The iconic creature known as Godzilla originally debuted in Japan in 1954 as Gojira. The film featured groundbreaking visual effects, a haunting score, and a timely story of nature punishing man for experimenting with nuclear weaponry. The film was brought to North America in 1956 and renamed Godzilla: King of the Monsters. The film was re-edited, with a number of scenes and plot points removed. Filmmakers inserted actor Raymond Burr into the film as American journalist Steve Martin, who functioned as the lead of the Americanized version of the movie. A striking poster was released to advertise the film, and it has become one of the most recognizable pieces of art for the U.S. release of the film.
When NECA struck a deal deal directly with TOHO, it gave them a bit more freedom in what they could produce. One of the first items that NECA showcased under the new license was a Godzilla inspired by the original 1956 theatrical poster for the film. Today we have a first look at the new Godzilla 1956 Movie Poster Version! Our friends at NECA have sent over the figure, and we have a full photo gallery and review. Check them out after the jump.
Godzilla 1956 Movie Poster Version 12″ Head -To-Tail Figure by NECA Toys
- Outstanding figure packaging
- Color scheme looks fantastic
- A poster diorama display is included
- Blast effect piece included
- The 1954 figure is still a really nice sculpt
- Good articulation
The figure comes packaged in a flapped window box, similar to the NECA Ultimate line of figures. The front features the original poster that inspired the figure. The back simply showcases a few photos of the figure itself. On the interior flap, there’s a recreation of the poster, with the figure inserted into the design. The window area is also modeled after the poster, with the figure places to mimic that design. Godzilla sits on a plastic tray, and includes a detachable Atomic Breath effects piece. Also included is a cardboard diorama display, where you can insert Godzilla into the poster itself.
For this release, NECA took their 1954 Godzilla figure, and repainted it based on the poster. Much like their 8-Bit and 16-Bit video game features, Godzilla has a heavy use of paint to create lights and shadows to act as a better homage. So while the base figure is a bright green, there’s plenty of dark blues, yellows, light greens, and dark grays applied, which blends in nicely with the painted diorama backdrop. The dorsal fins have heavy use of reds, pinks and blacks. A dark wash is then applied, which adds extra dimension, and brings out the sculpted scales throughout. The paint work looks absolutely fantastic in person. It makes the figure feel completely new, even when placed side-by-side with the 1954 version. Paint lines are crisp and clean, with no noticeable paint bleed into white areas like the eyes and teeth.
There’s a quick bit of assembly needed for the tail. NECA is now including a small instruction sheet that details how to heat up the tail piece if the ball joint won’t connect. The included Atomic Blast piece is welcome, and sits snugly into a small connection socket in the back of Godzilla’s throat. The sculpt and articulation are the same as the 1954 version. I quite liked that release, and had no problems here. Joints had a solid range of motion, with no locking issues.
The real surprise of the release is the cardboard diorama the represents the poster. The dio has a floor piece that extends outward, and has the panicked people as a piece that displays in front of the figure itself. This allows you to stand Godzillabetween the backdrop and the people, giving it a nice bit of depth. There’s even spacing between the front and back that allows the tail to stick out without having to disconnect end of the tail. To stand the dio, simply fold the side flaps to the rear of the display, and hook in the tabs from the back piece (see images 017 and 018). there are instructions to cut the side pieces down, but I wasn’t planning on doing that as it does not detract from the overall visual.
I really enjoyed how well this release turned out. It’s a unique take on Godzilla, with a fantastic display option. The mix of the dio display along with a great paint scheme make for an easy recommendation. Godzilla begins shipping to retailers on July 1st, and should hit stores by mid-July. NECA will likely have it on their storefronts on or around the first of the month. Check out some select photos below, and the full gallery after that.