Collecting Toho kaiju mechanical pencils - over 30 years of movies and pencils

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TOHO KAIJU MOVIE PENCIL AND MEMORABILIA COLLECTION

kaiju:
noun: kaiju; plural noun: kaiju; plural noun: kaijus

a giant monster of a type featured in Japanese fantasy and science fiction movies and television programs.

TOHO is a Japanese company that has produced and/or distributed 79 Kaiju movies since 1954, including the entire Godzilla kaiju franchise. You can find a link to all of the movies here: Kaiju Movie Listing

Since at least 1994 TOHO has been selling kaiju movie themed memorabilia to commemorate each movie. This opening day exclusive memorabilia can include novelty mechanical pencils and pens, limited edition medals (large coins) key-chains, lanyards, mascots (small figures), etc. I have come to learn that these items are routinely sold on opening days in theaters, but from what I can tell, this happens only in Japan.

The information on the movies below, as well as the movie poster images were sourced from Wikizilla (Wikizilla, the kaiju encyclopedia). The mechanical pencils, medals and other items pictured are in my personal collection and were purchased mostly from Japanese collectors through proxies and one or two on US eBay. Items that are not currently in my collection are indicated. The medals (coins) are hefty and are all around 2” in diameter. They are stored in a clear plastic case that has visibility for both sides of the medal. The case can be opened and the coin can be removed, but the packaging holds it securely in place. All of the mechanical pencils are in working condition and have the TOHO Copyright mark. As I mentioned above there are other items such as limited edition stickers, lanyards, mascots, pins, and key-chains that are sold. I have a scattering of “all-of-the-above” in my collection, but for this article I focused mainly on the mechanical pencils and medals.

Each item below is tied back to a movie. With a few exceptions these are not what most people would call “good” movies, but that’s not why we watch them. Some are better than others, but these are the movies I grew up watching. As a Godzilla fan and a mechanical pencil collector, I was more than pleasantly surprised when I learned about this extreme niche of collecting. Speaking of niche collecting, I have been scouring the r/mechanicalpencils, r/TOHO, r/TOHOGodzilla and r/Godzilla subreddits and have found no mention of these pencils. I had similar results when I asked about these pencils on the Toho Kingdom user forum Toho Kingdom - Index page.

1994 – Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla

My earliest piece is from 1994. Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla is a 1994 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by Toho Pictures. It is the 21st installment in the Godzilla series as well as the sixth in the Heisei series. The film was released to Japanese theaters by Toho on December 10, 1994. Columbia TriStar Home Video released an English-dubbed version of the film to VHS in the United States in 1999. SpaceGodzilla was followed by Godzilla vs. Destoroyah in 1995.

I have only seen this version of pencil released for this movie. It came with a lick-and-stick SpaceGodzilla mascot. Lead is 0.5mm and is advanced by pushing down on the mascot. The original cost was ¥450 for the mechanical pencil and ¥600 for the limited edition medal.

1995 – Godzilla vs. Destoroyah

Godzilla vs. Destoroyah is a 1995 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by Toho Pictures, it is the 22nd installment in the Godzilla series as well as the seventh and final in the Heisei series. The film was released to Japanese theaters by Toho on December 9, 1995. Columbia TriStar Home Video released an English-dubbed version of the film to VHS in the United States in 1999. This is one of only 3 movies to date where Godzilla dies. It even says he dies on the pencil.

After the release of Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, Toho placed the series on a temporary hiatus to make room for TriStar Pictures’ long-anticipated GODZILLA, which was finally released in 1998. Though Toho had planned to hold off on producing another Godzilla film on its own until after TriStar released a trilogy of Hollywood adaptations, it found an opportunity to resume the series sooner following the widespread fan backlash to TriStar’s take and newfound demand for a Japanese Godzilla film. Toho would release the next mainline entry in the series, Godzilla 2000: Millennium, in 1999, beginning a third distinct cycle of films dubbed the Millennium series.

I am aware of three mechanical pencils that were made for this movie: (regular) Godzilla, Fire Godzilla and Destoroyah. I was lucky to find all three. I do not own the medal yet. Lead is 0.5mm and is advanced by pushing down on the mascot. The original cost was ¥500 for the mechanical pencil and ¥600 for the limited edition medal.

