Last week has been a sort of eventful week mainly because the Oscars had announced their official award nominations and all of us were hoping that Godzilla vs Kong would get nominated in the one category it was listed for, which was the Visual Effects category. As it turned out, the snubbing of monster movies at the Oscars continues. Also, toy manufacturer, Hiya Toys, has thrown their hat into the Monsterverse action figure ring and they plan on making two different sets of figures both very detailed and at a reasonable price. It has fans and collectors wondering if this new line of figures from Hiya Toys will have them stapled as the new NECA. We will go over that and other stuff.
Starting off, while everyone was watching the Super Bowl, Toho Co. announced a crossover project called “Shin Japan Heroes Universe” on their Japanese Twitter page. This project is in collaboration between Toho Co., Color, Tsubaraya Productions, and Toei and is based on Hideaki Anno’s “Shin” series, which includes Shin-Evangelion, Shin-Godzilla, Shin-Ultraman, and his next big project Shin-Kamen Rider.
Not much else is known about the project, but IGN and Kotaku have reported this as a cinematic universe similar to the Marvel movies even though there is no proof of a confirmation that there is a movie where Godzilla, Evangelion, Ultraman, and Kamen Rider are going to be featured in a film together. Based on the last time there was a crossover with Godzilla and Evangelion it was just a collab of merchandise. There were shirts, figures, posters, etc. that came out from that crossover collaboration. The only cool thing to have come out of the crossover was the Evangelion vs Shin-Godzilla 3D ride from Universal Studios Theme Park Japan. It was only around for a limited time, but it had the audience be the evacuees that was witnessing all of the action and introduced a new design for King Ghidorah that fans have called Shin-Ghidorah.
In other words, this new crossover is most likely going to be another collab to sell merchandise. It would be interesting to see if Toho Co. would even go as far as doing another 3D ride similar to the Evangelion vs Godzilla one. If so, then I would be wondering how that will work. Kamen Rider is not giant like Godzilla, Ultraman, and the Evas. Maybe, the ride could be about a Shin-MechaGodzilla that was built by NERV to fight Godzilla and it goes haywire from Angel DNA infused within it. So Kamen Rider will have to climb inside the robot to stop it from wrecking havoc while Godzilla, Ultraman, and the Evas are holding MechaGodzilla down.
Hiya Toys Announces Monsterverse Line Of Action Figures:
In 2019, NECA announced that the license for Godzilla was coming to an end and we saw PlayMates Toys acquire the license. Not many fans and collectors were thrilled about this and PlayMates didn’t have a great launch either in 2020 when the Toho Classics line started appearing on the shelves of Walmart. They were looking like bootlegs of figures that other companies had made. As we got closer to 2021, waves of toys for Godzilla vs Kong started to appear on store shelves and collectors eventually warmed up to PlayMates knowing that they can make decent figures, but they are still made just for kids.
Collectors have wondered if NECA will ever come back to doing more Godzilla figures because they were known to make highly detailed and highly articulated figures at the price of $30 compared to the price of an S.H. MonsterArts figure. Recently, it seems like their prayers have sort of been answered when Hiya Toys announced that they are making two different lines of Monsterverse figures.
The first line called the “Stylist” series is a series of unmovable figures that are highly detailed and aims to be cost-effective. So these will be your vinyl figures or statues like X-Plus or Tamashii Spirits that focuses on details more than articulation.
The second line is called the “Exquisite Basic” series, which is the line that the figures will be articulated and also aims to be cost-effective. This series is going to be the NECA line that collectors were looking for. These will be highly articulate and can be displayed in any pose that you want.
They announced the line only with a picture of the silhouettes for Godzilla, Kong, Mothra, MechaGodzilla, King Ghidorah, and Rodan. If you go on their website Hiya Toys already revealed the Godzilla (2021) and Kong (2021) figures in the “Stylist” series. Godzilla is 7 inches tall and Kong is 10 inches tall (only because he is in a leap pose with his axe over his head and connected to a stand), both are priced at $36.99, and both are slated to release in June 2022.
When I first saw these pictures, my first impression was how impressively detailed these figures looked. For $37-$40, I can definitely see these figures being a huge hit with collectors. There are little details and paint that just make Godzilla and Kong pop. Details such as the grooves and scars and cuts that Tamashii Nations didn’t think to add that could have really made their S.H. MonsterArts figures stand out.
