X-Plus Large Monster Series Mothra Imago 1961 Vinyl Figure Review.

FIGURE SPECS

東宝大怪獣リーズ 「モスラ 成虫 (1961版)」

JAPAN ORIGINAL RELEASE: 2012

JAPAN REISSUE: NOVEMBER 2014

SERIES: TOHO LARGE MONSTER SERIES

MATERIAL: SOFT VINYL, ABS

FROM: “MOTHRA”, 1961
モスラ

HEIGHT: (On Stand), 15 INCHES / 38 CM

WIDTH (wingspan): 22.5 INCHES / 57 CM

LENGTH (nose to tail): 10.75 INCHES / 27.3 CM

FIGURE WEIGHT: 1 LB, 7 OZ / 652 G

ARTICULATION: MANDIBLES

AVAILABILITY: ORIG. RELEASE RARE, BUT REISSUE COMING NOV. 2014.

REVIEW AND PHOTOS: JOHN STANOWSKI

JAPANESE RE-ISSUE JUST ANNOUNCED
X-Plus was planning to re-issue this rare figure, along with the Large Monster Series Godzilla 1964, together in one set. Those plans have been cancelled. Only the Mothra Imago 1961 is being offered. Pre-orders are being taken RIGHT NOW and will continue until October 6, 2014. They say that this will be your last chance to grab this one! The figure is expected to ship in November, 2014.

In 2012, X-Plus released the Toho Large Monster Series Mothra Imago 1961 Edition Vinyl Figure based on the very first appearance of this classic kaiju from the film Mothra (モスラ) from way back in the early ’60s. And what a beaut! This figure is probably one of, if not THE, very best likenesses of Mosura ever put to vinyl.

What’s particularly unique about this vinyl when compared to the rest of X-Plus’ catalog, is that it’s in flight. Propped into the air with a metal post fixed into a sculpted, rocky base, it strongly contrasts the other bipeds and quadrapeds in your collection by hovering over them with its large, outstretched wings.

WINGS
While we’re on the subject of wings: you no doubt have heard stories about (or experienced yourself) drooping, deformed wings from all three of X-Plus’ Rodan figures. Warm temperatures and the figures’ own weight tends to make the wing tips bend and curve, making the figures lean and, eventually, topple off the shelf. This is not a concern with the Mothra Imago figure. The wings on this buggy beast are made out ABS, a firmer plastic which is immune to high temperatures and gravity. I’ve had this figure for over a year now and both wings are still flying high.

IT’S BIG
The Mothra Imago 1961 vinyl is part of the Toho Large Monster Series. A Godzilla figure in this series is typically around 25cm tall (about 10 inches). Mothra, though, is another story. She’s HUGE and, at first glance, looks like she should belong to the Toho 30cm Series. But this vinyl is actually in scale with the other Large Monster Series figures. Mothra was just plain big in 1961 (and 1964 as well).

From wing tip to wing tip, this figure is 22.5 inches wide. Now keep in mind that both wings are angled upward. If the wings were completely horizontal, this figure would have a wingspan of over TWO FEET!

THE BOX

Box for the X-Plus Mothra Imago 1961 vinyl figure.

The X-Plus Mothra Imago 1961 comes in a big, plain, white box almost 27 inches long (bigger than two 30cm Series boxes put together!) and has monochromatic artwork on the cover. Inside the box, the figure is wired into a plastic shell and is fully assembled. You just need to untwist the twisties and put it on the base.

THE BASE

Close-up of Mothra figure base.

The base is molded in hollow vinyl and sculpted to look like a piece of Mothra’s rocky home on Infant Island. her “logo” is carved into a stone tablet on the front. A metal pole rises up from this base and supports the figure in the air.

This set-up may look precarious, and could be if you’re not careful. But overall, it’s pretty sturdy. I picked this figure up, base and all, dozens of times while taking photos for this review and there was never a problem. When moving it, just don’t grab the figure by itself, nor the base. Grab the pole instead. And always check to make sure the pole is still sticking out of the hole on the bottom after putting it down. More on that below…

The bottom of the base.

ATTACHING TO THE BASE

IMPORTANT!
There’s potential for disaster if you don’t place Mothra on her base the correct way. There is a hole in the BOTTOM of the base. The pole needs to go into the base through the top and then ALL THE WAY THROUGH to peep out the bottom hole (see photo to the left). This second hole is needed to keep the pole straight. If you don’t insert the pole into the base all the way through, then your figure may lean, wobble and fall. (This happened to me at first. Luckily there was no damage.)

