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  • Over the years you’ve seen Godzilla suit actors Haruo Nakajima (Showa series), Ken Satsuma (Heisei series), and Tsutomu Kitagawa (Millennium series) numerous times inside the US. They have appeared together in the excellent documentary “Bringing Godzilla Down to Size” on the Rodan and War of the Gargantuas DVD. For the convention scene, the suit actors have done solo appearances, in pairs or, for the first time, all at once at the Chiller 2014 event.

    However, one meeting happened in 2011 that very few know. The original Godzilla, Haruo Nakajima, met the only American Godzilla film suit actor, Kurt Carley from GODZILLA (1998). This historic meeting between Haruo Nakajima and Kurt Carley is being shown here for the first time courtesy of the Brad Thompson collection.

    Eiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters author and film historian August Ragone graciously introduces the two men and it’s a very pleasant meeting. You MIGHT have to turn up the audio a little to catch it all but it’s well worth it!

    I hope you all enjoy this historical event being shown here for the first time anywhere!

    About Kurt Carley

    Kurt Carley is a suitmation actor who had an uncredited role of playing Godzilla in GODZILLA (1998). He has also portrayed werewolves in the Underworld series, in particular Underworld and Underworld: Rise of the Lycans. All three films were done by Tatopoulos Studios. Carley isn’t tied to the special effects house, though, and has done work for other studios and projects, including a performance in 2009’s Land of the Lost. The actor continues to be active in the profession today, having a role in this year’s A Haunted House 2. In addition, the actor has done numerous stints in “fan projects”, including Batman: Dead End and Starship Farragut.

    Kurt Carley’s website can be found here, complete with a demo reel of some of his suit performances.

    General // November 7, 2014
  • Over the past few years, I’ve been fortunate enough to photograph such Godzilla film legends such as Haruo Nakajima, Akira Takarada, and Kenji Sahara. The photographs in this album range from 2011, from when I was handpicked by film historian August Ragone to document his historic trip to Los Angeles, to Akira Takarada’s Los Angeles visit in 2013, and in 2014 when Haruo Nakajima returned to Los Angeles along with actor Kenji Sahara.

    My published Haruo Nakajima’s 2011 photographs, I’m told, have reached iconic status when they were printed in the extremely popular issue of Famous Monsters of Filmland Magazine issue #256 in 2011 and in the magazine “Monster Attack Team” issue #8. The photos present here are either seldom seen or never before shown and I’m very proud of my work here. There is a shot of Haruo Nakajima in FM #256 where he is looking at the original King Kong armature. The photo was quickly shot with only 2 photographs taken. One, the alternate, was printed 3 years later and signed by Nakajima and was given to director Gareth Edwards. That photograph now hangs on a wall in his home.

    One of the shots here that shows Nakajima with the Kong armature has never been seen before and I’m proud to present it here for the first time. The original Godzilla along side the original King Kong. An event that will never happen again.

    Photographing each of these icons has been a once in a lifetime opportunity and in the case of the 2011 visit, one that gave me new lifelong friends. I’m proud to call Haruo Nakajima my friend and what were once polite bows and smiles upon first meeting have turned into hugs and laughter.

    I hope Godzilla fans enjoy these photos of these cinematic icons for years to come.

    Haruo Nakajima and the 1998 American Godzilla 
    Burbank, California

    Actor Kenji Sahara gets a look at the new American Godzilla for the first time
    Burbank, California

    Haruo Nakajima, Kenji Sahara, and Mr. Sahara’s translator check out the new American Godzilla design
    Burbank, California

    Kenji Sahara and the new American Godzilla 2014 
    Burbank, California

    The War of the Gargantuas (1966) stars Russ Tamblyn, Haruo Nakajima, and Kenji Sahara 
    Burbank, California

    Haruo Nakajima signing an alternate photo print I took of him and the original King Kong armature at MonsterPalooza in 2011. The other photo (close in identity) was published in Famous Monsters of Filmland #256. This signed print is the only one in existence and now belongs to Godzilla 2014 director Gareth Edwards.
    Burbank, California

    Akira Takarada clowns for my camera 
    Burbank, California

    Haruo Nakajima
    Hollywood, California

    Akira Takarada at MonsterPalooza
    Burbank, California

    Haruo Nakajima
    Hollywood, California

    Haruo Nakajima and the Hollywood sign
    Los Angeles, California

    Haruo Nakajima
    Burbank, California

    David Chapple, Haruo Nakajima, Butch Patrick (Eddie Munster from TV’s “The Munsters”) and Brad Thompson
    Burbank, California

    Haruo Nakajima and artist William Stout
    Burbank, California

    Haruo Nakajima with Tom and Diane from Clawmark Toys
    Burbank, California

    Haruo Nakajima
    Hollywood, California

    Haruo Nakajima with Godzilla 2014
    Burbank, California

    General // November 5, 2014
  • 1956 was an important year for Toho. While Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto (1954) was one of their early releases in the US, 1956 marked when Toho made an impact in America. Akira Kurosawa‘s stunning Ikiru (1952) and Seven Samurai (1954) were both released that year to US audiences, but another movie legend would also emerge. The original Godzilla (1954) would be shown in the US that year, heavily reworked by Jewell Enterprises Incorporated. This version, called Godzilla King of the Monsters, made changes to the story. These alterations were often quite drastic so that a new character played by Raymond Burr could be added. It was released in the United States by TransWorld Releasing Corporation, and remains the most famous of the US edits for Toho’s films.

    Given to Toho Kingdom exclusively from the Brad Thompson collection is four pages of the ORIGINAL Godzilla King of the Monsters 1956 script by Jewell Enterprises Incorporated. This 1956 script is extremely rare and I’d like to thank Brad Thompson for sharing it with Godzilla fans worldwide!

    As a side note, it’s interesting to see that the film was still called just “Godzilla” at this point. The “King of the Monsters” subtitle had yet to be added.

    About Godzilla King of the Monsters

    The Americanization of the first Godzilla film was released in the US in 1956. It featured portions dubbed into English along with new scenes. It’s noteworthy for choosing to keep some scenes intact in Japanese, though, instead of dub them. Instead, it has characters speaking in English to translate these segments for other characters in the added scenes.

    In Japan, Toho released the American version of the original Godzilla for Japanese audiences as well. This includes in theaters in 1957, as 怪獣王ゴジラ (“Monster King Godzilla”) and carrying the English title on the poster of Godzilla King of the Monsters. It has also been released on home video in Japan as well, including both VHS and DVD.

    General // November 4, 2014
  • As part of the Godzilla 60th anniversary celebration, we wanted to hear from YOU! The fans who love Godzilla and all the other monsters in this wonderful franchise! YOU are the reason Godzilla has been around for 60 years and here is what those who signed the Godzilla 60th Anniversary Guestbook had to say!

    Before we dive into the fans, though, let’s honor two people who helped craft these films in wishing the big guy a happy 60th:

    “Happy Birthday Big Guy! We hope we do you proud!”

    – Max Borenstein, writer of Godzilla (2014)

    “Congratulations on 60 years!”

