Full Review: Toho Large Monster Series King Ghidorah 2001 vinyl figure by X-Plus

X-Plus King Ghidorah 2001 GMK Vinyl Figure.

FIGURE SPECS

東宝大怪獣シリーズ
「キングギドラ(2001年版)」

JAPAN ORIGINAL RELEASE: April 2017

SERIES: Toho Large Monster Series

MATERIAL: VINYL

FROM: “Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack” (2001)
ゴジラ・モスラ・キングギドラ 大怪獣総攻撃

HEIGHT: 11.5 INCHES / 29.21 CM

WINGSPAN: 23.25 INCHES / 59 CM

LENGTH (noses to tip of tails): 19.5 INCHES / 49.5 CM

LENGTH (toes to tip of tails): 15.5 INCHES / 39.37 CM

FIGURE WEIGHT: 2.375 lbs. / 1077.28 G

REVIEW AND PHOTOS: © JOHN STANOWSKI

KING GHIDORAH, GODZILLA: TM & © TOHO CO.,LTD.

The Toho Large Monster Series King Ghidorah (2001) is a truly fantastic new addition to X-Plus‘ Daikaiju Series (25cm Series).

It’s very movie-accurate sculpt is based on the suit’s appearance in the 2001 film, Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, or as we all like to call it, GMK.

This figure was up for preorder in February 2017 and later released in late April 2017. The average price for a Standard figure was about $213. The Ric Boy version (which came with a layer of glitter) sold for $266.

This monster design is a pretty significant deviation from the King Ghidorahs of old. It still, of course, has all of the familiar characteristics of the three-headed, golden dragon. But, those features have been dwarfed into a somewhat smaller monster.

I was never very fond of this new design because of the shorter necks, thinner ankles, etc. But, on the day I got this figure in front of me and saw all of the details and design intricacies that I didn’t see in the movie, I converted. I really dig this design.

THE BOX

The box.
Kaiju Addicts webmaster and reviewer holds the GMK King Ghidorah box for scale.

For a Large Monster Series figure, the box is huge. It’s 17 inches tall, 10.25 inches on the side and a whopping 28 inches across the front.

It sports the usual monochromatic line art which all of the larger blind boxes have. Pictured here is the box for the Standard Version. The RIC version is the same but with the addition of the yellow, circular RIC sticker in one corner.

The tail is packaged in a pocket on the outside of the foam shell.
The main body is securely held inside a foam shell.

Like the new and improved packaging for the King Ghidorah 1968, this figure comes sandwiched in a firm styrofoam shell. The tail piece is stored on the outside of one of the sides.

The main body is securely stored on the inside. The figure is wrapped inside a large plastic bag. Be mindful of the spikes on the tips of the wings when you pull this bag off. Some of these spikes may have impaled the bag so be sure you don’t tug hard when removing it.

PUTTING IT TOGETHER

WINGS
Unlike its predecessor, the King Ghidorah 1968, this figure comes with the wings already permanently attached. This is a welcome change since the wings on the ’68 can sometimes pop out when handling the figure.

View of the magnetic tail connection.

TAIL
The tails come as a separate piece which you must connect. But, check this out: the usual “suction cup” and hole approach is out the window. Instead, you just touch the tail to the body and it pops in place, held by magnets. Tail assembly has never been easier.

The tail seems, at first, to do a good job of staying in place — even when you pick the figure up. But, there’s no guarantee it won’t fall off. Swift movement, bumping the tails against another figure or wandering pets could disengage the connection. Very often when I pick the figure up and put it back down, the tail falls off because they hit the shelf before the feet did.

Also, the joint isn’t that snug and can often wiggle in place. The degree to which this happens probably varies by each figure.

This connection does do its job when the figure is simply standing on the shelf. But it could come tumbling off when the figure is handled. If this bothers you, a dab of superglue on the butt might do the trick.

SCULPT

And here it is.

Toho Large Monster Series King Ghidorah 2001 vinyl figure by X-Plus.

The Toho Large Monster Series King Ghidorah 2001 is a f**king WORK OF ART.

