When it comes to Japanese Monster Week, where do you begin? Obviously Godzilla seems like the most logical starting point, but that’s also pretty uninteresting really, isn’t it? So I’ve decided to go by the old adage, Something old, something new. Something created by ape people, something bootleg. Never heard of that before? Well I just made it up! It’s Japanese Monster Week here at Infinite Hollywood and I figured we’d start off with a bang. Literally one of my oldest Japanese Monster figures as well as my absolute newest. Today you’re going to get two versions of MechaGodzilla. The brand new Bandai MechaGodzilla ’74 as well as a bootleg MechaGodzilla I got around 20 years ago. Let’s start with the new…

MechaGodzilla is one of the top enemies of Godzilla. In fact he’s probably Godzilla’s #2 foe right behind King Ghidorah. MechaGodzilla is as his name implies, a mechanical version of Godzilla. The original Godzilla versus MechaGodzilla movie of 1974 or as I knew it as a kid, Godzilla versus the Cosmic Monster, is basically Planet of the Apes meets Godzilla. Weird ape people disguised as humans try to use Godzilla to take over the Earth, but when that goes awry they build their own Godzilla, complete with rubber skin. He’s basically like the Terminator version of Godzilla and he only predated Terminator by a nearly decade or so.

Bandai had made a version of MechaGodzilla in their regular vinyl figure line in Japan way back in 1983, but this marks the first time that this particular incarnation of MechaG known as the “Showa” style (due to the Emperor of Japan at the time) has appeared stateside… Well unless you count my bootleg which I’ll be reviewing later today. Plus this is a completely new sculpt! I just bought this figure yesterday from Toys R’ Us specifically for Japanese Monster Week because I love you guys… And MechaGodzilla is pretty rad.

In Japan the vinyl figures come with a single tag. These tags are like packages in Japan. Figures without tags are like a “loose” figure versus on “mint on card”… It’s pretty crazy. I’ll be talking more about the tags in later reviews this week and try to explain that phenomena. However, since this is an AMERICAN release of an American Godzilla toy line, the figures thankfully don’t have tags.

These guys come in an “open window” box. That’s the best name I can come up for with this type of package. It’s not really a box at all, but whatever. Be glad I didn’t just make up some stupid name like the last time I encountered one of these packages.

It’s a pretty decent box and these American Bandai releases have all been pretty similar with minor changes to the logo and the backer. In this one there’s a pretty cool picture of Godzilla from the Millennium era and in the smoke behind him is a classic Gigan. The back of the box has the rest of the figures in this series, which includes mostly re-releases but also a new “original” Godzilla in addition to this guy.

Bandai’s vinyl figures really aren’t known for their articulation. Some of the figures have only one or two points of articulation and that’s usually just a swivel or a cut. MechaGodzilla is actually one of the most articulated figures released so far. Because of the design of most of Godzilla’s characters, it makes sense to limit the articulation as need be.

MechaGodzilla gets a crucial piece of new articulation though… The cut neck! One of MechaGodzilla’s trademark moves is spinning his head around 360 degrees and creating a force field. If Mecha couldn’t do that he’d be a real downer, but thankfully Bandai included the extra cut and it fits seamlessly into the sculpt.

Oh man is this guy awesome. This is one of Bandai’s most detailed sculpts yet. In fact I’m inclined to say that this is the best sculpt Bandai has done for their American releases so far. This thing is a work of beauty. Bandai deserves a lot of credit across the board for producing some really accurate vinyl figures through the years, but this one may take the cake.

Every single rivet on this figure shows that they paid a lot of attention to detail. The face is really stellar, with his mouth sculpted open. That was a first for this figure and it really makes him stand out. The slant of his eyes, the seemingly evil scowl, it’s all there. I always thought that MechaGodzilla 1974 looked like he had been built by the Nazis with his sharp curves and pointed design and this figure represents that well.

The spines on his back which could have easily been screwed up are replicated perfectly here. He has just a billion little details throughout. I really like the detail on the neck hatch.

A lot of people think that MechaGodzilla ’74 and MechaGodzilla ’75 are identical. After all the aliens just rebuilt him with a lightbulb under his head (if you’ve seen Terror of MechaGodzilla, you know what I mean) but there were some differences throughout. One of the main key differences is the gaudy MG on his arm was changed to MG2. This version clearly says MG so you know it’s ’74.

To show how great the detail is here, there are several parts in the sculpt that look like wrinkles in the “suit” that the actor playing him wore. It’s really great that Bandai included these little nods to the actual costume of the creature.