    – Kenji Sahara, star of Rodan (1956) and many Godzilla films

    “One of these days, I am going to “Godzilla” tattoo’d onto my arm. Specifically because it will make it that much easier to answer so many questions people might ask me. If they ask “What do you do for a living?” Or “What are your political views?” Or “What is your religion?” I can just point at my arm, and leave it at that. Happy Birthday, Big Guy.

    – Matt Frank

    “Dear Godzilla. I would like to wish you a Happy Birthday! Believe it or not you are a big part of my life. Ever since I was a child your movie always great enjoyment to me. In fact one of my great memories of my Mother, (May she rest in peace) was watching Godzilla movies. In fact she is the reason I found out about you. We use to watch old movies together, one day she showed me a movie with her favorite kaiju, (She did say kaiju) and that is how I got introduce to Godzilla. Keep doing what you doing buddy, you are an awesome guy.”

    – Hotaru Schwanke

    “It was 2009 (I think). Me and my older bro were looking through our collection of Gamecube games when I found Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee. I already had experiences with Godzilla prior to this. For the longest time, I played the Godzilla: DAMMDemo in Big Air Freestyle although it wasn’t enough to make me a fan. I also went to toys r us in 2007 or 8 and I stumbled upon the BC Godzilla figures (I so regret not picking one up). Well let’s move back on track, DAMM made me the Godzilla fan I am today. To a 2nd grader, nothing was cooler than seeing a “fire breathing” dinosaur fighting a giant insect with drills, a three-headed dragon, and other crazy and imaginative creatures (*cough* Gigan *cough*). Unlike many Godzilla fans, I became a fan when the internet was around so, I decided to look up all of the kaiju present in DAMM. I was shocked to find out that Angurius was Godzilla’s first opponent and was Godzilla’s best friend later. I also was surprised when I found out that Godzilla’s arch nemesis was King Ghidorah. I thought that Mechagodzilla was prior to this. I remember finding it stupid that nearly every film was named Godzilla vs *insert name*. I also watched a few films such as Godzilla 2000: Millennium (1999), Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla (1994), and Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975). Sometime later, I found Godzilla Unleashed at my local GameStop. I was shocked at how much monsters I had no idea existed such as Varan and Baragon. I also looked up the kaiju in this game. I remember finding it odd that Godzilla vs. Varan doesn’t exist and finding it really stupid that Kiryu wasn’t called Mechagodzilla 3. In the summer of a year later, I sat down to watch every Godzilla out of order and disjointed. My favorites were Godzilla (1954) and King Kong vs Godzilla (1962) while my least favorites were All Monsters Attack(1969) and Destroy all Monsters (1968). Now in the present day, Godzilla (2014) comes out and its one of the best in the franchise. Now its Godzilla’s 60th anniversary and all Godzilla fans shall come together to celebrate 60 years of the giant radiated, oversized, and atomic breathing Godzillasaurus. Let’s hope for another 60 years and LONG LIVE THE KING OF THE MONSTERS!”

    – Chris Solorzano

    “I can’t believe it’s been sixty years. I’ve only been watching the films this past year due to the new movie, but I already own most of the Heisei series and the Millennium series. I’m astonished on how I’ve gotten so entranced by Godzilla films, especially in such a short time. Something about them I guess. I love all of them (except All Monsters Attack) and I’m very into the multiple Facebook fan-pages about Goji. So I give him my best wishes on having a great 60th birthday, and stomping through Tokyo for many years to come. SKREEEONK! “

    – Ethan Szermer

    “I wish Godzilla a very happy 60th birthday!”

    – Nikolas Nester

    “Happy 60th anniversary Godzilla you are the God King of Monsters and the Strongest in the Universe so you deserve the best day of your immortal life.”

    – Sharon Van Allen

    “I was thought that Godzilla is an amazing monster. Since Miles Imhoff retired from Toho Kingdom I was thinking you should add Monster Island Buddies with TKToons. Monster Island Buddies stars Godzilla, Jet Jaguar, and Rodan. I also love the Godzilla movie that came out this year. I like all his films except for the American one that came out in 1998. My birthday wish is that I can get his comic books “Godzilla Rulers of Earth” I hope this pleases everyone at Toho Kingdom. Thank you all.”

    – Matthew Evans

    “I feel Godzilla is a part of me. Yes I have been a fan sense I was 8 but his origin has much to do with my family history. I will probably be a fan for the rest for my life and my collection will continue to grow. I can’t wait to see what is in the future for ゴジラ. (aka ゴジラ 2018 #rodan confirmed).”

    – Austin P

    “Godzilla…is…my life! I mean, I freaking love Godzilla! I have been a huge fan of Godzilla since I was 6 years old! I used to watch the movies all the time! I remember my parents used to by me every Godzilla-related toy they could get their hands on, and I introduced my family to the world of Godzilla. I love Godzilla and probably continue to love it for generations onward! And congratulations on reaching 30 films, Godzilla! MY BIRTHDAY WISHES FOR GODZILLA: That one day he gets a movie where he fights Gamera and Reptar. And that his next two Legendary movies are good! 😀 I freakin’ love Godzilla,”

    – Liam Bishop

    “For me I got into Godzilla at the age of 5 when I saw the tail end of King Kong vs. Godzilla on the Sci-fi channel back in 2004 and I got hooked on the whole franchise since and eventually that, Power Rangers, Daimajin and Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot essentially were the beginning for my love of Toku programmes. There was even an awkward incident in first grade where I made a report on Japan and back then as a six year old I thought those movies were like documentaries almost and used my “knowledge” from that onto the sheet and you can guess where that lead too. Good times…”

    – Mrtrainfreak12

    “I’ve been a G-Fan since I was about 3 years old. I remember watching Godzilla ’85 for the first time. Godzilla is my hero; he’s not just a monster or a menace. He’s a hero to some people, he’s misunderstood like some people and that’s why I think I can relate to him. I was 4 or 5 when I saw Godzilla 2000; it was the first movie I saw in the theaters. And I was in awe! From seeing his atomic breathe blast over my eyes, to hearing his iconic roar over the surround sound. I love GODZILLA…. Long Live The KING!”

    – Anthony Baamonde

    “Well, my TK username is GodzillavsZilla and I have loved Godzilla movies since childhood. The first Godzilla movie I watched was Godzilla vs Hedorah; I watched it when I was four, and even though it didn’t hold up at all, I remember the fact that it kicked off my obsession of Kaiju. I mainly loved Godzilla movies because of the monsters, there was just a lot of creativity and the monster that spells creative is Gigan. I also like that Godzilla used to be a metaphor for nuclear radiation going too far, but kind of devolved into a super hero so kids aren’t depressed, luckily the Heisei and Millenium series got it right. Overall, happy 60th birthday Godzilla, you were an important role in my childhood, so here’s to Legendary’s Godzilla 2, they did him good…….. Unlike some company.”

    – Steinardj

    “I just want to say that I’m a huge fan of Godzilla!!”

