Godzilla Review
Earlier tonight I had the pleasure of seeing an advanced screening of Godzilla, the new motion picture from Legendary and Warner Brothers. The film has a lot going for it and certainly does a fine job of erasing the memory of the horribly maligned 1998 Tristar take on the character. While the marketing for that film was much better, this movie has managed to be a bit deceptive in it’s marketing because it’s not nearly as visceral as the advertisements would have you believe. Godzilla the movie isn’t so much about the creature itself and it’s certainly not the “Gojira” remake that some of the promos seem to make it out to be.

Instead, Godzilla is largely a paint-by-numbers “Godzilla movie”, following the basic formula of a dozen or so other entries in the series. Of course, this time it’s with a bunch of Americans in the central roles and no invaders from Planet X, but you get the idea. Even the scenes in Tokyo, seem to be filled with more English speaking actors than not. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s just very much catering to a Western audience.

Without going into specific plot points, it’s fair to say that Godzilla has to tangle with another monster, as has become a hallmark of the franchise. Unfortunately, this is one of the areas where Godzilla doesn’t quite deliver as strongly as it should. The problem with this Godzilla movie is pretty much the same problem that every Godzilla movie has had… Not enough monster fighting.

The difference between this entry and other efforts, is that the monster fight potential here is huge but it’s largely squandered. We see lots of aftermath, but very little of the battles themselves. And for as much as the destruction is evident, we never really get that beauty shot of city smashing. At times it almost seems like Godzilla is a ninja, stealthy appearing out of nowhere, despite his increased size in this film. This is one shortcoming from director Gareth Edwards, who at times slavishly recreates the classic Godzilla style, but omits a few key parts that leave you feeling a bit like your prom date skipped out before the hotel.

The most heinous offense is when Edwards forgets to include the first monster skirmish about 40 minutes into the film to hold audiences over. Typically this sets up the climatic final battle, but here we’re teased with a first battle, only to have the film cut away to much less interesting human subplot. Sadly, this as with most of the films in this genre, is a bit of a letdown. He then repeats this a few times over.

Bryan Cranston puts in a pretty strong performance, but despite all the advertising, he’s not the main character of the film. The main family that becomes the focus of the film couldn’t be more uninteresting if they tried. On the plus side, at least it’s not Channing Tatum in the “hero” role. Ken Watanabe also does a fine job, but he’s given absolutely nothing to work with. It’s a shame, because his character could almost be interesting, but instead he’s mostly there to try and give the film a “message” and explain perfunctory dialogue. Continue reading

Sony Godzilla

Giant Size Godzilla
Godzilla 2014
24 Inch Scale
By: Jakks Pacific

Being that I’m just about the biggest Godzilla fan there is, it was a very easy purchase for me when I saw the Jakks Pacific Giant Size Godzilla at Toys R Us last weekend. The figure isn’t supposed to hit shelves for another couple of weeks, but certain TRUs are putting them out early. These guys are so big that there wasn’t any shelf space for them at the Toys R Us I found them at. They simply had them stacked on the floor. I suspect the size is a big part of why they’re on the floor instead of hidden in the back.

Warner Brothers Godzilla
This guy is HUGE! You’ll immediately notice that when you see the box in store. Given that only a handful of Godzilla pictures have surfaced from the upcoming Godzilla film, this figure is the first real look at the monster. At over 2 foot tall, this Godzilla immediately reminded me of the Shogun Warriors Godzilla from when I was a kid. That thing seemed ginormous back then. This figure is actually BIGGER than the old Shogun Godzilla. In fact, this Godzilla is even bigger than the Trendmasters 1998 Ultimate Godzilla toy.

Giant Godzilla
Which if my math is correct, makes this the biggest Godzilla action figure released in the United States. That’s no small feat. Pardon the pun. Continue reading

Godzilla Tokyo Vinyl
Mecha Godzilla
5 Inch Scale
By: Bandai America

A couple weeks ago I professed my love for the new Bandai Tokyo Vinyl Godzilla figures. These new toys are designed by renowned vinyl toy artist Touma and are supposed to be mass market versions of “designer” vinyl. It’s sort of interesting for Bandai to get into the designer vinyl market with Godzilla toys, as it’s Bandai’s regular kaiju vinyl figures that more or less created the vinyl movement in the first place.

Regardless of that fact, these stylized designs offer something new to the market and the Godzilla franchise of monsters seem to be the perfect canvas for these types of creations. I was quite thrilled with Godzilla and this is my favorite design of Mechagodzilla, so it’s a match made in heaven, right? Well, you’ll have to read to find out! Continue reading

Godzilla Tokyo Vinyl
5 Inch Scale
By: Bandai America

I probably should hate everything about this toy, but from the moment I saw it, I loved it. When Bandai unveiled this figure earlier this year, it went under the radar of most folks. The S.H. Monsterarts line is getting a lot of attention and this smaller, oddball vinyl toy wasn’t something a lot of people talked about.

Even I forgot all about it until I saw it on the shelf at my local Toys R Us this past week. Once again I was immediately smitten with the design and picked it and it’s robotic counterpart up. Let’s dive into this cute, chunky, vinyl Godzilla.

Continue reading

S.H. MonsterArts
Godzilla (Heisei)
6 Inch Scale
By: Bandai
$60 (price varies)

I could talk for days about how Godzilla influenced my life and interests, but I think you can just look through this site for more information on that. Suffice to say, I’m a HUGE Godzilla fan and a lover of then entire giant monster movie genre. Big G Money himself is the catalyst for all of that, so when Bandai unleashed the MonsterArts figures onto the world, I had to have them.

Bandai promised all kinds of articulation, excellent high quality sculpting and a (somewhat) affordable price. It’s just about everything a hardcore kaiju junkie like myself could ask for. To top things off, Bandai was starting with what I consider to be arguably the best “basic” Godzilla design on the them all. The modern Heisei version. It’s a perfect starting point for a new line of monster toys.

We’ve definitely come a long way from the old Imperial Godzilla, but does this Godzilla toy really prove to be the best action figure EVER of the big guy? Is this finally a fitting figure form for the King of the Monsters? Read on to find out, because the answer might surprise you! Continue reading