It has a fantastic, movie-accurate sculpt. And on top of that, jaw-dropping fine details and truly stellar paint apps.

The official X-Plus photos really don’t do this figure’s good looks justice. You have to see it in front of you to truly appreciate all it has to offer.

Close-up of the spikes on the back.

SCALES
One of the first things you notice is the incredible, intricate work done on the scale texture. Literally each and every one of them is sculpted to appear as if they were actually individual pieces. The tips are raised, often with space under them. Like I said in my Ghidorah ’68 review, no idea how they pulled this guy out of the mold. This is just amazing work.

SPIKES
A series of fine individually sculpted spikes run down the backs of each neck. (They’re pretty pointy and can hurt if you grab them.)

I was surprised to see what these spikes do next. After running down each neck, they grow and form three toothy ridges on the figure’s back. This detail isn’t really visible in the movie; at least, not that I can recall. So, this X-Plus figure gave me a bonus lesson on the details of the suit.

Close-up of one of the wings.

WINGS
The wings look great and seem to match what’s in the movie. There’s a lot less going on in the wing membrane wrinkle department compared to the 1968 suit and figure. This can make them seem a little plain, especially to someone who has had the ’68 on their shelf for the past year or so. But the 2001 wings are smaller and so their digits are closer together creating adequate visual interest.

Each digit runs through the membrane and ends with a spike. You’ll have to be very careful with these since they can be snapped off rather easily. Not so much because they are overly fragile, but more because they’re at the ends of this figure’s widespread wings. Imagine opening an umbrella while standing in a closet. The spikes on your umbrella are going to hit something for sure. So always keep this in mind when picking this figure up.

As for their material, I assume they are made of ABS plastic just like King Ghidorah 1968 and both Mothra’s. X-Plus’ website says the body and tail are made of PVC but doesn’t mention the wings at all.

Close-up of the head sculpt.

HEADS
The head sculpts with their stubby snouts look accurate enough. And there’s a lot going on on each one. The bumps and wrinkles on the top of each head make one think of a snarling dog, making this guy a little bit meaner than he came off as in the movie. All three sets of three horns match the suit well and are in good proportion. The three-pronged bony plates (whiskers?) on the sides of the heads is very accurate when compared with photos.

Three angled views of the head sculpt.

Each mouth is filled with individually sculpted teeth. And, rather than simply being a cheap bump on the bottom of the mouth, each tongue is also individually sculpted. X-Plus does not skimp!

TAILS
Each tail has just as much intricacy and detail as does the front of the figure. The same attention to detail for each scale runs all the way down to each flared club of spikes at the ends. Also impressive is the way the sculptor accurately captured the way a foam and rubber tail would crease when it’s bent. Truly fantastic attention to detail here.

The Toho Large Monster Series King Ghidorah 2001 is a f**king WORK OF ART.

POSE

The Toho Large Monster Series King Ghidorah 2001 Version is posed in a standard, museum stance which accurately depicts the limited mobility of the suit and avoids any artistic exaggeration of movement.

Angle 1.
Angle 2.
Angle 3.
Angle 4.
Angle 5.
Angle 6.
Angle 7.
Angle 8.

The “personality” of position for each head is done exceptionally well. When you look at it, you could almost see the exact awkward puppeteering of each head bobbing up and down making them come off lighter in weight than they should.

All of this, combined with the excellent sculpt, make this figure even more a dead ringer for the real thing.

JOINTS & SEAMS

Close-up of the gap on the tail joint.

Super-detailed scales always make joints prone to noticeable gaps and, unfortunately, this new Ghidorah is no exception. The biggest offender on this figure is the tail joint.

The scales on this joint do fit together well across the joint. The problem is, though, that the tail does not have a super snug fit. This leaves a nasty gap. See the gap in the photo above? That can be closed, but another gap opens on the other side. It’s like the inside of the tail, where the magnets are, isn’t completely flat.

As I mentioned earlier in this review, though, not all figures seem to be the same so yours may look better.