    – Bob Sherlock

    “Happy 60th, big guy!It is in opinion that everyone has that thing they have followed his or her whole life, and has since gain an encyclopedic knowledge of. The Godzilla franchise would be that for me; I’ve been captivated since before I could walk. When I was a kid, I was blown away by the cool effects and kaiju action, but now that I’m older, I really appreciate the story, meaning, and effort that went into each film (well, almost each film… *cough late sixties early seventies cough*). The cinematography, suits, music, and everything else just means so much to me, and I feel I would be a completely different person had I not stayed up late to catch the films on TV. Anyway, I’m happy to see him make a comeback, this time American studios giving him the proper revival he most-certainly deserves. It’s been a fun ride so far, and it’s only beginning for me. Here’s to another 60!”

    – Lex Miller

    “You know, every since I was young I was fascinated by dinosaurs. It wasn’t until I was five that I discovered the king of the monsters. Skill thanks to my mom. She may not be here with me to celebrate the 60th but I know she is with me in celebration. Happy Birthday Godzilla”

    – John O’ Donnell

    “Happy 60th Big G! Thank you for the years of providing fuel for my inner nerd. Here’s to many more decade celebrations, (and in my opinion better movies =/) Go kick Minilla for me.”

    – Stanton Smith

    “Who is Godzilla to me? The most destructive and bad-ass kaiju in the History of cinema. In his prime, he’s very agile, cunning, strong and very resistant to attack. He does show mercy to his former friends and loves and takes care of his son Junior.”

    – Mark Nelson

    “For the longest time, I’ve been a Godzilla fan! I remember the first time I ever saw Godzilla. It was around the early 90’s, my family was watching this one movie called “Terror of MechaGodzilla” on Monster Vision. I remember a huge evil robot named MechaGodzilla was about to destroy a helicopter when all of a sudden, the ground exploded! MechaGodzilla turns around to investigate. Then, popping out of the dirt was a heroic monster named Godzilla who blasted his evil robot counterpart with his mighty atomic breath. That scene left a major stamp on my life because that is when I became a Godzilla fan. Godzilla has been part of my life as much as my family has. I always viewed him as a friend when I was a child. I also viewed him as a superhero on par with Superman & Batman. Whenever I watched a movie, I always wanted to see Godzilla defeat the other monsters. I hated it when Godzilla would lose because it was like seeing a friend getting beaten up and there was nothing you could do about it. Whenever he would get back up a fight back like in Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla 2, it always made me happy. It also made me happy when he had an alley fighting along side him like Rodan & Angurius who are also my favorite monsters. I’m thankful my love for Godzilla never faded as I got older, in fact my love increased. I didn’t even think about how ahead of their time the early showa films were. From the monster suits to the special FX to the sound design, these films had a huge impact on the entire industry. Which is one of the reasons I loved and appreciate “Godzilla Final Wars”; it was like an ending of an era for these kinds of films. I’m so glad Godzilla is finally getting the attention he deserves thanks to people like Garth Edwards & Legendary Pictures! I’m also thankful for sites like Toho Kingdom & Cinemassacre for keeping Godzilla’ legacy alive! 2014 is a great year to be a Godzilla fan and I’m happy Godzilla has reached 60! I’m proud to be a Godzilla fan and I will always choose Godzilla first over any other franchise I’m a fan of like Star Wars or Marvel! Happy 60th Godzilla! Hail to the king!”

    – Jacob Fulk

    “I’m so glad to see my favorite Kaiju news site inviting people to celebrate Godzilla’s 60th anniversary. Godzilla movies are something I hold dear to my heart and have a few stories, like making my friends watch them to understand what I love or my long search to get a good copy of Godzilla vs Biollante (before it’s relatively new DVD release.) Every now and then I make sure to binge watch at least of couple the Heisei era flicks, and GODZILLA 1998 is a movie I love watching, to enjoy or make fun of, since it was my second giant monster movie ever. Thank you for being a great, dedicated site to such a cherished part of my life and I hope Toho and the Godzilla franchise maintain a strong, steady bond with the world.”

    – James Phillips

    “Hey Goji, MM here. Just wanted to say HAPPY BIG BIRTHDAY! 60!? Holy crap, has it been that long? I’ve been a huge fan ever since I was a kid. Thanks for not crushing my home and saving the world from countless alien horrors and weirdo kaiju. Here’s to another 60 years of fun, and another 60 years after that as well!”

    – Monster Master

    “Don’t remember much about my life before the age of 6. Most windows into that time are closed to me, but I’ll never forget how I felt the first time I saw my hero. I was in the store with my mother, browsing the VHS racks for movies when I saw something new: a movie with a giant green dinosaur on the cover, breathing fire as it held a broken plane in one clawed hand while people ran in terror. My 4 year old brain recognized that this was no real dinosaur, but something else, something special. I was drawn back to the movie again and again, unable to look away. I asked my mother what it was, and she kindly gave me the name of my future idol: Godzilla. It’s been 20 years since I first picked up that copy of Godzilla, King of the Monsters! In a small Wal-Mart in Illinois, but he’s never strayed too far from my heart since then. As time passed I discovered who he was, where he came from and what he stood for as my love for him grew ever stronger. Now I can hardly imagine my life without him in it. Godzilla is more to me than a giant movie monster. He’s a hero, a friend, a warning representing something that is both much larger than I am but deeply personal at the same time. Nothing else compares. So here’s to you big guy! Happy 60th birthday! Long may you reign!”

    – Jack Jordan

    “Happy birthday to Godzilla, king of the monster and he is truly best giant monster movies of all time and a legend as well good blessing Godzilla.”

    – Daniel Clavette

    “Happy birthday Godzilla and Toho and bring back Anguirus and Titanosaurus in the new movies.”

    – Kris Bennett

    “Ever since I was three years old, I have been a huge Godzilla fan. My father showed me King Kong vs Godzilla (1962), and I fell in love. I have always been a diehard fan, and was ecstatic to hear about the 2014 Godzilla movie. I love Godzilla, and can’t believe it’s been 60 years since he stomped onto the big screen. Happy birthday Big-G, and a happy 60 years more!”

    – James Long

    “Happy birthday Godzilla!”

    – Jacob Savage

    “My thoughts on why Godzilla is such a timeless character. He is here for the ages and each generation is inspired by him. It’s never going to be over. Godzilla is a symbol of man’s destructive power and ignorance. We believe we are in control but were not. Godzilla isn’t just a monster; he is a metaphor for the tragedy that nuclear weapons caused. Man is insignificant to him; it can’t be stopped, or harmed. A walking nuclear bomb, fear incarnated into a monster… No a God.”

    – Cody Ritter

    “So, you’re 60 years old now, huh. Dear God, you’re almost a century old! How does it feel to be 60 years old and still the King of the Monsters? Anyways, have a happy birthday, big guy. You deserve it.”

    – Meka Gojira

    “Einstein once said that imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. If every incarnation of Godzilla, from a nuclear threat to a lighthearted superhero, from a grim antihero to a pregnant underground beast, has had one theme in common, it’s that imagination always trumps knowledge. No limits were ever placed on what “can happen”. Mr. Honda never looked at his reptilian creation and said “That’s impossible”. And you know something? We are all the better for it. Today it seems that we have forgotten that “realism” and “reality” are two different things. The former is little more than an artistic aesthetic which celebrates the banal at the expense of the imagination. The more we champion it, the more we become like the well-meaning but misguided generals who fire rockets at Godzilla’s scaly hide and can’t fathom why they don’t even slow him down. After all, such a thing must be impossible. Godzilla does not embody scientific knowledge. He embodies our ability to imagine something beyond its narrow limits. Every film in the series, starting from Honda’s original radioactive nightmare, through Emmerich’s ill-fated reimagining (which I find has aged surprisingly well) all the way to the modern era has served as a reminder of Einstein’s wise words. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Happy Birthday, Godzilla. Congratulations on remaining relevant even after 60 years.”

