world of Godzilla toys, Bandai is definitely on top
of the mountain. The sheer number of figures they've
released really cannot be rivaled, and usually, nor
can the quality of their representations of the great
Toho beasts. Usually, that is. I present to you the
exception to every rule, Bandai's original attempt
at Gigan as he appeared in the films Godzilla
vs. Gigan (1972) and Godzilla
vs Megalon (1973).
For years, this was the only standard sized Gigan
available, and collectors were forced to settle for
it if they wished to add the cyborg monster to their
collection. Granted, upon first glance, it may not
look that bad to the common eye. Well, get ready
because I'm about to tear the figure apart...and I
won't need a buzzsaw mounted in my torso to do it.
My first issue with the Bandai Gigan is the color.
Gigan is often represented in different colors depending
on who is producing him. He's been seen with mostly
green skin in the NES game Godzilla:
Monster of Monsters,
the more recent Godzilla games published by Atari,
and in the American Trendmasters toy line. More recent
Bandai figures have produced him as he appears on the
original movie poster for Godzilla
vs. Gigan (1972) in a blue
and gold scheme, which is my preference. Bandai went
with a murky black that looks closer to Godzilla than
Gigan, with golden scales and fins, and naturally metallic
silver for Gigan's hooked claws, buzzsaw, beak, and
the rest of his "sharp" parts. The black color is easily
my least favorite way I've seen Gigan made. I've also
gotta nitpick the design on the torso as the "skin
to scale" ratio doesn't exactly match up with the suit.
Also...where is Gigan's neck? While the monster was
shown to have a longer neck in the films, looking straight
at the toy makes him look a bit....stumpy, and unfortunately
for Gigan....size does matter, and this becomes even
more evident when you turn him to the side.
Sadly, Gigan's large fins have shrunk down to almost
nothing. Perhaps Gigan was looking for a career in
WWE and got on steroids.....I've heard those cause
certain issues with 'shrinkage', and it might account
for his state as a neckless wonder here. Alright,
maybe I've picked on his neck enough, he's got a bit
of one when you view him from the side, but I still
don't like it. Also, his posture just irks me
as well. He's got skinny, straight legs that look...well,
too human. His body is "D" shaped with no real definition,
he looks like a hunk of plastic, not a well detailed
toy. Back to the fins, not only have they shrunken
but they are not detailed well at ALL. In the films,
Gigan's fins were topped with spines from the little "bones" in
the fins. Here they are just slightly ridged. And,
wait, whats this...
Not only are they shrinking, they're disappearing.
Unlike the films where Gigan had three fins, he's only
got two here, with the center fin inexplicably
replaced by a row of silver spikes which continue from
the top of Gigan's head to the end of his tail. I'm
wondering if whoever sculpted poor Gigan for this incarnation
actually watched the film long enough to see him from
the back. I suppose I've beaten up his appearence long
enough, let's see how he fares in the scale department.
Standing approximately 8 inches high, Gigan is in
line with most other toys produced during Bandai's
original Godzilla series. Unfortunately, Bandai never
produced a 1968 or 1970's Godzilla in the 8 inch scale.
However, Gigan does fit in well with the standard Bandai
Jet Jaguar and Megalon, or another option would be
pairing him with the recent Godzilla 1968 released
in America under the Bandai Creations label.
Despite being one of my favorite of Godzilla's enemies
from the Showa era, this version of Gigan is one
of my least favorite figures. For years collectors
would hope for a better representation than what Bandai,
and later Trendmasters, would first offer us...and
eventually our prayers would be answered. But that's
another review for another time. For now, it's my unfortunate
duty to 'reward' Gigan with his grade of one and a
half stars. Failing in just about every catagory except
scale, it's back to the drawing board for this unique
kaiju. Better luck next time, Gigan.