Great Monster Series
1984 was a great year for Godzilla fans. Toho brought Godzilla back to the big screen with "Godzilla 84" and Bandai, considered the most popular line of kaiju toys to this day, began its first run of Godzilla vinyl figures. It's interesting that Bandai introduced its run of Large Scale figures along with their Standard size toys in 1984. Known as the Great Monster Series, this was the first of several Large Scale vinyl figures Bandai produced.
Great Monster Series Godzilla 64
The Bandai Great Monster Series Godzilla 64 stands almost 20 inches tall and is over 30 inches long. The toy was sold in a long cardboard box with only Japanese writing that was done in blue. The tail required to be attached to the body when removing from the package. In time, the back end of the tail begins to sag resulting in a noticeable gap where the tail is connected. The spines are somewhat fragile and tend to crack when stress is applied. The bottom of the left foot is stamped "Bandai Popy Japan, 1984" with some Japanese writing as well.
Great Monster Series Godzilla 64 1988 reissue
The Large Scale Godzilla 64 was reissued in 1988. The notable differences between the original and the reissue is that the inside of the mouth of the original is fully painted red, the claws on the original are painted a light grey while the reissue is painted a darker grey, and the head and neck of the original is proportion slightly larger when compared to the reissue.
Close up of Great Monster Series Godzilla 64 1984 & 1988 reissue
The reissue has the gold Toho license sticker placed on the bottom right foot and pictures Godzilla's silhouette. A white sticker is found on the bottom of the left foot and says "Bandai 1988 Japan" with Japanese writing. It is possible the stamp is underneath the sticker. The box is the same as above but done in red Japanese writing and pictures an artwork of Godzilla 84 in green.
Great Monster Series 30th Anniversary Bronze Godzilla 64
For Godzilla's 30th Anniversary, Bandai produced the Limited Anniversary Bronze Godzilla 64. The figure is done in brown vinyl, unlike the dark green vinyl of the original and reissue. The bronze paint appears to be more brushed on the figure than sprayed. There is a sticky film found on various parts of the body. The foot stamp is the same as the original and the same Toho license sticker can be found on the bottom of the right foot. It is rumored to be limited to 1,000 pieces. Some collectors have took it upon themselves to repaint the bronze figure for a more accurate look. Many collectors feel a repainted Bronze loses value.
Box for the Great Monster Series 30th Anniversary Bronze Godzilla 64
It's been reported that the box used for the 30th Anniversary Bronze Godzilla 64 is the same box used for the First Issue Great Monster Series Godzilla 64 with only a sticker saying it's a "Anniversary Exclusive". It turns out the sticker theory is a myth and not true. While both First Issue GMS Godzilla 64 and Bronze Godzilla 64 used the same box, the left side of the box, going along side the katakana of "Godzilla", used for the Bronze Godzilla 64 says "Special Limited" in Japanese. The First Issue GMS Godzilla 64 box does not have this.
A known Bootleg of the Large Scale Godzilla 64 exists. The bootleg is done in black vinyl can be easily recognize without comparing. It is speculated that some of these bootlegs were used to be made as Bronze figures. Use great care when purchasing a Bronze Godzilla 64.
Great Monster Series King Ghidrah
1984 saw Bandai release the Great Monster Series King Ghidrah. Standing at almost 13 inches tall, 19 inches long, and with a 21 inch wingspan, the Large Scale King Ghidrah is completely painted in yellow/gold and while the legs and tail have articulation, the vinyl is so thick that it's difficult to pose in any other position. The necks have no articulation, but for some reason, the horns on the top of the heads can be turned. The wings need to be attach to the body placing the tabs on the wings thru slots on the back of the body. In time, the tabs on the wings crack and even break off due to the weight of the wings, which results in finding a figure with wings in mint condition rather challenging. The right foot has Japanese writing with "Bandai Japan 1984" stamped on the bottom, while the gold Toho license sticker picturing Godzilla's silhouette is found on the bottom of the left foot. "King Ghidrah" in katakana is stamped on the bottom of the left foot with the license sticker placed over it. The box is a simple cardboard box with Japanese writing done in black. The Great Monster Series King Ghidrah has never been reissued.
Bandai produced one more monster to be part of the Great Monster Series.
Great Monster Series Mothra Larva
1984 saw the release of the Great Monster Series Mothra Larva. Believed to be fashioned after the 1961 Mothra Larva, yet the eyes are painted red where the 61 version had blue eyes. The Mothra Larva is 15 inches long and is made in a soft, squeezable rubber. The figure is stamped on the bottom in the same manner as the original GMS Godzilla 64. The box is very attractive and pictures Mothra Larva, as well as the adult version and the twin fairies. There is quite a bit of English words found on the box such as "Mightiest Monster in all Creation" and "Ravishing a Universe for Love". The box mentions the toy as "Limited" in English, but how limited is unknown. The same Toho license sticker mention above is found on the side of the box.
Great Monster Series Mothra Larva & Large Scale Mothra Larva reissue
The Large Scale Mothra was reissued in 1991, this time in vinyl. The reissue is a darker brown with darker highlights. The stamp on the bottom of the figure is the same except the Japanese writing is slightly changed. A single tag is attached on the bottom of the figure and pictures the 68 Mothra Larva on the front and the usual information on the back. The Toho license sticker is found on the tag and is the same mentioned above.
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