1996 – Rebirth of Mothra

Rebirth of Mothra is a 1996 Japanese kaiju film produced and distributed by Toho. The film serves as a reboot for the fictional giant monster character Mothra, and is the first installment in the Rebirth of Mothra trilogy. It was released theatrically in Japan on December 14, 1996, and was followed by Rebirth of Mothra II.

1997 – Rebirth of Mothra II

Rebirth of Mothra II (released in Japan as Mothra 2: The Battle Under the Deep Sea) is a 1997 Japanese kaiju film produced and distributed by Toho Studios. The film features the fictional monster character Mothra, and is the second film in the Rebirth of Mothra trilogy, following the previous year’s Rebirth of Mothra. The film was released in Japan on December 13, 1997. It was followed by Rebirth of Mothra III.

Lead is 0.5mm and is advanced by pushing down on the mascot. The original cost was ¥500 for the mechanical pencil and ¥600 for the limited edition medal.

1998 – Rebirth of Mothra 3

Rebirth of Mothra 3 (released in Japan as Mothra 3: Invasion of King Ghidorah) is a 1998 Japanese kaiju film produced and distributed by Toho Studios, it is the final film in the Rebirth of Mothra trilogy, following the previous year’s Rebirth of Mothra II.

Rebirth of Mothra III features the fictional giant monster characters Mothra and King Ghidorah. The film was released theatrically in Japan on December 12, 1998, and was released in the United States as a Sci-Fi Channel TV premiere on May 31, 2003. However, despite its predecessors being released on DVD in 2000, the film did not receive a North American home media release until 2014 when all three films were released on a Blu-ray bundle by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

1999 - Gamera 3 Revenge of Iris

Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris (released in Japan as ‘Gamera 3: Evil God Iris Awakens’) is a 1999 Japanese kaiju film distributed by Toho, the film is the 11th entry in the Gamera film series, as well as the third film in the franchise’s Heisei period, serving as a sequel to the 1996 film Gamera 2: Attack of Legion. Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris was screened at the 1999 Toronto International Film Festival, and received the Mainichi Film Concours award for Best Sound Recording in Japan. The film received generally positive reviews, with the film’s special effects being lauded, and with many praising it as being one of the best entries in the Gamera film series.

Lead is 0.5mm and is advanced by pushing down on the mascot. The original cost was ¥500 for the mechanical pencil and ¥600 for the limited edition medal.

1999 – Godzilla 2000 Millennium

Godzilla 2000: Millennium is a 1999 kaiju film produced by Toho Pictures, it is the 23rd mainline installment in the Godzilla series and the 24th Godzilla film overall, as well as the first in the Millennium series. The film was released to Japanese theaters by Toho on December 11, 1999. TriStar Pictures produced an edited English-dubbed version of the film simply titled Godzilla 2000 and released it to American theaters on August 18, 2000.

A revival to Toho’s Godzilla series produced in response to newfound demand after TriStar’s controversial take on the titular character, Godzilla 2000: Millennium is another reboot to the series ignoring every film since the original. Godzilla 2000: Millennium began a third cycle of Godzilla films from Toho dubbed the Millennium series, and was followed by Godzilla vs. Megaguirus in 2000.

Lead is 0.5mm and is advanced by pushing down on the mascot. The original cost was ¥500 for the mechanical pencil and ¥600 for the limited edition medal.

2000 – Godzilla vs. Megaguirus

Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (released in Japan as “Godzilla vs. Megaguirus: The G Annihilation Strategy”) is a 2000 kaiju film produced by Toho Pictures, it is the 24th mainline installment in the Godzilla series and the 25th Godzilla film overall, as well as the second in the Millennium series. The film was released to Japanese theaters by Toho on December 16, 2000. A shortened English-dubbed version of the film aired in the United States on the Sci-Fi Channel in 2003, after which Columbia TriStar Home Video released the uncut film to DVD in 2004.

Godzilla vs. Megaguirus follows the trend of Godzilla 2000: Millennium, being another continuity reboot to the series ignoring every film except the original. It was followed by Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack in 2001.

Lead is 0.5mm and is advanced by pushing down on the mascot. The original cost was ¥500 for the mechanical pencil and ¥600 for the limited edition medal.

