By Justin L. Weinzierl (Editor in Chief)
Introduction: When the original S.H. Monsterarts Godzilla came out in November 2011 some people were underwhelmed. There were various complaints, everything from poor range of motion in the joints to the actual small size of the figure. A translucent orange variant was released for the San Diego Comic-Con, and many assumed that when Godzilla 1995 (or "Burning Godzilla", named so due to that fact that he's literally burning up from the inside!!) came out he'd be a mere repaint of the original mold.
Flash forward to Summer 2012 and the announcement of Godzilla 1995 (from the 1995 film, Godzilla vs. Destoroyah ). Imagine everyone's surprise when not only was it a new mold, but it boasted improved articulation! Well, it's been several long months and the figure has finally arrived. Was it worth the wait? Is it an improvement over the original Godzilla? Read on and find out!
Package (5/5): This is by far the most attractive S.H. Monsterarts package yet! Patterned in a mottled orange and black, it seems less like a box than an extension of the monster himself! The image of Godzilla on the front is striking, with his bright, burning eyes staring intensely forward. The standard window shows the figure, and promotional images cover the back. All in all, a very attractive box that will definitely pop in any MIB collection!
Sculpt (5/5): Yuji Sakai has really outdone himself this time, perfectly capturing the bulk and ferocity of this Godzilla incarnation. Tiny details such as the teeth, scales, and wrinkles are expertly rendered by the master sculptor, and Godzilla's proportions are very true to the on screen character. His larger spines look awesome... especially with the translucent orange plastic. Thankfully, this figure greatly resembles its prototype (a common complaint about the first S.H. Monsterarts).
Interestingly, S.H. Monsterarts Godzilla 1995 is actually out of scale with the rest of the line. Measuring around 7 inches in height, he's taller than everyone but Ghidorah. This may actually be intentional, as one of the complaints about the Godzilla 1994 figure was that it was too small. However, it may turn out to be a double edged sword for those who take scale strictly into account.
Paint (3.5/5): The paint is a mixed bag, and perhaps the biggest weakness this figure has. While some small details (such as the mouth and eyes) look incredible, others are just (for lack of a better term) sloppy. The smaller spine nubs, for instance, have a great deal of slop. It's not as distracting in natural light, but upon close inspection it's definitely noticeable. Strangely, the back of his neck lacks a detailed paint job. It's just completely covered in paint. The claws on his hands have spots where the pant actually extends beyond the claw onto the fingers. Still, it is only noticeable upon extremely close inspection. But it shouldn't be this sloppy on a high end figure like this.
Articulation (5/5): The articulation on S.H. Monsterarts Godzilla 1995 is, in a word, incredible. He can do everything he could do in the film and a whole lot more! He can lean forward, rear far back, stretch over to the side, sit, high kick, squat... Any conceivable action you could imagine a mutated dinosaur doing. It's very clear that Tamashii listened to the fans who bemoaned the first Godzilla's relative stiffness. The ab crunch is particularly impressive, as are the thigh joints (also a vast improvement). The neck even allows Godzilla to look directly down, a position that was impossible for the earlier figures.
Moving the joints often allows one to see into the figure through rather large gaps. These cease to be an issue when one realizes that the figure is fully adjustable, allowing these gaps to be covered without sacrificing the pose.
Accessories (3.5/5-2/5): Okay, first thing's first... Where is Godzilla's Spiral Ray?? Sure, we got one with Fire Rodan, but why wasn't it included with this release? This makes S.H. Monsterarts Godzilla 1995 the first regular release in the line to not receive a beam accessory. So what exactly does he come with? Well, that depends on whether or not you get the first edition.
Included with the first edition are two freezer type Maser Tanks. An awesome addition for sure, and more extras like these should be included. The down side is that these are merely bonus items, and will not be included with the regular release. This is quite unfortunate, especially in the absence of a beam.
The other accessories are a set of splay fingered hands. They actually look better than the default hands, and add just a little bit of extra expression. Overall, the accessories for this release are lacking, and the beam accessory is sorely missed.
WATCH OUT! The wrist posts are strong, but incredibly thin. I would suggest heating the hands before switching them out.
Overall (4.25/5): S.H. Monsterarts Godzilla is a great (if slightly flawed) addition to the line. It looks fantastic, has an incredible articulation, and is readily available from retailers. There are flaws, sure. But overall I recommend it highly to fans of Godzilla vs. Destoroyah and of the 1995 Godzilla incarnation.