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Godzilla photo
New and improved?
Bandai of Japan's S.H. MonsterArts Mecha King Ghidorah, which recently received a preview gallery, is currently available for pre-order. Standing roughly 25-centimeters tall (9.8-inches), this mighty Godzilla rogue is sure to...

What Scarecroodle Is Up To: Fun with a black light

May 02 // Scarecroodle
The whole thing started while I was in the process of a photo shoot for my upcoming (and *slightly* overdue) review of Funko's Pop! Raven. I wanted a neat banner image, something that would catch readers' attentions and imaginations. I was expecting that it would just provide a neat low-light for the character but, instead, the purple parts of her costume on the lower half of her body started to glow. ...and JUST the lower body. I guess Funko used different types of paint or plastic. It'd been a while since I actually used a black light and, as such, had completely forgotten it could do that. It also made me wonder what else might glow. The next hour of my life quickly vanished. My first subject was Funko's Pop! Chernabog (better known as that demon from the "Night on Bald Mountain" sequence from Disney's Fantasia; he would go on to make an appearance in some of the Kingdom Hearts games), who might have been the first Pop! I bought. I still had him on my desk following that Pop! Mumm-Ra review from several weeks ago. Sufficed to say, I don't put things back in their place all that quickly. At any rate, I snapped a few dozen photos and the results were pretty awesome. The amount of light produced and the camera angles produced a wild mix of effects. I want you to remember this is what he NORMALLY looks like. But this was the kind of stuff I was getting. Seriously awesome, right? So naturally I decided to try another favorite Pop! figure, Bumble the Yeti (from the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer tv special), to see if I could get anything nearly as cool. No dice. It was just the expected ultra-violet lighting effect. However, I figured I'd try out a bunch of other stuff I had lying around, mostly things I had reviewed recently (because, as we've already established, I'm awful when it comes to putting things away). First up was Bandai's S.H. MonsterArts Alien Warrior (reviewed). He wound up having the kind of effect I had hoped to get with the Pop! Raven, basically a cool different-colored low light. The unfortunate side-effect is that the character's detail, perhaps the figure's strongest point, really isn't visible. However, the photo looks like it could have come from a horror science fiction so... mission accomplished? Next we have Kaiyodo's Revoltech Ashura which I reviewed last October. I thought he was really cool at the time and the lighting brings out the figure's statue-esque quality... as well as some ugly-colored joints. Yuck! My favorite part here, however, is the fact that the clear plastic orbs he's holding are reflecting the light which gives them a very mystical look. Remember Diamond Select Toys' Femme Fatales Lady Death II (reviewed)? I expected her skin and hair to really light up but instead the lighting really set fire to her blue flames. Naturally this gave me an idea... Whoosh! Bandai's S.H. Figuarts Lunatic (reviewed) looks even crazier than usual. While there's no pleasant mix of color, the brightness of the flames really makes up for it especially when it comes to his eyes (and, for some reason, that hand...). If nothing else, this might mean that Bandai's upcoming Burning Flames effect sets could look even more incredible under the right lighting. While I took a lot of other photos, they mostly came out blurry or had unspectacular lighting effects so I didn't bother including them. There are a few additional photos of Chernabog and the others in the gallery, however, if you feel like checking them out. Be sure to let us know what you think of these extemporaneous features showcasing what Tomopop editors do when they're slacking off.
What Scarecroodle is upto photo
Easily distracted
Is there anything as magical as a black light? UV-A casts a whole new light on things you thought you knew, creating a technicolor world of awesome at times. I recently dug out a cheap black light rig from several Halloweens past and wound up testing various figures I own. Here are some of the better results. Full look after the jump.

Godzilla photo

Bluefin Tamashii Nations USA trying to arrange earlier reveal for S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla 2014

Up from the depths already!
Apr 30
// Scarecroodle
Although we've seen a Godzilla 2014 figure or two revealed, we have yet to see what Bandai will be doing in its S.H. MonsterArts line. That may change, however, if Bluefin Tamashii Nations USA is able to arrange an earlier re...

