Life In Plastic: TOY REVIEW: Godzilla: Destruction City

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With a purposeful grimace and a terrible sound
He pulls the city’s high tension wires down

Helpless people on a subway train
Scream “My God” as He looks in on them

He picks up a bus and he throws it back down
As he wades through the buildings toward the center of town

Oh no, they say, he’s got to go
Go go Godzilla, yeah
Oh no, there goes Tokyo
Go go Godzilla, yeah

Oh no, they say, he’s got to go
Go go Godzilla, yeah
Oh no, there goes Tokyo
Go go Godzilla, yeah

Godzilla
Godzilla

Rinji news o moshiagemasu
Rinji news o moshiagemasu
Godzilla ga Ginza hoomen e mukatte imasu
Daishkyu hinan shite kudasai
Daishkyu hinan shite kudasai

Oh no, they say, he’s got to go
Go go Godzilla, yeah
Oh no, there goes Tokyo
Go go Godzilla, yeah

History shows again and again
How nature points out the folly of men
Godzilla

History shows again and again
How nature points out the folly of men
Godzilla

History shows again and again
How nature points out the folly of men
Godzilla

History shows again and again
How nature points out the folly of men
Godzilla

There. Now it’s stuck in your head, too.

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ANYWAY, you know all those buildings I use whenever I review a Kaiju figure? Most of them came from the Godzilla Crush Zone released by Bandai in the mid-2000s. So when I heard that the new Godzilla movie had spawned another similar set, I was all over it!

Godzilla-MutoFight03

2014’s Godzilla movie looks like it will be great… but if it turns out to be terrible, then please pretend that I hated it all along. I know I will. But this one is taking a similar tact to many of the recent Godzilla movies – acknowledging the first film as real, and then going from there. As it turns out, there will also be another kind of monster, the “MUTO,” which could be an alien or a bio-weapon or I don’t know. And thus, Destruction City was born – it comes with a 3″ tall Godzilla, currently the only MUTO toy released, and some buildings! So let’s take a look!

Godzilla-Packaged

PACKAGING: ***

Destruction City comes in a HUGE window box. It shows everything off nicely, but it honestly feels kind of wasteful. Seriously, this thing is gigantic. BIG.

Godzilla

SCULPT: **1/2

Okay, I’ll be honest. Neither Godzilla or MUTO are award-winners here. Godzilla is the taller of the two, and reflects the new movie’s design aesthetic in a perfectly serviceable manner. But unfortunately, the details feel soft and added-on – they are all there, but something about the way they were sculpted feels cheap. Still, it’s a pretty good look at the new Godzilla design, and I can’t fault it completely.

Godzilla-Muto

MUTO is a CGI monster. I am not saying this because it is realized through computer-generated imagery, but because it is that particular type of movie monster that lives, breathes, and eats CGI. You know the type – smooth texturing, usually shiny, no visible joints despite flexibility, and often moves like a floaty panther. Now, I am not saying that the actual film MUTO will be like this, but the toy certainly seems that way. This thing is sleek. Very, very sleek, so much so that it does not look like it came from the same film as the Godzilla figure. My understanding is that there will be lots of MUTOs, thus making it more like Megaguirus, but based on this toy it looks a little out of place. The toy itself is very smooth and under-detailed, and honestly it might leave room for the movie MUTO’s design to be a surprise. The little figure has grown on me over time, but I can’t in good conscience say that it is very good.

Godzilla-Face

PAINT: ***

Godzilla as a character rarely requires complex paint. And for the most part, his body is fine – gray turning to brown for his underbelly. But then there’s that face. Godzilla’s eyes and teeth are globby and uneven, so bad that they feel out of place with the rest of him. If you compare this figure to any of the same-scale Japanese toys out there, you can see the tremendous difference. His face really hurts him.

Godzilla-MutoFace

MUTO has a similar issue. The gradient red on its arms looks spray-painted. I assume that it will be an awesome effect on-screen, but now it just underscores the cheap appearance of the toy. MUTO also has a lone “Eye,” sort of. That is well-painted, and makes me wonder how it will look in the finished product.

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ARTICULATION: **

These figures are not articulated, and yet they are. Bear with me a moment here.

Godzilla-VsGodzilla

Both figures have limbs. Those limbs are attached to their bodies by means of a peg-in-socket system. The pegs are oriented to one specific configuration, but as they are not glued in, you are free to take them out and rotate. A lot of Japanese capsule figures have the same deal going on – why include a round peg and allow for articulation when you can make it rectangular and force one single pose?

Godzilla-Copter

Godzilla’s limbs can be swiveled, more or less – the pegs are round or semicircle. But his legs wiggle out if you move them back and forth, and his arms don’t really fit, though you can make it believable.

Godzilla-MutoArm

MUTO’s arms are attached via rectangular pegs, so you have to force them if you move its arms. Even then, you can really only reposition the one on the right. Its plastic is soft enough to not stress or break when you do this, though.

Godzilla-Buildings

ACCESSORIES: ****

Honestly, Destruction City is a little light compared to the Crush Zone – aside from having a bundle of figures, Crush Zone came with a ton of buildings, some vehicles, and a weird land mass. This set comes with two collapsible buildings, a bridge, and some vehicles. The buildings make for some pretty nice skyscrapers, and tower over the Crush Zone sets. They can also be put together to form one big complex, with his a plus. The pieces fit together well, and it isn’t hard to hide the cracks better than I have. Early prototype shots showed green buildings, but I am glad that we got them in gray, instead.

Godzilla-GoGo

The bridge is blue – BLUE! It’s a suspension bridge that could be great for an out-of-scale Pacific Rim diorama, though the blueness does detract just a little. It’s probably because the color is so bright, and will blend in with any water dioramas used.

Godzilla-Vehicles

And finally, we have the vehicles – two fighter jets, two helicopters, and one battleship. The copters are two pieces each with little removable propellers. These things are clearly out of scale with the giant monsters, but what does it matter? They’re fun, and Godzilla needs some army things to stomp.

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VALUE: ****

$19.99 is a pretty good value for this, even if it seems a lot smaller once you get it out of the package. The Crush Zone went for more ten years ago (though it also had what, eight monsters?), and I honestly expected this set to go for more. At this price point, it takes the whole thing from “cheaply-made set,” to “kids will love it.” And that changes everything. The final grade, even.

 

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THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR:

You might lose the helicopter propellers if you aren’t careful, but everything is durable.

 

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WHERE TO BUY:

Toys R Us has these in stock, so go, go, something something Blue Oyster Cult joke.

OVERALL: ****

Wait, why four stars? As an adult collector, this should be like ** or so. But stop and put yourself in the mind of a child. You get this HUGE box, and it’s got monsters and airplanes and buildings that you can smash! Yeah, now it’s good. If you have kids, they will love this. If you want some cheap buildings, you will love it. And the figures have grown on me over time, too. Sometimes, we collectors need to take a deep breath, step back a little, and remember what it was like to be a child.

 

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3 responses to “Life In Plastic: TOY REVIEW: Godzilla: Destruction City

  1. Pingback: Toy Tokyo Spring Cleaning Unearths Vinyl Toys·

  2. I bought one and inside it does not have Godzilla but it has a t-rex instead. The box is sealed and the employees at toys r us did not know why it was not Godzilla, has anyone seen another one like it? I am just curious why they would put a t-rex instead of Godzilla

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