I am excited to say, another of my holy grails can be checked off of my list of vintage Godzilla items! I have written about this playset before, and there are a few good sites with pictures and scattered information here and there, but this thing is so cool, we are going to take a two-part, in-depth look at its awesomeness. Because it just demands it!
It was the late 1970's, and GODZILLA was part of that time sacred to children, Saturday morning cartoons. HG Toys produced four Godzilla puzzles, which we have discussed and documented on this very blog. They also produced playsets, ranging from generic alien invasion or military, to licensed themes, like Buck Rogers or the mighty Godzilla. At the Plaid Stallions website, you can see dealer catalog scans showing these.
But to think these were akin to mere "plastic army men"-type playsets is just not accurate. Specifically on this amazing playset, they were able to take the extra steps to cram detail and play value into their product. So much so that there simply hasn't been anything to match the scope of this playset on either side of the ocean, in all these years, which is puzzling to me. Sure, there are great Godzilla playsets to be found, such as (on a small scale) the Trendmasters "heads," or even Bandai's excellent CRUMBLE ZONE, but to be fair, Bandai was representing a specific film...while this playset manages to capture the full experience of the classic films in its own unique way.
Today we are going to look at the big picture, and in Part 2 we will look at the individual elements that make up this rare treasure. After years of longing and searching, my wait is over.
|Cue the music: "With a purposeful grimace and a terrible sound..."|
|Don't worry though, the soldiers are deployed!|
|You know, though, if you are the military, defending the city, this is the last thing you want to see ahead of you!|
|Godzilla is waiting for the chance to say, "You sank my battleship!"|
|Meanwhile, the city is in flames! People run; children scream; cardboard trees rattle; old women shake their canes at the battling beasts!|
|You have to love little details like this: the diner is named "Joe's." Of course it is...as classic cartoons have taught us, ALL diners are named Joe's!|
|"Pilot One to base...I have surveyed the scene, and I would like to report that we are completely screwed..."|