box set covering Toho special effects features from 1969
through 1978. In total, the set covers 18 movies across
ten discs, while a 100 page booklet is also included that
gives a brief summary for each track and also displays
poster and LP cover art (all in black and white).
release is well renowned among fans for the number of
exclusives contained within, as Konto
55: Grand Outer Space Adventure (1969), Vampire
Doll (1970), Lake
of Dracula (1971), Evil
of Dracula (1974), ESPY (1974), Conflagration (1975), The
War in Space (1977) and The
Blue Stigma (1978) appear here in full form for
the first time. The set also has the best coverage of Prophecies
of Nostradamus (1974), as not only is the full
mono soundtrack included but also all of the stereo recordings.
The problem with this set, though, is that more engrossed
soundtrack collectors are going to get a lot of repeats.
This is also made slightly worse by the fact that the
Godzilla films (in terms of bonus tracks) are all presented
better elsewhere while there is hardly anything to represent Godzilla
vs. Gigan (1972) either. However, if one is just
starting out their soundtrack collection, and has an interest
in the more obscure science fiction productions, then
this is a great entry level set as the $175-200 price
tag is very reasonable considering what's included. Regardless
of repeats, more ambitious collectors will likely look
to still pick this up, especially since one is roughly
buying the exclusives for $24 a piece even when ignoring
the repeats. The set probably would have benefited, though,
had it focused more on these unavailable "classics",
even if it might have stretched outside the "Champion
selection", as soundtracks like Terror
in the Streets (1970) would have made welcome
additions seeing as how they still can't be acquired
today in full form. Still, one can't complain about the
audio quality itself, as the "repeats" are about on par with the previous
releases from VAP and Toshiba under their "Futureland"
label, although in the case of the latter the volume level
here is higher making those releases seem "soft"
in contrast, while the new stuff is pretty well done in
terms of preservation.
Unfortunately, this set is kind
of awkward in terms of organization and presentation.
The discs themselves come without individual covers and
mostly in two-disc cases, with the exceptions being 9
and 10. Movie scores will also often spill into the next
disc making for some odd listening experiences, although
at least it's all kept in order.
Overall, not an "end all" set by any means, but contains enough content that can be found elsewhere that it will still appeal to diehard collectors looking to get some content outside of just the kaiju stuff.