Popy Godzilla Kingsaurus

11.1.2021 (revised 11.11.2021)

The Halloween weekend has passed. Rather than a trick I got a treat Saturday from the the House of Fun in New Jersey. The most important and influential Godzilla figure in my life has been the Godzilla soft vinyl from the Mattel Godzilla’s Gang released in 1978. This Godzilla was the favorite in my collection for many years. It conjures my deepest feelings of nostalgia. Godzilla’s Gang was the first Godzilla line in the U.S. Before its release, I grew up in the age of action figures such as Major Matt Mason, Micronauts, MEGO super hero figures, G.I.Joe and Evel Kenieval, to name just a few. Many years ago, when my eyes fell on that Godzilla, it had no competition. Although this figure was based on MosuGoji, it was my ultimate superhero and action figure like the 70s Justice Godzilla who defended the earth from all earth and alien forces. Mattel’s 5-inch Godzilla was the perfect representation of my hero. Its big fist ready for the fight with its strong tail for whipping approaching enemies. Its dorsal fins were more accurate than the Mattel Shogun Godzilla and the Bendy Godzilla figure on my shelf. This Godzilla beat them all.

Tragically, my Godzilla was lost by a friend who never returned my original figure after months of endless pleading to borrow it. I was devastated with a big whole in my collection. Over the years I expressed great regret and sought to get my figure back in my collection. I would get another in 1990s but at a great expense. Several months ago, I added another into my collection. Then, yesterday, I acquired its Japanese counterpart from the Popy Kingsaurus Series (ポピーキングザウルスシリーズ1978).

There are obvious similarities and differences between them. Both figures use the Popy mold. Popy’s Godzilla was made in Japan. But Mattel made their Godzilla’s Gang in Taiwan. This is indicated beneath their tails. Both have the characteristic Godzilla footprint. Most notable is the color difference. Mattel’s Godzilla is green with brown highlights, grey eyes and bright white teeth android tongue.

But Popy’s Godzilla is a mix of dark and light grey with silver highlights on its hands, chest, toes, and dorsal fins and its eyes and teeth in gold. The Popy Godzilla is more detailed and is a bit larger. Its dorsal finds, first and toes are more pronounced. Its eyes are focused to the right rather than forward. Both were released in the late 70s (1978-79). According to Godzilla Toy Museum (ゴジラToy博物館), the Kingsaurus Series was released during the third monster boom.1 2 This Popy was the initial release and predecessor to Mattel’s release. Its color was change for later releases.

I’ve never been a big Godzilla sofubi collector, but the older Showa sofubi figures have a lot of character and charm. I love this figure and gladly welcome its addition to my collection. This little Popy Godzilla figure packs a lot of punch and joy.

1 ゴジラToy博物館 by くらじ たかし (Bandai, 1/1/1993, p 37)
2 まんだらけ ZENBU 98 APR 2020 (p 50)