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My Godzilla Figures
"Figures" is pretty much an arbitrary definition. I tried to split up my sections going by size and candy. I would hardly call the GvD Dome a figure and the Hyper Godzilla Series comes with candy. It's not really by size, either, because the Yutaka SD Mini Figure set is smaller than most of the candy toys. But it's my page, so these are going to be "figures".
Bandai Vinyl Burning Godzilla & Final Form Destoroyah
These are very detailed vinyl figures, a favorite Bandai series among Godzilla fans. Both of these figures were released in 1995 with the movie. On the left is a 9" tall Burning Godzilla. This figure has orange splotches similar to how he appeared in the movie. The Desu-Goji is one of the finest representations of Godzilla I've seen (at least under 12"). In scale with my SuperWalk Destoroyah, I can re-enact some great movie scenes.
Finally, with the Final Form Kansentai Destoroyah in my grasp, one of the last gaps in my collection is filled. The figure is about 9" tall, but that includes the horn, so the figure is actually shorter than Godzilla. While I still can't say I like the folded wings, it adds some variety to my collection. The glossy paint shimmers magnificently on the chest, but is a bit too light in other areas. For some reason, I really like how the tail-claw looks, much more intricate than my other figures (even my SuperWalk). Here is the tag for the figure. My friend Logan took the detail pictures of Destoroyah below.
There's an interesting story as to how I got these. Mr. Aki, the Japanese shop owner in Omaha asked me what I wanted before he left for Tokyo. Among other things, he came back with some figures and sold them to me for the yen price (about $20 each!). Apparently he had to search all over for them, as they aren't that common in the big Tokyo stores. I got the Final Form untagged at a similarly reasonable price.
Bandai Vinyl Aggregate Destoroyah & Godzilla Junior
Also from Bandai's flagship line, these were released in 1995. The two undercard fighters are each about 6" tall, smaller than Godzilla and the Final Form, but more or less compatible with each other. I should add that these two figures resemble their movie forms much better than the other two.
On the left is the Aggregate Shugotai Destoroyah, with ten poseable limbs. I think the head looks especially evil. Again, excellent detail... but how good? According to an interview with SPFX director Koichi Kawakita, this figure was actually used as a prop in the production of Godzilla vs Destoroyah! Like the Burning Godzilla above, Mr. Aki found it for me in Japan.
Godzilla Junior is a most interesting figure. He's the least-upright of all my monsters, looking more like a dinosaur. The mold and coloring, right down to his yellow underbelly, make it one of my more movie-accurate creations. Junior is a rather popular figure and can be difficult to obtain; I just happened to find mine untagged. It brings a degree of closure to my collection, as I now have all four of the principal figures released with the movie.
Godzilla Island and Movie Monster Series
These Bandai vinyl figures were released after 1998. They are more or less copies of the earlierBandai Vinyl Figures, but only 6" high, rather than the 8-9" previously released (1983-1995). Later known as the Toho Kaiju Series and Movie Monsters Series, these are probably one of the most accessible collectibles right now. Many of the Godzilla kaiju are represented and most can be found for less than $15.
The Burning Godzilla was released in 2001 and looks like a shrunken mold of the 1995 Vinyl above. But there is one significant difference: the orange splotches. Not only are they more accurately placed, but they are also translucent. Even the dorsal fins and finger claws allow light to show through. If I have one problem with this figure, it's that they inexplicably left the tail fins white. I've put both the 6" and 9" Godzilla here for comparison.
My Destoroyah (G-12) came with the original 1998 Godzilla Island tag, but was also re-released in 2001 for the Movie Monster Series. In some ways, I feel this Destoroyah is an improvement over the 1995 Final Form because the wings are out and the coloring is much darker. Other than that, the two are identical, it's almost like the shrunk the mold. Like the previous series, Destoroyah is smaller than the Godzilla, they seem to use the top of the horn, rather than the skull to measure 6". Here are my two vinyl Destoroyah figures.
