Category Archives: Vinyl Figures

soft vinyl figure collectibles from Japanese companies like X-Plus, Funko and more

Godzilla Vinyl Figure Collectibles

Collecting Vinyl Godzilla Figures

Godzilla-Vinyl-Wars-Sofubi

The first Godzilla figure was issued in 1966 by the Marusan Company and many vintage collectors consider Bullmark to be the finest and most varied line of Godzilla toys ever created, even making a cameo in Godzilla v Hedorah.  The Marusan and Bulwark lines, along with the original Bandai 8 inch line, are the most important of any Godzilla toys historically with .  All of these vintage vinyl figures share the following two characteristics; a highly stylized design and a usually unrealistic, brightly colored paint scheme.

After a 10 year hiatus, Toho announced a new Godzilla movie in 1983, kicking Godzilla merchandising into high gear.  Yakmakatsu and Bandai both entered the vinyl figure market that same year and their realistic approach to figure production changed everything. These figures were the first truly realistic renditions produced, both in sculpture and painting. The U.S. didnt get in on the act until the early ’90s when Trendmaster released it’s “King of the Monsters” line, followed in late 2003 by Bandai‘s U.S. effort.  Both companies continue to release figures associated with the classic Toho films as well as the new Legendary universe.

Godzilla: Vinyl Wars Collection

That brings us to the  Godzilla: Vinyl Wars collaboration between Japan’s classic sofubi manufacturers and cutting-edge Japanese toy maker Medicom Toy.  Each release in Godzilla Vinyl Wars is a reproduction of a classic Toho sofubi from the 1960s through today.  Sofubi means “soft vinyl” and this collection reproduces many of those original Marusan and Bullmark toys, released legitimately for Western collectors for the first time ever.  Each Godzilla Vinyl Wars Sofubi is hand-crafted, hand-painted and inspired the designer toy movement

The following sofubi are available now:

First Godzilla” Sofubi Figure

Godzilla Vinyl Wars 1954 Sofubi

Bear Model originally released this classic, 1954-inspired sofubi to adoring collectors in Japan in 2003. Now wearing a more true green paint deco and measuring approximately 9-inches tall, this re-issue is a limited edition of only 200 pieces!

Godzilla 1961 Version Sofubi

Godzilla 1961 Sofubi

Godzilla Paradise 1962 Version Sofubi

Godzilla-Vinyl-Wars-Paradise-1962-Sofubi

Godzilla 1964 Version Sofubi – Entertainment Earth Variant

Godzilla 1974 Sofubi

Godzilla 1973 Version Sofubi

Godzilla 1973 Sofubi

Godzilla 1974 Version Sofubi

Godzilla-Vinyl-Wars-1974-Sofubi

Godzilla 1989 Version Sofubi

Godzilla 1989 Sofubi

Godzilla 1989 Swimming Version Sofubi Figure

Godzilla 1989 Swimming Sofubi

Godzilla 2000 Sofubi

Godzilla 2000 Sofubi

Godzilla Classic Image Sofubi

Godzilla Classic Sofubi

Godzilla No Gyakushu Version Sofubi

Godzilla No Gyakushu Sofubi

Godzilla Bullmark J Tail Version Sofubi

Godzilla Bullmark Type J Tall Sofubii

Godzilla Pretty Version Sofubi

Godzilla Pretty Sofubi

Bullmark Version Mothra Sofubi Figure

Godzilla Mothra Sofubi

Destoroyah Sofubi Figure – Entertainment Earth exclusive

Destoroyah Sofubi

Biollante Sofubi Figure – Entertainment Earth exclusive

Godzilla Biollante Sofubi

Medicom has also released a number of retailer variants, including a Rodan sofubi, which I haven’t included in this post.  Most of these variants are unique colors on the same figures above and a completist collector can get more information at Medicom’s website


The Following Sofubi are Available for Pre-Order

These figures are expected to ship in November 2015:

