The Standard Bandai MechaGodzilla 74
Bandai introduced its first set of Godzilla vinyl figures during 1983/84. That first set will forever be known as the "Plastic Tagged Figures" as they are the only Godzilla figures ever given plastic type tags. This set would consists of vinyl figures of Godzilla 62, Godzilla 64, Godzilla 84, King Ghidrah, and MechaGodzilla 74. All, except Godzilla 84, have been reissued and while its easy to tell the differences between the original and the reissued versions of Godzilla 62, Godzilla 64, and King Ghidrah. MechaGodzilla 74 has proven to be more difficult to identify without comparing the original to the reissues. There are also mysteries and myths about the Bandai MechaGodzilla 74 that not too many collectors are aware of. This article is a special look at trying to solve the mysteries of the Bandai MechaGodzilla 74 figures. For more information on the first five Bandai "Plastic Tagged Figures", please refer to the "Complete Bandai Godzilla Figure List" under "Standards". If you can provide any answers not found in this article, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
MechaGodzilla 74 (original)
The Bandai MechaGodzilla 74 stands 8.5 inches tall. The vinyl is grey with silver spray and black highlights. The sides of the head have red detail and the teeth and eyes are painted copper. The tag is very colorful and pictures the actual suit of Godzilla 64 on the front and the actual MechaGodzilla suit on the back. The Toho license sticker is silver and pictures a silhouette of Godzilla and says "Godzilla" in english on the bottom. While there's no yen amount listed on the tag, the Bandai MechaGodzilla 74 figure most likely sold in Japan for under 1,000 yen, roughly under $10 American dollars. Toys with silver Toho license stickers are found priced under 1,000 yen, while gold stickered toys are priced over 1,000 yen.
Tag for MechaGodzilla 74 (original)
Bandai has reissued MechaGodzilla 74 three times. The first time in 1989 and again in 1992. Bandai also included MechaGodzilla 74 as part of the Godzilla Memorial Box Set released in 1995. MechaGodzilla 74 has yet to be scaled down for the Movie Monster Series.
MechaGodzilla 74 (89' 92' & Memorial Box Version)
Bandai's reissue of the MechaGodzilla 74 figures do have minor differences between each other. The 89' version sports a darker silver due to deeper black highlights sprayed on the figure, while the 92' version is a more lighter silver since the black highlights are not as heavily sprayed. The Memorial version features little to no black highlights. The vinyl on the 92' and Memorial versions are softer when compared to the original and 89' versions.
"Destroy All Monsters" tag for MechaGodzilla 74 (89' version)
Bandai chose to tag the reissued MechaGodzilla 74 with a card commonly known as the "Destroy All Monsters" tag picturing kaiju that appear in the Toho film "Destroy All Monsters" yet MechaGodzilla did not appear in this film. Both 89' and 92' figures are given the same "DAM" tag with the 92' tag given updated information. Both tags are perforated. The Toho license sticker is gold and pictures a silhouette of Godzilla and says "Godzilla" in english on the bottom. Both 89' and 92' versions were sold in Japan for 1,200 yen, roughly under $12 American dollars. The Memorial MechaGodzilla 74 did not have a tag, but was given a card picturing the Theater Poster of "Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla 74".
Comparision of MechaGodzilla 74 (original & 89' versions)
When trying to identify a Bandai MechaGodzilla 74 between the original and the reissues, the first thing to notice is the size difference. The reissues stand under eight inches tall. But dispite knowing the size difference, it's still difficult to tell the difference in size without comparing. It should also be noted that the tag hole found on the original version is located on the right side of the figure on the lower back shoulder of the arm, while the tag hole of the 89' and 92' versions are found on the right side of the back of the head. The Memorial version has no tag hole.
Close up of the MechaGodzilla 74 (original & 89' versions)
A major difference is found on the paint used on the eyes of MechaGodzilla 74. While the original version has Copper painted eyes and teeth, the 89' version has a light yellowish Gold for the teeth and eyes. All three reissues have the same gold paint for the eyes and teeth.
Comparision of tail ends of MechaGodzilla 74 (original & 89' versions)
The most distinct difference found between the original and reissues of MechaGodzilla 74 is the end of the tails. The original sports a circle at the end of the tail, while the reissue, despite also having a circle, sports a stub inside the circle. All the reissues have this stub inside the circle at the end of the tails.
It has been wondered why the reissues sport this stub and have a size difference when compared to the original? There has been a myth that Bandai wanted to re-release MechaGodzilla in 1988, along with reissues of Godzilla 64 and King Ghidrah sporting what is known as "Alternate Tags" (see the "Standards" section for the Complete Bandai Godzilla list) It is believed that the original mold was missing or damaged and Bandai was not able to produce a mold in time to release a figure of MechaGodzilla in 1988, resulting in a new mold made to reissue MechaGodzilla in 1989. It was heavily rumored that a 88' version of MechaGodzilla 74 with alternate tag does exsist, yet this collector has yet to ever see one.
Tag for Hyper Hobby Exclusive MechaGodzilla 74 (from the show "Godzilla Island")
The Bandai MechaGodzilla 74 made one more appearence during a Japanese television show called "Godzilla Island" in 1997 where the Standard Bandai toy was painted black and brought to life by a stop motion technique. 2007 saw the show released on DVD and Hyper Hobby made exclusives Bandai figures of Jet Jaguar and MechaGodzilla as they appeared on the show. Yet Bandai chose not to use the mold that appeared on the show and used the six inch version of MechaGodzilla 75 from the "Movie Monster Series" instead. It would be easier for Bandai to use the mold for the 75' version of MechaGodzilla for the Hyper Hobby Exclusive, yet one would have to wonder if the mold for MechaGodzilla 74 still exsits? It's safe to say "probably not".
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