There’s no denying that many were put off by Playmates attempts at bringing awesome Godzilla/monster figures to toy aisles, what with some of the odd design choices covered in my last post. That said, as soon as images of their toys based on the upcoming Godzilla VS Kong were revealed, I was intrigued. There was no denying that the figures themselves looked better designed, so when they finally showed up here in the UK, I knew I had to pick some up.
I bought three monsters from Smyths Toys for the not-so-princely sum of £10 each. Maybe it’s because I’ve been happily spending more plus postage costs on Japanese Bandai Movie Monsters figures, but £10 for a figure based on a monster seems pretty cheap. Like the previous line, the figures come attached to a cardboard backing with minimal plastic. Again, much better for the enviroment, but
fussy bitches serious collectors may not be happy with ordering online instead of in-store as figures may arrive with some minor paint dings.
Kong looks much more impressive than the younger Skull Island version found in the previous Playmates line. Whereas that version had a bored looking expression on his face, this one is fiercely snarling. He has greater articulation that the previous figure, giving some nice posable options. He also comes equipped with an impressive looking axe as can be seen in this picture of him impersonating a Tusken Raider.
If the head of the axe isn’t constructed from a spike ripped off of Godzilla’s back, then I won’t expect anything ever again. I mean there’s always a chance it’s not though, as toy companies haven’t always been completely accurate with their representations of onscreen things. Maybe it’s a weapon made out of a Mothra tit. Probably not though. What the hell am I even on about? No idea.
The absolute coolest part of this Kong figure is that it borrows a nifty little feature from Kenner’s Jurassic park line from my childhood! Kong has removable flesh to imply ‘battle damage’!
From this angle, Kong looks less angry and more like he’s gormlessly confused, almost as if he’s wondering “Uuuuh where did I leave that bit of skin that used to be on my arm?”
The battle damage feature is excellent though, and really adds an extra element of playability when you’re making these monsters batter the absolute shit out of each other.
Oh, here he is in comparison next to last years Playmates figure, along with the Raymundo version of the Kong from 1967’s King Kong Escapes, and the Y-MSF Skull Island Kong.
Onto the other two figures I picked up!
Although I don’t really remember much about the Skull Island movie, I do remember this race of beastie, and if I recall correctly, it was a complete bastard to the ragtag bunch of survivors who end up on Skull Island. Out of the three figures that I purchased, Crawler is probably my least favourite, but it does come with a little vehicle thing, which looks a bit like the attack vehicle in the 1984 Godzilla movie.
Crawler also comes with the battle damaged feature, although it’s too big of a wound I think, and looks too clean. But whatever. Anyway, onto the King of the Monsters.
In profile, Godzilla looks amazing. I love his clear blue back spikes, and the kind of grey wash to bring out his skin texture. However, when you look at Godzilla head on, the king of the monsters looks wrong.
I’m not sure if someone just really F’d up painting on his teeth, or if the jaw has warped and moved, but the end result is that Godzilla looks like a cow chewing grass. When equipped with the ‘heat ray’ accessory, it doesn’t look anywhere near as bad, thankfully.
Godzilla has the removable flesh option on his chest, so he looks a bit like Sagat from Street Fighter. I’m not sure if Playmates just had some artistic license with this figure, or if he actually gets a big gash in his chest during the course of the movie, but I love the look of it anyway. If you also admire a big gash, let me know in the comments below.
As I’ve compared a picture of Kong with his extended action figure family (that I own), here is Godzilla next to the Bandai Movie Monsters versions of the character from both the 2014 movie, and the 2019 King of the Monsters.
Scale-wise, he fits in pretty good with both and I think that the wash effect on his skin makes him look even better than the Bandai 2019 version of him. Which is pretty neat considering how shiny and plasticky the figures from last years series were. So, overall, are these figures worth picking up?
If you like toys and not display figures, sure! Chunky, solid and with the nifty little battle damage feature, these are some of the funnest kaiju toys on the Western market. I am however done with the Playmates line, as I have already put money into collecting the soft vinyl Bandai figures from Japan, and as fun as the Playmates figures are, I don’t need multiple versions of the same characters. So there we go, although I don’t hate these toys, they aren’t really for me. But that’s fine, as kids are gonna love them.