Friday, 10 January 2014

Figure Review - S.H. MonsterArts Biollante

The year 1984 saw the return of the world's biggest star, Godzilla, to the silver screen after a nine year absence in the movie, The Return of Godzilla (also known as Godzilla 1985 in the United States). The movie was the first in the popular Heisei series of Godzilla films. However, the sequel to The Return of Godzilla wouldn't be released for another five years. In that time, a contest was held by Toho for people to enter screenplays that would ultimately become the next Godzilla film. One particular script written by a dentist won. However, the original screenplay was heavily altered and was actually split into two different films, Gunhed, and ultimately Godzilla vs. Biollante.  

Jump to 2012.... The S.H. MonsterArts line is already a year old, and Tamashii Nations has barely scratched the surface in regards to the monsters made into the line. Fan began to beg and cry for the ultimate dream figure, Biollante. Tamashii Nations listened and answered our prayers when they unveiled the official prototype of the figure at one of their Fall events. It wouldn't be until in the later half of the summer of 2013 when the announcement that all fans have been waiting for was made - the S.H. MonsterArts Biollante would be released in November 2013. A lot of us saved up our cash due to the figure's hefty price. I ordered mine through who is supplied by Bluefin Distribution. It took a while, but in the end, I do believe that the wait was worth it.

Biollante's box is pretty hefty. It is not nearly as tall as the box for the S.H. MonsterArts King Ghidorah, but in length and width, it's pretty massive. The figure's box is initially packed inside the typical brown Tamashii Nations Collectors Webshop box.  The packaging itself is pretty neat and is a mixture between the old-style packaging and the new. It lacks a window frame that would've let us see the figure inside, but with Biollante, I understand why they went down the windowless route.

The S.H. MonsterArts Biollante is packaged disassembled into five pieces - the main body, and the four tentacles. Attaching the tentacles to the main body is not too difficult. Just attach each tentacle to the ball joints in their respective sockets. There are little numbers (R1, R2, L1, L2) specifying where each tentacle goes. If you have trouble attaching the tentacles, then just heat up the socket a bit with a hair dryer, or dip the actual ball joint into hot water (not boiling) until its soft enough to insert into the socket.

Normally, I would save my personal thoughts on this figure until the very end of the review, but screw it... I am in love with this figure! The sculpt is really amazing and the paint apps are not too shabby. This figure is truly a gargantuan in regards to mass compared to its fellow MonsterArts brethren. Articulation is definitely one of the defining highlights of this figure. You can display Biollante in numerous ways - either hunched over as seen mostly throughout the movie, or propped up with its neck fully extended, which gives it a more pronounced presence and really shows off her immense size.

So let's start from the head down in regards to the detailing on this figure. The head detail on Biollante is pretty impressive. The teeth and tusks are all tastefully done and well sculpted. At first I thought that the eyes on this figure would be all white, but thankfully a pinkish hue is added around the edges to give the eyes more detail and depth. Both the upper and lower jaws are on hinge joints so both can be raised and lowered to open or close Biollante's large maw.

Biollante's four long tentacles are segmented throughout their sculpt on ball joints similar to the neck segments on the S.H. MonsterArts King Ghidorah. However, on Biollante, they are spaced out further apart allowing for much more fluid articulation. Each of the tentacles ends with a venus fly trap-like jaw which can open and close.

The detailing continues to impress as you view the figure all around. The figure is adorned by sharp rose-like thorns, which are finished in a glossy dark gray paint. The paints on the body are a mix of dark green, mixed with highlights of dark yellowish brown and greens. It really helps enhance the detailing on this figure. Also Biollante's back is lined with rows of meticulously detailed dorsal plates, which look pretty awesome.

Perhaps Biollante's most defining and impressive feature is its light-up gimmick. The figure takes two LR44 batteries that can be inserted under the figure. You need to unscrew the battery case at the bottom of the figure. Once you have inserted the batteries, there are two light-up options. If you flip the switch to the right, Biollante's core glows the normal healthy orange color as seen in the image above.

If you flip the image to the far left, then the figure will glow a dark reddish orange with a distinct highlight in its center. For me, this is the most impressive light-up option on this figure for it makes it look a lot more dramatic. It's meant to represent Biollante in a weakened state. This light up gimmick is pretty awesome, and I wish this was implemented into previous figures like Destoroyah for its eyes or Godzilla 1995 for its burning parts.

So, what are my final thoughts on this figure? As I've stated earlier, I am absolutely in love with this figure. The S.H. MonsterArts Biollante is a dream come true and a testament that Tamashii Nations listens to the fans who have been kicking and screaming for a figure of this monster. They have delivered one of the most impressive S.H. MonsterArts figure ever, period.

I highly recommend any Godzilla fan/collector to pick this figure up. You will not be disappointed.

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