    – David Eveleigh

    “Godzilla holds a special place in my heart for my childhood and now growing as an adult. I remember I would watch the films with my dad and I would say I was baby Godzilla and he was Godzilla. Great memories that I will always hold close to my heart. Now that I am older I cannot wait to have a son so that he will be Little Godzilla and I will be Godzilla. :]”

    – Jr Lopez

    “For the past 60 years, Godzilla has been a key part of modern culture, and deservedly so. The radiation-spawned saurian has stomped his way through almost 30 movies now, not to mention two animated series and numerous other tie-in products. The original 1954 classic is certainly one of the darkest films in the monster genre, which is helped immensely by the film being black-and-white, something that makes the film even grimmer. In contrast, the later Godzilla films have been some of the most colorful spectacles to grace the silver screen. But let’s face it; it’s the various other characters that have kept Godzilla going for so long. Allies like Mothra, Rodan, Anguirus, and the underrated King Caesar have always been important, but the villains, like any other story, are the ones that add the real spice. Evil characters like Gigan, SpaceGodzilla, Destoroyah, and the king of them all, Ghidorah, deserve to be ranked with the greatest villains in film history, like Hannibal Lecter, the Wicked Witch, or Scar. These films have entertained many people through the decades, and hopefully, the recent resurgence of kaiju popularity will usher in a new golden age for the genre, something I hope to add to with a series I’ve been developing for the past few years. Anyway, Happy Birthday, Godzilla, and thank you, Toho Kingdom, for continuously enriching the world of Godzilla.”

    – Brendan H

    “Godzilla, what can be said about him? Personally I think it may have been one of the most important franchises in fiction because Godzilla has given me a foundation on how I shaped the way I think about stories, characters, settings, filmography, interpretation, adaptations, and themes. Considering his global following I know I am not alone when I say he has inspired more or less 60 years of fictional history on screens of all kinds. Here is to another 60 years and more generations to have their lives changed by the king of the monsters.”

    – J. S.

    “Hey if you are reading this I want to wish Godzilla a happy 60th anniversary. You are an awesome kaiju. I am a HUGE fan of you Godzilla. I hope you keep fighting King Ghidorah and Mechagodzilla and keep kicking their evil butts and save the earth!”

    – Georgi

    “It’s hard to believe that we’re celebrating Godzilla’s 60th anniversary. It feels like yesterday that we were celebrating his 50th. When you are a fan of something; one of the questions that come up a lot is what are favorite or most cherished memories related to said interest? The memories I cling to the most related to Godzilla are the times I spent watching the movies with my Dad. Every time I got a new movie, we would plan a time to sit down and watch it; something that continued into my adulthood. He wasn’t as big a fan as I was but he could name several monsters that were outside the mainstream knowledge. He would’ve been the same age as Godzilla this year. To me, that was the biggest disappointment with the new Godzilla movie; Dad wasn’t here to enjoy it with me. It came out five years too late. But when I saw it with some friends; one of them brought his young son to see the movie. Hopefully a new fan was made that day and will share a father-son tradition like I did. Happy Birthday Godzilla. Thanks for all the memories big guy.”

    – Timothy LaCroix

    “Godzilla old friend, I wish to offer my heartfelt congratulations. 6 decades is an achievement undreamt of by lesser characters. I hope that my upcoming blog will serve as a worthy 60th anniversary tribute to you, dear King of the Monsters, and I’ll have lots to say there. But for this birthday wish, let me say this: never let anyone tell you, you can’t fly!!!”

    – Christopher Brown

    “Godzilla has meant so much to me, the films and games have always brought joy to my heart. Here’s to another 60 years…Love ya, big guy…”

    – James Sousa

    “Happy Birthday! And to another 60 city destroying years!”

    – Joe Meyers

    “I’ve been a Godzilla fan since I was about 2 or 3. He’s always been the most important character in my life. When other kids had Batman or Spider-Man I daydreamed about a giant mutant dinosaur. I remember thinking it was a big deal when he turned 50, but somehow his 60th birthday is far more impressive with a successful American reboot backing it up. Here’s to 60 more years and hopefully many more movies from not only Legendary but Toho as well!”

    – Tyler Beasley

    General // November 3, 2014
  • Now the soundtrack page of the site is reserved for CDs. I’m not big on other music formats, save converting the music on said CDs to mp3s, but vinyl has earned a reputation for itself. It still gets releases and still has a hardcore following of enthusiasts.

    On July 14th, 2014, Death Waltz Recording company issued a 180gm black vinyl version of the Godzilla (1954) score. The disc contains the full soundtrack by Akira Ifukube, plus one bonus track at the end. Given that there aren’t a whole lot of Godzilla vinyl albums that are produced in modern times, although Godzilla (2014) got one, I figured I would visit this release in a blog instead.

    The Music

    In terms of contents, the 1954 Godzilla black vinyl disc uses the same material that La-La Land created and used for their 2004 CD release (LLLCD-1022). I say created because this release features the altered “Tragic Sight of the Imperial Capital”. La-La Land meticulously changed this by using material from the “Godzilla at the Ocean Floor” to remove the crying sound effects that were recorded during the original orchestration. The result is better for it, even if its not authentic. This altered version is the one that appears on this set.

    Naturally, due to space, this vinyl only contains the actual score and the extra “Film Version” tracks do not appear here. On the cool side, this vinyl does feature a bonus track that is unique to it. On the downside, the bonus track is the Godzilla Approaches stomping sound effect looped in quick recession. Pretty lame and an obvious bait and switch. They list this as a “Secret Hidden Track” on their site, giving the idea it might be something special but no luck.

    For the quality, I’m not qualified to dissect the audio on this as I’m no vinyl expert. I know that vinyl will give a better audio output, although usually that’s from using an analog source. Since I imagine La-La Land created a digital source for their version, the quality should be pretty comparable to its CD counterparts. The only track that stood out to me, although for the wrong reasons, was “Prayer to Peace”, but this track has always sounded rough.

    The Packaging

    The greatest advantage that vinyls have over CDs is the packaging. CDs have small little booklets, while Vinyls were known for stunning artwork at large sizes. This release is no exception. The front cover is breath taking, showing Godzilla with red eyes against a back drop that shows older fighter planes. The exterior has a “head on” shot of Godzilla staring forward, which is a fold out. All of the artwork is fantastic, although purists might take issue with the versions depicted. The Godzilla design here is clearly modeled after the Heisei series one, while the fighter planes are circa World War II rather than the F86F Saber Jets seen in the film.


    Now, bummer for vinyl enthusiasts, this release is not available for sale in the US. It retails for £14 from Death Waltz Recording company’s website. However, the same can be said for most of the Japanese soundtrack releases, and likewise this one is finding a home on resale channels like eBay. So it won’t be that hard to acquire, although it won’t be cheap either.

