Chris Mirjahangir: Selected as one of the licensees for the upcoming Godzilla film, this interview discusses with Bandai their process for creating toys for the 2014 Godzilla movie.

Now without further ado, I would like to ask my first question - When did work on the figure begin?

Bandai: We started receiving Godzilla images and reference in January 2013 and the [monster]s were received in March. Bandai started building and developing the sculpts from there. As tends to happen with movie properties, the filmmakers are always making improvements and we were updating our models with them through the summer time.

Mirjahangir: Will there be any other Godzilla figures down the line or just this Godzilla from the new film?

Bandai: We are always looking to provide Godzilla fans with great characters for their collection. Since this is Godzilla's 60th anniversary, we'll definitely be looking back to his earliest years and greatest challengers when deciding on what figures to bring out.

Mirjahangir: Will you be doing figures of the enemy monsters?

Bandai: That is something we are definitely considering, but in the end it's up to the fans. If there is enough interest in the enemy monsters from the movie, we'll do our best to get them into the line.

Mirjahangir: How many versions of the Godzilla model did you have before you reached the final?

Bandai: The back and forth to make sure we were as accurate as possible was consistent. Each SKU had 2 or 3 models at least.

Mirjahangir: How involved was Toho/Warner Brothers/Legendary Pictures with the design process?

Bandai: Warner Brothers is very involved and the coordinated with Legendary to make sure we were getting the latest and greatest information to work from.

Mirjahangir: How did Bandai become involved? Who reached out to who? What was the first meeting like? Did the designers meet the director Gareth Edwards? if so, where?

Bandai: Bandai and WB have a long history of successfully working together and with Bandai having a long history of developing great Godzilla products for fans, collectors, and kids, it was a natural fit.

Unfortunately we did not get the opportunity to meet with Gareth Edwards. The day the design team was on set was a particularly busy one and we obviously didn't want to get in the way of the filming, no matter how much we wanted to share our excitement of working on the product and pride in being a part of the next great Godzilla film.

We are sure past, present, and future fans are going to be over joyed with what Warner Brothers and Legendary Pictures are going to bring to life on screen and Bandai will bring to retail shelves everywhere.

Mirjahangir: What was the inspiration behind each of the figures/playsets?

Bandai: Chibis [Godzilla 2014: Movie Figures 2-Pack] – we know that there are fans of this graphic style and we wanted to appeal to them with this execution. It also gave us another place to utilize the [monster]s.

Destruction Packs – we just really wanted to bring back the Destruction pack from 2000. It is a great, simple way to make roughly 4 inch figures and the crashable buildings just work with Godzilla.

Feature Figures – we wanted to add some play to the figures. We will likely come back with our more traditional figures in the future, but as we want to grow the fan base it was important to us to have items that are fun to play with as well as collect. Then the thinking was all about how does Godzilla attack and how will kids want to play with Godzilla.

Atomic Roar – this was all about how do we get the Godzilla roar into a toy and have a fun feature that that expresses one of Godzilla's coolest weapons: the beam. The original goal was to make the speaker so loud that in a store you could hear the roar two aisles over. Then safety regulations came into play. It sounds great and it is as loud as we could get it.

Mirjahangir: How did you come up with Godzilla's beam design for the Atomic Roar?

Bandai: This was a back and forth with the filmmakers. There were two things that we had to bring together. The beam has been everything from mist-like to solid historically.

WB and Legendary have their vision which we think is awesome. Then we had to work around what can actually pass toy safety regulations.

Mirjahangir: Why are the buildings different colors yet on the back of the box, they're grey?

Bandai: Originally all of the buildings were grey and some of the early shipments will likely come this way. However we decided that since grey isn't exactly replica to real buildings that we would add some color just for fun. So, if you can find packs with all grey buildings, you may have a limited edition.

Mirjahangir: The wings can come off the winged Muto in the pack of Destruction set. Is this by design or is it a character trait?

Bandai: This is purely a product development feature. If the wings come off in the movie, it won't be by the [monster]'s choice.



Releasing Godzilla figures for over three decades, covering films for the Heisei and Millennium series as they were happening. In the US, Bandai has released toys for a decade as well, and is creating figures around the 2014 Godzilla movie.

Date: 03/19/2014
Interviewer: Chris Mirjahangir


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