JAPAN RELEASE: AUGUST 2014
BLUEFIN SDCC EXCLUSIVE 1999 ° VERSION: JULY/AUGUST 2016
JAPAN FROZEN VERSION: LATE 2016
SERIES: GIGANTIC SERIES
MATERIAL: SOFT VINYL
FROM: “GODZILLA VS. DESTROYAH”, 1995
HEIGHT: 18.5 INCHES / 47 CM
WIDTH: 18 INCHES (TOE TO TOE) / 45.7 CM
LENGTH: ABOUT 34 INCHES / 86 CM
FIGURE WEIGHT: ABOUT 7.5 LBS / 3401 G
REVIEW AND PHOTOS: JOHN STANOWSKI
The Gigantic Series Godzilla 1995 Version vinyl figure is the second entry into this new line from X-Plus. It follows on the heels of the Gigantic Series Godzilla 2001 Version which came out late 2013.
The ’95 was first announced in March or April of 2014 and a troubled production pushed its release date down to July (for the Ric Boy versions) and August (for the standard versions).
The two main things to note about this figure, the one before it, and any to come are their (gigantic) size, and the abandonment of hyper suit accuracy in the sculpt in lieu of hyper stylization. So, if you’re accustomed to having your new X-Plus figures look like they walked right out of the movie, you’ll need to adjust your perception in order to appreciate the artistic exaggerations that capture, instead, the power and spirit of these monsters.
The Gigantic Series Godzilla 1995 is based on the daikaiju’s appearance from the movie Godzilla vs. Destroyah. In that installment of the Heisei series, Godzilla’s radioactive energy rages out of control which turns his body into a walking overheating reactor. Energy forced its way through to the surface of Godzilla’s tough skin and gave him a firey, glowing appearance. Fans and collectors often refer to this suit as “Burning Godzilla”.
For this figure, the rights were acquired to use the sculpt from a previous kit from another company. That kit came with LED lights to illuminate its ‘burning’ skin. X-Plus had originally wanted to do the same for their release, but production concerns caused them to abandon that plan. But even without lights, this figure looks firey enough just the way it is!
As per usual, Godzilla comes in two pieces: body and tail. The tail is reinforced on the inside with hard foam. No doubt if this foam wasn’t there, the thicker part of the tail would tend to collapse with only a squeeze or firm grip. LEAVE THE FOAM ALONE. Don’t try to remove it. You’ll just make a big mess and ruin your figure.
INSERTING THE TAIL
The traditional procedure requires you to heat the body hole with a hair dryer to soften the vinyl. You would then press in the (unheated and firm) tail into the body. But, this process does not seem to work with this figure. I attempted assembly this way the first time. The tail slid in easily, however it then slid out again just as easily. I suspect that the inner flange inside the body, when heated and softened, becomes too weak to grab onto the tail.
Instead, give it a try with NO hairdryer. I left my figure alone in a warm room while placing the tail in front of an air conditioner for a while to firm it up. After that, the tail popped right in, and stayed in. …mostly.
While the tail may seem snug inside the body, it can still come off fairly easily if you tug on it while pulling downward. I have to admit I’m stumped as to why this happens. It may have been designed to do that for some reason. If you look at the photo you’ll see that the flange at the top of the tail does not flare out as it does on the sides and bottom. I don’t know what to say about this. All I can say is that the tail stays put while the figure is on display, and even while carrying it around the house as long as you don’t tug on it.
Note: one collector I spoke to about this claims his tail is “locked” in and doesn’t pop out with a light tug. Here’s hoping you get one of those.
The X-Plus Gigantic Series Godzilla 1995 vinyl figure is Big and Badass!
As already stated, the sculpt never tries to be super suit accurate, but instead exudes a dynamic, artistic interpretation the likes of which you’d find in comic books. Which is okay by me because this thing blew me away when I got it!
It doesn’t totally ignore “reality” because from certain angles it, at a glance, does look somewhat passable as an accurate sculpt. But from most angles, it’s clear this thing is embellished.
It’s like this: the sculpt doesn’t show the Godzilla you see when you look at the TV screen. It shows the Godzilla you see in your mind!
Basically, it’s fat. It’s feet and thighs are too big for its mid-section. And it’s mid-section is too big for its head. Going down: it gets bigger. Going up: it gets smaller. This is reminiscent of what it would look like if Godzilla were actually standing in front of you. He would be large on the bottom and smaller on the top. (Like in the photo above.)
The head sculpt more than aptly captures the essence of DesuGoji’s fierce roar and glare. But, on to the details!
The teeth and tongue look like something you’d find on a high quality resin model and not on a vinyl. The teeth are really pointy and sharp. And the tongue has a ridiculously fine and deep texture. No, these bits are definitely not vinyl. I suspect they are made of hard polyurethane (PUR) plastic like the tongue on the Gigantic GMK was.
