Written by Barney Buckley
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New to the Game of X Plus Vinyls
There is one thing you need to know about these particular figures is that there is a Japanese company that does produce these hyper- realistic (this is compared to other collectibles) in these particular vinyls are very statue core category like figures they had no articulation whatsoever they just stand there and they look pretty, and boy do they look pretty! This particular company concentrates on creating such Kaiju’s like Godzilla, Gamera, and the Ultraman franchise. They also occasionally do not Godzilla related figures such as “Goldar from the Space Giants” they have been known to create Sanda and Gaira from the War of the Gargantuan’s.
1st thing you need to consider is the fact that these are very high quality unlike smaller and cheaper vinyls like the ones that are produced from the company Bandai these are way more detailed and X-plus vinyls are super, high quality. There is more caretaking in constructing these bad boys as they try to hide the joints to give them a one-piece feature as they are molded as one. The actual mold the vinyl is poured into these molds and in some cases are welded to the point where you cannot see them but they are technically one-piece. Another key factor about these particular figures is that the X-plus vinyls have individually sculpted teeth. Where the small vinyls do not they have 2 separate ridges of teeth in their mouth or their just merely painted on. That is not the case with the X plus figure. One more thing is the paint jobs on the X plus figures are a work of art in themselves alone. These are carefully capturing the shades and hues from the “real” thing as opposed to the sloppy assembly line air brushing versions. There is one more thing and need to mention is the fact that if you ever see any photos on the Internet or anywhere they do not do the actual justice as to what these figures actually look-alike when you get them.
Now we will be talking about different sculpts and molds based on these X plus figures. The 1st summer going to talk about it is called “Super-Accurate Sculpts know what X plus does and they do this at their best to produce a Godzilla figure which looks like it just stepped right out of the movie these particular figures are very movie accurate. The only exception to this rule is The X Plus Gigantic Series in these particular models there is no fancy, artistic style an example of this would be the gigantic series Godzilla 1995/burning Godzilla this is not movie accurate however when you see this Godzilla it is most impressive so you do not mind the fact that it is not movie accurate it is a sweet looking piece.
Now we will be talking about what is called “Sculpts That Are Based on the Suits” these are kept in line with the super-accurate nature of these figures you often find details that were not meant to be seen in the film. But in fact they do actually exist on the monster suit used in the scenes. Most of the Godzilla figures have a tiny mesh of holes in the neck where the suit actor can actually see through the suit. The actor does not see through the head as the suits can range anywhere from 8 to 12 feet tall. An example of this would be Ultraman when he fought Gango there is a gigantic series Gango that does show a visible zipper on its back. Red King is another Kaiju that thought Ultraman it has a fat flap on one side of its back. And Skydon’s eyes are not level with each other these are the details that can be verified by revisiting the movie or episode however these are the reasons why they are called “Sculpts That Are Based on the Suits”
Now let us get into the soft vinyl these particular figures will last a lifetime and beyond. One thing to note about soft vinyl is that the warmer they get the softer they will become. Do not worry they do not get squishy soft not like a stress doll although they might have a little give as you can squeeze them slightly especially Noran the hot summer months. They will not lose their shape they just simply get soft and as it gets colder they harden backup.
The next thing we are going to talk about our “Statues with Little or No Articulation” these particular figures are meant to be collected and displayed on shelves and not played with. There is a reason for this it is because they have no articulation and if you try to play with them they will break. Another reason for this is that the articulation possibilities with non-glued joints the lives usually have “place” where it is meant to be. There is an exception to the rule one being the Toho company’s 30 cm series Godzilla 1989 has a hinge jaw that does move up and down and then there is another Toho company’s 30 cm series Kiryu that came out in 2003 has joints which you are free to pose as you like. These are the only exceptions to the rules.
Godzilla-Gamera-Ultraman and more
Yes we will be talking about the most popular Kaiju’s within the franchise. The 2 most popular are one are the Kaiju’s from the Toho Company and the Ultraman franchise. The Toho figures are mostly filled with Godzilla and his foes. But you will also find the original Rodan and Mothra as well as the gargantuan’s Sanda and Gaira are pretty popular within this X plus series as well. Another popular item is the Baragon from 1968 and from Frankenstein Conquers the World which came out in 1965. Here is a rare one that not too many people would think is pretty popular is Gappa: the Triphibian Monsters and yes we cannot forget about Moguera and we are talking about the 1957 version not the 1994 version and this list goes on.
