JAPAN RELEASE: December 2011
JAPAN SOFT VERSION REISSUE: May 2018
NORTH AMERICAN (DIAMOND) REISSUE: July 2018
SERIES: Large Monster Series
MATERIAL: SOFT VINYL
FROM: “Godzilla vs. Hedorah (Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster)”, 1971
HEIGHT: 8.25 inches / 20.95 cm
WIDTH: About 7 inches (foot to foot, not including tail) / About 17.78 cm
LENGTH: (head to tail): About 10.5 inches / 26.67 cm
REVIEW AND PHOTOS: JOHN STANOWSKI
The murky, smog-eating kaiju Hedorah was once accused of ruining the Godzilla franchise but has since become a favorite among many. To me, Hedorah is one of the most interesting of the Godzilla monsters.
Hedorah wasn’t as easy to “read” as the other anthropomorphic kaijus and this made him downright creepy. (As creepy as you can get for a Godzilla movie anyway.) You could always tell when Gigan, Titanosaurus or Mechagodzilla were pissed off, when they were going to charge, etc. etc. But Hedorah acted more like an animal. He just stood there and stared; always calculating his next move behind those two big red eyes. This is why Hedorah is a personal favorite and why I was really glad to pick this guy up in vinyl form!
The X-Plus 25cm Large Monster Series Hedorah (Landing Stage) vinyl figure portrays the slimy beast in his “landing stage” between giant tadpole and full adult. This is how Hedorah appeared when he first flew out of the sea and made landfall in order to feast on smoke stack emissions and melt the flesh of anyone unlucky enough to be nearby.
It’s a great likeness. There aren’t very many scenes of Hedorah in this stage, but what you do get to see this figure matches up with fantastically. And looking closer, every drip, drape and piece of goop seems to have gotten adequate attention from the sculptor. The head, being the only feature that really isn’t a droopy mess is faithfully reproduced and instantly recognizable. And the eyes are as creepy as ever!
The X-Plus 25cm series Hedorah is mostly smooth but does some fine rough detail here and there. And, once again, this figure attempts to reproduce the actual suit and this is overly evident in this case with the presence of what basically amounts to a loincloth between his legs (this detail would have been removed immediately by a sculptor making a stylized verison).
JOINTS & SEAMS
This figure does have a couple of eyesores. Although there are seams and lines here and there, they’re mostly unnoticeable, except for two. There’s a big ‘ol line running around the waist. And the area where the top part of the tail meets the back has a hideous gap which, fortunately, only the back of the shelf gets to see.
The X-Plus 25cm series Hedorah hunches forward following the same dynamic set by his droopy tendrils. This pose reminds me of the scene where he leaned over to feast on the emissions of a smouldering smoke stack.
The arms are articulated at the shoulder and can be posed to lurch forward like Frankenstein or allowed to droop straight down. Letting the arm hang down may be preferable. I recently learned from another collector that in summer his 25cm Hedorah softens up and falls on his face. My figure seems pretty steady in his stance but after investigating I did realize that if his front toes did get soft, he would be front heavy. Having the arms extended in summer seems like it would make him even more unbalanced.
There isn’t much to say here. Hedorah is almost uniformly a drab and flat, smokey, dark, ash gray. There are some super subtle greenish highlights which can be seen only if you look for them. Nicely done dirty yellow splotches cover his back and portions of his head. Though obviously not painted, the eyes are the final component to Hedorah’s color palette with a dark red base and intricately spiked orange pupils which look fantastic.
Although this figure may seem a tad shiny in these photos, it’s really an uneventful flat gray in person which pales, shrivels up and dies in comparison to the paint job on the 30cm Hedorah which, I admit, I’m not completely sure it should match. It’s possible this stage of Hedorah appeared flatter in the movie.
Hedorah fits in nicely with his other kaiju buddies in the same scale. True, he’s shorter but that’s because he’s hunching forward.
The Large Monster Series Hedorah is only about half as tall as his 30cm brother (sister?). And when not gulping down plumes of toxic smoke, Hedorah really likes Coke. That’s not saying much for all you junk food junkies out there.
Hedorah does not need a lot of room to display. His tail curves to the left (his right) and is easily tucked behind the nearest neighbor.
The higher he’s placed, the better Hedorah looks on the shelf. I had this figure on a shelf about waist high ever since I got him last January and always felt he looked like he was hiding his face. While doing this review I placed him on top of my Mac Pro and realized how much better it looks at eye level or above.