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Godzilla (2001)

by yo go re

I've said before that I haven't seen many Godzilla films, and that's still true, so "my" Godzilla is whichever one Art Adams draws. This one seems pretty close.

This toy is based on 2001's Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, part of the "Millennium era." The defining trait of the Millennium series was that most of the films were standalone continuities, with few ties to other movies. The lengthily named GMKGGMAOA for instance, is a sequel to the original 1954 movie and nothing else (though there is a nod to/jab at the 1998 American abomination).

The movie's writer, Shusuke Kaneko, intended his version of Godzilla to be evil, so designer Fuyuki Shinada created a monster who fit that directive. The suit that immediately preceded this one, "MireGoji," was very angular, but this one returns to a more classic head. The snout is squarish, with two large fangs in the front and a pronounced overbite, and the eyes are blank white in order to make him seem more sinister.

The original plan was for GMKGoji to have a horizontal stance, like a tyrannosaurus, but that proved to be too stressful for the man in the suit (Mizuho Yoshida), so instead he ended up with a hunched-over posture that the toy duplicates well. The real suit was the largest used in the movies, standing 7'2". This figure is just over 6" tall, but might reach 7" if it were able to stand more vertically.

They wanted this Godzilla to look bigger and stronger than the other monsters, so the body is very thick and muscular. The legs, in particular, are quite thick! He has large feet with three claws on the ground and one raised up slightly, and his thumb and forefinger claws are larger than the other two on each hand (though an assembly error on my specific toy means that he has two left hands). The scale texture is very regular and even, though still intricately sculpted and molded. The dorsal fins are large but rounded, and the tail comes to a fine point.

As always, the articulation in this line is plentiful. Big G moves at the jaw, head, neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, fingers, torso, hips, knees, ankles, and at four points in the tail. As mentioned, he has a very bent posture, but that just makes him look like he's squatting for extra power. The way the head can look all around adds plenty of personality to whatever pose you put him in, as well.

While MireGoji was the first Godzilla suit to actually be green, GMKGoji went back to the traditional charcoal color. He gets bone-colored aps for his claws and teeth, while the spikes on his back are white at the tips, fading as they near the body. The eyes are of course pure white, but the interior of the mouth is pink, reassuring us that this isn't just a grayscale action figure.

There is an SH MonsterArts Godzilla 2001 available, but it will cost you four times as much as NECA's version without offering four times the quality. And while further research has informed me that Art Adams' Godzilla is probably based on the 1989 "BioGoji" suit, this is a pretty cool design.

-- 12/04/16

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