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Buyer Be Aware - Bootleg Bandai Bronze Great Monster Series Godzilla

By Richard Cox (2000)
Bootleg Bandai Bronze Great Monster Series Godzilla

The Bandai Great Monster Series, which included Godzilla (MOSU-Goji), King Ghidorah and Mothra Larva, was released in 1984 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the release of Godzilla (1954). All three figures are limited in availability, but this bronze Mosu-Goji is even rarer than the standard GMS releases, with only 1,000 pieces initially produced. One hundred of those were imported by Bandai directly to the states.

As a result, the bronze MOSU-Goji is one of the most sought-after Godzilla collectibles, and the holy grail for Bandai collectors. And of course, when one adds unmet demand and high cost, one gets people ready to take advantage of the market. Thus the recent appearance of bootlegs of both the standard and bronze GMS Godzilla. This article deals specifically with the bronze version, but one should definitely be aware of the standard bootleg as well, which bears many of the same differences as the bronze.

A Head Comparison
A comparison of the bootleg (left) and authorized
Great Monster Series MOSU-Goji

Luckily for knowledgable collectors, there are some striking differences between the authorized and bootlegged versions of the bronze 'Zilla, including discrepencies in the face, paint style, spines, size, and trademarks.

The difference that is most readily apparent is present in the face, primarily in that the bootleg's eyes and mouth are painted in great detail while the Bandai figure sports no painted details whatsoever beyond the bronze highlighting apparent on the entire toy. And speaking of the bronze on the figures, the style of coloration on the two figure is completely different when comparing one to the other. The bronze paint on the bootleg is much more sparsely applied, making the figure much darker, while the Bandai is lighter in appearance overall and has a much greater illusion of depth due to a much greater use of the bronze paint.

A Spine Comparison
A comparison of the bootleg (left)
and authorized GMS Figures' Spines
Note the complete difference in shape.
Foot of the bootleg
Foot of the bootleg MOSU-Goji
(Note the lack of a trademark)

In addition, the spines of the two figures are very different. The Bandai figure's spines are more swooping, with the tips of several spines forming a sort of "U" at the top. Note also the first of the central dorsals, which is V-shaped. Compare this to the bootleg figure, whose spines are much more rough and angular. Note the sharp tips to the spines, and how the uppermost fin is pointed instead of V-shaped.

Finally are two other differences. The figures differ a bit in size, with the bootleg being slightly smaller than the GMS MOSU-Goji, and the fake sports no copyright markings on the foot which, of course, the real version does. When comparing the two figures the differences certainly outweigh the similarities between the two toys. However, it is also understandable that an unwary collector could be fooled by the fake, especially given that few people have actually had the fortune to see a bronze Great Monster Series figure.