On October 26th, 2020, the forums suffered on outage. This issue was at the host level, who quickly rectified the dilemma. In doing so, they updated the PHP instance on the site to the latest version, exposing issues. The host kept rolling the PHP instance back until they found a working one, which took about a dozen tries. This exposed how outdated the forums had become, and highlighted that they were sitting on an aging tech stack: with components set to be depreciated. It required an update, although I had been resistant knowing this would wipe out modifications and styles for the forums. That said, a choice between having a forums that is more future proof versus keeping the old styles shouldn’t even have been a debate. Accepting this, the forums entered their third life cycle.

Created way back in 2003, when the site first moved off free hosting to the tohokingdom.com domain, the forums have been a mainstay. They went through some bumpy starts as the site transitioned hosts, including losing everything during one transition, but have been stable for a decade now. In 2016, similar to what we are seeing now, the forums became outdated. This kicked off the second life cycle, and one can read about it and the even older styles that used to be associated with it.

Four years later the site finds itself at a similar crossroads. So this blog is meant to chronicle the old Toho Kingdom forums styles from the second iteration. These were up from 2016 to 2020, although were all created in a time frame from 2016 to 2017. Some of these will return to the new forums, although slightly altered. Some will not. This article will act as archive of the styles from this period. The styles are sorted by popularity, at the time the forums were updated.

Kaiju Outline (Purple)

Kaiju Outline (Purple)

Introduced: April 2nd, 2016
Users: 1,926

The top theme. The success for this one is likely by circumstance. Anyone who signed up before April 2016 was automatically assigned this. So many probably never changed their styles. Still it does look similar to the default look of the forum framework, and so might have been popular for some on that aspect.

 

Godzilla 2014 (Purple)

Godzilla 2014 (Purple)

Introduced: April 16th, 2016
Users: 1,703

After it was introduced, this became the default forum style for new registrations. It probably owes most of its user base to this, although was my preferred style and the one I used. As for the thread icons, they are the Monarch logo from the MonsterVerse franchise.

 

Godzilla 2002 Fire (Gray – Dark)

Old Toho Kingdom Forums Styles: Circa 2016-2017

Introduced: April 16th, 2016
Users: 274

An updated version of the old forum style of the same name. The older style was much more popular, almost twice as much, but was also the only dark style on the boards back then. The design was based around an obscure Kirin Fire (“Godzilla Coffee”) marketing campaign. The ad campaign featured baseball player Hideki Matsui, nicknamed Godzilla and had a cameo in Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002), and Godzilla 2002 himself. If you have never seen the commercial take a watch here

 

Gigan (Blue – Dark)

Gigan (Blue - Dark)

Introduced: December 8th, 2016
Users: 268

This was one of the last styles introduced during this period. It’s an anomaly as well for being the only style introduced after the initial April batch to really catch on, ending up in striking distance of the Godzilla 2002 Fire theme. Although the buzzsaw folder icons feel standard, I wanted to have fun with the header. So I had Gigan slicing the Toho Kingdom logo in half in the end.

 

Gotengo (Blue – Dark)

Gotengo (Blue - Dark)

Introduced: April 2nd, 2016
Users: 252

For years the Gotengo kind of represented the default forum style here at Toho Kingdom. I knew it needed to launch with something around this famous mech. After a lot of deliberation, decided to pivot toward a dark style for it.

 

Biollante (Green – Dark)

Biollante (Green - Dark)

Introduced: April 5th, 2016
Users: 137

Another dark theme, this style added Biollante to the mix. As an interesting side note, the thread icons were not original. I had actually created them for a theme based on the Bloodthirsty trilogy, with the rose motif from Evil of Dracula (1974), that was made for the forums prior to 2016.

 

Mothra (Blue)

Mothra (Blue)

Introduced: April 26th, 2016
Users: 136

This was one of my favorite styles. Once introduced, it became the default theme when someone was viewing the forums and not logged in. I loved the use of the Mothra symbol through out, and it felt much more elegant than the Mothra Leo style that preceded it. The light blue contrast with the dark blue was also a nice mix.

 

Battra (Blue – Dark)

Battra (Blue - Dark)

Introduced: April 22nd, 2016
Users: 27

This was a modified version of the “Gotengo (Blue – Dark)” theme. It added Battra at the top and, unlike the Gotengo theme, had unique icons for the threads that were based on the cave painting depictions of Battra. The coloring was also made slightly darker, versus the more vibrant blue of the Gotengo style.

 

Mechagodzilla (White – Classic)

Mechagodzilla (White - Classic)

Introduced: April 3rd, 2016
Users: 25

The “classic” board, which was based around the original forums design. Being retro, it was decided the original Mechagodzilla would have been a good fit.

 

Mothra Leo (Aqua Blue)

Mothra Leo (Aqua Blue)

Introduced: April 3rd, 2016
Users: 15

With Aqua Mothra in the background and eggs for icons, this theme always felt a little aged. Like something you would have seen in the early 2000’s. Anyway, some found it popular, as it did attract 15 people to it.

 

Godzilla 1954 (Gray – Basic)

Introduced: April 16th, 2016
Users: 15

As the title alludes, this was created as an ultra basic design. Mostly white and gray, alluding to the black and white nature of the 1954 film, the style was for those who wanted some very simple and not very “loud”.

 

Rodan (Brown)

Rodan (Brown)

Introduced: April 10th, 2016
Users: 12

I liked this theme, although the color scheme definitely gives off a coffee ice cream vibe. Anyway, this is a mixture of Rodans, with the icons being 1956, the shadow being 1993 and the standing Rodan being 1964-1968.

 

Jet Jaguar (Black)

Jet Jaguar (Black)

Introduced: April 2nd, 2016
Users: 11

I actually never cared for the folder-like design of this style. However, I figured it was better to have something unique in case others felt differently. Based on the users who adopted it, it seemed most concurred. As a side note, this style debuted being based on the 20th Century Boys franchise. It pivoted to Jet Jaguar to see if it would be more popular… it was not.

 

King Ghidorah (Gold)

King Ghidorah (Gold)

Introduced: February 8th, 2017
Users: 9

The last style before the boards were updated, and the only style introduced in 2017. I liked the position of King Ghidorah at the top, although looking at it now I’m not a huge fan of the lighting bolt icons.

 

Destoroyah (Red)

Destoroyah (Red)

Introduced: June 12th, 2016
Users: 8

The only red style on the old forums. The thread icons were based around Destoroyah (Aggregate), although in retrospect one of the earlier forms of Destoroyah would have probably been better.

 

Manda (Green)

Manda (Green)

Introduced: August 15th, 2016
Users: 7

A basic style, similar to Destoroyah but going for a green focus. Sadly this one never really took on.

 

Legion (Teal)

Legion (Teal)

Introduced: June 6th, 2016
Users: 5

I always felt this was a fun style, with Symbiotic Legion flanking all over. I liked the gray with the subdued blue as well… but it somehow turned out to be the least popular style, sadly. In fact, it was even less popular than the Pokémon theme from the prior boards, which attracted seven users.

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