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Vault Review: S.H.
MonsterArts’ Godzilla

I’ve been pretty interested in Bandai’s SH MonsterArts line ever since it was announced earlier this year.  Not only would it deliver our first super articulated Godzilla figure, but it would have to keep the same quality we were accustomed to from the Sci-Fi Revoltech line.

I was originally surprised when Kaiyodo began producing the various monsters from the Toho films for its Sci-Fi Revoltech line.  But that was the main reason I became such a huge fan of the line.  Getting figures like Jack Skellington, Aliens, and Predators was pretty cool in its own right, but they couldn’t hold a candle to all the kaiju.  Not only were some of these monsters pulled from the obscure early days of Toho Studios, but they were given a level of detail and articulation that had never been seen before, even on the best kaiju figures.

It seemed the success of these Revoltech figures cut both ways though.  Profits were being made under a license that Bandai owned the universal rights for, and it didn’t take long for them to pull the plug on Kaiyodo.  Characters like Mothra in larvae form, or even the more obscure Jet Jaguar could no longer be made, and the Sci-Fi Revoltech line began to focus more on Gamera instead.

A short while later Bandai announced the beginnings of a brand new line, S.H. MonsterArts, which would focus on producing figures of the Toho kaiju.  This raised a lot of questions for me.  What kind of scale and style would these new figures be in?  How much would a line like this cost?  And most importantly, would we finally get the super articulated figure that Godzilla deserved?

The sculpt of this Godzilla figure is pretty amazing.  His entire body is made up of that rough texture that perfectly mimics the thick rubbery look of the real Godzilla costume.  Even the plates on his back are given a smooth texture around their edges, while their centers are rough and craggy like a rock.  Aside from his spines, Godzilla’s finger and toenails are the only other parts of his body that are smooth and sharp looking.

Godzilla’s head is equally detailed with that rough skin, but it’s much smaller and looks more like scales on the back of his neck.  The inside of his mouth is lined with a double row of teeth on both the top and bottom, while his tongue and top of his mouth are textured with bumps and cracks like a real mouth.  Something I found interesting was the expression on Godzilla’s face, and his eyes in particular.  His head was sculpted with his classic snarling roar in mind, so his nose and cheeks are a bit scrunched up.  This is a bit odd looking from some angles though, because his cheeks have that constant puffed up look.  His eyes are also a bit asymmetrical.  This gives him a very organic pissed off look, but also seems a bit odd from certain angles.

This Godzilla was sculpted in the style of his modern look.  I don’t really know why Bandai chose to go with this version first.  They’ve even shown us seven more figures since the original announcement, and all of them are modern incarnations of Toho properties.  I don’t usually associate politeness with corporations, and Bandai probably chose the modern look because it’s what people are currently familiar with, but I do find it interesting that they’re not stepping on the toes of what the Revoltech line has already produced.

Another interesting note is that this new SH MonsterArts line seems to be in scale with the Sci-Fi Revoltech kaiju.  It’s not exact scale, but it’s close enough for my tastes.  Modern Godzilla is so much larger than the older Showa characters, even the bigger ones like Gigan.  But it does make me wonder if the Showa and early Heisei characters will also fit in with the Revoltechs.  Continue to page 2…

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22 comments to Vault Review: S.H.
MonsterArts’ Godzilla

  • Jey

    That Godzilla is gorgeous. I’m sorry to hear that he’s not as mobile most of the Figuarts figures.

    But it really was a dick move by Bandai. Very similar to the Turtles situation with Playmates and NECA.

  • I think the Toho license is much more complicated and not ‘global’, because they do have the Goten-go (aka Atragon) due and yes, I’m very excited about that because it looks just amazing. 🙂

    Vault, I’m surprised you didn’t do the one thing that Bandai is most proud of with this Godzilla, he can be posed swimming.