Within the Ultraman franchise most of the X plus series are based off of Eiji Tsuburaya’s Ultra Series and the Ultra-Q Series as well. Both Ultraman and the ultra Kaiju’s are both produced within the X plus series. More recently X plus has been creating that famous Daiei Company Kaiju they call Gamera. The Showa Series of Gamera as well as Gamera’s enemies are being released in 25 cm series lines and all 3 Gamera’s from the Heisei series is also being released in the 30 cm series.
On a keynote occasionally we get these rare figures that do come out one is Daimajin, Spectreman, and yes The Space Giants.
The Large Monster Series
Now we are going to talk about the large monster series which come into different series one being the 25 cm series and the other being the 30 cm series. Okay the 25 cm tall figures are roughly around 10 inches tall or they could be larger or smaller depending on the position that they are molded in. The 30 cm versions roughly stand around 12 to 14 inches tall these are pretty big vinyl figures as well as being expensive they are the most expensive within the line. However if you want something completely highly detailed and movie accurate these are the ones you want to go with.
The Reborn Series
Keep in mind this is not part of any series of Kaiju from the X plus toys line but it is part of the Large Monster Series. This point needs to be mentioned and the reason for this is there is a noticeable size difference between let us say the older versions of Ultraman Kaiju’s that have been released in the past will tend to be a little bit shorter than the 25 cm average height once and those are marked as “Reborn” that is because when they are reproduced these are new sculpts are new molds and they have a tendency to be larger more in scale than any other franchise figure within the Large Monster Series.
The 30 Cm Series of X Plus Toys
Within the Toho series of the 30 cm series and the Daiei Line of 30 cm figures and they are called “Special Effects Series” and yes the Giant Series of Ultraman Kaiju. These particular figures stand around 12 to 14 inches tall and they are noticeably larger than the Large Monster Series. However not every figure in the series is tied in with the 30 cm/12 inch height. An example of this would be Space Godzilla or Hedorah the Smog Monster will be taller than 30 cm because of their height and the new molds. While Baragon will be considerably shorter because of his stature.
X Plus’s Real Master Collection
This particular line of figures use what is called a Polyresin instead of vinyl? These figures are a lot heavier and more solid as they are more like a statue than anything else. Another key thing about Polyresin is it gives the skull a certain shine in a way vinyl can only come close to. The one drawback for this type of figure is its fragility. Little dorsal fans or dorsal plates, spikes, spines and antennas are easily broken off if they are mistreated. So these particular items need to be handled with kid gloves. If you are attempting to get a hold of a Gigan, Kiryu or a Specium Ray posed Ultraman do yourself a favor and try to find it in vinyl for the very reason that I mentioned above it would be fragile otherwise!
X Plus’s Gigantic Series
Now we are going to talk about the big boys. This particular line of figures started in the late year of 2013 and this is a line of truly huge figures that are so big that they laugh at shelves and almost demand their own table this is how big they are. Unlike almost everything else that X plus makes these figures tip the scales away from accuracy in favor of a fierce and more powerful stylization. As far as we know there is only one figure that has been released in 2001 was the GMK version of Godzilla and now we have the latest rendition it is Godzilla 1995/burning Godzilla this is the most impressive piece they have made so far.
Sometime in the 2000’s this particular company did attempt to break into the United States market with a side company that they call X-Plus USA. This company puts out a selection of smaller Godzilla vinyls with subpar sculpts, resin molds “Chess Piece” figures and very large Polyresin like Mothra, King Ghidorah and a couple of others. This is just something that you need to know in case you want to purchase there is this particular opportunity for you. One more thing I need to tell you is that some comic book shops and online stores are referring to the new X-Plus North American Diamond Re-Issues are coming from X-Plus USA. This is not true they are not common from X-Plus USA they are still coming from X-Plus Japan and they are distributed by Diamond Comics in North America.