東宝30㎝シリーズ 酒井ゆうじ造形コレクション ゴジラ(2016)
JAPAN ORIGINAL RELEASE: October 2018
SERIES: 30CM SERIES YUJI SAKAI MODELING COLLECTION
FROM: “SHIN GODZILLA” (2016)
HEIGHT (HEAD): About 11.5 INCHES / 29.21 CM
HEIGHT (TAIL): About 16 INCHES / 40.6 CM
LENGTH: (With raised tail) About 17.25 INCHES / 43.8 CM
FIGURE WEIGHT: 1 lb, 9 OZ / 708.7 G
REVIEW AND PHOTOS: © JOHN STANOWSKI
The Toho 30cm Series Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection Godzilla (2016) vinyl statue by X-Plus has an amazing, movie-accurate sculpt based on the monster from Shin Godzilla (2016). It is 11.5 inches tall (from the head) and has a massive tail which reaches 17.25 inches up into the air. Released in October 2018, it was available in both Standard and Ric Exclusive versions.
The sculpt was first revealed by Yuji Sakai at Winter Wonder Festival 2017 in Chiba, Japan. A limited run resin kit soon followed. Finally, Mr. Sakai teamed up with X-Plus to produce his latest creation in vinyl.
X-Plus sold a Ric Boy exclusive version molded in red, translucent vinyl. A standard version made from opaque red vinyl was available in retail stores.
NOTE: This review will feature the Ric Exclusive version although the Standard Version will make appearances below for comparison.
Because of the figure’s massive tail, it comes in a massive box measuring 19 inches high, 15.25 inches wide and 8.5 inches deep. This box is the usual 30cm Series design. Plain, brown, blind box with flip lid and full color artwork on the front.
Inside the figure is wire-tied in two pieces in a plastic shell. One arm and one foot come wrapped in plastic. It’s important to be very careful when removing this plastic from the arm as this piece is very thin. Try to find the edge of the tape holding it on instead of just tugging on it.
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
New and First-time X-Plus Collectors: if this is your first X-Plus, watch Rich Eso‘s video on how to attach tails.
For the rest of us: the tail flange isn’t round this time and has several angles to it. It’s almost shaped like a diamond. While this makes it more difficult to attach the tail, it does make for a more snug fit. And considering how anxious gravity is to get closer with the tail, the connection won’t be as prone to pulling away and open as on the Large Monster Series versions.
The figure comes with a tail base which is required to make the figure stand straighter. Although the base isn’t really needed at all if you don’t mind the figure leaning back slightly. If you are displaying this figure from the front, you probably wouldn’t even notice this backward lean.
I’ve already heard from some collectors that they don’t believe that this base is high enough and wish it were taller. I’m inclined to agree. It seems the figure would look a little better if its head were pushed forward just a little more. But it doesn’t look bad the way that it is now. Also, this does seem to be the height intended by Mr. Sakai from the very beginning based on this early shot of the sculpt in progress. (Honestly, though, I have no idea why the bottom of the tail isn’t just resting on the floor. Realistically, something that big probably isn’t easily lifted off the ground.)
This Godzilla design has a wide range of new textures, ridges, Giger-esque strands and bony details which are all expertly captured on this vinyl.
And, here it is…
The Toho 30cm Series Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection Godzilla 2016 is a ridiculously movie-accurate collectible and is no doubt the most picture perfect among the three Shin Godzilla Fourth Form figures put out by X-Plus so far. It follows the Toho Large Monster Series Godzilla 2016 (click here for review) and the Gigantic Series Shin Godzilla.
I’m gonna say it! …it literally looks like it walked right out of the movie. Don’t believe me? Look here.
This Godzilla design has a wide range of new textures, ridges, Giger-esque strands and bony details which are all expertly captured on this vinyl. Because of all of these intersecting patterns and textures, Yuji Sakai’s signature “sculptorly” quality seems to be absent, or at the very least, hard to see. To me, that’s a good thing.
I haven’t compared it to the movie yet, but the head sculpt looks spot on from every angle. This head sculpt makes X-Plus’ two great previous attempts pale in comparison. I don’t know how to say it. This just looks right!
