Collecting Vinyl Godzilla Figures
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:
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 1964 Version Sofubi – Entertainment Earth Variant
Destoroyah Sofubi Figure – Entertainment Earth exclusive
Biollante Sofubi Figure – Entertainment Earth exclusive
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:
The Godzilla Vinyl Wars EX series Arrives February 2016
They are available for pre-order now:
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:
- Club Tokyo
- Club Tokyo Facebook Group
- Godzilla Collectors Group Facebook Page
- Kaiju Korner
- Vinyl Madness
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: