Friday, August 31, 2012

Import Versus!

  S.H. Monsterarts Godzilla   Versus   Ultra-Act Gomora

  Introduction:  Welcome to the very first entry in a series we call "Import Versus"!  In this segment, we'll be comparing different figures from many series including Revoltech, Ultra-Act, S.H. Figuarts, and Figma!  Based on several different categories (Likeness, Poseability, Quality, Compatibility, and Value), we will try to determine which is the superior figure!

  Seeing as this is the first entry in the new segment, it seemed appropriate to compare two of Japan's biggest "Monstars"...  Godzilla and Gomora! Both were the first monsters in their respective toy lines, and both are excellent, highly detailed figures.  So how do these two figures stack up?  Let's find out!

Likeness: We'll start with Godzilla.  The official Tamashii website states that it is Godzilla 1994, or MogeGoji to fans.  Furthermore, the sculpt itself is dead on.  Despite the fact that the Heisei Godzilla suits all share the same basic form, there are distinct differences between them.  MogeGoji has larger eyes, with more prominent ridges.  He also has larger thighs.  This figure captures those nuances quite well.   

Gomora's a bit harder to place.  After many screenshot-to-figure comparisons, though, I reached a conclusion... Ultra-Act Gomora is a sort of composite version of the monster, combining Showa and Heisei traits. For example, it has the shorter, straighter neck of the Showa version...

And the wolfish facial features of the more recent depictions.  However, the blunt tail isn't accurate to any Gomora versions I'm aware of.  Overall, a more accurate sculpt of a single rendition would have been preferable. 

Edge:  Godzilla

Poseability:  Both the S.H. Monsterarts Godzilla '94 and the Ultra-Act Gomora, have an unprecedented amount of articulation for their respective characters.  But whose articulation is better?  This was actually a tough call, as each monster does different things better than the other.  For example, the tails:

Clearly Godzilla's tail is more poseable and natural in appearance.  Gomora's tail also has the nasty habit of falling off at the base at the slightest pressure.  On the other hand, there are the thighs:

Godzilla's thighs can't move very far forward at all.  As a result, his poses are actually rather limited.  Gomora, however can high kick and lean forward with ease.  Gomora's ab crunch is also slightly more poseable than Godzilla's. 

Arm articulation is very similar between the two, as is the outward spread of the thighs. 

  Lastly, the neck articulation is similar.  However, Godzilla's neck shifts on the bottom when it's moved too far.  It looks a bit odd, as if it's broken.  Overall, Gomora's thigh movement gives him the edge.  It allows more posing possibilites than Godzilla's rather limited thigh joints.

Edge:  Gomora

Quality:  Make no mistake: These are both very high quality figures.  The plastic is durable, the paint is applied very well, and the joints all function well...  For the most part.  One thing that must be discussed is the "Derp Eyes" quality control issue many Monsterarts Godzillas came out of the factory with. Though it is a mistake that the factory should have avoided, it does not significantly lower the quality of this figure.  Partly because not every figure experienced such an issue.   

Like this one, for instance.  Also, the second edition Monsterarts Godzilla has greatly improved eyes.

The eyes on Gomora are perfect as well, save a bit of slop that's only apparent from this angle.

Inside Godzilla's mouth, you can see that each individual tooth was expertly painted.

Gomora's mouth is another story.  Despite the teeth being larger, there are bits of slop and even unpainted spots!

The dorsal plates on Godzilla's back are beautifully painted.

Gomora's back is awesome as well, sporting a very organic spotted pattern.

Godzilla's tail is nearly flawless, with a gradual frosting pattern.  However, there are a few oddly painted plates.

A major QC issue for Gomora that I've run across is the tail.  Whether it's from pressure or it's own weight, the tail pops off often without warning.  It's much easier to use the severed part.  Too bad because otherwise the tail is just plain gorgeous.  Check out the reptilian scutes!

The gradual color change is very well done on Godzilla's toenails.

On Gomora's, it's less uniform.  The overall look is sloppy upon close inspection.

Due to general paint issues and the fact that the tail joint is poor, Gomora is slightly inferior in quality.  I also prefer the more matte look/feel of Godzilla's plastic to Gomora's glossy plastic.


 Edge:  Godzilla

Compatibility:  Both figures fit in very well with their own lines, as well as with other 6 inch Bandai figures.

Godzilla scales incredibly well, both with smaller figures in the S.H. Monsterarts line...

As well as with larger figures, like Spacegodzilla.  He is also compatible with the 6 inch Movie Monsters figures by Bandai Japan.

Gomora, too, is a very good size compared to the Ultra-Act Ultraman.

 Measured against the Bandai Ultra Monster Earthtron, and his fellow Ultra-Act (and sometimes ally)Eleking, Gomora sizes well.  He's also massive and imposing enough to be in scale with the Bandai Ultra Hero series (unlike some figures in the standard Ultra Monster series!).


Edge:  Draw

Value:  (Note: The "Value" category takes into account the original price... not the current aftermarket price) Unlike Quality, this was an incredibly easy category to evaluate.  Ultra-Act Gomora was released in 2010 at a SRP of 4700 yen (currently around 60 dollars).  Godzilla. by contrast, was released late in 2011 at an SRP of 5775 yen (currently almost 75 dollars).  Not only is Gomora a more massive figure in general, it has superior accessories.

The first edition of S.H. Monsterarts Godzilla came with his trademark Atomic ray.  The beam has to be supported by a Tamashii arm attached to a sort of "shock wave".  It's a bit awkward looking, and resembles a blast of water rather than an energy ray.  The real problem comes from the fact that the second edition Godzilla comes with nothing.  At all.

Gomora, on the other hand, comes with his Oscillatory Ray and an alternate tail part.  The ray attaches much less awkwardly by alternating with his nasal horn.  It also looks like an actual energy beam.

In the original Ultraman series, Gomora's tail is blasted off by a member of the Science Patrol.  Bandai/Tamashii included a severed tail part that cleverly plugs in where the tail meets.  It's very cool, and definitely adds to the value of the figure.

 Edge:  Gomora

The Verdict:  This was a tough match up indeed (who thought Godzilla vs. Gomora wouldn't be?), but a winner had to be chosen...  And this time it's Godzilla!  I find the figure to be of a higher quality in general (I love the plastic...  So durable!), and for the most part the sculpt and paint are superior.  And now that the "Derp Eyes" issues have been mostly ironed out, the main drawback (other than price... but import collectors should already know that comes with the territory) has been removed.  Ultra-Act Gomora still has a ton going for it, though...  As was said a number of times, this was a really tough decision.  And I really recommend both.  Thanks for reading!

The Winner: S.H. Monsterarts Godzilla

Don't like how things turned out?  Wish it turned out more like this?

Voice your opinions below!


  1. thanks for the blogs, i love reading em. :) i feel like godzilla should win also.

    1. Hey! You're welcome of course. Glad there are other kaiju fans out there who read our blog!