Monster Monday #1
Mezco Toyz is keeping kaiju fans busy this season with plenty of new collectibles to consider.
Following hot on the multiple claws and jaws of their two Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters sets, the company has announced pre-orders for the next of their 5 Points XL Toho Studios related figures; Mothra.
While the Destroy All Monsters grouping includes Mothra in her caterpillar stage, this newest set renders the creature in full butterfly splendor.
The Mezzo press release notes […] “the massive moth measures 9” in length from wing to wing. Mothra features a flocked body and an articulated head and wings.”
The Mothra replica will be accompanied by figures representing her lilliputian allies from Infant Island. Possibly riffing on the miniaturized Princess Parisa in Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, Mothra (1961) introduced the Shobijin, or pretty fairies. Their lilting song “Mosura no Uta” is used to urge the giant larva to hatch from its egg and show her power. It is indelibly looped in my brain.
Really Big Moth to Really Big Show…
Mothra’s diminutive fairy guardians were portrayed by twin sisters Emi & Yumi Ito. Professionally known as The Peanuts, the Ito’s had a worldwide multi-lingual singing career that saw them perform at the 1964 Summer Olympics opening ceremonies and on major variety programs like The Ed Sullivan Show.
The duo’s lullabies and tribal tattoos to the metamorphosing Moth can be heard along with composer Akira Ifukube’s evocative cues on the soundtrack to Godzilla Vs. The Thing, as well as The Best of Godzilla 1954-1975 compilation, which I found streaming on Apple Music.
Moth of Mystery…
Mezco has boxed Mothra and her compact cohorts in a replica of the Shojibin’s carrying case seen Mothra Vs. Godzilla. That film’s 1964 United States release saw it retitled as Godzilla Vs. The Thing, and promoted with posters rendered by master monster artist Reynold Brown. This promo sported the Big G’s opponent obscured by a giant question mark. Truth be told the rumble was likely perceived as a drop in stature on the fight card after the battle of the century, King Kong Vs. Godzilla (1963).
In the days when “on demand” viewing was still in the realm of science fiction, aspiring monster kids had to be on their toes. Scouring TV Guide magazine for soon to air treasures became essential weekly research as there was only one opportunity to catch a film not yet seen.
In New York City the first place to look was Channel 9’s (WORTV) Saturday and Sunday morning broadcasts of Super Adventure Theater. The show was surreally hosted by TV “ringmaster” Claude Kirchner and his puppet sidekick Clownie and regularly programmed the Toho Showa Era films along with other science fiction movies, and Three Stooges comedies.
Though Chiller Theater programming is better known, Super Adventure Theater is where I got my morning dose of kaiju juice throughout the 1960’s and 70’s.
This post was complete and ready to go live when Mezco Toyz revealed another kaiju related release via their virtual summer convention, Mezco Con. This time we are treated to a preview of an 18” Godzilla with light up mouth and dorsal fins, as well asauthentic, “movie accurate,” sounds. Honestly, the mega-saur’s unique screeching roar can still send shivers up my spine decades after my first television encounter with the original film.