2001 – Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah Giant Monsters All-Out Attack

Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, popularly abbreviated GMK, is a 2001 kaiju film produced by Toho Pictures, it is the 25th mainline installment in the Godzilla series and the 26th Godzilla film overall, as well as the third in the Millennium series. The film was released to Japanese theaters by Toho on December 15, 2001. The Sci-Fi Channel aired a shortened English-dubbed version of the film on television in the United States on August 31, 2003, after which Columbia TriStar Home Video released the uncut film on DVD on January 27, 2004. GMK proved to be a box office success, extending the Millennium series for three more films. It was followed by Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla in 2002.

I have found one medal and three versions of pencils that were released for this movie. Lead is 0.5mm and is advanced by pushing down on the clip. The original cost was ¥500 for the mechanical pencil
and ¥600 for the limited edition medal.

2002 – Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla

Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (Mekagojira) is a 2002 kaiju film produced by Toho Pictures. It is the 26th mainline installment in the Godzilla series and the 27th Godzilla film overall, as well as the fourth in the Millennium series. The film was released to Japanese theaters by Toho on December 14, 2002. Columbia TriStar Home Video released the film on DVD in the United States in 2004.

Yet another reboot to the Godzilla continuity, Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla reintroduces Godzilla’s popular foe Mechagodzilla for the Millennium series. Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla was followed by a direct sequel, Godzilla: Tokyo SOS, in 2003.

I have found one medal and two versions of pencils that were released for this movie.

2003 – Godzilla Tokyo SOS

Godzilla: Tokyo SOS (released in Japan as “Godzilla × Mothra × Mechagodzilla: Tokyo SOS”) is a 2003 kaiju film produced by Toho Pictures. It is the 27th mainline installment in the Godzilla series and the 28th Godzilla film overall, as well as the fifth in the Millennium series. The film was released to Japanese theaters by Toho on December 13, 2003. Columbia TriStar Home Video released the film on DVD in the United States in 2004. A direct sequel to Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla, Tokyo SOS is the only entry in the Millennium series to be a sequel to a prior film in that series. Tokyo SOS was followed by the final Millennium Godzilla film, Godzilla Final Wars, in 2004.

2004 – Godzilla Final Wars

Godzilla Final Wars is a 2004 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by Toho Pictures. It is the 28th mainline installment in the Godzilla series and the 29th Godzilla film overall, as well as the sixth and final in the Millennium series. The film was released to Japanese theaters by Toho on December 4, 2004, after premiering at the Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles on November 29. Following limited public theatrical screenings in the United States in 2005, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released it on DVD on December 13, 2005.

The final Godzilla film for a period of 10 years, Final Wars commemorates the 50th anniversary of the franchise, featuring the most kaiju in any Godzilla film to date. Toho retired the Godzilla series following the release of Godzilla Final Wars, a decision made in advance of its poor box office performance, eventually led to Hollywood studio Legendary Pictures securing the rights to produce a new film, simply titled Godzilla, in 2014. Legendary’s film began a franchise known as the Monsterverse, while Toho would ultimately produce the next mainline Godzilla film, Shin Godzilla, in 2016.

I have seen one medal and two version of pencils that were released for this movie. Lead is 0.5mm and is advanced by pushing down on the clip. One pencil has a Godzilla, Minilla and Mothra. The other one has Gigan and MonsterX. The original cost was ¥500 for the mechanical pencil and ¥600 for the limited edition medal.

2016 – Shin Godzilla

Shin Godzilla is a 2016 Japanese kaiju film. Funded by Toho and produced by Toho Pictures and Cine Bazar, it is the 29th mainline installment in the Godzilla series, the 31st Godzilla film overall, the first film in the franchise’s Reiwa era, and the first film in Anno’s Shin anthology series. The film was released to Japanese theaters by Toho on July 29, 2016. Funimation gave it a limited, English-subtitled release in American theaters beginning on October 11, 2016.

The first Toho-produced Godzilla film after a period of 12 years, Shin Godzilla is a complete reboot to the franchise in which Godzilla attacks Japan for the first time in the modern day. Shin Godzilla was a huge critical and financial success in its native Japan, recording the highest attendance for the series since 1966 and an unprecedented number of awards for a kaiju film. It led to the development of a media franchise dubbed the Shin series. The next mainline live action installment in the series, Godzilla Minus One, was released on November 3, 2023.

