Wednesday, 22 July 2015

SPECIAL EARLY-BIRD REVIEW - S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla (2014) Spit Fire Ver.

Written by Arlo Hansen

I admit, 2015 has been quite a slow and boring year for the S.H. MonsterArts figure line from Bandai Tamashii Nations. Other than Gamera 1996 and Mecha King Ghidorah, every other figure released so far has been a repaint such as Godzilla 2000 Millennium Special Color Ver. as well as the upcoming Godzilla 1964 Appearance Ver. in October/November and the recently announced King Ghidorah Special Color Ver. coming out in December/January. However, as much as collectors have complained, I for one see merit in some of these repaints. Godzilla 2000 Millennium, Godzilla 1964, and King Ghidorah have been BIG sellers when they first came out, and now their after-market prices have reached sky high. These repaints allow new collectors to acquire these particular sculpts without harming the value of the originals. Many have complained about this fact, but I personally don't mind it.

When Bandai first announced Godzilla (2014) Spit Fire Ver. I was particularly skeptical of it. Both the original S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla (2014) and the Poster Image Ver. had alarming quality issue errors that angered many fans and collectors. Even right when I got the figure, I was unsure whether or not this figure would possess the same errors or not. 

Is the S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla (2014) Spit Fire Ver. a worthy figure to have in your collection? Let us take a closer look at this figure!

How was I able to acquire this figure so early? Bluefin Distribution was selling a limited number of figures before their Japanese release at San Diego Comic-Con, something they regularly do. I had a family friend, who was at SDCC the other week, pick up this figure for me. I should consider myself lucky for this was literally the LAST one at Bluefin's booth! The figure does not release in Japan until later next week, and will make it's way over to North America in mid-to-late August.

The figure comes in the traditional windowless box that all Bandai web shop exclusives come in. Unlike the previous two Godzilla 2014 figures, the box features a dark blue coloration other than red and orange, reflecting the long awaited atomic breath effect. The figure itself utilizes the same exact figure sculpt as the original and Poster Image Ver. figures. However, this figure has several notable differences, which I'll cover right now.

First thing's first... Have the paint issues on the eyes and teeth been fixed? See for yourself. YES, they have been fixed, Hallelujah! Both pupils face forward, and Godzilla's teeth are appropriately colored with absolutely no paint bleed running down the sides of his mouth and chin. Also, the redness that was present around the jaw on the original figure is no longer there. Everything looks clean! 

The reasoning behind the improved paint apps is relatively simple - Bandai got A LOT of negative feedback regarding the original figure. From what I've been told, the issues with the eyes and teeth on the first figure were a factory error. Since then, Bandai has switched factories, which explains the vastly improved detailing and quality on the Spit Fire figure.

The detailing and paint application to this figure is a vast improvement over the original, big time! It shows off the ferocity of Godzilla (2014) as it has always meant to be. 

Godzilla's spines are colored in a brightly translucent blue color, depicting Godzilla charging up his atomic breath. While not entirely film-accurate by any means, the effect is still pretty neat.

Actual figure does NOT light up!
This figure is actually sculpted out of translucent plastic and painted over. The only areas unpainted are the spines. If you shine a light through them, you can achieve a glowing effect, which looks pretty awesome! 

Also, one of the advantages of being sculpted out of material different from the original figure is that this figure can achieve poses that were previously unable to be accomplished by the original figure. You can now raise Godzilla's tail up into the air without worrying of it slapping down on the table surface! 

And now for the accessories...

Godzilla (2014) Spit Fire Ver. is packaged with a few neat accessories. The first one we will cover is the Atomic Breath Effect. 

The breath effect accessory is sculpted out of a blue translucent plastic with subtle highlights of a lighter shade of blue.

The breath weapon can be attached to a Tamashii Stand and base, which is black with the Godzilla (2014) film logo. It actually looks pretty great.

The final accessory is an alternate hand clutching the decapitated head of the Female MUTO, as seen during the film's climax after [SPOILER] Godzilla unleashes his atomic breath down the beast's throat, severing it from her body. 

Replacing the normal hand, and attaching the one clutching the MUTO head is pretty simple. All you need to do is pull off the regular hand, which is attached not too hard to the wrist, and pop in the alternate one. 

With the MUTO head grasped by Godzilla, you can recreate his ultimate victory roar pose.

Or the moment after Godzilla decapitates the Female MUTO! 

So.... After two disappointing Godzilla 2014 figures from Bandai, is the Spit Fire version even worth going for? The answer is: YES! Absolutely yes! Go for it. Third time's the charm. Bandai finally gave collectors the Godzilla 2014 figure that we have been all needing! Even if you have the original, still go for this one. If not for the figure itself, then for the awesome accessories. Trust me, you need this in your collection. 

The S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla (2014) Spit Fire Ver. comes out in Japan at the end of this month. It will be brought over to North America via Bluefin Distribution sometime in mid to late August. Preorder yours now at BigBadToyStore

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