Friday, March 14, 2014

S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla Chronicles (2011-2013)

S.H. MonsterArts line has certainly come a long way since their very first Godzilla figure, which received mixed reactions from consumers. However, over the course of two years, each figure not only maintained Tamashii Nation's standard of superb details, but they evolved into figures that were cleverly engineered and normally better in quality than their predecessor.

Godzilla 1993 (Released November 2011)

This version of Godzilla was S.H. MonsterArts' first entry into the Godzilla collectors market. Although the prototype and promotional images successfully wowed the audience, the actual in hand experiences shed a different story.

Godzilla had incredible design packed with collector-level details, but the figure lacked a far range of movement due to the figures bulky proportions. Also, the paint apps, though nice, weren't consistent. One perfectly good example is Godzilla's tail, whose segments varied in light to heavy coats of white.

However, the biggest complaint was Godzilla's misaligned eyes that certainly dampened his menacing look, a mistake that happened to a staggering amount of consumers. The overall quality of each figure varied among every collector, some even complaining about ball-jointed limbs easily popping out of the socket.

The atomic breath effect included with the first production run also received some lukewarm reactions. Some collectors described the atomic breath as looking more like a blast of water, and everyone had an issue with the arm support easily toppling off the base.

Eventually, the amount of quality control issues persuaded Tamashii Nations to reissue a second run of Godzilla toys with the eyes already fixed, but was not included with the atomic breath effect parts.

Godzilla 1993 (SDCC Comic Con Explosion Exclusive) [Released July 2012]

Tamashii Nations, in partnership with Blue Fin USA (North American distributor of SHMA toys), celebrated Godzilla's official toy release into America by creating an exclusive figure that could only be obtained in San Diego Comic Con 2012. This toy was called "Godzilla Comic Con Explosion."

The Comic Con exclusive Godzilla is a recast of the original Godzilla 1993 figure, but this one is casted in orange and red plastic with yellow paint to simulate Godzilla during his renowned meltdown phase. This figure has stiffer joints, and the articulation remained about the same. Godzilla didn't come with his own atomic breath effect.

Godzilla 1995 (Released November 2012)

Prior to the unveil of Godzilla '95 promotional images, many assumed that this figure was going to be another recast of Godzilla 93, but with a different paint app. Fortunately, many were proven wrong.

Godzilla has a revamped sculpt to appear bulkier and taller than his previous (1993) incarnation. The burning effect was accomplished by incorporating translucent orange and red plastic in Godzilla's body. The figure's unique design also allowed Godzilla to have better poseability than before.

Included with this toy is a pair of two different maser tanks, models DAG-MB96 (Godzilla vs. Destoroyah) and MBT-92 (Godzilla vs. Biollante). The red, spiraling atomic ray from Fire Rodan's accessories kit perfectly match this Godzilla also.

Godzilla 1964 (Released July 2013)

Godzilla 1964 is S.H. MonsterArts' very first kaiju from the Showa series. Although the figure improved in detail and articulation, there were enough flaws that sparked some controversy or outrage. The gap between Godzilla’s fins was the most notable flaw, as well as the "triangle" hip joints that altered the aesthetic appeal of Godzilla's overall look.

On the other hand, Godzilla 1964 did manage to amaze other toy collectors, who are pleased with the design and amount of articulation, few going as far as having Godzilla do the "Godzilla dance." After a back and forth debate among the masses, this figure is deemed as something that you could either like or strongly dislike.

Godzilla 2000 Millennium (Released December 2013)

Godzilla 2000 is the very first kaiju representing the Millennium Series. This figure is inspired by Yuji Sakai's maquette version of Godzilla. Godzilla's material combined softer, flexible plastic with some harder, sturdier material. The result, provided a stunning amount of articulation, much more than one could possibly need.

Besides the range of movement, the details and paint job of this figure is just stunning. The presentation perfectly encapsulated what made the Millennium Godzilla so visually impressive. Many agree that this is definitely one of the best "Godzilla" entries of this line.

Did you enjoy the recap so far? Do you want an updated post? Well, good news! S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla Chronicles is currently in develop for a second part, currently referred as “2014 & Onward.” I hope you look forward to it!

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