Full Review: Toho Large Monsters Series Shin Godzilla (2016), Standard and RIC vinyls by X-Plus

Toho Large Monster Series Shin Godzilla 2016 (4th Form) vinyl figure by X-Plus.

FIGURE SPECS

東宝大怪獣シリーズ 「シン・ゴジラ」 Standard and 少年リック限定版

JAPAN ORIGINAL RELEASE: First Batch: Late December 2016, Second Batch: Late January 2017

SERIES: Large Monster Series

MATERIAL: VINYL

FROM: “Shin Godzilla” (2016)

HEIGHT (STANDARD): 10.125 INCHES / 25.71 CM

HEIGHT (RIC): 10.625 INCHES / 26.98 CM

WIDTH: (FOOT TO FOOT) 6.375 INCHES / 16.19 CM

LENGTH: (NOSE TO TAIL) 22.375 INCHES / 59.3 CM

LENGTH: (TOES TO TAIL) 19.75 INCHES / 50.1 CM

FIGURE WEIGHT: 1 lbs, 7 OZ / 652 G

REVIEW AND PHOTOS: © JOHN STANOWSKI

The Toho Large Monster Series Shin Godzilla (東宝大怪獣シリーズ 「シン・ゴジラ」) by X-Plus is based on Godzilla’s fourth form appearance in the 2016 film, Shin Godzilla (シン・ゴジラ), also sometimes called by its earlier title, Godzilla Resurgence.

X-Plus was late to the game on this one. One by one, Shin Godzilla toys, vinyls and kits showed up from companies like Bandai, Kaiyodo and more. In the end, X-Plus came through when they revealed their version at Summer Wonder Festival in July 2016. The figure officially went up for preorder in October 2016.

There is both a Standard Version with red highlights and a RIC Exclusive version with both red and purple highlights which also came with an alternate head with the mouth sculpted wide open.

Shortly after the preorder window opened, something unexpected happened. The response to this figure was so great that they had cap orders very early and then offer a second batch.

The first batch was released in late December 2016. Second batch figures arrived in late January 2017.

I will be reviewing both versions of this figure.

THE BOX

The Box.

The Large Monster Series Shin Godzilla comes in a tall blind box with monochromatic box art printed directed on the lid. To celebrate this significant release, the art is reversed making it stand out as something special.

The box is both taller and wider, yet thinner, than the usual Large Monster Series boxes and even the 30cm Series boxes. The extra height (to accommodate the long tail) adds extra space between the main body and the inside of the box providing more protection than usual.

Pictured here is the box for the Standard Version. You’ll know the RIC Exclusive version by spotting the round yellow RIC sticker added to the front.

The RIC version also comes in its own shipper (case), so if you see an online auction with a box with simple writing on the side, that’s a RIC.

As usual, inside the figure rests in a plastic shell in two pieces: body and tail. Both are tied in with wires. There is plenty of room between the figure and the inside of the box to keep it safe.

SEATBELTS AND BOOTIES
The main body, tail piece and in the case of RIC Boys, the alternate head are each completely wrapped in plastic so nothing is going to get rubbed the wrong way. They also used more wire ties than usual.

The main body has three wires holding it in. Make sure you untwist all of them. When I unboxed mine, I didn’t notice one wire around the foot and was confused when I tried to free it from the plastic shell. The tail piece also has three wires. If you got the RIC, the alternate head has one wire.

If you’re pretty sure you won’t be reselling, consider skipping all the aggravation of untwisting and just use a pair of wire cutters.

Each foot has plastic booties taped on very securely. You may not want to try to just pull them off because they’re wrapped securely around the ankles. Either look for the edge of the tape or try to cut them off.

A view of the tail joint before assembly.

ATTACHING THE TAIL
To attach, make sure the tail piece is good and firm. If it isn’t, place it in the refrigerator so that it will stiffen up. Now heat up the end of the tail already attached to the body with a blowdryer to make it soft. When you are able to squeeze the tail like it was foam, it’s time to get the rest of the tail out of the fridge and attach it. The connection is mostly round, so if you push and twist like I do, it should be fairly easy. And, there are no fins to get in your way.

Head joint.
Head.

