Vault Review: S.H. MonsterArts
King Ghidorah (14 pics!)

King Ghidorah is one of my most anticipated figures in the MonsterArts line. But having mine stuck in customs for a week had me chewing my fingernails to the bone. I compulsivelyy checked the tracking number, hoping he had passed through! Thankfully, the long wait is over!

Before I get into this review I wanted to talk to all you MonsterArts/Figuarts fans.  Most of you probably already know that Tamashii Nations and Bluefin had a booth at New York Comic Con last weekend, and they made a few great reveals with Destroyah, King Kong, and the Red MMPR.  Adam Newman, Bandai of Japan’s US rep was also there, and he gave an interview with the folks over at TokuNation.

One of the more interesting subjects Adam brings up is the difficulty Bandai of Japan is having trying to figure out just how many US sales they truly have.  Apparently certain Japanese online retailers are reporting that all of their sales are from Japanese customers only.  This false data is making it difficult for Bandai to gauge US interest in their adult collector products.  One issue specifically mentioned was the difficulty in predicting which Japanese Sentai characters and non-Godzilla MonsterArts would appeal to US fans.  Adam also hinted that accurate US sales data would also make it easier to pursue non-Japanese characters like Lord Zedd.

I have to admit, until this video, I was ignorant on these issues.  I had no idea that Bandai of Japan was pursuing an active relationship with its US customers.  I also didn’t realize I was unintentionally skewing the data by ordering from my favorite Japanese online retailers.  But now that I do know these things, my buying habits are definitely going to change.  Bandai/Tamashii’s distributer in the US is Bluefin.  Not only do they supply stores like Toys R Us and Diamond Direct, but they also sell directly to US customers through their page.  The products they sell are released a few weeks later than their Japanese counterparts, but that’s a small price to pay for a more focused idea on what we truly want to buy.  Especially if that means an SH Figuarts Lord Zedd!

Speaking of ordering things from Bluefin, I truly wish that trend would have started with King Ghidorah!  I knew he was going to be a big figure, but I thought Bandai would have him partly disassembled to save space.  How wrong I was.  Ghidorah comes fully assembled, and it seems like they built the box around him so that none of his glory was hampered by mere packaging constraints.  If you haven’t committed on buying this figure yet, I suggest you pick up the US release.  The free shipping you’ll get from Amazon is worth it.

Ghidorah is the seventh figure in the SH MonsterArts line, and he really just proves once again that this line will probably be the ultimate Godzilla toy line.  I’m not saying there aren’t problems in the line, even Ghidorah has a couple that I’ll get into.  But I am saying that I’ve never seen another Godzilla line this well sculpted, articulated, and in scale with itself.

Every time I look at this figure I’m still amazed at how big he is.  Standing straight up he’s nine and a half inches.  From the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail he’s twenty one inches, and his wingspan is nineteen inches across.  This figure is massive, yet the bulk of his body is still about the size of Godzilla’s.

Like the previous six kaiju, Ghidorah has great sculpting.  A lot of it is easy to overlook because of the monotony of his golden color, but I keep discovering new bits the more I pose and play with him.  His heads are probably the most detailed.  You have the different texturing of his spiraled horns, eyebrows and chin whiskers, smooth eyes and teeth, and molded tongues and palates.

The majority of Ghidorah’s body is covered in short scales.  The scales are hard and jagged, which actually makes the texture of his body sharp to the touch.  You definitely feel it on your fingers when you’re trying to pry one of his ball joints back in place.  Even the spikes at the end of his cactus-like tail have a bit of a poke to them.  Continue to page 2…

19 thoughts on “Vault Review: S.H. MonsterArts
King Ghidorah (14 pics!)

  1. Wow, I was hoping for some great pics of this guy and you didn’t disappoint!

    Ghidorah is by far my second favorite Toho monster (after the big G himself) and this figure looks like it finally truly did him justice. I fondly remember finally getting to watch “Destroy all Monsters” on a grainy VHS back in the day, and loving the cheesiness of it. There’s just something very appealing about the giant monster movie genre.

    Hell, I loved Ghidorah’s parts in the Heisei era movies as well, crazy time-travel origin and mecha enhancements and all. Still haven’t managed to catch “Final Wars” yet though.