A couple of oddities I’ve noticed though: the eyes don’t quite line up with each other; one being lower than the other. I thought I was just struck with dumb luck again until I noticed that the same is true for my standard version as well. What are the odds that I got two duds? I’m guessing that this must have been intentional for some reason.
Also, the bottom jaw piece seems to be a sort of hit or miss and was easily misaligned in the factory. The jaw on my Ric is slightly crooked while the jaw on the Standard is just fine. I’m not much bothered by it since I can’t really notice it except in close-up photos.
The 30cm Series Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection Shin Godzilla stands in the monster’s signature pose. This is how he looked in over 90% of his appearances as the fourth form kaiju. While this may not be as exciting as the dynamic pose on the Gigantic Series version, I find this one preferable since this is shaped the same as the standard image of Shin Godzilla burned into all of our brains.
The tail runs back and then swings full up into the air, making only two slight curves on both its X and Y axes. The movement captured in the pose of the tail is visible in only half of the angles. From certain other angles, it appears to be going up into the air in a straight line which doesn’t look as exciting. When displaying your Sakai Shin, try to angle it so that you can see some curves from the front of your shelves.
An added bonus to this pose is that, from the front, you can see the tail hovering in the background behind the head just as was seen so many times in the movie.
JOINTS & SEAMS
The Toho 30cm Series Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection (Shin) Godzilla 2016 is made up of “at least” ten parts. And, unfortunately, some of their panty lines are showing.
In the photo above, we have the Standard Version on the left and the Ric Exclusive version on the right. (Please excuse the fact that the tail hasn’t been attached to the Standard. I’m selling this figure to a friend and I don’t want to violate it any more than I have to before he gets it.)
On the Standard version, you can clearly see where some of those pieces meet. Specifically at the tops of the arms and at the top of the legs. Now this isn’t anything new and, as X-Plus collectors, we’re completely used to this. These are, after all, vinyls. BADASS vinyls, but vinyls nonetheless. Joints like this are common.
Curiously, these same lines aren’t as visible on the Ric Boy exclusive version. This is possibly due to them blending in more because of the translucent vinyl. So, despite what you see in the photo above, the seams are still there, just not as obvious.
This is where I will describe the differences between the Ric Exclusive Version and the Standard version since they involve the figure’s colors and appearance.
Instead of molding this figure in black and filling in “the cracks” with red (to replicate Shin Godzilla’s fission glows from the movie), X-Plus has repeated what they did instead with the Large Monster Series Shin Godzilla. Both versions are molded in red. Black paint is then applied on most of the body, careful not to cover over the red in the deep recesses of the skin texture and on the base of the fins. I thought this was ingenious when I saw it applied to the 25cm version. And it’s (mostly) just as impressive this time around as well.
The one problem with both, is that I feel they weren’t as liberal with the black paint as they should have been. This has resulted in more red being allowed to show through than was seen in the movie. The technique was used much more effectively on the Large Monster Series version. I can’t help but think that Mr. Sakai, who has a lot to say about how this vinyl was produced, prefers it the way that it was done this time around.
I don’t feel this is overly detrimental to this release. I will admit that I’m overly forgiving because I’m just so glad to have this ultimate (to me) Shin Godzilla figure on my shelf.
However, not all figures come out of the factory paint stations the same way. Results may vary.
Making sure that all figures get covered in black the same way and leave the same amount of red behind to shine through isn’t likely as these are done by hand. You may find that your figure has a bit more (or less!) red showing through on the chest or on a leg than you’ve seen in this review or in other photos.
One thing that concerns me is that with this painting technique, mismatches can occur more frequently between the body and the tail. Luckily, my Ric looks just fine.
So, what’s the difference? From a distance, there is no none. Even when you step closer, both appear pretty much comparable. But the difference starts to show when the figure is right in front of you.
The Standard Version is molded in solid, opaque red vinyl. You can’t see through it. The light hits the surface of the vinyl and reflects back into your eye. These reds are brighter and, well, redder. There also seems to be more “contrast” and hard edges where red meets black. Technically speaking, the Standard kind of seems to be the more accurate between the two. And, the bright red kind of implies that it’s glowing. But for that to work, it really depends on how you look at it. You have to sort of imagine it that way.
