Thursday, 5 February 2015

Figure Comparison: NECA 12-inch Head-to-Tail Godzilla vs. S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla 2014

The question has been asked time and time again since their releases: what's the better figure? The NECA 12-inch Head-to-Tail Godzilla or the S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla 2014? It's a hard question to answer since one figure is much cheaper and more available, while the other is a bit pricier and obtainable through specialty stores or the internet. To most it's like comparing apples to oranges. However, I plan to point out the differences between these two figures and determine which one's the better buy. 

Without further ado, let us begin! 

The NECA 12-inch Head-to-Tail Godzilla figure was first released in May 2014 right when Gareth Edwards' Godzilla (2014) hit theaters. It was the very first Godzilla figure NECA released. It was initially well received for being the only super-detailed Godzilla (2014) figure at the time. Like with NECA's Pacific Rim figure line, they utilized the film's actual CG files to sculpt their Godzilla figure, allowing for film-like accuracy. 

Later on in the year towards September/October, Bandai released their S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla 2014 figure. The figure was sculpted by famed monster maker, Yuji Sakai who utilized concept designs as his main source of reference when sculpting the figure. 

When both figures are stood up next to each other, you'll definitely see the major differences between the two. Initially you'll see that the MonsterArts figure (right) is much more bulkier than that of the NECA figure (left.) The MonsterArts figure is also a little taller than the NECA figure too. 

While the sculpting on the MonsterArts Godzilla's back is a bit off when compared to the NECA and on-screen appearance, the one thing that it excels at a great deal is the sharp details on the dorsal plates. In my opinion, the spines on the MonsterArts Godzilla 2014 are the best, and most accurate aspect of the figure. 

The NECA figure does a much better job with the detailing on the back. The dorsal plates, however, don't have the same sharp details as we see on the MonsterArts figure or in the film. If you still have doubts about these details, I'll let you be the judge.

Now, let us take a look at the head sculpts for these two figures...

The head of the NECA figure has a more bulbous snout and the detailing on the neck is more pronounced, especially the gills, that allow this particular Godzilla to efficiently breathe underwater. 

As for the MonsterArts figure, the head still resembles that of the actual design, however the snout is a lot more narrow, and the brow is more distinct than the NECA figure. The details on the neck are not entirely noticeable and hidden under a lot of jagged bumps and spikes. Also the top of the neck should be relatively smooth and streamlined. On the MonsterArts figure it's jagged and full of detail, which is not true to Godzilla's on-screen appearance. 

When you compared both figures to the screen shot above, you'll definitely see which one is the more accurate figure. 

One of the things that people first noticed about the S.H. MonsterArts figure is that the feet have been elongated. Whether this was a creative decision by Yuji Sakai or a lack of proper measurement is unknown, but it's obvious that they do not entirely resemble their on-screen appearance. 

The toes and feet themselves are quite stumpy in appearance, and resemble the hind feet of a Brachiosaurus to support Godzilla's immense mass. 

Now we look at the NECA Godzilla's feet. They perfectly resemble the stubby feet seen in the screenshot above. 

Now we'll move away from sculpt and detail and on to articulation. The range of articulation on the NECA figure is decent, but prevents one from achieving scene-specific poses.

The tail on the NECA figure is articulated 1/3 the way. The rest of it is rubber with bendy wire inside it. This allows for a smooth bend that looks natural if posed the right way. 

S.H. MonsterArts figures are notorious for having a wide range of articulation and the ability to have figures posed to resemble certain iconic scenes from the movies they originate from. Godzilla 2014 is no different. 

The jaw on the MonsterArts Godzilla is able to open wider than that of the NECA figure, however it lacks the intricate detail seen in the above screenshot. 

The one thing I enjoyed about the MonsterArts figure is that it can be posed in the "Kiss of Death" pose, which would go great with a MonsterArts Female MUTO if Bandai ever releases one in the future.

When it all comes down to it, when it comes to overall accuracy and attention to detail the NECA figure (surprisingly) trumps the S.H. MonsterArts figure. Everything is there that makes it completely Godzilla (2014). While articulation is nowhere near as dynamic as that on MonsterArts figures, it still makes a neat display piece for anyone's shelf or desk and can be purchased at around $20 or below.

Notable online stores to check are, BigBadToyStore, and Flossie's Gifts

If you still want the MonsterArts Godzilla 2014 for dynamic posing and to include into your collection, then also check out, BigBadToyStore, and Flossie's Gifts as well. 

When it comes down to it, it's all the matter of personal choice. I like both for different reasons. 

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