    The toy looks great. I’m not too bothered if some articulation parts don’t work flawlessly. The main drawback to this guy in my mind is the very hefty pricetag (with the shipping and such from Japan adding to it).

    I do love these monster reviews, keep them coming!

  2. Wow. Just . . . wow.

    Review and pics are damn good, too.

    Again, such a shame that I can’t afford the space or funds to take up this line, or even just one of the figures. Which, if I had a choice, would definitely be Ghidorah, here. At least I can collect vicariously through these spiffy reviews of yours, so thanks for sharing, as always.

    Do you think the wings could’ve been handled better? As in, all softer plastic with wire supports for the fingers so it wouldn’t droop or deform, but not shatter if dropped or fallen over? The fragility of imported Far Eastern toys never fails to disappoint me. They throw so much care and deliberation into all the details, then make them out of brittle materials so your bloody expensive toys break almost right out of the package. My MP3 Starscream and MP5 Megatron have the missing locking tabs to prove it.

  3. Man the pics rock on this but I gotta go back to that notion that Bandai Japan has no clue on how many customers they have in the US floors me. If had a local anime shop like used to I know I’d buy a few easily. Have a small collection of Kaiju gasaphons but no Ghidorah and I wish I saw one.

    This is one nice rendition of the kaiju that was a hero in one film. Gonna check out that site you mentioned to look at these.

  4. i can’t wait to see king kong scaling the winged back of king ghidorah, pummeling him vigorously. that’ll be sweet. this fig looks like a truly fantastic piece of toy.

  5. Awesome review! It really makes me want to buy all the monsters and the revoltech ones….gah….i may need to harvest some of my organs for this hobby…. 😉

  6. I got mine a couple of weeks ago and I think he’s great. My only problem is that the neck articulation is a little weak in that sometimes after you pose a head the neck will droop.

    I didn’t know about the sales either but now I’m glad I ordered the Young Godzilla thru my comic shop thru Diamond.


  7. I will buy this. It will fight Ultraman. I will reach back in time and high-five my twelve year-old self.

  8. Here’s my two cents in regards to the sales issue. In my opinion I think that the reason that Japanese retailers are telling them that they have had no US customers is because the products they sell are NOT SUPPOSED to be sold to areas outside of Japan. That’s the reason they squeeze in that little notation that says: “For sale in Japan only.”. To please the legal guys by saying: “Hey, we put this sign up. It’s up to them to decide whether they want to buy this item or not”.

    Honest retailers like HLJ, AmiAmi, Hobby Search(this is what it’s called right? Never used them.) won’t refuse paying customers. So putting that notation on their sites is all they can or want to do, their ‘corrective action’ in a way

    I personally bought my King G. from AmiAmi along with a figma of Emiya Kiritsugu from Fate/Zero (shipping was horrendous!), so I know I’m certainly a US customer. But from now on I’ll be buying my Bandai/Bluefin/Tamashii Nations stuff from Amazon, in light of hearing about this issue they’re having with gauging customers.

    As for the wings, my right wing (Ghidorah’s right) is sagging something awful. Before I knew about the wing breakage issue everyone’s been having, I was wringing the heck out the wing to try and get to stay up, lol! But it hasn’t broken on me yet. “Move it by the base!” is my King G. care bible from here on out. 🙂

    1. *heck out OF the wing to try and get IT stay up*

      Haha sorry, wish this had an edit button.

      1. *get IT TO stay up*

        Dang, I’m an idiot. And why am I wasting comment space doing this?! Sorry, I just can’t seem to leave these things alone….:(

  9. The lack of shading on this figure is inexcusable. Ghidorah always had some nice shading on his scales. Particularly in the Showa movies (granted this is Heisei KG, but still) and the figure would have benefited from it.

    The sorta wonky articulation has me puzzled too. Another one of these figures that has great articulation, but still suffers from some of the choices and the implementation. Perhaps in some of these cases, omitting articulation would have been more excusable than giving articulation that doesn’t really work.

    MonsterArts has been such a conundrum.

  10. “they also sell directly to US customers through their page”

    Do you happen to have a link to the Bluefin store on Amazon?

  11. Just an FYI, Bluefin doesn’t sell to Toys R Us; the Shinken Red and Gold FiguArts release in Toys R Us was Bandai America’s doing. Bluefin is its own company that distributes the product in the US. Currently, they are working to get Toys R Us to carry the products they supply.

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