Well, as you all have probably figured
out by now, I'm a kaiju toy nut. I've been collecting
for almost 15 years now, and as long as they keep
making 'em, I'll keep buying 'em.
....problem is, these past five years,
new kaiju toys are getting as scarce as milkbones
in Michael Vick's house. So, just in case anyone
at Bandai is paying attention to what I have to
say (and why wouldn't they?! I'm on the INTERNET,
for crying out loud, my opinion HAS to be valid!),
I'm going to debut a new feature that Anthony has
graciously allowed me to expand the toy section
for, my own personal opinion. This section will
be home to various articles that don't quite qualify
as reviews, be they comparisons of many collectables
at once, wish lists, gripes, anything you can possibly
imagine. Today we're keeping it simple, as I list
my top ten most wanted un-made Bandai figures in
the classic 8 inch scale.
10 - Varan
Why: Well, some people seem to like him.
Not me. Never did like the overgrown gliding iguana,
but I'm well aware of his following amongst the
fandom. So, I'll throw you guys a bone. Don't ever
say I never did anything for ya.
Why hasn't one been made: Naturally, this
is just my opinion, but Varan honestly contributed
nothing to the Godzilla universe. Sure, he had the
rare honor of starring in his own solo film, but
unfortunately for Varan it's not an especially well
known movie outside of the fandom, and isn't always
that fondly remembered by those in the fandom. Most
people seem to be more a fan of the creature itself
than the movie. With that said, other, possibly
less memorable, kaiju such as Moguera from The
Mysterians (1957) have been immortalized
in vinyl, why not Varan, who actually appeared (albeit
ever so briefly) on screen with Godzilla in
All Monsters (1968)? Maybe Bandai never
liked him either...
9 - Manda
Why: While like Varan, Manda isn't especially
important as far as Godzilla's history is concerned,
the creature is fairly unique for a Toho design.
Be it the original, Chinese dragon inspired design
(Which I suspect most fans would prefer), or the
DAM version of Manda (Which I saw first and always
thought Manda looked like Godzilla in snake form),
I suspect many fans would be happy to add the serpent
kaiju to their collections.
Why hasn't one been made: Perhaps Bandai
found Manda forgetable, like Varan, and not worthy
of the vinyl. Perhaps the serpentine design of the
creature isn't desireable when it comes to shelf-space
in Japanese stores, and he might've looked out of
place standing next to the other, bi-pedal creatures.
However, Bandai created a figure of an Ultra-Seven
character named Narse, a robotic serpent dragon.
In fact, I've seen several people trying to pass
Narse off as a Manda figure on eBay over the years.
As a word of warning, make sure Safe-Search is turned
ON if you do a Google image search on the word "Narse".
Seriously. Some people need to have their internets
8 - Ebirah
Why: Ebirah has the unfortunate dishonor
of being one of very few Godzilla "villains"
not to have a figure in either the eight or six
inch Bandai lines. Ebirah,
Horror of the Deep (1966), while not ranking
high on most fans' list of favorites, is a fairly
well known G-film, having appeared on MST3K, and
I remember it showing on TV several times over the
years, on both Sci-Fi and, believe it or not, the
Why hasn't one been made: My guess is Ebirah
wasn't deemed interesting enough. Perhaps Bandai
felt that a vinyl giant shrimp simply wouldn't sell
very well when compared to three headed dragons
and killer cyborgs. Truth be told, Ebirah isn't
the most unique of designs, and that likely counts
7 - Titanosaurus
Why: Godzilla's co-opponent from the final
Showa film, Titanosaurus has always had a strong
cult fan following. While Bandai did give us a six
inch Titanosaurus, if they ever return to their
roots and begin producing classic kaiju in the eight
inch scale again, I'm sure many collectors could
be persuaded to add the aquatic dinosaur to their
collection a second time. Titanosaurus has an interesting
design, and I was quite surprised it took as long
for Bandai to release him in any size as it did.
Why hasn't one been made: Really, I don't
5/6 - Sanda and Gaira
Why: Why not? The
War of the Gargantuas (1966) is perhaps
the most well known Toho film to feature kaiju that
were never imported into the Godzilla franchise.
The Gargantua brothers would've made unique additions
to any collection, as they are one of few "humanoid"
kaiju (along with only "Frankenstein",
King Kong and Jet Jaguar, off the top of my head)
from the Toho universe. Furthermore, there have
been VERY few Gargantua collectables made that I
am aware of, with an even fewer number of "figures"
amongst that number. Most Gargantua items I have
seen are statues/model kits.
Why haven't they been made: Perhaps there
is not strength in numbers in this situation, and
the fact that Sanda and Gaira are basically "palate
swaps" of one another (The Mortal Kombat
fans out there will know what I'm talking about)
counted against them. Maybe Bandai didn't think
that furry brown and green men would appeal to non-fans/casual
kaiju fans the way the other, more wonderous Toho
4 - Gabara
Why: I fully expect to be shocked to death
in a nightmare tonight by Gabara for not mentioning
him in the "humanoid monsters" list I
formed earlier. Fine, as long as I don't have to
put on those little Ichiro-shorts....ugh. Anyway.
