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Godzilla Collecting Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

or What the heck is a C9 MIB Marmit Vinyl Paradise King-Goji anyway?

Version 3.00
Created By Richard Cox (kinggoji@clubtokyo.org)
Maintained By Richard Cox

Where can I find the Godzilla Collecting FAQ?

The most current version of the FAQ is on the Web at <http://www.clubtokyo.org>. A link and message is posted to the ClubTokyoC mailing list when warranted.

Any changes or additions should be directed to Richard Cox (kinggoji@clubtokyo.org).

Mirror copy locations include:

Translations Available:

The Godzilla Collecting FAQ :: Contents

[1.1] Terminology

[1.1.1] Genre Terminology and Definitions [ + ]
[1.1.2] Collecting Terminology and Definitions [ + ]

[1.2] A Short History of Godzilla Collecting

The release of Godzilla (Gojira) in 1954 brought with it the first of the Godzilla collectibles, in the form of the theatrical poster. Of course, posters followed with subsequent re-releases, both in Japan and abroad, as well as with forthcoming movies.

The first non-theatrical merchandise was a gun game that coincided with the release of the second Godzilla film in 1955, and also heralded a moratorium on Godzilla collectibles for most of the next decade. Finally, in 1963 and 64 the ball got rolling again with Ideal's Godzilla game and the well known Aurora model kit. With the astounding success of these toys, the first Japanese toymaker took notice, and Marusan issued the first of their Godzilla vinyls in 1966. The rest, as they say, is history.

[1.2.1] Posters and Theater-Related Merchandise [ + ]
[1.2.2] Toys

Ah, toys. For many a collector toys, specifically vinyl figures, form the backbone of their Godzilla collections. As stated previously, the first Godzilla toy was actually produced in the U.S., and was a shooting game. From that point there really weren't any toys of note issued (barring model kits) until the Marusan Company, in 1964, issued their Godzilla model kit, and followed it up in 1966 with the first ever Godzilla vinyl figures. The rest, as they say, is history.

Of course, limiting the scope of Godzilla toys to just the vinyl figures, as popular as they are, is to ignore a wide variety of other neat stuff out there, from die-cast toys to tin toys, games, and both candy and capsule toys, to name only a few.

[1.2.2.1] Vintage vinyl figures (1954-1982) [ + ]
[1.2.2.2] Modern vinyl figures (1983-Present) [ + ]
[1.2.2.3] Candy and Capsule Toys [ + ]
[1.2.2.4] Miscellaneous [ + ]
[1.2.3] Model Kits [ - ]

An ever-popular aspect of Godzilla collecting has to be the acquiring and building of the many different model kits available. Only a select few, all of which are molded in plastic, are considered "collectors items" per se, so many can be found near or below their SRP. Godzilla series model kits have been produced as far back as the mid 1960s, with the first plastic kits from Aurora. Generally, models can be divided into two categories, plastic and garage kits.

[1.2.3.1] Plastic Kits

Plastic kits are the earliest produced of the two types, and are those that are generally collected for intrinsic value, as there have been kits produced by both Bullmark and Marusan among others. Plastic kits have been produced over many years, and come in many sizes. Some even glow in the dark.

Of all of the kits, the most highly sought-after are those in the Marusan Plamodel series. All are extremely rare, especially with the box. In fact, one could argue that the Plamodel kits are the rarest production Godzilla toys out there. If you find one, get it. Chances are you will never see one again.

[1.2.3.2] Garage Kits

Garage kits first appeared in the early '80s, and are highly sought after by collectors due to their great detail and creative sculpting. Luckily for those without deep pockets, they have little secondary market value due to their generally being built up after purchase, as well as the popular ones being reissued numerous times.

Garage kits tend to come in one of two flavors; resin or vinyl. Vinyl pretty much speaks for itself. Resin is composed of either polyester or polyurethane, a mixture which hardens in a short time. Unlike the light, hollow vinyl kits, most resin kits are solid.

