Godzilla Tokyo Vinyl
Godzilla
5 Inch Scale
By: Bandai America
$17.99

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.


Packaging:
Vinyl toys love window boxes and Bandai isn’t going to fix what ain’t broken. We get a pretty tradional window box here, with some nice room to see the figure. If anything these boxes are a bit big. Bandai gets some credit for going with an actual window box, as their other vinyls that aren’t for the “designer” market have different boxes. They are clearly trying to appeal to this market.


The back of the package shows off the other figure in the series, but when these were shown at some of the toy shows a few months back there was a third “classic” Godzilla previewed as well. I’m not sure if he’s coming later or if it got the axe. It’s not featured on the package at all.


The side is adorned with a nifty black and white image of Godzilla doing battle with Gigan.


Inside he looks fierce, ready to terrorize your pet gerbils or smash a little paper city. Perhaps I should build him one. I love the backdrop on the inside of the box. It’s simple and clean, but fitting for the character.

Sculpt/Paint:
This figure is obviously not going for an authentic look. Bandai already puts out tons of vinyl Godzillas every year with hyper realistic detail. They also have their high end Monsterarts line for even more detail.


Instead the concept here is to take that designer vinyl mentality and make this Godzilla as if it was designed by Kid Robot or someone similar. I know that vinyl purists tend to dislike these mainstream renditions of toys in the style, but I love it. Especially when it works as well as big G-Money here.


Godzilla looks a bit like a cross between a little dog that thinks he’s bigger than he really is and the old classic Chibi Godzilla toys. I even see a little bit of Shogun Warriors Godzilla in this sculpt. Perhaps that’s what attracted me to it so much.


Although the figure is only 5 inches or so, the wide body and overall thickness make it feel like a much larger toy. The nice element is that it’s not huge, so you can still put this on your desk at work or a nearby book shelf and not lose too much real estate.


There isn’t much paint work to speak of, but what is here is generally good. The eyes in particular convey a lot of emotion and depending on where you look at them, you seem to get a different vibe from the character. You won’t be blown away by the paint by any means, but it’s servicable.


He’s big, but not too big. He’s just the right size for kids to have Godzilla terrorize their chunky small scale figures. Like the ones Mattel and others currently put out. Godzilla is channeling a bit of that aesthetic.

Articulation:
A lot of the time, desinger vinyl toys have no articulation. Nothing depresses me more than that. Thankfully Bandai gave us a couple of points to fiddle around with here.


The arms and the legs have simple cuts to allow you to move them up and down. In that way the range of motion is no worse than some of the traditional Bandai vinyls. In fact it may be even more poseable in some respects. I really wish the hands had cuts at the wrists though. That would make this figure a million times more fun.


You also get a simple cut at the tail. I suppose you could make the case for a head cut as well, but I don’t miss it too much.

Accessories:
N/A


He comes with nothing, but oddly enough his mouth is pliable enough that you can stick the Monsterarts death breath in without needing to use the stand. Now that’s what I call repurposing!

Value:
At around $18 this guy isn’t cheap. Vinyl figures rarely are and this guy is genuine vinyl which does raise the value some. However he’s world’s cheaper than some real “designer” vinyl and it’s a great entry point for collectors. I don’t feel too bad paying $18 for this when the new Marvel Avengers Mini-Muggs are at least $6 a piece. I think $15 would be a perfect price point for these guys, though.


Score Recap:
Packaging – 8
Sculpting – 8
Paint – 8
Articulation – 4
Accessories – N/A
Value – 7
Overall – 8 out of 10


Sometimes a toy comes along that has none of the normal elements you’re looking for. By all normal logic, I should hate this glorified dog chew toy. But alas, I can’t help it… I love this little guy. He’s one of my favorite Godzilla items I’ve bought in a long time. He’s just so simple and fun. Sometimes I miss that in toys.


I’m sure a lot of folks will question how this can rank so closely to the vastly superior Monsterarts version I reviewed earlier this year. However it’s important to note that these are two completely different types of toys and their scores are not necessarily mutually exclusive. These are apples and oranges folks.

7 Responses to Godzilla Tokyo Vinyl Figure Review

  • Poe Ghostal says:

    REALLY tempted by these. I'd say the price is keeping me away, and it's true that if they were $10 I probably already would have bitten, but really I just tend not to be into the whole urban vinyl thing. But really the problem is that it's FinaroGoji, who I'm not fond of.

    However, if they produce the G'54 they've shown, I'm in: http://skreeonk.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/0002_

    And I'll probably cave on the MechaG.

  • Normally I would agree, as I'm not the biggest fan of the Final Wars design but outside of the box saying it's Final Wars Godzilla, I don't really think there's anything here that makes it so. This is a pretty generic design in my view and a good indication of how the line looks in general. The only thing that's really Final Wars about it is the turned over hands and that could have easily have been a design choice, IMO.

    $10 would be great, but I saw the Mini Muggs for $12.99 at TRU, so I think $18 isn't too bad a compromise. I'll be reviewing the Mecha G in a few days, probably.

  • Mecha-Shiva says:

    Love the design of this,i'd make him eat those skateboarder figures,lol.Great review,might pick this up since it does have that dead fish face as my old Shogun Warriors Goji had,lol.

  • plannedbanter says:

    I didn't even notice it was from Final Wars but I'm not a student of Godzilla the way you and Jaysun are. I do like this guy though and I normally am not a fan of the urban vinyl thing which extends to their retail store counterparts like Mini Muggs and Mez-Itz. Then again, I buy minimates so it's possible I'm just crazy. Anyway, this definitely has a lot of character to it and is definitely one of the less insane random things TRU has been stocking lately. It's nice to see any Godzilla product out there these days.

  • Nomad1632 says:

    I own both the godzilla and 70's mech godzilla figures their absolutely amazing and I cant wait to see more figures made. I know the third figure is the original godzilla does anyone know when that one will hit stores????

    and I kinda have a wishlist of potential monsters id love to see made in this style:

    Kiryu the latest Mech-G

    Final wars godzilla

    the american Godzilla (even though I know the japanese dont like him its an amazing design that would looks sick in the superdeformed vinyl style.

    mothra and larva,

    king ghidora and mech-king ghidora,

    Gigan

    Rodan

    space godzilla

    I think these would all be excellent designs to be made

  • Antje Strauch says:

    Thank you for the great things you said about John Barrowman.

    I only can recommend seeing a concert/show, if you ever have the chance. He does not only sing musical songs, but also some classic pop. But the best are the stories in between the songs. He shows pictures of his family and really has a great gift of telling funny story. One minute we are in stitches, the next you could hear a pin drop when it suddenly gets emotional.

    He also brings his parents on stage, and last year in Cardiff even Scott was singing a duet with him.

    He really does entertain, there is no doubt of that.

    If you are curious, there are two DVDs available from his concerts of 2009 and 2010. One is called "An evening with John Barrowman", the other "John Barrowman Live at the Royal Albert Hall" Of course, live is even better, but this is close enough.

    Antje from Germany

  • Thanks for the kind words, I'll take a look into that!

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