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As Japanese Monster Week continues we’re looking at an oldie but a goodie. Honestly one of my favorite Godzilla figures of all time. This is the Imperial Godzilla. The figure itself is just known as Godzilla, but it’s referred to as the Imperial Godzilla because of the little company that made it, known as Imperial.

Believe it or not Imperial Toys are still in business. It seems that Bob the Builder is their cash cow these days, but back in the 1980’s it was cheap rubber toys. They sold rubber snakes, rubber bats, things of that nature but they also had a couple of big guns. Godzilla and King Kong.


They made a few versions of Godzilla but this is the “large scale” version coming in at 12 1/2 inches or so. I’ll ask that you ignore the cheap hooker lipstick on the figure for a moment and focus on the rest of him first. There’s a reason that this Godzilla figure is loved by so many here in the US. This is a great figure. It’s not based off of any one particular Godzilla, but it’s definitely Godzilla.


Sculpt:
Imperial could have sculpted a real turd, but instead they put a lot of work into this figure. It looks a lot more like Godzilla than their King Kong looked like Kong. He has the spines, tons of little details in the scales, massive tail, it’s a really good likeness. The head sculpt isn’t the best, but it’s definitely Godzilla. He even has his cat nose.


The biggest issue with this Godzilla is the paint. For starters his eyes are a bit crooked. I’ve never fixed that because honestly it’s part of his charm. Sometimes Godzilla had some crooked Columbo eye in the movies too. He’s also got some pointless silver on his chest. I’m not sure what that’s about. Maybe it was designed to emulate when Godzilla was charging up for a atomic death breath blast, but it looks pretty crappy.


The worst part about this figure though is the “blood” around his mouth. At least I assume it’s supposed to be blood. Imperial tried to make this figure gruesome (which was big in the 80’s) and gave him a full set of teeth. Around that he has red, which was probably supposed to be blood but looks like Godzilla has a second job at night working the streets. As a kid I never paid that much attention to it, but when I pulled this Godzilla out for review, my GF saw him and busted out laughing at his lipstick. Poor G-Money never catches a break.


Putting aside the issues with the lipstick and silver chest, the paint is actually pretty good. Imperial crafted him in black rubber and then gave him a green spray wash at points. It works surprisingly well, making this figure green but not totally green which would be inaccurate. Godzilla really isn’t green, he’s more of a gray with a very light green hue, but in America he’s almost always depicted as green. Imperial found the right combination of both and it works well.

Articulation:
As I said before, this was probably my favorite Godzilla toy as a kid. Some people lived in areas where they could get cool import Bandai Godzillas, but not me. The best official Godzilla toy was this one from Imperial. Even when I ended up with Trendmasters Godzilla toys, I always went back to this Imperial one because it was the biggest. It also had a great range of articulation for the time, with cut arms, legs and a tail.


Imperial made a few different sizes of these including a 6 inch version. The 6 inch version didn’t look quite as good to me. I think Imperial ended up selling the molds too because there were a lot of knock offs to this toy released in later years that looked similar but something was lost in translation and the toy didn’t look as good.

Value:
This version is an official Toho product, it even has that on the bottom of his foot. Imperial started making these in 1985 and I think they managed to keep them on the shelves for 5 years or more. I didn’t buy this in 1985 for sure. Even after all these years and plenty of rough play, he still looks pretty good. Unlike Mattel’s Godzilla figure, this guy was almost indestructible. I’m not sure what exactly I paid for him but it was probably under $10 back in the day. He’s still good as new. You can’t beat value like that.


Fun fact, this Imperial Godzilla (well not this one but one like it) adorned the shelf behind Roseanne’s couch on the popular TV show Roseanne. That helps separate this Godzilla from the rest as he’s a bone fide TV star!

I also used this figure in a couple of really terrible homemade monster movies.

Score Recap:

Sculpting – 8
Articulation – 7
Accessories – Nothing
Value – 7
Overall – 7.5 out of 10

A lot of Kaiju purists don’t like the Imperial Godzilla because of it’s crazy paint scheme, and the fact that it’s a caricature of Godzilla more so than based off of any particular film version. I love this version of Godzilla for that reason. When I was a kid if I drew a picture of Godzilla, he looked more like the Imperial one than any version from Toho. The Imperial version also has the distinction of looking a lot like the American Godzilla movie posters, which often took liberties with the design of the big G. If you can track this guy down and want a real classic in your collection, pick him up. Just make sure to go for the bigger version as the 6 inch one just isn’t as good.

21 Responses to Imperial Godzilla Figure Review

  • Poe Ghostal says:

    I was digging around in my attic a few weeks ago while friends were visiting and I found this guy. I then gave him to the 3-year-old son of my friends. I was only too happy to pass on the boyhood rite of passage that is Godzilla.