Tomopop Review: Bandai's S.H. MonsterArts Alien Warrior

Apr 29 // Scarecroodle
Figure Name: S.H. MonsterArts Alien WarriorFigure Manufacturer: BandaiRetail Price: US$56Available At: Entertainment Earth | Amazon | Big Bad Toy Store As with other entries in the S.H. MonsterArts line, the Alien Warrior comes in a package with a window taking up most of the front of the box. The back and side feature some additional product images. The front of the box denotes the character's origin as being from Alien vs. Predator. I'm not sure if that was meant more as the first film (ie, Alien vs. Predator) or whether it refers to the series itself because Predator Wolf, a character who only appeared in Alien vs. Predator: Requiem, has the same label. At the risk of sounding a little xenomorphobic, all the Alien Warriors all look the same to me. The Alien Warrior doesn't come with a ton of accessories (I guess Predator Wolf must have been hogging everything?) although, in fairness, there's not a lot that a xenomorph actually needs and that over-sized tail takes up a good chunk of space. The two main accessories are a chest-burster and a xenomorph egg. While the chest-burster is an iconic stage of development, I think I would have preferred to see a face-hugger (or both things) especially if it was compatible with Bandai's S.H. Figuarts offerings (ie, adjustable legs so it could cover their heads and an adjustable tail to coil around their necks). Could-have-beens aside, the egg looks great and is a welcome addition to the set and the chest-burster is an okay add-in that bulks up the accessory count. The other accessory is the stand, which features a custom base. I'm usually not a fan of stands (it feels like cheating), but I found using one necessary for things like running poses (due to the tail) and leaping poses (due to gravity). I was somewhat conflicted on showing a vanilla pose because xenomorphs rarely just stand up straight. Usually you'll see them crouching, running, climbing, or doing some other action-y thing. If you pick up an S.H.MA Alien Warrior, odds are you aren't going to display him just standing straight. That said, it's a good reference point for the character's height as you can't fully appreciate it in some of the other poses. The detail in this figure is insane. The sculpting is intricate and the paintwork brings this detail out beautifully. It's something that you need to be relatively close to the figure to admire. The head features a translucent plastic dome for the head. It's darkened enough that at low lights it looks more solid but, under brighter lighting, you can appreciate the detail underneath. Also present is the iconic second "mouth". The Alien Warrior's lower jaw is jointed so it can move down, thus opening the Warrior's mouth. The inner mouth (or tongue) can then slide forward. The Warrior can have his mouth open without the tongue sticking out and the tongue itself is adjustable. So you can have a little tongue... ...or a lot of tongue. It all depends what you're into. Although the tail can be a wild card when it comes to posing, the figure stands well on its own two feet. Surprisingly, the toes are INDIVIDUALLY JOINTED which is something you very rarely see. The two center toes feature a wide range of movement while the outer ones were likely restricted for additional stability since they only feature vertical movement. As with Bandai's other figures, the hands (specifically the fingers) lack movement. The Alien Warrior comes with the choice of three sets of hands: clenched (default), outstretched hands with thumbs tucked in a bit, and outstretched hands with the thumbs stretched wide (shown). The fully outstretched hands, generally the best for action poses, are a little confusing since the things look nearly identical in terms of "thumb" lengths where the left one on both hands looks larger than the right one. However, the way the other figures are posed will give you some idea. The tail comes as a separate piece and, given the small size of the hole in relation to the larger connecting piece (ie, trying to jam something big into something small), inserting the piece can be difficult (and, even with careful wording, it *still* sounds like innuendo). I finally got the tail connected by twisting a bit at the same time. The tail is highly articulate. Each segment seems to have a joint (although some joints have a better range of motion) except for the last few pieces near the tip of the tail. This allows for some dynamic posing although, sadly, the joints aren't strong enough to hold a pose for long. The tail had begun to droop a little within five or ten minutes although, to the tail's credit, it still stayed up in the air. The Alien Warrior has some great jointing with the joints themselves being exceptionally well-concealed. For instance, the upper torso appears to be one solid piece at a glance but above the waist joint he has a mid-section joint that fits seamlessly into the torso as well as movement at the rib cage itself. That's some straight-up ninja articulation. There's a rather large joint in his neck with a sliding piece on the back of the neck that allows extra movement. Top of his head can pivot to the side; I believe that's tied into the ability to take the top of his head off if the tongue-mouth gets jammed (the instructions show that his lower can be removed to get the tongue-mouth unstuck. I'm not sure if you can remove the tongue entirely.) The tendrils on his back (which apparently sport small markings that look like suction-cups?) are articulate at the base/stem. The arms and legs have relatively standard articulation (other than the toes). The one issue I had was with the wrists. I wasn't able to get the hands to lie flat against the ground which meant I couldn't replicate some of the box art. It was something of a disappointment. Bandai's S.H. MonsterArts Alien Warrior is a very solid rendition of the Xenomorph. The sculpt, paint, and jointing are all exceptional. The only real drawback, I suppose, is that these figures would probably be a little too expensive to army-build with since they retail for around US$56. However, if you're a fan of the franchise, it might be worth picking up at least one. [Big thanks to Bluefin Distribution for sending over a review sample]
Review: Alien Warrior photo
The Xenomorph. Nature's perfect predator. Acidic blood. The ability to incubate in almost any living thing and take on the host's characteristics. A sleek black, bony exterior. Truly one of the greatest monster designs out th...