The Ric Exclusive version is made of translucent, almost clear, vinyl. It’s tinted red but is clear enough for light to hit the surface of the vinyl, pass through it, and bounce back off of an interior coating of reflective silver paint. The reds seem deeper on the Ric. And many light effects are possible when you light the figure different ways, or simply hold it in front of you and move it around.
The red on the Ric also seems more organic. There is less of a hard edge where red meets black and so seems more organic. The effect is truly amazing. On a side note, this is the one benefit to having the X-Plus Ric vinyl over the original Yuji Sakai resin kit. (That and the fact that you don’t have to assemble nor paint it.)
The one possible downside is that, unlike the Standard Version, the black paint is a bit thinner in certain areas (notably the neck and chest) thus making the figure look overall redder than it should be.
Besides the reflective light effect on the Ric, light can also pass through the figure entirely. You could see a sudden glow from certain angles if you place your figure in front of a lamp or by a window (although we don’t condone that. Sunlight bad!) Plus, you will more often see light passing through the dorsal fins.
Here is a shot with a standing flashlight behind the figure (not in it) shining the light clear through the figure. This should already be giving you ideas…
INSTALLING LIGHTS IN THE RIC
Yes, you can stuff the Ric Boy with LED strips. Depending on how many you use, it should look amazing. The only problem is that I believe that the back fins are over a double layer of vinyl, so light from the inside may not transmit through the back.
Personally, I’m sold on the Ric. It’s really fucking amazing. Early production photos simply didn’t capture the magic. And seeing it in person is a real treat.
Don’t take this as me knocking the Standard. I’ve already said that I feel it actually wins when it comes to looking more movie accurate. The sculpt is still stunning and anyone lucky enough to get their hands on one should more more than satisfied with it. Plus — and this is a big one — the regular opaque vinyl on the Standard Version is stronger and far less prone to deformation in hot weather. And, when you have a heavy, long ass tail going up in the air, that is a major consideration.
The teeth are painted in a reserved, boney, off-white which, thank god, don’t obnoxiously stick out as they do on so many other X-Plus figures. They look fantastic.
The eyes are particularly impressive. They are probably too toyishly white, but that’s necessary in this case. The diameter of eye is merely one sixteenth of an inch! And not enough half that space is taken up by a tiny stark black pupil. I’d love to know how the accomplished this. Such a super fine detail. The result are tiny eyes that, despite their small size, manage to pierce their way into view.
Unlike the Large Monster Series Shin Godzilla, the “bony” area at the tip of the tail is painted with a tan that doesn’t really stand out. It blends in more and doesn’t call attention to itself. This is good in a way in that this area doesn’t stick out like it did before. On the other hand, it’s a little hard to see the “face” in the sculpt. You can compare yourself by looking at the photo above and then clicking here to see the tail on the Large Monster Series version.
Again, this vinyl is about 11.5 inches high from the head to the floor and about 16 inches high from the tip of the upraised tail to the floor. The size of the main body is comparable mostly to the rest of the 30cm Series Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection, the Large Monster Series Favorite Sculptors Line and also about a third of the full 30cm Series. See the size comparisons below for more information.
FOOTPRINT / ON THE SHELF
Obviously, the tail on this vinyl will have something to say about where you can display it. For the most part, it curves up at a steep angle and stops about 16 inches above the shelf. The second half of the tail also curves to the figure’s right side. Hopefully your shelves are high and deep enough to fit him in.
It’s time for a ton of size comparisons, starting with the most obvious.
No doubt, the most important size comparison is one with the Toho Large Monster Series (Shin) Godzilla 2016 (Review). While the new Yuji Sakai version is almost a head taller, the figures, overall, feel around about the same overall size.
While we’re at it, let’s take a closer look at both since both of these figures since they are so similar. If you have neither, hopefully this will help you decide which one to hunt down.
