[BROG] Bullmark: Godzilla sofubi

Posted by chogoman 
Iconic design. A true King of the Monsters.


For all foot marking fetishists.

Sanjeev (Admin)
Oh, now you're talking my language, Stephan! Beautiful Godzilla figure!

Such a critical piece of Japanese toy history...and so easy to get ahold of. I always tell fellow collectors that even if they're not really into kaiju sofubi, they should at least buy one of these classic blue Bullmark Godzilla figures. It's not often that such a revered cornerstone of our hobby is so cheap and plentiful!
Yeah, this classic Godzilla sofubi always was on my list.
I'm pretty happy that I finally scored one...and yes, compared with
other cornerstone toys this Gojira really is a bargain.

But this Gojira is only the beginning ;-)
The kaiju bug already bite me. Bought a few Mirrorman
kaijus. Love these guys...so colorful and crazy.
"The kaiju bug already bite me. Bought a few Mirrorman
kaijus. Love these guys...so colorful and crazy."

Oho - now you've done it. You're screwed. :D

(P.S. I've never been a Goji fan and even I want this toy - great pics, as always. Loved the insight of "protective dirt".)


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/12/2012 05:01PM by cae.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Wow, you're starting off with Mirrorman??? Hahaha...well, it's good to aim high! ;) I don't think there are too many Mirrorman figures, but from what I understand, some of them cost well into the thousands. Good luck, man!

Luckily for me, I'm just limiting myself to Toho...and even then, I'm getting mostly just the standard-sized ones--only one mini and a couple giants. All it takes is patience.

...And your company getting bought out...!

But back to Godzilla, I don't actually have a Bullmark one like yours, but I have an earlier Marusan "double-stamp" version and a later metallic green "Hawaiian spray" version (which we were just recently discussing on skullbrain). I should really take more pics of these guys to post here.

Anyone else have any neat versions of this sculpt?
"Oho - now you've done it. You're screwed. :D "
ohh yes.....too late :-D

Pretty cool your Marusan Gojira Sanjeev! I love the metallic green spray.
I would say this is the best colorversion of Gojira.

I already have tons of Mirrorman figures, but I thought it's time for some kaiju villians.
You could some of the standard size kaijus for "ok" prices...but there are also 2 or 3 that
are incredible expensive. Also the giant size Mirrorman sofubi, Yonezawa walkers, Bullmark giant
zenmai & BO zenmai etc are in other "money-spheres"...but there are enough other great Mirrorman
toys out there.

I have to update this Brog


when my next parcel from japan arrives ;-)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/13/2012 11:47AM by chogoman.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Okay, finally got a chance to go outside yesterday afternoon...and after chasing around spots of sunlight on my lawn, I took some nicer pics of my Godzilla pair. They're not gorgeous studio shots like Stephan's, but just picture me rolling around in the grass with monster toys and a camera...on a cold-ass November afternoon in New England!

So again, on the left, we have the Bullmark "Hawaiian spray" Godzilla. He seems to be a slightly darker blue vinyl that has very subtle vertical bands of soft metallic green spray. As I mentioned before, I love how that green paint catches the light and almost gives the figure a luminosity regardless of the lighting.

Part of what's interesting to me about these figures is that we can't be 100% sure about the history of the later super-rare Bullmark releases. On one hand, we have the "Hawaiian" figures, which are toys usually shot in caucasian flesh-colored vinyl and featuring flashy paint jobs (often multiple ops of metallic paints). These toys are generally thought to have been exported to Hawaii. On the other hand, there were "Hawaiian spray" figures thought to have been released in Japan, which featured toys composed of the same vinyl as their more common counterparts, but sprayed very differently.

So apparently, that thinking is becoming a little less certain these days. I'm told that more and more "Hawaiian" figures are showing up in Japanese folks' collections...while the "Hawaiian spray" toys are turning up in random places Stateside, presumably by way of Hawaii. Could that suggest that we've had things backwards the whole time??? Jim, if you're lurking, I'd love your take on this.

I presume the "Hawaiian spray" was released around '73 or '74? He features seven tail segments and the Bullmark logo on his right foot. And I love 'im. It took the combined might of me and C-10 to win this fucker--and by "win", I mean extend and auction for nearly three friggin' hours...only to end up over-paying by a bit...just outta principle. Damnit. And the toy's totally worth it. ;)

Next, we have one of the toys that started it all...

This is a somewhat more rare (or, at least, more desirable) version of the venerable Marusan Godzilla: the "double-stamp". This guy came out in 1966...based on a plastic kit of Godzilla made by Marusan...which, in turn, was based on the classic Aurora kit of King-Goji. So...the Marusan Godzilla is essentially one of the very first Godzilla toys ever (if we don't count the model kits!). Is he the first sofubi kaiju? Maybe--we need an expert chime in.

Anyway, the first Marusan Godzilla toys featured the "J-tail", which was basically a sharply up-turning tail...that often tore inside the mold when pulling the vinyl. Only a few of those made it out into the wild, and only a few super-collectors have one. After that, the molds were manually fixed to make the tail curve more gradually (and thus introducing different numbers of "segments" in the tail in the hacked molds). This particular toy--a "double-stamp" Goji--features another mistake: I guess Marusan intended to have the year stamped on the feet, along with their logo and Toho copyright info...but they apparently forgot the first time around! So some Marusan Goji's can be found with the incorrect stamp on their right feet...some with the correct stamp on their left feet...and you guessed it: a few with both stamps on both feet!

I love this toy because Marusan had a tendency to be a little heavy-handed with their paint ops. I don't know if it was because Bullmark had to crank them out in a hurry, but many Bullmarks I see have lighter, all-over misting, as opposed to the more deliberate--and more primitive--Marusan style. This guy has nice banding of silver spray across his joints and down his back. Mike Johnson hooked me up with the seller on facebook...and I'm thankful for getting a great deal on him.

As a general rule, my Toho Marusan/Bullmark collection has no doubles in it: for space (and financial!) reasons, I only want one example of each sculpt in my collection. But this is an exception I'm happy to make. One of the first Godzilla toys, and one of the last of the Showa era...based on those very same molds.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/19/2012 07:33PM by Sanjeev.
Sweet writeup and a great peice, I'm actually starting to think I could use one even though I don't normally buy non-glow sofubi. Btw thanks for the shots of the bullmark logo on the bottom of the foot, I'll use that when i go to the tattoo parlor someday :-p
Sanjeev (Admin)
Sweet writeup and a great peice, I'm actually starting to think I could use one even though I don't normally buy non-glow sofubi. Btw thanks for the shots of the bullmark logo on the bottom of the foot, I'll use that when i go to the tattoo parlor someday :-p

Ha! I'd love to see you make a Bullmark foot stamp-tattoo happen! *Ouch*...but so awesome.

Anyway, yeah, seeing as how a classic blue Bullmark Goji can be had for a little over $100, I tell folks it's almost crazy NOT to get one of these...even if only for historical reasons.
Haha, Bullmark stamp foot tattoo, what a brilliant idea!! Honestly, I am serious, might make that happen someday when I can spare the cash.
Sanjeev (Admin)
See what you've started, Jason?

Great writeup and fantastic open-air photos Sanjeev!
What a nice Gojira couple. The colors of the hawaiian Godzilla
are totally awesome. Whatever you paid for this guy, he's worth every penny.

And YES, you could get a vintage Bullmark Gojira for a bit over 100 bucks with luck.
A piece of history for that price! No question...buy one!
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