Playmates Toys is a Hong Kong-based company responsible for producing children's toys based on various media properties such as Ben 10, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, King Kong, and Godzilla. It also produced the toy line for the 2021 film Godzilla vs. Kong, and continues to produce figures from Legendary Pictures' Monsterverse.
Kong: The 8th Wonder of the World (2005)
In 2005, Playmates released a line of toys to tie in with Peter Jackson's King Kong. It consisted of several different kinds of figures.
The 6-inch figures in the line generally come in sets of one or two, along with several smaller human figures. The King Kong figures each have some sort of gimmick that distinguishes them from the others or allows them to interact with another specific figure. For example, the Kong that comes with the juvenile Vastatosaurus rex has the ability to pull apart the V-rex's jaws, while the Kong sold with the Piranhadon can hold the Piranhadon in a headlock.
The six-inch scale figure sets are:
- Kong vs Venatosaurus
- Kong vs Juvenile V-Rex (includes Ann Darrow)
- Kong vs Piranhadon
- Kong vs Terapusmordax (includes three Terapusmordax)
- Foetodon (includes five humans)
- Vastatosaurus rex (includes Weta-rex and three humans)
- Creatures of Skull Island (includes three humans)
- Gripping Kong (includes Ann Darrow and Weta-rex)
Kong vs Venatosaurus
Kong vs Piranhadon
Creatures of Skull Island
Skull Island playset
The Skull Island playset is designed for use with the 6-inch scale figures. It consists of several pieces, and includes several human figures and a raft.
Skull Island playset
There are three larger-scale figures released in the line. These figures are 12 inches tall and can make sounds. Despite being larger in scale, these figures come with the same human figures included with the six-inch figures. The Bull V-Rex figure can actually swallow the human figures whole, which can then be recovered from a hatch on the underside of the figure.
There are two different King Kong plushes released as part of the line. The larger plush makes roaring sounds when one pushes down on its chest.
There are two separate King Kong costume sets: Electronic Kong Arms and Kong Face and Chains. The Kong arms are oversized gloves made to resemble Kong's hands that function similar to the popular "Hulk Hands" gloves, making sounds when they strike an object. The Kong Face and Chains consist of a King Kong mask and breakaway plastic chains.
Kong vs V-Rex Battling Game
A variation of the classic "Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots" game, the Kong vs V-Rex battling game includes a Kong and V-Rex piece, each on a base attached to a control stick. The players use the stick to make the figures punch each other until one collapses.
Godzilla and Kong (2019-2021)
Playmates unveiled figures of a 12-inch Godzilla (2004) and Kong from Kong: Skull Island, along with Godzilla (2016), SpaceGodzilla, and Destoroyah in the 6.5-inch scale, at Brand Licensing Europe 2019. Beginning in December 2019, the company released a Walmart-exclusive line of figures of monsters from both the Godzilla and King Kong series in anticipation of the release of Godzilla vs. Kong. The previously-revealed figures were joined by a 6.5-inch Kong, Gigan (2004), and Godzilla (2004). Reissues of five Bandai America vinyl figures in Playmates packaging also began to appear in 2020: Godzilla (1954), King Ghidorah (2001), Mechagodzilla (1974), Godzilla (1999), and Godzilla (1968). In an interview with Toho Kingdom, Vice President of Marketing John Stelzner revealed that the company would be releasing soft vinyl 6.5-inch figures of Burning Godzilla and Jet Jaguar in spring 2021, followed by "a few new monsters" and another 12-inch Godzilla figure in the fall. The line became available to other retailers, such as Target, in April. In August 2021, Rodan (1956) and Gorosaurus (1968) figures were unveiled on Target's website.
Godzilla vs. Kong (2020-2021)
After low-res images of many figures from Playmates' Godzilla vs. Kong toyline leaked online earlier in the year, listings for 11" Godzilla and King Kong figures appeared on Walmart.com on July 16, 2020. Though they quickly went out of stock, those who managed to order them received them within days.
After finding the Giant figures, fans rapidly discovered Walmart.com listings for 6" figures, starting with one of Kong holding an axe. They began appearing in stores shortly thereafter.
Skullcrawler with HEAV
Images for two new 13" figures, Mega Heat-Ray Godzilla and Mega Punching Kong were found online. The figures feature light and sound gimmicks.
Unrealeased Mega Mechagodzilla
Walmart first stocked the 11" Mechagodzilla figure in March 2021.