Either way, this joint is in the back of the figure and you’re not likely to see it when your figure is standing on your shelf.

There is a line of lifted scales at the base of each neck where each connection is made. These aren’t very noticeable though unless the light hits them in a very specific way. They usually not noticed in casual viewing.

PAINT JOB

The Toho Large Monster Series King Ghidorah already has so much going for it. And on top of that it has five star paint work.

It’s base coat is comprised of a metallic gold which isn’t too shiny nor too dull. It has a sort of dirty gold quality to it. Even without any added shadows or highlights, it would still look fantastic because of the way light interacts with the color as well as the intricate details on the scale texture.

But fantastic isn’t enough because X-Plus added dark brown shadowing in the creases on the main body and a sort of bronze along all of the spike on the back of the necks down to the tips of the tails.

As is the norm with X-Plus’ paint applications, this figure has a reserved, deep red inside the mouth and the individually sculpted teeth are individually painted.

Once again, I’m stunned by the quality of the work done on the eyes. King Ghidorah’s eyes are straight red and outlined in black with black pupils. Even though the irises are so large, care was taken to still add white to the tiny, tiny space remaining.

This King Ghidorah requires more room than usual. Probably the most significant thing you’ll need to deal with is the wingspan which is a little over 23 inches!

SIZE

The Large Monster Series (Daikaiju Series) usually makes one think of figures reaching up only to ten inches at best small enough almost to stand on your hand. But now and then comes a figure so big that it looks like it belongs to the 30cm Series. The Toho Large Monster Series is on of those.

Part of the reason is this figure really is scaled larger than most of the other figures in the line. All of the vinyls based on the MM28 GMK kits are. This oversizing isn’t new. The Large Monster Series Shin Godzilla Fourth Form, Godzilla 1995 and Destoroyah are all too big for the line they’re in. (Though not large enough for the 30cm Series).

If this bothers you, just look at it the way I do: There’s a secret scale in between the two lines averaging 27.5cm for a Godzilla. I just try to keep them separate as if they were their own line. Bonus is, the entirety of the 30cm Series Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection is also in this range.

FOOTPRINT / ON THE SHELF

Top View of the X-Plus King Ghidorah 2001.

This King Ghidorah requires more room than usual. Probably the most significant thing you’ll need to deal with is the wingspan which is a little over 23 inches!

Next, the twin tails reach straight back. Sorry, there are no shelf-friendly curls to help you squeeze him closer to the wall on the shelf. They reach back 15 and a half inches from the front toes. Make that 19.5 inches if you go by the tips of the tails to the tips of the noses. But those heads really aren’t a part of this figures footprint since they don’t come into contact with the shelf.

To sum up: this larger-than-usual figure reaches out with limbs and such in all four directions making it a certified shelf hog. But, as I’ve been saying for years now… it’s a good problem to have. This thing is big and beautiful.

SIZE COMPARISONS

Size comparison with the Large Monster Series Mothra 2001 and Baragon 2001.

THE GUARDIANS OF EARTH
As many of you already know, the Toho Large Monster Series King Ghidorah 2001 by X-Plus uses a sculpt from the MonsterMaker 28 (MM28) resin kit. The recently released Favorite Sculptors Line Large Monster Series Mothra 2001 and Baragon 2001 set are also from MM28 kits. All three are meant to scale with each other.

Origins aside, here’s a size comparison of all three. King Ghidorah may look too big for the bunch, but it is as it should be. Both Mothra and Baragon were shorties in 2001’s Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack.

Also resurrected from MM28, the Favorite Sculptors Line Large Monster Series Godzilla 2001 will be released soon, so you’ll be able to own a complete GMK kaiju line-up.

Size Comparison with the original Large Monster Series Godzilla 2001 and the Yuji Sakai Godzilla 2001.

WITH GODZILLA 2001 FIGURES
The Favorite Sculptors Line Godzilla 2001 mentioned above isn’t your only option for pairing with this King Ghidorah. On the left is the Large Monster Series Godzilla 2001 (review) which came out eight (!) years ago. It scales fairly well with KG. They are, after all, from the same line. But, it is a tad under in height compared to the Favorite Sculptors line version.

