This is a topic I have been wanting to write about for a long time, but I never seemed to have the right motivation to do so. Lately, however, after seeing so many people complain and whine about S.H. MonsterArts and NECA, I think it as good of a time as ever to finally bring it up.
Ask yourself this question: Why do you collect?
Sometimes it may be an easy question to answer. At other times it may be pretty hard. I started collecting when I was nine years old because I just wanted Godzilla toys. It is as simple as that! Over the years my preferences of what I collect certainly have changed. However, even though I gravitate towards figures that tend to be more movie accurate and less stylized, I do not go out of my way to bash on other people because they like what I don't like. Unfortunately that is what I have been seeing lately whenever I enter a forum or Facebook group. Adults engaging in heated arguments about what toy is better. When you look at such an argument unfold with an outside perspective, it is incredibly embarrassing for both parties. They make figure collectors look bad. With that being said, everyone is entitled to their opinions. People should have their own thoughts about things for better or worse and share them civilly. However, a line must be drawn somewhere. Collectors who are fans of the same franchise should not tell another collector that they are stupid for buying a particular item they don't like. No. That is utterly disrespectful and only makes you, the accuser look bad. Do not be a Zoidberg!
Newsflash, people. No one likes dealing with pointless petty arguments about toys! We are collectors. We are going to prefer different things that aren't necessarily your cup of tea. Instead of fighting about it, embrace it! Think about it. That is what makes collecting Kaiju figures so great. There is practically something for everyone!
Are you just starting out or bringing in your kid into the wonderful world of Kaiju collecting? Then the best figures to start out with would be those from Bandai Creations, NECA and Diamond Select.
Do you love vintage figures? Enjoy hunting down Bandai Japan's classic vinyl figures as well as old Marmit, Marusan, and other stylized sculpts from the good ole' days!
Impressed by movie accuracy? Indulge yourself in with the dynamic S.H. MonsterArts figures or the super detailed vinyl figures from X-Plus if super articulated figures aren't your thing.
More of a kit builder? Then there are countless of vinyl and resin kits available.
No matter your preferences and no matter your budget, there is always something for you! ...Which is why I can't make any sense of this constant bickering in regards to the MonsterArts Godzilla 2001 and NECA Godzilla 2001... And even the MonsterArts Godzilla 1954 now!
Here are things I constantly keep reading as reasons not to buy one figure or the other...
The MonsterArts figure is too expensive!
Yeah, no kidding. MonsterArts can sometimes cost a pretty penny. There is no denying that, but let us take a look at what you are getting: a super detailed sculpt by a renowned sculptor (Yuji Sakai), precise detailing, state-of-the-art articulation, and collector-grade packaging. The price you are paying for most of the figures is worth it, trust me. If you can't see that, then maybe MonsterArts is not your cup of tea then. However, if you like MonsterArts, but think that you can't afford them, here is something that Rich Eso, Mr. Fresh Vinyl himself, brought up in his new podcast which is something that I do a lot: Bandai announces MonsterArts figures typically six to seven months prior to their release dates. Preorders for Godzilla 2001 opened at the end of January. Unless you ordered through a middle man service in Japan, you should not have to pay for the MonsterArts Godzilla 2001 until mid-late July. That gives you a solid five months from now to save up enough money to pay it off in full without a sweat. Anyone with a steady income can do that. It's so simple!
I find that people who complain about the price are just looking for a fight.
But NECA figures break. It's happened to me before!
Heads up! There is an easy way to deal with broken figures without having to Hulk out. Contact NECA customer service. Send them photos of the broken figure in or out of the packaging. If you don't curse at them or anything most likely they'll allow you to mail in your broken figure for a replacement. I've done this before for a couple of my Pacific Rim figures and it has worked! Here's a tip. Order through their eBay or Amazon stores. That way if something goes wrong you deal with NECA directly.
That gap! I can't even!!!
Stop moaning about the gap! All MonsterArts figures have gaps, seams and whatnot. That's part of having an articulated figure. Get over it.
*And stop saying "I can't even!" It does not make sense!
MonsterArts is dead!
This is my personal favorite complaint I've seen! It does not make sense since Bandai is still doing new sculpts, and saying this just means you're trolling about. Just because MonsterArts had a dull year last year does NOT mean that the line is dead. According to sources we still have stuff to look forward to.
When I see people arguing about this on Facebook, this is precisely what I see... (From Fresh Vinyl Reviews.)
Again, I ask... Why do you collect?
The more Godzilla we get, the better, no matter from what company. So what if NECA and Bandai both do a Godzilla 2001 figure. What affect does that have on your life? It will not kill you. Do not shame people for liking something that you don't. More power to them. One man's trash is another man's gold as the saying goes. This sentiment does not necessarily have to apply to just Godzilla figures. I see these sort of arguments in all kinds of fandoms. At the bottom of it all it is all about your own personal preferences. Buy what you want. Buy what you can afford. Buy what you like. If a certain figure is not up to your standards or too expensive for you, then skip it and move on. Don't piss and whine, ok? Collect for yourself.
I did not write all of this to be mean. It is just that I am so sick and tired that this is becoming too common. Here is my advice to those who engage in these arguments: gain some perspective. Try looking at things from an outside point of view. You might learn a thing or two.