2015. But, more on that further down the page. For now, let’s talk about the Ultras.
This is the Kaiju Museum Zaragas by X-Plus. It has INCREDIBLE detail, texture and paint applications. Just look at the eyes! All of this is typical of each figurine in the series. Some of them come with translucent parts for really nice touches as in the case of Zaragas’ horn seen above.
Here’s a close-up of Ultra-Kaiju Antlar. Note the nice texture on the head and front mandibles. Antlar also has fine, thin mandible bits around his mouth. They look fantastic but seem prone to breaking. Mine actually arrived with one broken mouth piece while it was still in the box. But more on that later.
The Ultra Kaiju Ragon looks ridiculously accurate and from every angle. …And they’re all like that!
AND AS FOR SIZE…
WHAT SORCERY IS THIS?!
All of this suit accuracy, detail and texture is crammed into an average size of only 4 inches. It must have taken a secret pact with Xiliens, Kilaacks, people from Venus, people from the future and a deal with the devil to make these figures possible. How else could X-Plus manage to make these so awesome and yet so small at the same time?
And, you know what’s really crazy? They are fully capable of standing on their own. Of course the monsters with tails can stand on their own with no problem, but even the bipeds like Baltan 1 and Ragon can too. The one exception is Pigmon who absolutely requires his base in order to stand, but more on bases later.
Okay, let’s look at more figures.
You’ve already seen Ragon, Zagaras and Antlar. Here are shots of the rest. Don’t forget, you can click on all the photos for larger, hi-res views.
The original Ultraman is sculpted reasonably well for something so small. It may be a bit smoother than it should be. The paint job is fantastic considering someone at the factory had to ‘stay in the lines’ with this tiny figurine. The eyes and timer are made of translucent material. Nice touch! He can stand on his own but it’s just a matter of time before a sneeze knocks him over. Keep this one in his case!
Ultraman’s first kaiju foe is a wonder of detail and texture. The scales are intricately and deeply sculpted allowing light and shadow to play on the texture which brings it out even more. It also has individually sculpted teeth and an amazing paint job on the eyes.
Wow! Baltan’s head is packed with texture and detail. The ‘eye pin holes’ for the suit actor are clearly visible which I find incredible considering it’s so small. And suit accuracy abounds! Just as on the vinyl version, each claw has a row of 9 square indents on the inside of each claw; exactly how many there should be. Eyes are made of translucent plastic and the figure stands on its own, but the slightest bump and he’s down. Keep him in his display case.
I have the same good words for Neronga. Look at the square pattern on his chest and note how the squares start to break up and scatter just as they did on the suit. His horn is made of translucent material and looks fantastic! Unfortunate for me, the tip had broken off before I even opened the box. His “ears” come as separate pieces which you can just insert either back or forward ready to fire. This figurine has a bit of heft to it compared to most of the others. It’s solid.
The texture, crinkles and folds on Greenmons looks great, especially for such a small piece. One thing watch out for on this one, are the tiny protruding protuberances crowning his head and running down his sides. Again, my figurine arrive with a couple of these broken off, even before I got it out of the box. Seems like a fairly easy fix with a steady hand and some super glue.
Holy crap, this thing is incredible! Not only does it look exactly like Pigmon, but the level of detail knocks me out of my chair! You just have to see it for yourself in person to really appreciate it. One thing to note is Pigmon can not stand on his own at all. Don’t even try it or he may break a finger or his tail in the fall. Keep him on his stand and in his display case.
And already seen above:
Another solid and hefty entry in the line. Zaragas sports astounding detail. The shuffled, raised square pattern on his chest is incredibly detailed. And the paint job on this one is particularly impressive. Again, this figurine has a cool looking translucent horn and wicked crazy good eyes!
You already got really good looks at the Kaiju Museum Antlar’s details from the photos above. One thing you may not have seen are the smaller insectoid mouth bits which stick out a good three quarters of an inch or so in front of it. This are prime targets for breakage. And even though somewhat shielded from the giant claw-like mandibles. Looking at it you would think that he’s top heavy, but he does stand well on his own. Better safe than sorry, though. Keep him in the case.
The main thing you’ll notice from Ragon is the insane detail on the eyes and teeth. I’m looking at mine right now and I just can’t believe they got fit it all in a space smaller than a quarter. The paint job on the eyes is so good, you might almost feel like he’s actually looking at you. The top row of teeth are individually sculpted. Yes, you read that right. The bottom row, are not but do have deep enough lines between each tooth to make them appear to be individually sculpted. And, check this out, they actually painted shadows between the lower teeth. I can’t even relate to you how tiny these teeth are, so to see this … all I can say is Hail, X-Plus!
