Toho Kingdom was able to conduct a quick Q&A session with Mondo’s Hector Arce (Creative Director, Toys and Collectibles), focusing on their recently-released Godzilla 89 Premium Scale Statue, though some topics also cover Toho and the Godzilla series in general.
Noah Percival: Tell us what about your history with Godzilla. Were any of you fans before working on these products?
Hector Arce: I’ve been a Godzilla fan since I was 5 years old. I remember being at the store and seeing the VHS cover for Godzilla vs The Sea Monster and being blown away. Asked my dad what that dinosaur was and he said “that’s not a dinosaur, that’s Godzilla.” I was sold from there.
NP: Do you have a favorite Godzilla design?
HA: There are so many to choose from but I would say the 84 Godzilla and GMK. But I can’t ignore how awesome Shin is as well.
NP: How do you choose what Godzilla designs or other monsters to use?
HA: I think it’s a mix of our favorite designs and what we think will resonate with fans the most.
NP: Can you walk us through the sculpting process?
HA: Sculpting is the most fun process, at least for me. We either seek out really talented artists to help us out or we sculpt in house ourselves. We usually present the sculptor with detailed reference and concept art and have them bring it to life. From there Mike and Myself will art direct the sculptor until we feel it meets the look and feel we are going for.
NP: What tools or software do you use?
HA: Our sculptors primarily use Zbrush for sculpting.
NP: How closely is Toho involved in the designing and production of a product?
HA: Toho’s involvement is mainly in the approval stages, they let us know if we’re on or off model or doing something that’s not allowed, haha. They are not involved in production at all. In terms of design, they will toss out ideas and stuff like that.
NP: What do you use as reference material? Does Toho provide you with any?
HA: Toho is great about providing awesome references for us. Besides that, Google.
NP: From beginning stages to final product how long does the process take?
HA: The process is very lengthy, about 9 months total if you include design, sculpt, paint, 3d printing, production and all that.
Creative Director, Toys and Collectibles
Interview conducted 10/10/2021
Mondo’s ever-growing “Godzilla Collection” can be found on their website. Some of their upcoming statue releases include Mothra from Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003) and the Hanna-Barbera version of Godzilla from the 1970’s animated show.