Ok, time for my take on the S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla.
Now, I'll be the first to admit that I think this line was hyped up to Hell and back. Probably the most overhyped toy line I've ever seen. Dont get me wrong though, I hit the damn roof when I got wind of these things and saw the Godzilla prototype. But getting excited wouldnt make it come any faster, so I was patient. I waited and waited and waited. Come November, it was released, and by then I sort of stopped caring, because people just wouldnt ease up on it. But now that I finally have one in my hands, I can safely say that the hype wasnt completely unwarranted. I love this thing.
First off, I wanna talk about the sculpt and the detail. Simply put, it's top notch. It's the '94 Godzilla in every way. I dont see anything wrong or out of place, save for a strange flab of flesh at the edge of the hips. Godzilla's skin is perfectly textured, his spines have every little ridge on every plate, and his face looks spot on. All together, it makes for a wonderful sculpt that is both accurate and manages to hide the joints better than, say, Ultra-Act Gomora. In terms of overall looks, it's pretty much the perfect Heisei Godzilla toy. But there's only so much you can gauge from pictures on a computer screen; you really need to hold one in your hands in order to truly appreciate it.
As far as his paint job goes, it's what you'd expect; charcoal grey, blazing red/yellow eyes, etc. I personally love it, though the eyes could've been a bit better. The prototype had more accurate looking eyes, but that's a minor thing. What's a striking about the paint is that his spines are a seagull grey color, instead of the bone white usually seen in the movies. Myself, I dont care. I think it looks just fine. Just thought it was worth noting. Otherwise, it's your standard Godzilla color scheme and I there's not much else to add beyond "it looks good."
The posability of these figures is the main selling point, and Godzilla certainly has a lot of joints. Shoulders, elbows, wrists, neck, head, mouth, torso, hips, knees, feet, and tail. All of these have moveable joints (some with double joints) and for the most part, work well. I say most part because the figure is pretty stiff and the design of the character limits the range of motion. They fixed this with Mechagodzilla and Spacegodzilla, so it's good to know that Bandai & Tamashii Nations are so ready and willing to adjust their figures when a problem arises. Personally, it's good enough for what it is, and it makes sense for the character to NOT be able to move like an acrobatic. I like to keep Goji in his standard upright pose, but anyone wanting to create a more dynamic/out of character pose might be disappointed.
In terms of scale...it's 6 inch scale, that's all you need to know. He's just a tad bit shorter than the Bandai Heisei Godzilla, like it truly matters.
For accessories, we have the rather "meh" Atomic heat ray, which comes with a clear stand and "radiation parts" as a base. The ray itself has a nice sculpt (how else could you sculpt it anyway?), and it fits snugly into Goji's mouth. The end of the beam has a "blast" to simulate hitting another kaiju. Looks good to me. What doesnt look good is the color; it's just too white. The beam only has blue paint on the "blast" end and the area where it inserts into the mouth, and since it's a clear white piece otherwise, it looks just...off. Combine that with the sculpt of the beam itself, and it just looks like Godzilla is projectile vomiting water. The "radiation parts," which acts as a base with the clear stand, looks nice, but it's worthless otherwise. It's a chore to position and reposition the stand and base, which dont connect nearly as well as the beam does to Goji's mouth. It's flimsy, and along with the "meh" beam weapon, I really wouldnt care if I lost it somewhere.
And now, I want to talk about the price for a bit. I got this on Amazon.com (as a birthday gift) and it costed just under $60 total. That is a perfect price for what you're getting, I think. It's in that magical price range where it's just a bit more expensive than a lot of the rarer Bandai figures and just a bit less pricey than what I personally feel would be asking a bit much. That said, however, both the Mechagodzilla and Spacegodzilla cost a bit more than even that. I can understand Mechagodzilla getting a bigger price tag because of all the die cast metal it has, but not Spacegodzilla. On Amazon.com, Spacegodzilla is listed as just under $80 at it's cheapest! Combine this with the various special effects packs and the "initial-run-only beam weapons" and it seems like Bandai and & Tamashii want to bleed just a little more money of of you than they need to.
But when it comes right down to it, I love this figure. It's exactly what I was looking for, and it's exactly what I paid for; a highly accurate, well painted, well sculpted, articulated action figure of my #1 favorite Godzilla design. I know some people are a bit put off by all the love the Heisei monsters are getting, and just want some Showa kaiju, but to that I say; get over it. I love the Showa films as much as the next guy, but there IS more than one era of Godzilla films, and they all deserve attention. Let the Showa era have it's awesomesauce DVD releases and let the Heisei era have it's awesomesauce toy releases. That's fair, right?
So in the end, I'm going to rate this figure a 5/5. The only thing I dont care for are the weapon accessories, and even then, those apparently wont be included in future releases, so they're not even worth consideration. The Godzilla itself, on the other hand, is a real knockout. It hits the ball out of the park, and takes a victory lap for it's trouble. And while it may be rude of it to do so, at least we can agree that it kind of earned it.
Thanks for reading.