I have seen one medal and one version of pencil that were released for this movie. The pencil has the Shin Godzilla mascot at the top with a medallion held by a chain. Lead is 0.5mm and is advanced by pushing down on the clip. The original cost was ¥500 for the mechanical pencil and ¥600 for the limited edition medal.

2023 – Godzilla Minus One

Godzilla Minus One (released in Japan as “Godzilla-1.0”) is a 2023 Japanese kaiju film. Funded by Toho and produced by TOHO Studios and ROBOT. It is the 30th mainline installment in the Godzilla series, 37th Godzilla film overall, and fifth film in the franchise’s Reiwa era.

The film premiered on November 1, 2023, closing out the 36th Tokyo International Film Festival. Toho released it to more than 500 Japanese theaters beginning that November 3, the same day that the original Godzilla premiered in 1954. The film had its U.S. premiere at the Directors Guild of America on November 10, while Toho International will bring it to over 1,000 North American screens beginning December 1, 2023. Though the film’s Japanese release coincided with the Godzilla franchise’s 69th anniversary, the film officially commemorates the 70th anniversary, which will occur in 2024. The first live action Japanese Godzilla film since 2016’s Shin Godzilla, Minus One sees “an already devastated postwar Japan facing a new threat in the form of Godzilla.”

There were several versions of pens released, but I have only seen one version of mechanical pencil. One pen looks and operates like its complimentary pencil. The other pen is an executive style. I elected to get only the one with the mascot to keep in line with the rest of my collection. The pencil has the Godzilla mascot at the top with a medallion connected by a small chain. Lead is 0.5mm and is advanced by pushing down on the clip. The original cost was ¥500 for the mechanical pencil and ¥600 for the limited edition medal.

One thing I really enjoy about this collection is knowing that it was originally purchased by a Godzilla fan, at a theater in Japan on opening day. It is niche collecting at if best and its worst, but it tells a history of almost 40 years of movies that are enjoyed by millions worldwide.

Not shown: Fire Godzilla and Destoroyah from Godzilla vs. Destoroyah

I got these a little out of order: left to right
1994 – Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla
1997 – Rebirth of Mothra II
1995 – Godzilla vs. Destoroyah
2000 – Godzilla vs. Megaguiruss
1999 – Godzilla 2000 Millennium
1999 - Gamera 3 Revenge of Iris
2001 – Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (3 pencils)
2004 – Godzilla Final Wars(2 pencils)
2016 – Shin Godzilla
2023 – Godzilla Minus One

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This is the most fun, unique, and tempting post I’ve read in a bit. Thanks for sharing! I love this kind of stuff. Wow. You went down a rabbit hole I didn’t know you disappeared into. Much love.

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Try sending me that pdf directly both via direct chat and through inbox message. I’d like to track down this bug.

Or I can just blame it on your using Windows. :joy:

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Great post, thanks for sharing.

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Very very very :sunglasses: cool

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Japan pop culture is so rich, just taking a little dip like this can bring a ton of joy. I’ve been tempted to collect MPs that come in tin cases modelled after Nintendo Famicon controllers… and pens with designs based on ‘tokusatsu’ (special effects) shows like Ultraman, Kamen Rider etc.

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TOHO Mechanical Pencil Collection.pdf (1.3 MB)

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This has been fixed. The size limit for file uploads is actually 10 mb now.

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I’ve almost completed my collection: here’s my Kaju mechanical pencil collection so far.
With just a very few exceptions, going back to 1994. I think I have every kaiju themed mechanical pencil and medal released by Toho.

I found the missing Godzilla 2019 MP on the TOHO website but they won’t ship outside of Japan. Boo-hoo.:smiling_face_with_tear:

image

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Teresa can probably get that for you. I’ve used her numerous times especially when Mercari used to do the Japan Only items.

You can also do something like setup a Japanese address for yourself via Tenso.com and have the item delivered there.

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Also, I would be remiss if I did not mention that my crappy looking display case is a 100% @Heath inspired design.
His method of using foam-core board and straight pins is a highly effective way to prototype.

I literally built that stand in about an hour.
I’m looking for some gray or off-white board to remake this. I plan to really take my time on the rebuild. But for a first/trial run I was really happy with the results

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You saved the day. Thank you

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Foam core always sounds like a music genre to me :joy:

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