Bandai Oversized Godzilla 1988

Let the collecting begin again


It all started the day I walked into Rocketships & Accessories for the first time and laid my eyes on it. There behind the glass was the Bandai Limited Edition Godzilla (バンダイ限定版ゴジラ), the prize of the Godzilla Boom of 1984. Bandai released this gigantic soft vinyl figure to commemorate Godzilla’s 30th anniversary along with a large Mothra larva and King Ghidorah. For me it was the ultimate Godzilla figure of my youth. And it would become the pride and joy of my collection during the 90s. It was priced at about $80. So I could never afford it. But I had its Bandai advertisement on the back of the highly-influential Asahi Sonorama publication the Monsters Catalog in 3D.

Bandai Limited Edition Godzilla at Rocketships & Accessories as seen on Evening Magazine on Philadelphia Channel 3 (1984). Watch Now

Because of was a poor high school student, grateful for having twenty bucks in my pocket, my dream to own this Godzilla was different but not denied. Eight years later and a bit older, during a holiday shopping trip in 1991 with my mother to the shops in New Hope, PA, I spotted my Godzilla on a shelf. It was not the original Bandai Limited Edition Godzilla released in 1984, but rather, this was the Oversized Godzilla (特大ゴジラ) released in 1988. I took a break from Godzilla collecting and my interests shifted to my college studies. But at that time the rush of nostalgia and memories overtook me as I stood there. My mother asked if I wanted it for a Christmas gift and the rest was history. I was back to collecting. I had in my possession the Godzilla that I had long forgotten and that had eluded me for so long. I thought it was lost to the past. But now my Godzilla was coming home where he belonged.

Left: Bandai Limited Edition Godzilla listed for 12000 yen ad on back cover of “Monster Catalogue in 3D” (ファンタスティックコレクション No 38 3D怪獣全集), published in 1984 Right top to bottom: On display, the first Banzai Godzilla, Volks Godzilla, 30cm MosuGoji (Photo Credit: オルドビス造形工房/スター☆ジョン/ブログ編: ゴジラの井上雅夫氏現る!) | Uchusen Magazine 1984 Volks Ad for Inoue Arts 55cm MosuGoji garage kit.

The Bandai Limited Edition Godzilla was based upon the 1982 Banzai 55cm MosuGoji kit (初版1982年バンザイモスゴジ) created by Masao Inoue (井上雅夫).1 The similarities between this garage kit and the Bandai MosuGoji of The Godzilla Series (which lists Mr. Inoue’s prototype) are striking, especially the hands and pose. The Bandai Limited Edition Godzilla is very close in design to the Volks Inoue Arts MosuGoji garage kit (1984) and the third modeling of Inoue’s 60cm MosuGoji featured in Monster Catalog 3D (1984). It is clearly a descendent in the Inoue Arts family tree.

The limited edition and the oversized edition have noticeable differences. The first is taller, about 20 inches high, and stands more upright. The 1988 release is about. The paint color and applications are similar but different. Both have silver highlights on the chest. The second has grey claws and toes rather than white. Bandai also produced 1000 figures in bronze in 1984.2

The Oversized Godzilla has a small head supported by a long neck. Its upper and lower body have a striking hourglass-like shape less balanced and contoured than its garage kit predecessor. Its waist is very narrow compared to the hips and thighs that suddenly jettison outward. The side profile is its better view rather than the front. The dorsal fins are well done, large and painted silver. Godzilla’s tail is long and curvy. Both the tail and arms are articulated. Although this Godzilla is not a perfect film-accurate representation of Godzilla, MosuGoji in particular, its look easily surpasses the Mattel Shogun Godzilla and Popy Jumbosaurus Godzilla. Godzilla has a menacing stare with a ready-for-action pose. In the early 90s, this figure was the crown of my collection towering over the rest of my toys. Bandai’s Godzilla got me closer to those amazing kits in the Monster Catalog.

Bandai Oversized Godzilla box (特大ゴジラ Oversized Godzilla, 怒りと悲しみ込めて、ゴジラが咆哮する‼︎ それは人類への警鐘か、破壊の序曲か‼︎ Godzilla roars with anger and sorrow! ︎Is it a warning to mankind or a prelude to destruction?!) and the 1988 Bandai Oversized Godzilla among my collection in 1994 ︎

My figure is in excellent condition after almost 30 years. And I still have the box although it has seen its best day. In 1984, the great history of Bandai figures began with a great lineup with the Limited Edition front and center. Its 1988 reissue will always be a treasured figure. Both deserve much more discussion.


1 アニメ・特撮メカの魅力: 初版バンザイモスゴジ

2 Club Tokyo: Bandai Godzilla 1964 (Mosu-Goji)


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