Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Original Figure Review - X-Plus Toho 30cm Series Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection Godzilla 1989

Time and time again I have always wondered if we'd ever see any of Yuji Sakai's sculpts released by X-Plus. For those unaware of who Yuji Sakai is, he is essentially the master sculptor of anything Godzilla. You'd be most familiar with his work with Bandai's S.H. MonsterArts action figures, but he also releases his own line of model kits through his own company. One of his most famous and most recognizable designs is the concept design for Godzilla 2000, which has had various figure and model kit releases. 

The joining of Sakai's sculpts with X-Plus was something I had been wishing for quite a while. When X-Plus first unveiled his sculpt for Godzilla 1989 (from the film Godzilla vs. Biollante,) it came as a surprise to most. While the figure was released in the Toho 30cm Series figure line, it is also part of a new sub-series called the Yuji Sakai Modeling Collection, which implies that more of Sakai's sculpts will eventually be released by X-Plus sometime in the future. 

So how does his Godzilla 1989 sculpt stack up? Let us take a look...

First off let's take a look at the box. The box for the figure is definitely not as flashy as those for the regular Toho 30cm Series figures, however it shows off the product effectively. It reminds me of something one would buy in the 90s. Perhaps the old-school design was intentional. Who knows. Regardless, it's one of the weaker packaging designs while not being overtly bad. Since I bought the RIC Boy Exclusive version of the figure, it has a distinct yellow sticker that separates this figure from the standard release. 

When you take the figure out of the box, Godzilla 1989 comes in three seperate pieces: the main body, and two tail sections. All that one needs to do is warm up the vinyl with a hairdryer. Once it's "squishy-soft" insert the tail sections into their respective sockets, and await it to cool down. Voila, you have yourself a complete figure! 

What sets this figure out of the rest of the Toho 30cm Series is that Sakai sculpted this figure in a pose directly taken from Godzilla vs. Biollante, more specifically, the scene where Godzilla rampages through the city of Osaka. 

Keeping with Sakai's style, he has meticulously sculpted this figure to resemble Godzilla's onscreen appearance. The detailing on the figure is quite sharp and spot on. 

The one aspect in detail that I have an issue with are the teeth. On many X-Plus figures, the teeth have been individually painted. However, on this figure, all the teeth seem to have been painted all at once. While they don't look too bad, it's just a bit of a step back from what X-Plus is capable of in regards to paint and detailing. Still, this does not deter from the rest of the figure. It's only an issue that one would notice if a person looks at the figure close-up. From what I've noticed this issue varies from figure to figure. Some look better than others. 

Godzilla's dorsal plates are pretty well sculpted. While the standard version of the figure has spines sculpted in regular soft vinyl, the RIC Boy version has spines sculpted out of semi-translucent vinyl. This is due to the light-up gimmick that is exclusive to the internet RIC Boy exclusive version of the figure. Frankly, I think this aspect of the figure is pretty accurate to the suit it's based off of.

In order to activate the light up gimmick on the RIC Boy exclusive Sakai Godzilla 1989 figure, there is a cap over a socket on the heel of the left foot. Remove the cap and plug in the battery pack, also included with the figure. Switch on the 'On' switch, and there you have it!

The light up feature is limited to just the dorsal plates on the main body. All three rows light up with the brightest closer to their base and fading out towards the top. It's definitely a neat feature. While light-up gimmicks aren't exactly everyone's 'cup of tea,' so to speak, it's pretty nifty and makes for a unique display pieces - unless you have other X-Plus RIC Boy Godzilla figures that have the light-up gimmick. 

The Yuji Sakai Godzilla 1989 by X-Plus has turned out to be one of their finer figures in regards to accuracy, but despite being in the 30cm line, it stands a shy of a foot, smaller than X-Plus' previous 30cm Godzilla 1989 figure. Still, that's a minor complaint for a figure that I practically adore. Hopefully we are treated to more Sakai sculpts in the future from X-Plus.

Now all we need is a 30cm Godzilla 1991....  I am (im)patiently waiting for one!

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