SHM Godzilla photo
SHM Godzilla

S.H. MonsterArts Burning Godzilla now without flames

Update: Jumped the gun there...
Mar 28
// Andres Cerrato
[Update: Earlier version of this story incorrectly labeled this as the S.H. MonsterArts release of 2014 Godzilla. It has since been edited. -Andres]  Godzilla has been a great reason for the S.H. MonsterArts line. Multip...
Alien photo

Alien Big Chap is being added to the S.H.MonsterArts line

Celebrating Alien's 35th anniversary, Big Chap gets its own figure
Jan 31
// Vanessa Cubillo
It feels like everything lately is celebrating a milestone anniversary. Hello Kitty, Sailor Moon, Kill Bill, Ghostbusters, and now Alien. Tamashii Nations has just announced that to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Alien, t...
Godzilla photo

Gigan officially listed as next S.H. MonsterArts figure

This kaiju would be great with pizza
Jan 08
// Vanessa Cubillo
In October Bluefin Tamashii Nations teased us by showing a picture of a prototype figure of Gigan. Looking at Tamashii Nations’ official website, they’ve now listed Gigan as the next figure to join the S.H. Monst...
Godzilla photo

Your singing (and pre-orders) make SHF Mothra stronger

Sure, she looks dangerous, but you could probably distract her with a giant spotlight
Dec 05
// Scarecroodle
[UPDATE: Bluefin Tamashii Nations has uploaded some photos. Check out the gallery.] Bandai's S.H. Figuarts Mothra is currently available for pre-order. The figure is based on her appearance in 1992's Godzilla vs. Mothra rathe...
Godzilla photo

S.H. MonsterArts Biollante is nearly upon us

Would a Biollante by any other name smell as sweet?
Nov 21
// Scarecroodle
Bluefin Tamashii Nations USA has posted a box image of the upcoming S.H. MonsterArts Biollante with the captain "Sooooon". Biollante is currently slated for a Nov/Dec release. The packaging for Biollante is absolutely massive...
Godzilla photo

S.H. MonsterArts Gigan unveiled, ready to wreck Earth

Even Gigan's style is deadly...
Oct 31
// Scarecroodle
Bluefin Tamashii Nations has uploaded a photo of a prototype S.H. MonsterArts Gigan 2004, based on the character's appearance in Godzilla: Final Wars. Gigan, an alien cyborg bent on global destruction, is an older Godzilla en...
MonsterArts photo

NYCC 2013: Tamashii Nations - S.H. MonsterArts

They came from outer space!
Oct 11
// Scarecroodle
What would Halloween be without monsters? Or, more specifically, Bandai's S.H. MonsterArts line? Bluefin Tamashii Nations had a good mix of monsters on display at NYCC between aliens, predators, and Godzilla-related displays....

Bandai previews S.H.MonsterArts Alien vs Predator figures

Fans can see both of these figures at NYCC
Sep 24
// Vanessa Cubillo
At SDCC we got our first look at the newest franchise that would be coming to Bandai's S.H. MonsterArts line; Alien vs. Predator. Now, we're finally getting a full preview of the first two figures that will be released, Alie...

