4/30/14

Godzilla KOTM Trendmasters Comic (1994, part 2)

When we last left our hero, Godzilla had recruited Mothra and Rodan to attack the headquarters of the evil corporation, Genco, in order to steal back his egg.
So what does Genco do, you ask? Well, apparently they build Mechagodzillas and Mecha-King Ghidorahs...though not very well!


Somehow (on the last page), Godzilla rips the top off of the Genco building in exactly the right place to scoop up his egg, and then blasts Lex Luthor with a huge beam of atomic breath, which should teach him a lesson.  It reminds me of a similar scene in GODZILLA 2000, except there's no egg involved of course!

4/28/14

Godzilla KOTM Trendmasters Comic (1994, part 1)

Today, a very special look at an often-overlooked Godzilla item.  This pack-in mini-comic measured 5 x 7" and was included with the 10" action figures made by Trendmasters in 1994.  While they produced more than 40 different trading cards over the course of their different Godzilla lines, this was the only comic they made.

And, it's not at all bad.  The art is actually very decent (just look at IDW's last couple of varied years, and you will quickly come to the conclusion that not every artist is cut out to draw kaiju*), and there is a lot of focus on the monster action, which is as it should be.
The story is titled "Monster Island Unleashed" (oddly, Monster Island is also given the name of Ogasawara, which is a real group of islands).  It seems there is a Lex Luthor-type business mogul from "Genco" (sister company of "Biloba"), who has somehow taken possession of Godzilla's....egg.  Therefore, Godzilla enlists Rodan and Mothra to get it back, and make the humans pay.
This is all well and good, but it might have made more sense to use Mothra as the parent of the egg (especially since, besides the weirdness associated here, Trendmasters never made an attempt at Minya...which is fine, of course).  But then again, 1994 was the year of GODZILLA vs. SPACEGODZILLA, so maybe working with Toho gave Trendmasters a little inside information regarding the new Babyzilla, so that might be the reason for Godzilla laying, or finding, as it were, another egg.
Not that the artist and writer weren't familiar with the movies--because later you will see they even have Mecha-King Ghidorah shoot out clamps--so they had obviously seen GODZILLA vs. KING GHIDORAH, which was no small feat in 1994!
You will notice a "Skreeongk" here, which makes me wonder how that exact spelling of the sound effect for Godzilla's roar got started.  I know it appeared in Dark Horse's Godzilla comics, but I'm not sure if it goes back any earlier than that. Another sound effect that appears more than once is the comical "SH-BOOM," which puts the song in my head every time ("Life could be a dream...")!


Anyhow, I have seen scanned pages before, but never the complete story, and when I purchased a lot recently that included a well-read copy, I figured it was time to do some scanning.  Next time, we will conclude the comic, and see if Godzilla is reunited with his egg!
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*conversely, it should be pointed out, Matt Frank is some sort of deity when it comes to drawing kaiju.