On the right is the Toho 30cm Series Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection Godzilla 2001 (review) which you are more likely to already have on your shelf since it’s a more recent release and has also been reissued in North America through Diamond Distributors.

This one is technically part of the 30cm Series. However, as we all know, all of the figures in the Yuji Sakai Modeling collection are too short for that line. Seeing as how this Sakai figure is the same height as the upcoming Favorite Sculptors Line version, it scales just fine with this King Ghidorah.

Size comparison with the Large Monster Series King Ghidorah 1968.

KING GHIDORAH 1968
Here’s a size comparison with the KG that started the current rush of Ghidorahs we’ve been getting from X-Plus, the Toho Large Monster Series King Ghidorah 1968 (review). You can see more of this figure at my review at the last link. And, you can still grab one from me at Flossie’s, too.

Size comparison with Large Monster Series Godzilla 1968, Godzilla 1966, Mechagodzilla 1975 and Jet Jaguar.

WITH SHOWA LARGE MONSTER SERIES FIGURES
Here is a comparison with other 25cm Series figures: (left to right) Large Monster Series Godzilla 1968 (my first review!), Godzilla 1966, Mechagodzilla 1975 and Jet Jaguar (review).

Size comparison with a blu ray.

WITH REAL WORLD OBJECT
Don’t have any X-Plus figures yet? Here’s a size comparison with a blu-ray disc to give you an idea of how “big” it is.

RIC BOY EXCLUSIVE

Standard and Ric side-by-side comparison.

PHOTO: JIM CIRRONELLA

A RIC exclusive version of this figure was available to purchase direct from X-Plus. It’s extra feature was a spattering of glitter which I assume was to reproduce King Ghidorah’s look after a dying Mothra transferred all of her life energy into the beaten and inanimate dragon.

It’s likely that this detail isn’t photographed easily as you can see in the above Standard / Ric side-by-side photo provided by collector, Jim Cirronella.

SUMMARY

Extra 4 - High forward 3/4 angle.

The Toho Large Monster Series King Ghidorah 2001 vinyl figure by X-Plus has a fantastic, movie-accurate sculpt, a dazzling spread of seemingly individually sculpted scales, an insanely awesome paint job (which you really do need to see in person to fully appreciate) and an amazing “presence” on the shelf.

The one (big) downside is a tail overly willing to disconnect and fall off during handling. This isn’t a problem, though, when it’s just standing on your shelf looking pretty. And, it is one helluva beaut!

Overall, this vinyl really is a knock out. I feel it’s probably the best Large Monster Series vinyl of 2017, and also a contender for best X-Plus vinyl overall for 2017.

MORE INFORMATION

Archived Large Monster Series King Ghidorah 2001 RIC page on Ric Boy Site.
Large Monster Series King Ghidorah 2001 High Resolution Photos at SciFiJapan.com.
GodzillaFanFreaks Reviews the X-Plus Large Monster Series King Ghidorah 2001.
Rich Eso Reviews the Large Monster Series King Ghidorah 2001 vinyl figure by X-Plus.

• RELATED: Full Review: X-Plus Toho Large Monster Series King Ghidorah 1968.
• RELATED: Full Review: X-Plus Toho Large Monster Series Godzilla 2001.
• RELATED: X-Plus 30cm Series Godzilla 2001 (GMK) Vinyl Figure Review.

X-TRAS

Extra view 1 - head close-up.

Extra View 3 - High, rear angle.

Extra 4 - The Guardian Monsters.

Extra: Large Monster Series King Ghidorah 2001 vs. 30cm Series Yuji Sakai Godzilla 2001.

Extra: Large Monster Series King Ghidorah 2001 vs. 30cm Series Yuji Sakai Godzilla 2001.

Extra View 2 - Silhouette.

COLLECTOR’S GALLERY


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By |2018-03-04T21:06:13+00:00March 4th, 2018|Categories: Kaiju Addicts Reviews|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

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