Godzilla Mini Sofubi Figure

Godzilla Mini Sofubi

Godzilla 1967 Sofubi Figure

Godzilla 1967 Sofubi

Godzilla 1968 Sofubi Figure

Godzilla 1968 Sofubi

Godzilla 1984 Sofubi Figure

Godzilla 1984 Sofubi

All Out Attack Godzilla Sofubi Figure

GML All Out Giant Monsters Attack Sofubi

GMK All Out Giant Monsters Attack Sofubi – Previews Exclusive
Godzilla GMK All Out Attack Previews Exclusive

Godzilla Meltdown Version Sofubi

Godzilla Meltdown Sofubi

Godzilla vs Hedorah Sofubi Figure

Godzilla Vs Hedorah Sofubi

Hedorah Landed Version Sofubi Figure

Hedorah Landed Version Sofubi

Hedorah 1971Version Sofubi  – Previews Exclusive

Hedorah 1971 Sofubi

Giant Hedorah Sofubi Figure

Giant Hedorah Sofubi

Giant Godzilla vs Detoroyah Giant Sofubi Figure

Giant Godzilla Vs Destoroyah-Sofubi

Giant Pretty Godzilla 2 Version Sofubi

Godzilla Pretty 2 Sofubi

Sleeping Godzilla Sofubi Figure

Godzilla Sleeping Sofubi

Napping Godzilla Sofubi FigureGodzilla Napping SofubiMinilla Sofubi Figure

Godzilla Vinyl Wars Minilla-Sofubi

The  Godzilla Vinyl Wars EX series Arrives February 2016

They are available for pre-order now:

Hedorah Megaton Version Sofubi

Hedorah Megaton Sofubi

this news series opens with this Previews Exclusive Godzilla Vinyl Wars Hedorah Megaton Version Sofubi Vinyl Figure of the smog monster from the Godzilla films. Figure stands nearly 20-inches tall.

 

As we wrote earlier in this post, there are many retailer-exclusive versions. These typically involving a unique paint scheme not available elsewhere.  We’ve included some of these here but have not attempted to track down every variant.

The intent here is to present the classic monster collector with a brand overview of the Godzilla Vinyl Wars sofubi collection I highly recommend Club Tokyo which is an extensive resource for kaiju collectibles and vinyl figures.

While we love to collect vintage, we think the Godzilla Vinyl Wars collection is a great place to start for anyone interested in collecting Godzilla.  Because these are limited edition and based on vintage figures from the 1960s onward, I like the idea of beginning here and then tracking down the original figure counterparts.  Sofubi collecting is a passionate community and there are a lot of great online communities dedicated to sofubi collecting of every stripe .

Godzilla Collector Resources:

We’ll add these links to our Collector’s Resource page of course and if you know of any great online resources for Godzilla or kaiju collecting, we’d appreciate you letting us know in the comments section below:

 

 

Sputnik Supplies Ro-Boy – Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category Nominee

Collecting the Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category – Part 9

Sputnik Supplies Ro-Boy Vinyl Figure

It seems I’ve been exploring the intersection of iconic monsters and horrible movies in recent posts. In last week’s Classic Movie Poster post, I profiled 1958’s Attack of the 50 Foot Woman  – a bad movie with an iconic and timeless poster.

As we continue to review 2014 Rondo Awards nominees for Best Toy/Model/Collectible, today’s featured collectible certainly fits the bill for iconic monster/bad movie as we take a look at Sputnik Supplies original creation Ro-Boy.  Ro-Boy by Sputnik Supplies

Ro-Boy is a unique blend of the classic Big Boy restaurant mascot

Bobs Big Boy

with the infamous Ro-Man Extension XJ-2 from the campy, not-so-classic 1953 B-movie Robot Monster:Robot Monster

Sputnik Supplies is the brainchild of artist Paul Schiola who explains the inspiration behind his creations as:

“My love for vinyl toys and sculpting led me in a direction where I could meld the two and produce a truly collectible toy…make small runs of cool, unique and truly collectible vinyl-like toys; each one is an individual work of art and is always handmade by me here in the U.S.A.”

Ro-Man Extension XJ-2 is the titular monster and/or alien from The Robot Monster, a film with such a low budget that they used a gorilla suit because they didn’t have the budget for a full robot suit. 

