Thursday, 23 April 2015

Original Figure Review - S.H. MonsterArts Mecha King Ghidorah

For me, this is the primary S.H. MonsterArts figure that I have been looking forward to for the last several months. Mecha King Ghidorah was another inevitable release into this figure line. The original S.H. MonsterArts King Ghidorah was first released back in September 2012 with reviews ranging from highly positive to somewhat mixed. Based on my experience with that particular figure :cough: broken wing :cough: I was prepared to be very careful when it came to handling Mecha King Ghidorah. 

Does this figure meet its expectations and corrects the issues presented in the original King Ghidorah figure? Let us take a look!

Once you take this figure out of its box, Mecha King Ghidorah is truly a BEAST! It stands roughly a foot tall from toe to the tips of its wings. The sculpt for the figure utilizes recycled elements from the original King Ghidorah figure along with plenty of newly sculpted parts, both made of ABS plastics and Diecast metal. 

When looking at Mecha King Ghidorah (hereon referred to as MKG) you can really appreciate the sheer level of detail that has gone into this figure. The solar panel-like texture on the inside of MKG's wings are meticulously sculpted. The mechanical elements on MKG's body are very well painted and lightly shaded to give it more detail. The overall golden paint scheme on MKG is somewhat more vibrant than the previous MonsterArts King Ghidorah, which helps make it stand out. 

From the back, you can see MKG's twin very long and highly articulated tails. When you take this figure out of its box, the cybernetic tips are packed separately and must be attached - much like the tail tip for the S.H. MonsterArts MFS-3 Kiryu Heavy Arms/High Mobility Type figure. 

The left and right heads, and much of the neck segments, remain the same from the first King Ghidorah figure. However, depending on the figure, the jaw joints may be a tad loose. They're connected to the head via a single small ball joint. If handled too hard, the bottom jaw can come out rather easily. Not an alarming issue. It holds up well if left alone. The central robotic head is obviously brand new. It's sculpted mainly out of ABS from the feel of it. Like the other two heads, it is segmented throughout, but the articulation in the robotic head and neck is less dynamic than those of the two organic heads and necks. If bent too far forward, the neck would sometimes pop out of its socket - again, not a big issue and totally fixable. You can get great poses with the middle head, but it requires some fiddling and trial and error (sometimes.) The jaw, like the other two heads, is on a ball joint.

Articulation in general on MKG is not all too different than that of the previous Ghidorah. Each head is fully segmented, the torso can move up, down, left, and right, the legs have the standard knee and ankle articulation, and the tail itself, like the necks, are completely articulated. 

I initially assumed the wings of MKG would have the same range of motion as the first King Ghidorah figure, but when I tried to move them back they wouldn't budge. I didn't want to force it so I left it a lone. Instead of a flapping motion, MKG's wings can be propped either straight up, or leaned forward.

Next to the S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla, MKG stands pretty tall. It's a shame we do not have a 1989 or 1991 MonsterArts Godzilla display with the Ghidorahs yet, but last year's Godzilla (Birth Ver.) is an excellent substitute.

MKG comes with a decent array of accessories. The first set of accessories are the Machine Hand and grappling cables used to wrangle Godzilla during the climatic final battle in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991,) a personal favorite film of mine.  

The grappling cables can easily be connected to MKG by opening the compartments around his torso. In order to attach the Machine Hand accessory, just pull out the central piece under the cockpit and insert the Machine Hand into the open sockets. The Machine Hand part in particular is magnificently sculpted with diecast metal and ABS plastic. 

With these accessory parts, you can easily recreate the memorable scene from Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991) where Mecha King Ghidorah flies Godzilla out to sea, sparing Tokyo from utter destruction. 

The final accessories to accompany MKG are the trio of Dorats. For those unfamiliar with Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991) the Dorats are genetically engineered animals, bred as pets, from the distant future. They have the ability to sense their owner's emotions and help cheer them up in times of stress. As cute as they are, they were brought back in time into the 1940s as a means to expose them to the atomic bomb testings in the south Pacific in order for them to fuse together and mutate into the king of terror himself, King Ghidorah, taking Godzilla's place in history (or so it seems.)

The Dorat figures are tiny, standing about an inch or so tall. Despite their minuscule size, they are highly detailed, and they do in fact possess some articulation in the jaw and wings. I do believe that they're mean't to be in scale with S.H. Figuarts figures, (come on, Bandai, make us a Figuarts Android M-11!) 

What else is there to say about the S.H. MonsterArts Mecha King Ghidorah? I've actually had a better experience handling this figure than the previous King Ghidorah (which had fragility issues as well as segments of the tail falling out of their sockets.) Combining the level of detail that has gone into the sculpt, detail, and paint work as well as the neat accessories, Mecha King Ghidorah was a great buy and a welcome addition to any S.H. MonsterArts figure collection. I highly recommend it! 

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