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Sunday, 9 December 2012

Kaiju Toy Review - S.H.MonsterArts Godzilla (1995)

Originally, I hadn't intended to buy the S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla 1995 figure. That was my intention from when I saw the original prototype for the figure in early January 2011. The figure was essentially another version of the sculpt of the already released Godzilla 1994 sculpted in a mix of translucent orange plastic and painted alternatively. At that time, I thought buying the figure would be rather moot since it's the exact same sculpt as the 1994 figure. However, earlier this summer updated images of the new prototype for the figure popped up on the web. I was pleasantly surprised by how Yuji Sakai created a brand new sculpt based on the actual suit rather than a re-sculpt of the 1994 figure. The figure was bulked up, dorsal fins rearranged, and a brand new range of articulation not seen on the previous Godzilla figure. Immediately I was hooked. The 1995 Godzilla design is one of my favorites overall. I had to have it!


Now, I finally got mine. First off, the box for this figure is truly amazing. The mugshot of Godzilla is very menacing and the cracks of orange magma-like rock really contrast well with the figure inside. There was one immediate issue that I faced with when taking this figure out of the box... It fell apart! Yep. It fell apart. The left foot fell, and sections of the tail detached as I picked it up out of its plastic molding. However, that was not a big deal. I boiled some water to soften up the ball joints and sockets and inserted the former into the latter. It was fixed.


I was caught off guard on how tall this figure really is. Roughly seven inches tall. He is definitely bigger – or a better way to say, taller – than the previous Godzilla figure in this line. However, I believe that is mostly due to the extra mid-section articulation. If that section weren't there, it'd be the same exact height as the first Godzilla figure. The detail, when looking at this figure in person, is really well done! There are numerous points on the body that are sculpted in translucent plastic such as his burning blotches, dorsal plates, and thighs. There are a few blotches that are painted in glossy paint though, but those sections are miniscule, but well done. While I do appreciate that the painting on this figure is very suit accurate, even the bone white paint on the spines on the neck and tail, I do wish that it were painted in a dirtier shade of white or gray to match that in the movie. Regardless it isn't a big issue and adds to the figure's magnificent level of detail.



Articulation is a vast improvement over the previous Godzilla figure. Let's start from the head down. The jaw joint is on a more hinged-joint system rather than a ball joint, allowing the jaw to move only up and down and slightly side to side (but not to the extent of the previous Godzilla figure).



Now we move down to the neck. I am certainly happy with how the neck articulation on this figure came out. It is split into three sections rather than two like on the last figure. The extra section allows Godzilla to look directly down and up without compromising the sculpt or revealing gaps. This is one of the features that I highly appreciated on this figure. The neck is now able to move up and down, left and right naturally and without too much force.


Then there are the arms. I was intrigued that this figure is given extra articulation under the shoulders. It allows the arms to be posed forward and back. We now move down to the mid section. Now this is where it gets fun.




The torso and lower half of the body are separated with this added mid-section which the last Godzilla figure did not have (and was one of the reasons for its stiffness and lack of articulation). It allows the figure to lunge forward, rear back, and veer side to side. It also adds to the figure's overall height, boosting it to seven inches rather than six inches.


The legs and thigh articulation is another improvement on the figure over the previous Godzilla. The legs can be bent a great deal forward. However, one gleaming flaw with this feature is that it leaves a gaping gap in the figure where you can see inside it and through to the other leg joint. Good thing though that this can be hidden after a bit of readjusting.


Finally there is the tail. This is where I am somewhat disappointed. The prototype images depicted the tail joints to be a lot more dynamic and articulated than those on the first Godzilla figure. But they're essentially reused parts from the said Godzilla figure. There is little pose-ability with it, and remains one of he disappointing aspects of the figure.


Accessories with the S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla 1995 are interesting. This is the first figure in the line that is not packed with a beam effect. However, if one wishes to display this figure with a beam accessory, one can easily utilize the Red Spiral Beam Effect accessory that was packed in with July's S.H. MonsterArts Fire Rodan. The only accessories that are packed with this figure are two ULT Maser Tanks, which are limited First Release exclusives. Also there are a pair of alternate hands with more stretched out claws. I must admit, I was disappointed that there were only two Maser tanks included. I expected that there would be three each much like the Godzilla Effects Pack released last year.


Overall, the S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla 1995 is a well sculpted and detailed figure. Its articulation is a vast improvement over the previous Godzilla figure's in various aspects. While accessories are a bit lacking, that can be easily overlooked for the S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla 1995 is one neat entry into this toy line. My personal score for it is a 4/5.   

3 comments:

  1. This is definately the last time i ever bought a bandai monsterarts figure.

    It's a piece of junk.

    Derpy eyes, legs fell apart as soon a i took him out of the box, can always see a giant gap between legs no matter how much i rotate them, can't move legs or they fall apart again, head is a recycled piece of the old 1992 one with white eyes instead of red...

    This one broke all the trust i had for the line.

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    Replies
    1. Well, that's your opinion.

      I too had a similar problem with the legs falling apart. I just heated the area with a hairdryer and reinserted the joints into the sockets and it was as good as new with no further issues. The gap in the legs can be hidden. What one needs to do is take the leg off, and adjust the joint inside. It's not a complicated process. I did it for mine, and it fixed that issue right up. Also, the head is actually a brand new sculpt, not a recycled sculpt of the first one. The derpy eyes, that can't be helped unless you want to go through the whole process of separating the upper jaw, lower jaw, and etc. but I wouldn't suggest it.

      MonsterArts is definitely not for everyone. For me, they've certainly been an up and down experience. The one figure that made me really question my dedication to the line was King Ghidorah. The first day I got it the wing snapped right off! Oh, I was so pissed. Had to get another one, which I am leaving alone. I have every figure and exclusive in the line so far. Frankly SpaceGodzilla is the one figure that beats the rest. Right now, for me, Destoroyah is the figure that will really decide if I'll continue buying this line or not. If I have similar problems with Destoroyah that I did with King Ghidorah, then I am going to be done with the MonsterArts line.

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    2. Well, I can't say much for the whoel S.H Monsterarts line since I only have Burning Godzilla, Space Godzilla and Destroyah Final Form. But all 3 were fantastic for me.
      Burning Godzilla didn't break apart in my case and the eyes were painted perfectly. There were a little paint hiccups on the back of the neck but they are really minor. And I could hide the gaps between the legs and hips without having to take them apart.
      I am really sorry for what happened to you. I totally understand. My Play Arts Kai batman came with a crooked right leg. Was so disappointed.
      Just wondering, I've heard that the Burning Godzilla had a totally new head sculpt. I don't have the 93 one so I don't know. Which is true?

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