It’s worth noting that the lack of budget and resulting gorilla/robot mash-up is the singular reason this film remains in the popular culture–it certainly isn’t the movie itself!

Product Details

  • Height: 7″
  • Handmade in USA
  • Sculptor: Paul Schiola
  • Hand-painted
  • MSRP: $85

 

Where to Buy Sputnik Supplies Ro-Boy

The only place that I could find this collectible figure was direct from the artist:

Sputnik Supplies Website

Paul offers these limited edition figures @ $85 which includes shipping.

Sputnik Supplies Ro-Boy Rondo Awards nominated Best Collectible 2014
© Sputnik Supplies

Summary

I love this figure.  Of all the nominees in the Rondo Awards category for Best Toy/Model/Collectible, it the only original creation.

While I love licensed merchandise, and am awed by the incredible life-like detail of many models, maquettes and even action figures of today, there is something magical about the discovery of a toy that isn’t from a movie, comic or TV show.

As a kid, it always felt like discovering something uniquely mine.  Obviously, a mass-produced plastic toy wasn’t uniquely mine, but the feeling was pure and joyful just the same.  I think it is one of the original draws I felt to monsters and genre movies in general– the fantastic and original creations of the artists and filmmakers were magical to me and, I suspect, most other monster kids.

I really appreciate that, while inspired by a rather infamous movie monster/alien, Ro-Boy is a creation of the artist’s imagination–and a hand-painted, handmade one at that.

The price point is steep, as it is for most of the nominees in this category.  But, given that this is really a work of pop culture art and is clearly NOT a toy, I’m okay with $85.  I imagine that price will only go up once Sputnik Supply sells the original inventory and it winds up on the secondary market.

The Robot Monster

Speaking of the movie that inspired Ro-Boy,  I watched it last night on Amazon Prime as I was drafting this article.   Honestly, I can’t say for sure if I had ever seen this film in its entirety.

My thoughts?  This movie is so bad it’s good!  It’s not going on my list of favorite films anytime soon, and I love 1950s B-movie SciFi camp.  If you haven’t seen it, it really is  good fun and worth a little over an hour of your time.

You can stream it for free with an Amazon Prime membership:
(click image to watch movie)

or you can watch it for free onYouTube:

 

So what do you think of Ro-Boy?  Any Sputnik Supplies aficionados out there?  And The Robot Monster?  Share your opinions about this movie and the collectible toy it inspired below!

Frankenstein Friday!

The Monster gets his due with Frankenstein Friday

Frankenstein Friday

It’s Alive!  Alive!

Welcome to Frankenstein Friday, folks where the weekend comes to life and we put down our means of commerce to focus on friends, family and — for us Monster Kids — Frankenstein and friends!

Each week, I’ll feature ol’ Frankie in one of his multitude of forms and let you know where you can go to add him to your collection!  These will often be ads from our sponsors that you can click and buy — helps us pay the bills.  But looking is free so enjoy as you choose!

Today’s character collectible is alliteration at it’s finest with a Funko Frankenstein Figure:

Hanna-Barbera Frankenstein Jr. Pop!       Vinyl Figure

Hanna-Barbera Frankenstein Jr. Pop! Vinyl Figure Funko

From Hanna-Barbera‘s Frankenstein, Jr. and the Impossibles comes this Frankenstein Jr. Pop! Vinyl Figure! Frankenstein Jr. aka, “Frankie” stands 3 3/4-inches tall and looks just as you remembered him with his green superhero outfit with his “F” logo on his chest and is packaged in a window box.

Order Hanna-Barbera Frankenstein Jr. Pop! Vinyl Figure on Amazon

Have a good weekend everybody and celebrate well!

X-Plus War of Gargantuas Vinyl Figures – Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category

Collecting the Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category – Part 6

X-Plus War of Gargantuas Vinyl Figures

I continue my series profiling each of the 2015 Rondo Awards nominees for Best Toy/Model/Collectible category with the X-Plus set of vinyl figures from Toho’s 1966 kaiju classic, War of the Gargantuas.

