Vintage Ad Slicks: GODZILLA ON MONSTER ISLAND (1978)

Here's a set of ad slicks for the U.S. version of "Godzilla vs. Gigan," GODZILLA ON MONSTER ISLAND. Click for scans:


Another Round of Vintage Magazine Scans!

I'm about to unload a large pile of FAMOUS MONSTERS that I inherited, and I went through them one more time to find some cool pages to scan, so here they are:
Back cover to FM #180 (Jan 1982).  ESB mania still in full swing 18 months after its release.
A page from inside the same issue, where the same mania was going on!
Back cover of FM #188 (October 1982)--29 months after the film's release! Vintage Kenner goodness!
This ad ran in several issues, here from #159 (Nov 1979). "There are 3 billion people on this planet, but only 5,000 can wear this incredible creation."  Wouldn't you have been the coolest kid on the playground with this? They should have included a tablespoon of garlic powder inside each one, though.
How cool is this? FM held a contest and gave away 500 copies of Blue Oyster Cult's "Godzilla" 45 single!! (from FM #144, June 1978)


Trendmasters Godzilla Micro Playsets: #7 - SpaceGodzilla in Tokyo! (1995)

We conclude our in-depth look at Trendmasters mico-playsets with one of the absolute coolest, and by far the absolute rarest. SpaceGodzilla was the newest Godzilla foe at the time (if you were like me, you may have thought GODZILLA WARS was the newest movie in Japan!), and what better location for him to invade than Tokyo? Seems ironic that, while these playsets have focused on American cities, we finally get to Japan.
Buildings also make a return, even though we don't get specific ones.  A panel under the playset pushes up, sending "growing" crystals through the ground, displacing the buildings.  The giant crystal in the middle has an empty space that SpaceGodzilla fits tightly inside of, which makes sense because in the movie he traveled to earth in a giant crystal.  When the playset is closed, the giant crystal doubles as the one at the crest of SpaceGodzilla's head, which is pretty clever.
The two halves of MOGUERA in vehicle form are also present, although the "Land Falcon" is not removable.  The "pivoting ground plate" slides over, but more interesting is the "Pit of Doom," which the card points out, "has taken the lives of more than one monster"! In fact, you can see the remains of Mecha-King Ghidorah down there! Score one for play value!
*The rarest of the rare! I for one never saw this one in an actual store!
*When opened, the rows of SpaceGodzilla's teeth give the appearance of even more jagged crystals surrounding the city!
*Awesome SpaceGodzilla minifigure!
*MOGUERA Star Falcon ship!
*The remains of Mecha-King Ghidorah at the bottom of the Pit of Doom!
Backing card for the 1995 series.


Trendmasters Godzilla Micro Playsets: #6 - Godzilla vs. Mecha-Godzilla in Mecha-Godzilla Defense Base (1995)

And I thought the last title was a mouthful...now, you see, this is what they should've done with the Mecha-King Ghidorah Base:  included a tiny Ghidorah to fight!

Besides being all silver and shiny, this playset is unique among the other head-shaped ones, because it has a vertical orientation.  It works pretty well in the "play value" department. Besides various heavy weaponry (actually the same missile launcher as in the Mecha-King Ghidorah set), you also get some vehicles, which can be connected together like a train, and a removable radar dish that you can pretend is a Maser cannon.
*No buildings here, but instead you get plenty of action features inside the base, like a working elevator, excuse me, a "Utility Transport Elevator Pad," a folding ramp, and a cylinder that opens to reveal a hiding chamber for Mecha-G.
*The Garuda ship makes a second appearance.
*The Mecha-Godzilla minifigure is unique! This was a nice move by Trendmasters, rather than just rehashing the one from the year before.
*The configuration and weapons can be switched around on the Attack Vehicles, which is a nice touch.
*Just whose base is this, anyway? It looks like Mecha-Godzilla's house, come to think of it.
*When folded, the playset includes the fin on Mecha-Godzilla's head--this is both good and bad, because while it completes the excellent look of the playset, it was also removable, and tended to get lost by careless 90's kids.
Carded Playset (note K-B toys pricetag)
Tomorrow, we conclude our tour of this series, and take a look at the rarest of the line.


Trendmasters Godzilla Micro Playsets: #5 - Godzilla vs. G-Force in Mecha-King Ghidorah Central Command (1995)

Now that we are done with Godzilla-shaped sets, we move on to this playset, the title of which is a mouthful.  It must have been equally confusing to curious fans to see Ghidorah made into a "Mecha-King," and it must have been incredibly confusing to find that he was now a giant base, big enough for Godzilla to fight inside of...I would say "kaiju FANTASTIC VOYAGE," but they already did that in a Gamera movie!

Personally, I think the real mistake here was trying to push the "G-Force" idea...yes, I know in all those 90's movies, there is "G" everything, but in America, for my generation, G-Force is forever connected to BATTLE OF THE PLANETS...heck, even a later re-dub of Gatchaman was called G-FORCE.

