I’d recently reviewed the NECA Heisei era Godzilla and loved it! While I appreciate the amazing work NECA is doing with Godzilla at their price point, MonsterArts is still the big fish in the monster pond. Their detailed sculpts and paints partnered with the innovative articulation schemes make some of the greatest monster toys ever made. They have high expectations to live up to with every release, and as my first S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla he certainly doesn’t disappoint.
I don’t have many MonsterArts figures. I’ve run reviews of two of them, the AvP Wolf Predator and Alien Warrior. I also own Biollante. Rebirth Godzilla is my fourth figure in the series. How did this come to be? I guess I got some good friends that may have hooked me up with them throughout the past year. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to grab them myself; I fawn over them at the Bandai booths at various cons … they are lovely figures. I just dragged my feet on actually buying them. Finally someone dropped them in my lap and basically said “hey idiot, this is what you are missing out on!” Well thanks a bunch because now I’m in. Not full on buy every burning variant repaint in, but in for the most part. Bandai has also just announced a Gamera coming early 2015, and I can’t mash the “preorder” button fast enough.
I’ve had this guy on preorder since he was announced for US distribution. I needed the right Godzilla to go with Biollante, and I think this one scratched that itch quite well. I DO still need to review Biollante, but he’s really intimidating. He’s probably one of the coolest oddball things I have in my collection but it’s just hard to put him into words. One day I’m going to try to tackle it, but I have NYCC coming up and a backlog of reviews currently eating away at my time.
This Godzilla comes packaged in a lovely window box including the big lizard, two alternate hands, an atomic breath effect, flame base, and an adjustable stand that connects the two. I used to be really against having stands all over the place to hold things. When I used to see them they would remind me of the city the Dozers used to build on Fraggle Rock. Now I’m used to them and I like having the option to make Mario jump, Storm fly, or Godzilla’s breath effect shoot through the air. Until we invent magical stands that can not be seen this is probably the best we are going to have for a while. Besides I know I’ll never actually get around to buying those invisible stands because they’ll be too expensive. I like innovation but I have a hard time paying for it.
I find one of the important details that defines the difference between a mass market and high-end toy is the texture. The Palisades’ Muppet line is one of the greatest lines ever made, and a large part of that is how they went so detailed as to include the Muppet texture in their figures. It’s something they could have easily skipped over and used flat plastic to probably save some money. But that little detail really made a world of difference. Those figures still hold up today, and nothing will probably ever touch how beautifully well made they are.
The same can be said for the S.H. MonsterArts Rebirth Godzilla. They didn’t just slap the same texture all over the body. Every section of his body has original texture sculpting that seems to best represent the suited monster from the movie(s). The best part is the head. I just love his face, and it’s probably my favorite look of the character. There is a ton of personality baked into that face. The eyes are painted on perfectly. Unfortunately the mouth didn’t fare as well because there is a little bit of slop where the red of the gums bleeds into the white of the teeth.
The articulation is what you would expect of a MonsterArts or FiguArts release, it’s everywhere! This figure can get into some great poses. Whenever this guy ends up on my desk I just fiddle with him endlessly trying out different poses. As has been my experience with most MonsterArts figures; if I push a joint too far the ball usually pops out without breaking. I love this feature (at least I consider it a feature) because I can find my posing limits without destroying the figure. However there are some joints that pop more easily than others. For example his mid section pops off way too easy.
How could you not love this guy? I suppose the price could keep some people away, and it appears that NECA is aggressively trying to scoop up those people who want to pay a little less. What you get for the roughly $70 buy-in price is well worth it. MonsterArts figures aren’t released on a rapid schedule so you will generally see two to four released in a year at most. If you are into MonsterArts figures it is well worth planning out a yearly budget of figures to buy. I understand planning ahead is a tough concept for most toy collectors, but when you get into the high-end market you pretty much need to or you’ll sink your bank account in no time. You don’t want to end up like that one YouTube reviewer who blew through all his money and had to beg his viewers for rent money.
Bluefin Tamashii handles US MonsterArts releases and they almost always end up on Amazon for preorder. Rebirth Godzilla is currently available and you can have him in a couple of days if you are a Prime member! He’s a hell of a great figure and a great one to use to jump into the line.