Introduction: When the first American convention exclusive S.H. Monsterarts figure was announced fans were stunned. Was the line really doing so well in the U.S. that it warranted it's own exclusive? At first, the rumor was that we'd be receiving Burning Godzilla (from Godzilla vs. Destoroyah) as the exclusive. However, later reports confirmed that it was not Burning Godzilla, but Meltdown Godzilla that was being released at the 2012 San Diego Comic Convention. The reaction was mixed, with some fans being very excited while others were upset that the exclusive was essentially just a Godzilla variant. Well, the convention has come and gone and the figure has finally arrived. Was it worth the purchase? Read on and find out!
Packaging (5/5): This package is the epitome of "above and beyond". The front of the box has the standard window displaying the figure, but the accompanying image is not a photograph. Instead, there is a portrait of Godzilla made by renowned Japanese Tokusatsu illustrator, Yasushi Torisawa! What's more, the entire back of the package is another illustration of the monster destroying the convention center itself, while terrified citizens run for their lives! The whole thing is stunningly rendered in various hues of oranges, reds, yellows, and blacks. It gives off a very apocalyptic vibe. Superimposed on the carnage are two blurbs: One briefly detailing the career the aforementioned Mr. Torisawa, and the other containing information about series sculptor Yuji Sakai! What a beautiful and appropriate way to celebrate S.H.M.'s first convention exclusive!
Sculpting (4.5/5): If you loved the sculpt on the original S.H. Monsterarts Godzilla you'll love this one too. They're virtually identical. The details are sharp and stunning, though they tend to be a bit lost on this type of figure.
Paint (4/5): There's not a lot of paint work on this figure at all. Where there is, it's a bit sloppy and unnecessary. Did we really need Godzilla's tongue painted? The spines on the other hand are nicely painted a bright yellow (as are the toe and fingernails). Honestly, though, the slop actually works in this figure's favor by adding to the overall chaotic look of it. It is supposed to be depicting Meltdown Godzilla after all.
Articulation (4.25/5): Whether it's the materials or how the mold has changed, the joints on this figure are slightly more flexible than the original. His range of motion with his waist joint and his legs in general are better.... Which of course increases the posing possibilities. Granted these "changes" don't increase poseability drastically, but there is a noticeable difference.
Accessories (0/5): This figure comes with nothing. No beams, no stands. Which is somewhat disappointing considering the price point.
Overall (4/5): Overall, this figure is a very nice, legitimate variant. It carries over many of the positive points of the regular Godzilla, while slightly improving the articulation. And it really does look stunning when back lit. One very negative point that knocked the score down a bit was the failure to include any accessories. However, it's still a worthwhile purchase for die hard Heisei Godzilla fans, as well as S.H. Monsterarts fans in general. And it really pops with its orange color scheme!