Sunday, September 21, 2014

S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla 2014 Review


Legendary's remake of Godzilla became a success, both nationally and internationally. Bandai/Tamashii Nations capitalized on this momentum by including Godzilla 2014 in their S.H. MonsterArts line, and having Yuji Sakai in charge of sculpting this project. Prior to this figure's mass release, the potential continued to escalate through various teasers, official promo images, and showroom displays. Now that Godzilla is here, was he really worth the wait?


Design & Details


The materials used on this toy is essentially the same stuff that has been used since Godzilla 2000. There's a mix of hard and softer substances that make Godzilla seem sturdy, yet flexible at the same time.


What's admirable about this figure is Yuji Sakai's artistic take of Godzilla. This toy does not look disproportionate compared to the movie monster, as Godzilla has the right height, length, width, and build.


The most obvious tweaking done to this kaiju, as many have pointed out, is Godzilla's feet. The toes spread out a little more, a feature that is much preferred than having them clumped close together. They just make Godzilla's stance look a little more natural and stable.


This figure is covered with various skin texture. Some are bumpy, jagged, or patterned like crocodile skin. Godzilla's unique structure on his chest are nicely sculpted, but the presentation is hindered due to the overlapping seam. The gills on Godzilla's neck are also nicely molded and layered to near perfection.


The most eye appealing detail on Godzilla is his fins, which has deep ridges and grooves sculpted in them. Overall, these little adjustments rightfully made them appear more dynamic.


Godzilla is sold as a standalone piece this time, but as evidenced by Tamashii Nation's promo pics, he should go well with the new effect and weapons sets slated for release later this month.

Paint Job


The paint job isn't entirely complex. Rather, a standard body color with a few shades of dry brushing and other little painted details, including the eyes and toes. Godzilla's body is grey with green shadings on his abdomen, chest, neck, arms, back, tail, and legs.


So far, there has been a few figures reported to have eyes completely unaligned. Unfortunately, this one suffers the same error. Godzilla's left eye stares up, while his right eye looks down. This is very disappointing, considering Tamashii Nations has had their their figures free from goofy looking eyes for a long time.

One collector fixed this problem by recoloring the eyes with a gold Gundam marker, then dotting the pupils with a fine tipped black Gundam marker (used for panel lining).


Godzilla's teeth were painted a little sloppy, but are taken with a grain of salt. At least the top and bottom jaw weren't painted heavily like Bandai's vinyl figure. His red tongue is very glossy, as this part seemed to be molded out of red colored plastic.

Articulation


One of the biggest benefits from this figure is Godzilla's range of motion. He is able to accomplish a wide range of poses thanks to the numerous ball joints rigged inside his body. Godzilla is able to widen his stance, curl his tail, bend forward, and even tilt his head up or down.



On the downside, Godzilla's bottom jaw contains a ball joint that also allows side pivoting motions. A simple hinged mechanism is rather preferred because ball joints tend to make lower jaws look slightly tilted or unbalanced whenever a monster roars.

Figure Specs


Size Comparison

For this review, two different sets of comparisons must be made. First, is S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla mixed with the NECA and Bandai Movie Monsters variant. S.H. MonsterArts' version stands taller than both figures.



Second, is how Legendary's Godzilla compares next to the Millennium, Hesei, and Showa counterparts from S.H. MonsterArts. Godzilla 2014 stands taller than the rest as well.




Conclusion

All things considered, S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla (2014) fell pretty short from my reasonable expectation. The sculpting is awesome, so is the articulated possibilities this figure could pull off. However, a small paint issue, like Godzilla's crossed eyes can drastically ruin anyone's enjoyability. Of course, this may not be a common issue, and I might've lucked out with my figure. Therefore, I can't really recommend this product, without a discretion. If you're willing to gamble, feel free to buy one. After all, these paint issues can be corrected.

8 comments:

  1. This is a good figure, but I prefer the NECA Godzilla-2014. Is less expensive and, surprisingly, it is more accurate with the Godzilla-2014 in the movie. This figure (S.H. M.) take to much liberties, like the color, the size of the head and the form of the feet, which are all incorrect with the movie version. NECA got it right with this paticular Godzilla, S.H. MonsterArts simply don't.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Raul. Thanks for stopping by!

      There’s no denying that Tamashii Nations dropped the ball on this one. However, I can’t really fault them for taking a huge risk in Godzilla’s sculpt and articulation.

      Artistic interpretations have been successful before in Japan. S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla 2000 is a good example. G 2000 wasn’t 100% accurate, but the design, paint apps, and articulation satisfied many. The sculpt of Godzilla 2014 is really neat, and perhaps the best way to really make those carved details pop were through the default colors and paint applications chosen.

      The amount of articulation on Godzilla isn’t overbearing, since, in the movie, he was able to curl his neck and abdominal region, bend his knees, as well as whip his tail around. These capabilities make the toy less stiff and a lot more animated.

      The problem though is when the cost of this figure is considered, reasonably high expectations will result from it. The paint flubs on Godzilla’s face is a real shame and all critiques aimed toward that are certainly justified.

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    2. I agree -High expectations will come with a high price tag, and people are right to complain about Tamashii's mistakes. It can be annoying sometimes, though, as some of the people who complain act as if anyone who decides to buy this figure or (gasp!) praise it is some kind of dumb monkey or a Tamashii zealot who will gobble up anything from the brand.
      But eh, there are all kinds of people, I suppose. I liked your review. Very detailed and with lots of nice pictures. I'll be sure to bookmark your blog.

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    3. Hello El jinete de la perdiciĆ³n. Thank you for reading the review!

      Despite some issues, there are also positive aspects to consider. Once I got pass my first impression, I accepted and got used to Godzilla’s paint errors. In addition, posing this figure is really fun, and I especially like how Godzilla interacts with the recent effect set (Godzilla Effect 2). At the end of the day, a person’s overall enjoyability will vary.

      Your subscription is much appreciated and I hope you enjoy more reviews to come!

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  2. Fantastic review. I really enjoyed seeing how in depth you went with the detail on the figure, its articulation, and comparison with the NECA 2014 Godzilla, which I own, and other SH Monsterarts Godzilla figures.

    I'm definitely going to try picking one up if I ever see one in stores.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by Joesiph! If you get this figure, I hope you have a blast with Godzilla’s range of poses. He sure looks good at some angles.

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    2. The first pose I'll make him do is the dance from Monster Zero.

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    3. Sounds like a sweet idea! Please show me a pic when you capture that pose.

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