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Buyer Be Aware - Bootleg Bandai Burning Godzilla

By Logan Payne (2001)
Bootleg Bandai Burning Godzilla

In 1995 Bandai put out a line of vinyl figures for the movie Godzilla vs. Destroyah. Among this line was the Burning Godzilla. The figure was an instant hit and soon began to rise in price drastically. Today in the collectors market it commands prices of over $100! Obviously, our bootlegging friends in China saw what a hit this figure was and decided to get into the action.


Fortunately, novice collectors (such as myself) need not worry about mistaking the boot as the real thing, for the differences are unmistakable. First off, is the most obvious difference; the paint job. The paint job isn't quite as nice as the Little G. and Megalon bootlegs on the market, causing some to believe that the bootleggers who made this figure weren't the ones who did the Little G or Megalon. The original Bandai Burning Godzilla bears the paint scheme of Desu-Goji, while the boot has the paint job of the normal Heisei-Goji. (Many may wonder why I'm calling it a Burning G if it is obviously painted in the style a Heisei-Goji. I only refer to it as that because the molds are the same.) Moreover, the fins on the boot are painted in a tannish-cream color on the whole fin. The Bandai has orange highlights around the outer edges of the fins. On the fins of the bootleg, it appears as if they were painted using a brush, compared to the air brushing technique that Bandai uses.

There are also smaller, less noticeable differences. The nails are painted the tannish-cream color instead of silver like the original. The eyes and mouth are also painted differently. During the bootlegging process the mold shrunk the Godzilla down drastically. The authentic Bandai stands in the range of 8 inches high, while the boot only barely stands 8. The vinyl used to make the figures is a very hard vinyl, much like the earlier Bandais. (Upon applying water to the tail section of the boot, I found that the water caused some of the paint to come off. It would not only leave black marks on your hands, but it revealed that below the black paint was either a layer of pinkish paint, or pink vinyl in which it may have been molded in.) In '95, Bandai decided to mold the figures in a different type of vinyl, making the real Burning G. softer feeling. The bootleggers also decided not to go to the trouble of making the neck jointed as Bandai had, so they made the body and the neck as one mold. Many also complain of the gasoline type smell common in bootlegs. This is only noticable if you smell the inside of it, otherwise it smells like fresh vinyl.

Lastly, is the common difference found on almost all bootlegs; the lack of copyright markings. If you couldn't figure out that it's a boot from looking at the paint job and figure design (there would have to be something wrong with you if you couldn't!), then check the feet for the copyright markings; which are nowhere to be found on this boot.