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S.H. MonsterArts
Godzilla (Heisei)
6 Inch Scale
By: Bandai
$60 (price varies)

I could talk for days about how Godzilla influenced my life and interests, but I think you can just look through this site for more information on that. Suffice to say, I’m a HUGE Godzilla fan and a lover of then entire giant monster movie genre. Big G Money himself is the catalyst for all of that, so when Bandai unleashed the MonsterArts figures onto the world, I had to have them.

Bandai promised all kinds of articulation, excellent high quality sculpting and a (somewhat) affordable price. It’s just about everything a hardcore kaiju junkie like myself could ask for. To top things off, Bandai was starting with what I consider to be arguably the best “basic” Godzilla design on the them all. The modern Heisei version. It’s a perfect starting point for a new line of monster toys.


We’ve definitely come a long way from the old Imperial Godzilla, but does this Godzilla toy really prove to be the best action figure EVER of the big guy? Is this finally a fitting figure form for the King of the Monsters? Read on to find out, because the answer might surprise you!

Packaging:
The box is pretty fantastic, using some window box elements but also not just offering up a retread of old window box designs. There’s a great bright red photo of Godzilla from the era, in the midst of one of his iconic screams. It almost looks like he’s about to let loose with some of his atomic death breath.


The package is sturdy, thick and not too loaded down with pointless language. It’s also a largely American friendly package, with tons of English language on it.


The neatest part of the presentation is the top window using the Godzilla logo shape. It reminds me of the old NES Godzilla game, which used a similar font. Oh the many hours I spent looking at that logo on the cartridge shoved in my Nintendo, fighting Gezora level after level. And of course, some epic battles with Moguera, years before Godzilla ever fought him in film… But I digress.

Sculpt/Paint:
It would be easy to start off by saying Bandai has outdone itself and this is the greatest Godzilla sculpt and paint work they’ve ever done, yadda, yadda… But the truth is, Bandai has done hundreds if not thousands of Godzilla figures through the years and for the most part they’re all sculpted and painted well.


What can be said for this figure in particular, is that it’s a cut above the rest. It’s not 1,000X better, it’s just better. The likeness is pretty much spot on to the era of this character and the design is largely flawless. Little details such as the eyes are captured with incredibly vivid paint work.


The paint work on the figure is quite good and little details like the fingers and spines are done quite well. Again, it’s hard to say that they’re epically better than some of the cheaper Bandai America efforts, but they are superior. The truth is, Bandai even at the worst know how to make Godzilla. They’ve made more Godzilla figures than anyone.


He looks pretty imposing from almost all angles.


The scale is considerable bigger than the Gamera Revoltech figures, but those run a bit small anyway so it’s to be expected. Unfortunately this means you likely won’t be able to fudge any of the Godzilla Revoltech figures, either.


“How can they mistake us?”

They’re a closer fit with the regular Bandai vinyls, though.


The face, mouth and teeth are probably the highlights of the paint and sculpting. There’s a ton of emotion that can be conveyed with even the slightest of movements. This is thanks in no small part to the work in these areas.


It’s a nice figure, with a lot of size if you look at the tail and wide thighs.


The tail is also pretty damn impressive, stretching to about 7-8 inches itself. There’s more tail than there is figure, head to toe.


I think everyone will generally be impressed with the paint and sculpt here, but perhaps not the size. Many folks still associate Godzilla figures with being huge and robust and that’s just not the case here. It’s not dinky by any means, but it won’t tower over your other figures either.

Articulation:
So if we’ve had some pretty awesome sculpted Godzilla figures in the past, what makes this guy special? Well the articulation is one of the biggest selling points. The S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla is the most poseable this character has ever been, short of the actually ones appearing in film.


You can more or less get Godzilla to do the Shie Dance. That says a lot about the articulation.


The movement in the head, neck and mouth is very lifelike and quite adaptable. This is easily the best feature of the figure, in my view.


However, it’s not all sunshine and Mothras. There is a lot of restriction in many of these joints. The legs aren’t that good. In fact there is more forward movement with the old Bandai vinyls than the poses you can get with these.


But on the flip side of that, you can get this figure into poses that no other Godzilla figure before it has been capable of.


I don’t think the articulation is bad by any means, but I wasn’t as blown away by the articulation on this figure as I was with say the Revoltech Gamera or Figma Robocop. It’s good, but not revolutionary.


Of course you can probably move him about as much as any guy in the rubber suit could have moved around, so make of that what you will.


The tail is probably the most impressive piece and each and every segment is articulated. However, once again, it’s more show than function. While you can get some movement in the tail, all the articulated pieces don’t equal out to being much more articulated than if it was a solid piece with one or two joints.

Accessories:
Bandai and fellow high end Japanese toy makers always jam pack figures like this full of accessories. So of course, this figure will be loaded down with goodies, right?


WRONG! You get a atomic death breath with an odd little stand and that’s it.


That’s gonna leave a mark…

It looks absolutely fantastic, but it’s awkward the way it’s connected to a large stand. I can’t tell if the stand is supposed to be water, fire or just “effects”. It’s rather large, but the spray just feels less fun than those of the Gamera figures.


The fact that this is the ONLY accessory and future reissues may not even include this, is a huge negative in my book. There’s just SO MUCH that could come with this guy. The box feels huge and empty when you open it and this is the only accessory contained within. I want some masers!

Value:
This is an expensive figure. Even though Bandai is getting these released here into America, we’re not getting much if any of a price break. Which means you can’t even pass off that this is an “import” and feel better about yourself. Bandai is marketing these figures to the west, but we’re still paying outrageous prices.

The problem is that Kaiyodo has already set the standard here, as has Figma and even Bandai itself with the Ultra-Act and S.H. FiguArts lines. In a nutshell, this figure comes with virtually nothing in comparison to those lines, but costs even MORE than they do. It’s just unacceptable. Bandai knows they can get away with it because it’s Godzilla… But that still doesn’t make it right.


Score Recap:
Packaging – 8
Sculpting – 9
Paint – 9
Articulation – 8
Accessories – Atomic Death Breath w/stand
Value – 7
Overall – 9 out of 10


Godzilla still gets a 9, but it’s with hesitation. Compare this figure with something like the Ultra-Act Ultraman, which costs about half as much, has a ton more accessories and poseability and you’ll see why I’m just not as impressed with this guy. Is he the best Godzilla figure in terms of posing, ever released? Probably.


Is he the best Godzilla figure ever made? Probably. Is he worth $60? Not really. And that’s my problem with this figure. The value just isn’t there. The prices for this line just keep going up and while the figures are nice, they are not the end-all be-all of Godzilla toys. There are much cheaper alternatives that may lack a little of the sizzle, but are still quite good.

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18 Responses to Figure Review: S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla

  • Poe Ghostal says:

    So you're saying the price point basically ruins your enjoyment of the figure? Because that's what it sounds like.

    I'll admit they're expensive–too expensive–but I still love this figure.

  • Poe Ghostal says:

    So it sounds like the price really soured your appreciation of the figure, then? You just seem really disappointed with the whole thing.

  • It's not the price so much. It's the price + restricted articulation (which isn't bad but fails to amaze me) + lack of accessories that sours me on the whole thing. I really DO like the figure, but I'm just less impressed than I thought I would be. A lot of the Ultra-Act kaiju are just as impressive, if not more and they come with more and cost a little less. I feel like Bandai is trying to exploit their big name for extra cost.

    Not so much on this figure, as in general with the line. If this guy would have came with all the stuff in the weapons pack, or even HALF of what was in the weapons pack, I might have raved that this was a great deal, but with so little in terms of actual accessories, I have mixed feelings.

    I guess, I just know they can do better. There's really no good reason why this costs $30 more than regular FiguArts stuff. Even with the extra sculpting.

