Table of Contents
In The Beginning
The Heisei Era
Monsters All Out Attack
In The Beginning
There is no doubt that Godzilla figures made by Bandai Japan are the most popular and favorite among kaiju collectors. These toys are desired for there accurate look and affordability. Many collectors have desired to have a complete Bandai collection, but what classifies as a complete Bandai collection? Does this consist of one of every kaiju Bandai has made, all reissues, paint variations, the various Exclusive figures, and what about Prototypes, Lottery, and figures not intended for sale? It's always up to the collector what they feel is necessary for their collection. This list is intended to help the collector understand what variants and minor differences can be found when collecting Bandai toys, as well as provide a little history during Bandai's 21+ years of making Godzilla figures. Everything listed is what I've seen through my years of collecting, as well as input from other well known collectors. While I may not have all the facts, any information or corrections are appreciated. Please e-mail me at email@example.com with any input.
1983 saw the announcement of Toho studios bringing Godzilla back to the big screen. With renewed interest building, Bandai bought licensing rights to make Godzilla vinyl figures. The first figured produced was Godzilla 62 and was included and numbered as part of their "Ultra Kaiju" line. The following year saw Bandai produce figures of Godzilla 64, King Ghidrah, MechaGodzilla 74, and Godzilla 84 in the same matter as the previous Godzilla 62. These first five figures are commonly linked with each other for sporting similar plastic tags and are always considered "Must Have" figures to Bandai collectors. The following is a look at the first five figures and what variants and reissues have been seen of each figure.
Many collectors are well familiar to see a tag attached to a Godzilla toy. When originally released in 83', the plastic tag, despite a punch hole made, was not attached to Godzilla 62, but placed with the figure in a clear plastic bag closed by a rubber band. It is possible a rubber band was used to secure the tag to the toy. A paper insert was also included in the bag. All original packaging for this toy is consider very rare since children tend to throw away packaging. The tag is numbered "31" and sports a gold license sticker that features a silhouette of Godzilla.
1995/1996 saw this figure reissued as part of two separate limited sets, The Memorial Box and the Forever series. The most notable differences is the color of the vinyl when both are compared to the original issue, the Forever version also sports more painted highlights, and the new mold of spines used for both versions.
There is a known Bootleg version of the 83' version.
Bootleg Godzilla 62
At first glance, it's rather difficult to tell the difference between the Bandai Godzilla 62 and the Bootleg version. The best way to identify the Bootleg Godzilla 62 is that there are no Bandai or Japanese markings on the bottom of the feet. Only "Made in Taiwan" is found on the bottom of the right foot. The bootleg version is more glossly than the Bandai version and the paint job on the eyes and teeth of the bootleg figure is rather sloppy. When comparing the Bootleg and the Bandai figure, the first thing you notice is the size difference.
Comparision of Bootleg and Bandai Godzilla 62
The Bandai Godzilla 62 stands 9.5 inches tall, an inch taller than the bootleg version. There had been some reports that there are Bootleg Godzilla 62's that have the eyes light up. It is possible that the Bootleg Godzilla 62 is rarer than any of the three licensed figures mentioned above.
King Ghidrah (gold variant)
Produced in 84' Bandai's King Ghidrah was released in the same manner as Godzilla 62, with the tag unattached and placed with the figure in a plastic bag. It is unknown if a paper insert was included. The plastic tag is numbered 47 and sports the same gold license sticker. It is believe that two paint variations were produced in 84'. One painted gold and the other orange. The gold one is the only figure with its mouths fully painted red. All other variations are highlighted.
King Ghidrah (orange variant)
It has been mentioned that Bandai King Ghidrah’s have been found with tags attached when first released in the U.S. But it is more than possible that U.S. dealers just tagged the toy themselves. Several Bandai King Ghidrah’s have been found with no tag holes on the toy suggesting that Bandai released the toy without the tags attached.
There are six known variations of Bandai's King Ghidrah, making this figures the most reissued of Godzilla's famous foes. Bandai reissued two variations in 88'. One with Yellow highlights, the other with Yellow/Orange highlights. The tag is attached on both and is commonly known as the "Alternate Tag" made out of cardboard and sports the gold license sticker. Interesting note, the tag for the Yellow variation figure is found attached on the left side bottom neck part of the figure. The tag for the Yellow/Orange figure is found on the back between the wings.
