Bluefin Biollante and King Ghidorah Release Update

X-Plus Biollante and King Ghidorah Bluefin Reissue vinyl figures.

X-Plus Biollante Bluefin Reissue now expected in December 2016
X-Plus King Ghidorah Bluefin Reissue will be here in 2-3 weeks

The North American reissues of the X-Plus Large Monster Series Biollante and Large Monster Series King Ghidorah vinyl figures, to be put out through Bluefin Distribution, have had several setbacks with release. They were originally expected to arrive last July.

The problem started when X-Plus visited the factory and became unsatisfied with one of the aspects of the Biollante figure’s production. In an effort to put out the best product that they can, they ordered the run to be corrected.

Meanwhile the King Ghidorah figures passed inspection and sat quietly, waiting for the new Bio’s to be completed so that they could be shipped together to Bluefin in the U.S.

Bluefin Distribution pressed X-Plus about this issue just as much as end collectors pressed their stores. They are aware of the commitment they’ve made to X-Plus fans and have, at least, arranged to have the King Ghidorah figures ship on their own, ahead of Biollante.

Actually, King Ghidorah has already been at sea for two weeks now. If the ship is met with continued calm seas, it could be here in only two weeks. Any rough weather or encounters with sea kaiju could double that time.

As for Biollante: her new expected release date is December 2016. Yes, two more months. Aargh! But, please don’t be angry with Bluefin. They’re just as frustrated as all of us.

Factory time in China is hard to come by and the schedules are packed tight. The reworking of Biollante was probably squeezed into the schedule at the earliest date possible.

I know two more months of waiting is disappointing. But you will be floored when you do get this beast of a vinyl.

As for King Ghidorah, you can clear a space on your shelves now. Everyone’s favorite uchuu kaiju will soon be landing!

By |2017-05-28T07:57:28-04:00October 20th, 2016|Categories: X-PLUS NEWS|Tags: , , |Comments Off on Bluefin Biollante and King Ghidorah Release Update

X-Plus Godzilla at SDCC; Four More Vinyls for North America Revealed

Get ready, North America. Even more X-Plus is on the way!

Both Diamond and Bluefin, distributors of X-Plus North American releases, have made new reveals this weekend at San Diego Comic-Con. And some of them are really surprising.

Godzilla 12in Series Godzilla 2000: Millennium

Godzilla 12in Series Godzilla 2000: Millennium vinyl figure on display at SDCC.
PHOTO: KEVIN DeANTONIO

It looks like we’re getting another Godzilla 2000 from Diamond. It’s in addition to the 30cm Series Godzilla 1999/2000 already released by X-Plus in December 2013 which is due to be reissued in North America through Diamond in March 2017.

I’ve read (on the Facebook groups) that this vinyl will be based on an old KOC resin kit which came out around the same time the movie did. It seems to be a bit shorter than other figures in the Godzilla 12in Series (Toho 30cm Series) but this could be due to its forward lean in the pose.

The really, really interesting thing about this news is that a Japanese release from X-Plus has not happened yet. This is totally weird and unprecedented.

Will Japan still get it first? Will be a North American release only? Or, could it be that X-Plus is beginning to sync their Japanese releases with their North American releases so that every one everywhere gets one at the same time? I really don’t know, but that would be fucking sweet.

Godzilla 12in Series Godzilla 2014

30cm Series Godzilla 2014 on display at SDCC.
PHOTOS: KEVIN DeANTONIO

The 30cm Series Godzilla 2014 is now on display at the Diamond booth at SDCC.

It’s actually been planned for quite some time now. In fact, Diamond probably could have been announced it at the same time as they did the ’84, ’92, ’04 and the two Sakai’s. Perhaps they were saving it to make more of a splash at the convention.

Here’s hoping that they reissue the Roaring Version at some point as well.

Godzilla 12in Series Godzilla 2001

30cm Series Yuji Sakai Godzilla 2001 vinyl figure at Diamond's SDCC booth.
PHOTO: KEVIN DeANTONIO

The Toho 30cm Series Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection Godzilla 2001 is also now on display at the Diamond booth at SDCC.

