Bandai's Deluxe Godzilla had been available for some time before I finally got the gumption to buy it. Sometimes I keep putting off buying a toy thinking I'll get it “next time", until the stock dries up and there is no next time. I hadn't seen this Godzilla for a while so it seemed like it was another one of those missed opportunities. But I came across one at this year’s Baltimore Comic Con and I quickly snatched it up. Just my luck: I saw it in Toys R Us a month later. Whups. Oh well, at least I ended that endless cycle of procrastination. And I’m glad I did, this guy’s pretty cool. Let’s check him out!
I’m a huge fan of vinyl Godzillas. The vinyl is great for replicating the feel Godzilla’s reptilian skin, and the soft but durable plastic makes for a fun and playable monster toy. Godzilla needs to be able to stomp any and all action figures in his way, and fragile collector-grade figures like SH MonsterArts just seem antithetical to the concept of a Godzilla toy to me. So this dude is right up my alley.
Above: Bandai Japanese vinyl on the left, Bandai America vinyl on the right.
It's supposed to represent Godzilla’s appearance in Final Wars, but the sculpt isn’t very indicative of that design. I guess it’s more representative of Final Wars than the other Godzilla designs, but it’s nowhere near as screen-accurate as the Japanese vinyl. The proportions are completely off: in particular, the legs are too small and the rostrum isn’t angular enough. Still, it’s unmistakably Godzilla, and I really dig the expressive sculpt and the organic flow of the neck and tail. The detailing, especially the skin texture, looks great, and the paint apps are sharp. The coloration of the skin is too dark for Final Wars, but I like how it catches the light. All in all, this might not be a good Final Wars Godzilla, but it’s certainly a cool-looking Godzilla anyway.
There isn’t much in the way of articulation here. Only a swivel neck, swivel biceps, swivel hips, and two cut joints in the tail offer any movement. I don’t expect much articulation from vinyl Godzillas, and I’d actually prefer not to have any more because it would cut up the sculpt and destabilize the figure. But if you’re an articulation nut, you won’t be pleased.
This sample cost $30 at the convention. That’s not too bad considering the size of the figure (a little over 10 inches tall), but you can probably pick him up for less in a store. The tail on my figure pops off a little too easily at the base, but it stays on well enough. I guess if I really had a problem with it I’d boil it to try to reinstate the plastic memory, but it’s not that much of a problem.
Above-left: NOT a Japanese vinyl.
Deluxe Godzilla doesn’t live up to the exacting standards of the Japanese vinyls, but it’s a really cool figure nonetheless. This size seems to be a good one for Bandai, and it would be cool if they made more kaiju in this scale. (Space Godzilla, anyone?) But hopefully they have their hands full preparing for the 2014 movie. I need to start saving my money now… I suspect I’ll be swept up in the Godzilla merchandising bonanza next summer! Scroll down for more pics!