In 2019 Playmates Toys ventured into releasing Godzilla figures. Initially launching with 12 inch figures, with later ones closer to 11 inches, the company also branched out into a six inch line. Their releases have included those from classic films, such as the Showa and Heisei eras of the Godzilla franchise, to an extensive line around the upcoming Godzilla vs. Kong movie. To get more information on past and upcoming figures from the company, we sat down for an interview with John Stelzner, Vice President of Marketing at Playmates Toys.
Chris Mirjahangir: Can you confirm if any of the molds for some of the releases were the same molds used by other companies? For example NECA’s Shin Godzilla, Jakks’ large Godzilla, etc.
John Stelzner: All of our products and molds are proprietary to Playmates Toys. We had a purchase deal with Bandai for our initial launch Toho Classic Figures, but we are now only shipping figures that we have sculpted and molded ourselves.
Mirjahangir: Is there any chance we will see any classic Godzilla figures in the same vein as your Godzilla vs. Kong [GvK] line, such as a 1954 Godzilla with a tank, atomic ray or whatever other accessory. Or maybe battle damage as an extra?
Stelzner: Right now we don’t have any intention of adding battle damage and other accessories to Classic figures. We are focused on making unique figures based on Classic Toho genres/characters including various Godzilla’s through the years as well as Kaiju that haven’t been a huge part of what is available out there.
Mirjahangir: Will Playmates be doing any MonsterVerse monsters not featured in Godzilla vs. Kong, like the Mutos from Godzilla 2014 and the Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) cast?
Stelzner: For the immediate future there is no intention to do any monsters from either Legendary’s Godzilla ’14 or KotM.
Mirjahangir: Was there any consideration for doing a “Build a Figure” type of gimmick for larger monsters like Biollante and Keizer Ghidorah in the classic toy line.
Stelzner: Right now we are not looking at doing any “Build a Figure” assortments in the Classic line.
Mirjahangir: As of now, what Godzilla series monsters does Playmates Toys have the rights to?
Stelzner: We can currently produce any of the monsters in the Classic Toho line.
Mirjahangir: Is Playmates Toys planning on doing future MonsterVerse toys should the franchise continue after Godzilla vs. Kong?
Stelzner: We would definitely be interested in continuing our partnership for future franchises after GvK, but are not currently working on anything beyond GvK and Classic Toho monsters.
Mirjahangir: Will the figures ever be made available outside of Wal-Mart?
Stelzner: We will start expanding our distribution of Classic Toho figures to other retailers in April, including Target and others. GvK will remain a Walmart exclusive in the U.S.
Mirjahangir: Are we going to see any figures that are exclusive to the toys and don’t represent anything from the films? In other words monsters that are original rather than using existing characters.
Stelzner: We are not developing any new characters beyond what is in the Classic Toho library or the GvK film.
Mirjahangir: The 11 inch figures have been a big hit as everyone loves big Godzilla figures. Is that something you guys will continue to produce?
Stelzner: Yes. For Classic Toho we are planning a new Godzilla figure for Fall ‘21. Stay tuned for which Godzilla.
Mirjahangir: Will Playmates continue releasing more Classic Godzilla and Classic Kong toys?
Stelzner: We are currently working on a few new Classic Toho monster designs at the 6.5” scale. For Spring  we will release Godzilla 1995 (aka Burning Godzilla) and Jet Jaguar. There will also be a few new monsters for Fall ’21 that we aren’t ready to announce yet.
Mirjahangir: Why did you decide to keep using the vinyls Bandai sculpts for some figures and yet doing all-new sculpts for others in less detailed plastic rather than using the more detailed vinyl Bandai sculpts? Also will they offer any new, all-vinyl sculpts that Bandai failed to produce?
Stelzner: Initially we partnered with Bandai to continue a few of their figures in our Classic package. We developed new figures to expand the line beyond what Bandai had done. All of our monsters going forward will be produced in vinyl rather than the hard plastic of our early styles.