I am a huge Godzilla fan (have been since I was a kid) and I was super stoked about the new movie. My expectations were quite high based on the quality of director Gareth Edwards previous film, Monsters. But truthfully, even if it had been total garbage I still would have got some enjoyment out of it simply because it’s Godzilla. I even enjoy elements of the 1998 Matthew Broderick Godzilla film which is blasphemous to say is some Godzilla circles. Fortunately I won’t have to be ashamed for loving the 2014 movie because it was great.
I figure you’ve all seen it by now but in case you haven’t perhaps you shouldn’t read any further as I may give away some spoilers.
I’ll say again that I really enjoyed Godzilla 2014 but it was by no means the perfect Godzilla film. The most common complaint seems to be that Godzilla wasn’t in the film enough and I agree with that to an extent. However, I can appreciate that Edwards was going with a “JAWS” less-is-more approach. Also, Bryan Cranston’s mourning scientist was the most compelling character to watch and he got snuffed out way too early, to most everyone’s surprise. The film then shifted its focus onto Aaron Taylor-Johnson who play’s Cranston’s son. Johnson was likable enough but I didn’t feel any real connection to him. He just kind of meandered through the movie, encountering monsters where ever he went. There were actually a few too many coincidental monster meetings for my liking. At least following a soldier’s journey instead of a scientists’ was a nice change of pace from the Godzilla norm. Speaking of scientists, Ken Watanabe was another actor who was grossly under used in the film.
Now it might seem like I have a lot of complaints but I really don’t; I thoroughly enjoyed the film. But don’t take this old Godzilla geek’s word for it. I think a truer testament to the film’s success was how much my little nephews all enjoyed it. They ran out of the movie theater arguing over who was going to be Godzilla and who was going to be Muto.
On the topic of Muto, the movie’s “bad” monster, why the hell aren’t there any toys of him? There’s a couple of rinky dinky ones but I want a big one. It seems foolish for there to be so many Godzilla toys available but no antagonists for him to fight. Bandai seems to hold the mainstream toy license to the film and to their credit theye produced a bunch of different style toys available at various price points, but they really need to make some other monsters. Even if Muto was off the table for some reason couldn’t they have produced new toys of Mecha-Godzilla or King Ghidora? I know my nephews would want them. I bought my sister’s kid Tyler the Atomic Roar Godzilla for his 5th birthday recently and he absolutely loved it.
But what’s good enough for a 5 year old isn’t necessarily good enough for me. I’m not a fan of the stuff Bandai has put out. The aforementioned Atomic Roar Godzilla is a big clunky toy that roars and when you pull his tail his jaw dislocates so that a large phallic blast of energy can shoot out of his mouth. As much as I wanted a toy of the new Godzilla design to add to my collection I wasn’t about to buy that kiddie Bandai stuff for myself.
But then I saw that Jakks was slated to release a massive 24” Godzilla figure and I thought that I might get that one if it ever showed up at my local Toys R Us. I could have ordered it online but the shipping charges on a toy that big would’ve been a nightmare. I checked back at Toys R Us frequently but they never did stock Jakk’s Godzilla which may actually be a blessing in disguise. I know myself and I know there is no way that I could resist buying a 2 foot Godzilla figure but in truth the thing would be a pain in the ass to display. My 2 foot Metroplex is awkward enough and I still haven’t found a suitable place to display my 18” Galactus and Sentinel figures.
So since the 24” Godzilla was seemingly out of reach I turned my attention to a 12” version produced by a third toy company, Neca. I figured a 12 inch toy would be much easier to deal with and it would blend in better with my current collection of movie monsters. Plus Neca’s figures are geared more towards the collector’s market so it was likely going to be of superior quality as well. I believe in quality over quality when it comes to Godzilla.
I considered ordering Neca’s figure from BigBadToyStore but then my local comic shop, Strange Adventures, got one in stock. BBTS was selling theirs for $50, but when you factor in conversion to Canadian funds, shipping charges and duty fees I was expecting to pay around $80 for this thing. I figured that as long as Strange Adventures priced theirs in that same range it was economical for me to buy it from them; plus I would get to enjoy the figure right away. I asked how much they wanted for it and my pal Cal who owns the store made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. Needless to say I got a great deal on this figure. Once I had him in hand I thanked my lucky stars that I hadn’t ordered it online because this thing is heavy as all hell. I’m sure the shipping charges would have been far worse than I initially budgeted for.
This Godzilla is a towering hunk of solid plastic. It may well be the heaviest toy I own. He’s advertised as 12” tall but once you snap his tail into place I would say he’s about 25” from nose to tail. It makes for an impressive collectible.
Godzilla is well detailed and surprising well-articulated. Multiple ball joints are hidden in the seams of his scaly skin. He has joints at his head, neck, jaw, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, ankles, and waist. Most impressive is his tail which is made up of a bunch of individual parts and has a whopping 13 points of articulation of it’s own. Yet, despite all these joints he is still fairly limited in how he can be posed. You can make slight adjustments here and there, open his mouth and move his tail from side to side but ultimately you’re gonna end up with a pretty standard Godzilla pose. It’s not like he can be posed in yoga positions or anything.
I think Godzilla was mostly gray in the movie which is the base color of this toy as well but he’s also got green highlights all over his body and a brownish belly. It may not be film accurate but it looks nice and most people think green when they think of Godzilla anyway. he has additional paint apps for his yellow eyes, white teeth, pink tongue, and black claws.
The overall design looks pretty close to what we saw on screen but thankfully I think the toy is actually better proportioned. I thought his head was too small and his legs were too big in the film but it doesn’t look bad here. The legs are perhaps still a little thick but overall he’s well proportioned.
I don’t care much for electronic features in my toys but this Godzilla does have a pretty nice roar sound that is activated when you press down on a fin at the base of his tail.