Aside from all the confusion, it turns out that a giant base shaped like Mecha-King Ghidorah is pretty awesome.  I think, instead of two tiny (completely out of scale) Power Ranger rip-offs, a Mecha-King Ghidorah minifigure would have made this set perfect, and simultaneously solved the confusion of whether Ghidorah was now a cyborg, or a place to hang out.

There are plenty of play-features in this playset, and it folds up to make a very impressive-looking model of the kaiju in question. Also, unlike the first series, the backing card has been made generic, so it's the same for all four of the 1995 playsets.

*Gone are buildings and famous landmarks, but instead, we get a launchable Garuda ship.
*Lots of moving parts, including a large hangar door, a transport crane, ramp for the Garuda ship, and missile launcher.
*The giant wings don't do anything, but folded up, the playset looks really sweet.
Tomorrow, Godzilla wakes up to find himself in a giant MechaGodzilla head.  Who writes this stuff????!!


Trendmasters Godzilla Micro Playsets: #4 - Biollante in Washington, D.C.! (1995)

Today we cross over into the second series of these awesome playsets, the 1995 batch.  That year, Trendmasters decided to branch out a bit.  Where all of the previous sets had been contained in Godzilla heads, three of the four 1995 sets would be in unique containers modeled after other kaiju, two of which you can see in this photo:

The one holdout, still in the Godzilla shape, was this playset,"Godzilla Battles Biollante in Washington, D.C."  Overall, a pretty gutsy move by the toy company, as GODZILLA vs. BIOLLANTE technically WAS available in English, but not very easy to see.  (Instead of a theatrical release, the film was shown on HBO, and actually did get a VHS release, in widescreen no less, but wasn't widely known at the time.) However, Trendmasters took advantage of two cool things:  1) Biollante is a super-cool giant plant monster, and 2) the lure of destroying Washington, D.C., a la EARTH vs. THE FLYING SAUCERS.
The set is full of pros and cons.  Biollante rises up from a platform (like the elevator in the previous MechaGodzilla set), and actually splits the Pentagon building in half, which is pretty amazing.  The beast is also removable from its "stump," so at least you can take the battle across the Potomac.  Speaking of the water, though, by now the identical water shelf has appeared three times, and it begins to feel a little rehashed.  On the city side of the playset, there are a couple of oddities.  First off, you can flip over the Lincoln Memorial building and put it back, revealing a battery of missile launchers....that's just bizarre.  Secondly, the Federal Reserve Building isn't removable; it just sinks into the earth, and there's a lever to push it back up again.  This never quite works as intended (stomping it into the ground), and it tends to just let go on its own.  Speaking of the lever and all that, the  removable plate (that the buildings rest on) tends to warp, which is one of those things you just have to see; it's not evident in the photo.

But complaints aside, this is a fantastic playset, and worth tracking down.  Look at the backing card:  "The White House is a Favorite Target for Destruction!!" Of course it is!

Godzilla's Powerful Tail (TM), Copyright Toho, Ltd., All Rights Reserved.

*Landmarks include:  The Pentagon building, The Lincoln Memorial, The White House, The Washington Monument, The Capitol Building, and the Federal Reserve Building.
*Movable platform pushes Biollante straight through the Pentagon, splitting it in half!
*Underwater battle action (again)!
*The backing text refers to Biollante having "his" stump, when if I recall correctly, the plant monster was created by combining Godzilla's cells with a scientist's daughter, and it's often referred to as a "her"!
*The F-15 jet makes a return appearance.
*The last playset in the shape of a Godzilla head.
*Like the other Trendmasters Godzilla-shaped playsets, variants were available:  you could also find "Supercharged" Godzilla, which just means the Godzilla head and figure are made in a darker, blackish-green, but otherwise identical.
Tomorrow, playsets NOT shaped like Godzilla's head begin.


Trendmasters Godzilla Micro Playsets: #3 - MechaGodzilla in Los Angeles!


Or something like that.  Wrapping up 1994's Trendmasters Micro Playsets, here's MechaGodzilla invading Los Angeles. (Hmm, so far Trendmasters has focused on the East and West Coast!)  This is another winner, pitting the foes in a desert battle with Hollywood as the background.

This playset has it all--lots of iconic buildings, a breakable Hollywood sign, "Super-Voltage High-Tension Towers," (which the backing card identifies as "Godzilla's favorite target"!), and even a working elevator, er, sorry, it's a "Subterranean Payload Hangar"!!

*Real breakable locations, including:  the Capitol Records building, the 444 Building, the Bonaventure Hotel, the Hollywood Bowl, the Hollywood sign, and Dead Man's Crater (wait, is that real?)
*The top of the Earthquake Mesa slides back to make an excellent hiding place! Can you picture MechaGodzilla rising up out of the desert sand? What a great scene that would make!
*Working elevator, uh, Subterranean Payload Hangar!
*Interestingly, the backing card mentions the "E.U.O." (Earth Union Organization), and that they have a "Top Secret Desert Outpost, Project Godzilla"--I wonder if this was an abandoned concept, or just a bit of creative back-story on the part of the toy designers.
*Although MechaGodzilla appeared again, this minifigure is unique!
That does it for 1994.  Tomorrow we begin the 1995 playsets, and things are going to get mega-ultra-rare.


