Thursday, April 19, 2012

S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla (Heisei) Figure Review

Hello Ravers! For those who collect figures from the S.H. MonsterArts line or have observed these new toys since their debut knows that Space Godzilla should be released through American online dealers soon. How soon you may ask? I'm not sure. The release date have been pushed back to April 2012 (update: 4/19 for those who pre-ordered from Monster Planet Toys), which leaves me feeling a little more anxious every day. I know some consumers received their figures on time because they pre-ordered their items from Japan or elsewhere outside of USA. For now, I'll review S.H. MonsterArts very first toy release: Godzilla (Heisei) as I wait.

The Figure:  Professional sculptor Yuji Sakai really brought his 'A' game here! For those who are unfamiliar with Yuji Sakai, he is renowned for his various sculpts in sculptures, dioramas, models, and vinyl figures. Godzilla's overall look is impressive with a paint job that makes him almost identical to the suit!

Yuji Sakai perfectly captured Godzilla's menacing facial features, whether this monster roars or not. I typically prefer seeing Godzilla with his mouth closed.

Furthermore, the figure is made from solid PVC, ABS, and POM so Godzilla weighs around two pounds. There are also various metal joints beneath the layers of plastic to create multiple (about 29) points of articulation. Unfortunately, I found a few issues with this figure. There are some complaints from collectors about Godzilla's unusual eye alignment. I don't think my figure has that problem. I noticed that the shades of white on Godzilla's spines (from back to tail) vary in tones and are not quite consistent.

Furthermore, the spines on the back of Godzilla's head could have been painted white also. Despite those problems, I still think this figure isn't bad at all.

Figure Specs:
  • Height:  6 inches (head to toe).
  • Length:  13 inches (head to tail).

  • Shoulders can sort of rotate.
  • Upper biceps can rotate.
  • Bend in the double jointed elbows.
  • Wrists can bend and rotate.
  • Neck bends in 2 places and rotate.
  • Mouth opens and closes.
  • Abdominal region can rotate.
  • Legs can bend and slightly rotate at the hip.
  • Bend in the double jointed knees.
  • Tail bends in around 17 different sections (correct me if I'm wrong).
This figure definitely have more joints than a standard Bandai toy.

Even though Godzilla has more room for poseability, his abdominal and leg movements are still restricted and there are some sections from the tail that aren't fixed, but spins freely. Keep in mind, Godzilla's massive bulk is the cause for his limited movement, and he didn't demonstrate much flexibility in the Heisei Series also, so I guess there's not much to complain here. The left wrist of my figure has a tendency pop off when bent or rotated, but can snap back on the ball joint. I should also mention Godzilla's jaw has a small pivot going left and right, which makes him look funny.

  • Atomic breath effect.
  • A stand to hold the effect in place.

The accessories are well thought out and detailed. The effect can be adjusted to shoot at high and low levels.

I had a bit of trouble getting the atomic breath effect to perfectly fit in Godzilla's mouth in my first couple of tries. You really have to break in the tight joint in Godzilla's jaw a bit to securely fasten the accessory in. Also, the pegs don't fit tight enough so they are susceptible to falling apart with ease.

Size comparison:  Since S.H. MonsterArts figures are scaled to a six inch line, I want to compare this toy with Bandai's six inch figure. Both figures are around the same height, but S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla has a smaller head, thinner neck and upper torso, and a longer tail.

Final Thoughts:  My overall opinion is pretty favorable. There's no question that the details are superb, paint job is great, and having extra accessories is a bonus. Having all these points of articulation is cool, but even this monster has a limit to how far he could bend. The price is still an issue to collectors and they have every right to feel that way. A six inch figure like this that is brand new and in the box is appraised at an average of $70 (not including shipping charges).  This price may not fulfill a consumer's satisfaction or expectation. The good news though is that I saw a few used figures (out of the box, but complete and mint) sold on ebay for a cheaper price. If you didn't buy one yet, but would want to some day for a lower amount, by all means go for it!

For other reviews of S.H. MonsterArts figures, click HERE.

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