Sunday, June 23, 2013

Bandai USA Burning Godzilla (2nd Version) Review

I normally ignored all figures distributed by Bandai USA because I was not impressed with their final products in the past. This impression stuck with me as my collection of authentic Japanese figures continued to grow. In this world, there is always one exception that challenge your principle, this case being one of them. I found this figure in a local K-Mart and for some reason, this toy seemed very appealing. Well, the figure was pretty cheap, so I felt like there was little or nothing lose.

The Figure

Burning Godzilla is essentially a recast from the original Burning Godzilla figure that Bandai USA released before in 2002, but there are some significant differences between the old and the new versions. This second edition is made out of soft black vinyl, Godzilla's posture does not significantly slouch forward, the tail is curved up, and the paint job is slightly different. After holding the figure under a light, the vinyl used to make the torso, dorsal fins, and legs looks rather flat in color, like a matte finish, whereas the other parts such as the head, arms, and tail looks a bit more glossier, which is exactly where the revisions were made. Does that mean that the torso and legs were recycled from the leftover scraps of the first model?

The dominant factor that made this toy so darn tempting is how those eyes are painted, specifically those white, scary looking pupils, which already existed since the first Burning Godzilla from Bandai USA, but they somehow look creepier on this one. The burning muscles and veins painted on Godzilla's body looks decent, but they are certainly not the best.

The burning effect is imitated by blending orange and yellow paint together like a gradient, which works fine on this toy, but the edges of the burns that spread across Godzilla's belly, shoulders, and thighs appear too sharp and refined. They resemble cheap custom flames more than a lava-like rash normally seen on other representations. Those edges could have been airbrushed or use other techniques to create burning marks that blend with Godzilla's skin better, much similar to how Godzilla's chest and dorsal fins was painted. What is more awkward are those strange orange lines around the burns on Godzilla's torso and left leg.

Those brush strokes are so sloppy, that they add nothing to the burning effect, just horrible graffiti. Another disappointment with the paint job is that one of the orange veins on his neck will never properly align.

The overall molding of Godzilla is okay, the skin texture seems very well molded, but that all ends at the modified tail, where all of the scales look very dull. The flaws are not distracting at all, and preserving some of the best details from the first Burning Godzilla was a great decision. Godzilla has bulk, an intimidating expression, and the right posture.

However, the biggest aspect where Burning Godzilla excels is his overall playability. Considering the purpose of this figure and the soft material Godzilla is made of, all joints move easily, ensuring a small, yet fair amount of poseability on this vinyl figure.

Exploring some of Godzilla's physical limitations, while creating and recreating a few poses was a pleasant experience, and in reality kids would not judge a toy based on realistic paint jobs, they only want what looks cool and fun to play with.

Figure Dimensions


Final Thoughts

My overall thought is, I got what I paid for. The figure is cheap and the design and details seem quite mediocre, but that doesn't mean this toy is complete garbage whatsoever. The upgrades will likely make this version a neat addition for anyone interested. For the price I paid, the value was there and my impression that this figure is a pretty cool piece still stands strong. If you enjoyed collecting kaiju figures from Bandai USA from the beginning, this version of Burning Godzilla may be right for you too.

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