Varan - Sound
Version Source
Company: Trendmasters
Extras: Trading Card
Classification: Figure Reissue: No
Release: 1995 Height: 13 centimeters
Joshua Reynolds (submission)

Ah, my favorite of the three rare Trendmasters kaiju. Varan was originally released in 1995, like Baragon and Megalon, at the end of the Godzilla Wars line. It is the pure definition of rare and can be a major pain to track down. It was released again in 1996 as part of the Doom Island series… in Hong Kong. Trendmasters ended the line before it could reach the States. I got one on E-bay for a nasty price, but I just adore this figure so much. It was worth it for me, but don't buy one until you've read the review and seen the pictures!

Close Up

Standing at about five inches, Varan's right arm doesn't move like the others, but instead at the elbow and goes up and down. The other arm moves at the same joint, but instead left and right, allowing Varan to be posed in more different styles than traditional Trendmasters figures. The legs can also be moved and so can half of the tail. Shockingly, the head of Varan can't be moved, making it one of the few that can't rotate its head.

Moving straight to this design, it takes Varan and enhances it. It still has the spines, but much more. He now has three spines on each arm and leg, more spines on the sides of his face, and his claws are simply nasty looking. This is a kaiju that looks like it could go up against Godzilla and put his regeneration to the test.

Side View

This particular review is also of the sound issue of the figure from the Godzilla Wars line (not sure if a non-sound version was ever released). Unfortunately, while the design does kick a lot of hind end, the sound doesn't. It's the same screech used for their Battra, which just feel wrong. Why not a killer sound like Baragon's? Although this could be intentional since both characters, the Showa versions, share the same roar and it might have been odd to have them released side-by-side.

The face here looks like Varan, but more animalistic. This Varan's design doesn't scream “bad to the bone”, but so does its face. With its teeth exposed and black, doll-like eyes, Trendmasters really pulled the stops here, design wise.

Back View

Now that isn't to say it doesn't have flaws. The color scheme looks pretty cool with the purple and redish-color blending nicely. What does hurt this release is the lack of detailing and texturing. While Baragon, and especially Megalon, had detailing, Varan only has some texturing on his back and chest. The rest of his body is smooth entirely and the mouth itself could use some more details between the teeth, especially when you compare it to Baragon's jaws.

In the end, I can honestly declare Varan is easily my favorite redesign by the company. It keeps the original and just builds on it, and I love it. The figure itself, however, could use some more work, work that I doubt will ever be done what with Trendmasters gone. It's a nice figure that I can recommend only if you really want to blow as much as it goes.

Rating: Star Rating