Jill Elliott - I Was Afraid To Love You (promotional-only 45, New World, 1985)

 NOTE: Link is fixed!

Well, here it is.  The infamous, notorious, extremely rare promotional 45 for GODZILLA 1985 that's...not even in the film.

Over recent years, it's become more widely known by fans that there was a plan to bring the 1984 GOJIRA (or THE RETURN OF GODZILLA if you like) to the U.S. as a "wacky parody" and make it "funny."  Thank goodness none of this came to fruition, and lots of people say that Raymond Burr had more than a little to do with stopping this from happening.  He was certainly someone who understood the importance of Godzilla and what the character stood for.  

Anyway, you'd be unable to convince me that the song on this record wasn't at the very least an outgrowth of that plan.  Just look at the label:  "the love theme from the motion picture GODZILLA 1985." It's also telling that it wasn't used as--at the very least--part of the end credits music, like Toho did with their Star Sisters track.

In the end, since the song existed, it was decided to use it in a music video of film clips, and distribute it as a promo 45.  Judging from myriad YouTube comments, the video played on MTV a couple of times, on an Elvira special, and on the beloved Night Flight...and then disappeared.  No word on whether any radio stations actually played the record. There is more than one upload of the video to YouTube if you are so inclined.

If you're familiar with the term "low-hanging fruit," then you understand why it's not even worth making fun of the song itself (it's so bad, it's bad).  Instead, here are some fun facts:

*7-inch, 45 rpm promotional-only single, made and distributed by New World Pictures

*Stereo; 2 minutes 35 seconds

*Same version on both sides (whereas in the old days, you'd get one mono and one stereo version)

*Starts and ends with some added cheesy, looped Godzilla roars...the ending ones are weird and slurred, and reminds me of how they changed Toho roars for early Ultraman monsters.  It's worth pointing out that there are versions of the promotional video on YouTube that have "clean" versions of the song, with no roars at all.

Finally, here is my direct rip of the song from the record itself, in both mp3 and lossless, in all its glory:

Jill Elliott - I Was Afraid To Love You




It's unfortunate that it's been so long between posts, but we at The Sphinx are hard at work on the next editions--and last volume--of our GODZILA GUIDES, in which we attempt to cover all vintage American Godzilla items...which may be a test of sanity.

Anyway, today we look at an unusual "ad mat" or set of ad slicks for DESTROY ALL MONSTERS. This particular one measures 23 by 35 inches! That's nearly as big as a movie poster.  It's one-sided, and as you can see in the photo above, it's really two sets, because no matter how you turn it, one is always upside down.  

At least we can look at the two halves, separately.  Here is a list of what's included (handy for setting up your newspaper page layouts):

Here are the two halves of the ads:

Hard to photograph, impossible to scan, but great stuff! Stay tuned for some big things coming up...we are of course still doing our annual Countdown to Spooky Month, which will start soon (somehow there is still more we haven't shared yet)!

"Manda mangles London"?




It's the weekend, and you are home by yourself.  Why? Because your parents have gone shopping for the whole day, and they refuse to drag you along anymore because they can't abide your adolescent, contrarian attitude, and are much happier without you....which took them long enough to figure out.  

So anyway, it's time to get your favorite drink mix and make a whole pitcher.  It's time to find a full bag of chips--one that nobody's gotten into yet--and take both downstairs to the TV, to camp out in front of it for the WHOLE DAY.  A glorious entire day of vintage television.

Between the syndicated sitcoms and cartoons comes the afternoon movie! What's on today?

What the--!? JACKPOT! AWESOME!!!

What we have here is a videotape of an original broadcast from the month of December, 1987, from WNYW, channel 5, New York, with the original commercials! May God bless whoever recorded it, because it has survived for us to enjoy today.

As if the movie isn't enough, the ads are amazing.  As you would expect, December meant Christmas ads, so there are some beauties, such as the following:

The NES was down to 80 bucks that  Christmas!

And of course, everything here is VHS quality.  There is a tiny imperfection at the very beginning, where a few frames were lost, so you will have about one second of blue screen when the film starts, due to the very, very start of the tape getting chewed up.  The taper missed some of the original Cinema Shares logo as the film was beginning (which was something that happened back in the VCR days; trying to quickly find a tape, slap it in, and get recording as fast as possible), so I was able to completely restore the correct Cinema Shares logo from YouTube (thanks to the always-awesome H-Man's channel) seamlessly.  

