So just before Easter, I skipped out of work on my lunch break to head to Walmart in hopes of finding the next issue of the 100-page-giant Batman for the story by Brian Bendis and Nick Derrington–it’s tons of fun and if you’ve missed out, the original content WILL be collected as a miniseries available at your local comic shop down the road. I didn’t find it. What I did find, was even better–Godzilla toys! And jellybeans! But today, we’ll talk about the Godzilla toys! Although, next year, I might try to pull a Stew and spend weeks taste-testing all the various jellybeans out there. I’ll have to put a pin in that for now.
You probably know that Godzilla: King of the Monsters is set for a theatrical release May 31st. While that’s way closer than it may seem, I was surprised to stumble onto a pretty massive Godzilla display in between the aisles over a month and a half before the release. It included 4 inch scale figure “Battle Packs” for $10, 6 inch scale monsters for $15, and I can’t remember what else. That might have been it. I got too distracted by the toys. From a quick internet scan, it appears as though Jakks Pacific is also planning to release 20 inch and 40 inch versions of Godzilla. I’m thinking I might have caught a display accidentally set up early, as the values on these toys are pretty scalper-iffic right now. Have patience, kids. The display was well stocked, so I imagine these toys will be plentiful enough in the run-up to the movie.
I picked up the 4 inch scale toys for this review, but the 6 inch monsters were pretty tempting as well. I’m not a 6 inch scale collector any more…but they’re monsters. Scale is what you make of it. The 6 inchers probably scale better with my four inch figure collection…hmmm. I should have thought of that sooner.
Anyway, let’s look at the Godzilla: King of the Monsters Battle Packs. Included in each pack is a variation of Godzilla, a monster for him to fight, and a display card with stand to help you to create your own scene.
The Godzillas in each pack are similar enough that I initially thought they were repacks of the Godzilla from Bandai’s 2014 movie “Pack of Destruction” and “Destruction City” sets. This time around, Godzilla tends to be a bit glossier and the sculpt trades some of the finer details in exchange for souped up paint jobs. For a $10 set, however, I’m not going to gripe too much.They have arm and leg articulation and tails that swivel in two parts this time around, which is different from the 2014 version.
I hope they used better plastic than the 2014 version, as that’s one of those toys that sweats a plastic dust if you let it sit for too long. It’s weird and gross and a lot of my Mattel toys from that time-frame do the same thing. I’m sure it’s not good for me. Not having Godzilla toys, however, is also not good for me, so it’s a sacrifice I make. We’ll have to check back in a few years and see if the Jakks versions are coated in that same plastic-deterioration. I’m hoping not, but when you get two figures for under a tenner–you can’t be too surprised at the quality inside.
The Godzillas, while exciting, were not the milkshake that brought me to the yard–that was Mothra and all the other monsters! Mothra comes with an orange-ish redishish glazed Godzilla. He’s almost totally stationary, except his two wings attach with a ball-hinge, allowing for some sweet flappin’ action. They don’t hold the pose, though, so don’t get overly excited. Still, it’s Mothra! You just clamp him on to Godzilla’s face and let the good times roll!
The next battle pack is Godzilla vs. Rodan! This Godzilla is very much the same ‘Zilla as the last one–only this time he’s rocking his blue “atomic breath” mode instead of orange-ish reddish power up mode!
Rodan rocks 5 points of articulation: neck (kinda), two legs that kick forward and back, and two hinged arm-wings for flappin’ and slappin. The break in the arm joint looks really bad when it comes to flapping his wings, but the range of motion is good. There are tradeoffs here.
Finally, we have King Ghidorah and Godzilla. This Godzilla is your classic charcoal grey model. My favorite thing from this set is it allows me to act out the joke in Gail Simone’s hilarious tweet last month:
Now Godzilla and Ghidorah are ready to be best friends and go do karate in the garage. I wouldn’t put it past Ghidora to put his balls on Godzilla’s drum set, though.
Ghidorah wins the articulation contest with three swivel necks, two swivel tails, two hinged wing arms, and two legs that move. He is a bear to get to stand, however. This three headed monster will have to constantly be on the move during playtime, because if he stops, he’s falling over. Of the three monsters, though, I bet he ends up the favorite because he’s a 3 headed golden dragon monster! That’s pretty cool.
For comparison sake, let me stack one of the new Godzillas against the import line Godzillas I’ve been picking up over the last two years at the one comic shop that gets these types of things. These toys come boxed, are produced by Bandai, and cost approximately $10 per figure. Traditionally, they do not come with accessories, but they do come with a piece of candy. So far, I’ve been able to get classic Godzilla, MechaGodzilla, and the Netflix cartoon movie Godzilla. The sculpts on the import toys are tighter, but they do have fewer points of articulation. MechaGodzilla is the only one with neck and tail swivels, the rest just have arm and leg articulation.
Bandai’s own Ultraman Shodo line kicks the butt of the Godzilla line in terms of articulation,
…but as you can see in the Red King pictured above (I know he’s green. Don’t ask me why he’s named that–just know he’s the Ultraverse Godzilla knockoff), that articulation can make some unseemly cuts in the sculpt.
So, once again, it’s a tradeoff.
I would rather have a good 10-11 points of articulation on a figure as a standard, because I tend to play with my toys rather than treat them as tiny plastic statues. In a pinch (and if means the difference between getting a figure versus not getting a figure), I can deal with 4-5 p.o.a.
It would be really difficult for me to pick between the import line and the King of the Monsters line. One is really cool and gives me access to figures I wouldn’t have, and the other is exactly the same thing. The import gives me the classic version and mechaversion and cartooniversion, and the movie line gives me the monsters for Godzilla to fight, which can be really difficult to come by in the other lines. I would give both lines a solid B for being fun efforts with room for improvement. I don’t mind at all the Jakks Pacific decision to put out an affordable line so more folks can partake in the destruction of their beloved cities.
What am I going to do with all these Godzillas now? I’ve got old ones, new ones, red ones, blue ones…I have an idea. You’ve all seen Into the Spider-verse by now, right? Welcome to …Godzillaverse! May God(zilla) and Voltron have mercy on Tokyo!
Until next time, I’ll be breathing my atomic fire all over the Godzillaverse! It turns out a diet of jellybeans is not so good for my breath!