Name
 Biollante: SH MonsterArts
Version Source
 Godzilla vs. Biollante
Company: Bandai / Tamashi Nations
Extras: None
  Order
Classification: Figure Reissue: No
Release: 2013 Height: 21 centimeters
Comments
Chris Mirjahangir

The biggest and most expensive figure in the S.H. MonsterArts line, Biollante makes her debut in a massive, highly detailed and yet slightly frustrating fashion. It's the figure that seems really cool when you get it out of the box to behold it, especially to try out the light in the stomach which is new for this line, and then becomes less cool the more time you spend with it. Still, to take a full look at the figure, a bonus articulation video by contributor Michal Shipman has also been added to get a look at the all the many moving parts of the huge figure.

 
Size Comparison to Godzilla '64
Biollante's sculpt is massive! This is the biggest S.H. MonsterArts figure to date, beating out King Ghidorah, and also the heaviest. The figure has a high level of detail with grooves and ridges in the appropriate places. The black thorns on Biollante look nice but I must warn you, they are rather sharp. However, there is one major flaw in the design and that is with the vines. In the box, the figure is separated from the vines, which are placed in separate plastic casings. The vines are labeled near the ball socket joint hole so you know what vine goes where (there is also an included paper diagram to help you further). Three out of the four vines were able to attach to the ball joint. The fourth vine, however, wasn't attaching. I asked BlueFin for help and I was told to use a method to attach the vine to the figure which would involve a hair dryer. What I was to do is to hold the vine away from the hair dryer and the heat from the hair dryer would expand the hole so it would fit over the ball joint. It worked as a temporary fix but hours later when the figure was accidentally nudged, the vine fall off again thus putting me in a position to have to repeat the process. I know that this procedure with a hair dryer is common amongst figure collectors to take care of problems like this, such as some figures in the X-Plus line. That's fine but I'm of the mindset that if you're paying a lot of money for a product, it should work as advertised straight out of the box and the consumer should not have to jump through hoops.

   
Close-up
Articulation wise, Biollante is pretty superb. The tendrils are all attached in sectioned ball joints and they move with ease and hold their pose quite well. Their mouths open and close as expected as does Biollante's giant mouth, although you have to apply extra pressure for it to open all the way. The figure's neck can move up to almost a 45 degree angle and can slightly turn the head left and right. What gets in the way of this looking cool is an added "neck shield" which is meant to cover up the gap left by the articulation. While it is a part of the character's actual design, it's poorly implemented. If you move the neck up on its own, the shield will stay in place until you move it. The vine bases can move from side to side but be careful when doing this since the vine itself will pop off.

To demonstration the articulation, a video from Michal Shipman shows off the figure, which focuses on all aspects of the toy including the amazing length that the vines can stretch out and a very extravagant reproduction of the final form emerging:



 
Mouth View
In terms of the paint job, the figure looks nice in some areas while the teeth on the mouth and tendrils are all horribly painted. For example, the teeth have that bleedthrough effect where the red paint for the mouth bleeds through the white paint on the teeth. This problem also plagued Destoroyah, King Ghidorah, and other figures in the line and I wish that Tamashii Nations would get on the ball in terms of quality control. Sure, there's the disclaimer on the box saying that color etc may vary since they are mass produced figure but for as expensive as this line is (ESPECIALLY Biollante), the customer deserves a bump in quality for their hard earned money. There's even a blob of pink paint on top of one of the heads on of the tendrils. This problem aside, the tusks look really nice with the white outer portion paint giving way to black as it moves inward. The black thorns look especially nice even though there are thicker blobs of paint mixed in with the paint job. The base portion is a nice mix of dark and yellowish green. It's really well done. The articulated mold is all over the place with some sections being varying shades of green.

   
Back View
Moving on to the light gimmick inside the chest where her nucleus is, it's a neat feature that should have been more impressive. The light has two colors: yellow and red, the former of which looks REALLY cool while the yellow is disappointingly dim, and they both remain static when lit. Maybe this was to save battery life or stop the figure from overheating if the light is on too long? The light takes two LR44 (A76) watch batteries to function. The light is a big part of the reason that the figure is so heavy. There's a "membrane mesh" in the front of the light portion which is rather soft so be careful when picking the figure up.

For accessories, Biollante comes with none whatsoever. An "acid sap" beam effect would have been nice but now that we're in the age of cutting costs, so no beam effect is included.

Overall, I was quite excited initially to get this figure but with all the problems it became less cool and more of a chore to get everything posed correctly. In terms of paint on stuff like the teeth, this line needs more improvement in workmanship. The customers deserve better and shouldn't have to settle. The fact that I had to put in extra work just to attach a vine on the figure really irritates me. Of course, there are those who are more forgiving than I in this situation, and I should note that Michal Shipman who does the articulation videos for Toho Kingdom did not have the vine issue and was able to attach all four vines to the Biollante figure with ease. Biollante is, in essence, a fierce looking, overpriced nightlight with a moveable head and tendrils. The sculpt is nice and when it's all put together it can be very cool looking under the right lighting conditions. You just have to be forgiving of the sometimes bad paint job. With all this going against the figure, I'd say wait for a sale if you MUST have it, although hardcore Biollante fans will pick this up regardless.
Rating: Star Rating