Out of all of the monsters in the Godzilla franchise, Mothra is perhaps the next best known of Toho's so-called 'Big 5,' which also includes King Ghidorah, Rodan, and MechaGodzilla. Her long awaited inclusion into the S.H. MonsterArts series of figures, in my opinion, is vastly overdue. As to why she was released as a web exclusive in Japan instead of being a normal release is beyond me, but still, we are all glad to have her.
The S.H. MonsterArts Mothra was released in Japan back in April, and made her way to North America via Bluefin Distribution in mid-to-late May. The figure is based on her 1992 appearance in the film Godzilla vs. Mothra, also known as Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth. That movie also had Battra in it too, which was released in the MonsterArts line back in January/February. Both Mothra and Battra's larva forms will also have figure releases at the end of June in Japan, and July in North America.
Mothra was sculpted by veteran Godzilla sculptor, Yuji Sakai, who has done many of the figures in the S.H. MonsterArts line. It's not surprising that Sakai manages to capture every single bit of detail that the original prop had from its respective film. The sculpting of Mothra's 'fuzziness' is something to be commended as one would imagine it being quite fluffy to the touch, but instead it's hard plastic. The eyes, similar to the S.H. MonsterArts Gigan 2004, is translucent with a bubbly texture beneath. It really helps give the figure a sense of depth and quality.
For being a "moth covered with shag carpeting" as Dave Barry once described her, Mothra has quite a bit of articulation - more-so than the previous S.H. MonsterArts Battra, which I found pleasantly surprising. First off, Mothra's 'beak' can open and close. Her antenna and 'pincers' can also move, but be warned: they're quite fragile and can easily be snapped. I personally leave them alone. Mothra's head and neck are also quite articulated too.
Mothra's wings, like Battra's, are on hinge joints. Like Battra and King Ghidorah, one must move them by gripping the wings closer to the base rather than at the tip. The four sets are separately articulated. Mothra's abdomen is also much more articulated than Battra's too. One can have it posed upwards, downwards, and it can also be moved from side-to-side.
One very minor complaint about the figure is the metallic cylinder that makes up the hinge joint on one pair of wings. When one looks up at it closely it's pretty noticeable, but at a certain distance and angle it becomes untraceable. Again, it's a minor complaint on my part.
All in all, the S.H. MonsterArts Mothra is a very neat figure. The sculpt is pretty flawless and the points of articulation are quite appropriate. Aside from my one minor complaint about the metallic cylinder in the hinge joint showing, everything else about this figure is pretty much thumbs up for me. I'm away from home right now, but I can't wait to add Mothra to my S.H. MonsterArts collection.
If anyone's interested in buying this figure, she can be found at Amazon.com, BigBadToyStore, Entertainment Earth, and more!