Not only is this a huge treat, but it's kind of like a working time machine.  I do realize they still technically show movies on TV today...but it's not the same.  Not the same at all! Enjoy!

P.S. - The Toys R Us ad just about choked me up.

Turns out, Geoffrey is one of the very first people
you meet in heaven, who knew?


Godzilla White Castle Promotional Toys (Strottman International, Inc., 1990)

Here's a little-known footnote in the annals of Godzilla history.  In 1990, there was actually a Godzilla kids' meal promotion.  These days we would think there had to be a new movie, animated show, video game, or something to promote, but this promotion just was.  Even stranger, the promotion was at White Castle.

For anyone who doesn't know, White Castle is the very first fast food hamburger chain in the US, beating McDonald's by many years (in fact, when the McDonald brothers were starting their business, they sent employees to White Castle to learn how they did things).  They are famous for small-sized burgers that can be eaten by the plateful.  The problem is, White Castle is regional.  Even today, they have hundreds of restaurants, but are only in 13 states.

The promotion was called GODZILLA DEVOURS CASTLE MEAL, "Castle Meal" being the name of their kids' meal.  As everybody knows, the most important thing about the kids' meal is the toy, and there were four Godzilla toys to choose from, with a new one each week.  The toys were produced by a company called Strottman International, Inc.

WEEK ONE: Inflatable Godzilla

This was a Godzilla that was constructed like a pool toy.  Imperial of course had issued the famous 6-foot inflatable in 1985 (and would issue several other sizes in 1992), but this is the only other inflatable Godzilla I can think of, and as far as I know, the only other inflatable kids' meal/Happy Meal toy I've ever seen. (It just seems like this sort of thing would be fraught with liabilities today.)

Also, I imagine it was expensive to produce, especially for its intended purpose.  It's also the kind of toy that you give a kid to play with...for a very short time.  Sort of like a balloon (today nobody gives kids balloons; see comment about liability), it's just destined to pop.


Let's be honest and just call this a "throwing star," and get it over with.  This is one of those toys that looks super-awesome but doesn't always work the way it's supposed to (there are suction cups all around the edges).  It's definitely one of the most appealing toys in the group, the kind of thing that would be on the header card for a gumball machine, and I'd put rolls of quarters in, trying to win it. It just looks so cool.


The Godzilla flyer is a 6-inch mini-frisbee.  It bears a relief of the same Godzilla portrait that can be found on the throwing st--I mean, spinner.  Interestingly, this and the spinner are the only places in this promotion where you can see the now-classic GODZILLA logo, you know the one.  The one that started in 1977 for everything that said KING OF THE MONSTERS, such as the Marvel comic:
I just thought that was interesting, as everywhere else in the promotion, there are just various fonts used.

This may be the most famous toy of the group.  It would be hard for me to pick a favorite, though.  I don't love the sculpt here, but it is really the only full, figural representation of the four.  The inflatable was a brave inclusion, but I think this one would better stand up to being played with.  
Also, this toy included paperwork.  You would expect one side of the little flyer to be instructions on how to draw up water into the toy, but nope.  It's just informative:


One other collectible included in this line were four different plastic cups.  It's easy to miss the fact that there was actually a different one each week, especially since the cups look very much alike at first glance.  Here is a photo from ACTION FIGURE NEWS #5 (Winter 1992) that shows all four together:

There are also various store displays from this promotion that exist.  All in all, the White Castle Godzilla promotion of 1990 is like a wrinkle in time (I've heard that phrase before somewhere).  It seems like something from an alternate, better universe.  I mean, who didn't always want classic Godzilla Happy Meals? And it actually happened!


Jimmy Castor - I LOVE MONSTERS (Little Monster Records, 1979)


I never thought I'd say this, but here it is, after years of searching.  A while back, I did a post analyzing all of the releases & versions of Castor's "Godzilla" song (you can read and hear them at this post). 
The back cover wastes a lot of opportunity and is completely blank!

This is basically a compilation album that Castor built around his song "Troglodyte," which was  minor (novelty?) hit.  He attempted to market this collection as a kids' album, but the truth is, it's waaaay too funky and out there probably for even 70's kids.  