While the Yuji Sakai (right) clearly has a superior sculpt, the Large Monster Series, aka 25cm Series, version is absolutely acceptable. The most notable difference being that the 25cm version is a tad shorter, leans forward more and has slightly more visible seams.
OTHER SHIN VINYLS
Here is what your new Yuji Sakai Shin Godzilla Fourth Form will look like beside the Large Monster Series Shin Godzilla Second Form (left) and the 30cm Series Shin Godzilla Third Form. These two are really meant to display and scale with the Gigantic Series Shin Godzilla so keeping all three of these on the same shelf may be a little odd. But, if you’re not a scale freak, don’t sweat it.
YUJI SAKAI MODELING COLLECTION
This new Yuji Sakai Shin Godzilla scales very well with other figures in the line like the Yuji Sakai Godzilla 2001 (click for review) (left) and the Yuji Sakai Godzilla 1991 (right).
YUJI SAKAI MODELING COLLECTION GODZILLA 1954
Here is Shin head-to-head with the Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection Godzilla 1954, the design it is likely based on (paying homage to, updated from, etc.) The most notable characteristics common to both are the mushroom cloud-shaped heads, the position of the arms and the grossly expansive jugular notch at the top of the chest. (Funny how the last feature was — no doubt — just clumsy suit making and yet it is celebrated on the 2016 design.)
While technically in the 30cm Series, this Shin Godzilla is obviously shorter, but won’t look terrible at all on display with other 30’s in your collection. It’s seen here with the Toho 30cm Series Godzilla 1964 (click for review) and the Toho 30cm Series Godzilla 2014 Roar Version (click for review).
30CM SERIES “SHORTIES”
If you’re worried about the 30cm Series Shin Godzilla being a little on the short side, don’t be. About a full third of this series is just as short. It’s seen here with fellow shorties 30cm Series Godzilla 1984 (click for review) and Godzilla 1968.
BTW, the Godzilla 1984 pictured above is the North American (Diamond) Reissue which stands a little taller than the original Japanese release.
FAVORITE SCULPTORS LINE
It turns out that the new Yuji Sakai Shin Godzilla, which is short for the 30cm Series, scales well with the Favorite Sculptors Line. Seen here is the FSL Godzilla 2001 and the FSL Godzilla 1962.
REAL WORLD COMPARISON
Finally, here is a shot for those of you who have yet to splurge on your first X-Plus figure.
What? You don’t do blu rays? Huh? Stream? What, you stream everything? …Millennials. (shakes head). 😛
RIC BOY EXCLUSIVE
As already stated, the Ric Exclusive version is made in clear, translucent vinyl and painted silver on the inside allowing light to play off the surface of the figure. There is no LED light gimmick and no extra mini figure. You simply get a figure with more organic paint apps.
The Toho 30cm Series Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection Godzilla 2016 is a fantastic take on Shin Godzilla and ranks at the highest end of the movie accuracy scale. If realism is your thing, then this vinyl is a grand prize winner. It’s upraised tail makes it a little difficult to display but it doesn’t care, and rightly so. The pose is right out of the movie and isn’t that what really matters?
It has super intricate textures, sculpting and ultra fine details rarely found on mere toys. This feels more like an official maquette from the Toho SPFX department than a collectible. I’m almost afraid TOHO will be banging on my door trying to take it back!
This vinyl is a tribute to Mr. Sakai’s superior sculpting skills and X-Plus’ masterful execution. If you are able to add this piece to your collection, you will not be disappointed.
• Original Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection Godzilla 2016 page on X-Plus Site.
• VIDEO: Gojira851 Unboxes and Reviews the 30cm Series Yuji Sakai Shin Godzilla.
• VIDEO: SuperGhidorah Reviews the Yuji Sakai Shin Godzilla vinyl figure by X-Plus.
• IMAGE: John Ruffin / MyKaiju Shin Godzilla Poster using X-Plus Yuji Sakai Shin Godzilla vinyl.
• VIDEO: Leslie Chambers Reviews the X-Plus 30cm Series Yuji Sakai Shin Godzilla.
• VIDEO: ぎわちん。 Looks at the X-Plus 30cm Yuji Sakai Shin Godzilla Ric Exclusive (Japanese).