King Ghidorah
Version Source
 Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah
Company: Bandai
Extras: Attached tag
Classification: Figure Reissue: No
Release: 1991 Height: 22 centimeters
Steve Johnson

In 1991 after a near-twenty year absence from the silver screen, Toho brought their grand terror from space, King Ghidorah, back to battle his arch-enemy Godzilla in the film title, appropriately enough, Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah. Bandai, as was customary at the time, issued Godzilla, King Ghidorah, and Mecha-King Ghidorah to tie in with the movie's release. Today we'll take a look at the normal King Ghidorah. Well, as normal as a three headed, twin tailed, no armed flying dragon from outer space gets, that is.

Figure Comparison

At nine inches tall, with a nine and a half inch wingspan, and running about thirteen and a half inches from snout to tail, King Ghidorah is decently sized, but sadly doesn't tower over his fellow vinyl daikaiju quite like the "real" King Ghidorah did on screen. Heisei and Showa Ghidorahs alike stood far taller than his opponents, Godzilla included. In fact, speaking of the Showa King Ghidorah, let me get something out of the way right off the bat that my fellow Godzilla fans may or may not already be aware of. In 1984, Bandai released the Showa King Ghidorah as a vinyl figure, coming in both a yellow or a golden color....but more on him another time. I bring this up because, unfortunately, Bandai chose to recycle the mold from their original King Ghidorah for the Heisei incarnation of the three headed monster. If you happen to own the 1991 version, flip him over and take a look at his right foot and you'll even see the "1984" stamp remains.

Head View

Sadly, Bandai chose only to mold new heads for King Ghidorah, adding the horns of the 1991 version while removing the molded on "hair" of the Showa. The wings, tails, legs and body are ripped directly from the 1984 release, making this Ghidorah somewhat of a Frankenstein-ish creation of old and new parts. This does Ghidorah no justice, as the wing shape in particular is quite out of sync with the on-screen appearence of Heisei King Ghidorah's majestic wingspan (which for the record was an issue with the Showa Ghidorah as well).

King Ghidorah and Godzilla

Oddly, despite perhaps being Toho's most famous villain, King Ghidorah has never been captured perfectly in the eight inch scale by Bandai. They would improve upon his sculpt with the 6 inch release, but for years the 1991 8 inch KG was the most widely available toy until the Trendmasters company released King Ghidorah in America...and to it's credit, the Bandai sculpt is far superior to the Trendmasters version in most ways, but that's nothing unusual.

Re-use of the old mold aside, sadly Bandai went with a yellow coloration for Ghidorah instead of a golden shade. This figure has several strikes against it: An unfortunate color choice, a lack of size, and a re-used, uninspired sculpt. Despite being one of Toho's most memorable creations, Bandai delivered a fairly lackluster figure that I can only give two and a half stars. Would Bandai's take on the 1991 Godzilla and Mecha-King Ghidorah fare better? Find out the answer to that question and many more (just don't even think about asking me any G vs KG related time travel questions) soon here at Toho Kingdom!

Rating: Star Rating