A Piece of Godzilla


Over the last few months, I’ve collected pieces of film and pieces of history. Now, I’ve found a piece of Godzilla. The Japanese toy manufacturer M1-GO (M1-号) and music store HMV (HMVジャパン株式会社, HMV Japan Co., Ltd) released a limited replica claw of Godzilla (M1号 原型 若狭新一 ゴジラの爪) for those who pre-ordered the DVD of Godzilla: Tokyo SOS (ゴジラ×モスラ×メカゴジラ 東京SOS, 2003) as part of a 2004 campaign. The replica of the nail was based on the prototype of Monster Maker Shinichi Wakasa, who worked on the modeling for the movie. M1 was in charge of production.

Shinichi Wakasa (若狭 新一) is an amazing model maker and special effects makeup artist. He was a special effects technician and suit sculptor for Godzilla movies from 1993 to 2004. He worked on other kaiju movies produced by Toho and Daiei and Ultraman TV series by Tsuburaya Productions. Wakasa-san founded MONSTERS Inc. in 1980. His modeling company was responsible for building the suits. He was the chief suit maker for the Heisei films Godzilla vs MechaGodzilla (1993), Godzilla vs Space Godzilla (1994), and Godzilla vs Detoroyah (1995) and for the Godzilla Millennium series. (Source: Wikizilla). I learned of Wakasa-san back in 1984 when I purchased Monster Catalogue in 3D, where he is featured making a new Godzilla suit for a television commercial. Today, you learn more about his work in his book Godzilla’s Studio-Shinichi Wakasa Photobook (ゴジラの工房~若狭新一造形写真集). You can also follow him on Twitter and Instagram. This beautiful replica Godzilla claw is based on his work.

Suit maker Shinichi Wakasa and suit actor Tom Kitagawa. Godzilla: Tokyo SOS (Source: Digital Kaiju Archive)

M1 (M1-GO) is known for sofubi (ソフトビニール) Godzilla and other kaiju figures. They have been making soft vinyl mainly for Toho and Tsuburaya monsters for 30 years. M1 and HMV have teamed up before in campaigns to deliver Toho products for fans.

I saw Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla (2002) down the street from Sunshine City in Ikebukuro. Beside the theater was a HMV, where I have returned on many trips to search for Godzilla music and other collectibles.

The replica Godzilla claw is 70mm x 85mm x 35mm and weighs about 56g. It is solid painted in yellow and brown with a glossy finish. It came packaged in a protective plastic cover and case with the HMV label on the bottom.

This is not the first replica. Replica claws and dorsal fins have been released as well. These are very cool pieces of Godzilla that fit every collection.

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