  • That’s awesome. I’m sure this Godzilla could take the abuse of a 3 year old too and live to tell the tale.

  • Drayco90 says:

    The first thing I think when I see that Godilla is “Why so Serious”

  • Anonymous says:

    Loved this one as a kid. Need to get a new one for the classic toy shelf.

  • Bill White says:

    This figure is one of the centerpieces of my collection!

    Back in the day, you just considered yourself lucky to even find a Godzilla toy, so any flaws in the paint job could be easily forgiven. Although, I have to say, the “lipstick” on mine is not as severe as it is on yours.

    Also, you are right, Newton, this is one tough toy! After all these years, my big guy is still “mint”!

  • Joker's White Powdered Cock says:

    I remember KBtoys had the 6″ and 12″ versions. I only had the 6″ version. I also had Imperial’s KING KONG, an Imperial bat, and Imperial fly that I used for Mothra, and an Imperial Pteradactyl that I used for Rodan. Kong was roughly the same scale as the 6″ Godzilla, though Kong was a little taller. Godzilla and Kong would always stomp several micromachines before Godzilla always killed Kong.

  • Joker's White Powdered Cock says:

    I also remember the 6″ version being pretty tough. If you broke a firecracker in half and put it in his mouth, spark would shoot out of his mouth like flames and then an explosion would come out of his mouth. Pretty entertaining for 10 year olds. We blew tons of them off in his mouth and it split his jaw on one side but was unnoticable unless you tried to pull his jaw apart. I always wanted the 12″ version.

  • updatedude says:

    Godzilla: I’mma firing mah LAYZER!

  • Anonymous says:

    Just found a 12″ one in mint condition at my local thrift for 3 dollars. I think the red “lipstick” is Zilla’s gums, and he’s got gingevitis.

  • I have just started looking for the 12″ version for my best friend who thought it could also with stand the clutches of a toddler but didnt count on them throwing it away! if anyone happens to come across one on the internet or wants to sell one please let me know… i would really appreciate it!

  • Nicole says:

    CAN I BUY THIS FROM YOU????? Where can this be purchased? I’ve been searching online and cannot find it. Thanks!

  • Gigan22 says:

    Love this guy. Was always a favorite when I was a kid. Imperial Godzilla would always beat down any figure I had him go up against, lol. Normal action figures fit surprisingly well between his claws. :) I did however poke myself many times on his spines. For a kids toy they’re surprisingly hard.

  • michelle says:

    How much is this worth in mint condition

  • Anonymous says:

    I myself love this figure.It is one of those special toys from my childhood.These were released along with the theatrical release of Godzilla 1985 and was the onlt figure available in the Us outside of Japan.Yes the figure looks kind of crappy to todays standards,but thats what makes it so special and gives it its charm.I recently picked up a nice knock-off and this Saturday im going to buy one that a dealer at the flea market just got in for me in the 12 inch scale.He will be proudly displayed among my other japanese and some american Godzilla toys.And he will go right next to my other Godzilla and my imperial King Kong :)He may not be the nicest,but he is the most charming of Godzilla toys from the past.

  • scotto says:

    This is a great figure,alot of memories as a child.When Godzilla 1985 came out in theaters these were released as a promotional toy and I still remember finding them at Child World and TRU.I picked up the Imperial King Kong that was released with King Kong lives in 1986 and picked up a nice Imperial knock-off of the godzilla toy in an 8inch size.It is nicer,but lacks the charm of the originalcks the charm of the original.I was so thrilled when a local dealer at the flea Market here told me that he got in a 12inch Imperial Godzilla the original not a knockoff :D some collectors dont like this figure because of the inaccuracy of the looks of itks but thats what sets it aside from any otherany other and gives it the charm factor.When I get my 12inch one this weekend he will be proudly displayed among my other Godzilla and other monster toys.And he will sit comfortably right next to my imperial kong abd knock-off godzilla and I will smile when I look at it with the memories of revisiting an old friend.

  • Ncdxero88 says:

    I got one when I was 7yrs Old, the amount of beating it went through, and the number of G.I. Joe Figures it literally destroyed(lining them up and have Gidzilla stomp/thrown/bashed at them)made it worth it to keep this bugger. 29years later, I’m seeing my son roaring and wreaking havoc to our neighbor’s toys.

  • My four year old has the 6 inch version of this. It is basically the only toy that can withstand being dropped, thrown, stepped on, etc without breaking, and it has been his best friend for the last year even though most toys come and go as his favourite. He already has a collection of Godzilla enemies and friends. He will be a Godzilla fan for life now.

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