SWITCHING HEADS
If you have the RIC, then you have a second, alternate head sculpted with a wide open mouth for roaring or spewing atomic breath and ray. Right out of the box, your RIC will come with the Standard, closed-mouth head already on the figure. To switch heads, first grab a hair dryer heat the figure all around the base of the neck.

(And, DON’T tell me you don’t have a hair dryer. Single? Bald? Perfectly fine with using a towel on your head? Fine. But, you’re an X-Plus collector now. Buy the damn hairdryer already!)

After you’ve warmed and softened the neck, carefully pull the head off. If it’s not coming off, then heat it up for real this time and stop messing around. Make it squishy. Is it off yet? Okay.

Now just pop the new head on. It may help if you stick it in the fridge for a few minutes to make it hard. As you can see from the photos above, the joint isn’t round at all and has two soft “corners”. You won’t be able to twist this one on, so make sure the head is cool and stiff, and the body hole is squishy soft.

After the new head is attached, sit back and admire your work. And, if no one is around… go ahead, make a Godzilla noise.

SCULPT

X-Plus Shin Godzilla Standard vinyl side view.

The Toho Large Monster Series Shin Godzilla is another home run from X-Plus. It sports a fantastic, movie-accurate sculpt and they did it without any CG info. Good old fashioned sculpt by hand. Wow. Not that I would mind a figure based on CG data, but X-Plus seems to be doing just fine without it.

I mean, DAMN! Would you just look at that?

X-Plus Shin Godzilla Standard vinyl rear angle view.

A close-up of the Shin Godzilla Standard versioin head.

HEAD
The head sculpt looks great despite the sculptor not having a chance to “get to know” this new design with years of viewings.

It may look a little.. “sculpty” in this photo but remember this is a super close-up. The actual head is smaller than a golf ball.

THE TEETH
Holy crap! Look at those teeth! Yeah, they look a bit rounded in this pic but, again, this is a super close-up. Those teeth are super tiny. And each one is INDIVIDUALLY SCULPTED! Another fine example of X-Plus quality.

Angles of the Standard head sculpt.

Again, the head looks just right from all angles. (I really need a new way to say that. I say the same thing in every review. But, it’s true.)

Angles of the RIC Boy head sculpt.

Like this new, unhingled, super wide mouth or not, X-Plus did a great job of capturing it in this vinyl.

Close-up of the legs on the Standard Shin Godzilla vinyl.

TEXTURE
No tree bark texture here. Shin Godzilla’s new skin reminds me of multiple layers of hardened lava with glowing red still active in the cracks. X-Plus did a fantastic job of reproducing them here.

DETAILS REVEALED IN THE FEET
The feet are sculpted to look just as they do in the movie but reveal new details we didn’t notice in the theater. A series of tiny claws break the skin on the tops of the feet like afterthoughts or rogue offshoots. This feature is in tune with Godzilla’s mixed-up new body which is following a new set of blueprints being used for the first time combining genetic building instructions from multiple animals all mashed together into one monstrosity.

This is yet another example of X-Plus giving you so much screen accuracy that you actually learn something from the figure which you may have missed from the movie.

Close-up of the Standard's tail end.

THE TAIL
The rows of Giger-like, rib cagey, boney patterns in Shin Godzilla’s tail are expertly sculpted on the figure. This is impressive considering its girth is about as wide as your finger.

Close-up of the tail sculpt where the "face" is visible.

THE FACE
In case you’re wondering: yes, “the face” is present on this figure. You can just make out what appears to be an eye socket and boney jaw on the one side of the tail.

I was very curious how X-Plus was going to tackle the red glows emitting from the deep cracks all over Shin Godzilla’s body. What they, and other toy makers, did is kind of ingenious.

POSE

This figure is posed to faithfully reproduce Shin’s stance in the movie. Even the tail’s distinct personality of movement is perfectly captured.

The only possible liberty X-Plus may have taken is with the head’s slight turn to the right, no doubt to make it a little more interesting. I seem to recall that this zombie-like Godzilla couldn’t even be bothered to turn his head when he wasn’t spewing radioactive fire and beams.

It could be said that truly capturing an authentic pose is just as important as getting the details in the sculpt right. X-Plus did both.