Bandai's Godzilla 2000 is set to destroy in a new version

From Bandai's S.H. MonsterArts line, Godzilla is made in a new Millennium version
Sep 03
// Vanessa Cubillo
While fans wait for the trailer of the upcoming Godzilla movie, Bandai is releasing a ferocious new Godzilla figure to remind us how awesome he is. From the S.H. MonsterArts line comes the Millennium version of Godzilla 2000...

Battra swoops in for Bandai's S.H. MonsterArts line

Coming in January 2014
Aug 01
// Vanessa Cubillo
Joining Bandai's S.H. MonsterArts line is none other than the Kaiju, Battra from the Godzilla franchise. Coming from Godzilla vs. Mothra, the Battra figure will have clear parts in the head area to look more realistic, and f...

SDCC 2013: Tamashii Nations

Jul 23 // Brian Szabelski
SDCC: Tamashii Nations photo
From One Piece to Godzilla, there's a little something awesome for everyone
So we've seen Sailor Senshi and superheroes, xenomorphs and other morphers. But the Tamashii Nations booth was home to more than just some new reveals; plenty of figures coming in the next 6 months were all on display, from t...

Tomopop Review: Bandai's S.H.MonsterArts King Kong

Jul 08 // Scarecroodle
Figure Name: S.H.MonsterArts King Kong "King Kong 2005"Figure Maker: BandaiRetail: US$65Available at: Amazon | Big Bad Toy Store | Entertainment Earth S.H.MonsterArts King Kong differs from previous MonsterArts releases, like Godzilla (reviewed), in that his packaging features a taller, more narrow design; a choice that no doubt reflects the fact that Kong Kong is the first entry in the line to feature neither wings nor a tail. The packaging otherwise has the same solid display value and adheres to many of the usual conventions. SHM King Kong comes with two alternate faces, three alternate sets of hands, a hand holding a tiny Ann Darrow, a tree limb, and a stand. The hand sets are closed fists (default, as seen on the figure), open hands, grasping hands (for holding the tree), and extended midknuckles (for standing on four "legs"). King Kong's default head (seen left) features a neutral, gruff expression where one tooth adorably sticks out from his lower lip. The next one sports an angry, roaring face (which can double as getting ready to eat something --- or someone!). The final head features a somewhat indiscernible yet playful expression (one that I don't necessarily recall from the film). It somewhat looks like he might be hooting and makes for a fun design. Rather than just get a ball-joint at the neck, the head fits onto a central peg while being partially anchored by two additional bumps. The bumps seem to help keep the face on straight while providing additional clearance if you want the head to turn up or down a little. Most of the movement is rooted at the base of the neck, which features a spectacular range of movement; it allows King Kong to turn his head a good deal sideways as well as fully up for his quadripedal stance. You'll also notice a lot of trademark information on the underside, which is probably the most unobtrusive place for it. There's another logo on the underside of his left foot. S.H.MonsterArts King Kong's body sculpt features some superb craftsmanship. The torso and limbs all look solid, with some really cool, distinct fur matting on the forearms, and similarly strong pattern on the thighs. The upper torso is well-shaped, and the articulation doesn't really stick out except for the elbows. The paint is somewhat less impressive, given that it seems to be a lot of solid color, although it's an issue true to the original character design. In the film, this was compensated for by lighting effects which gave the appearance of differing hues; an advantage that SHM King Kong unfortunately lacks. This obscures some of the finer detail when viewed from a distance. However, it's worth noting that King Kong's battle scars (which are sculpted in) will stick out at least somewhat given the glossier paint used. One of the coolest aspects of the SHM King Kong is its ability to alternate between bipedal and quadripedal stances, just like in the film. This option is one of the reasons why the Peter Jackson King Kong is superior to other incarnations. This transition is accomplished largely by a generous range of movement on the torso joint as well as the hips' ability to swing a good deal up. Naturally this means he can also sit, like when he might need a rest between shots. While he's still seated, I want you to note the two pin-joints in his feet as well as the previously mentioned logo on his left foot. As much as I dislike having a logo there, it's a pretty neat design. Between the hips, toe joints, foot joint (which features rotation and a pivot), upper torso joint, and lower torso (waist) joint, you can get a good range of movement from King Kong which can facilitate some fun poses. The included stand (partly seen on the side) is pretty much unnecessary. The S.H.MonsterArts King Kong stands roughly 6.5-inches tall on two legs, about 4-inches on four. This means he scales in a somewhat interesting way against the other S.H.MonsterArts figures, especially considering that the Peter Jackson King Kong is supposedly only 25-feet tall on his hind legs while Godzilla is generally depicted as being considerably larger (although it's worth noting that King Kong was "upscaled" to fight Godzilla in the movies as well). On his hind legs, the SHM King Kong is a little taller than the SHM Godzilla, while being a good deal shorter on all fours. Bandai's S.H.MonsterArts King Kong might be the most interesting entry in the line thus far, offering a wide array of poses which replicate that of his movie counterpart. The alternate heads provide great display options which further accentuate the figure's already strong poseability and helps to cement SHM King Kong's position as being among the best that the S.H.MonsterArts line has to offer. [ A kong-sized thanks to Bluefin Tamashii Nations for providing this review sample. ]
SHM King Kong photo
The eighth wonder of the S.H.MonsterArts line
When people think "kaiju", quite often Godzilla and his ilk are the first things to come to mind. As such, some might be surprised by the "American kaiju", King Kong, breaking into the S.H.MonsterArts line which, up until thi...

