1998 saw Bandai reintroduce the “Godzilla Island” toys as the Toho Kaiju series by reissuing the twelve previous six inch figures. The Toho Kaiju figures are exact reproductions of the Godzilla Island line in regard to size and paint scheme. The tags for the Toho Kaiju figures have green borders and follow the same number order as the Godzilla Island figures. New pictures of each respected kaiju are used on the front the Toho Kaiju tags and the year type of the suit is also included. Examples show Godzilla as the 1994 suit, Angilas as the 1968 suit, and Gigan as the 1973 suit. The back of the new tags have actual pictures of each kaiju that has been part of the Godzilla Island line up. Inside the tag has a silhouette of Godzilla with the usual information. All twelve Toho Kaiju figures have a silver Toho license sticker of the Marvel comics Godzilla.
1998 Toho Kaiju Figures
1998 also saw Toho studios release “Mothra 3”. Bandai added two kaiju from the film to the Toho Kaiju line up.
Rainbow Mothra & Cretaceous King Ghidorah
Rainbow Mothra has a 10 inch wingspan and Cretaceous King Ghidorah is over thirteen inches long. Rainbow Mothra has its wings fully painted on the top side, but not underneath. Some examples have been found with the wings painted underneath as well as on top. It is believe that workers painting the figures during production painted the bottom side of the wings in error, but it is unknown if the error was unseen or knowingly shipped.
The tag for Cretaceous King Ghidorah is the same as mentioned above, but pictures the respected kaiju. While the tag is the same for Rainbow Mothra, the silhouette of Godzilla inside the tag is removed and a safety precaution is included inside the tag. Rainbow Mothra is numbered G-13 and Cretaceous King Ghidorah is G-14. The Toho license sticker is the same as above.
“Mothra 3” is the only film from the Mothra Trilogy that Bandai made a Theater Exclusive Mothra figure. The Toho Kaiju Rainbow Mothra mold is used and made in translucent clear vinyl. The figure is painted similar to the first issue.
Theater Exclusive Rainbow Mothra
The tag is the same as the first issue Rainbow Mothra mentioned above, including the Toho license sticker. A gold egg shaped sticker announcing the toy as a “Theater Exclusive” is found on the back of the tag. While the numbers of what the figure is limited to is unknown, it is believed that few quantities were made making the Theater Exclusive Mothra figure the rarest of the Bandai theater figures.
1999 saw Bandai introduce Godzilla 54 to the Toho Kaiju line. Godzilla 54 was only the third classic Godzilla Bandai had ever produced in vinyl form to that date. The tag is the same as mentioned above except that the respected kaiju is pictured. Godzilla 54 is numbered G-15. The Toho license sticker is the same as above.
2001 saw the Toho Kaiju Godzilla 54 reissued as event exclusives to celebrate Eiji Tsuburaya’s 100th Birthday Anniversary. For two separate events, Bandai produced a translucent black/grey vinyl Godzilla 54 known as the “Smoke” Godzilla and a translucent brownish/red vinyl Godzilla 54 known as the “Sepia” Godzilla. The tags are the same as mentioned above, but for reasons unknown, no event exclusive stickers are found on either toy and the Smoke Godzilla 54 does not have a Toho license sticker placed on the tag. The Sepia Godzilla 54 does have the Toho license sticker, but while it’s the same as mentioned above, the date “2001” is found on the bottom of the sticker.
Tsuburaya Anniversary Smoke and Sepia Godzilla 54
1999 saw Toho began production for “Godzilla 2000”. Bandai collectors had hope the new Godzilla toys would return to the standard 8 inch scale. Unfortunately, Bandai only resized the new toys to seven inches. While the new figures were larger than the Godzilla Island/Toho Kaiju figures, they were still small when compared the previous 8 inch figures.
The first Bandai Godzilla 2000 figure was introduced at the annual Tokyo International Film Festival where the debut of the film “Godzilla 2000” was being shown. Guests were given a Crystal Godzilla 2000 figure with a letter announcing the toy as an “Event Exclusive”. No tag was issued with this toy. The clear translucent Crystal Godzilla 2000 is believed to be limited to 2,000 but the rarity of the figure suggests there’s less.
The official release of the Bandai Godzilla 2000 figure has the toy done in black vinyl with its spines painted purple. The tag is similar to the Toho Kaiju tags, but the borders are done in black instead of green and the respected kaiju is pictured on the front. The back of the tag pictures the artwork theater poster of “Godzilla 2000” while the inside of the tag has the usual information. The Godzilla 2000 figured is numbered G-16 as part of the Toho Kaiju series. The silver Toho license sticker picturing the Marvel comics Godzilla is found on the front of the tag.
Bandai produced a Theater Exclusive Godzilla 2000 done in clear translucent vinyl with a peach type color paint and glitter injected in the vinyl. It is believed this figure represents how Godzilla looked when the alien was examining him. The tag is the same used for the regular toy with a white circle sticker announcing the toy as a “Theater Exclusive” figure. The Toho license sticker is the same except a gold sticker is used instead of a silver sticker. The quantity is unknown but it is believed that several thousands of these theater exclusives were made.
Godzilla 2000, Crystal Godzilla 2000, & Theater Exclusive Godzilla 2000
Bandai also produced a figure of Godzilla's opponent in "Godzilla 2000" the alien Orga. There are two paint variations of Orga. One with deep blue metallic spray on the head and one with light blue spray. The tag is the same as Godzilla 2000, but pictures the respected kaiju on the front of the tag and information of Orga is found inside the tag. The Toho license sticker is also the same, done in silver. Orga is numbered G-17 as part of the Toho Kaiju Series.
Orga w/ light blue & deep blue spray
Lottery figures of a Green Translucent Godzilla 2000 and Orga have been produced in very low quantities. While the Green Translucent Godzilla 2000 has been known to exist for a few years now, The Green Translucent Orga has just recently been discovered with the jury still out if this is an official released item or a bootleg.
Lottery Green Translucent Godzilla 2000
Photos courtesy of Rick Creevey
2000 saw what was believed to be rare samples of green and red translucent Godzilla 2000 figures found at a show in Japan, with glitter injected in the mold in the same manner as the Theater Exclusive Godzilla 2000 figure. A yellow translucent Godzilla 2000 figure with glitter also surfaced creating debate that these figures were altered somehow by unscrupulous crooks. Collectors Brandon Shields and Terry Wade were able to experiment with various dyes and was able to successfully dye Theater Exclusive Godzilla 2000 figures in various colors.
Samples of dyed Theater Exclusive Godzilla 2000 done by Brandon Shields
Collectors must be extremely careful when dealing with actual Bandai releases of translucent toys with unknown paint variations. Figures such as the Lottery Green Translucent Godzilla 2000 can easily be a Crystal Godzilla 2000 dyed green.
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