JAPAN ORIGINAL RELEASE: Late 2012
FIRST JAPAN REISSUE: EARLY 2015
SECOND JAPAN REISSUE: EARLY 2018
NORTH AMERICAN (DIAMOND) REISSUE: EXPECTED JUNE 2018
SERIES: Large Monster Series
FROM: “DESTROY ALL MONSTERS” (1968)
HEIGHT (HEAD): About 6 INCHES / 15.24 CM
LENGTH: (With curved tail) About 14 INCHES / 35.5 CM
FIGURE WEIGHT: X lbs, X OZ / X G
REVIEW AND PHOTOS: © JOHN STANOWSKI
The Toho Large Monster Series Angurius 1968 was first released in Japan in 2012. It was reissued there twice more; once in 2015 and again in early 2018. That last one was scheduled to be released this month (April 2018) and was no doubt produced at the same time as it’s fourth reissue, one for North America. One might argue they are a part of the same reissue since they were probably made at the same time. Although, we’re still waiting on word of this vinyl’s arrival here in the U.S.
So, let me be clear on this: this vinyl is coming to America any time now. You can preorder one from your local comic shop. Ask the guy behind the counter to search for it by the Diamond Distributors item code: AUG178399.
It’s because of this U.S./Canada release that I’m putting this review out now. I’ve always meant to make one, but now seems like the most appropriate time.
Also, since we may have more new X-Plus collectors here than usual, I’d like to talk about the series it comes from. It’s part of the Large Monster Series. This is the literal machine translation for its true name: the Daikaiju Series. You’ll also see it referred to as The 25cm Series (slang).
As for its size: I’ll discuss that further down in the Size and Size Comparison sections.
The Large Monster Series Anguirus 1968 vinyl figure comes in the typical Large Monster Series window box. All of these boxes have the exact same art on them. You have to rely on the figure itself (behind the clear plastic) and a small black sticker providing the name of the figure down near the bottom of the front.
Like the 30cm Series, the figure is wired into a clear plastic shell. And, you will need to attach the tail as it comes as a separate piece. Remember: keep the tail cool and hard and blast the figures butt with a hair dryer to make it soft enough to allow the tail to be inserted. Just be very careful with those individually sculpted spikes on the tail. They can hurt!
Now, out of the box, what you have is a super, movie-accurate vinyl of Anguirus as he appeared in the 1968 Showa classic, Destroy All Monsters.
Part of what makes this sculpt such a faithful reproduction of the original monster suit is it’s individually sculpted horns, spikes, teeth and tongue! It’s intricate and detailed skin texture finally sets this over the top when compared to average, lower-end non-stylized vinyls.
Here’s a closer look at some of those details. Individually sculpted teeth are a standard feature on all X-Plus figures. As you can see care was taken to make the tongue a separate piece and suspend it above the floor of the mouth. This is fucking outstanding work!
The head sculpt remains faithful to the movie suit from all angles.
As for the pose, it’s pretty standard (again, just the way I like it!). Anguirus is standing (half-standing?) on all fours in his typical fashion.
In fact, this is a good excuse to again bring up how X-Plus strives so hard to give you a sculpt so faithful to the movie. You can see in the photos below (especially the side views) how it was designed to be worn by a suit actor.
JOINTS & SEAMS
Quick refresher: Joints are the meeting of two pieces that interconnect and are free to rotate, even if the sculpt prevents doing that easily.
A seam is where two pieces meet without a full round joint. You usually see seams on the sides of the dorsal fins on Godzilla vinyls, or around lower jaws. However, the lines left behind on joints are often referred to as seams.
So, let’s just go with seams here. Yes, the Large Monster Series Anguirus has them. You’ll find them around every leg and at the base of the neck. This is very common with X-Plus “crawlers” and can be found even on this figure’s bigger 30cm Series cousin.
While this may be unsightly to some, remember that this is a vinyl. And, that’s how vinyls are traditionally made. I feel if you let yourself slip into the “vinyl figure mindset”, these seams will bother you less. Hell, just take a step back and look at the thing as a whole. This thing is fucking sexy!
While X-Plus attempts to duplicate the paint apps from the original release on subsequent reissues, there can sometimes be minor tweaks. For this review, I am using the first Japanese reissue to describe it.
Anguirus has base coat of a dull brown. One might call it a dark brown, but it’s devoid of any saturation so I will stick with “dull”. And when I say that, I mean it in a good way. Dull = reserved and ≠ toyish. This figure is far from having toyish colors.