    And the REAL dick move by Bandai is the accessory pack, only available via the Japanese Tamashii Web store. All kinds of cool in-scale diorama bits.

    http://p-bandai.jp/tamashiiwebshouten/item-1000011835/

    (and Bandai is TOTAL ASS when it comes to ease of finding stuff because their web stuff is all completely non-intuitive. You’d think that the page for the Godzilla would have a link to this set, but NOoooooo.)

    Super X, modern Maser Tanks, cool stuff. Lots of little PVC bits that cost almost as much as the figure itself!

    *sigh*

    I hope for a nice Showa Godzilla, maybe mid-era. We’ll probably get ‘First Godzilla’ next.

    • Beedo Sookcool

      Bandai’s various international branches are really good at being jerks. How the Hell a toy company can dictate that middle-man e-tailers can’t sell certain products outside a certain region is beyong my capacity to comprehend. (Still bitter about not being able to get a Ssslithe shipped to England.) And you know what? If they’re going to be like that, they obviously don’t need my money. To Blazes with ’em. Berks.

  • Mirrored

    I see Kamen Rider #2 there.

    I warned you.

    But welcome to the rabbit hole.

  • Ah, you beat me to it…I can’t wait for this toy. Mine should arrive today or tomorrow.

    Great review!

  • Beat me too, sadly, but it’s nice to know that so many of us are going to give this guy some love.

  • MIRACLEFAN

    Hey guys, I just got mine in Today from Amazon & I have to say this is by far THE best Godzilla figure ever made.
    The Eyes looked good on mine, no ”googly eyes” on mine.
    Also The next figures coming out for this line will be Mecha Godzilla, Space Godzilla, Mogura, Rodan & King Ghidorah.

  • Beedo Sookcool

    Excellent review of an excellent product! Too rich for my blood (and wallet), though.

    • AdventureVault

      Thanks Beedo. I know what you mean though. They’re pretty costly, then the exchange rate kills you. But I’m a sucker and couldn’t stay away, lol.

  • dayraven

    man… this godzilla looks excellent, but it’s just not my scale preference… when they come out w/ a goddie this articulated (though hopefully more geared towards actual range of motion) that can look mp-01 prime in the face… yeah, i’ll pay whatever they want. i’ll donate plasma, buckets full of semen, wampum, whatever they want. i’ll shave my back and sell it to locks of love, whatever it takes…

    • Dunno if you ever took a look at this, but Takara did a really cool ‘Combat Joe’ Godzilla suit long ago, and I think they did a reissue not that long ago (for long ago within 10 years or so as opposed to the early ’80s of the original).

      Mind, it’s a rubber suit over a GI Joe. It probably doesn’t pose THAT well, but, hey, it exists. 🙂

  • Nik

    FFFFFFFFFF Want. FFFFFFFFF expensive.

  • JamesLynch

    Nice looking figure, no doubt, though a bit undersized for my tastes (I’m with Dayraven. I want a Godzilla this articulated that’s about the size of those rotocast things I keep seeing at TRU).

    I have to point out, as a bit of a Godzilla nut, that this isn’t the modern version of Godzilla. Modern would imply the most recent incarnation (since there’s no current Godzilla, as the franchise has been on hiatus for over 7 years), which for Godzilla would be the Millennium series (though there wasn’t really one look throughout the Millennium series. It seemed to change almost every film, as the films in that series were mostly not in continuity with each other. The exception to that would be Godzilla X Mechagodzilla and Tokyo S.O.S.). This figure is bade on the Heisei era Godzilla, which ran from 1984 to 1995. All the other Monsterarts figures revealed so far are also from the Heisei era. Mechgodzilla is a dead giveaway, since he looked radically different in the three eras. Spacegodzilla’s another easy way to tell, since that character only appeared in one film, and that was during the Heisei period.

  • StrangePlanet

    That 2nd pic with Godzilla and all the Revoltech monsters is a helluva awesome setup. It’s pretty rad that the big G goes with them. That’s a sweet set.