Sunday, December 2, 2012

Review: S.H. Monsterarts Godzilla 1995

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.  



  1. Great review! It's sounds like a really great addition to the Monsterarts line. I look forward to getting mine in the mail in the next few days.

  2. Once again, another awesome figure review!
    HLJ shipped mine the other day. I sent it to my parents house so when I fly back this weekend, I should have it when I get there.

  3. Thanks Arlo and Tyler! Easily my favorite figure in the line so far, but hey... Destoroyah's just over the horizon...

  4. On the scale issue: You're forgetting that Godilla actually is bigger after Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah. The aliens in that movie plotted to remove Godzilla from history by going back in time and messing things up. What this actually wound up doing was allowing Godzilla to evolve in a way different from his original "time stream" and he emerged again a lot taller than he originally was. My numbers may be wrong but the original Heisei Godzilla was 50 or 55 meters or something. After the time travel fiasco he returned as being 80 meters tall. So if we compare Burning Godzilla to others in the line it should still make sense. The thing to really look out for is, will the scale be accurate compared to Godzilla Jr. and the Destroyah Final Form figure.

    1. WOAH you are way off.

      Godzilla was 80 meters from 84 to vs Biolltane, then the sub that went looking for Godzilla in vs King Ghidorah fed him and made him bigger and bumped him up to the 100 meter size until his death.

  5. Okay, I like your numbers better because they match up with the scale of the Godzilla and Burning Godzilla figures. One is 5ish inches and one is 6ish inches. That matches better with 80 and 100. My point still is, though, that Burning Godzilla could be considered "in scale" with all the other figures.

    1. Sorry, I meant 6 inches and 7 inches. Not 5 and 6.

  6. Right, but Godzilla only changes size once, and BG just gets a slight bit fatter, not taller.