MonsterArts Biollante photo
MonsterArts Biollante

MonsterArts Biollante pre-orders bloom

A mutant rose by any other name...
Jun 27
// Scarecroodle
[ Update 2: US pre-orders open ] [ Update 1: Confirmed for US release as well ] Bandai's S.H.MonsterArts Biollante is currently available for pre-order exclusively on the Bandai Collectors' Shop, in addition to getting a Wes...
Tamashii Nation releases photo
Tamashii Nation releases

Tamashii Nations' September releases for US & Canada

Coming to you in early October
Jun 03
// Andres Cerrato
September is looking to be a good month for the obscurities of many franchises. Figures I never thought would see the light of day are coming in and just as many are heading back out to school. Bandai is set to release quite ...

S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla 1964 coming to 2013

Possibly by doing the time warp again?
Mar 01
// Scarecroodle
Bluefin Tamashii Nations USA has posted photos of their upcoming S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla 1964. The figure, Bluefin USA and Tamshii Web Exclusive, is based on a Showa era look for the character. I would assume that the ...

Toy Fair 2013: Bluefin / Tamashii Nations' other figures

Because you want a robot Mickey
Feb 13
// Andres Cerrato
At the Tamashii Nations booth were several pieces that appeal to the anime, Disney, and mecha enthusiast. Of these selections, none of these are really brand-new announcements, but they're still something to be excited about....
MonsterArts Destroyah Evo photo
MonsterArts Destroyah Evo

MonsterArts Destroyah Evolution set to be sold in West

Evolution really is a mystery...
Jan 24
// Scarecroodle
Bluefin Tamashii Nations USA has announced via Facebook plans to make a former Asian web shop S.H. MonsterArts Destroyah Evolution set available to Western collectors.  The set will feature figures of three forms (crusta...

Your bodies aren't ready for Bandai's list of new figures

Seriously, it's a lot of them
Jan 22
// Andres Cerrato
I'm just going to start by saying that there is a LOT to digest in the latest scans of Figure Oh magazine. There's a lot that's headed straight to the Premium Bandai Shop, but I think you'll be excited nonetheless. Coming to ...

Beat the drums and prepare a blonde sacrifice for Kong

A brunette simply won't do!
Jan 08
// Scarecroodle
Bandai's much hyped (mostly by me) S.H. MonsterArts King Kong is now up for pre-order. The MonsterArts Kong, based on the character's appearance in Peter Jackson's King Kong, offers some fairly versatile display options as we...

MonsterArts King Kong is readying for kongquest

The Kong that kongquered the world! More monkey than you could throw a barrel at!
Dec 27
// Scarecroodle
Tamashii Nations has released a preview for the upcoming S.H.MonsterArts King Kong. The new photos show off Kong's three interchangeable faces in addition to demonstrating the figure's poseability. The MonsterArts King Kong, ...

