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Vault Review: Rodan
(Sci-Fi Revoltech #019)

So, did everyone get what they wanted for Christmas? Raise your hand if you asked for peace on earth, but settled for toys! It’s up to me to kick off IAT’s first review of the new year and nothing says Happy New Year better than a giant radioactive pteranodon. You guessed it, Sci-Fi Revoltech #19: Rodan.

Rodan first appeared on the kaiju scenes with his own self titled movie in 1956, becoming Toho’s third classic monster after Godzilla and Anguirus. Interestingly, there were two Rodan’s in that first film. A mating pair who were disturbed by the real monster… MAN. They were both killed, but their offspring survived to fight Godzilla to a standstill and then later join forces with him and Mothra in defeating the first King Ghidorah.

Rodan was sculpted by Watanabe Yuki, and I have to say he’s damn near perfect. Looking at the Sci-Fi line in general, I haven’t been disappointed with any of the figures I’ve gotten. Even if the articulation isn’t always there (but it usually is), I’m still satisfied by the sculpt. Some of the best examples of this are in the kaiju characters. These characters are the perfect mix between what these monsters would look like in real life and a guy in a big rubber costume.

Something else I love about this line is that you notice small details or influences that you might have missed as a 2D image on a screen. With Rodan, I never realized how much his spiky torso resembles the armor of a samurai. This gives a little more intimidation to a figure that basically resembles a giant featherless chicken.

Rodan has the biggest wings of the three flying monsters they’ve made so far. They’re made out of a soft and rubbery plastic that almost feels like the leather of a bat’s wing. The sculpted detail is superb with the stretched and veiny look. Plus, there’s a thin wire running through the outer rim of each wing, allowing you to twist and fold them into a more realistic pose.

Rodan’s paint job is detailed yet basic. His entire body is molded brown with a dry wash of black filling in the tiny pores of his skin and wrinkles in his wings. This also adds and extra layer of depth to the layered armor of his chest. His beak and horns have been given a lighter, almost sand colored tone which distinguishes it from the rest of his brown face. My favorite tiny paint detail is his eyes though. They’re a glossy black, which gives his face a sense of realism. Yet you don’t always see it through the shadow cast by the brim of his forehead.

Rodan’s shoulders, waist, hips, and ankles are all revolver joints. The wrists of his tiny hands are swivel/hinges while his jaw and knees are hinge joints. Rodan’s neck is a double revolver joint. This allows him to look straight down, but because of the neck pieces around the joint he can’t look straight up. Normally this wouldn’t be such a big deal, but without the ability look up he can’t assume a proper flying pose. Instead, you get something that resembles a belly flop pose. Continue to Page Two….

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5 comments to Vault Review: Rodan
(Sci-Fi Revoltech #019)

  • Dorkey

    In Japan, Rodan is known as Radon, named using parts of the name of the pterosaur “pteRAnoDON”.

    The little Gyaos which accompanied the Gyaos figure made sense to me seeing as one small Gyaos ate other small Gyaoses in order to become the big Gyoas. Rodan’s miniature is a bit of a mystery to me and I’ll have to ask the guys at Kaiyodo next month when I see them.

  • Ahhh, finally, computer trouble fixed (by a new computer! Well, a new old computer)

    Vault, another solid, fun, honest review! You don’t gloss over the problems and you don’t downplay the awesome!

    The tiny Gyoas and Rodan are meant for ‘forced perspective’ display, as are the tiny Gargantuas. The reason you don’t get a larva Mothra is it’s generally considered a separate creature, if memory serves it has it’s own ‘pog’ in the list of Toho Kaiju.

    So, you ready for the upcoming Gigan? I can’t wait to see he and Mogura pal around!

    Oh, to dream of a Megalon and Jet Jaguar!

    • AdventureVault

      Thanks Steve!

      I don’t think I like the forced perspective figures. They seem a little useless to me. Hopefully you’re right about Mothra in larva form though. It’s such an important part of the character that we definitely need it in toy form I think.

      I can’t wait for Gigan, he looks awesome. But before him there’s Anguirus, who you’ll be seeing my review of pretty soon.

      As for Jet Jaguar: Forum member Dorkey, who also runs a Japanese toy site, asked the Revoltech folks about Jet Jaguar during the last WonderFest. They said he’s coming, which I’m stoked about since he’s one of my favorite characters.

  • Awwwww YEAH! JET JAGUAR!

    Hey, Vault, I know you tend to be careful, but have you tried rotating the neck piece so Rodan can look up? I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t sculpt him and make it impossible for him to look proper flying. Rotating things around seems to be a key thing with many Revoltech figures, a carryover from the previous, pre-revolver joint Hokuto no Ken figures.

    And we need a Megalon too. Then you can have a ‘no hands’ club!

    The forced perspective figures (my name, not sure if the company has something more official in mind) have a use, you can take a little Rodan with you to keep at your desk at work, where the main fig might be too bold or worrysome to your employment health.

    And aside to Dorkey, how about the rest of the Lupin Gang? Det. Zenigata should be fairly easy but Goemon and Fujiko are clearly going to be tricky to get right. I hope they don’t just go to repaints like the obvious ‘Green Jacket’ Lupin (with different, more Miyazaki style head and face).

    I have my first Revoltech, Tetsujin 28, aka Gigantor. The stand is pretty basic and mostly useless. 🙂