The rarest of the Bandai King Ghidrahs has to be the 89' version. This figure has Orange/Gold highlights and features the "Destroy All Monsters" tag. The tag is attached on the back of the figure and sports a gold license sticker that pictures a silhouette of Godzilla. This figure is rarely seen with its tag attached which leaves many collectors unaware this toy exists.
Bandai also included King Ghidrah as part of the Memorial Box set released in 96'. The figure features no paint highlights and comes with a card
A Bandai Greenish/Gold King Ghidrah with no tag has been seen, but with no tag makes it difficult to determine when the figure was produce, let alone if the figure was actually released with those colors.
Produced in 84', Bandai's Godzilla 64 is done in light green vinyl, which makes this figure easy to recognize when compared to its reissues. The Plastic tag is found attached to the figure and is numbered 32, but this time with a silver license sticker.
There are four variations of Bandai's Godzilla 64, making this figure the most reissued standard Godzilla toy without being sold as an exclusive type figure. The 88' version is considered one of the rarest of the four, sporting an Alternate Tag, like the 88' King Ghidrah. The vinyl color appears to be darker than the 84' version and sports deeper black/silver highlights.
Bandai's Godzilla 64 was also reissued in 89' and 92', both sporting the "Destroy All Monsters" tag. Both figures are dark green vinyl and it is hard to tell the difference between the two without the tags, though it appears the 89' version has more highlights. Interesting, the 92' version has a sticker over the katakana of Godzilla on the back of the tag indicating in Japanese that the toy is the 64 MosuGoji figure. Many collectors are unaware a 92' version of Godzilla 64 exists.
The Bandai MechaGodzilla 74 was produced in 84' and is found with its Plastic Tag attached. The tag sports the same silver license sticker found on Godzilla 62 and is numbered 33. As of late, this figure has becoming harder to come by with its tag.
Bandai's MechaGodzilla 74 has been reissued twice in 89' and 92'. Interesting, the reissues are smaller than the original. The original also has a circle at the end of its tail, while the reissues have a stub. The Original sports darker highlights than the reissues and the eyes are painted more of a copper compared to the yellow/gold eyes of the reissues. There was talk that Bandai had to make a new mold for the reissues, but it is unknown what happened to the original mold. Interesting note, the vinyl for the 92' version appears to be softer vinyl.
There was a hot rumor that an 88' version of Bandai's MechaGodzilla 74 with an alternate tag may exist, but none has yet to surface. If the new mold theory for the reissues are true, that would explain why a 88' variant wasn’t made since its possible the original mold was damaged or missing and a new mold wasn't ready in time for a 88' release.
Of the five figures, Bandai's Godzilla 84 is the smallest and actually in scale with Bandai's Original King Ghidrah and later Biollante figure. Produced in 84' and is found with the tag attached to the figure. The silver license sticker is found on the tag, but is numbered 47, the same as Bandai's King Ghidrah. Of all the Godzilla toys Bandai has produced, their Godzilla 84 is one of the few figures they have never reissued.
1988 saw Bandai reissue only two standard size figures that year. Both with alternate tags with gold license stickers. As noted above, King Ghidrah was re-released twice this year, both with different paint schemes
Godzilla 64 w/alternate tag
King Ghidrah (88 yellow) & King Ghidrah (88 orange/yellow)
1989, with the anticipation of Toho releasing "Godzilla vs. Biollante", Bandai produced six new standard figures and reissued Godzilla 64, King Ghidrah, and Mechagodzilla 74. Interesting, Bandai did not produce a Godzilla 89 and decided to hold off on a Biollante figure. All figures feature the new "Destroy All Monsters" tag, despite some of the monsters never appearing in the movie. The license sticker remains the same with either gold or silver stickers found on certain figures.
Godzilla 64 & Minya
Rodan, Angilas, & Mothra Larva 64
Gigan, Megalon, & MechaGodzilla 74
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