SHF Lelouche leads Bandai for this month's hobby scans

Also Charizard
Dec 22
// Andres Cerrato
This isn't the biggest month in terms of new announcements, but there is the joy of seeing the items from shows now being confirmed for their release. Come April, D-Arts Charizard will be released upon the masses for ¥3,8...
Godzilla photo

Destoroyah en route to destroy a city near you

Towns? Ain't destroying no towns!
Nov 02
// Scarecroodle
Bandai's S.H.MonsterArts Destoroyah (alternatively spelled Destroyah), whom was recently seen at NYCC, is now available for pre-order. This gigantic monster who "co-starred" in Godzilla vs Destoroyah towers over his competiti...

Tomopop Review: Bandai's S.H.MonsterArts Godzilla

Oct 29 // Scarecroodle
Figure Name: S.H.MonsterArts GodzillaFigure Maker: BandaiRetail Price: ¥5,500Available at: HobbyLink Japan The box art features a red marble pattern background across the front, right, and top of the package. A gold-embossed nameplate displays prominently on the right side (as well as a wrap-around of the front window). The burst-window on the top once again displays the character's name in large letters. The front is split between a window and a large recreation of what looks to be the figure's face (rather than merely the character's). Curiously, there's an English sticker on the box that explains the line's philosophy. Given that the rest of the packaging (sans "S.H.MonsterArts" and "Godzilla") is in Japanese, I imagine this portion may be specific to Western demographics. Finally there's an image of Godzilla on the left side of the box and the card-back is in keeping with Bandai's other lines. While I find the packaging to be visually striking, it doesn't seem to flatter the figure. I imagine at least part of the problem is Godzilla's tail which presumably forces at least a few of the packaging conventions. As with the other Bandai figures, Godzilla can be placed back into his packaging for storage or display purposes. Bandai's S.H.MonsterArts Godzilla stands almost 6.5-inches tall (a little over that when his head is posed straight up) and is about a foot long to the tip of his tail. Godzilla features textured skin and a limited color palette consisting mostly of a very dark green skin-tone that doesn't photograph well. Despite the figure's heavy jointing, however, the actual range of movement is rather limited in most places. This doesn't necessarily detract from his display value although it's still somewhat of a letdown. The S.H.MonsterArts scale is largely incompatible with the Revoltech line, as Godzilla completely dwarfs characters like Gamera and the Gyaos (although neither has appeared in a Godzilla film, they represent the general size of Revoltech's kaiju). Interestingly, he's around the height of Bandai's Chogokin Megazord which would make for a very fun match-up. Godzilla's only accessories are a 2-piece stand (consisting of an ornamental base and adjustable stand) and an atomic breath projectile. Both the base and stand are molded from a translucent plastic with a slight paint wash on top. The base features a heavier metallic wash with tinges of blue while the atomic breath projectile features a deep blue at both tips with a blueish silver throughout. One side of the atomic breath is molded with a concave blast which fits well against other objects to simulate an attack. The other side has a bite chomp designed to fit within Godzilla's mouth. The stand features three separate joints that can adjust the trajectory of Godzilla's atomic breath. The range is hindered by the stand's balance and your ability to pose the edge in Godzilla's mouth. This mostly prevents the character from firing up into the air against opponents like Rodan and King Ghidorah (or larger foes like the upcoming Biollante). Otherwise it's not terribly restrictive. The other option is not using the stand at all. The atomic breath projectile can be held in place through simple leverage between Godzilla's mouth and another contact point (provided that the angle isn't too extreme). Given that you can achieve a greater range through this method, it seems to be the superior display option. Godzilla's head features a ball-jointed jaw allowing his mouth to open and close at slightly different angles. While not a terribly practical additional range of motion, it facilitates his atomic breath projectile although it lacks the strength to hold it by itself. The facial sculpting is respectable although the paint toning (or possibly a molded plastic with a gloss finish?) obscure some of the detail. The eyes, which may may use stickers for detail, clearly aren't set right and give the character a slightly lazy-eyed look. The figure features sculpted nostrils that don't seem to be quite properly aligned with the rest of the face although it presents no real issue since they're largely obscured by the paint. Godzilla's mouth features layers of teeth, a fact not immediately appreciated from watching the films. While they look good from a top or front view, the teeth really shine from side angles regardless of whether his mouth is open or closed. The tongue is disappointingly colored the same as the rest of the inner mouth, although that may be consistent with the original design. As with many people, I can't say I ever paid a terrific amount of attention to his mouth. I doubt this will be a concern for anybody since natural shadowing obscures the detail from most angles. Conversely, the upper portion of Godzilla's mouth is excellently detailed. While the detail itself is only really visible close-up, it's nice that Bandai put the effort into this area especially considering that the tongue didn't receive as much attention. The