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

To my surprise, Ghidorah’s wings are actually two pieces.  The scaly parts are made of a softer plastic, while the larger leathery bits are a harder plastic with very little give.  They sculpting really does a great job of tricking they eye into thinking they’re soft, but you’ll definitely want to be careful with them.  Especially pay close attention to the tips, which may snap off if he takes a dive off the shelf.

There really aren’t a lot of paint apps on this figure.  Aside from his red mouth and white teeth, the only other bit of variation is his eyes.  Everything else is gold, as far as the eye can see.  I’m of two minds about this.  On one hand, this is how the character looked in the movie and various other media.  On the other hand, the overload of gold really drowns out the sculpt.  It even gave me issues while taking photos because the camera was having a hard time focusing on specific details.  A bit of an alternate gold colored wash would have really helped in a few of the more detailed areas.

I’m not absolutely certain on this, but I think that KG is the most articulated figure I own.  Like the other MonsterArts figures, the majority of his articulation is made up of ball joints.  Each segment of tails are made up of double ball joints, giving him thirty four joints per tail.  His necks are the same with twenty joints in each.  Each head also has a ball jointed jaw and a tongue with a tiny (and limited) ball joint.  Ghidorah’s chest is also ball jointed, although mine’s doesn’t really want to move.  His knees, shins, and ankles are also double balls.  I think his hips may be also, but they seem to be a bit limited by the sculpt (like the first Godzilla’s).

KG’s wings are the only articulated bits that aren’t ball joints.  Instead, Bandai went with a double hinge joint.  One hinge allows the wings to move forward and back, while the hinge it’s attached to allow the wings to move up and down a bit.  These joints are definitely different from what we’re used to seeing on MonsterArts figures, and I’ve heard stories about breakages.  I’m not sure how weak these joints are, but personally I haven’t had any issues.  One thing you do want to keep in mind when posing is that the wing and the base of the wing are two separate pieces that move together as one.  Some of the breaks I’ve seen online are between these two pieces, not the joint.  So when moving the wings, make sure you’re moving the base piece (green arrow), and not the wing piece (red arrow).

Ghidorah comes with three beam effects pieces for accessories.  I was pleasantly surprised that each beam had its own unique sculpt.  Unfortunately the way they were designed to work with the figure is far from perfect.  One of the big differences with these beams is that they were designed to be held up by clips, while previous effects parts could be plugged into the stand’s arm.  Getting all three to juggle properly with the figure isn’t impossible, but it can be frustrating.

Another annoyance is that all three pieces have to share the same base.  Even with the extensions this limits the poses Ghidorah can make if you want all three heads firing a beam.  Maybe Bandai was trying to keep costs under a certain amount, but I don’t think two more clear stands would have dissuaded anyone’s resolve to buy this figure.

Godzilla’s thrown down with nearly every kaiju on the block, but King Ghidorah is by far his most recognizable foe.  I’ll fully admit that the figure isn’t perfect, but his monstrous size, sculpted detail, and nearly endless articulation make him damned near close to it.  This figure is a great addition to the MonsterArts and Sci-Fi Revoltech lineups, and I’m already excited to pick him up again in his Mecha form.


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

  • Sandman

    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!

  • Beedo Sookcool

    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.

  • J. Lee

    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.

  • Do I even need to say it? Great review Vault!

  • dayraven

    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.

  • Megatherium

    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…. 😉

  • Spectre2001

    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.


  • Evil Ed

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

  • KshatriyaNZ-666

    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. 🙂

    • KshatriyaNZ-666

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

      Haha sorry, wish this had an edit button.

      • KshatriyaNZ-666

        *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….:(

  • 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.

  • I bet one reason the etailers skew the prices are to keep prices up.

    I am in utter awe of these figures!

  • Heli

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

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

  • GreenAiden555

    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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