"There is so much writing in English on Japanese cinema that can't be accepted at face value — not because the writers are careless, but because the differences in culture and language are just too intricate. When I see August Ragone's name on a piece of writing, it gives me permission to place my faith in it completely. Among Japanese fantasy film historians, he's the best working in English." —Tim Lucas, Video Watchdog

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Four Godzilla 2016 Figures? What Does It Mean?


Page one of two from Bandai's Sales Sheet for "Shin Godzilla".

Japan's giant juggernaut toy company, Bandai, recently issued their advance sales sheets for upcoming toy releases, with two pages (just making rounds on the internet) featuring their first run of toys — soft vinyl figures — based on the new Big G design appearing in Hideaki Anno's GODZILLA RESURGENCE, hitting Japanese screens on July 29th. And there's some interesting (albeit wafer-thin) info that is provoking some speculation in my kaiju-addled brain.

The top half of the ad page shows a graphic that is a promotion plan leading up to the release of the film — nothing really exciting  there (based on the scant details therein). But, it's the bottom half of the ad page that is the most intriguing — and detail-filled payoff if one can read Japanese (who has two thumbs?). Three vinyl figures are to be issued, but the details of which may harbor a spoiler...

First, the non-spoiler news: Bandai's initial roll-out will be a 16.5 cm (6.5") vinyl figure of Shin Godzilla, labeled as "Godzilla 2016", the official name designation for licensing and merchandizing. Under the "Movie Monster Series" banner,  this tagged figure will come 24 pieces per case, and will retail for ¥2000 ($18.50 USD). Preorders open on April 29th and will hit retailers at the end of July.

Now, here come the possible spoilers: The next pair of "Godzilla 2016" figures not only both share the same line, "(Tentative) Movie Monster Series", as well as size (16.5 cm) and retail price (¥1600/$15 USD), will come 48 to a case, are listed for release on August 1st, and both with the same catalogue designation of "Godzilla 2016", almost, with one slight — but very important — difference between them:

One has been labeled as "Godzilla 2016: Monster A" while the other is labeled "Godzilla 2016: Monster B".  With these points of fact, there comes to mind only three possible answers:

One is that there are two different kaiju appearing in this film facing off with Godzilla, or appear somewhere in the story. At this late juncture, any other kaiju would require its name being registered and labeled in order to be advanced to retailers, unless the names are undergoing trademark registration. This is contrary to statements made by both Toho and the filmmakers, who've explicitly stated this is a "Japan vs. Godzilla" scenario, only.

If two guest mon-stars are not a possibility, are we to believe that there are two separate and individual Big Gs appearing in flashback or flash-forward sequences? Is it possible that there could be two forms of the same King of the Monsters, perhaps regenerating — or degenerating — during the story? Like some kaiju version of "The Incredible Melting Man"?

Or could the Big G going through a regeneration lend credence to the film's English title, "Godzilla Resurgence"? Only time will tell.

Page two of two from Bandai's Sales Sheet for "Shin Godzilla".

Meanwhile, the second page of Bandai's sales sheet reveals reissues of Bandai America's "Bandai Creation" line, under the banner "King of the Monsters Series". The first two, coming this July, will be "Final Godzilla" and "Mechagodzilla" (Kiryu), measuring 28cm (11") and 30cm (11.8"), respectfully. The latest edition to this line will be the new "Godzilla 2016", measuring 28cm (11"), is expected to drop in August. All three will retail for ¥4800 ($44.13 USD) each.

The bottom half of the second page heralds the revival of Bandai's "Movie Monster Series", kicking off at the end of July with "Millennium Godzilla", measuring 16cm (6.4"), listing for ¥1600 ($15 USD), and "Mechagodzilla 2004" (Kiryu), measuring 17cm (6.7"), listing for ¥1800 ($16.55 USD). Bandai's website is also listing a reissue of many of the 16cm vinyl figures in the "Movie Monster Series", to debut in July — which is shaping up to the "Month of Godzilla" this year in Japan.

(Special thanks to Astounding Beyond Belief)

Stay tuned to this blog for further news on GODZILLA RESURGENCE as it develops! Official website (Japanese only): shin-godzilla.jp

Here are my previous reports on GODZILLA RESURGENCE:
April 14, 2016: Behold! First "Shin Godzilla" Retail Figure
April 13, 2016: Toho's Upcoming "Shin Godzilla" Revealed
January 3, 2016: Toho's New "Godzilla Resurgence" Exposed
December 11, 2015: Meet the"Godzilla Resurgence" Composer
December 10, 2015: The "Godzilla Resurgence" English Poster!
December 9, 2015: Japanese Press Reveals Shin Godzilla's Size
December 9, 2015: Scoop! Teaser for "Godzilla Resurgence"
December 9, 2015: Here's Your Big G in "Godzilla Resurgence"!
November 12, 2015: "Shin Godzilla" Promo Reel Screens at AFM!"
September 22, 2015: Toho Announces Three Principal Cast Members!
September 6, 2015: Shooting Begins on Toho's "Godzilla 2016"!
August 1, 2015: Did These Men Design Toho's New Big G?
April 1, 2015: The Directors of "Godzilla 2016" Speak!
March 31, 2015: "Evangelion" Creator Helms New "Godzilla"!
December 7, 2014: The "Japanese Godzilla" Will Rise Again!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I'm gonna go with the 'regeneration' theory. It makes sense and it'll sell more toys. It also gives us something to look forward to even after Godzilla's been 'revealed.' And, it's a nice, suspenseful element to the film: what will he ultimately turn out to be? I'm loving this film more and more each day. And the trailer was gorgeous.