Finally, we have Godzilla Junior, the only GvD toy with Godzilla X MechaGodzilla (2002). Other than being half an inch shorter than the 1995 Bandai Junior, it is almost exactly the same figure, even down to the subtle head tilt. The darker coloring and solid eyes (rather than just orange irises), makes it look much sharper than the original Junior and the smaller size makes it a better companion to my 1995 Aggregate. A comparison of the two Juniors.
Bandai Creation Godzilla (US release)
Godzilla and Destoroyah finally came to America, and had a limited release in early 2003. The first major US Godzilla figure release since Trendmasters in the mid-90s and the first to feature the GvD kaiju, which I'll naturally focus on.
The large figure is from the6.5" Classic Godzilla Figures line, which also includes Godzilla 1954, Gigan, and Rainbow Mothra. This Godzilla is actually closer to six inches, the same size as my Movie Monsters Series Godzilla. The molds are very similar, except the US toy has a little less detail (especially the larger snout) and the burn marks aren't translucent. Improvements include black tail spikes and more defined eyes. The earlier 6" Japanese Bandais tend to make Godzilla's pupils a little too high, not unlike the Godzilla 1984 suit. Comparison of the Japanese and American Bandais (by the US flag). A 6" Destoroyah was later released, but it looked like the above Movie Monsters Series, but with a bad paint-job. I passed on it.
I can't say enough about thePack of Destruction, which features the three smaller 2.5" GvD characters and seven other high quality renditions of G'54, Minya, Gigan, Mogera, Manda, and Mothra (larva and adult). Although the monsters are from completely new molds, I do notice some similarities with the Japanese Gummi Candy and High Grade #7 Destoroyahs. Bandai Creation took a lot of care in making these, and it is apparent in the incredible coloring and detail on all the figures; the two Destoroyahs are among my most attractive smaller-sized toys.
Hyper Godzilla Series 1998
These 4" unpainted solid vinyl candy toys were released with the 1998 TriStar movie. Godzilla has an active split stance and an open mouth, looking like a statue sculpted from the movie. Junior doesn't fare as well, the assembly joints aren't seamless, especially in the waist and tail. Destoroyah is actually from Bandai's 1995Super Godzilla Series, but his detail is not all that spectacular in relation to the other two. The bright red mold is not very defined and the back is a little too upright.
Four inches was the first size group I sought to complete with the Heisei monsters. Getting a bunch of the larger 8-9" series figures was not economically viable (pre-Godzilla Island). I got nearly all the Heisei monsters, from Bandai, Yutaka, and even Trendmasters, who had excellent 4" toys in the their twin packs. Later candy toy sets (q.v.) like theGodzilla History Set and Hyper Godzilla 2000 allowed me to get more 4" figures, including Burning and Meltdown Godzillas, plus the 1954 original Godzilla that looks like it was made straight off the poster.
Yutaka Godzilla vs Destoroyah SD Mini Figure Set
Super-Deformed (SD) monsters have an almost cute cartoon-ish look to them. This 1995 set includes a 1" Ghidorah, Godzilla, Godzilla Jr, Destoroyah, and Space Godzilla. There is also a small Super X-3 (yes, even that's SD). Obviously, I like Destoroyah the best, and I think Junior has a rather mischievious look. The figures are solid vinyl with flawless paint jobs; exceptional quality for a Yutaka figure (at least of the ones I've seen).
This is my first Godzilla collectible with Destoroyah (I even got it before I saw the movie)! I found it at Aki Oriental in Omaha: Dulce and I were headed to up there one day and I just happened to look in the phone book for a Japanese store. Talk about beginners luck!
Detail of Godzilla, Destoroyah, and Junior
ToyVault Plush Destoroyah
Finally, a plush Destoroyah! I've been after one for quite a while, but the Japanese ones I found just didn't look good enough. Leave it to an American toy company, ToyVault, to create a great one. The toy was released in January 2006, even though pictures appeared months earlier (talk about a tease!). The "figure" is one my largest Destoroyahs, its 12 inches matches mySuperWalk Destoroyah. The wings have a wire supporting them, allowing one to pose them. I let my daughter Anya play with this kaiju and she finds to horn quite tasty.
Detail of Destoroyah and Anya vs Destoroyah
More Godzilla Figures
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