King Ghidorah
Version Source
 Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah
Company: Bandai
Extras: Attached Tag
Classification: Figure Reissue: No
Release: 1998 Height: 18 centimeters
Anthony Romero

1998 marked a big year for Bandai as they kicked off their very large Godzilla Island series, based on the TV show of the same name which in a great marketing ploy also featured numerous Bandai figures prominently. As expected, including in this new "six inch line" (although this figure is closer to eight) was a version of one of Godzilla's most popular opponents: King Ghidorah.

Close Up

Now the version selected for the monster was the one from 1991's Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, marking the second time the firm created a vinyl for the Heisei version with the first being the nine inch figure released the same year as the movie's debut.

Thankfully, this release is a lot more faithful to the source than its predecessor. The wings and everything are distinctly for the Heisei version of the monster. The heads in particular are very nice. Bandai paid a lot of attention to this aspect of the monster, and it paid off. The folds of skin below the eyes, the smaller scales through out, the way the nose is constructed, there is a lot done well with the face area of the figure.

Sadly, the rest of the body is a little lacking. There are scales from head to toe, sure, but it looks too clean otherwise. It lacks in detail and appears too simplistic overall. It looks particularly odd since the heads are so detailed, making for an odd juxtaposition between the two. The creature also looks to skinny, and doesn't effectively convey the mass and bulk of the Heisei version of the three-headed monster like it should.

Back View

The wings are a bit of an exception at least. There are folds in the hide to give it a sense of realism and look more impressive overall. Of course, they are far too thick considering how thin they were in the 1991 movie, but this is easily overlooked considering something more sturdy was needed for the creature to survive the rigorous play tests kids all across Japan would put the toy through.

In terms of the paint job, well it's hard to go wrong with King Ghidorah considering the creature is almost entirely golden. It does thankfully avoid odd shading techniques, which the earlier Heisei vinyl from the company fell prey to. The teeth and mouths are all correctly colored here, and fairly spot on. The eyes look good, although they are painted a vibrant red rather than the more correct brown hued ones seen in the movie.

Overall, the figure does a lot of things right, but I always found this to be a slightly boring King Ghidorah figure. Still, it's pretty easy to come across even more than a decade after its release, either this initial figure or the reissues of the mold that followed, and is kind of the de facto release for the Heisei version. So many collectors still have reason to snatch this toy up if they don't already own it.

As a side note, this figure is "G-03" of the original Godzilla Island line, although it was also later re-released outside of the line with a different tag that same year.

Rating: Star Rating