Godzilla VS Biollante
The Very-1st-Ever Official Rose Biollante Ever Produced
Godzilla VS Biollante (ゴジラ VS ビオランテ) : Officially licensed and authorized by TOHO, comes this Godzilla VS Biollante retro shampoo-bottle styled set! This set represents our take on the classic Japanese characters based on the movie Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989).
Both kaijus stand at 6.5" and limited to 375 sets in three color variations. Very limited.
About This Project
The very-1st-ever official Rose Biollante vinyl ever produced! TOHO authorized and officially licensed, this Bio-Goji and Rose-Bio retro shampoo-bottle styled set were released exclusively for the World Hobby Festival Ariake (WHF有明).
Both kaijus stand at 6.5", limited to 375 sets in three color variations: dark gray, dark green and glow-in-the-dark; with half of the bio-goji production in red eyes and the other half in yellow eyes.
We've always had a thing for SD or super deformed kaiju figures. So when Toho set the ground rule of "Resin kit or Cold cast kit with small quantity" or "Deformed shape soft vinyl smaller than standard size small quantity", it wasn't a difficult decision for us to go the SD route. Godzilla also has to bear the resemblance of Godzilla but could not look too much like Godzilla (i.e. realistic) or Bandai would have a cow... more details below ; )
Finished Sets x 3
- Color A: Dark Gray Goji with Dark Gray Biollante (150 sets)
- Color B: Dark Green Goji w/ Tea Green Biollante (150 sets)
- Color C: Painted Glow-in-the-Dark (75 sets)
A Little Bit More about the Toy / Design
As those of you who have come to know us over the years must have noticed, we have been in a strange love-hate affair with kaiju and toys for the majority part of our life; not counting the early days when finishing school was more pressing than hunting down a particular kaiju from the land of strange, we have been accumulating kaiju & tokusatsu (特撮) hero toys for more than 1.5 decades. So when we were offered the chance by a Japanese toy company Toy Pirates to design and sculpt on a pair of Godzilla toy some years ago, it was more than a wild kaiju dream come true!
We did our kaiju research and collectors survey, and come to the decision of making Bio-Goji with Rose-Bio in its infantile 'rose form' as the first set of kaijus for Toy Pirates' NEO RETRO KAIJU SERIES. Thanks to Toho's restricted regulation of "Resin kit or Cold cast kit with small quantity" or "Deformed shape soft vinyl smaller than standard size small quantity", we quickly decided on going the SD route since we've always had a thing for super deformed toys (usually head to body proportion = 1:1 ~ 1:2).
But Toho was picky. Our sculpture of Godzilla has to bear the resemblance of Godzilla (duh!) but it could not look too much like Godzilla (i.e. realistic) or Toho/Bandai would have a cow or have our skins or sue our hides off or something like that. So Toy Pirates held another production meeting with Toho's licensing representative with images of our in-progress Bio-Goji / Bio-Rose sculpts, and received a feedback: "He said that Biollante is OK, but Godzilla is too detailed. If we make too detailed soft vinyl Godzilla, Bandai will claim to us and Toho Pictures. So, I told Wayne that not to make too detailed."
Well, We then had to retool and de-detail bio-goji and made him more cartoon-ie (some folks nicknamed him 'chipmunk-zilla' as a result) to fit the Toho criteria... and was consequently approved the 3rd time around (it's a charm! it's a charm! it's a charm!). More details of the production process could be seen in the Club Tokyo interview.
Off to production, Toy Pirates released the colorway break-down as follows with half of the production in red eyes and the other half in yellow eyes for the three color variations of bio-goji (dark gray, dark green and glow-in-the-dark).
To be honest, we were a little unhappy with some of the modification that the factory had made (without our consent) with regard to bio-goji's claws on his hands and feet. Originally they were sharper and much more refined in our original prototype sculpt. But someone made a decision somewhere that they oughtta 'dull down' the claws and made the modifications without consulting us. That resulted in sets of claws that we feel do not fit well with the rest of the sculpt... but oh well, what is done is done.
We are glad to report that we have seen this wonderful set in person not only in Hollywood, CA USA, but also in Tokyo, Japan and Taipei, Taiwan during our travels and toy hunts. We are just thankful that now bio-goji and rose-bio can set out to conquer the world one small SD step at a time!
On Japanese Magazine & Pictures from Fans
More about Design Show/Toy Festivals
Much like the world famous toy convention-festivals such as the Tokyo Wonder Festival (ワンダーフェスティバル), or WonFes (ワンフェス, wanfesu) for short, Artstorm's SuperFestival (ーパーフェスティバル) or SuFes in Japan, World Hobby Festival is a convention event to display and sell "garage kits", basically home-made (well, 'garage-made') small scaled sculptures made of vinyl or resin that usually replicate anime and game characters, but also popular mecha/sci-fi characters and creatures. While the names and location may vary, these shows typically exhibit the work of the same groups of artists and small manufacturers with new blood added every show plus future releases by major toy companies.
Having been to the largest toy-comic-anime-sci-fi-film-tv geek-fest of the east and the west: WonderFest in Tokyo, Japan and SDCC (San Diego Comic Con) in San Diego, CA, USA ourselves, we can tell you that these giant 'toy festivals' (to us, that is; altho many of our Japanese toy show counterparts are advertised as 'design shows' cuz of its 'mature' contents in erotic nature) are more than wild huge living entities of their own! These shows often run for the full course of a weekend (2~4 days) and take place in huge convention halls such as 幕張メッセ Makuhari Messe, International Convention Complex (http://www.m-messe.co.jp/) in Tokyo, Japan and SAN DIEGO Convention Center in San Diego, CA, USA, with attendance in the tens of thousands, pretty crazy!
While the east concentrates more on home-made/garage-made (some store-made) 'garage kits' of extremely detailed figurines/creatures that usually represent either some sort of popular character in pop culture (anime, manga, science fiction/tokusatsu characters, adult themed sculptures, or anime inspired) or some sort of artistic statement and are not as child-friendly, the west concentrates more on comic, graphic novels, sci-fi & fantasy film/tv characters based figurines and much much more kid friendly. In addition to models, books, posters, games and toys, Cosplay also plays a big part in these events (some more than others) where many attendees dress up as their favorite manga, anime, sci-fi, fantasy and game characters.
Unfortunately, World Hobby Festival Ariake 18 marked the last World Hobby Festival ever in May 2008.