SCULPT

X-Plus Large Monster Series Mothra Imago 1961 Vinyl Figure.

It goes without saying that this is a very impressive figure. A combination of vinyl, ABS and clear plastic, along with a fancy paint job, makes this piece a prize to be sure.

LIKENESS
This figure seems to be a dead ringer, at any angle, for the ‘puppet’ from the film. But is it picture perfect? No, actually. Allow me to nitpick: the legs are slightly thicker than they should be. The stubby, three-pronged “pincer” at the end of the abdomen which was so prominent in the movie, is less pronounced on this figure. Despite this, I’d say they still did a fine, fine job of it.

Even the patterns on the wings show that a real effort was made to represent almost every jaggy edge in the design. The result also isn’t picture perfect, but the spirit of the pattern is there, intact despite being slightly simplified, no doubt to make it easier on the painters in the factory. The end result is amazing.

FUR
The puppet used in the film had fuzzy, fur all over it which had to be sculpted into a static surface for this figure. And I am just amazed by the fine and intricate detail that was created to cover the main body and parts of the wings. This faux fur texture is yet another clue that this is not some lowend toy… it’s an X-Plus figure.

Close-up of Mothra's head.

BIG, BLUE EYES
Mothra’s eyes are brilliantly represented here in hard, translucent plastic tinted blue. The outside surface is smooth while the inside is molded with bumps to mimic the giant moth’s compound eyes. This is a great technique which X-Plus also used on Kumonga, all three Gigans and others.

ANTENNAE
The antennae are thin and precise. They are also soft and bendy. And, in the case of the figure I got, can be on backwards. Out of the box, my figure came with the antennae arcing toward the rear. You can see this in practically every photo on this review. But in the movie, the antennae arc forward. I thought I may as well try and see if they could be rotated… and they could! It seems to me these should have been glued, and maybe they were meant to, I don’t know. So, PLEASE BE CAREFUL if you try this on yours.

MANDIBLES
The mandibles are hard plastic and are articulated for an optional open mouth look. These pieces are sort of stiff and hard to open. The hinges are tiny so use caution here.

JOINTS & SEAMS

Close-up side view of Mothra figure to highlight joints and seams.

There are a few seams to found on Mothra, but they don’t stand out much on her already segmented insectoid body. The head, thorax (middle bit) and abdomen (orange and white stripey thing) are all separate pieces. Lines can be seen if looked for, but like I said, bugs are meant to look like that. My figure has bit of a gap under the neck which thankfully can’t be easily noticed.

All six legs (below the ‘knees’) are separate pieces and are glued to the main body. And they kind of look like they were, too. But, again, she’s a bug and it seems like this should be forgiven. Moving on…

The wings are inserted into the middle section and lines can really only be seen from directly above.

POSE

X-Plus Mothra Imago Front View.X-Plus Mothra Imago Rear View.
X-Plus Mothra Imago right view.X-Plus Mothra Imago left view.

There aren’t very many poses available to adult form Mothra, so posing this figure was a nobrainer. And I have to say, even so, X-Plus did a great job of making it look like it came close to coming right out of the movie. The wings are angled upward and that’s how we saw most side views in the original film.

The front, back and side views seen above may look boring. (Although, I think the side views look pretty freaking awesome.) The pose may seem mechanical and the wings pretty simple and flat. But they actually have subtle curves and waves in them which really shine when you explore this figure from different angles. (Take another look at the first photo at the top of this page to see what I mean.) X-Plus could have taken the easy way out and sculpted the wings perfectly flat like a lower grade toy or collectible… but they didn’t. And that’s why we love them!

From wing tip to wing tip, this figure is 22.5 inches wide. Now keep in mind that both wings are angled upward. If the wings were completely horizontal, this figure would have a wingspan of over TWO FEET!

PAINT JOB

Top view.

This figure has all the right colors in (mostly) the right places. Even though they are each dusty and reserved, the paint job as a whole is an explosion of color. Not in a shouty, overly vibrant, toy-like way, but rather a toned-down, ‘realistic-looking’ and a “I’m kinda flashy so I must be Poisonous so back off” sort of way.