Playmates released the second wave of Godzilla vs. Kong figures in early 2021. The Kong and Warbat figures, which were revealed on the back of Wave 1 packaging, became available in the United Kingdom and several other countries in January. They came to Walmarts in the United States in early March, along with Mechagodzilla and the Hong Kong Battle repaints.
Battle Roar figures
Two 6" figures with sound gimmicks labeled "Battle Roar Godzilla" and "Battle Roar Kong" were first sighted in China in early 2021. They were released in North America later that same year.
Repaints of the 6" Kong with Fighter Jet and Mechagodzilla figures were stocked in Walmarts beginning in August 2021. Mechagodzilla's Proton Scream accessory is a repaint of Godzilla's heat ray.
An eBay seller from Hong Kong listed various small 2" Godzilla vs. Kong figures at the end of January 2021. Other eBayers in Hong Kong and Taiwan have since offered them as well. Playmates stated that it did not have "any plans" to make them available in the United States at the time, although they were sighted at a Toys 'R' Us in Canada in July. The figures finally began to be sold at Target in the United States in April of 2022, combined together in a six-pack.
Godzilla and Kong plushes were revealed in early March 2021.
A 2021 press release from Playmates mentioned plans to release toys for the "broader MonsterVerse" in 2022. The first such figure, a Battle Roar Mechagodzilla, was found in China in January 2022. Other figures in this line, as revealed in leaked photos from Toy Fair 2022 in London, include a figure of Godzilla from 2014's Godzilla, new figures of Godzilla and Kong from during the Tasman Sea battle from Godzilla vs. Kong, a figure of Kong that includes his makeshift flail from Kong: Skull Island, and King Ghidorah, along with re-releases of Battle Mechagodzilla, Hong Kong Battle Godzilla, Supercharged Godzilla, Hong Kong Battle Kong, and Antarctic Kong. According to Playmates, these figures will no longer be sold exclusively at Walmart, but at "all mass retailers."
The first wave of Playmates' new MonsterVerse line was announced for release beginning in spring 2022. It consists of Battle Roar Mechagodzilla, City Destruction Godzilla, Ferocious Kong, and re-releases of Kong with Battle-Axe, Supercharged Godzilla, Antarctic Kong, Battle Mechagodzilla, Battle Roar Godzilla, and Battle Roar Kong. On March 13, 2022, a two-pack set of "City Battle" Godzilla and Kong figures was found in Target. A three-piece diorama of a destroyed Hong Kong was included, along with previously released accessories of a HEAV and fighter jet.
Battle Roar Mechagodzilla
City Destruction Godzilla with Tank
Ferocious Kong with Helicopter and Chain Propeller
Photos of two "Titan Tech" Godzilla and Kong figures were first taken in China and posted on June 18, 2022. The figures feature a transforming gimmick, which covers them in armor. The Titan Tech Godzilla figure resembles the leaked scrapped version of the Mega Godzilla figure from the Godzilla vs. Kong toy line, which featured red battle armor, while the Titan Tech Godzilla features blue armor. A King Ghidorah figure was soon listed on Smyths Toys' official website, with a release date of July 2022. The figure sports a removable chest piece, which reveals battle damage underneath.
Ultimate Titan King Ghidorah
Five Below began selling exclusive 3" figures of Godzilla, Kong, and Mechagodzilla beginning in 2022. The figures retail for $5 apiece.
Toho Series (2022-)
A new line of figures based on films and media produced specifically by Toho was revealed through leaked photographs of a display at Toy Fair 2022 in London. Figures in this line include completely new sculpts of Godzilla 2016 and Godzilla Terrestris, along with re-releases of both the 12" and 6" Godzilla 2004, Gigan 2004, Kong, SpaceGodzilla, Destoroyah, Burning Godzilla, Gorosaurus, and Rodan 1956.
The first wave of Playmates' Toho Series was announced for release in spring 2022. It includes Godzilla 2016, Godzilla Terrestris, Godzilla Ultima, and re-releases of both the 6" and 12" Godzilla 2004, Rodan 1956, and Gorosaurus.
Images of an 11" Godzilla 1954 figure leaked online in July 2022, and the figure was released that September. Photos of a Baragon figure from Frankenstein vs. Baragon were uploaded online on January 5, 2023. Playmates announced that this figure would become available in Target and through online retailers later that month.
- Godzilla vs. Kong on the official Playmates site
- Classic Godzilla Titans on the official Playmates site
- Playmates Godzilla vs. Kong YouTube channel
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