neck features three separate joints, with the lowest (a hinge featuring a tiny up/down motion) being barely visible. The bulk of the neck movement comes from the mid-segment which features a large amount of vertical movement that allows Godzilla to roar at the sky or atomic blast flying monsters. This joint features very little side motion. The ball-joint at the top of the neck affects the head's movement providing vertical motion, rotation, and even allows the character to cock his head to the side. The articulation gives the S.H.MonsterArts Godzilla a wide range of expression which really serves to make the figure impressive in spite of his other limitations. Godzilla's shoulder features a very limited rotation with a very small amount of outward motion. I imagine this results from Bandai trying to sculpt a realistic-looking shoulder but it's incredibly annoying to work with. Instead you'll mostly be relying on his bicep rotation to give the arms an outward motion. The elbow features two points of articulation with rotation at both points and forward/back at the mid-joint itself. There's a small cut into the bicep to facilitate the inner motion. The wrist features some sort of a ball-joint, but is largely limited to rotation. The hand-sculpting is really cool and has a very knobby look to the fingers/claws. While the sculpting on Gozilla's dorsal plates is relatively solid, the paintwork gives them an underwhelming look. Something feels missing although the color scheme itself appears to conform to the original design. This isn't much of an issue when viewing the figure from a distance. Construction-wise, the larger plates appear to have been fitted and glued into the character's back rather than cast from the same mold. Trace amounts of residual glue are visible in places, with a large clump on the top right plate. The plates greatly inhibit Godzilla's waist movement. You'll see only a small amount of rotation between the plates from the upper torso hit those of the lower torso. Like the shoulders, Godzilla's hips features virtually no outward motion. Additionally, there's very limited forward/back movement. The knee is a double-joint similar to the elbow, except the rotation at the upper part is incredibly restricted. The lower portion has an impeded, but significantly better, range of movement. There's one joint right beneath that (suggesting that the portion above it is just a ring placed over another joint) with a far greater range of motion (not easily sighted in the photo). The coolest joint in the leg is at Godzilla's ankle, which features a full rotation, a slight up/down, and a fairly deep foot pivot. The leg is sufficiently jointed even without the ankle's excellent range to keep the character well-balanced, but the limited hip movement will prohibit some of the more extreme poses. Godzilla's toenails and fingernails/claws feature the same almond color used for the character's teeth although some of the portions seem a bit lighter in color. I suspect that it's a white paint app with either a light wash or possibly a film sticker on top of it. At a glance, you would expect the tail to be a bendy plastic. However, it's really a series dumbbell-shaped pegs surrounded by interlocking plastic rings (with every other ring serving as a connector). Each ring seems to be contoured so that it will only fit on the other piece in the proper direction although . Despite the individual jointing, the movement is mediocre at best. The tail can't be posed very far in either side direction without popping a joint. The problem seems to stem from the thicker portions directly at the base of the tail which afford relatively little movement. The mobility improves along the length of the tail although it's geared more towards vertical movement. Finally, the very end of the tail is a long, solid piece. While the S.H.MonsterArts Godzilla's articulation is, rather frankly, more than a little disappointing, the line still seems something of an improvement over Revoltech. The joints feel more stable and, in places, are far more functional. I'm not sure if the limitations seen here are directly a result of the subject matter (ie, the proportions like the overly large hips) and how much comes down to Bandai's design philosophies. Given that Bandai has managed reasonably good articulation in their other lines, there's no reason not to expect that other entries with less extreme body types may have a greater range of movement. As for the harder question of whether the S.H.MonsterArts Godzilla is worthy of purchase, I'd still say that it's a decent figure despite its limitations. The SHMA Godzilla displays rather nicely, and his atomic breath accessory has a definite fun factor to it. Beyond that, there really aren't many well-articulated Godzilla figures on the market these days and Bandai's S.H.MonsterArts looks like it'll receive a fair amount of support going forward just from the figures we've seen so far. Even if Godzilla could be considered a weak entry in the SHMA line, he remains essential just for being the central character in what's shaping up to be a pretty cool figure line. Plus he seems to display well with Bandai's other larger lines which makes for some potentially amusing displays. [ A kaiju-sized thanks to HobbyLink Japan for providing this sample ]
Up from the depths. 6.5-inches tall. Breathes plastic. His head a bit above the table. MonsterArts Godzilla! MonsterArts Godzilla! MonsterArts Godzilla!
Kaiyodo's Revoltech line has long seemed to have a virtual monopoly on the articulated kaiju (monster) market. While other options have been available, few have matched the Revoltech line's level of articulation. However, tha...