The wings have subtle indents following Mothra’s zig-zagged pattern molded into them allowing the factory folk to paint “in the lines”. There are also some dusty off-whites airbrushed on the wings to give it some gradation. Mothra’s famous big red spots are also airbrushed.

There are some inaccuracies, though. The abdomen should have white stripes which are thicker than its orange stripes. The figure has that reversed. Also the smaller rear wings should be a mustard color gradating into a lightened brick red toward the ends. This figure sports only the red. I’m not going to gripe about this, though. It’s obvious that a LOT of time and effort went into all the little details on this figure and I’m sure they did the best they could in order to remain on budget. The end result may not be 100% accurate in all areas, but it still looks amazing.

SIZE COMPARISONS

Size comparison with the Large Monster Series Godzilla 1964.

Here the X-Plus Toho Large Monster Series Mothra Imago 1961 is matched up with the Godzilla 1964 from the same line. Keep in mind a completely new Mothra ‘puppet’ was built for Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964), so this isn’t really an accurate pairing. (Although the 1961 Mothra was used for just a few flying scenes in film. (Special thanks to Godzilla nerd Robert Dwyer for the info!))

But, alas, this is the closest thing you’re going to get if you want to recreate that film on your shelves. And size-wise, it’s damn near perfect.

X-Plus Large Monster Series Mothra figure size comparison with 30cm Series Godzilla 1964 figure.

And here is a size comparison with the Toho 30cm Series Godzilla 1964. Despite the inaccurate scaling, they still make a good-looking couple.

Size comparison with the 30cm Series Godzilla 1992.

Mothra seems to keep getting smaller with each new appearance in the Godzilla franchise. And thanks to that, the 1961 version may make an okay stand-in — size-wise — for the Toho 30cm Series Godzilla 1992 from Godzilla vs. Mothra.

FOOTPRINT

With an almost 2-foot wingspan, you might consider the X-Plus Mothra Imago to be a shelf hog. But it’s not, really. It’s base is about 8 inches wide and that’s about the same as most 30cm Godzilla figures. But Mothra herself is up in the air and her wings are even higher. If you place her on the shelf with other Large Monster Series figures you’ll find that they fit right under her wings, allowing you to squeeze more monsters into almost the same space.

If, for some reason, you place her with 30cm figures, you’ll find that even they can fit it under her wings. So, although this figure is 22.5 inches wide from wing tip to wing tip, it doesn’t need to take up all of that space just for itself.

The Ric Boy version of this figure comes with light-up eyes.SPECIAL THANKS TO VINCE ELLIOT FOR THIS PHOTO.

RIC BOY VERSION

The Ric Boy Exclusive Version of this figure came with light-up eyes. And if there was ever a figure that downright demands a light gimmick, it’s this one.

However, being one of the earlier X-Plus figures to get the light-up treatment, it has poor implementation. The abdomen (butt) needs to be pulled off in order to reach the switch. Sounds like that’s a big pain. Especially since there’s no good place to grab the figure while doing this.

X-Plus has since devised ways to turn the lights on with a lot less effort, but at the cost of having a small black box and wire on the shelf. But, alas, the point is moot. If you want to make the Ric Boy Mothra’s bright blue eyes get even brighter, you’ll have to roll up your sleeves.

SUMMARY

The X-Plus Toho Large Monster Series Mothra Imago 1961 is not picture-perfect, but it does a hell of a job matching up to the image of Mothra in our minds. And that’s good enough for me. It’s uniqueness breaks the pattern on the shelves and adds interest to the collection. And, well, it’s big. No, it’s HUGE. Huge and Awesome!

EXTRAS

Worm's-eye-view of the X-Plus Mothra Imago vinyl figure flying in the sky.

Photoshopped view of the X-Plus Mothra flying.

X-Plus Mothra and Godzilla vinyls arranged in a fighting scene.

X-Plus Large Monster Series Mothra Imago 1961 and Godzilla 1964 vinyl figures.

X-Plus Godzilla 1964 vinyl figure with Mothra Imago.

X-Plus Mothra vinyl figure flying away.

MORE INFORMATION

X-Plus Mothra Imago 1961 Reissue on Ric Boy Site.
Archived X-Plus Mothra Imago 1961 Original Release on Ric Boy Site.
SoCalSpy Reviews the X-Plus Polystone Mothra 1964 and the Vinyl Mothra 1961.

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