The Trendmasters Living Godzilla 98
Memorial weekend of 1998 was one of the most excited and anticipated moment in our hobby as Godzilla was to make its first appearence in an American made film. Secerecy surrounded the film as changes would be made to Godzilla and would not be revealed untill the release of the film. In an unprecedented move, Trendmasters could not release Godzilla toys based on the film until the films release.
As many know, despite the initial box office success, fans were not pleased with Tristars version of Godzilla. Everything that was wrong with the film is well documented, but the toys have been well overlooked. Trendmasters produced a high volume of toys based on the film releasing, not only several sizes of Godzilla, but military veicheles, action figures, variants of Godzilla's new borns, battery operated figures, ect. This article will focus on Trendmasters Living Godzilla.
Living Godzilla (box)
Trendmaster's Living Godzilla was sold in a 14 inch window box, yet no clear platic was used, which allowed you to touch the toy. The figure is secured to the box with wire wrap. The back of the box points out all the features of the "Living Godzilla" and list other Godzilla items and assessories.
Living Godzilla (back of box)
Once Removed from the box, the tail will need to be assembled. Living Godzilla is 11 inches tall and roughly 14 inches long. There's eight points of articulation, yet it is a bit difficult to display the figure with its tail off the ground. When the figure's tail rests on the ground, Godzilla is looking upwards giving the figure an unnatural look. While repositioning the legs helps a little, I perfered placing something under the tail to straighten the figure out to display.
What makes this figure so unique is the motorized function that, at a press of the button found on the chest, the figure will twist its body to the right and open its mouth and roar, then twist and open its mouth a second time, but no second roar. The roar is pretty faithful to Godzilla's actual roar. While the mouth can open, it cannot be held open as the mouth springs shut. At times, the mechanics can bind, leaving the figure in mid twist and/or the mouth held open, yet the figure can be repositioned by hand. The figure is operated by two AA batteries and is made of hard plastic, with the spines and tail made of a type of PVC. The figure is also held together by metal screws found on various parts of the figure.
Living Godzilla (in operation)
Living Godzilla (in operation/back)
As cool as the toy is, many dedicated fans cannot get past the overall redesign of the American Godzilla. As time went by, many felt Tristars version of Godzilla would just disappear, but continued to linger on with help of the popular animated feature "Godzilla, The Series" and actually returned to the big screen as "Zilla" to briefly battle the real Godzilla in the Toho film "Godzilla, Final Wars". Toys of Tristar's Godzilla were even made in Japan, yet only in Hyper/High Grade/and Super Deformed versions by Bandai Japan. Marmit did include the Tristar Godzilla in thier "Vinyl Paradise" series and Godzilla's newborns for thier "Parababy" series.
Since Trendmasters Living Godzilla is so large, there's only a couple of Godzilla 2005 figures that are inscale. One is the Bandai DX Godzilla 2005.
Comparision of DX Godzilla 2005 & Living Godzilla.
The second, surpsingly, is made by an American company, Bandai Creation's Godzilla 2005.
Comparision of Bandai Creation Godzilla 2005 & Living Godzilla.
2008 marks the 10 year Anniversary of Tristar's American Godzilla. Toho has approved and recognize the American Godzilla as part of its universe. Yet the majority of fans refuse to accept the Tristar monster as Godzilla in any way. Few collectors do appreciate the toys and even was hoping Bandai Japan would produce a "Zilla" figure for the "Final Wars" toy lineup. While we may never see Zilla as part of Bandai Japan's Movie Monster Series, Trendmasters Living Godzilla 98' is one of the best versions of this figure ever made.
Living Godzilla (closeup)
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