There’s little question Godzilla vs. Megalon is one of the worst Godzilla films Toho Studios ever made. And yet, due to its constant airings on television syndication in the late 1970s and early 1980s–to say nothing of its appearance on an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000–it’s one of the most popular films among American G-fans who grew up watching the radioactive dinosaur on Creature Double Feature.
By the 1970s Godzilla was firmly entrenched as a “good guy,” and one of his most memorable allies was Jet Jaguar, Toho’s answer to/rip-off of Ultraman. Jet Jaguar began as a human-sized robot created by an inventor who looks like the Japanese equivalent of Mr. Rogers. The villainous agents of Seatopia (sort of a Japanese version of Atlantis) kidnap Jet Jaguar and use him to guide their roach-like monster, Megalon, to wreak destruction upon Japan. When the inventor manages to break the Seatopians’ control, Jet Jaguar somehow increases his size 25-fold and helps Godzilla defeat Megalon.
Despite the character’s goofy colors and design, like many collectors I’ve remained fond of Jet Jaguar. Until recently, he was the only hole in my otherwise satisfactory collection of the 6″ “Movie Monster Series” figures (you can read my review of Godzilla ’74, Mechagodzilla II and Titanosaurus here).
Packaging: Jet Jaguar, like most Bandai Godzilla figures, doesn’t come with any packaging other than a small cardboard gatefold tag attached by a plastic tie.
Sculpt: While most of the Movie Monster Series figure sculpts are fairly sharp, Jet Jaguar is actually a little off. He should be thinner, particularly in the torso and thighs. Also, his head should be taller and taper more.
Other than that, the sculpt is fairly accurate to the movie design, and it captures the campy foam-like look of the robot suit.
Plastic & Paint: Like all Movie Monster Series figures, Jet Jaguar is constructed from hollow vinyl. I’m satisfied with the paint applications–there’s not really a lot to comment on here.
Articulation: Jet Jaguar only moves at the shoulders and waist, which is even less articulation than usual for these figures. A swivel neck would have gotten him a half-raven more.
Quality Control: No problems.
While I’m glad to finally have Jet Jaguar to finish my 6″Â Bandai collection (though I wish they’d made a Megalon), he definitely could have had a bit more effort put into him.
To wrap this up, please to enjoy this little bit of MST genius:
This is an import right?
I'd love to see this guy at Toys R Us. No way I could pass on him. I was so thrilled once he got onto the Godzilla games.
One of the worst Godzilla movies Toho ever made? Or one of the BEST movies ANYONE ever made?!
Seriously,the fact that this isn't on R1 DVD keeps me up at night.
I got Tom the Godzilla from that line in a local toy store in Shizuoka Japan, thinking it was as Japanese-ish a souvenir as I could find, only to see the exact same thing at Newbury comics a week later. Damned flat earth.
The overuse of shortpants in Japanese monster movies continues to creep me out.