Thursday, 12 March 2015

Original Figure Review - S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla (2014) Poster Image Ver.

It was only last September when Bandai released the original S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla (2014) action figure in commemoration of the monster's 60th anniversary. Granted, it was not the most accurate representation of the design but it was not an absolute terrible figure. At the Tamashii Nations 2014 event last Fall, Bandai unveiled two more variants of the same sculpt. The first was the Poster Image Version, which we'll be reviewing today, and the Spit Fire Version, which will be released this July in Japan, and August in North America. 

The Poster Image figure is the more limited between the two, only being packed in limited quantities of the Amazon Japan Exclusive Godzilla Deluxe BluRay Set. I was able to acquire the set and the accompanying figure. Does it live up to the flashy prototype? 

The S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla (2014) Poster Image Ver. is packed in a special boxset containing the Amazon Japan Exclusive BluRay set for last year's reboot of the Godzilla franchise from Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures. The brown box packaging is pretty neat. On the front there is a red seal with a silhouette of Godzilla in all his glory with the movie title in English and Japanese. The standard DVD set is also packed with it too albeit separately outside the box. 

Once unpacked, you see what the entire set includes, which is a decent bundle. You have the exclusive figure itself along with the BluRay set in a dark case with a monochrome bust of Godzilla bellowing out his roar. Behind there you can see the one accessory that the figure comes with, which we'll eventually cover. 

While all the BluRay and DVD stuff is cool and all, we are just reviewing the figure today. Interesting enough, the S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla (2014) Poster Image Ver. is packed in a standard window box, same as the regular MonsterArts Godzilla 2014 figure, with an alternate box art and added Toho Studios logo. On the back are various images of the figure's prototype as well as information on the sculptor, Yuji Sakai, written in Japanese. 

Once taken out of the package, the figure definitely is an eye catcher with its vibrant uses of reds and oranges throughout the body. The sculpt is the same exact one used for the standard S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla (2014) figure from last year. However, unlike that figure, this one uses some harder materials in select places (which we'll cover later on.) The figure's design isn't the most accurate (see our comparison piece between the S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla (2014) and NECA 12" Head-to-Tail Godzilla,) however, it is still recognizable as Godzilla 2014 regardless. 

One thing that immediately stands out with this figure is that not everywhere is covered with the red/orange coloration. Areas with the base gray color are evident throughout the figure, especially on the head, behind the arms, around the legs. Like in Steven McCarthy's video review, I too have the feeling that a majority of these figures were recycled standard Godzilla 2014 figures that were just repainted. 

The infamous "derpy eyed" issue that was present on the original MonsterArts Godzilla 2014 is also present on the Poster Image figure too. The right eye (top) faces directly forward as normal while the left eye (bottom) faces away and downward, creating a somewhat dumb-looking expression on Godzilla's face if looking at the figure from the front.

The fortunate thing, however is that the paint work on the teeth is not as bad (emphasis on not as bad) as my standard Godzilla 2014 figure. But there are still a few paint bleeds here and there around the jaw.

On the prototype for the Poster Image Godzilla 2014, the dorsal plates are supposed to have a gradient color scheme with the base being a darker orange while the tips are a brighter orange/yellow. The figure I got has a faint glimmer of what the prototype was going for, but ultimately that particular color scheme is mostly absent. This was one of the things on the prototype that prompted me to order the figure and the set that it came with. It's pretty bad that certain details that made the prototype "shine" are not present on the final product. An unfortunate sidestep for Bandai in this regard. 

The claws and toes on this figure, unlike the standard one, are painted in a bright orange/yellow color. They came out ok, but not great. The fingers and toes lack a glossy finish to make them really shine. They also have minor paint scratches throughout that are quite noticeable from some angles. 

The one thing that the S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla (2014) Poster Image Ver. manages to do right is its range of articulation. Perhaps it might be the extra coat of paint or different use of materials in the tail, but the joints are a lot more firm than that on the standard figure, especially in the tail. This figure is able to be positioned in more dynamic poses than the original, which is one reason why I can't totally dislike this figure. 

The only accessory that this figure seems to come with is the poster-like backdrop. It has a skyline of a city (San Francisco) with the bold red title logo for the film. 

The stand also has it's own stand. It requires a bit of folding, but it's a pretty simple job to get the backdrop into perfect working order. 

Under the right lighting conditions, the figure will look great in front of the backdrop. Both it and the figure share the same coloration, and without a doubt that's the intentional means to display the figure. 

Overall, what is my final opinion on this figure? Well, it did not exactly come out resembling what we saw in the original prototype. It still has the same quality issues as that of the original S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla 2014. However, where it fails at details, it gives back with a slightly improved range of articulation with more firm joints around the tail. For an added bonus to an expansive exclusive DVD and BluRay set, it is just an ok addition, but probably not worth what Amazon Japan charged for it. 

This is a figure I would not entirely recommend. It is an unnecessary rerelease of an already lacking sculpt. If you already have the standard Godzilla 2014, then stick with that. If not, then go for the Spit Fire version coming out this July/August. Only a completest (such as myself) would buy this figure and disc set for the price it's worth - $135 USD. 

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