Full Review: X-Plus 30cm Series Godzilla 1999 (2000) Vinyl Figure

X-Plus Godzilla 1999 Vinyl Figure Review by Kaiju Addicts.

FIGURE SPECS

東宝30cmシリーズ 「ゴジラ(1999版)」

JAPAN RELEASE: DECEMBER 2013

NORTH AMERICAN REISSUE: JANUARY 2017

SERIES: TOHO 30CM SERIES

MATERIAL: SOFT VINYL

FROM: “Godzilla 2000: Millennium”, 1999

ゴジラ2000 ミレニアム

HEIGHT: 12 INCHES / 30.4 CM

WIDTH: 8.75 INCHES / 22.2 CM

LENGTH (nose to tail): 18 INCHES / 45.7 CM

ARTICULATION: None

AVAILABILITY: Just released.

REVIEW AND PHOTOS: JOHN STANOWSKI

The Godzilla Heisei era ended in 1995 with “Godzilla vs. Destroyah” to make way for a Hollywood attempt at the franchise. Shortly after, Toho Damage Control quickly sprung into action to release “Godzilla 2000: Millennium” (1999) to put things right. Okay, it’s more likely they were trying to cash in on the then recent notoriety of the Centropolis production butcherd though it was. Monster maker Shinichi Wakasa designed a new suit for a new millennium based off original concept work from Yuji Sakai. And thus a new Godzilla was born!

Enter the X-Plus Godzilla 1999 figure, already a vinyl fan favorite!

SCULPT

X-Plus Godzilla 1999 Vinyl Figure.

Just released earlier this month, the X-Plus Toho 30cm Series Godzilla 1999 is a knockout! It’s a great likeness and captures the nuances of the new design very well. I have no problem saying that the sculpt is fantastic and is probably the essential representation for collectors who like it hyper-real (no stylization).

It’s also a nice size. I was so afraid this figure was going to be another shorty like the Godzilla 1984 and 2004. Nope. If anything, this thing is just a tiny touch on the tall side.

X-Plus Godzilla 1999 / 2000 vinyl figure side medium shot.

I was a bit alienated when I first saw this new Godzilla suit design back in 2000. It’s pointy head (which some say is inspired by the 1962 suit) and it’s insanely spikey dorsal spines were just too much of a departure for me. Over time, though, I grew to love this look. I mean, check out those fins! I would have to say that if any Godzilla suit was able to be proclaimed a work of art, it’s this one. And the X-Plus figure nails it!

One thing to note on this figure is its especially deep skin texture. I’m not sure if it’s accurate, even after having watching the movie again last week, but it looks awesome. It sometimes looks as if the figure has a slight underbite. And the fact the head is tilted upward doesn’t help.

X-Plus Godzilla 1999 head and shoulders.

This is praise for both the suit and the figure: this design is so dynamic! The shape of the head, mouth, eyebrows and fins just seem to jet out lines to the front and behind. Tell me you don’t get a sense of sweeping motion from the photo of it above.

Close-up of head.Droopy eye.

THE HEAD
Perfect! The teeth are individually sculpted (as per usual with X-Plus figures) and his three pairs of “fangs” located in the front, middle of the side and near the rear are well represented. You can’t see it from the side, but the teeth and gums are slightly seated below the “lip” and there is a super fine line of detail there. This level of attention just blows me away.

One curious thing about the sculpt though, is the figure’s left eye (seen above on the right). I’m not quite sure what’s going on here but it seems sunken in more than the other eye. Plus, the higher the angle from which you look at it, the more it “disappears” under the hood-like brow. I didn’t even notice this curious flaw until collector/reviewer Samson West brought it up. It’s not visible from the sides, nor from the front when your line of sight is pretty low. This bothers me, but it’s not a dealbreaker.

JOINTS & SEAMS

The tail comes in two pieces and both of them fit on seamlessly, except for a slight line at the top of the tail where it meets the body. Legs are attached to the body without glue seals (just like GMK) but, surprisingly, there aren’t really any visible seams but rather creases which seem to be part of the sculpt. There’s a noticeable filled seam on the neck right under the jaw which, thankfully, isn’t visible most of the time. And there are two glue seals right above each bicep. Curiously, the seam on its right arm was filled well, yet its left arm has a sort of rubberband indent around it where a visible line does interrupt the tree bark texture running over the skin. A series of short spikes in the sculpt cover the seams which run down the back on both side of the piece which holds the fins. All in all, not too bad!

POSE

X-Plus Godzilla 1999 vinyl - All angles.

Once again, a pretty standard pose, and once again, me likey! Well, mostly. The legs are spread in a wide stance and I don’t recall seeing this pose in the movie. Though I have seen behind-the-scenes photos where suit actor Tsutomu “Tom” Kitagawa had the legs spread like that.