4/25/14

When Godzilla Isn't Godzilla

I search Ebay every day.  I have saved searches that I often comb through, and I try to find time to peruse a day's worth of soon-ending auctions.  A source of frequent frustration is the large amount of Godzilla "merchandise" that doesn't have anything to do with Godzilla whatsoever, clogging up my phone or computer.  I mean, I understand if you have an item that kinda-sorta connects, such as an Ultraman or Gamera item, but what I'm about to show you gets ridiculous quickly.  In my freely-given and seldom-withheld opinion, these are a complete waste of valuable time.  Here are just a few of the banes of my existence:
While this looks like something that a nasty cat coughed up, it is actually, for those of you keeping track, "Ariocarpus fissuratus," a type of cactus.  These are always listed with "Godzilla" in the title, which leads me to believe that somebody has nicknamed the species after our favorite kaiju...which is, of course, stupid, as Godzilla is mostly NEVER green, or spiny for that matter.  Now that I think about it, who would buy a cactus on Ebay to be shipped overseas, anyway?  When they ask you at the post office, "Do you have anything hazardous, liquid, or perishable?" and the answer is a resounding "YES" to all three, I wouldn't think that would go very well at all.
Less frequently, I see this waste of time, or items directly related to it.  This is a 1939 Singer electric sewing machine, and is either referred to as "Godzilla" for its size, weight, durability, or bumpy finish.  I don't know, and I don't care.  I just want it off of Ebay.  Once again, the logistics of shipping are called into question in my own mind.
This is a completely random photo, but is probably the largest category of crap that I have to scroll through, and that is motorcycle parts.  These items are more of a mystery to me, because "Godzilla" is nowhere in the title, the (many) seller's names, categories, or any of the descriptions I have dug through.  It's possible that it is an Ebay error; some sort of bizarre internal glitch that forever identifies motorcycle accessories with giant Japanese monsters.  Who knows, but it needs to stop.
"HELP US!"
This next category is the exact opposite, because it's something I've run into only once, but it was so bizarre that it needed to be included here.  In short, seeds from the "award-winning, Guinness Book-included largest ever green pepper" are offered on Ebay, so you can figure out why it gets called "Godzilla" (although once again, not green and...not full of seeds).  Anyhow, besides this photo, which completely cracked me up, another thing that I found strange was that the record-holding "largest pepper ever" weighed just over a pound.  Now, I've seen pumpkins at state fairs that were the size of Volkswagen Beetles, so shouldn't the largest green pepper in the world be a little more, uh, sizeable?
Lastly, I keep seeing auctions for this...thing.  I don't know what it is (apparently from some movie I've not bothered to see), but it's not Godzilla.
Well, it was, sort of.  Anyhow, I do realize that I could filter my searches a bit better, and I probably will, but if I had already done it, I wouldn't have had anything to write about for today, so there's that! Let the weekend begin!

4/21/14

Godzilla and Viewmaster (GAF Corporation, 1978-9)

Another American Godzilla product available in 1978 was a set of View-Master reels, which were available in several permutations, although all were the same story.  (And once again, the Godzilla on the cover of his first Marvel comic gets used--although the story here is based off the second Marvel issue, so go figure.)
Besides the normal packet of 3 View-Master reels and booklet pictured above, there were other versions available as well.
I never had a "Talking View-Master" as a kid, so unfortunately, I can't play the audio with this set, but they are normal View-Master reels with a hard-plastic white disc attached that look very much like small vinyl records.  It's either extremely clever, or extremely awkward, technology, and no doubt would completely baffle children today.  I'd be curious to know if the recording is simply a narrator describing Godzilla in Seattle, or a bigger production with voice actors and sound effects.
The Double-Vue Automatic Movie Viewer allowed for cartridges that contained two different stories, in filmstrip format.  The cartridge featuring Godzilla is copyrighted 1979.
Notice how GAF tried to be logical in their pairings: Spider-Man and Thor, check.  Bugs Bunny and Sylvester & Tweety, check.  Frankenstein and Dracula, check.  Poor Godzilla gets paired with Mr. Magoo.
http://snakeandboris.blogspot.com/2014/08/view-master-show-beam-cartridge-1980.html

http://snakeandboris.blogspot.com/2014/05/view-master-show-beam-cartridge-1982.html
 A later addition to the View-Master Godzilla line was the Show Beam cartridge.  I have separate articles on the ones above, from 1980 and 1982 respectively.

4/17/14

Trendmasters GIGAN Prototype Figure (circa 1994)

It's not often that a once-in-a-lifetime item comes along, and you have the opportunity to add it to your collection.  I ran into an Ebay seller who had a connection to the defunct Trendmasters company, and he was selling many interesting items, including Godzilla action figure blueprints and design art, some Doom Island toys, and a handful of prototypes, as well as many non-Godzilla Trendmasters items.
Besides saying that his items were acquired from the Trendmasters offices, and were supposed to be destroyed, he told me that he believed this prototype Gigan was used at a Toy Fair to promote the second version of the 40th Anniversary Boxed Set that we've talked about here before, only here with a mock-up set that used hand-painted figures.  This would have been around 1994.
The boxed sets included non-posable, hard rubber kaiju that were each about 4" tall.  You can see from the photos how the paint scheme is different than the finished product!  The prototype also has a production number written in permanent marker on the bottom of one foot.
I was really shocked, and thrilled, to add this piece of Godzilla and toy history to my collection, and it went straight into my glass case!

