I was not surprised that the next standard S.H. MonsterArts figure release right after last September's MFS-3 Kiryu would also be Millennium related. The S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla 2000 is one of the finest entries into this figure line, and funny enough, this particular Godzilla design was not featured in its own movie! The design of this figure is based off of the unused concept design from sculptor, Yuji Sakai. The concept was featured in many forms of marketing for the film and has been replicated into various figures and model kits for over the last 15 years. It has become a really popular design amongst the Godzilla fan community despite it not being featured in any of the films. However, many people found it pretty odd for Tamashii Nations to choose Yuji Sakai's original concept design over the suit design that we actually see in the movie. This breaks the accurateness that the S.H. MonsterArts line has been striving towards over the past few years. For some people it was a major complaint while for others it was a nice creative choice.
The S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla 2000 at its tallest is around six inches (15cm,) and over a foot (30cm) in length. It does not come with any accessories, but what it lacks in that department it certainly makes up for in overall quality and sculpt. By far, this is one of the best figures in the S.H. MonsterArts figure line in regards to detailing. Being it his own design, Yuji Sakai has really gone all-out with this particular piece. The skin is incredibly detailed and the dorsal plates are pretty jagged and sharp. The paint job is pretty amazing too. It is coated in dark greens and grays. It appears darker under normal lighting, but when struck with natural light, the greens really do shine. The dorsal plates feature a dark metallic purple that really goes well with the skin tone.
As for articulation, Tamashii Nations has really kicked it up another notch and really improved since last summer's S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla 1964 figure. Let's start from the head down.
The figure's jaw is on a ball joint much like all the previous Godzilla figures in this line allowing it to be opened, closed and moved left and right. Taking a note from the S.H. MonsterArts King Ghidorah figure, the tongue on Godzilla 2000 is articulated as well. It's connected on a metallic hinge joint at the back of the mouth, allowing it to be securely moved up and down without worrying about it snapping (like some cases with the King Ghidorah figure.)
The neck is segmented into three joints. This allows Godzilla's head to be positioned at eye level, looking all the way down – more so than the S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla 1995. It can also bend left and right without revealing any gaps between the joints. I was personally impressed by this.
The arms are articulated as traditionally as the previous figures. The shoulders are on a ball joint. A clever use of a sheath under the shoulder allows the gap not to be revealed when moved around. The elbows are on a traditional hinge joint while the wrist joints are given a skin texture to camouflage them amongst the rest of the flawless sculpt.
The midsection of the figure is on a ball joint and seperated from the top and lower halves of the body. The torso is able to lean forward quite a ways. Unfortunately by doing so, it reveals quite an open gap on the back of Godzilla's shoulders.
Fortunately this figure goes back to standards in regards to the articulation of its legs. It gets rid of the awkward looking thigh joint seen on the S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla 1964 and replaces it with a thigh joint similar to that of the S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla 1995. However, do not worry about any revealing gaps. There is a sheath inside the thigh that will cover the gap, much like on the shoulders. The knees are on a standard hinge joint while the ankles are on a ball joint. This assures that both feet are able to be positioned flat on the surface no matter how dynamic of a pose you put this figure in.
The tail for Godzilla 2000 is one of the most impressive aspects of this figure. Thanks to its highly segmented design, there are joints every inch down the tail right up to the tip, which allow one to position it however they want. By far this is perhaps the most dynamically articulated tail on any figure in the S.H. MonsterArts line. You can prop it up, down, all the way to the left, and all the way to the right. It can wrap all the around too! This is a very awesome feature, and one that makes this figure one of the absolute best.
Along with the S.H. MonsterArts MFS-3 Kiryu, and Biollante, Tamashii Nations has been hitting it out of the ball park lately with these figures! Godzilla 2000 is one of the latest and greatest that this line has to offer and gives us a real positive outlook to what we can expect in regards to quality this year. I am looking forward towards acquiring Battra, Mothra, and Gigan 2004 in the coming months!