This is a guide for those who have recently discovered X-Plus Godzilla, Gamera, Ultraman, etc. vinyl figures and are confused about the breadth of this line.
NOTE: This page is a work-in-progress.
X-Plus Vinyl Figures are Super Realistic and Mimic the Original Suits
These figures are as authenticly sculpted as possible. They are not embellished. The sculptor doesn’t recreate any vision he may have of the character or kaiju. They are made to… look as if they’ve walked out of the movie or television series from which they’re based on. They are not overly articulated. In fact, most of the time, there is no articulation at all. The only time there is articulation, is when it doesn’t conflict with the sculpt. You won’t find an X-Plus Godzilla figure with moveable legs like you would on an action figures. These fall into the category of ‘statues’. Some creatures have anatomy that do permit articulation such as Gigan or Mechagodzilla. In these cases, yes, you’ll likely be able to move the arms and legs. But overall, whenever possible, there are no unsightly joints like you’d find on an old vinyl doll. Realism is the goal at X-Plus. And that realism does not stop at reproducing how the kaiju appeared on screen. X-Plus attempts to make recreations of the actual kaiju suits. So if there was a zipper on one character, the X-Plus figure will have a line representing it. You’ll often be able to find the tiny holes the suit actors used to see from inside the suits recreated on the figures as well.
X-Plus makes figures of Ultraman, Godzilla, Gamera and more
More than anything else, X-Plus makes Ultraman and ultra kaiju figures. About four new figures come out each month. This includes everything from the original Ultraman up to today. Next up is Godzilla. They usually present at least two new Godzilla or Godzilla universe kaiju figures each month. The overwhelming majority of Godzilla figures X-Plus puts out come from the Showa era. When they do tap into the Heisei or Millenium eras, they most likely produce Godzilla himself. As far as I know, there has been only one kaiju from the Heisei era (Biollante) and none from the Millenium series. X-Plus also puts out Gamera and his foes. Every now and then they will produce a Goldar, Daimajin, Spectreman, etc.
X-Plus vinyls come in different sizes – 25cm and 30cm
There are basically two different sizes for the Godzilla figures. They are referred to as the “25cm” and “30cm” lines. This height isn’t a rule, but it’s around about where they stand when measured. Pretty much any figure from either line will be in scale with others from the same line. The 25cm Godzilla line is also called the “Giant Monster Series”. As for Ultraman, most of the figures are in the 25cm area, though all Ultraman figures are noticeablly taller than the kaiju. Older Ultra kaiju are shorter than the newer figures. Often an older Ultra kaiju will get a makeover in the modern scale and is marketed under the “Reborn” moniker. If you see “Reborn” in the title of a figure, it means that it’s newer and taller than a previous version. The Gamera figures also follow this 25cm and 30cm pattern. So far there is one 30cm Heisei Gamera with another just announced. In the 25cm size range, Showa era kaiju and Gameras have started to come out on a regular basis.
X-Plus vinyls come in different versions – Standard and Ric Boy
In addition to the Standard Version of each new figure, there is usually a Ric Boy Exclusive Version. This special version often has an additional piece, usually a smaller, out-of-scale item from the same movie. Some examples of past exclusive items include a small rose form Biollante, a Super X2, and a rocketship SY-3. Sometimes the exclusive version will include additional alternate limbs (usually the arms) for a different pose. Finally, an exclusive may be some kind of light gimmick. Several Ultraman figures have Ric Boy versions which light up in the eyes and color timer. Some Godzilla Ric Boy figures have dorsal fins which light up. Ric Boy versions are slightly more expensive than the standard versions and can only be preordered from the official Ric Boy online store. (See Where to Buy for more information.)
X-Plus Vinyl Figures have Limited Runs
Basically every new X-Plus vinyl that comes out is a limited edition. New figures are announced and then pre-orders are taken. You can pre-order these from a variety of online stores most notable of which are Hobby Search and Hobby Link Japan. After this cycle is complete you’ll have to rely on online stores with leftover stock and Ebay sellers who jack the price up to find that older figure. And the longer you wait to grab that older the figure, the higher the price for it goes. X-Plus figures seems to get really expensive, really fast. Sometimes, you get another chance when X-Plus puts out a Re-issue. But there’s no set schedule for re-issues and you never know when or which figure will be making a comeback.
Usually figures around the 25cm size will cost just under $100 when first issued. For figures in the larger 30cm series, the cost is $150 – $200. This isn’t a rule. The price will fluctuate up and down depending on the figure. Sometimes X-Plus will put out something extra special or extra big and the prices rise accordingly. The X-Plus Real Masters Collection Kiryu made from resin cost a little over $500.
Less Common X-Plus Lines – Master Collection, Kaiju Museum etc.
X-Plus has a line called the Master Collection. These are usually Godzilla universe statues comparable in size to the Vinyl 30cm line. What makes them different is that instead of vinyl they are made of resin. Really, really fragile resin. Another line which started in 2012 is the Kaiju Museum. This is a series of miniature figures from, so far, the original Ultraman television series. They are also made of very fragile resin. They come with plastic display cases.
There are also older products such as resin statues (some still available if you look). There are also older Godzilla figures which are smaller not as good-looking as today’s figures. (This website focuses primarily on modern X-Plus releases from 2007 and after.) You should be aware of these other lines when you go shopping for X-Plus vinyls. You may see a Real Masters resin Gigan statue and mistake it for a vinyl version. Or you may discover a nice looking Baltan or Pigmon which are really four-inch-tall Kaiju Museum resin minatures. Always read the product descriptions.