4/16/14

Iron Man's Day Off

I made this, but only because of this amazing site I discovered, called Paper Arcade, that has 94 incredible items (some are 2-part builds).  It doesn't quite have everything (stand-up STAR WARS, please!), but there should be something for everyone.
Unfortunately, it's a "Flickr" set, so that means you have to take screenshots to print them, and sizing up the finished product is a little tricky.  Originally, I wanted to make a Space Invaders machine, but it's a 2-part build, and caused sizing problems, so I went with Ms. Pac.
The details are amazing, and somebody has spent countless hours creating these masterpieces.  I had to reign in the plans that were forming in my head to recreate the Showbiz Pizza where I spent a good deal of my childhood...but it does offer lots of good diorama possibilities.  Maybe I will put a Space Invaders machine in my Mos Eisley Cantina.

4/14/14

GODZILLA vs THE COSMIC MONSTER Ad Slick (1977)

Here's a nice piece of history--an 11 x 17" ad slick from GODZILLA vs THE COSMIC MONSTER that's in fantastic shape.  This was one of those that had to be scanned and stitched together, so don't inspect my Photoshopping abilities too closely.
I've never seen a pressbook from this film, and I wonder if one was made! Perhaps ad sheets were sent out instead?

4/8/14

Pacific Rim Trespasser (NECA, 2014)

This one, too, is stunning, but like I said, NECA's change in scale has created good and bad results.  Good from the standpoint of detail and more articulation than before, and bad because old Knifehead is now way outsized.  Luckily, their second kaiju, Leatherback, was already huge.
I have read the news that Scunner is next (and seen the photos, even), and this is fine, but NECA needs to challenge themselves by making kaiju that don't all have the Knifehead/Axehead body.  There are two that immediately come to mind--Onibaba, the crab kaiju, and Otachi, the one with the scorpion-like tail.  I'd like a group of kaiju that are as varied as possible.
Lame attempt at action shot...needs a giant '66 Batman "POW!" over it.
Going back to hugeness, though, this figure is so massive, the backing card (insert) wouldn't fit on a normal flatbed scanner, and I had to piece the image together.  It came in a box by itself from Amazon, and before I opened it, I was convinced they had sent me something else, because the cardboard box was so gigantic.


Oh, and this was how I found him when I got up for breakfast the next day...apparently he had attacked the Lego house that was also on the kitchen table!

4/3/14

Pacific Rim Coyote Tango (NECA, 2014)

Another awesome NECA figure...but a funny thing happened with this one. Mine shipped with the lower body backwards, but the legs forwards.  I finally figured it out (pun intended) by looking at the artwork below.  I was ready to complain that all of the fine print was put right on the front of the Jaeger's crotch, which made no sense, and then it hit me.   Oh well, I will be correcting this when I get home tonight, but the photos were already taken, so here you go.
So each photo is a front and back view at the same time....! (Sort of.)
I know many of these robots are based on Gundams, or combinations of things, but this one has a real Transformer feel in the legs.  The knees and hips have rounded, black, wheel-like radiuses at the joints that look like tires.  The enormous cannons swivel upwards, and are super cool.  One drawback is the rubber used for them makes them sort of crooked.
I was prepared to rant about the bizarre choice of putting all this fine print on the front of the figure...but since I have realized it's NOT the front, no rant needed.  Just a little re-assembly.


One thing I don't understand is how the Japanese Jaeger says "U.S. Air Force" all over it, and even has decorations of stars and stripes...maybe if I read the novel it would explain it.  But oh well, it's really cool either way.
I really have no complaints...these figures have been so hard to obtain, the last thing I am going to complain about is a factory worker getting a crotch backwards. (I'll bet money this is the first time today you have heard that sentence.)