Gremlins in the Garage! <http://www.gremlins.com/> has an excellent overview of garage kits on their site.

[1.2.4] Miscellaneous

In addition to the above, a veritable plethora of other types of collectibles have been issued over the years, and to attempt to list them all would be an overwhelming task. However, some of the key areas would include prototypes and props, recordings, books, videos, laserdisc sets, household items, trading cards, and original artwork.

[1.3] Where can I learn more about Godzilla toys and collectibles? [ + ]

[1.4] Is there a way to "check out" a person before purchasing items advertised on the Internet? [ + ]

[1.5] Can I detach the tags from my Bandai figures without affecting their value?

In a word, yes. Both the cardboard and earlier plastic tags can be easily reattached using the appropriate gun and plastic hanger, readily available at any office supply store. Be careful, however, to reattach the tag in it's original hole instead of punching a new one through the vinyl. This WILL affect the value of the piece.

When buying figures with loose tags, be aware that many tags look generic and similar to one another, barring two things; the character's name in Japanese and a serial number specific to that figure. It is not unheard of to get the wrong tag loose with a toy (or, one assumes, the wrong tag reattached to a figure). See also [1.9].

[1.6] What's the difference between a candy and capsule toy?

See [1.2.2.3] for detailed information. Shortly, "capsule" toys are just that; small figures, generally 1-4 inches in height, available in vending machines, while candy toys tend to come boxed, either individually or in sets, with a packet of candy and sometimes a trading card or other extras.

[1.7] Who is "Jiras", and why does he look like Godzilla?

Jiras (spellings vary slightly) was a foe from the original Ultraman series (episode 10) based upon a Godzilla suit. The Mosu-Goji suit was modified for the series simply by adding a frill around the neck. Which I will point out that Ultraman rips off, in one of the more violent memories from my childhood...

[1.8] For that matter who is Gomess?

Godzilla was recycled in the first episode of ULTRA Q as Gomess. Godzilla, Gigan and Ghidorah were all used in Toho's ZONE FIGHTER series.

[1.9] What are those numbers on the bar code of a Bandai figure tag / box?

The serial numbers, also known as stock numbers, of a Bandai figure are unique to each toy, thus can be used in order to be sure of getting a correct tag with a figure, which could otherwise be a problem for those earlier figures whose tags bear no distinguishing characteristics not in Japanese. The serial number is located on the tag of the figure, above the barcode. The earliest figures, instead of a serial number, had a Collection Number.

The serial numbers are, for the most part, a series of three strings of numbers separated by dashes. The first string, 205020, is carried by all Bandai Godzilla figures (as well as other Bandai series figures) with a serial number; the second, and most important, is individual to each figure. The third string denotes the original price of the vinyl toy in Yen.

[1.10] Was a Trendmasters 10 Inch Biollante figure ever produced?

There was one produced, albeit in limited quantities, and only overseas. The 10" Biollante was never released in the United States.

[1.11] Did Bandai issue any "Sample" figures of their G2K Theater Exclusive?

In a word, no. Many different fake prototypes of this figure have shown up both on eBay and from various dealers. Each and every one of these are custom dye jobs and are not prototypes, limited editions, first shots, or whatever else you've heard. For more information, check out this article.

[1.12] What was the Toho Video Fan Club?

This club was run by Toho itself, and often offered exclusive vinyl figures and other collectibles. Toho sanctioned which figures were offered for sale through the club's newsletter.

The Godzilla Collecting FAQ :: References and Credits

The below books, people, and web sites have been consulted in the creation of this FAQ:

Club Tokyo :: Kaiju Collectibles Reference Database (http://www.clubtokyo.org/), by Richard Cox and Michael Johnson

Godzilla Tohotopia (http://www.students.bucknell.edu/mlockwod/), by Mark Lockwood; web site currently unavailable

John Parkinson

Recent changes :