As part of Kaiydo's Revoltech line of action figures from science fiction entertainment properties, they released several characters from the Toho kaiju series of films including Gigan, Anguirus, Rodan, Mothra and Moguera amongst others. However, Godzilla did not appear in the lineup, which came as a surprise and when the news came down that no more kaiju would appear in the Revoltech line there was disappointment.
Fortunately Bandai, under its Tamashii Nations subdivision, made up for the disappointment in March 2011 when they announced the release of a new line of exceptionally articulate action figures based on the Godzilla series called SH MonsterArts with the focus on the Heisei Godzilla series. To help with the advertisement of the series during the initial releases of Godzilla and Mechagodzilla, Koichi Kawakita, the special effects director for the Heisei Godzilla series, came in to help with the production of commercials for the release of the two figures.
First up was none other than Godzilla, which appeared on store shelves in Nov. 2011. As part of the initial release of the SH MonsterArts series, the figure stands exactly 15.5 centimeters tall and comes with an atomic ray effect to simulate Godzilla firing his atomic ray.
One cannot talk about the SH MonsterArts figures without dealing with the figure's design, which is outstanding to say to least. This comes as no surprise considering that it was designed by famed Godzilla sculptor Yuji Sakai. Based on the Godzilla suit used in Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla (1994), the overall look of the figure bears a striking resemblance to the suit along with excellent detail and coloring on the skin. The color of the dorsal fins a mix of blue on the edges with black in the center to simulate when Godzilla uses his atomic ray.
On the issue of articulation, the figure has 29 points of articulation that allow it to take many different positions that include some that would fit more with figures of the kaiju from the Showa Godzilla series. As with the previous line of Revoltech action figures, the 29 maneuverable joints on the SH MonsterArts Godzilla are its arms, legs, head, neck, mouth, and waist which allows for some small movement. In the case of the tail, it alone has 18 joints. The joints are maneuverable enough to simulate Godzilla in a swimming pose.
However, with the articulation that these figures have, some potential problems do arise as the joins can eventually be dislocated or parts pull off the main body. The focus of the problem is with the tail, which has multiple parts so to simulate actual movement of the tail.
For those that bought the initial release of the SH MonsterArts Godzilla, it comes with accessories to simulate Godzilla's atomic ray. Though the coloring is mostly correct, the way that it is shaped can at times make it seem like Godzilla is spitting out water instead of his atomic ray. An interesting fact about the accessory that it can be used to simulate Godzilla firing his atomic ray from some of the vinyl figures of Godzilla although a buyer should not expect a very accurate representation.
Despite some of the concerns with the joints, this is a fine figure and a good start for SH MonsterArts line. Like the earlier Revoltechs, the SH MonsterArts are more suited to those who are truly interested in Japanese kaiju instead of the general buyer with the result that they may be pricey. Still if one can get a chance, one should make a grab for this figure as well as the others, particularly those of the immediately released variety, as they will have the atomic ray effect accessories.