Affecting its overall “tint” is a very generous amount of lighter color highlights over the skin on the legs, neck and belly. This kicks the visual interest up a few notches. The extra detail in hue applied to the higher elevations of the skin texture really make this thing shine.
The spikes on the back are painted a very, dull boneish, tan and it’s PERFECT. And, now here is one of the places where this figure excels. Each individually sculpted spike is individually painted, and expertly so. If you look at it from above, the back plates are dark brown and the light hues of the spikes come down to meet the back with precision. (Skip down to the photo in the “Footprint Section” to see what I’m talking about. It’s the very next pic in this review.)
I have no clue how I would paint this let alone having it done on a mass scale at a factory. Excellent work. Same goes for the paint being expertly and precisely applied to each, individual tooth.
It’s a vital component to a complete (or partial) X-Plus Destroy All Monsters line-up on your shelves.
The Toho Large Monster Series Angurius 1968 comes from a series where typical figures, like Godzilla, stand at about 25cm or just under 10 inches tall. It’s a little difficult to appreciate this figure’s size with the dimensions I’m about to give.
For example, at the highest point, Anguirus reach up about 6 inches from the tip of his crown of horns to the floor. The dimensions you really need to look at, though, are those for length since this guy is a crawler on all fours.
It’s longest dimension is about 14.5 inches from the front left paw to the tip of the tail. But that tail is making an abrupt curve. If it were laying out straight, then this figure would have a length of something more like 20 inches! That’s about 12 inches for the tail and another 8 from the butt to the nose.
FOOTPRINT / ON THE SHELF
Anguirus’ curved tail makes it a lot easier to fit on the shelf. If you have it facing completely forward, then you only need about a foot of shelf space in front of the back wall. By displaying him at an angle, you can make it work on even thinner shelves.
The tail, which makes a hard right turn could possibly make it difficult to display figures nearby. But the way I see it, the curves tail makes a space to hug around another figure. The Large Monster Series Godzilla 1968 is able to stand quite close to Anguirus’ right side.
Possibly the most significant size comparison would be with the Toho 30cm Series Anguirus 1968, especially for new X-Plus collectors who have been relying on North American reissues to fill their shelves.
So, yeah. It’s smaller. But it’s supposed to be smaller. The Large Monster Series is a smaller, less expensive line. But it has excellent quality that sometimes even exceeds the quality and accuracy of the 30cm Series. You can fit more in the same space. And they are a big step up from S.H. MonsterArts and Revoltech, common gateway drugs leading to X-Plus.
If you are looking for only one X-Plus Anguirus 1968 for your collection, then you probably want to consider the 30 since it stands half a head higher and is about 15% longer.
However, if, like me, you collect BOTH sizes, then YES, you DO need this smaller Large Monster Series Anguirus in your collection.
It’s a vital component to a complete (or partial) X-Plus Destroy All Monsters line-up on your shelves. You can’t do that with 30’s. King Ghidorah and Kumonga are not likely to get 30cm versions because of their size.
Now, here is the first real and relevant size comparison. The Large Monster Series Godzilla 1968 is the figure most likely to pair with this Anguirus. They scale with each other very well.
This Anguirus is dwarfed by the Large Monster Series King Ghidorah 1968. But he is supposed to be dwarfed. If you are a stickler for proper scaling, you’ll be pleased. This is how both were sized in relation to each other in the movie.
Here is the Large Monster Series Anguirus with a large grouping of other figures from that series. Everything you see here scales very well with everything else.
This is a just a sample of what awaits those of you who have been, up until now, been collecting only 30cm Series figures. There are many kaiju in this series that haven’t shown up in the 30cm Series yet. And many are not likely to because they would be too large.
Finally, for those prospective X-Plus collectors who haven’t taken the plunge yet: a real world size comparison with a blu ray disc.
The Toho Large Monster Series Anguirus 1968 (or its upcoming North American reissue, the Godzilla Kaiju 8in Series Anguirus 1968) is an awesome, high quality, movie accurate reproduction of the kaiju suit used in the movie. It’s picture perfect sculpt and paint apps make it an excellent Anguirus collectible. And, again, it is a vital component to a complete X-Plus Destroy All Monsters lineup. It’s also a great addition to a new and growing 25cm Series collection.
If you’re not collecting the Large Monster Series and you already have the 30, then, no, you don’t need it. But, if you plan to take advantage of all the awesome 25cm Series reissues coming to the U.S. through Diamond Distributors this year (and next), then, YES, you DO need one!