The first release happened a mere four months ago in Japan and it seems way, way too early for a Diamond Reissue. I’m guessing, though, that it probably won’t be until late 2017 before you can get your hands on it. (If you want it NOW: we still have two of the Japanese originals available at Flossie’s.)

On to Bluefin

Since the Diamond Reissues first showed up, North American collectors have been getting hit on two fronts. Enter Bluefin, and the Great Three-Front War on our wallets.

Bluefin is about to release reissues of the Large Monster Series Biollante and King Ghidorah. They are now on display at Bluefin’s booth at SDCC and are due to be released later this month.

Bandai Gigantic Series Godzilla 1995 at SDCC 2016.
PHOTO: KEVIN DeANTONIO

Also on display at the Bluefin booth is the Bandai Gigantic Series Godzilla 1995 (1999°C Version) SDCC Exclusive. (No, it doesn’t light up. That light is coming from the table.)

Now back to the new reveals. The final vinyl surprise from SDCC is…

Yuji Sakai’s Work Masterpiece Art Collection No. 1 (Godzilla 1954 Still Version)

Bluefin's Yuji Sakai's Work Masterpiece Art Collection No. 1 Godzilla 1954 vinyl figure.
PHOTO: STEVE CERAGIOLI

The second of the two biggest surprises from SDCC (kaiju-figure-wise) is an upcoming vinyl version of Yuji Sakai’s Godzilla 1954 Still Version.

And, yep, it’s another train biter.

You probably noticed Godzilla’s funky mug in the photo above. It’s not sloppy work but rather a piece of Godzilla history in three dimensions.

I’m not a Godzilla expert or anything but I believe Mr. Sakai had based this sculpt on a 1954 publicity still photo which had a lot of painting touch-ups performed upon it. Back then they used to paint on photos to change something, correct errors or make something clearer. (It was the early 20th century’s version of Photoshopping.)

Take a look:

Touched up publicity still from Godzilla (1954).
TM & © TOHO CO., LTD.

Sakai’s original resin version is 23.5cm (9.25 inches) tall. So, consider this a Large Monster Series entry.

If you have Sakai’s book Godzilla Dream Evolution, turn to page 82 for four crisp photos of the original resin.

This announcement is particularly interesting because, like the vinyl version of the KOC Godzilla 2000 mentioned at the top of this post, this figure has not yet been released by X-Plus in Japan yet. What’s going on here??

ART COLLECTION?
Also interesting is the name of the line on the back wall: Yuji Sakai’s Work Masterpiece Art Collection.

“Collection”? “No. 1”?

This is totally conjecture on my part, but it sounds to me like they plan to release a series of Mr. Sakai’s more playful work including maquettes, poster versions, busts, etc. There are quite a few to choose from. Again, open up your Godzilla Dream Evolution book and take a look at the possibilities.

If you don’t own the Godzilla Dream Evolution book, we have some available at Flossie’s.

No word on prices or release dates yet. Our on-the-spot reporter, Kevin DeAntonio, will attempt to get some facts on Sunday. If he’s successful, I’ll update this post.

By |2017-05-28T07:57:31-04:00July 23rd, 2016|Categories: X-PLUS NEWS|Tags: , , , , , , |Comments Off on X-Plus Godzilla at SDCC; Four More Vinyls for North America Revealed

Correction: Gigantic Series Godzilla 1995 NOT Available to Take Home from G-Fest; Pre-order Only

Bluefin's Gigantic Series Godzilla 1995 SDCC Exclusive on display at G-Fest.
PHOTO: RICH ESO

I had previously reported that Bluefin’s Gigantic Series Godzilla 1995 SDCC Exclusive would be available to purchase at G-Fest. I also said that you would be able to buy one and take it home with you.

Bluefin’s Media Department told me this point blank right on the phone. It turns out that’s all wrong.

The Gigantic Series Godzilla 1995 SDCC Exclusive can be preordered at G-Fest only. $499 is required up front.