JOINTS & SEAMS

I was a little disappointed that such a momentous release came with as many visible seams as it did. It probably couldn’t be helped, though. The sculpt sort of dictates where you can and can’t make the connections.

LEGS
The biggest offenders on this figure are just above the thighs. Usually, X-Plus takes care to make the upper legs on the same piece of vinyl as the main body. This allows them to hide joints just below the knees, usually under a bulge of Goji fat. For some reason, though, they felt they had to put them right where the legs meet the body.

There was an opportunity to hide some of this joint in the crease of the skin bumps and folds. Despite this, these lines still show.

ARMS
Other obvious seams are visible right above the biceps. The arms connect there and are not glued. There is some wiggle room available but I’m sure that wasn’t intended to be taken advantage of since there is a triangular peak at the joint making it very difficult to rotate the arms. Just leave them alone.

NECK
On the RIC, since the head can be removed and swapped, there is a line running along the base of the neck. Half of this line in concealed behind Shin’s bulging sternum. Since the Standard version does not have interchangeable heads, the joint is damn near completely hidden behind the paint (another plus for Team Standard!)

Though visible, the tail joint on the Standard version is snug.
THOUGH VISIBLE, THE TAIL JOINT ON THE STANDARD VERSION IS SNUG.

TAIL JOINT
Of course, there is a small gap where the tail attaches; there always is. This connection is placed specifically along a ridge in the sculpt; a common practice with X-Plus. But Shin’s long and heavy tail just can’t resist the pull of gravity making for a wider than usual gap on the top of the tail joint.

The tail joint on the RIC boy version is kind of loose.
THE TAIL JOINT ON THE RIC BOY IS LOOSE AND HANGS OPEN DUE TO THE SOFTER VINYL.

This problem is more common — and severe — on the RIC version since the top layer of the tail, on both sides of the joint, is made with translucent vinyl which is typically softer and weaker than regular vinyl.

The entire tail is actually made up of about four different pieces which are glued and completely concealed. You’d never know it unless you looked.

It would have been far better for the tail if the entire thing came already glued in one piece and had to be connected at the butt. There would be no gappy joint and the whole thing would have been a lot more sturdier.

Thing is, the already large Shin Godzilla box would need to be even larger to accommodate that arrangement. Also, the tail flange (suction cup) which came already attached and glued to the body is far too close to the flanges from the legs. There’s probably some congestion going on inside the main body at that point.

Finally, a particularly obnoxious gap occurs in the back of the mouth on the alternate “roaring” head which comes with the RIC. The translucent piece which serves as the interior of the mouth ends just short of reaching the roof of the mouth. Thankfully, you can’t see this from normal viewing angles.

Usually, I’m one to be put off by obvious seams, but surprisingly they’re just not bothering me that much. I’m just so happy to finally have both versions of this figure on my shelf. Also, remember, this figure is still a vinyl. And, vinyls come with lines. Most of the time, X-Plus is able to do a better job of hiding them.

PAINT JOB

Side by side paint app comparison.

I was very curious how X-Plus was going to tackle the red glows emitting from the deep cracks all over Shin Godzilla’s body. What they, and other toy makers, did is kind of ingenious.

THE STANDARD
The standard Shin Godzilla is molded completely in red vinyl. So, it was really more a matter of “not” painting the red areas to achieve the right look. When they added the black color, they were able to avoid getting it in the cracks so that the red could still be seen. The end result is very well done.

All over the main body are traces of red in the lower elevations of the sculpt. The effect is particularly awesome on the tail and back.

On the back, there is a sea of red at the base of the dorsal fins which runs all the way down the top of the tail down to the gross, crusty tip (which we’ll get to later).

There are deep reds also visible along each main fold in the tail which come and go in a sort of venetian blinds effect. When looked at from the figure’s front, the red disappears. When seen from behind, the reds become more prominent. From the side, they’re just right.

THE RIC
The main body of the RIC exclusive version is also molded in red.

But the whole back dorsal fin section, a strip along the top of the entire tail, the tip of the tail and the neck are all molded in translucent vinyl with a coat of see-through light purple sprayed on the outside. INside, these pieces are sprayed with an opaque white to help make the translucent parts brighter on the outside.