X-Plus War of Gargantuas Vinyl Figures - Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category
PHOTO: JOHN STANOWSKI / KAIJU ADDICTS

 

NOTE: I recently wrote a Monster Kid Memories piece about the impact War of the Gargantuas had on me as a formative Monster Kid when my 5-year-old self tried (unsuccessfully) to watch this movie after convincing my parents to let me stay up late to watch it on TV.   This event was extremely influential in my life-long passion for monsters of the movies.  While I don’t consider this one of my favorite monster, or even kaiju, movies, it certainly is one of the most influential.  If you’re interested, you can read this post by clicking here.

The purpose of this series is two-fold:

  1. review the nominees for Best Toy, Model, Collectible category in the 201 5 Rondo Awards
  2. provide current availability and pricing

I’m not an expert on vinyl figures.  I’m intrigued by them and have been tempted for years to dabble though the price points have kept me at bay so far.  To date, I’ve continued to focus my limited collecting budget on vintage collectibles but if there is a category that could pull me into modern collectibles (other than comics) it is these high-quality, realistic Japanese vinyl figures from companies like X-Plus.

X-Plus, the company behind these amazing figures, specializes in highly detailed soft vinyl figures from the Godzilla, Gamera and Ultraman franchises as well as other Japanese anime and fantasy films.

Product Details

  • MSRP:  $170.00 (sold out at retail)
  • PX Previews Exclusive” on front of package
  • 2014 Diamond release re-issue
  • Material: Soft Vinyl
  • Series:  TOHO 30CM
  • Sanda 12″, Gaira 10.5″

Vinyl figure collectors are a passionate lot, especially kaiju vinyl figure collectors.  Given my lack of expertise in this category, I’m going to defer to two of the more passionate collectors in this field.

First up is this comprehensive video review by Richard Eso from his Fresh Vinyl channel on YouTube:

 

Next, I highly recommend you click the link below and head over to kaijuaddicts.com to read John Stanowski’s review of this figure set.  John is the voice behind Kaijuaddicts.com, which is a gold-mine of information for anyone interested in learning more about X-Plus, vinyl kaiju figures and collecting vinyl in general.  If you’re like me, after you read this review you’ll want to bookmark this site and spend some more time on it–ALOT more time in my case as I’ve found this to be a very informative and readable blog for kaiju vinyl collectors.

Full review over at Kaijuaddicts.com


Where to Find the X-Plus War of Gargantuas Vinyl Figures

In short, good luck!

Both of the reviewers above made it clear that collecting vinyl figures means pre-ordering from Previews or through your local Diamond retailer or face the immediate mark up of the reseller marketplace.

Since the standard process is to pre-order these figures, it’s not surprising that my research didn’t find any in stock at the usual sites.  It appears that another release is in the works, but X-Plus and Diamond have not yet provided specific details on the date.  Since this is a fairly new release, I would expect individual items to begin show up on auction sites and in dedicated collector marketplaces from time to time, but given the passion of X-Plus collectors and the desirability of these particular figures, expect to pay a handsome markup if you are lucky enough to find these guys for sale.

Summary

I’ve learned a lot about soft vinyl figures and X-Plus in writing this post and my interest is piqued.

I’m definitely going to keep an eye out on upcoming releases and pre-order through my local comic shop if something catches my eye — for example, X-Plus just released a gorgeous diecast model of the Nautilus from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea which I would LOVE to have since that is one of my all-time-favorite movies.  Just released in January 2015, t’s selling for $350 on Amazon and over $500 on Amazon

I can certainly see why any vinyl kaiju or X-Plus collector would want to have these figures in their collection.  Not only is War of the Gargantuas one of the best non-Godzilla kaiju films from the 1960s (my opinion) but these figures just look great.  I understand some of the issues with the paint jobs, but as a collector of vintage monster toys, I’m in awe of the realism and detail of these guys and X-Plus figures in general.  The paint jobs certainly are minor in my opinion

I’d love to have these Gargantua figures in my collection thought I doubt I’ll be shelling out $500 or more for them in the near future.

That Nautilus model on Amazon at $350, however…..