The plus side to this is, you don’t have to lug it home and you can get it shipped to you in late July for ONLY $35! (Bluefin gets great discounted rates from FedEx and UPS because of the volume and frequency of their shipping.)

By |2017-05-28T07:57:33-04:00July 16th, 2016|Categories: X-PLUS NEWS|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on Correction: Gigantic Series Godzilla 1995 NOT Available to Take Home from G-Fest; Pre-order Only

Bluefin Announces Bandai Gigantic Series Godzilla 1995 SDCC Exclusive. Will be Available at G-Fest for Preorder

You have another chance to grab one of the ultimate Godzilla collectibles, the Gigantic Burning Godzilla

Bandai Gigantic Series Godzilla 1995 SDCC Exclusive vinyl figure from Bluefin.
PHOTO: BANDAI / BLUEFIN DISTRIBUTION

Bluefin Distribution today announced the Gigantic Series Godzilla 1995 (1999°C Version) SDCC Exclusive vinyl figure. It will be available “exclusively” through Bandai‘s official North American distributor, Bluefin, at both the SDCC and G-Fest conventions (in San Diego and Chicago, respectively) this very month. (More on availability later in this post).

The figure is limited to only 500 units worldwide.

It has a highly stylized sculpt based on Godzilla’s appearance in the 1995 film Godzilla vs. Destoroyah. It is truly MASSIVE at nearly 19 inches tall and about 34 inches long! Out of the box, the figure weighs nearly 8 pounds.

Most of the figure is made with heavy, translucent vinyl. Yellow, orange and red paint applications, applied from the inside, interact with the clear and refractive properties on the outside for a truly AMAZING reproduction of the fiery patches seen in the movie.

This figure has quickly become a prized fan/collector favorite as it literally exudes the fierceness and power of the “spirit” of the monster. This piece is sure to be a highlight, if not the main star, of your Godzilla collection.

Not X-Plus?

Even though this figure is created from the same mold which X-Plus used, X-Plus’ name is nowhere to be found on the box nor the press materials. It’s referred to as coming from either a “Bandai Vendor” or “Bandai Gashapon”.

I don’t pretend to understand the relationship between X-Plus and Bandai, but I do know that it’s tight. X-Plus obtains all of their Toho licenses from a company called Plex (you can see their logo on all of your X-Plus boxes.) And Plex is the licensing arm of Bandai.

Okay, whatever. At the end of the day, it’s still the “same” thing with only minor differences.

Unboxing Video

A Bluefin employee tackles the gigantic box (with the help of Bluefin brand manager for X-Plus). It’s not for the faint-hearted. He nearly butchers the box—I guess he’s excited, too!

Bluefin/Bandai GBG vs. X-Plus GBG: The Differences

This new version of the figure is created from the same mold which X-Plus used for their version (released back in August 2014). But there are a few key differences.

THE TAIL
The tail comes completely and permanently attached on this version—hence the need for the insidiously huge box. That’s a nice feature, but only after you get it home. SDCC and G-Fest attendees will have a serious dilemma when it comes to carting this thing back to the cave, especially since most attendees will be traveling from afar.

Half of the X-Plus version came with tails that are overly and easily convinced to disconnect when handled, but their box sizes were much, much more manageable than this new behemoth.

MORE FIERY PATCHES
The outline of the fiery patches on Godzilla’s neck, chest and thighs are created by determining where the asphalt black would end on the outside. On this new figure, there is more fire. Whereas the X-Plus version had little hints of orange on the neck, this new Bluefin/Bandai version is much hotter. There’s more to see across the neck with patches reaching further up and additional “veins” of fire and that’s as it should be if you go by the movie. Bluefin/Bandai version wins here.

They’re also more colorful. As stated in the video, “The orange is a much brighter, more vibrant color.” Yes, ’tis true. They are indeed much brighter. But don’t knock my X-Plus and make it sound like the new one is superior, buddy! One could argue that the brighter colors make it look more toylike. 😛

PEARLY WHITES
The smaller, outer rows of dorsal fins on the back, and all over the tail are much brighter and whiter on the Bluefin/Bandai version. There are darker, ashy whites on the X-Plus version which I feel is more reserved and realistic. You decide.