Trendmasters Godzilla Micro Playsets: #2 - Rodan in New York City!

"NEW YORK CITY?! Get a rope!"
The second playset in our 1994 batch features the mighty Rodan in New York City.  Another very intricate and well-designed set from Trendmasters; it features a removable wall that mounts vertically, creating a cave for Rodan! Also full of real-life landmarks, for lots of monster combat action.

*Packed full of real landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty, the Citicorp Building, the Chrylser Building, the Empire State Building, and, sadly, the World Trade Center.  Suddenly, destroying New York isn't so desirable.
*The Statue of Liberty acts as the "controller" for Godzilla (see backing card)
*Above Rodan's cave is a place to connect a thread or fishing line (not included), allowing Rodan to fly down from his perch and begin his reign of terror!
*Giant octopus (and others) visible in the ocean depths! Shades of KING KONG vs GODZILLA? Or FRANKENSTEIN vs DEVILFISH??
*Giant spider in the interior of Rodan's cave.  Spiega? Clearly, I'm thinking too hard about all this.
*The only place to get the Rodan minifigure!

Tomorrow, MechaGodzilla works on some urban renewal in Los Angeles!


Trendmasters Godzilla Micro Playsets: #1 - King Ghidorah in San Francisco!

I recently finished a set of Godzilla items I never thought I would live to see complete, and this week, we are going to be taking an in-depth look at it.  It's a great toy line made by the short-lived Trendmasters company, who in the mid-90's began to produce a large amount of Godzilla merchandise.  Some of it was great, and some less-than-stellar, but the best part about it was the attention it brought back to Godzilla, and all without a new film in American theaters.  People suddenly began to realize there were new movies being made in Japan, and the rest is history!

One of my favorite Trendmasters items are the Micro Playsets, similar to Micro Machines, but even cooler.  These playsets were all contained in a large Godzilla head (and later, that of his foes), for goodness' sake! And, just like practically everything that Trendmasters made, a cool trading card is included! Between 1994 and 1995, seven different playsets were produced, with the 1995 ones being rarest--and even in one case, mega-rare--to actually find.

We are going to begin with the first one I ever bought, 1994's "King Ghidorah In San Francisco."  (Another super-cool feature of these playsets were the American cities that Godzilla hadn't ever actually visited--aside from briefly calling on New York in DESTROY ALL MONSTERS!) I was always drawn to Ghidorah, and this playset was a great purchase.  Here is a scan of the backing card:

*Features real-life locations, such as the Golden Gate Bridge, the Transamerica Building, and Alcatraz Island!
*Rotate the former prison, and a trap door opens, swallowing your kaiju in a watery grave!
*The only time this Micro-figure of King Ghidorah was produced!
*Underneath the removable water-top is a "hidden compartment."  What they don't show you on the packaging is a tiny hinged door, built into the sides of the ocean...! What it's actually for, I was never able to figure out!!
Tomorrow, Micro Playset #2, which includes everyone's favorite pterodactyl relative!


More Godzilla magazine covers!

A special all-kaiju issue of Famous Monsters from 1974! Just won a beautiful copy in an auction!
A short-lived magazine published by Marvel in the 70's called Monsters of the Movies.  Issue 5 featured a cover painting by Bob Larkin.  I also just won a beautiful, crisp copy of this one!
Famous Monsters #135 featured coverage of the then-new MechaGodzilla film! I have a scan of this full issue, but I'm looking for a real copy!
For good measure, we end with a bang.  The glorious Bob Eggleton painting that adorns the cover of the recent FM #262. 


Haruo Nakajima article! (Famous Monsters 145, July 1978)

Not a very good title (it's a play on the title of a Gregory Peck movie, if you don't know), but an interesting article all the same, from Famous Monsters #145.  Nakajima played the big G all through the classic run of 1954-1975, as well as many other big-name Toho monsters.  The details on the lengths he went to in his portrayal of Rodan were very interesting, and showed he was serious about his craft.  Enjoy!


"The Big Green [sic] Guy" (STARLOG #180, July 1992)

Most Godzilla fans bristle at the description of Godzilla as "green," and quite often, he isn't, although that is usually one of the most commonly-used words in describing Godzilla in the unschooled media.  This article is no different.  In fact, it's not that great of an article at all (I thought it was rather disparaging), but the illustrations are downright charming, and I enjoyed it for that reason alone.


GIANTS FROM JAPAN article (Famous Monsters #145, 1978)

Another classic article on Japanese kaiju eiga from Famous Monsters, this time from issue #145, July 1978.  Good stuff! It's amazing that at one time, fans depended on dedicated magazines like this, even if occasional errors got through, for any information on kaiju at all! But I have to hand it to FM; they were pretty fair in their frequent spotlights on Japanese goodness that was a break from the constant vampires and zombies.  And some of these behind-the-scenes photos are new even to me! More goodness to come shortly. 


Famous Monsters #64 - DESTROY ALL MONSTERS article (1970)

Here is a very fun article about DESTROY ALL MONSTERS from Famous Monsters #64 (April 1970), which I've scanned for your enjoyment.