|Character Design||Akira Watanabe and Teizou Toshimitsu|
Review by Ginrai
When I was a little kid in the '80s I used to love watching monster movies on WXON TV 20 Detroit, especially during the Sunday Thriller double feature. In 1985 they showed Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster and Son of Godzilla, in 1986 Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla and Godzilla vs. Megalon, and in 1987 Godzilla vs. Gigan and Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster. This is foundational material to me!
Every weekend I lapped up the Thriller double feature and Godzilla movies most of all. I also loved toys. But no one would get me a Godzilla toy and we were broke, so I made do with a cheap rubber t-rex. But I also dreamed of something better, something... bigger.
Fast forward to the early '90s and I was trying to track down back issues of Robotech and Fish Police I discovered comic book specialty shops and what do you know? I saw a giant Godzilla toy from the '70s, the Shogun Warriors Godzilla. Of course, there was no way I could afford that either, and its head was kind of wrong and it was missing the giant plates on the back and the tail was just pathetic, but it was a giant Godzilla! I resolved to one day get my own.
A few years later I moved to California and suddenly had the Internet. And then I discovered there was something better than the Mattel version. In 1978, Popy put out their own jumbo-sized Godzilla called the Jumbosaurus. Sure, it was a little shorter than Mattel's version, but it actually looked like Godzilla! Of course I like the one that cost way more and was really hard to get.
Fast forward again to 2007 and Slash, a company that mostly just reissued old kaiju vinyls, decided to reissue the Popy Jumbosaurus! Great! And they decided to do it in a bunch of different color variations! Awesome! Two of them glow in the dark! Even better! But of course, purists may be upset that while the 1978 Popy Jumbosaurus original was made of polyethylene terephthalate or PET, Slash's reissue is sofubi a.k.a. soft vinyl a.k.a. polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
Of course, purists were probably also upset with Mattel Shogun Warriors Godzilla because it was about 19 inches instead of the official Jumbo Machinder height of 22 inches and probably even more upset with the Popy Jumbosaurus Godzilla for being only 16 inches or so. For what it's worth, the Slash reissue is almost the same height as the Popy original. There's a little mold shrinkage and it doesn't have wheels.
There are some other compromises, though. Both the Mattel and Popy Godzillas had firing fists and wheels on their feet, despite Godzilla neither rolling nor shooting his fists in any of the many movies or TV shows he's been in. Unfortunately, the Slash Jumbosaurus has neither feature, so if you were fantasizing about rollerskating, this toy will disappoint you.
The Popy version had a "talking" mechanism. You could pull back a string and it would make a scratchy roaring noise. To facilitate the roaring, the toy had a bunch of holes in its chest.
The Slash version leaves these out since it doesn't make noises. But hey! This makes Slash's Godzilla's gut look better, so that's nice in a way.
Both the Mattel and Popy toys came in a dark green, almost an avocado color with yellow for the claws and such. The Slash version does come in that color, but that's clearly not the version I have. I do like the blue claws and plates and the brown on the belly, throat, and legs. This color scheme is inspired by a vintage Bullmark Giant Godzilla sofubi as seen from this excellent Sci-Fi Japan article. Of course, the colors on this edition of Slash's Jumbo are brighter but hey, it glows in the dark!
This is probably a good place to mention that while Slash's version of the Jumbosaurus Godzilla does lack a few features of the original, it does come with a soft vinyl Tokyo Tower bonus for Godzilla to smash or eat, a lot like the one that came with the Bullmark Giant Godzilla toy.
Of course, on this particular toy, the Tokyo Tower is made out of glow in the dark vinyl just like Godzilla himself!
The Popy and Slash Jumbosaurses both have proper spiky plates on their backs, unlike the wimpy little bumps on Mattel's toy. Godzilla can absorb radiation or sunlight or whatever and shoot out his atomic breath just fine with these puppies on his back!
How good is the articulation on this revamp of a toy from 1978? Minimal. The head can turn and you raise the arms. They will go all the way back until you hit the thighs on the back.
You can also move the legs. Surprisingly, you can also turn the plates on the back, although I think that is an artifact of how the spiky bits are separate vinyl pieces attached to the whole as opposed to a deliberate point of articulation. The tail is also a separate piece, but it doesn't really want to turn in its socket, though it will if you heat it up with a blow dryer or hot water.
I bet you are wondering how well it glows in the dark? Pretty well! If you stick it under a light (or the sun) for a minute or two it glows like a charm! The paint does dull the glow in a few places, but it's still plenty bright even in those spots, though I'm afraid my amateurish photography doesn't really show that off.
Did you grow up loving Godzilla? Are you a fan of daikaiju sofubi? Are you a Shogun Warriors or Jumbo Machinder kid? Are you into toys that glow in the dark? Then Slash's Jumbosaurus Godzilla is for you. If you are a purist who only wants the original 1978 toy, more power to you. I hope you have more than a thousand (especially if you want it boxed). If you are okay with losing the talkbox, firing fist and wheels, grab a Slash Jumbosaurus today. And remember, it's available in a variety of tasty radioactive dinosaur flavors!
And don't forget to check out my video review!
(C) 2015 Jeremy W. Kaufmann & CollectionDX
|Posted 24 June, 2015 - 15:46 by Ginrai|