Friday, February 8, 2013

S.H. MonsterArts Vs. Tamashii Stage Act 4

When I rate my favorite figures, articulation usually isn't on the top of my list because I mostly admire a toy's exterior design, details, and color, instead of poseability. However, since I started collecting S.H. MonsterArts figures, playing with their level of articulation became fun. Eventually, I began to practice my figure posing skills, which I still think needs a lot of work. I've always been fascinated by quite a number of photos online featuring S.H. MonsterArts toys cleverly displayed mid-air on some action stands, so I looked for anything on sale that could do the job.

Tamashii Stage Act 4 was the closest thing I could find, and although these action stands were specifically made for humanoid figures, I wanted to see if these devices can handle something at least twice the weight of those character toys. For this experiment, I used S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla, SpaceGodzilla, and King Ghidorah. Each figure varies in both size and weight, which is just perfect for a stress test!

My first attempt was to imitate Godzilla in his swimming pose, much like the one on the box. I quickly learned that if any of those clear display arms bends too much at the hinges, it will no longer support Godzilla's weight and fall down. Connecting two floor bases works best for better equilibrium. When done right, the results are pretty satisfying.

SpaceGodzilla was test number two, and for this guy I wanted to try two different midair poses based from Godzilla VS SpaceGodzilla. The hardest challenge was getting SpaceGodzilla to float in the air. The figure is very heavy and to get the action stands to combine and bend a certain way to achieve this display and not crumble from the heavy weight was very difficult. SpaceGodzilla fell once and scraped a bit of white paint off his shoulder. In the end those action stands just barely got the job done and I had to quickly take a picture before it falls again, so a word of caution to those who try the same thing.

The last one I wanted to try was SpaceGodzilla shooting a corona beam while levitating. Compared to the teetering issues I've had while getting Space Godzilla levitate in the air, including the special beam effect and stand kept SpaceGodzilla perfectly balanced. This pose would look way better if SpaceGodzilla's corona beam was longer because the beam was mostly used from far away than at close range.

King Ghidorah was test number three, which is perhaps the heaviest figure so far. King Ghidorah needs two bases connected together and three support arms for better stability. You can use two arms, but you have to immediately resolve Ghidorah's balancing issue. When the stage arms are perfectly leveled, King Ghidorah looks fantastic in flying mode. I'm pretty certain that other articulated depictions can be done as long as King Ghidorah and the action stand hold together well. Take extreme caution when experimenting the limits of your King Ghidorah figure because the last thing anyone needs is for their figure to get unstable, fall, then break a fragile limb like the wings.

Overall, Tamashii Stage Act 4 is definitely worth the investment. Just remember that the action stage can support these monsters as long as the weight is evenly distributed and none of the arms bend too much at any hinge. I'm not sure if these stands can hold a monster for a longer period than a couple of minutes or hours. Getting these S.H. MonsterArts figures depicted in any scene in mid-air seems safer for only short periods of time.

If you want to purchase a clear stand of your own, Hobby Link Japan does sell them for pretty good prices. Their stock is limited so don't wait too long to buy one.

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