I am definite one of those kind of collectors who always asks, "Do we really need ANOTHER Heisei Godzilla figure?" It was a question that I have certainly asked myself when this figure was first announced earlier this year. With it being the standard-of-all-standards of Godzilla designs, I do understand its appeal. However, did we really need it? Well let's take a look at the new S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla and see for ourselves!
When it was first announced, the new S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla was marketed as being the adult version of Godzilla Junior in the final moments of Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995). Bluefin Distribution's official name for the figure is the S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla 1995 [Birth Version]. However the packaging states that it is only Godzilla, and it does not include the promotional image from Tamashii Nations showing this figure, albeit silhouetted, in a pose and setting all too similar to Adult Junior at the end of said film. So is this mean't to be Adult Junior, or just another version of the Heisei Godzilla?
I personally think that the choice is definitely up to those who buy this figure.
The new S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla is essentially a redeco of the original S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla 1995 figure released back in November 2012. Unlike that figure, this version does not feature any of the translucent burning blotches and sports an all new paint job that perfectly represents the normal Heisei Godzilla colors.
The figure itself stands roughly six to seven inches tall. The sculpt and detailing of this figure are pretty spot-on. The coloration is particular well done. The figure features a series of blue hues here and there, which give it a great sense of depth - more so than the original S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla released back in 2011, which had a very solid colored paint job.
One of the aspects of this figure that I appreciated the most is that the dorsal plates are now correctly colored! The first S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla featured dorsal plates that were painted in a very solid gray color with highlights of black in the center. On this figure, however, we see a more bony coloration that is more faithful to the original Heisei Godzilla suits than the first figure in this line.
Another aspect of this figure that I really appreciated was that the eyes were done right. For those who have bought the very first S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla figure know that the figure's eyes were certainly not put in straight. A limited second edition release in June 2012 (considered quite rare now) was said to have more corrected eyes, which made it highly sought after, despite it being more harder to find than most first editions. However THIS figure has perfect eyes right off the bat. It's good to see that Tamashii Nations did right by the detailing of this figure. When I look at it, head-on, it doesn't look like a DERP, but legitimately menacing!
Articulation on this figure is just as good as its previous counterpart. Many types of poses can be easily achieved with this figure. The sculpt for Godzilla/Burning Godzilla got it right with the central pelvic joint, which gives this figure greater ability to lean back and forward. However, being that this figure is a redeco of an older sculpt, certain limitations were expected. Issues that were raised with the S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla 1995 are certainly present with this figure such as the gaps where the leg joints meet the body. Like with said figure, to hide the gaps, one can remove the leg from the joint, then adjust said joint so that the leg will cover the gap. Also, having been spoiled by the extreme range of the tail of the S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla 2000 Millennium, the tail for the new S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla was somewhat of a let down. I had hoped for at least a re-sculpted tail that would've had a lot more range that is equal or greater than Godzilla 2000.
The S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla comes with a couple of accessories. The first one(s) we'll be looking at are the extra pair of option hands. These are essentially the same hand accessories that accompanied the S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla 1995 two years ago. They are not bad, and give the figure a bit more ferocity in poses.
The next accessory is his Red Atomic Breath. This is the first beam effect to be included with a standard released S.H. MonsterArts figure since King Ghidorah back in September 2012. It's a redeco of the original Atomic Breath effect that was packed in with the first edition of the original S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla. It still is a very nice effect, though fans have complained that they wished for the traditional blue breath effect instead.
So... Did we really need another Heisei Godzilla figure? A bit of yes, and a bit of no. I am actually quite fond of it despite it being an obvious filler release before September's S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla 2014. To be honest, I was not completely thrilled with the original S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla when I first got it. It did not resemble the original prototype images completely. That is why I highly enjoyed this figure. It resembled its original prototype and excelled! Sure, it does have its flaws, which have been carried over by the original Godzilla 1995 figure, but the detailing, overall sculpt, and paint job have certainly made it all up for me.
I highly recommend this figure to those who did NOT feel completely satisfied by the original S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla. For those who were satisfied by it, and are completely tired of Heisei Godzillas, may be more compelled to skip this figure.