Love him or hate him, Gabara is quite the unique
design for a Godzilla universe kaiju. From his appearence
to his color scheme, there's no one else quite like
him. I'll always remember Gabara best from a pre-show
segment on "Super Scary Saturday" on TBS
here in Atlanta in the 80's, hosted by Grandpa Munster.
They were showing All
Monsters Attack (1969) and presented the
Godzilla/Gabara fight as a wrestling match, highlighted
by pre-match comments from the kaiju. While Godzilla
pointed out the fact that even Minilla got his licks
in against Gabara and ended with a "Nature
Boy" Ric Flair-esque "woooo!", Gabara
chose to focus on how pretty he was, and was shown
blow-drying his hair in a graphic behind Grandpa.
Sorry, just thinking back to my childhood, when....well,
almost everything was better.
Why hasn't one been made: Although I must
confess I've got a soft spot in my heart for this
Monsters Attack (1969) is, with the possible
exception of Godzilla
vs. Megalon (1973), considered to be hands
down the worst Godzilla film of all time. Perhaps
the hatred for this movie extends all the way to
toymakers, as outside of the Marmits and the vintage
Bullmark etc toys, a couple garage kits, and a recently
released plush by Toy Vault, Gabara has almost no
merchandise to his credit. With his only appearence
being in All
Monsters Attack (1969), will Gabara ever
get HIS revenge? Don't hold your breath, but, I'd
3 - A Re-sculpted Gigan
Why: Those who've seen my
review of the 8 inch Gigan Bandai gave us know
my feelings on this toy. If you haven't, well, whats
wrong with you?! Go read. I'll wait. Done? No, read
it all. I'll know if you're lying. Alright, fine.
Long story short, I consider Gigan to be the worst
sculpted figure in the entire line. From the colors
to the pose, Bandai pretty much screwed up everything
they possibly could. Gigan deserves better. He's
usually ranked in the top three of Godzilla's Showa
foes, joined by such big names as King Ghidorah
and Mechagodzilla. Just imagine the taunting poor
Gigan suffers on the shelf next to those guys.
Why hasn't one been made: Bandai usually
doesn't revisit their kaiju. Fortunately, they produced
a vastly improved Gigan early on in the 6 inch line,
but while its a nice gesture, Bandai, you must attone
for your sins. There is no honor on that vinyl abortion
you forced upon us in the mid ninties.
2 - Kumonga (Showa)
Why: I don't know. I hate spiders. They
scare the hell out of me. Oddly enough, I've always
been a fan of Kumonga. From the extremely competant
wire-work, to the way he'd flip over on his back
when hit hard, Kumonga was a memorable creature
to be certain. Like Ebirah, he went toe to toe with
Godzilla, but has nothing to show for it in the
toy department. Kumonga, unlike most of the dinosaur/alien
kaiju Toho prefered during this time, is rooted
in a creature we're all very familiar with, and
manages to be realistic and scary, yet fantastic
all at once. Give 'em a figure. Oh, and while I'm
thinking about it, there's a transexual Frankenstein's
monster (I'm not even kidding) on eBay that likes
to sell plain plastic spiders with home-made tags
and claim they are "exclusive Kumonga Bandais".
Please don't fall for it.
Why hasn't one been made: I gotta think
that like Ebirah, being a "regular" creature
counted against him here. Plus with the huge "leg-span",
Kumonga would've been wider than any other Bandai
with the possible exception of Biollante, who required
a box rather than a tag for display. I don't think
Bandai would've gone through all this trouble for
Kumonga, who only has a fraction of Biollante's
1 - Godzilla 1968 (Soshingeki-Goji)
Why: Again, I may be a bit biased here,
but when I think "Godzilla", this is the
version I see. My favorite Showa suit of the King
of the Monsters. Unfortunately, the only Showa versions
of Godzilla released by Bandai at this size were
the King-Goji and Mosu-Goji in 1983 and 1984 respectively,
and these hard-to-find figures don't match up well
with later releases in the line. An 8 inch Soshingeki-Goji
would go perfect with the Rodan, Hedorah, Anguirus,
Mothra, Baragon, Gigan, Minilla, and King Ghidorah
already in the line.
Why hasn't one been made: I'm guessing Bandai
was content to release the same Heisei Godzilla
three years running. Fortunately, this kaiju is
available in the six inch line and in the US Bandai
Well, that does it for this time. If you liked
what you read, great. If you didn't, well, I'd like
to hear what YOU'D rather read, jerkwad! No, seriously.
Let me know what you'd like to hear in a future
edition, and as always, thanks for reading and for
visiting Toho Kingdom.