    Overall, worth getting for vinyl enthusiasts, but not for the $100+ prices it is selling for in resale and not outside of the vinyl enthusiast crowd either.

    1954 Godzilla Black Vinyl: Death Waltz Recording


    A1 Godzilla Approaches
    A2 Godzilla Main Theme
    A3 Ship Music / Sinking of Eikou-Maru
    A4 Sinking of Bingou-Maru
    A5 Anxieties on Ootojima Island
    A6 Ootojima Temple Festival
    A7 Stormy Ootojima Island
    A8 Theme For Ootojima Island
    A9 Japanese Army March I
    A10 Horror of the Water Tank
    A11 Godzilla Comes Ashore

    B1 Godzilla’s Rampage
    B2 Desperate Broadcast
    B3 Godzilla Comes to Tokyo Bay
    B4 Intercept Godzilla
    B5 Tragic Sight of the Imperial Capital
    B6 Oxygen Destroyer
    B7 Prayer For Peace
    B8 Japanese Army March II
    B9 Godzilla at the Ocean Floor
    B10 Ending
    B11 Secret Hidden Track

    Thanks goes out to Jessica Stan for sending in the vinyl to create this article.

    General // August 17, 2014
  • On September 10th, 1937, an event took place that would change the world of cinema forever. Several of the Photo Chemical Laboratories as well as the P.C.L. Film Studio of Tokyo, Jenkins Osawa Studio (J.O.), and a distribution company called Toho Eiga merged into Toho Co. Ltd [1].

    But wait! What happened before September 10th, 1937? Were the histories of Toho’s predecessors doomed to vanish into relative obscurity? Fortunately, a tidy sum of films from the before time are still readily available to those willing to do a little digging. Several examples of Mikio Naruse’s work from his early P.C.L. days have actually proven somewhat of a breeze to locate, and even Sadao Yamanaka’s P.C.L. masterwork Humanity and Paper Balloons is within arms’ reach of Tohophiles, but here’s the problem…

    Ongaku Kigeki Horoyoi Jinsei,
    Toho’s very first film…
    or was it!?
    Dun dun dun…

    … Naruse began working for P.C.L. in ’35, and his name tends to overshadow those of his contemporaries. This makes for something of a 1935 barrier; that is to say (as of the publication of this article), it’s notoriously difficult to find anything from P.C.L. or J.O. prior to that year. To date, I’ve personally only been able to track down about 20 minutes of combined footage from these early years in the form of two animated shorts, although I do realise that I’m still very blessed to have been able to view said shorts.

    So which years are affected? All indications are that none of Toho’s predecessors produced anything, at least film-wise, prior to or during 1932; so that only leaves two unaccounted for: 1933 and 1934.

    These are Toho’s forgotten years, and they’ve proven quite the fascination to me as of recent. The Toho Studios Story by Stuart Galbraith IV [2] proved an excellent first step for researching this mysterious era. With the help of Galbraith’s book, JMDB, the Japanese Cinema DatabaseKinenoteJapanese Wikipedia, and some additional assistance from Toho’s websiteNikkatsu’s websiteKon Ichikawa by Yuki Mori [3], the Historical Dictionary of Japanese Cinema by Jasper Sharp [4], and Sessue Hayakawa by Daisuke Miyao [5], I’m very pleased to present a (hopefully) comprehensive list of classical works from Toho’s forgotten years.

    Please Note: All release dates are from JMDB unless otherwise noted. Films highlighted in yellow are emphasised due to the relative ease of tracking them down.


    Mr. Monkey’s Photographer
     Transliteration: Saru-kun no Kameraman  Also Rendered As: 猿君のカメラマン
     Directed by: N/A*  Release Date: N/A**
     Type: Animation  Production: J.O. Studio
     Length: 1 reel  Toho Connection Likelihood: High

    * Animated by Takao Nakano, Yoshitsugu Tanaka, and Shunichi Funaki, production ran from January to April of 1933 [6] and was ostensibly completed prior to the release of any other J.O. Studio film.
    ** According to a 2009 research paper on J.O. Studio anime by Yukari Hagiwara, Saru-kun no Kameraman was never publicly released as it was simply a prototypic effort [6].

    The Scholar’s Child
     Transliteration: Hakase no Ko  Also Known As: N/A
     Directed by: Tomiyasu Ikeda  Release Date: May 18th, 1933
     Type: Live Action  Production: J.O. Studio
     Length: 8 reels  Toho Connection Likelihood: Medium
    Kyoto Accent: The Loose Sash
     京訛り だらりの帯
     Transliteration: Kyo Namari: Darari no Obi  Also Known As: N/A
     Directed by: Bansho Kanamori  Release Date: May 18th, 1933*
     Type: Live Action  Production: J.O. Studio
     Length: 4 reels  Toho Connection Likelihood: Medium

    * JMDB and the Japanese Cinema Database [7] both list the exact date as unknown; however, there’s an identical article for this film under the 太秦発声 (Uzumasa Hassei Eiga) company listing in the latter website that indicates a May 18th release date [8]Hakase no Kois similarly found in two separate articles, one for each company [9][10], and its release date under Uzumasa corresponds with JMDB’s. The J.O. Studio page for Kyo Namari: Darari no Obi lists the release date as November 30th, 1932 [7]; however, this appears to be a coding error. The search index displays 1933-00-00 in an apparent attempt to imply that an exact date is unknown [11]; however, the movie bio is likely parsing that data hyperliterally and subtracting one month and one day from January 1st, 1933.

    Kusunoki’s Father and Son*
     Transliteration: Nanko Fushi  Also Known As: 楠正成 (Kusunoki Masashige)
     Directed by: Tomiyasu Ikeda  Release Date: June 1st, 1933
     Type: Live Action  Production: J.O. Studio
     Length: 8 reels  Toho Connection Likelihood: Medium

    *Alternately translated as Father and son of Honourable Kusunoki by Daisuke Miyao, its connection to J.O. appears to have been firmly established on Nikkatsu’s website [12].

    Musical Comedy: The Tipsy Life*
     音楽喜劇 ほろよひ人生
     Transliteration: Ongaku Kigeki Horoyoi Jinsei  Also Known As: N/A
     Directed by: Sotoji Kimura  Release Date: August 10th, 1933
     Type: Live Action  Production: P.C.L.
     Length: 77 min  Toho Connection Likelihood: High

    * Alternately translated Musical Comedy – Intoxicated Life by Stuart Galbraith IV, he declared this the very first Toho production [2].

    The Decisive Battle at Takada Downs
     Transliteration: Kessen Takada no Baba  Also Known As: N/A
     Directed by: Tomiyasu Ikeda  Release Date: September 14th, 1933
     Type: Live Action  Production: J.O. Studio
     Length: 10 reels  Toho Connection Likelihood: Medium
    Toy Box Series Episode 1: Express Fleet*
     Transliteration: Tokkyu Kantai  Also Known As: N/A
     Directed by: N/A**  Release Date: September 19th, 1933
     Type: Animation  Production: J.O. Studio
     Length: 6 min  Toho Connection Likelihood: High

    * According to a 2009 research paper on J.O. Studio anime by Yukari Hagiwara, Tokkyu Kantai was the very first of the Toy Box Seriesepisodes [6]. Although Tokkyu Kantai appears to translate simply to Express Fleet, “Toy Box Series Episode 1” has been added to our translation as a means of reducing ambiguity.
    ** Animated by Takao Nakano, Yoshitsugu Tanaka, Shunichi Funaki, and Hakuro Nagahisa, it would seem that this title was J.O.’s first commercially released anime.

