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Name
 Gigan
Version Source
 Godzilla vs. Gigan
Company: Bandai
Extras: Attached tag
 
Classification: Figure Reissue: No
Release: 1989 Height: 20 centimeters
Comments
Steve Johnson

In the 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).

 
Source Comparison

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.

   
Back Comparison

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.

 
Gigan, Megalon and Jet Jaguar

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.

Rating: