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Vault Review: S.H. Monsterarts
Fire Rodan

Theme weeks are always fun, but they sometimes put me a little behind on reviews I really wanted to get to.  I have some really great Transformers, Figuarts, and LEGO Minifigures articles coming down the pike.  But before that I thought I’d get the newest S.H. MonsterArts figure out of the way.

Fire Rodan made his first appearance in the 1998 movie Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II.  He was one of two eggs that absorbed large amounts of radiation, which mutated the prehistoric creature into a power pterosaur that protected the second egg.

Fire Rodan eventually battled both Godzilla and Mechagodzilla.  But his ultimate goal was the protection of the second egg.  So when Big G was critically wounded by Mecha G, Fire Rodan gave up his life by transferring all his energy into healing and resuscitating Godzilla.

Fire Rodan’s sculpt has all the great attention to detail that I’ve come to expect from the Mosnterarts line.  The body sculpt has the interesting mixed look of armored plates and wrinkly flesh that I never really noticed while watching the movie.  But details like this easily jump out at you when posing and playing with the figure.

The choice of Fire Rodan really isn’t a surprise since Bandai of Japan seems to be sticking to the 90’s and 2000’s for figure inspiration.  This is good news for fans because it allows them the option to display these new figures with the Showa era inspired designs of the Sci-Fi Revoltech line.  I do believe Bandai will eventually get to versions of these Showa characters (Jet Jaguar!), but for now it keeps collectors like me placated with the knowledge that my Revoltech line isn’t obsolete yet.

When looking at a Monsterarts head sculpt, I always get the feeling that the designers spend a little bit more time in this area.  Not only do the figures look like they should, but the sculpts themselves give off a definite personality that makes taking pictures more enjoyable.  Fire Rodan is no different.  I really enjoy the contour of the three spikes from the back of his head.  Also, his mouth doesn’t close perfectly like previous figure, which gives him a grumbling look.  Even his eyes have that hunting-for-food bird-like quality.

It is interesting comparing Fire Rodan with the Revoltech character, which was based on his solo movie appearance back in 1956.  Although both figures share similar design qualities, their sculpts definitely give off a very distinct feeling.  I love the Showa Rodan for what he is, but design wise Fire Rodan takes the cake with his sleek and dangerous look.

Speaking of sleek, Fire Rodan has the smallest body of all the Monsterarts figures released so far.  Sure, his wings do give him more width than the other characters, but the overall figure is still tiny compared to the rest of the figures.  I don’t mind his stature at all.  He’s still in scale with the other figures, and Bandai actually used his smaller size to include additional accessories in the box.  I think this is a pretty cool move on their part, especially since two of the accessories aren’t even Rodan’s.

Fire Rodan’s accessories include his own attack beam effect, a new Godzilla beam effect, and an alternate head for Mechagodzilla.

Rodan also comes with three stand bases, three arms, and two adaptors that hold the figure in specific positions.

Fire Rodan’s effect part is a translucent purple swirling beam of energy.  Like previous effects parts, this one can be held by the classic Bandai arm and base.  I really like the look of the effects piece itself, but it’s definitely not molded to the shape of his mouth as well as previous pieces.  This caused me to take more pictures because the piece kept moving or falling out of his mouth.  Continue to page 2…

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6 comments to Vault Review: S.H. Monsterarts
Fire Rodan