Toho Studios gave us the King of the Monsters in 1954 and it’s the gift that keeps on giving. While the monster’s character has evolved and morphed as many times as the monster suit, Godzilla remains an incredibly popular as evidenced by the commercial success of the Legendary Pictures 2014 release Godzilla. Toho purists might have been distressed by the American reboot but they are counting on the 2016 release of the next Toho installment in the Godzilla franchise.
The breadth of Godzilla, and related kaiju, collectibles is pretty overwhelming. With the ever growing popularity of Japanese vinyl and sofubi. kaiju figure collectibles of every size, shape and color are available. In this week’s series, we’ll focus primarily on Monster Kid related collectibles from the 1960s and 70s during the Showa period of Godzilla’s film catalog. In future posts, we’ll explore the modern collectible market and the impact of Godzilla and his pals in this increasingly popular urban vinyl category.
I highly recommend both of these books for anyone interested in Godzilla and other kaiju collectibles.
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.
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:
review the nominees for Best Toy, Model, Collectible category in the 201 5 Rondo Awards
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.
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.
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.
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…..
The Digital Clubhouse for Monster Kids & Collectors of Classic Monster, Retro Science Fiction and Vintage Fantasy Memorabilia