    A Girlfriend’s Sex Appeal
     Transliteration: Kanojo no Itto  Also Known As: N/A
     Directed by: Gentaro Tawara  Release Date: September 22nd, 1933
     Type: Live Action  Production: Uzumasa Hassei
     Length: 6 reels  Toho Connection Likelihood: Low
    The Romantic Ichimaru
     Transliteration: Koi no Ichimaru  Also Known As: N/A
     Directed by: Masao Mizushima  Release Date: November 9th, 1933
     Type: Live Action  Production: J.O. Studio
     Length: 8 reels  Toho Connection Likelihood: Medium
    City of Purity
     Transliteration: Junjo no Miyako  Also Rendered As: 纯情之都
     Directed by: Sotoji Kimura  Release Date: November 23rd, 1933
     Type: Live Action  Production: P.C.L.
     Length: 61 min  Toho Connection Likelihood: High
    Toy Box Series Episode 2: Black Cat Banzai*
     Transliteration: Kuroneko Banzai  Also Known As: N/A
     Directed by: N/A**  Release Date: December 22nd, 1933
     Type: Animation  Production: J.O. Studio
     Length: 8 min  Toho Connection Likelihood: High

    * Although Kuroneko Banzai appears to translate simply to Black Cat Banzai, “Toy Box Series Episode 2” has been added to our translation as a means of reducing ambiguity.
    ** Animated by Takao Nakano, Yoshitsugu Tanaka, Shunichi Funaki, and Hakuro Nagahisa, Kuroneko Banzai is the second entry in the Toy Box Series.

    The Kitsune vs. the Tanukis*
     Transliteration: Ugokie Kori no Tatehiki  Also Rendered As: 動絵狐狸の達引
     Directed by: Ikuo Oishi  Release Date: December 31st, 1933
     Type: Animation  Production: P.C.L.
     Length: 12 min  Toho Connection Likelihood: High

    * Often informally translated as The Fox Versus the Raccoon or some similar variant, the short film Ugokie Kori no Tatehiki is actuallyvery easy to locate, just so long as you aren’t too concerned about subtitles.


    Bonji Tadano: A Life Study*
     只野凡児 人生勉強
     Transliteration: Tadano Bonji – Jinsei Benkyo  Also Known As: N/A
     Directed by: Sotoji Kimura  Release Date: January 5th, 1934
     Type: Live Action  Production: P.C.L.
     Length: 80 min  Toho Connection Likelihood: High

    * Alternately translated Life Study by Stuart Galbraith IV [2].

    The Dancer’s Diary
     Transliteration: Odoriko Nikki  Also Known As: N/A
     Directed by: Shigeo Yagura  Release Date: February 12th, 1934*
     Type: Live Action  Production: P.C.L.
     Length: 64 min  Toho Connection Likelihood: High

    * There is an apparent discrepancy as far as the release date is concerned. Although JMDB claims March 15th [13], Toho’s own website lists the release date as February 12th [14].

    The King’s Roaring Laughter Banzai
     Transliteration: Bakusho O Kingu Banzai  Also Known As: N/A
     Directed by: Masao Mizushima  Release Date: February 15th, 1934
     Type: Live Action  Production: Uzumasa Hassei
     Length: 6 reels  Toho Connection Likelihood: Low
    Cherry Blossom Dance: Mother’s Tears*
     さくら音頭 涙の母
     Transliteration: Sakura Ondo – Namida no Haha  Also Known As: さくら音頭 (Sakura Ondo)
     Directed by: Sotoji Kimura  Release Date: March 8th, 1934
     Type: Live Action  Production: P.C.L.
     Length: 75 min  Toho Connection Likelihood: High

    * Alternately translated The Crying Mother by Stuart Galbraith IV [2].

    Toy Box Series Episode 3: Picture Book 1936
     オモチャ箱シリーズ第3話 絵本1936年
     Transliteration: Omocha Bako Shirizu Dai San Wa: Ehon Senkyuhyakusanjuroku Nen  Also Rendered As: オモチャ箱シリーズ第3話 絵本一九三六年
     Directed by: N/A*  Release Date: April 13th, 1934
     Type: Animation  Production: J.O. Studio
     Length: 8 min  Toho Connection Likelihood: High

    * Animated by Takao Nakano, Yoshitsugu Tanaka, Shunichi Funaki, Hakuro Nagahisa, and Kuma Nishiguchi, Omocha-Bako Series, Dai-3-Wa: Ehon 1936-nen (sans subtitles) is actually somewhat easy to locate in its entirety.

    Enoken’s Story of a Young, Drunk Tiger*
     Transliteration: Enoken no Seishun Suikoden  Also Known As: N/A
     Directed by: Kajiro Yamamoto  Release Date: May 3rd, 1934
     Type: Live Action  Production: P.C.L.
     Length: 84 min  Toho Connection Likelihood: High

    * Alternately translated Enoken’s Story of a Young, Drunken Tiger by Stuart Galbraith IV [2], this film features the famous Japanese comedian Kenichi Enomoto (stage name: Enoken).

    Bombardment Squadron*
     Transliteration: Bakugeki Hikotai  Also Known As: N/A
     Directed by: Genjiro Saegusa and Shin Nezu  Release Date: May 3rd, 1934
     Type: Live Action  Production: J.O. Studio
     Length: 10 reels  Toho Connection Likelihood: Medium

    * Alternately translated as Bomber Pilots by Jasper Sharp [4].

    Namiko’s Life
     Transliteration: Namiko no Issho  Also Known As: N/A
     Directed by: Shigeo Yagura  Release Date: June 28th, 1934
     Type: Live Action  Production: P.C.L.
     Length: 64 min  Toho Connection Likelihood: High
    Araki Mataemon: Iga Pass
     荒木又右衛門 天下の伊賀越
     Transliteration: Araki Mataemon – Tenka no Igagoe  Also Known As: N/A
     Directed by: Yotaro Katsumi  Release Date: June 28th, 1934
     Type: Live Action  Production: Uzumasa Hassei
     Length: 21 reels  Toho Connection Likelihood: Low
    Bonji Tadano Part II*
     Transliteration: Zoku ・ Tadano Bonji  Also Known As: N/A
     Directed by: Sotoji Kimura  Release Date: July 12th, 1934
     Type: Live Action  Production: P.C.L.
     Length: 78 min  Toho Connection Likelihood: High

    * Alternately translated as Sequel ・ Tadano Bonji by Stuart Galbraith IV [2].

    Ponsuke’s Spring
     Transliteration: Ponsuke no Haru  Also Known As: N/A
     Directed by: N/A*  Release Date: August 1st, 1934
     Type: Animation  Production: P.C.L.
     Length: 11 min (estimation)**  Toho Connection Likelihood: High

    * Animated by Ikuo Oishi.
    ** Run time estimation extrapolated from a 206-metre film length.

