Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Over 100 Vintage Kaiju Toys Invade The Morikami Museum

Written By: Ken Hulsey
Source: Jamie Russell - Morikami Museum

Alert the military!

Starting today the Morikami Museum, in Delray Beach, FL, will be overrun by over a hundred Japanese giant monsters.

Granted, most of these are less than a foot tall and made of plastic, but the danger is still very real.

To be specific, the private kaiju figure collection of Dr. James Levy, featuring everything from Godzilla and Ultraman to Kamen Rider, will be on display from June 1st to October 17th (2010).

After that, they will be rounded up and shipped back to their home on "Monster Island".

Included are rare pieces from the 60s', 70s' and 80s', so this should be a special treat for all of us who grew up watching Japanese monster films on late-night television.

Here is the press release:

Kaijū! Monster Invasion!

Monsters invade Morikami Museum this summer as vintage toys from the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s, inspired by Japanese tokusatsu films and TV shows, go on display in the exhibition, Kaijū! Monster Invasion! Classic Japanese tokusatsu eiga, or special effects films, typically utilized an fx technique called sutsumeishon (suitmation) in which monsters of colossal size, termed kaijū, were portrayed by stuntmen in rubber suits moving about on sets of miniatures. Beginning with the release of the film Gojira (Godzilla) in 1954, kaijū of all types have captured the imagination of legions of fans worldwide and have spawned a lucrative toy industry that endures to this day.

The exhibition displays over 100 figures from the extensive private collection of Dr. James Levy. Godzilla, the first Japanese pop culture phenomenon, along with several of the creatures he fought in the many sequels to the original film, appear in the exhibition, which also includes the outlandish opponents of Japanese television superheroes like Ultraman, Chōjin Barom-1, and Kamen, or Masked, Rider. Some kaijū are dinosaurian in appearance; others are based vaguely on insects, sea creatures, or plants; still others combine characteristics of all of these and more. All are included in the Morikami exhibition, seeming to give form to humankind’s deepest anxieties in an age dominated by nuclear, biological, and environmental peril.

Kaijū have been potent expressions of Japanese popular culture for over half a century. While most of the toys were originally marketed as inexpensive playthings, today they are highly sought-after by collectors and nostalgia buffs and command hundreds if not thousands of dollars each. In addition these vintage toys helped to create a worldwide art-toy movement that today embraces popular characters from many contemporary animated films and comic books.

Kaijū! Monster Invasion! runs to October 17. The exhibition is funded in part by the Henri and Tomoye Takahashi Charitable Foundation and the Mary Livingston Griggs and Mary Griggs Burke Foundation.

Here is the info for the Morikami Museum:


The Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens
4000 Morikami Park Road
Delray Beach, FL 33446
(561) 495-0233

Phone Number:

To reach a specific department, please see contact information page.

Hours of Operation

Tuesday - Sunday, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Closed Mondays and major national holidays, including Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Day, Easter and Fourth of July.

Admission Prices:

$12.00 Adults
$11.00 Seniors (age 65 and over)
$7.00 Children (ages 6 - 17)
$7.00 College Students (college ID required)
Children under age six are free

Website - Morikami Museum

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Burbank, CA – March 29, 2010 – Legendary Pictures announced today that they will develop and produce a new film based on Toho Company’s famed GODZILLA character. Through the terms of the agreement, Legendary Pictures has acquired the rights to produce a movie inspired by Toho’s Godzilla, a franchise the Japanese company created and has nurtured for over fifty years.

Toho’s GODZILLA franchise boasts one of the most widely recognized film creatures worldwide, resulting in a series of books, television programs, video games and more than 25 films worldwide. Legendary intends to approach the film and its characters in the most authentic manner possible. The company will, in the near future, announce a filmmaker to helm the film for an intended 2012 release. The film will fall under the company’s co-production and co-financing deal with Warner Bros. Toho will distribute the film in Japan."

"Godzilla" is coming back -- this time, with Legendary Pictures taking the lead, co-producing and co-financing with Warner Bros. for release in 2012.

Legendary announced Monday it had obtained rights to the iconic monster character from Japan's Toho Co., which has overseen more than 25 "Godzilla" films. Toho will release the pic in Japan.

Legendary said it's planning to announce a director shortly.

In addition to Legendary, producers on the new film will be Dan Lin, Roy Lee and Brian Rogers. Yoshimitsu Banno, Kenji Okuhira and Doug Davison will exec produce.

"Godzilla is one of the world's most powerful pop culture icons, and we at Legendary are thrilled to be able to create a modern epic based on this long-loved Toho franchise," said Thomas Tull, Chairman and CEO of Legendary. "Our plans are to produce the Godzilla that we, as fans, would want to see. We intend to do justice to those essential elements that have allowed this character to remain as pop-culturally relevant for as long as it has."

Legendary noted the film will fall under its co-production and co-financing deal with Warner Bros. Legendary's productions with Warners have included "The Dark Knight," "300" and "The Hangover."

Speculation about a new "Godzilla" has been active since last summer. The Bloody Disgusting web site reported in August that the project was in development.