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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.