The paint work is really good here as well. A lot of people have complained that the Bandai Creations (that’s the American branch of Bandai) figures have lacked the sharp paint detail of their Japanese counterparts. This figure would gravely disagree with that assessment. MechaGodzilla has a ton of little paint aps throughout and they’re all done quite well. A little slop here or there, but considering most Bandai figures just have solid sprays, this one looks brilliant. There is also a lot of highlight wash in the joint area giving him depth. If he’d just been painted flat silver he wouldn’t have looked NEAR this good.

He even has the rocket sculpted in his tail. The only area where the sculpting could be somewhat annoying is that his arms are sculpted in a position so that he’s supposed to be turning and blasting his missile fingers. He can’t put his arms at his sides as a result. It’s a small price to pay though and I suspect if they make a MechaG ’75 they’ll give him new arms but use the same sculpt.

Is being a badass an accessory? If so MechaGodzilla is loaded to the gills with accessories. Seriously, do you know how many weapons MechaGodzilla ’74 had built in? He had flame thrower breath, rainbow optical beams, chest pulse cannon, rockets for flight, cylindrical force-field and missiles that launch from his fingers toes and KNEES! At one point during Godzilla versus MechaGodzilla he just goes crazy and starts firing everything at once. In addition to ripping Anguirus face nearly in half earlier in the movie, MechaGodzilla’s weapon arsenal basically ensures he’s the Chuck Norris of robot dopplegangers. This figure though? He doesn’t come with anything. Why should he?

Additional Notes:
Although this figure is a great representation of MechaGodzilla, he’s sadly a little under scale. He doesn’t fit in well with the 60’s Godzilla that was released in this same series.

Although he does fit in pretty decent with the 1954 version of Godzilla. So if you have a smaller Godzilla he fits in a little better. I’m not too bent out of shape about it as scale has never been the Bandai figures strong suit.

Since MechaGodzilla came out in the mid-70’s he gets one of the coolest and trippiest theme of any villain. See, much like pro-wrestlers Godzilla characters all have theme music. This usually plays when they are on screen or doing battle. Take a listen to MechaGodzilla’s below.

$11 or so is pretty steep when you consider the larger versions go for only a few bucks more. However, this is a really nice MechaGodzilla figure and it’s been made specifically for us folks in the US. Most Bandai vinyl figures cost an arm and a leg if you import them, so $11-$13 is a real steal for these guys. It’s also pretty cool to see Godzilla with his own little section at Toys R Us.

Score Recap:
Packaging – 6
Sculpting – 9
Articulation – 6
Accessories – Nothing
Value – 7
Overall – 9 out of 10

Yup, MechaGodzilla is one of those cases where he’s much greater than the sum of his parts. I could have went a full 10 on this guy if only he’d been a bit bigger. As is he’s a perfect small scale replica of one of the coolest designs of robot monsters there ever was. MechaGodzilla might seem like a strange place to start Japanese Monster Week, but he’s trashed Tokyo on more than enough occasions to warrant the right.

MechaGodzilla versus MechaBootlegGodzilla?

Be sure to check us out all week long for Japanese Monster Week but even more importantly be sure to come back here later today when I’ll be taking a look at the other MechaGodzilla in the picture above, a bootleg that I bought here in the US about 20 years ago.

4 Responses to MechaGodzilla 1974 Figure Review

  • Poe Ghostal says:

    “Bandai had made a version of MechaGodzilla in their regular vinyl figure line in Japan way back in 1983, but this marks the first time that this particular incarnation of MechaG known as the “Showa” style (due to the Emperor of Japan at the time) has appeared stateside… Well unless you count my bootleg which I’ll be reviewing later today.”

    Technically not true…Bandai made a Showa Mechagodzilla as part of their Godzilla Island line (or whatever that morphed into later), and some of those did make it to specialty stores in the U.S. like Newbury Comics. I reviewed three of them for MWC way back in ’04: http://www.mwctoys.com/REVIEW_021804b.htm

    Great review!

  • I stand corrected… Sorta.

    While that is a Showa style MechaG, that’s not MG1, so I’ll split the difference on you, lol.

    Newbury Comics might as well be Japan to me because we have nothing that cool anywhere I live. Most my comic shops are lucky to even have comics much less awesome Japanese vinyl. And technically that was still an import, no?

    Either way good to know and neato retro review. You were lucky to find those figures at Newbury.

  • PresidentJuggernaut says:

    I wish Newbury Comics would go back to importing Godzilla toys. For a few years it was fantastic, imported vinyl figures and blind box toys and gashapon… They slowly stopped showing up, and the last Godzilla items I found at any of the three Newbies locations I frequent were the Ultimate Monsters 2 figures, in mid 2008.

  • Anonymous says:

    Mechagodzilla isn’t undersized at all, he’s pretty much the same scale as all others. The Bandai Creation Godzilla 68 is just pretty big. Compare this Mecha to the other figures in the line (First Godzilla, GMK Godzilla) and you’ll see what i mean.

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