Sunday, December 18, 2011

Y-MSF: Varan Figure Review

Y-MSF Varan
To my knowledge, Y-MSF seems to be a relatively new toy manufacturer in the Godzilla figure collecting world. According to's website, Y-MSF's first line of Godzilla toys date back to 2004. This company so far has created their own versions of monsters featured in the Godzilla movie franchise from the Showa era. For this review, I present to you Varan, by Y-MSF.

One thing I noticed about Y-MSF is their toys vary in color combinations, vinyl types, and quality. All of Y-MSF's figures are unpainted, unless another toy dealer orders licensed paint schemes per unit. One monster could be sold in it's original color or in different combinations. Each version seems to be limited to about 100 or a few hundred pieces. I was one of the few lucky people to buy this version (brown) online.

The Monster:  Varan debuted in the 1958 film, "Varan" in Japan, which is also knows as "Varan the Unbelievable" in U.S.A. I read somewhere the American dubbed version is terrible compared to the original Japanese version. Varan's original role was a mountain god to the villagers near Kitakami River. However, in Toho's 1698 film, "Destroy All Monsters," another Varan (speculated to be an infantile version) lived with Godzilla, Rodan, Anguirus, and other monsters on Monster Island in 1999. His powers/weapons is gliding at the speed of mach 1.5. Varan has skin flaps or membranes between his arms and legs that allows him to glide much like a flying squirrel. Theorists also believe the sharp dorsal spines protected Varan from other species that posed a threat.

The Figure:  This figure is based on the one that appeared in "Destroy All Monsters." At first, I thought this figure would have the same features (colors) as Tempting Toys' exclusive version of Varan. Varan (in the ad) was colored glossy brown with gold highlights on his spine and claws. However, the one delivered to my home is very different in color, and perhaps vinyl type. I eventually discovered that the other advertisement reused the same photo. To simply put it, I was a little deceived.

I ended up buying this version (the one pictured above) instead of the more colorful, glossier one, which is still cool. Y-MSF designed Varan in his crawling position. The  whole figure is made of soft vinyl and the actual paint on him is a flat shade of brown with some flat grayish highlights. The dorsal spikes, fingernails, and toenails are light tan. Varan's eyes and teeth also seem to be gray. The details on this figure looks great. The spikes on Varan's back, tail, and head are really pointy, so be careful when you're handling him. Any misuse may cause some sort of physical damage. The texture is a little rough similar to dinosaur figures, sold in your common toy store.

Varan's teeth are sculpted to look sharp and there are two tiny, slanted indents in his nose to resemble this monster's nostrils. Furthermore, Varan's eyes (to me) resembles some lizards that live in deserts and other environments. My favorite part on this toy is the skin membranes between Varan's arms and legs. The sculptor did a great job in creating all of these wrinkles and ripples in the skin flaps. Varan stands around 3 1/4 inches tall and 8 1/2 inches long.

Articulation:  Varan (at least this version) have one point of articulation. The tail cannot rotate because the joints seem to be glued together and I do not want to break the seal. His right leg can rotate all the way, but I had to be careful while doing it. Varan's left leg, however, looks like it could pop off easily and I don't want that. Varan's front arms are glued together, so they can't twist. I've seen other reviews of this figure (sold by Tempting Toys) on YouTube and those toys (that also seems more sturdy) offered more articulation than mine.

Bonus Figure:  To sweeten the deal, I received another figure for free.

This toy was a mini Hedorah figure that was also made by Y-MSF. Hedorah stands around 3 inches, but has no articulation. In fact, the figure is empty inside because it was molded together as one piece. The design looks good though.

Details wise there are multiple layers of gunk on this monster with some cracks on his head; he looks really gross (in a good way). Hedorah is painted hunter green with some red, light green, and gold highlights.

Size Comparison:

Varan is obviously bigger than Y-MSF Mini Hedorah figure, but looks puny compared to Bandai's 9" Kiryu. He seems to match well with Bandai's 6" figures including Godzilla 1968 version.

For another comparison, I paired Varan with his other colleagues from Destroy All Monsters: Baragon and Anguirus. Unfortunately, Baragon and Anguirus looks slightly bigger than Varan.

Final Thoughts:  Overall, I recommend Varan (in any color of your choice) to anyone who loves to collect Godzilla and kaiju related figures. The details are amazing and Varan's size is pretty good compared to other figures. Varan does lack articulation and poseability, so I can't recommended him to anyone who has an issue with this problem. Varan should be meant for adult collectors because the playability is not there and the spikes may hurt an innocent child. However, if you're a responsible kid that loves to display your Godzilla figures, then I see no problem with you owning one.

(update: 1/2/13)  As an extra for all fans of Varan out there, I bought a 25cm scale of Varan (crawling version) made by X-Plus. A review was made and is ready for your viewing pleasure. Click the link below to view my review:


  1. Hi there. I'd like to buy the figure if you'd sell it. How much do you want for it?

    1. Hi Luis! Thank you for dropping by. I'm still attached to Varan, so I cannot part with it. I am sorry to disappoint you.

      However, the least I could do is give you some help. I saw a seller list the same Varan figure in this review up for sale. I sent you an email with the information.

      Good luck and I really hope you can get one soon.

  2. I bought this figure several years ago and really liked it, but the arms are extremely fragile and both have broken off. I've re-glued them but the fragility has kept me from really taking it out of it's safe storage place now. It's kept me from buying other Y-MSF figures out of fear of further fragility problems, which is a shame because they make a lot of monsters I do like.

    1. Hi John! I've had the same experience with my Varan figure. If you notice the elbow seam of the right arm, there's some glue residue. That arm was broken, so I had to repair it, though I did use too much glue in the process. Regardless, I still like this figure for what it is.

      I do relate with your concerns over the quality of these figures. I can't vouch for the other monsters, but I do have Godzilla '64 and Gorosaurus from Tempting Collectibles. Those figures are more sturdy and not as fragile as Varan. If you're comfortable with Gorosaurus' price on Tempting Collectibles, I encourage you to give that figure a try.

      Thanks for dropping by!


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