Either way, it makes for a dynamic figure. Everything about it involves triangles radiating outward from his stance, his claws, his triangular head and fins. This figure seems to emit a feel of swooping motion even when it’s just standing there. This suit is the Nike Swoosh of Godzillas. (Did that make any sense?)

I often wonder if the sculptors for X-Plus base the poses on specific scenes. In the case of this figure, I noticed that if you place it on a table and stand in front of it, it looks just like the scene when Goji was getting scanned by Orga for peeks at his Generator G’s.

PAINT JOB

The X-Plus Godzilla 1999 vinyl figure is painted with a dark black with a lighter asphalt brushed over a few areas, mostly the thighs and chest. There is also a super subtle dark silver applied on the spikey textures on either side of the back fins. And that’s it.

I didn’t notice this at first but as I scrutinized the figure for this review, I realized that most of the black areas are just black. Other than the few areas mentioned, there are no other highlights. And I am disappointed by this. Now, this base black coat is semi-glossy which gives the figure a bit of a wet look. Because of this, light plays off the paint and deep textures in the sculpt to create a lot of light and specular highlights. But, personally, I really, really would rather have had more paint highlights brushed onto this figure. Sigh.

Paint mismatch on tail.Close-up of the eye.

FINS
The fins on the back of the figure are made of translucent material molded in a purple-ish/magenta-ish color and have black sprayed around the “roots”. The fins on the tail, however, are made of the same vinyl as the rest of the figure. They are painted a dark purple and they don’t quite match the fins on the back. The extent of this difference depends on how the figure is lit. Light from the room can illuminate the fins and make them a brighter color. Yet even when tucked away on the shelf and against a wall, the fins still don’t match up but the difference is less noticeable.

I sampled colors from both sets of fins and added the circles to make it clearer how the colors differ. This is only a rough demonstration though because, again, the back fins seem to change color depending on where the figure is placed.

Even though it’s mildly entertaining to see the fins illuminate when placed in front of a light, I’d rather the figure was more accurate. His fins were not made of crystals and did not let light pass through them in the movie. X-Plus was trying to save time and money by using the same translucent fin material used on the Ric Boy Exclusive light-up version on the standard. Boo.

EYES
Around the black pupils are corneas which seem more tan than yellow. And beyond those are whites best described as smokey. There really isn’t very much contrast in the eyes to make them look like… eyes. From many angles it’s difficult to even see the pupils and instead you get a sort of GMKish look, or a found-dead-in-the-river/zombie kind of look. It may not seem so in the photo above since this is such a close view, but in normal viewing conditions, the detail in the eyes are often hard to make out.

SIZE COMPARISONS

XPlus-Godzilla99-with-Gamera99

The 1999ers! Gamera 1999 and Godzilla 1999 were released in the same month, line up in height, and make quite a pair!

Godzilla 2003 and 1999 face off.

The X-Plus Godzilla 1999 is just a hair taller than the Godzilla 2003. But it seems even larger when you consider the mass and girth of it’s neck and body.

Godzilla 1999 with 2001 and 2003.

THE MILLENNIALS
Godzilla 1999/2000, Godzilla 2001 and 2003. If this is your favorite era to collect, you’ll be glad to know they scale well with each other. Sorry, I forgot to include the 2004!

Godzilla 1999 with 1964 and 1992.

Godzilla 1964, 1999 and 1992 come from different eras, but they still line up in the height department.

FOOTPRINT

X-Plus Godzilla 1999 - Top View.

Another Godzilla figure means another long tail. The figure is 18 inches long from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail. Subtract two inches if you let the nose hang over the edge of the shelf. The tail moves back away from the body in almost a straight line until 1/3 from the end it curls upward and to its right. This figure would fit better on the shelf if it were facing right. If you have a larger space to display him, then lucky you, you’re gonna need it!

RIC BOY EXCLUSIVE FEATURES

X-Plus Godzilla 2000 Ric Boy Light Feature. Photo by Ryu Hayabusa.
PHOTO COURTESY OF RYU HAYABUSA

The Ric Boy Exclusive version of this figure came with a light-up fin gimmick plus something extra no one was expecting: a light emission from the mouth depicting Goji gurgling up an atomic loogie! AND, DAMN, IT LOOKS GOOD!

Collectors, myself included, were worried about how X-Plus was going to be able to make purple/magenta fins glow orange when the light gimmick was turned on. Looks like they managed to do a fine job of it.

I can’t comment much on these features since I haven’t seen one in person. I was getting sick of the whole light-up fin thing so I ordered the standard version. I had NO IDEA the fins would look as cool as they do in the photo above. And that mouth light… I’m… such a…. fool.

Special thanks to “Ryu Hayabusa” for the use of his photo!