Now, imagine those same figures with articulation added to them. I took a look at their articulated figures like Predator, Alien, Superman, and many others and, again, those figures have a lot of details worked into those figures. Now, you’re probably thinking that with articulation it would make these figures more expensive. Actually, they’re not expensive at all. Their figures that have articulation are priced at $19.99 and they are not bad looking figures. In fact, it looks like the amount of joints is on par with NECA’s figures.
However, there is one down side to this announcement and that is that these figures are only available in mainland China. You would need to find a retailer that is willing to import these figures outside of China, which will up the cost even more. Otherwise, you are going to need to make your voices heard loudly demanding to have these distributed outside of China. On top of that, if you do manage to find a retailer that is willing to ship these figures outside of China, you're going to be waiting months for them to arrive at your door. It is not easy to have figures imported at the moment due to a long line of cargo ships waiting to dock at the ports and very few are allowed at a time. So if you do decide to get one of them, temper expectations on the expected arrival date. You may not even see them until three or more months after you put in your order.
Considering that Godzilla is 7 inches tall and assuming Kong is also going to be 7 inches tall, I can see the “Exquisite Basic” series having that same $20 price tag, which is not bad at all, especially with how amazingly detailed the figures from the "Stylist" series are. I am sure that when Hiya Toys makes King Ghidorah that figure will have a higher price tag just by how big that figure will be, at least that is if they decide to keep the monsters accurate to scale. For now, $20 is looking like a safe bet and I am really curious to see how this new line will turn out.
Oscars Snubs Godzilla vs Kong Nomination:
Back in December, there was a roster of movies that were potentially going to be nominated and Godzilla vs Kong was listed in only one category, which was the Visual Effects category. All of us accepted that was fair because the movie didn't have the best story or the best soundtrack, but it did have some really great visual effects and CGI. So we thought it was fair to be nominated in this one category.
All of us even hoped that the movie would at least get nominated as a way of showing that the movie has been heavily recognized, especially since it was the first movie to break box office records in the post-COVID era. Despite being released on HBO Max on the same day as the theatrical release, Godzilla vs Kong helped other studios move forward with releasing their movies in theaters. Without Godzilla vs Kong being a financial success, other movies like Fast 9, No Time To Die, and Spider-Man: No Way Home would have probably got delayed into 2022/2023. So all of us saw Godzilla vs Kong being the movie that saved the theatrical box office and the movie going experience. That should be a good reason to nominate Godzilla vs Kong for an oscar, right?
Then on February 8th, the Oscars revealed their official list of nominees and Godzilla vs Kong was snubbed from the nomination. The official nominees are DUNE, Free Guy, Spider-Man: No Way Home, No Time To Die, and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. As expected, Twitter does what they know best and showed their displeasure with the Oscar nominations and there are a lot of movies listed in the comments section that I really agree with.
There were a lot of fans showing their frustration that Godzilla vs Kong was not nominated and even I was frustrated. As I have mentioned in my wishlist post, if it was any other year I would not have cared about the Oscars since it is all a sham.
Then on Valentines Day, the Oscars added a new category called Oscars Fan Favorite, a category where people can go vote for their favorite movie online and the movie with the most votes wins that award. There is a link that people can click on and it will take you to a page where it will ask you to vote for the movie you want to win, your name, and email and you just submit it. This, to me, feels like a cop-out. They heard people’s frustrations and thought they needed to make people on Twitter to be quiet some how and this is what they came up with last minute. It would have been better to have left it alone. The Oscars made their choices, people got upset, and we move on. However, the Oscars felt as though they had to appease Twitter.
The Oscars has turned from an annual event of which movies of that year came out on top to another platform for political speeches for liberals. The Oscars have been losing viewership since 2014, which saw the highest amount of viewers being around 43 million.
The total number of viewers from each year beginning with 2014 are:
2014 = 43.7 million
2015 = 37.2 million
2016 = 34.4 million
2017 = 33 million
2018 = 26.6 million
2019 = 29.6 million
2020 = 23.6 million
2021 = 9.8 million
As you can see, the Oscars have been seeing a huge drop in viewers since 2014. I don’t expect this year’s Oscars to be as low as last year’s, but I don’t see it making much improvement from 2020.
That is all the news, for now. I want to know what your thoughts are on the Oscars, the Shin Japan Heroes Universe, and Hiya Toys in the comments section. Make sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Minds, MeWe, and Gab to stay up to date for more news, reviews, and discussions.