    Crackle Crackle Mountain
     Transliteration: Kachi Kachi Yama  Also Known As: N/A
     Directed by: N/A*  Release Date: August 8th, 1934
     Type: Animation  Production: P.C.L.
     Length: 14 min  Toho Connection Likelihood: High

    * Animated by Ikuo Oishi and Shoji Ichino.

    Become Japanese!
     Transliteration: Nihon-jin Nareba Koso  Also Known As: N/A
     Directed by: Genjiro Saegusa  Release Date: August 22nd, 1934
     Type: Live Action  Production: Uzumasa Hassei
     Length: 6 reels  Toho Connection Likelihood: Low
    Love Street
     Transliteration: Koi no Hodo  Also Known As: N/A
     Directed by: Seichi Ina  Release Date: September 13th, 1934
     Type: Live Action  Production: J.O. Studio
     Length: 8 reels  Toho Connection Likelihood: Medium
    Enoken’s Magician
     Transliteration: Enoken no Majutsushi  Also Known As: N/A
     Directed by: Sotoji Kimura  Release Date: October 25th, 1934
     Type: Live Action  Production: P.C.L.
     Length: 73 min  Toho Connection Likelihood: High
    The Worthless Wife
     Transliteration: Tabigarasu Otsuma Yakuza  Also Known As: N/A
     Directed by: Takuji Furumi  Release Date: November 1st, 1934
     Type: Live Action  Production: Uzumasa Hassei
     Length: 8 reels  Toho Connection Likelihood: Low
    Boss of the Alps
     Transliteration: Arupusu Taisho  Also Known As: N/A
     Directed by: Kajiro Yamamoto  Release Date: November 15th, 1934
     Type: Live Action  Production: P.C.L.
     Length: 90 min  Toho Connection Likelihood: High
    Pom Poko Saga
     Transliteration: Pom Poko Buyu Den  Also Known As: N/A
     Directed by: N/A*  Release Date: December 27th, 1934
     Type: Animation  Production: J.O. Studio
     Length: 15 min (estimation)**  Toho Connection Likelihood: High

    * Animated by Takao Nakano, Yoshitsugu Tanaka, Kuma Nishiguchi, Akira Todo, and Giju Yamashita with music by Akio Hirayama, this film possesses a similar title to a far more famous 1994 anime.
    ** Run time estimation extrapolated from a 282-metre film length.

    High: The connection to Toho is well-established as the production company in question is either P.C.L. or J.O.
    Medium: Most likely a J.O. / Uzumasa Hassei coproduction. Per Yuki Mori’s Kon Ichikawa, Uzumasa Hassei (now defunct) produced a plethora of films using J.O. Studio.
    Low: The lack of evidence for a J.O. tie-in would suggest that Uzumasa’s parent company Nikkatsu probably has a far greater connection to the film in question than Toho.



    [1] J.O.スタヂオ (Japanese Wikipedia)
    [2] The Toho Studios Story: A History and Complete Filmography by Stuart Galbraith IV
    [3] Kon Ichikawa by Yuki Mori
    [4] Historical Dictionary of Japanese Cinema by Jasper Sharp
    [5] Sessue Hayakawa: Silent Cinema and Transnational Stardom by Daisuke Miyao
    [6] 京都におけるアニメーション制作 ―J・O・スタジオ・トーキー漫画部の活動より― (PDF)
    [7] 京訛り だらりの帯 (J.O.スタヂオ) (Japanese Cinema Database)
    [8] 京訛り だらりの帯 (太秦発声) (Japanese Cinema Database)
    [9] 博士の子 (J.O.スタヂオ) (Japanese Cinema Database)
    [10] 博士の子 (太秦発声) (Japanese Cinema Database)
    [11] J.O.スタヂオ
     (Japanese Cinema Database)
    [12] 楠公父子
    [13] 踊り子日記
    [14] 踊り子日記

    General // August 9, 2014
  • If anyone called me punctual or timely, I would have to call them a cheat and a liar. Case in point this expose. A few months ago, it was an exciting time. As a resident of San Francisco, the new Godzilla film, Godzilla (2014), taking place here seemed a little surreal. Given the location, and as a major metropolitan area, I was braced for some nice advertising for the new film in the Bay Area. With my smart phone at my side, I set out to take advantage of this rare opportunity.

    Sadly, the ad campaign around San Francisco was, at heart, forgettable. It was almost all the same poster seen over and over again. It got major points for spread, as they were all over the city, but little points for creativity. I still snapped photos diligently, from running around downtown and marching up toward my work in North Beach.

    Below are all the Godzilla 2014 San Francisco ads I snapped. Some have establishing shots to show where the location is. While I don’t find them terribly interesting in retrospect, save one alternate that I spotted, this at least shows how widespread the advertising blitz was.

    April 22 – Outbound Muni at Powell Station
    April 28 – Taken at Montgomery and Bush Street
    April 28 – Taken at Kearny and Sutter Street (note this was a digital ad that the display was broken on, hence the green)
    April 28 – Taken at Filbert and Columbus Avenue
    April 29 – Taken at Bush and Stockton Street
    April 30 – Taken at Fremont and Mission Street
    May 1 – Taken at Montgomery and Pine Street
    May 1 – Inbound Muni at Montgomery Station
    May 2 – Taken at Columbus and Union Street
    May 2 – Taken at Bush and Kearny Street
    May 3 – Taken at Clement Street and 32nd Avenue
    May 5 – Taken at Powell and California Street
    May 5 – Taken at Powell and O’Farrell Street
    May 5 – Inbound Muni at Powell Station
    May 7 – Muni at Powell Station
    May 7 – Union Square
    May 7 – Taken at Stockton and O’Farrell Street
    May 7 – Taken at Market and 4th Street
    May 9 – Outbound Muni at Montgomery Station
    May 12 – Taken at Powell and Sutter Street
    May 12 – Inbound Muni at Civic Center Station
    May 12 – At Civic Center Station
    May 12 – Outbound Muni at Civic Center Station
    May 13 – Taken at Stockton and Pine Street

    As a side note, these photos were all taken before the film opened on May 16th. Before the next weekend rolled around the posters had, sadly, all been replaced by Edge of Tomorrow adverts.

    General // July 21, 2014
  • It’s July, summer time, and what better time for a contest for awesome prizes? This has been a big year for Godzilla fans. We have had waves of merchandise and a fantastic new film in the franchise thanks to Godzilla (2014). Working with some of the distributors, we are gathering together a big summer event to celebrate: a Godzilla 2014 contest! For this contest I thought it’d be fun to have a prize bundle to spoil the victor.

    The prizes, which are valued at over $175, are:

    This is a contest with a level playing field. To enter just send an e-mail with your name and address to:

    The winning applicant will be selected at random.

    Due to shipping, this contest is open to North America and Canada entrants only.

    Contest ends July 15th, 2014.

    Thanks goes to Bluefin Distribution and Insight Editions for the gracious prizes offered in this contest.