TOES
Though not really visible in the video, it’s stated that there is more paint detail on the claws of the hands and feet. One more point for the Bluefin/Bandai version.

EYES
Finally, the eyes on the Bluefin/Bandai version are brighter and certainly more “piercing”. Seeing as how this figure is already stylized, that’s a definite plus.

Side view of Bluefin's Bandai Gigantic Series Godzilla 1995.
PHOTO: BANDAI / BLUEFIN DISTRIBUTION

That’s it. It’s practically the same aside from some differences in the paint. If you are an X-Plus purist, I think you’ll find this version of the figure will fit in just fine. You could even casually still refer to it as an X-Plus.

How to Get a Bluefin/Bandai Gigantic Series Godzilla 1995

UPDATE: The Bluefin Press Release was utterly wrong about this figure being available at G-Fest. It turns out they’re only taking pre-orders in Chicago.

The Gigantic Series Godzilla 1995 (1999°C Version) will first be available for pre-order at G-Fest XXIII, being held this year from July 15 thru July 17 at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare.

It will then be available at San Diego Comic-Con, July 21 thru July 24 at the San Diego Convention Center.

THE GIGANTIC PRICE
The suggested retail price is $500. Yep, half a grand. The original X-Plus Ric 2014 Release was almost a C-note less. But those days are gone. This is now an exclusive and highly limited run. If you want/need one, start planning right now!

THE GRAY MARKET
No doubt, the gray market will be ready to jump on this. If it does, be prepared for high markups on Ebay. And, don’t forget to factor in the insane shipping cost this huge box will demand.

Better yet, don’t take a chance. Get your ass to G-Fest or SDCC. Don’t forget to bring a truck!

Getting it home

Take it to the UPS Store and ship it to yourself. I’m not saying this is the best way to do it. But if you traveled to get to the con, it’s probably the only way.

Just keep in mind that the bill will be… gigantic.

For SDCC, there are several UPS Stores in the 92101 zip code, but the closest is 5 minutes away at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina.

The only question now is, how the hell do you get it to the UPS store?

[NOTE: I’m not familiar with San Diego so please research this online yourself and plan ahead!]

DRIVING TO THE CON?
The box will probably not fit into your car. But you could take it out of the box, collapse the box and squeeze the foam sides in separately. Just plan ahead and bring a blanket or something to wrap the figure in so it doesn’t get scuffed on the trip back home.

If you don’t already own the X-Plus Gigantic Series Godzilla 1995, I sincerely hope you find a way to grab the Bluefin / Bandai version. This thing is badass. It’s highly detailed, badass, huge, badass and it’s badass!

NOTES:
• This figure does NOT light up.
• According to Bluefin’s media department, this figure WILL be at G-Fest. You will be able to buy one and take one home with you.
• It’s not clear yet whether or not Bandai is holding on to any of this run to be made available in Japan or other world markets. But, this is a possibility. If you don’t live in the U.S., pay attention, just in case.
• Click here to See the Kaiju Addicts Review of the X-Plus Gigantic Series Godzilla 1995 for tons of photos and more details on that version.
• SPECIAL THANKS to collector Michael Farrah for letting me know there was a Bluefin Press Release out there and for forwarding it to me!

By |2017-05-28T07:57:33-04:00July 12th, 2016|Categories: X-PLUS NEWS|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

North American Re-issues of X-Plus Biollante and King Ghidorah Preorders Open; Shipping in July

Large Monster Series Biollante Bluefin Reissue.

The time has come! Big monsters about to march!

The North American re-issues of the Toho Large Monster Series Biollante and the Toho Large Monster Series King Ghidorah 1968 by X-Plus are now open for preorders.

Originally planned to be distributed by Diamond Distributors, who already have the license for all of the Toho 30cm Series (or 1/6 Scale figures as the lawyers like to call them), these two vinyl behemoths will be distributed by Bluefin.