THE BOX / ASSEMBLY

X-Plus Godzilla 1999 Box.X-Plus Godzilla 1999 Box Open.

The X-Plus Godzilla 1999 vinyl comes in the standard 30cm series blind box with awesome art on the front. Inside the main body and two tail pieces are wired in to a plastic shell.

ASSEMBLY
As already mentioned, the tail comes in two pieces. I would recommend attaching the larger piece to the body first and adding the rest of the tail last. If you’re going to need to do some twisting, the shorter the tail, the better.

I can usually tell if I’m going to have trouble inserting a tail when I first see it. It seems every other figure I get gives me trouble. In the case of this figure, the tail has a huge ‘flange’ (the part that hooks inside the body). Before I would have winced at this, but after having seen Rich Eso’s video on how to connect X-Plus tails, I wasn’t expecting to relive my Space Godzilla and Hedorah tail nightmares.

In his video, Rich says to heat the body with a hair dryer (not the tail), until it was “squishy soft”. Up until now I had gone as far as ‘just’ soft. This time I heated up Godzilla’s butt until it was as soft as rubber. And just to make sure I had zero trouble, I had earlier cooled the tail off in the refrigerator. When assembly time came, it literally popped right in. After that, attaching the second part of the tail was even easier. From now on…. squishy soft for me. Thanks, Rich!

SUMMARY

Though I’m not happy with the dorsal fins being made of translucent material, the lack of highlights and the overly shiny black skin, the X-Plus Toho 30cm Series Godzilla 1999 is still a fantastic likeness and one of the best vinyl figures to come out in 2013. Get it! Doooo eeet!

EXTRAS

X-Plus Godzilla 1999, Read Angle.

MORE INFORMATION

Link to X-Plus 30cm Godzilla 1999 on Ric Boy Site.
Link to High Resolution Godzilla 1999 Photos at SciFiJapan.com
• Rich Eso’s X-Plus Godzilla 1999 video review.
Kaiju Planet Review of X-Plus Godzilla 1999
• Otuzilla’s X-Plus Godzilla 1999 Video Review.

By | 2017-08-23T18:59:02+00:00 December 13th, 2013|Categories: Kaiju Addicts Reviews|Tags: , , , |6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Jorge December 13, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    awesome review

  2. Terry Pierson December 13, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    Really nice review for what looks like a really nice figure. At the time of this writing, I am waiting for this big fellow to arrive at my doorstep. This lessens the pain.

  3. Brian Lopez December 13, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    I received the RIC BOY version of this figure in the beginning of December. I purchased it from Goanime on ebay; I received it in two days! Highly recommended seller. I stumbled upon this figure searching for the SH MonsterArts Millennium Godzilla. Being my favorite suit, I had to have this figure. There are very few good figures based on this suit. The figure did not disappoint me! It is easily the best Millennium figure ever made. The light up feature is great. It is my new centerpiece. Fortunately, I have my figures on huge shelves. I’m able to display the figure straight on and it looks great like this. I also noticed the eye anomaly. Up until reading this review, I thought the left was painted darker; now I know what it really is. It bothers me but it is in no way a deal breaker. There is a seller on ebay (I forgot the name) who has been selling the standard version for around $160. Much cheaper than what I paid but at least mine is the RIC BOY version. I cannot recommend this figure enough! Impatiently waiting for my Diamond reissues of the GMK G and Mosu G. Once received, I’ll have my favorite G suit trifecta. I cannot wait!

    On a side note, too bad Bandai chose to use Yuji Sakai’s original sculpt for the SH MonsterArts Millennium G. I prefer my figures suit accurate.

    Great review!

  4. Brian Lopez December 13, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    For those purchasing the RIC BOY version, be careful with the plug that attaches to the leg to give it light. I pulled it too hard removing it and the plug pulled apart. Fortunately, I just separated it from the jacket; the two wires running to the plug are still connected and it is working fine. A correction on the seller on ebay from whom I purchased. It is gogoanime_japan_ese. Again, a fantastic seller!

  5. Efren F. December 14, 2013 at 3:06 am

    And to think I almost paid around $273 for this figure,but thanks to Kaiju Addicts I was redirected to Hobby Search and got it for a around $195-so much cheaper than BBTS,who jacks up the prices of their X Plus merchandise!!Anyways,this is my first X Plus Goji and I was very impressed with it,I just lovd it and am very happy with this figure!!Now I’m awaiting the ’64 Goji preorder to add to my collection next Spring,I also got the SHMA G2K coming in January as well.

  6. Mr. Fresh Vinyl December 14, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Great review! Superb! I love this figure. Totally agree with the dorsal plates being translucent. I wish they were not but like you said, they were penny pinching to keep costs lower, which I can understand. The dorsal plates loom great nonetheless. Squishy Soft!

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