THE BLACK
Having applied the black paint onto red vinyl gives the color a warmer-than-X-Plus-usual shade resulting in a rich black (a blacker black) giving the figure a bit of a burned look.

EYES
The tiny eyes on this thing are perfectly painted with a tiny, perfectly round dab of white. And over that, a pin point of black for the pupils. This is insane, very impressive paint detail.

The eyes on the alternate (roaring) head for the RIC are painted in a shiny, metallic silver reproducing the protective shields which appear when Godzilla fired his breath in the movie. When held near a light, they reflect a tiny point of specular reflection. Crazy awesome detail!

TEETH
The individually sculpted teeth are, of course, individually painted as well, and expertly so. A super subtle, feathered strip of the red vinyl is left near the gum area and each tiny tooth is painted a dirty, bone white.

CLAWS
Each main claw on the feet is painted a tannish, dirty white which expertly feathers into the black nearer the body. The same precision used on the teeth are used for the tiny, rogue claws splintering out behind the main claws. The same color is applied on the hand claws, but with less precision.

As usual, I find the paint apps on the claws to be far too “bright” to look accurate and/or realistic. I wish X-Plus would start making these darker.

Close-up of paint apps on both tails.

THE TAILS
The tip of the tail on the Standard version looks truly gross and organic. The lower elevations of the boney sculpt are bright red with the higher areas of the sculpt made to appear a dirty, boney white.

It seems like they actually painted the red on rather than let the red-molded vinyl show through. Either that, or, they just applied a layer of gloss over it all.

It may look sloppy in this super close-up. But with the naked eye, the effects added with the paint look amazing.

As for that RIC tail: it gets most of its color from the translucent vinyl it’s made of. It’s tinted a light purple and there are sprays of red added, I think, from the outside. It’s not as impressive as the tip on the Standard, but does a fair job of implying a glowing tail using only the refraction of the clear vinyl and reflected light from the room.

JUST ADD LIGHT
On a related note regarding appearance, the translucent vinyl on the RIC version, and even the red vinyl from the Standard, can be made to glow with the insertion of lights inside the figure.

It’s not designed to do this, but countless X-Plus collectors have had a go at this with fantastic results.

Shin Godzilla is 19 3/4 inches long from the toes to the tip of the tail, and over 22 1/4 inches long from the nose to the tip of the tail.

SIZE

At over 10 inches tall, this figure is significantly larger than other figures in the Large Monster Series which typically rise to only the nine and a quarter inch mark. It is the fifth figure to break the scale rule after the Large Monster Series Godzilla 1995, Destoroyah, Leatherback and Knifehead (Pacific Rim).

On the shelf, it looks more at home with the figures from the Toho 30cm Series Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection (which are too short for 30’s).

Basically, if you don’t have the Large Monster Series Shin Godzilla yet, and want an idea of its size: it basically comes in somewhere between the 30’s and the 25’s… and it won’t really “fit in” with either of those series. But it’s totally complimentary to the Sakai’s and the tall 25’s.

FOOTPRINT / ON THE SHELF

DAMN, THAT TAIL!
Shin Godzilla is 19 3/4 inches long from the toes to the tip of the tail, and over 22 1/4 inches long from the nose to the tip of the tail.

If you could unravel the tail and lay it out straight, it would be about TWO FEET LONG from the back of the legs to the tip! Thankfully, its curvy pose from the movie shortens that up a bit. Despite this, it still takes up the same space, if not more, than a 30cm Godzilla.

SIZE COMPARISONS

Size comparison with other Large Monster Series Figures.

LARGE MONSTER SERIES (25CM SERIES)
The Large Monster Series Shin Godzilla is significantly taller than most other figures in the Large Monster Series. If you’re a stickler for scale, you might justify it’s extra height by remembering that Shin is the tallest Godzilla so far.

With (left) Large Monster Series Godzilla 1973 and (right) Godzilla 1989.

Size comparison with 30cm Series figures.

30CM SERIES
If you collect strictly 30’s but want to make an exception for this figure, here’s a look at how it sizes up.

(Left): 30cm Series Godzilla 1992 and 30cm Series Godzilla 1999 (2000).

Size comparison with Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection figures.