This album is a lot of fun, and has some excellent grooves.  Dracula, The Mummy, and King Kong are all here, and there's even a song about the Incredible Hulk (referred to as "The Beast," but it's pretty clear what's going on...which explains why Hulk is playing drums on the cover).  If I was going to be critical, I'd say that many of the songs are structurally the same, following the same pattern, and not just because of Castor's sort of speak-rapping delivery (also some of his lyrics are grammatical nightmares).  It doesn't stop it from being extremely enjoyable, and it's a shame that it didn't find new life as an annual Halloween classic, because that would've worked fantastically.  Some truly terrible rarities have gotten new pressings; why not this?  (Oh wait, the rights would be a bloodbath, that's why.)

I also have to say that the copy I got cleaned up phenomenally, and only needed the minorest of filtering and microscopic noise removal.  It turned out very nice,  if I do say so myself!

But back to the "Godzilla" track, which is why we are here.  It turns out, it's indeed identical to the 7-inch and 12-inch single that he put out when he added the track to his album called "C" the next year! So gaining this rarity also solved that mystery (Castor re-released the song in 1985, and you can compare and contrast at the link above).

To further sell the idea of this collection being a children's album, the LP included "The I Love Monsters Lyric Book With Pictures To Color," which was rather primitive in its design.  Here is the Godzilla page:

Butchered the Japanese numbers, there...

Gotta admit though, Godzilla blowing a saxophone with fire coming out of it is pretty hard core:

But enough monkeyshines! Enjoy this long-lost classic album:

Link:  I LOVE MONSTERS (1979)


BIG FELLA (Ro El, bootleg) and GODZILLA WIND-UP WALKER (Trendmasters, 1994)

Godzilla fans have seen photos of this famous (infamous?) bootleg toy around the Internet for quite a while, and wanted a better look.  Today, we will do just that!

First of all, let's define our terms.  There are unauthorized pieces, and then there are outright bootlegs.  Unauthorized items are usually completely original, and add something to the fandom that wasn't there before, sometimes even filling a demand (a couple of quick examples are the MONSTER GALLERY coloring book and CREATURE FEATURES board game, both wonderful).  Many of these are beloved by long-time fans, and I refer to them as "unauthorized, but who cares" items.  The problem, of course, is that their manufacturers didn't take the time to get legal clearance/licensing to be able to produce and sell these items.  Because after all, I'm sure that' s not a fun process.

And then there's the other group, bootlegs, a term that going all the way back to Prohibition.  It used to bring up images of a guy with an overcoat full of fake watches for sale, ducking in and out of an alley on a city street.  Today, since the largest retail website in the world is literally overflowing with fake items from China and won't do anything about it, it doesn't have the same sting that it used to. 

Some collectors distance themselves from bootlegs, and in my opinion, they are missing out, because some of them are completely delightful.  Now, let's be honest:  the very point of bootlegs is to illegally offer an inferior copy of a real item (cheaper), and thus screw the consumer, as well as the original manufacturer of that item.  It's understandable to avoid them for that reason.  Well, until they are hilarious, that is.

Different lighting (an attempt to show more detail)

And, that brings us back to Big Fella.  Just look at the card art.  It is not only awesome, it's not bad at all in the accuracy department, and has that outsider-art, third-world country appeal, where movie posters are painted on flour sacks, if you've seen those.  He's also much smaller in person that he appears online.  It quickly makes it obvious what is going on though.

The magic stops when you turn the card to the back!

This is nothing but an outright copy of the Trendmasters "Wind-Up Walker" from 1994:

In fact, here is an opened example that will make comparison even easier:

It always surprises me when bootleggers copy more intricate items, that involve more effort, such as a wind-up toy with dozens of moving parts that need to be casted and/or designed.  But, maybe this Ro El already had made some wind-ups (a cursory search reveals lots of rack toys, and knock-off wrestling figures), so who knows.  

Then again, we are assuming Big Fella even works.  There is definitely a level of "bootleg" where they don't even bother.  He is a more correct color, though, so we will give them that!

In closing, I should mention that next, a company called E Toys (another name for Ro El? Sometimes of course the bootleggers bootleg each other) issued a Big Fella repaint, as well as a Spacegodzilla, which Trendmasters certainly never made a wind-up of!


