I was lucky enough to acquire a 1" master tape from a former TV station library, and get it converted to DVD. As the film was not released in theaters in the US, the tape contained the 1969 American TV version of the film, meaning the beloved Titra dub (not available on DVD)! There are also some other differences from the Japanese version, including: no brief opening scene with Godzilla, a unique title card, textless opening credits, and a unique ending card.
What I haven't done is compare this to one of the gray-area VHS releases from the 1980's and 90's (of which there are only a scant few; see my page on Godzilla VHS for info). I'm assuming companies like Video Treasures used a tape like mine as a source, but I haven't yet confirmed it. The 1" tapes used by TV stations contained more lines of resolution than VHS did, so hopefully, even if this copy is identical, it's an improvement.
And, for a short while, it is available here: SON OF GODZILLA (TV Master Tape). This is the VIDEO TS folder straight from the DVD conversion, so drop it into the burning software of your choice. This will not be left up as a permanent part of the blog, so grab it while you can.
|(Inlay artwork for transparent case)|
Today we wrap up the entire decade of the 1960's, showing the last third of official American Godzilla items produced!
"King Kong" Trading Cards (Donruss, 1965) [continued]
"Monster Cards" Trading Cards (Rosan, 1965)
Continuing from where we left off last time (which was 1963), things are about to get a lot more three-dimensional.
GODZILLA GAME (Ideal, 1963)
Godzilla - All-Plastic Assembly Kit (Aurora, 1964)
And speaking of continuously inflating prices, the Aurora Godzilla kit may as well be the symbolic figurehead of American Godzilla items. This item is the perfect conflation of the era in which it appeared: the explosion in popularity of model kits, the beginnings of Godzilla as an icon (when movie monsters were at an all-time high), even the Baby Boomer do-it-yourself mentality comes into play here. All of these things add up to a recipe for instant nostalgia, and in short, everybody wants this model kit. It was mentioned above that items being desired by more than one type of collector drive up prices--and, for the record, vintage model collectors are voracious. This kit has continued to shoot up in past years, with no signs of stopping. If you don't have it, get it quickly. By the time the sting wears off from the price you paid, it will have gone up so much, you'll feel quite justified!
Rodan the Flying Monster (Ken Films #229 & #529, 1964-65)
Varan the Unbelievable (Ken Films #236 & #536, 1965)
The very next year after RODAN was brought into collectors' homes, Ken Films released VARAN THE UNBELIEVABLE, in black and white and silent with subtitles. As above, there are also four different releases in all; two 8mm sizes and two Super 8.
"King Kong" Trading Cards (Donruss, 1965)
I've been planning this series of posts for months, and it all started from the offhand thought, "Man, there weren't too many American Godzilla items in the 1960's...you could count them on one hand!" This isn't exactly true, but it's not too terribly far off, as we will see.
"Horror Monsters" Trading Cards (Nu-Card, Green series, 1961)
But I digress. Rodan also gets a cool card in this green series, so I'm including it here.
"Horror Monsters" Trading Cards (Nu-Card, Orange series, 1961)
"Terror Monsters" Trading Cards (Rosan, Purple series, 1963)
"Spook Stories" Trading Cards (Leaf, 1963)
KING KONG vs. GODZILLA did feature in one of the next series of trading cards that came out, the much-beloved "Spook Stories" from Leaf. On the back, the cards give "1961" as a date, but as you can guess, that's incorrect for the ones we are looking at. The KK vs. G cards are later ones in the series, anyhow (#108, 113, and 126), so it may have taken a couple of years for the series to expand to those numbers, which explains the date.
In part 2, we will look at the first honest-to-goodness real American Godzilla toy, model madness, and more trading cards!
A short post, but a very good one, in that I'm sharing this amazing artwork. This is the cover of a notebook I recently purchased, and it has copyright dates of 1964/2012. (This leads me to believe that the artwork was originally published at the time of GHIDRAH THE THREE-HEADED MONSTER.) I'd love to make a T-shirt of this great piece! I can't stop looking at it and finding new things to enjoy.
|Front of album!|
|Back of album!|
Yes! A (totally unauthorized) Godzilla card! Now, before you scoff at his portrayal as my kids did, remember that this was right on the heels of KING KONG (who also gets a card here) vs. GODZILLA, which brought the big G into the American mainstream. I think the portrayal is excellent. I should point out---and I need to do a future post about this--that there are only even a handful of Godzilla items produced in the USA during the entire decade of the 1960's, which, from a modern standpoint, boggles the mind!