Seeing this detail in person, combined with the glaring eyes above it will blow – you – away.
The dorsal fins are sculpted with exaggerated size and are made of sturdy, translucent vinyl with deep textures and are even rough to the very tips. Light from behind the figure passes easily through them.
I could be wrong, but as far as I can tell, most of the body is molded in colorless, translucent vinyl. The asphalt black paint covers the “cooler” skin. I suspect that red highlights are painted (on the outside) onto the higher elevations of the skin texture in the hot spots. And I’ll bet that the dominant yellowish hues are coming from another layer of vinyl inside the body acting like a “double wall” just below the clear outer layer. (I’ve seen this extra wall inside the body before adding the tail.)
However this effect was achieved, the end result is jaw-dropping! Words just can’t describe how awesome these burning patches look in person nor how their appearance slightly changes as you look at them from different angles. And photos DO NOT do it justice! You have to see this in person to really appreciate it.
The sculptor went above and beyond expectations when creating the treebark texturing on this figure. Deep and rough don’t even begin to describe it. You know how I always mention individually sculped teeth? Well, I almost feel I have to say that this figure has individually sculpted skin bumps! No, really. It looks like fanatical care went into every bump and groove. Just touching this thing will set your tactile sensors on overload.
Not much to say here except that the open hands with individually sculpted fingers are really expressive and that the claws have finely etched grooves on them. Other than that, the photos speak volumes about the quality of this sculpt.
JOINTS & SEAMS
There is only one joint and that is where the tail connects to the body. When pressed in, the sculpt lines up absolutely perfectly. However, an ever so slight sliver of a gap may appear along the top of this joint, especially when you pick it up. This is due to the tail not completely locking in.
What seams?? You will not notice a single sloppy seam this figure. None!
But what if you look for them? Okay, if you look hard enough, you’ll eventually find them even though they are expertly glued and filled. They’re really not worth mentioning though, but I suppose in the interest of know where to grab this figure when moving it, I’ll tell you what I saw.
The feet below the knees are separate pieces. Curiously, the tops of the these pieces are not open like the rest of the figure and have solid tops inside. I suspect they may contain extra material to keep the feet weighted down like the Gigantic GMK has. There appears to be a seam running around the waist. there is a peculiar seam running down the back on both sides. Normally, the body is all one piece except for the back strip of dorsal fins. But this dorsal piece extends well out to both sides. There is a tiny seam running over the forehead making me think the whole top of the face is a separate piece. You can’t really see this seam, however, you can and will notice a sudden change in texture complexity on the top of the head. It suddenly stops when it reaches this seam. This is the one and only possible complaint I could have about this otherwise awesome vinyl statue.
Not much to say about the pose. Once again, pretty standard stuff and it looks good that way. The figure’s left foot is slightly further back than its right. The arms seems to be gently swaying to the figure’s right which is logical if it’s taking a step forward with its right foot. Godzilla’s stare is directly slightly toward ground level (shelf level?) and is perhaps 30 degrees from the ground plane. So, this guy is not looking at Destroyah. He’s looking at little, tiny you. Get running.
Godzilla’s tail swoops up and then down again like it’s being tugged on by one of special effects director Koichi Kawakita’s invisible strings. The tip of the tail does not reach the ground like the Godzilla 1964’s tail was apt to do. I think it looks great. …and really Heisei-ish!
Curiously, most of the embellishing stylization is absent from both side views. This is damn near a respectable accurate sculpt!
This figure has a traditional asphalt black for the cool, un-firery areas. And it’s mostly just that, black. The incredibly deep texture in the sculpt, though, adds TONS of highlights and shadows when you add light. As for paint highlights, there are slight dabs of a lighter black brushed on here and there. This highlight paint is glossy and gives the figure super, super subtle glistens. And while subtle in most areas, this highlight color is suddenly applied very liberally on the face which abruptly ends at the nearly invisible seam behind the eyes. You can see this somewhat clearly on one of my Photoshop composites below in the Extras section.
The eyes have vivid yellow corneas with thick black outlines floating on a dark red. These eye colors must be decals because if you zoom into the eyes from a high res photo, you’ll find tiny, notchy lines like those found on a clock. You can see a photo of one eye fairly close up in the Sculpt section of this review.
The lack of noticeable highlights on the black skin is quickly forgotten when you feast your eyes on the fiery reds, oranges and yellows on the burning areas of Godzilla’s skin. Words and photos can not even begin to fully impart how AWESOME this looks. As already mentioned in the Sculpt section of the review, it seems that most of the body is molded in colorless, translucent vinyl and that the base yellow color is actually painted on the inside of the figure! This allows the color to show through but also lets refraction give these areas a crystal like effect. Red highlights are adding on the outside surface where it borders the regular black skin.
The comination of paint, translucent vinyl and deep textures in the sculpt make this figure a feast for the eyes.