OTHER KAIJU MUSEUM FIGURES
Recently X-Plus ‘revealed’ a couple more figures from this line. Apparently they were custom made for DeAgostini. A Zarab, Baltan 2 and a (reissue of) Pigmon were made available for pre-order in October 2014. I don’t have these so I can’t show them to you, but you can click on their names to see their archived pages on the X-Plus Ric Boy site.
(Edit X-Plus' pages are no longer available, images below.)
THEY ARE FRAGILE
Everyone knows by now that polyresin is fragile. It should go without saying that these figurines should be handled with care, especially the thinner ones. But even the fat, bulky figurines have some finer details which could break. And that’s why you absolutely should keep them in their display cases.
Unfortunately, you may not even get a chance to break them yourself. I had three Kaiju Museum figurines arrive with broken pieces loose in the packaging. I suspect this was not due to rough handling during shipping. As I said, they are pretty immobile in the box. Instead, I think the breaks happened while the factory workers inserted the figurines into their bags. Greenmons and Antlar, especially, have long, thin details which could snap off just by holding them the wrong way.
Now, if you have a steady hand and some super glue, you may be able to fix these little problems easily. But keep in mind, these broken pieces may be tiny. It may require little fingers or tweezers to get the repair work done.
Most of the figurines are fairly safe to handle but as I’ve already said, some of them come with protruding details so small that the mere act of picking one up the wrong way could cause an accident. Again, watch out for Greenmons who has tiny sprouts all over it’s body. And Antlar’s insectoid mandibles and mini mouth bits need careful attention.
And just so you know, some of these are so small and thin, that they actually feel like you could crush them into pieces just be squeezing them. Ragon, for instance, has legs which are only a quarter of a inch thick!
Now, I hope I’m not scaring you away from these amazing, awesome figurines. They really will be fine if you handle them carefully. And they should be fine on your shelves if placed in their cases. They really are pretty damn awesome.
The Kaiju Museum Ultraman figurines come in brown window boxes. And there are several layers of protection for what’s inside.
The figurines are slipped into plastic bags and sealed into… I don’t know what to call this packaging, but there are two form-fitting plastic pieces which snap together keeping the figurines inside absolutely immobile.
Then each one is placed inside the display case which is designed to hold not only the figure but it’s plastic shells. When you squeeze a Kaiju Museum box, it’s hard and sturdy and that’s because of the display case inside cradling the contents.
Liberate the figurines from the packaging and place them on their base pegs and they’re ready for display.
ON THE SHELF
Because every Kaiju Museum figurine has a tiny footprint, you would think that shelf space need never be a concern. But since half of them aren’t prepared to stand well on their own you should set them into their display case stands which take up twice as much room as the figures alone. And the larger your collection gets, the more of these plastic boxes you’ll have. Optimally, a thin ‘knickknack’ shelf unit would be ideal to display these. But if you’re left with only standard shelves, you could better utilize space on it by lining up these figurines in their cases in two rows and employing risers on the back row for a stepped, ziggurat look.
DISPLAY CASE SIZES
The cases are all about 5 inches high. Thinner, biped figurine cases are about 3.5 inches across the front and about 2.75 inches on the sides. Cases with larger figurines sporting tails are about 6 inches across the front and 3.5 inches on the sides.
Now as for the upcoming Godzilla figurines: most likely most of those will have no trouble at all standing on their own and you could bunch them together just like you would a group of mini Sakai Dioramas. Although they’d would be much safer if protected in their cases.
Speaking of Godzilla figurines…
WHAT’S TO COME
The Kaiju Museum Ultraman line seems to have ended. I haven’t seen a new figurine for well over a year now (except for those DeAgostini specials). However, it seems the Museum will be opening again and will feature kaiju from the Godzilla franchise. X-Plus revealed 3 new figurines at the Miyazawa Model Exhibition last November. On the table were Godzilla 1954, Godzilla 2004 and Gigan 2004. Interesting choices. X-Plus must feel that these will appeal to newer, younger collectors with two Final Wars characters in the opening line-up.
HOLD UP ONE SEC
Are you looking at that Gigan 2004 and thinking what I’m thinking? Given everything I’ve said about fragility and breakerishness of the Ultra figurines X-Plus is certainly making a very, very bold move here. Of all the kaiju in the Godzilla universe, Gigan 2004 must be near the top of the list for characters with long spikey bits. X-Plus must be really confident that they’ve solved the problem of breaks occurring in the factory. Well, we’ll just have to wait and see.
(Kaiju Battle Note: Gigan was never released, but a painted version was shown as well, pic below.)
X-Plus has since teased us with a painted sample of the Godzilla 2004 on their blog which you can see here.
Attention: the Kaiju Museum will now be closing. Please collect your belongings and proceed to the exits. Thank you for visiting!
The Museum is now closed. But perhaps it’s time for you to became curator of your own Kaiju Museum where you can set your own hours and enjoy these awesome figurines as long as you like.
By John Stanowski Originally posted February 9th, 2015 on Kaiju Addicts.
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