YUJI SAKAI MODELING COLLECTION
Ironically, this new figure best fits in with the Toho 30cm Series Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection. Those figures are known to be shorter than normal 30’s and usually average about 27.5cm.

Shin isn’t the only tall 25. The Large Monster Series Godzilla 1995 is also very tall for the line and also looks good with the Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection. The Large Monster Series Destoroyah is even large, but is in scale with the 25cm Godzilla 1995.

So, if you’re one to keep your 30’s, Sakai’s and 25’s separate on the shelf, you might want to consider adding Shin here, along with G’95 and Destoroyah to the mix.

Seen here: (left) Toho 30cm Series Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection Godzilla 1989 Osaka Landing Version and Godzilla 1991 Hokkaido Version.

Size comparison with a bluray disc.

REAL WORLD COMPARISON
Here’s the new Shin with the Japanese Shin Godzilla bluray release. If you don’t already have any X-Plus figures, this disc will give you a good feel for the figure’s size.

SUMMARY

The Toho Large Monster Series Shin Godzilla (Fourth Form) is an amazing vinyl replica of the newest Godzilla from the silver screen. It has an incredible movie-accurate sculpt and has a ton of presence despite being from X-Plus’ smaller line. The red fission glows are reproduced ingeniously and it just looks fantastic.

The figure suffers from having more seams than most other figures, and the RIC can have a noticeable gap in the tail joint. Despite this, it’s one hell of a figure.

At over 22 inches long, it’s has descent shelf “presence” and is an exciting new addition to the X-Plus line and it’s ready to get your collection up-to-date with the latest craze from Japan, Shin Godzilla.

MORE INFORMATION

I don’t think I’ve ever seen another X-Plus figure get this amount of attention. Just look at all of those links. There’s a wealth of second opinions, insights, etc. available from other reviewers. So, dig in.

Archived Large Monster Series Shin Godzilla on X-Plus Site.
High Resolution photos of X-Plus Shin Godzilla Standard and RIC at SciFiJapan.com.
• VIDEO: GojiFan1993 Unboxes the X-Plus Large Monster Series Shin Godzilla (Standard).
• VIDEO: Gojira851 Reviews the Large Monster Series Shin Godzilla (Standard) by X-Plus.
• VIDEO: Rich Eso Reviews the X-Plus Shin Godzilla; Standard and RIC.
• VIDEO: SymbioticLegion Unboxes and Reviews the X-Plus Large Monster Series Shin Godzilla.
• VIDEO: Heisenberg Reviews both versions of the Large Monster Series Shin Godzilla by X-Plus.
• VIDEO: Wotafa/ヲタファ Reviews the X-Plus Large Monster Series Shin Godzilla Ric… and sings, too (Japanese).
• VIDEO: Leslie Chambers Reviews the Large Monster Series Shin Godzilla Standard Vinyl by X-Plus.
• VIDEO: Rob Reviews: Toho Large Monster Series Shin Godzilla Standard Vinyl by X-Plus.
• VIDEO: Rubi Gamingx Unboxes and Shows the Large Monster Series Shin Godzilla Ric Vinyl by X-Plus.
• VIDEO: Superturtle12 Reviews the Large Monster Series Shin Godzilla RIC and adds some light!
• VIDEO: Diego Doom Reviews the Large Monster Series Shin Godzilla Standard version vinyl figure
• VIDEO: GodzillaFanFreaks Reviews the Large Monster Series Shin Godzilla Fourth Form vinyl figure by X-Plus

ARCHIVED NEWS
• NEWS: X-Plus Reveals Shin Godzilla, Mechagodzilla II and a Gigantic Series Ultraman at Wonder Festival.
• NEWS: Shin Godzilla Headlines X-Plus October Announcements.
• NEWS: X-Plus Shin Godzilla 2016 Begins Secondary Pre-Order.
• NEWS: Kaiju Addicts TV: Shin Godzilla and other New X-Plus Announcements for November.

X-TRAS

COLLECTORS’ GALLERY

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By | 2017-09-17T06:22:18+00:00 September 16th, 2017|Categories: Kaiju Addicts Reviews|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on Full Review: Toho Large Monsters Series Shin Godzilla (2016), Standard and RIC vinyls by X-Plus