Bluefin is the California-based distributor responsible for bringing us westerners the S.H. MonsterArts line. And they now have the North American license for all of X-Plus’ Large Monster Series (or, as the lawyers call them: 1/8 scale figures).

SEARCHING FOR THEM ONLINE
These two figures technically have new series names, which, of course, we will all ignore. But you might want to take note of them just the same. They are the 8″ TOHO Kaiju Biollante and the 8″ TOHO Kaiju King Ghidorah. These new monikers are misleading since Biollante is 12″ tall and King Ghidorah reaches up to 18.5″.

The 8″ must somehow refer to the Large Monster Series scaling but still does not make sense since most of the figures in that series are 10″. Whatever! Just take note of the new names for when searching for them online since some stores will use them.

If you’d like to search by UPC (a practice becoming more common) Biollante’s code is 4532149013420 and King Ghidorah’s is 4532149013413.

Large Monster Series King Ghidorah 1968 Bluefin Reissue.

PRE-ORDER DEADLINE
Pre-orders are now being taken online at stores like Big Bad Toy Store right now. We at Flossie’s Gifts & Collectibles are also taking orders. Payment plans will be available.

When pre-orders end for each store is, of course, up to each store. But know this: the deadline for orders from stores to get their big order in to Bluefin is April 30. You might be wise to get your order in a little bit before then.

If you see a store still taking preorders after April 30, that just means either they ordered extras ahead of time — or — they didn’t update their site to show that orders are capped. So be careful and get your order in early!

PRICES
Biollante has a suggested retail price of $469.99. King Ghidorah’s SRP is $429.99.

Note that most stores will have similar pricing and won’t stray very far from the SRP’s.

ORDER FROM A PLACE CLOSE TO YOU GEOGRAPHICALLY
Biollante’s box is huge! And King Ghidorah’s isn’t so small either. Also, keep in mind that X-Plus has probably modified King Ghidorah’s box to prevent the broken figures which plagued collectors when the original Japanese release came out. This may mean a bigger box. You’d do well to find a store close to your state and order from there to try to save on some shipping $$.

RELATED: See the Kaiju Addicts Full Review of the X-Plus King Ghidorah 1968 here.

By |2017-05-28T07:57:37-04:00April 6th, 2016|Categories: X-PLUS NEWS|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on North American Re-issues of X-Plus Biollante and King Ghidorah Preorders Open; Shipping in July

X-Plus Biollante, King Ghidorah Spotted at NYCC… on Bluefin’s Table

The X-Plus Biollante vinyl figure at the Bluefin Booth at NYCC, October 2015.

PHOTO: KEVIN LEUNG

Recently, I posted that Michael Cherkowsky from Vampire Robots had read a press release that the X-Plus Biollante and King Ghidorah which were originally going to come from Diamond Distributors are now coming from Bluefin Distribution instead.

Looks like we have our first piece of confirmation on that as this photo from Kevin Leung clearly shows. Biollante is sitting on one of Bluefin’s tables at New York Comic Con along with some Gigantic Series Dragonball Z figures, also by X-Plus.

X-Plus King Ghidorah vinyl figure at Bluefin's booth at NYCC, October 2015.

PHOTO: KEVIN LEUNG

The Toho Large Monster Series King Ghidorah showed up at Bluefin’s booth a little later. Fantastic news for those who missed out on this figure. It really is one of the best X-Plus has done. Let’s just hope they modified their packaging in an effort to prevent another wave of broken horns and necks.

(See my Review for the original release of the Large Monster Series King Ghidorah 1968 here.)

Also on display at Diamond’s NYCC booth were the X-Plus Space Godzilla, Kiryu, Gigan 1972, Gigan 2004, Titanosaurus and Rodan.

Keep watching my Diamond Re-Issue Release Schedule for more updates. (Looks like I might have to change the name to the Diamond/Bluefin Reissue Release Schedule!)

By |2017-05-28T07:57:44-04:00October 8th, 2015|Categories: X-PLUS NEWS|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on X-Plus Biollante, King Ghidorah Spotted at NYCC… on Bluefin’s Table