GODZILLA Costume And Mask ("Monster" box variant) Ben Cooper Inc., 1978


We are hard at work on a PDF version of the Godzilla lists on this blog, which, when put together, will form the ultimate guide to vintage American Godzilla items of all kinds!  In doing the research and compiling the guide, I decided to take a closer look at this "other" vintage Godzilla Halloween costume.  I knew one existed in a different box, but I figured that was merely a packaging variation.  I was wrong.

While the box is a generic (and awesome) "Monster" costume box, and the mask as far as I can tell is identical, there are several differences in the costume itself!

It's time to play "Spot the Differences."  Let's take a closer look:

1) The GODZILLA logo has been redone--on the first costume, it didn't fit, and the "A" was even cut off, behind his head.
2) The background of the costume is now green, with a scale-like pattern.
3) The copyright text is now in a different font.
4) The fire is completely different, and much more red.  The bits coming off of it are different too.
5) Upon close inspection, Godzilla has been completely done over.  Look at the dorsal plates, which were formerly rounded.  They wisely removed the red lips of the original, too.

Here is the pack-in flyer that came with this version:

What you can't see in the photos (apologies) is one of the biggest changes, to the material of the costume itself.  While the first version's lower half is made of a thin, satin-like material, the pants of the second version are made of the same vinyl material that the entire costume is, and are a much brighter red.  This change was probably made for durability, as the vinyl was more likely to hold up better for an entire night of Trick-or Treating and rampaging...but not MUCH better, as these costumes did good to make it through Halloween!



This is actually a pretty rare board game from 1985, and one that doesn't appear to have been sold in stores.  The point is to teach children about safety (I think), but we tried to play through it, and it's extremely boring and uninteresting...except for the artwork.

This is another spin-and-move, get-to-the-other-side type of game that has been found everywhere since prehistoric man made them from rocks.  Basically, the game is constantly forcing you to draw cards, because that's the only real feature it has, and the only thing that really affects play at all.  Luckily, these cards have to do with eating glass and picking up live wires (and letting a stranger poke your armpit, apparently), otherwise I would've been sound asleep very quickly.  They are the only thing about this game that are worth taking a look at, and using out of context of course.

Here are all of the cards to "enjoy," and you must not will be in your brain from now on (go ahead and try it today on your wife, boss, warden, or local clergy):

We will resume regular programming shortly.


Halley's Comet: The Complete Adventure (PAM, 1985)


Turns out, the COMPLETE ADVENTURE is a postage stamp's worth of information, and synthesizers.

Some records can be very rare AND a huge disappointment, all at the same time.  But first, a little story.  

When I was a kid, I took educational summer classes for a summer or two (they were trying to get me out of the house, obviously).  You were allowed to choose from a short list of topics, at least, and small me chose "photography" (skills and knowledge which, of course, are now completely worthless for me, in modern times), "the abacus" (big mistake...completely forgot I hated math...also, extremely obsolete, even then), and a thing called "Halley's Comet."  There was a big hoopla about it returning the following year.  It only was visible every 76 years, and people generally got one shot at seeing it in their lifetimes.  It was going to be a big deal and change life as we knew it.  

The short answer was:  it was a huge dud.  In fact, even Wikipedia says that 1986 was the worst appearance of the comet in the history of the universe, because of lots of factors.  It was pretty much a waste of time, from the ground anyway.

This record is part of that excitement built up around the event, and as previously stated, it's also a huge disappointment, much like the comet itself.  There is hardly a postcard's worth of information on Side One, which is spaced out (pun not intended) a sentence at a time, and intoned creepily over a synthesizer soundtrack that goes wildly all over the place, from "fanfare," to quiet, to loud, to everything in between, like it was composed to accompany something else entirely, and then got used for this.  So much so that the entirety of Side Two is the synthesizer score again, this time by itself...because we have nothing else to say about the comet, anyway.  [This is random, but it reminds me of the English dubs of ULTRA 7 that used to air on TNT, which also added a hyperactive synthesizer score, which actually detracted from the show you were trying to watch.  Just in case anyone else had that same experience!]

What they should have done was make a record of angry people's comments who fell for the hype, and yet never saw the actual Halley's Comet at all.  That would've been far more interesting to hear.

Halley's Comet: The Complete Adventure

P.S.:  Oh, and the record actually came with a "Star Tracker" dial thingy, which was actually well-made.  It has much more information than the actual recording itself.  I can only assume this record was sold in science museums, because there is no bar code, and I imagine selling this in an actual record store would've caused looting and riots.