    So I'm left with where I may just end up being a cherry picker with this line. If I can get a decent vinyl of some of these characters for like $10, I have to wonder why I would pay $70 or so for a Space Godzilla, or something, that still has some issues. I want to love the line, I really do. Not sure yet, though.

  • Kayman says:

    I pretty much agree with this review in total. I like the figures, but Bandai always does good work with Godzilla figures and there's not enough amazing stuff in this guy to warrant the price tag. He's close, but not quite there yet. Nice job.

  • Newt says:

    Thanks man, I appreciate it.

  • Bill White says:

    Great review, Newton. I was very excited about this figure, but when I saw him in person at NYCCC, he looked really fantastic, but really puny. I was so conflicted. I wasn't sure he was worth the price, even with great articulation.

    Your review made up my mind for me. I can pass on this guy, and enjoy the big goofy Godzillas I already have. Unless of course, my wife wants to surprise me with one!

  • Wes says:

    Really enjoyed reading this, Newt! Your love of Godzilla totally shined through (not that I wasn't already aware of it), yet you still gave the figure a fair review without geeking out or ignoring the very steep price. But I'm hella cheap compared to you collectors, so I always appreciate it when someone actually takes a figure to task for not being a great value. (Even though 7 for value — and 8 for articulation and 9 overall — seem kinda high given your comments.

  • Newt says:

    Thanks. I agree, it's a nice toy especially if you could get it for a gift, but I don't think it's a must have. As much as I really would love to say it is one.

  • Newt says:

    True, I went ahead and gave it a 9 overall, because although there are some serious weaknesses… The toy itself is really good. Just not perfect. For those who are concerned about particular issues, such as articulation or pricing, they can look to those areas and see the score on those and weigh that more heavily.

    Thanks for the feedback!

  • Newt says:

    Yeah it's a great gift, but it's definitely something that you have to really want. It's a toy you need to commit to, I think. As much as I love Godzilla, I don't think I'm going to be in for every figure. My favorites, yes, but every version of every character? Doubtful. UNLESS Bandai starts packing more value in.

  • Eugene says:

    It is quite unfair to expect it to be as articulated as Revoltech Gamera though. The joints are more obscured to keep the flow of the sculpt (aka no obvious ball joints) and in the first place the Heisei Gamera is significantly more mobile than this incarnation of Godzilla, which has those colossal thunder thighs. Its a flow of the sculpt vs articulation thing.

  • Eugene says:

    Its high pirce point also comes with its size. Its moe expensive than Ultraman and the Revoltechs but its also much bigger (about twice the size and even moreso heavy) and more solid.

  • Newt says:

    I would agree with you on that. The Revoltech joints are less hidden and by nature are designed to be more poseable… But when articulation is the main selling point of this figure, I was expecting to be slightly more wowed. It could just be that I've been reviewing a lot of better articulated figures lately.

  • No, I still love the figure… But I don't think there is enough value. If anything, there's trepidation on my part to buy many more as a result of this one. But I still like this one.

  • I'd beg to differ on the Ultra-Acts. I have a few of the Kaiju who are pretty close in size and bulk. It's not like the Godzilla figures are THAT much bigger, to warrant such a price increase. I think it's more license fee than anything that's adding to the cost.

  • Mecha-Shiva says:

    Have the Godzilla revoltech line been paired with this yet,no fair using the gamera line since that one was annoyingly small scale.AMen on the artic ulation hampering the price point,I also heard people getting misaligned eyes.

  • Eugene says:

    True, but UA Gomora and Eleking frequently come in at least $50, and you will be lucky to get Golza below $100. Godzilla is newer and is a more expensive brand so he comes in more expensive.

  • Eugene says:

    I agree on the articulation too, but I cut this figure some flack since it is Heisei 'thunder thihs' Goji. But I can't say I'm so forgiving on Mechagodzilla having no tail joint and his neck being only able to move side-to-side, or Spacegodzilla having no shoulder joint.