Contrary to what the English dub of the original Godzilla,
King of the Monsters
would have us believe, Godzilla was never
"over 400 feet tall". What follows is a history
of Godzilla's height, or correctly, increase in height. In the 1954
Japanese original, Dr. Yamane estimates that Godzilla is 50 meters tall
(167 feet). Godzilla destroys Tokyo, but is later killed by the Oxygen
Destroyer. A second Godzilla appears in the next movie: GodzilIa
(1955). This creature is also 50 meters tall and would
remain this size
following Godzilla movies through to Terror or MechaGodzilla
In 1984, Toho presented Godzilla
U.S.) as a direct sequel to the 1954 original, thus ignoring the
existence of the 14 other films in the series. At the same time, the
height of the new Godzilla was increased to 80 meters (267 feet) larger
than the average hotel
in San Francisco
. Toho probably did this to make Godzilla appears
more imposing alongside Tokyo's modem skyscrapers. Godzilla is also 80
meters tall in Godzilla vs. Biollante
(1989). In Godzilla
vs. King Ghidora
(1991), futurians attempt to prevent Godzilla's
creation. However, their complicated time-travel plan backfires, and
Godzilla is reborn in 1992, now towering at 100 meters (334 feet) or
the size of multiple Chicago
. Godzilla is this size in Godzilla vs. Mothra
released in the U.S. as Godzilla and Mothra: Battle for Earth
(1992) and the following sequels; Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla
(1993), Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla
(1994) and Godzilla vs.
(1995). When the series returned after the TriStar fiasco
with Godzilla 2000
, the King of the Monsters returned to the 80
meters (267 feet) version
and has stayed at that height ever since. These changes in Godzilla's
height has meant a little confusion for collectors, especially when
trying to estimate Godzilla's scale in relation to his height. But
first, let's go over what scale is.
Scale is the factional way of showing a model's size in comparison to
the real thing. For example, if a Godzilla model is in 1/250 scale, the
real Godzilla (if he truly existed) would be 250 times greater than the
model. With Kaiyodo's fine set of soft vinyl
models, which we'll call The Godzilla Gallery,
a basic scale
of 1/250 is used. Therefore, Kaiyodo's 1954, 1955, 1962, 1964, and 1968
Godzilla kits are all 8" representations of a monster that is 50 meters
tall. However, the Kaiyodo 1984 and 1989 Godzilla kits are also 8"
tall, but are shown to be in 1/500 scale. Further, the 1991 Godzilla
kit is 9" tall and is in 1/400 scale.
Why this discrepancy in scale between the pre- and post- 1984 Godzilla
models? Remember, the 1984 and 1989 Godzillas are 80 meters tall and
the 1991 Godzilla is 100 meters tall. Since Kaiyodo apparently wanted
to work in. the same size rather than scale (and probably also stay in
the same price range), the 1984, 1989 and 1991 Godzilla models had to
be reduced in scale in order to match the rest of the series. Also,
Kaiyodo broke the 8"-9" constant size of their "Godzilla Gallery" by
releasing their 1992 Godzilla in 1/350 scale (11" tall). Perhaps
Kaiyodo did this to give the 1992 Godzilla better detailing, as it's a
superb kit. But not only does this put the 1992 Godzilla out of size
range of the other Godzilla models, it's also out of scale for
Kaiyodo's two excellent Battra models which are in 1/400 scale! It was
hoped that Kaiyodo would eventually release a 1992 Godzilla model in
1/400 scale to match with these other kits, but that seems unlikely at
Granted, all this may make little difference to some Godzilla
collectors, like one poor dumb schmuck from Las Vegas whom we will
affectionately call "David H." But what if, like me, you're a
perfectionist on correct scale? The solution would be to collect the
Kaiyodo Godzilla Gallery
set and substitute the following
Godzilla models with the ones below:
- 1984 Godzilla (1/500 scale. 8" tall)
- 1989 Godzilla (1/500 scale, 8" tall)
- 1991 Godzilla (1/400 scale, 9" tall)
- 1992 Godzilla ( 1/350 scale, tall)
- Kaiyodo vinyl 1984 Godzilla (1/250 scale, 12" tall).
Availability: no longer produced, but still in circulation.
- Max Factory vinyl 1989/1991 Godzilla (no scale given 11" tall).
This kit is not quite in the correct size for our purposes, but it's
pretty close. Availability: no longer produced, but still in
- Yolks resin 1991 GodzilIa (no scale given, 14" tall).
Availability: short production run, very hard to find. Alternate
substitute: Bandai 14" tall
- Billiken 1992 Godzilla (no scale given, 14" tall). Availability:
no longer produced, but still in circulation.
Finding some of these substitute kits may be a little tricky, but once
obtained and displayed along with the Kaiyodo 1/250 pre-1984 Godzilla
models, an interesting and accurate display of Godzilla's different
appearances and heights will be created. By the way, my suggestions are
not meant in any way to criticize the Kaiyodo 1984-1992 Godzilla kits.
On the contrary, place these four kits together as a "Godzilla New Age"
To close, C.S. Lewis, author of the Chronicles of Namia
series, believed that the things we consider important in life appear
bigger as we grow older. Could Godzilla's progressive increase in
height mean that Toho is hinting that we should be more appreciative of
the King of the Monsters? Perhaps not, but then again...
(Sizes in meters havoc been glanced from various Japanese "Godzilla
Digest" books. Conversions have been calculated by the author and are