Sunday, May 11, 2014

X-Plus Varan (30 cm) Diamond Reissue Review

Diamond has once again graced collectors with another shot to own X-Plus' Varan figure, since being long out of production years ago. This interpretation is based on the movie Varan the Unbelievable. Varan is one out of three monsters introduced in Wave Three of X-Plus reissues.

Assembly Instructions

Varan's tail is quite squishy and the base tends to collapse in shape during assembly. The fact that Varan's body is rather thicker and solid in material, certainly doesn't help in this important process. One solution, devised by fellow collector Rich Eso, is freeze the tail for a few minutes, and in the mean time, heat Varan's body with a blow dryer for over a minute, then assemble the parts together. This process should not damage the vinyl whatsoever.

To view Rich Eso's video instructions, click the link below.

Design & Details

The immediate reaction to seeing this figure in person for the first time is just how incredible this toy came out.  From top to bottom, every single detail just screams “Varan!” What makes Varan very unique to kaiju fans is the creature’s design, which was based from the Draco lizard, Godzilla, and a Kappa (Japanese folklore creature).

Varan’s claws and feet look a little webbed, similar to the Kappa. The front half of the body is quite smooth with a bit of a grainy texture, while the back end is very bumpy and blistering. The membrane that gives Varan’s ability to glide is partially shown, dangling below his arms, on the ribs, and outer thighs. The only, and minor, complaint to make is how squishy Varan’s back and tail is. Every other part of the body is casted out of thicker vinyl except the bumpy texture that is supposedly Varan’s armored plate. Hopefully the soft material will not be prone to breaking in the distant future.

The row of spikes spanning from Varan’s head to tail looks stiff and pointy, but they’re actually quite soft and flexible too.  They sport a natural curl that normally points in one direction, except the head, which has a few spikes facing in an opposite direction. Two of the spikes are mistakenly bent sideways, probably when Varan was packed and boxed up.

Varan’s facial expression is very menacing when glanced from the side, front, and top angle. The rows of teeth are individually sculpted, and the tongue inside seems liked a carved separate piece also. One neat addition to this sculpt is a colony of pin-sized dents in the center of Varan’s neck, which mimics holes that suit actor Haruo Nakajima needed to see through.

Paint Job

Diamond's reissue has the proper color scheme for their own interpretation as well. Varan is painted in two shades of brown with some reddish-brown blemishes on the legs, chest, arms, and face. The tongue seems reddish-brown as well. Varan's claws are light tan with brown gradients, which was also applied on his toes. The spikes, that spans from head to tail, are casted out of clear plastic, with faded brown gradients at the base. However, two of the spines has a weird white shade on one side, similar to stress marks. The other set of spikes protruding near the cheek bones are yellow with a brown fade. Varan's eyes has a glossy, faded hint of brown with black pupils, and his teeth are brownish ivory.

Figure Specs


Varan's design, multiple details, and paint job should be enough to convince any fan to buy this reissue. The overall presentation, is as most suit accurate as it gets. I fully recommend anyone to include this figure into the Godzilla collection. Varan has that vibe that commands respect and recognition on his own, even though he wasn't fully utilized in Destroy All Monsters and canned from appearing GMK.

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