    ONE entry per person only. Due to shipping this contest is only for North America and Canada entrants. Winner will be randomly selected using an automated process by e-mails received. Date of entry has no bearing on probability of winning. The winner will be announced by July 20th, 2014. Contest ends July 15th, 2014. Toho Kingdom staff (forum and main site) are not eligible to compete. The site is not responsible for lost, late or misdirected mail when prizes are sent out. Toho Kingdom reserves the right to change these rules at any time.


    About S.H. MonsterArts

    The S.H. MonsterArts is an ongoing line of movie monster toys made by Tamashii Nations, the collector’s division of Bandai. The line began in November of 2011, with Godzilla 1994: S.H. MonsterArts and Mechagodzilla 1993: S.H. MonsterArts being among the first releases. The highly articulated figures are released in the US by Bluefin Distribution.

    General // July 1, 2014
  • I’ve been both a Godzilla fan for most of my life and a native Texan for all of it. While I was able to find a few like minded G Fans, and Godzilla related merchandise would show up in local comic book and toy stores from time to time, there was never any Godzilla related events to attend in Texas for most of my life. However as I grew older and became more involved in online communities I began to learn of events that appealed to my love of science fiction in general.

    I learned of and attended my first local comic convention in the summer of 2012 in the appropriately named Dallas Comic Con and I was hooked from then on. Dallas Comic Con is one of three events in the Dallas area that run every year. Sci-Fi Expo runs during the beginning of the year and as its name suggests is focused on the science fiction side of fandom. Dallas Comic Con is run during the summer and features a healthy dose of comic book guests. Finally Fan Days run during the fall and tends to feature Horror related guests. I’ve attended many of these events had have always enjoyed them, particularly the guests who have ranged from William Shatner, Stan Lee, and Christopher Lloyd.

    The summer of 2014 saw the return of Godzilla to the big screen and with his return Dallas Comic Con added their first big Godzilla related guest since I have been attending, Akira Takarada. Godzilla like any popular franchise has had some presence in Dallas Comic Con namely due to the various vendors who sell Godzilla related merchandise, but with the exception of Marvel Godzilla King of the Monsters comic series artist Herb Trimpe, Takarada was their first guest who had participated in any capacity with the Toho Godzilla series.

    With this exciting addition to their guests and my recent position on the Toho Kingdom Staff I thought this would be a great opportunity to cover Dallas Comic Con for Toho Kingdom and hopefully expose local G-Fans to this event by specifically focusing on the Godzilla related aspects of this convention.

    The convention ran for a total of three days, with Takarada giving and audience question and answer session on the second day. With that in mind I decided to spend my first day at the convention in the vendor area.

    There was a good deal of Godzilla related merchandise available for G-Fans to buy from most of the various vendors. While there were a lot of the American mainstays in the form of Trendmasters and Bandai Creations figures, there were several vendors selling Godzilla collectables from Japan.

    Besides the rarer Japanese collectables I also saw several vintage American items including the Shogun Warriors Godzilla, the Trendmasters Ultimate Godzilla, and the newest Godzilla 2014 figures including the sought after Jakks Pacific Giant Sized Godzilla figure.

    For me personally this was the first opportunity I’ve had so see most of these highly regarded collectables in person, and G-Fans with a full wallet and a desire for these items would do quite well to visit here.

    The second day of the convention was the day I got to meet Akira Takarada. With Mr. Takarada being the first Dallas Comic Con Guest to have been involved with the Godzilla series there was a substantial amount of G-Fans eager to meet Mr. Takarada.

    The above picture was taken while I was in line to get Mr. Takarada’s autograph. There were a lot of Godzilla fans present and it was a lot of fun getting to talk with like minded fans. This social aspect of conventions has always been one of the best parts of any conventions and easily worth visiting a convention for.

    Guests who sought Mr. Takarada’s autograph could bring one of their own items for Mr. Takarada, to sign, or pick from the many items available at his table. These included publicity photographs for his films including Godzilla (1954) and Invasion of Astro-Monster(1965), a blank white poster, or a poster for either “Gojira” or the Japanese re-release poster for “Godzilla King of the Monsters”. I decided to pick the original Japanese poster for Gojira for Mr. Takarada to sign.

    Obviously this was an awesome moment for me as a Godzilla fan! Mr. Takarada was in the very first Godzilla movie I ever saw, Godzilla Vs. Monster Zero, and meeting him in person was a wonderful experience! Mr. Takarada despite not speaking a lot of English was very warm and friendly with all his fans. As the picture above shows, he took photos with anyone who came for autographs and who wanted a photo with him.

    Pretty soon after receiving my autograph, Mr. Takarada went to begin his question and answer session. A fellow G-Fan and I were able to follow Mr. Takarada to the hall for his Q&A session, and on the way I spoke to a person who I believe was part of Mr. Takarada’s group and one of his helpers. He informed me that they were quite surprised to see how many Godzilla fans came out to meet Mr. Takarada which is pretty awesome.

    I won’t go into great detail on the Q&A session because I filmed the whole event! I will put the link at the end of this article for you to watch and I highly recommend that you do. Despite some translation mishaps, Mr. Takarada was both a funny and energetic presence, who entertained us all with his tales of behind the scenes events, including his fear that the Gojira suit would bit him upon first seeing it, his feelings on Godzilla as a tragic character, and his desire to be in the sequel to Legendary’s Godzilla film.

    All in all this summer’s Dallas Comic Con had a lot to offer G-Fans. Not nearly as much as purely Godzilla or Kaiju dedicated events like G-Fest, but more then I have normally seen offered to Texan Godzilla fans. Seeing the return of Godzilla to the pop culture fore front and how well Mr. Takarada’s visit went I hope that we see Dallas Comic Con add more Godzilla or Kaiju celebrities to their future events.

    General // June 4, 2014
  • This blog is something I’ve been wanting to post for almost a year and now I finally can. In July of 2013, a promotional exhibit was created called “Godzilla Encounter”. It was featured at SDCC 13 (San Diego Comic Con 2013) to help get the word out about the then upcoming Godzilla movie by Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros: Godzilla (2014). …well to be more accurate, it wasn’t actually at Comic Con, but took over a building in the area to usher fans through the experience. What greeted people inside was a very detailed exhibit with wall-to-wall references as well. In fact, it was packed with Easter eggs for eagle eye fans. This included simple to spot ones all the way to much more obscure references, such as naming a loading bay M11 after the android from Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991).

    Since cameras/video cameras were banned from use inside the exhibit, I figured I might try and record the sounds of the exhibit for everyone. It seemed innocent enough but when I ran the audio by Legendary at the time, I was forbidden from posting it due to the roar either not being finalized or whatever the reason was. It was their decision and I respect that.

    On May 4th 2014, during my one-on-one interview with Legendary Pictures founder and CEO, Thomas Tull, I asked if the audio can finally be posted. He happily agreed and did not want the Godzilla Encounter audio tour to “slip through the cracks”. So, without further ado, here it is! A little background: This was recorded with the Zoom H4N audio recorder and it’s the clearest, most pristine audio of the Godzilla Encounter. Due to some technical circumstances, there will be some muffled sections…ok fine, it was in my pocket. From the time we get into the elevator until the end of the clip, it’s the most intense.

    So sit back, crank up those speakers/headphones (seriously), and enjoy! Click to download.

    General // May 28, 2014