NYCC 2012: Tamashii Nations/Bluefin new products

SHM King Kong & Destoroyah, SHF Red Ranger & SRC Daibouken
Oct 12
// Andres Cerrato
It's really hard for me to not love Tamashii Nations. Getting to see them up close and personal was an experience of itself for me, but let's not talk about that. You want to see the brand-new figures and that's perfectly oka...

Tamashii Features vol. 4 brings crushed scouters & more

Aug 11
// Andres Cerrato
Across the other, much larger pond, Tamashii Nations is showing off their goods in Hong Kong. A lot of these goods we've seen before, but we're just getting a better look at them now. All I'm saying is that I'm officially sol...

Tamashii Nations opens up new items for pre-order in U.S.

Jul 20
// Andres Cerrato
I've talked up a lot of the goods from Tamashii Nations. They had a great showing at San Diego Comic-Con this year and have given us a lot to look forward to in the upcoming year. We've previously talked about S.H. Figuarts B...

SDCC 2012: Tamashii Nations/Bluefin - S.H. MonsterArts

Jul 13
// Scarecroodle
There didn't seem to be any S.H. MonsterArts reveals over at the Tamashii Nations / Bluefin Distribution booth, but the set-up was still far from boring. For starters, we have another cool Godzilla vs King Ghidorah height com...

Reserve or Regret? Import round up for June 1, 2012

Jun 01
// Jonathan Tubbs
What a crazy way to start June with OMG what is that nightmare fuel in the header!? Um... yes, well, June starts off with a smorgasbord of pre-orders from Bandai which consists of two possible things: 1) You were up extra ear...

S.H. MonsterArts King Ghidorah is well...monstrous

May 25
// Andres Cerrato
While I've yet to get my hands on one, I'm glad to see the S.H. MonsterArts line continuing to get better. We've talked about him before, but Monster Zero will finally see his release soon. The golden, thousand-year-old drago...

Toy Fair 2012: Bluefin/Tamashii Nations

Feb 17
// Brian Szabelski
Bluefin and Tamashii Nations (Bandai) were at Toy Fair 2012, and our Keith Polott spoke to Bandai/Tamashii Nations' Adam Newman at the booth. While what was on display might have been a lot of what we've seen before, there's ...

Two new S.H.MonsterArts figures appear

Feb 03
// Brian Szabelski
As spotted by the eagle-eyed Esperkin, via the Bluefin Tamashii Nations USA Facebook page, next up in the S.H.MonsterArts line from Bandai is MOGUERA! You get MOGUERA's plasma beam cannon and spiral grenades in accessory form...

Tamashii Nation Winter '11: MonsterArts, Ultra-Act + more

Nov 24
// Andres Cerrato
We're nearing the end of the highlights from today's event, but before we go, there's the matter of 3 lines; S.H. Monster Arts, Ultra-Act and the Saint Seiya Myth Cloth. I've yet to collect any of these lines, but Bandai'll b...

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