If I was asked which character in history has had the most impact on my life, I would have to say Godzilla would more than likely outrank Benjamin Franklin but would be just about equal with Nikola Tesla. Godzilla has been a very big part of my life, it was the first monster movie I was introduced to as a child. Throughout my earlier childhood and up to her death, my grandmother bought me Godzilla toys for my birthday on a yearly basis. Several Imperial brand Godzillas, the Shogun Warriors one from Mattel, numerous model kits and even a couple of Horizons large vinyl figures. She had a connection with someone in her doll club who’s daughter was a professional wrestler in Japan and every so often I got 3-6 inch Bandai vinyls too. This, of course, led me to buying Godzilla and other Kaiju toys into my adult life. But there has been one particular Godzilla I’ve wanted for a very long time.
Well, there’s several I want to add to my collection but one in particular that’s been slightly out of my price range and pretty much unbeknownst to me until recently. Back in the mid-late 70s, AHI made many monster related toys. Granted, for an officially licensed product of Universal Studios and by today’s standards the designs are comical and childish looking but they hold a particularly fond place in my heart. I mentioned in an earlier blog I had acquired an AHI Dracula and I consider him a prized possession, but it fueled the fire to acquire more of the collection. These are a pricey venture, even loose and beat up AHI bendies fetch $30+ and I just can’t consciously spend that much on something I know I’ll find in a 4/$1 bin at a flea market. I’m good at biding my time till a deal comes my way. Even Creature from the Black Lagoon and King Kong got in on the AHI bendy action but, sadly, no Godzilla. He wasn’t part of the Universal Monsters, Godzilla belongs to Toho and Toho rarely ever licenses their brands outside Japan. But one day while searching Plaid Stallions website I found the perfect Godzilla to compliment the AHI collection I was amassing.
A company I’m still researching about released a licensed Godzilla bendy very much in the same vein as the AHI monsters. In 1978, GLJ released a bendy Godzilla on a very goofy looking card depicting the figure itself engaged in battle within what looks like a model train table. Honestly, the creativity makes me want a carded example even harder now. During one of my recent trips to Planet Retro in downtown St Pete I saw a loose bendy Godzilla nestled between different sofubi in a glass cabinet. I was already there on another mission to buy something for my wife so I had to take a gamble and leave it behind till my next payday. The owner of the shop and I are cool and he would have held it for me, I just have a strange thing about being one of “those guys” who gets into a habit of having friends hold things for me till I got the money to buy it. I’m very particular how I handle business, I pay people what they want and if I can’t afford it then let someone else buy it. It’s a strange thing to some people but being a vendor at times myself, I’ve gotten to be a very “money talks” kind of guy. To make an already long story short, I came back and bought it.
Finally getting the GLJ Godzilla in hand makes me happy I didn’t get him when I was a kid. I was never rough with my toys but he has a feel about him like he wouldn’t survive long in the pocket of an rambunctious 7 year old. He’s the right color green to be complimentary to the memory of the Godzilla he represents and the spines that run down his back and tail are painted white at the tips so the stand out against the green. The whole body is given a black paint wash to make what I assume is their idea of sculpted scales to pop out. The scales in question make Godzilla look more like your fingers after a long swim, all pruned and wrinkled. The look on Godzilla’s face is somewhere on the scale of “I want to give you a hug” and “I want to give you a hug and poke you a little with my penis….and maybe eat your face”. The big goofy grin is infectious though, I could just sit and stare at this toy and still get the same kind of joy out of it in a year from now that I’m getting at this moment. It is a bendy and while all of the wires in mine are intact, the thickness of Godzilla’s body prohibits much of the movement. The tail bends freely but only looks good in it’s original prone position. I still consider the toy a win for myself and my collection, I wouldn’t have bought it if I hadn’t felt differently. There’s a lot of crappy Godzilla merchandise but this is far from it.
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