The Gigantic Series Godzilla 1995 looks like it’s a head or two taller than the Gigantic Series Godzilla 2001. But they still make for fine shelf fellows since the GMK is leaning forward. If the GMK could suddenly stand up straight, he’d be eye to eye with the ’95. The hands and feet are about the same size on both figures. They look great together. Okay, so who wants to start an entire collection of X-Plus Gigantic Series figures now?
And now a size comparison with… so, who’s this little guy here? Little? That’s the Toho 30cm Series Godzilla 1992! Breaks my heart to see that 12 inch badass 92 look so small! Do you see what you’re in for now if you get into the Gigantic Series?
REAL WORLD SIZE COMPARISONS
For a ‘real world’ size comparison I brought the old soda can back for a shot. Instead, I’m trying something new. To help you completely and utterly appreciate the size of this figure, here are some shots of collectors with their new Gigantic 95’s.
It goes without saying that this figure will demand most of the shelf. That’s if you have a shelf big enough to hold it. It’s 18.5 inches tall and 18 inches wide from foot to foot. And if that were not bad (good?) enough, it’s a whopping 30 inches tall from toes to tail. 34 inches if you go nose to tail. And that tail… it doesn’t curve to the side to let you push it closer to the wall. No, this tail goes straight back curving only up and down.
Finding a place to fit this figure into your collection is going to require some thought and planning on your part and might wind up being a big problem for many. But, like I always say: It’s a good problem to have!
RIC BOY EXCLUSIVE FEATURE
Planning the Ric Boy version exclusive feature for this figure seems like a no-brainer. The exclusive should come with a light gimmick. But as mentioned earlier, that option was off the table. Instead, we got a return to form for X-Plus with the inclusion of a mini figure/prop.
The Ric Boy version of this figure comes with a mini Oxygen Destroyer and it looks suuuh’weeeet! The oxygen destroyer rests on a solid resin base sculpted to resemble the rocky bottom of Tokyo Bay where it was used to dispatch the original Godzilla in 1954. It has a nice texture to it and bears the Godzilla vs. Destroyah title written in katakana. And overly obvious block of legal crap sits below it, much larger than it needs to be.
A nice touch: the oxygen destroyer can be removed from the base!
The oxygen destroyer piece is a reissue of sorts of the one which accompanied the 30cm Godzilla 1954 Ric Boy original release. It’s made of plastic and features a clear tube to reveal the “ball” inside which held a large helping of Dr. Serizawa’s oxygen destroying powder. It also features real metal posts along with nicely sculpted knobs, dials and bolts.
The only difference with this version is that it’s lost all of its shiny, new looks and instead is painted with a darker silver and expertly dabbed or sponged with dark, grungey paint texture to represent 42 years of salt water corrosion. Oh, and the ball is open! It really is a pretty incredible model.
Is it worth the extra cash? That’s for you to decide. Myself, I have to say it’s pretty nice having a miniature of such an iconic device from Godzilla history on my shelves.
GIGANTIC SERIES GODZILLA 1995, 1999 DEGREE VERSION, SDCC EXCLUSIVE (BLUEFIN)
The Gigantic Series Godzilla 1995, 1999° Version SDCC Exclusive was released in the fall of 2016. This version was licensed to Bluefin Distribution in the U.S. and was sold at San Diego Comic Con. Leftovers are being made available to online stores and comic stores.
It came with the tail already permanently attached. The vinyl also featured larger red patches. The smaller, non-translucent dorsal fins are more of a stark white.
GIGANTIC SERIES GODZILLA 1995 FROZEN VERSION
The Gigantic Series Godzilla 1995, Frozen Version, ギガンティックシリーズ ゴジラ1995 凍結ver. was released in the fall of 2016. It featured the same details as the original Japanese release with an added ice effect to mimic the scene where Super X III attempted to freeze the monster in the water.
It came with a mini Super X III.
The X-Plus Gigantic Series Godzilla 1995 (original 2014 release) vinyl figure is AWESOME. I am literally full of awe when I look at it. It may not be uber-accurate and true to the suit, but… it’s AWESOME! And it’s BIG. It’s HUGE! I was never really a fan of stylized sculpts which is the main reason I became an X-Plus groupie to begin with. But the Gigantic Series has won me over. I LOVE this thing!
It has super-detailed, deep textures and looks fantastic with it’s translucent burning patches. And it’s BIG! It totally captures the raw power and spirit of Burning Godzilla and its pretty damn BIG, too!
Wow. Just, wow. Sign me up for the next in the series right now!
NOTE: THIS FIGURE DOES NOT LIGHT UP!
The photos depicting glowing light below are merely Photoshop embellishments meant to celebrate the figure’s awesomeness.
By John Stanowski Originally posted July 28th, 2014 on Kaiju Addicts.
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