Toy: Giant Kong 2017 (Playmates Toys)


Giant Kong 2017

English Toy Title

Classic Giant Figures: Giant Kong Skull island




Playmates Toys
28 centimeters


Kong: Skull Island



By: Steve Johnson (submission)

There have been a surprisingly low amount of licensed King Kong toys released over the years; perhaps due to the relatively "generic" nature of the massive ape's design in contrast to unique designs like Godzilla and King Ghidorah, so as a long-time Kong fan I'm excited any time something official is released for the monster dubbed "The Eighth Wonder of the World".

Ahead of his super showdown later this year - hopefully - with Godzilla, Kong last graced screens in 2016's "Kong: Skull Island", the movie that officially expanded the MonsterVerse from just 2014's "GODZILLA", and Playmates released Kong in two different sizes representing him the way he appeared in 2016. Today we're going to look at the bigger of the two....and much like Skull Island itself, things get more interesting the deeper we go!

Why is that? It appears there may be - at least - TWO different versions of the figure! In my photographs attached to this review, you will see two different examples of the same figure. The Kong with the darker black highlights, I purchased from Wal-Mart. The lighter colored one was graciously sent to me by Playmates. The packaging is noticeably different - on the front only.


Two Versions?
Two Versions?

It may be an optical illusion or slight difference in posing, but the retail version appears just a hair shorter when standing face to face with the review sample I was provided. The mouths don't line up exactly either. It's hard to speculate here when I'm not sure if this was intended, if one is more of a prototype version, etc, it's just something very interesting to me to see two very different examples of the same toy!

I rather like Kong's face here, as opposed to the more passive expression on the smaller Skull Island figure. Smartly, Playmates put the holes and screws that I felt detracted so much from their 2020 Giant Godzilla in Kong's back, making him much more visually appealing from the front, the way most collectors would likely have him displayed. Playmates also made a Giant Kong for the GODZILLA VS KONG line that is different enough to make collectors and fans want to buy both figures.


Kong is articulated at the base of his legs and arms, as well as his wrists and ankles. My only complaint is that he can be a bit "front heavy" with his arms and is prone to toppling over if posed with his arms raised. I've included pictures contrasting both Kongs, and a special bonus picture with the "Mega Kong" figure released by Lanard back in 2016.




Both Kongs feel the same, with the hard plastic Playmates favored for most of the line. For the record, I do prefer the lighter colors of the review sample, and that figure overall. Another note is that Kong's left hand has enough space between his curled fingers and palm to hold an accessory; perhaps his infamous "axe" weapon was intended to be included at some point in the developmental process?


I alluded to unofficial Kong toys at the start of the article, and sure, there are cheap "giant gorilla" figures for sale, but I like that the Playmates Kong actually looks more like a monster than a garden variety ape. Since I ended up with two Kongs, I gave one to my four year old son and he was excited to have it to play with; I'll gladly put mine on the shelf with my other Kong figures. As I stated in other reviews for Playmates figures, I do prefer vinyl to the hard plastic used for the line. The only other complaint I have worth noting is the gray "scars" on Kong's chest look kind of cheap and have no texture. Still, with a budget price and playability in mind, it's hard to find fault with this guy, and I have no problem awarding it four stars for what it is. I look forward to see if Playmates will continue supporting the Godzilla license past this initial line; I'm interested to see what they could do with more time and fan support for classic Godzilla monsters!

**Below are several bonus images of both variants of the figure.**

Rating: Star Rating