Given the successful collaborations in the past, its time for another tag team review by myself, Chris Mirjahangir, and Andrew Nguyen for this S.H. MonsterArts figure. The toy review is broken into two parts, with each of our takes below. As a bonus, inserted in Andrew's review is an incredible articulation video by contributor Michal Shipman:
The first figure to be released in 2013, Destoroyah is one of the most massive and expensive figures in the SH MonsterArts line; in fact, in the box, the tail is a separate piece and has to be attached to the main figure. This release draws its design inspiration from the suit used for Destoroyah in his final form, which was massive in its own right. With the release of the SH MonsterArts Burning Godzilla as well as the online exclusive SH MonsterArts Godzilla Junior, it was perhaps inevitable that Destoroyah would follow closely behind. With his arrival, SH MonsterArts has completed the roster of kaiju that appeared in Godzilla vs Destoroyah (unless one were to count the online exclusive Destoroyah evolution set coming out in July 2013).
Standing at 25 centimeters, and comparing the height of Destoroyah to the two SH MonsterArts Godzillas, Godzilla  and Godzilla  (aka Burning Godzilla), it is almost a perfect match in scale as Destoroyah's final form is taller in comparison to that of Godzilla in the movie.
With the design of the figure done by monster suit maker Shinichi Wakasa, the SH MonsterArts Destoroyah is a very close match with its movie suit counterpart although there are some differences. The main areas of difference are in the eyes and in the horn, which have dark red colors than the yellow that was on the eyes and light red on the horn in the movie. However, due to the translucent material used, it is possible for the horn to have similar coloring to the movie counterpart in the right lighting conditions. Despite that, the overall design is superb in portraying Destoroyah's demonic final form. As for the skin surface, it is exceptionally accurate in its coloring and detail in displaying Destoroyah's hard, bony, crustacean skin.
As for articulation, Destoroyah has a solid body section with articulated parts in the wings, head, arms, mouth, neck, and tail with less articulated parts in the legs. Surprisingly enough, the lower sections of the larger wings on Destoroyah can separate whereas they could not on the suit. More importantly, the wings and shoulders of SH MonsterArts Destoroyah can move more easily without fear of damage in comparison to the performance of the wings in King Ghidorah due to using a type of joint similar to SH MonsterArts Fire Rodan. Overall, the figure is not as articulate as some of the recent figures but it is very poseable in comparison to the monster suit used in the movie.
To demonstration the articulation, a video from
Michal Shipman shows off the figure, including an amazing simulation of the first scene of the final form in the 1995 film:
Unlike earlier releases, SH MonsterArts Destoroyah doesn't have any accessories. This is rather unfortunate since the character does in fact have a ray that it utilizes quite often in the film. Some fans have started to use Fire Rodan's uranium heat beam to simulate firing his micro-oxygen ray, as this is the closest visually to the one used in the 1995 movie.
In conclusion, if there was one figure that represented the SH MonsterArts line with its superb detail and design along with its hefty price, Destoroyah would be the prime candidate. At a price tag of $130-$145, SH MonsterArts Destoroyah is a hard purchase although ultimately a more solid investment than King Ghidorah . Those that can stomach the exuberant price, which is one of the main factors for the loss of a star, would get a superb figure of Destoroyah in his final form.
My turn, in May 2013, Destoroyah hit the S.H. MonsterArts line and although it's a great looking figure, it does have a few big problems. Read on.
The design for Destoroyah is a mixed bag. It's a hefty, bottom heavy figure but also one that is VERY delicate. A word of warning: this figure comes shipped LOOSELY assembled. For whatever reason the torso portion is only partially attached to the base so when you remove it from the box, chances are it will fall apart on you. This happened to me as I took the figure out of the box and attempted to attach the tail which is separate in the box. I got the tail on but then the torso disconnected and fell onto the floor and shattered. I was able to put everything back together save for one of the wing membrane pieces which had been broken in the fall. Again, BE CAREFUL with this figure. For the rest of the design, Destoroyah's wing membranes are sectioned and adjustable which is nice but they are rather thin and cheap feeling. The spikes and rear wings are all in the right places look really cool.
In terms of size, Destoroyah is a beast and towers over Burning Godzilla and most other figures in the S.H. MonsterArts line. He's not as big as the S.H. MonsterArts King Ghidorah, however, which is good since in the Heisei series King Ghidorah was the tallest.
Destoroyah's wings, head, arms, legs, claws, mouth, and tail are all articulated well here. The arms at the shoulders can move up and down (albeit noisily) but they seem they could lose their tension after a while. The forearms are in three sections and they all rotate 360 degrees. The interesting part of this area however, is the claws. On the right hand, only one of the claws can move. On the left hand, all three of the claws can move. I didn't try to force the non moving claws since it feels like they would snap off if too much force was applied. The head and neck have a little bit of articulation (enough to move the head up and down a good amount) and as usual, the mouth opens and closes. The wing membrane pieces can fold out but they're so brittle and fragile that they seem like they can break real easy. Destoroyah's legs can rotate 360 degrees if you so desire and so can his feet. The tail is nicely articulated around the halfway point leading to the pincer at the end of the tail and the smaller wings on his rear shoulders can rotate 360 degrees as well.
The paint on Destoroyah is, for the most part, really well done. The contrast of the black/red/dark red color scheme makes the figure look really menacing, all the way down to the feet. The chest area, although film accurate, doesn't look to be painted all that well. It looks like the paint was sloppily applied. The claws and spikes look nice with black and purple fades in the appropriate places. One of my gripes with the King Ghidorah figure, and that also applies for this one, was the way that the teeth were painted with the white paint for the teeth is sloppily painted over the red mold of the sculpt. Painted properly, it would look really cool and menacing. With this paint job, the effect is tarnished. One real standout of the sculpt is the translucent horn on Destoroyah's head. It's an odd mix of purple/yellow/black and silver depending on the light. I like it a lot and applaud the attention to detail that was carefully placed into it.
Just like the Evolution set's Flying Form Destoroyah, the eyes are a translucent red. However, if you shine a light underneath the figure or down the horn, it can make a really cool effect. This notwithstanding, I do wish the color was film accurate, though, which had a more eerie orange quality in the 1995 production that stood out more from the blood red colors of the rest of the suit.
For accessories, Destoroyah comes with none whatsoever. A beam effect would have been nice but now that we're in the age of cutting costs, no beam effect is included.
Overall, I will admit, I was pretty upset with having the torso fall and shatter on the floor while I tried to attach the tail. There's no reason it couldn't be fully attached to begin with, especially since it wasn't separate from the lower half when packaged in the box. This aside, I found the figure to be quite nice and VERY photogenic under the right lighting conditions. However, with the cheap wing membrane plastic and partially articulated claws, the figure seems like the design of the materials weren't fully finished before it was pushed out the door. For these problems alone, I can't recommend paying the $100+ for the figure. I'd say wait for a sale. It's a beautiful figure, it's just not worth the frustration at a three figure price.