REVIEW: NECA ’89 & ’03 Godzilla Action Figures + Target Exclusives


Since his new MonsterVerse appearance in 2014’s Godzilla, NECA has been pumping out various versions of the King of Monsters as most excellent 12″ Head-To-Tail action figures. From Godzilla’s 1954 debut, through the Shōwa, Heisei, and Millennium Eras, NECA has produced figures of ‘Zilla’s most classic looks.


NECA’s latest batch of figures include Godzilla as he appeared in 1989’s Godzilla vs. Biollante (Heisei Era) and Godzilla as he looked in 2003’s Godzilla × Mothra × Mechagodzilla: Tokyo SOS (Millennium). These include standard versions of ‘Zilla from these films, in addition to two Target retail exclusive figures arriving in early September: ’89’s Godzilla covered in Biolante bile (yuck!) and ’03’s Godzilla appearing as if he was zapped by a Maser Cannon (ouch!). Each figure is priced at around $24.99 each.


First, the classics. As I pointed out in my “Best of Godzilla” piece HERE, Toho’s look for Godzilla in 1989’s Godzilla vs. Biollante marked a new angrier look for the King of Monsters. For me, Heisei Godzilla (1984-1995) totally replaces his earlier feline look with subtle, but so much better improvements, including a slightly smaller head, bulkier body and thicker tail.


For Godzilla in 2003’s Tokyo SOS,  it’s actually a Millennium look I wish I had included in my Best Of piece instead of ‘Zilla’s 2001 GMK appearance. I totally overlooked that cobra-like neck thing he has going on in SOS , which really makes him stand out and look way cool. 1snarl2

Needless to say, NECA nails both Godzilla looks flawlessly. Opening jaws on both figures allow you to easily flip between ‘Zilla’s two moods (angry and not-so-angry), while the addition of multiple articulation joints at the neck, torso, arms, claws (!), legs, and feet all add up for countless display opportunities. As a bonus, NECA even throws in an atomic breath effect for ’89 Godzilla! This sturdy plastic piece slots back in Godzilla’s throat and looks pretty rad on display.


What impressed me the most, however, were the lengthy tails included for each Godzilla action figure. Packed as a separate piece in the box, NECA informs collectors on how to attach the tail via a simple boil-and-pop method. It’s the first I’ve ever seen this method advertised on an actual retail toy; the behind-the-scenes trick usually reserved for fixing unintentional figure problems. In this case, the boil-and-pop method is used on purpose so that Godzilla’s tail attaches nice and snug.


Needless to say, the method works very well and is a very solid approach by NECA to getting the extremely long, segmented tail piece included in such a small package. Just be forewarned: the process requires firmly gripping Godzilla’s scaly back for a solid tail plug-in after the hot water bath. It WILL hurt your hands, especially Godzilla 2003 and his spikey back plates. Ah, but the reward is a fully articulated Godzilla tail the likes I have never seen. Featuring multi-ball joints and even bendy wire at the tip, these tails are such a joy to play around with and provide each ‘Zilla so much individual character.


For those that want to add some colorful variety to their Godzilla collection (or for true ‘Zilla completists), NECA is also offering two variants that will be exclusive to Target stores this September. The first figure features Godzilla after being vomited on with corrosive sap from the giant plant-like kaiju Biollante. Almost neon in its lime green intensity, the painted slime effect really does look like glowing radioactive goo.


The second Target exclusive depicts Godzilla as he appeared after being zapped with Type 90 Maser Cannons in Tokyo S.O.S.  Short for Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation, these Anti-Megalosaurus Force (AMF) weapons really just piss Godzilla off. With a quick blast of his atomic breath, ‘Zilla easily annihilates these ray guns like swatting pesky gnats.


Both “battle damaged” versions of Godzilla are creative in their figure re-use, although I find Maser ‘Zilla the most successul of the two with NECA’s vibrant use of colors.


For around $30 a pop, NECA’s Godzilla 12″ Head-To-Tail action figures are an insanely value-priced deal. These are seriously well-sculpted, well-made, well-articulated action figures. And for all you non-openers, NECA even amazes with their window box packaging, each awesomely adorned with Godzilla movie art.


NECA 2003 Godzilla vs. Bandai America Vinyl Gigan

Godzilla vs. Biollante 6″ Godzilla can be ordered now through BigBadToyStore.com priced at $29.99. Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. 6″ Godzilla is in-stock at BigBadToyStore.com priced at $27.99. Grab the two Godzilla exclusives at a Target store near you this September! Scroll on for more photos!

Review and Photos by Jeff Saylor

Review Samples Courtesy of NECA


NECA 1989 Godzilla vs. Bandai America SD Mothra


1 Comment

  1. William Bryan Estes

    Neca needs to other kaiju from the movies.

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