Here's a weird one. It's pretty rare for a VHS box to have ever received any kind of update. Sometimes a year will be replaced, or the manufacturer's address will change, but here is a major example that was apparently done at Toho's insistence.
The front of the box for this movie was then printed as "GODZILLA vs. KING GHIDORA," giving us yet another spelling of everyone's favorite golden space dragon's name. (Both "Ghidra" and "Ghidrah" had been prevalent since the 1965 release of his film in the U.S.)
Now, it's clear that by the mid-to-late 1990's, Toho was earnestly trying to normalize and streamline all of their preferred kaiju names (remember when you first started seeing the little pictures in the circles, each with the character's "proper" name, on products?). Soon after 1995's GODZILLA vs. DESTOROYAH film came out, American fans typed about "Destroyer" pretty commonly, but Toho was having none of it, and has done a good job at correcting us all to his actual name of "Destoroyah," which continues to this day.
Which is a good example: the VHS box for the 1995 film was correct when issued, which lends further credence to the reason for this one being revised. Also, the original (crummy, non-letterboxed) DVD of GODZILLA vs. KING GHIDORAH was released in the fall of 1998 too, and strangely, the title had the correct spelling of "Ghidorah" on that artwork. (What's hilarious is, in the synopsis on the back of both versions of the VHS, the correct spelling of "Ghidorah" is used in the text!)
|The initial DVD release of this film (paired with GODZILLA vs. MOTHRA) was very lackluster, but they did spell Ghidorah's name right.|
The back of the revised tape still gives 1998 as its date, and it's not just a straight copy of the previous artwork, because the (vertical) title had to be changed there as well (see photo below)...plus, there are some differences in the fine print that add King Ghidorah to the copyrighted characters. And the strangest, most baffling move of all was changing the running time from 103 minutes to 89 minutes! That one I can't figure out.
No doubt this was a "running change" done in production, although it must've been done quite late in the game, because this tape is apparently super rare. I was lucky to snatch this up, and I should credit the eagle-eyed Ebay seller who knew of its existence (he said it was only the second one he'd seen in his life!). I know I will definitely be looking twice at any tapes of this film that come up (the incorrect version is quite common).