For Godzilla's 60th anniversary, Tamashii Nations has graciously given us an S.H. MonsterArts figure of the Big G as seen in Gareth Edwards' reboot film of the beloved franchise. Fans have complained that the original 1954 Godzilla would've been a better figure release (which I do on some level agree with) and that the lack of material for Yuji Sakai to reference while sculpting the MonsterArts Godzilla 2014 has caused the design of this figure to be somewhat inaccurate. However, to be honest, I am really digging it.
At its tallest, the S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla (2014) is 6.5 inches. Some have believed, including myself, that this figure would tower an inch or two above the previous Godzilla 1995 (Birth Ver.) figure. At this height, the figure manages to match the height of the previous Godzilla releases. The overall sculpt was beautifully crafted. Before you "naysayers" call me a "Elitist MonsterArts Fanboy," let me explain. Sure, the sculpt differs from what we see on screen just by a tad. Not a lot... Just a tad!
Most likely, Yuji Sakai, referenced much of the design from concept designs sent by Warner Bros. and Legendary during the film's production. The reason people seem to prefer NECA's figures is because their sculpts were directly taken from the CG files used for the film. That is all fine and dandy to me, but personally, in the long run I just like figures that were sculpted by hand rather than taken from existing CG files. The little mistakes or happy accidents are what make a majority of the MonsterArts figures very appealing to me. Not because they're film accurate. The craftsmanship that went into sculpting this figure, especially when using only concept designs, is something to admire. Sakai is a master sculptor of giant monsters and I trust that whatever he puts out is the best possible product.
Other than the toes being elongated and the body being very slightly bulked up, the sculpt itself is pretty spot on ,and otherwise flawless.
Sculpt and detailing are two seperate things, however. While I praise Sakai for his work on this particular sculpt, I have a different opinion on the detailing. While much of the figure is really good in regards to detailing, the thing that disappointed me the most was the paint work on the teeth and eyes. In the past, MonsterArts Godzillas always had flawless detailing on the more finer points on the figure especially the mouth and teeth. As of November 2012's Godzilla 1995 figure, we had all thought that the "derpy-eye" issue, first presented with the very first MonsterArts Godzilla figure, was a thing of the past. Unfortunately it returns with a vengeance with this figure!
My figure is interesting. The right side of the face (pictured left) appears just fine. However when you look at it from the front and then onto the left side (pictured right), you see all the issues with the paint on the teeth and the pupil placement on the eyes. The left pupil on almost all the figures of seen faces down while the right pupil is correctly faced centered and forward. The paint applications on the teeth are just downright sloppy and feels absolutely rushed. With this being the 60th anniversary figure, you'd think Bandai would be much more strict on QC issues. However, if you have had experience customizing figures then this will be a neat little project for you. For me, all I can do is just show off this figure's good side on the shelf.
The articulation on this figure is pretty good in my opinion. Godzilla's jaw opens very wide to allow you to pose him in his epic roaring pose. The neck is segmented and allows you to maneuver Godzilla's head and neck up, down, and side to side to a certain degree. It should be noted that Godzilla's neck can bend downwards enough for people to recreate Godzilla's finishing move (which I call the 'Kiss of Death') on the Female MUTO as seen in the movie. Hopefully Tamashii Nations gives us both Male and Female MUTOs eventually!
The upper body can lean forward and back. The midsection, however, is similar to that of the original MonsterArts Godzilla 1994 figure. It doesn't do much good leaning forward or back, but helps when swiveling the body side to side. The legs are pretty impressive, personally. No matter how dynamic the pose, the ankle and lower leg joints ensure that Godzilla's feet are always flat on the ground.
My favorite part about this figure is the tail. It definitely is right up their with the MonsterArts Godzilla 2000 in regards to how dynamic the tail can move. Unfortunately it is too heavy for it to be displayed whipping into the air (like on most Godzilla figures) aside from the last few inches. However, it is flexible enough for you to wrap it around Godzilla to the front.
When compared to the NECA figure, the MonsterArts figure clearly beats it with the level of detailing and the edgier sculpting. The two figures, depending on how you pose them, are practically the same height give or take and inch or two. I don't prefer one above the other, to tell you guys the truth. It's like comparing apples and oranges for me. The NECA Godzilla, while lacking the sharper sculpt and details of the MonsterArts figure, still is a neat figure for what it's worth - a sentiment that I have shared countless times.
At least the new Godzilla design fits in quite nicely along with the rest of his previous incarnations. Don't be fooled by this photo though. The way I posed the figures creates the illusion that Godzilla 2014 is bigger. For the record it is almost the same size as all of the Godzilla figures except for Godzilla 1964.
And here he is along with his future Kaiju costars: Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah!
People will indeed have their own opinions about this figure. For me, despite all the flaws in the facial details, I still really like it. I'm not ashamed to admit that the 2014 design is my favorite Godzilla design aside from the Heisei and 1954 versions. The MonsterArts Godzilla 2014 figure definitely is a worthy addition to any MonsterArts collection whether you like it or not. The figure does indeed look VERY good when viewed from afar. The little issues with details don't become apparent unless you really hold it close to your face or look at close-up photo of it.
One must admit after looking at the photo above that this figure can be quite photogenic!