8.15.2014

Toho Master Collection DVD Releases Show Masterful Attention To Detail


God is in the details. Especially when it comes to Godzilla flicks. 


Much to the delight of classic giant monster movie fans, in 2006 and 2008, Japan’s famed Toho Studios and Classic Media unleashed the Toho Master Collection series on DVD. This impressively produced collection offered fans of the genre nine classic Shōwa era (1954–1975) giant monster flicks, including both the original Japanese language version (with English subtitles) and the classic American English dubbed version. Each release was issued in resplendent storybook-style digipak cases, with transparent disc trays within and handsome typographic and photographic elements throughout.



The first release in the Toho Master Collection was Gojira (1954), the film that started the worldwide love affair with the daikaiju (giant monster) flicks of Japan. This edition, as well as the soon-to-be-discussed final release in this series, was a 2-disc set that served as one of two incredibly impressive bookends to the other releases in the series. The DVD on the left side of this set boasted the original Japanese language version of the film, and the second disc featured the 1956 English language release, Godzilla: King of the Monsters

The next six releases in the series featured single-disc presentations of the films Godzila Raids Again (1956), Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964), Ghidorah: The Three-Headed Monster (1964), Invasion of the Astro Monster (1965), All Monsters Attack (1969), and Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975), the very last of these being the final film produced before the zillseries was retired for nearly a decade. But the single disc releases still also offered the original Japanese language versions with subtitles, and the vintage American English dubs.



The first release in the Toho Master Collection was Gojira (1954), the film that started the worldwide love affair with the daikaiju (giant monster) flicks of Japan. This edition, as well as the soon-to-be-discussed final release in this series, was a 2-disc set that served as one of two incredibly impressive bookends to the other releases in the series. The DVD on the left side of this set boasted the original Japanese language version of the film, and the second disc featured the 1956 English language release, Godzilla: King of the Monsters

The next six releases in the series featured single-disc presentations of the films Godzila Raids Again (1956), Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964), Ghidorah: The Three-Headed Monster (1964), Invasion of the Astro Monster (1965), All Monsters Attack (1969), and Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975), the very last of these being the final film produced before the zillseries was retired for nearly a decade. But the single disc releases still also offered the original Japanese language versions with subtitles, and the vintage American English dubs.



The final release that served as the climatic bookend to this excellent series was the surprising double disc double feature of Rodan (1956) and War of the Gargantuas (1966). Like the six previous releases, the cover of this DVD set featured the original Japanese movie posters of both movies with the double-billed titles of both emblazoned across the top. But, unlike all the others in the series, this release did not feature the handsome holographic seal.

Interested late-comers to the Toho Master Collection DVD series should be aware that the series has recently been re-issued in order take advantage of the heightened interest in the giant monster genre inspired by the 2014 Godzilla film. Instead of the very detailed packaging discussed here, the discs have been issued in normal Amaray "keep cases." 

If you only care about the movies and not so much about presentation, the re-issues are economically priced to sell wherever classic Godzilla movies are sold. But if you want to have at least one DVD set in your movie library that is worthy of the longest-running film series in history, tracking down copies of the discs in the digipak packaging is a must.


No comments: