Boot To The Leg: S.H. MonsterArts King Ghidorah
Through the years I have been collecting Godzilla figures I have never came across a bootleg. That is because I have not been browsing E-Bay enough or I am just lucky. That is until a couple months ago when pictures of this "S.H. MonsterArts" King Ghidorah figure started making the rounds on Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit. The reason why I put quotes around S.H. MonsterArts is because the company that released this figure is not from the parent companies, Bandai and Tamashii Nations. Instead, this particular figure was released by a company called H.C. Toys. This is not the first time this company released an S.H. MonsterArts bootleg figure. They even released a Godzilla 2019 figure around the same time as the official S.H. MonsterArts figure was released. However, there is one thing that makes this figure stand out from an ordinary bootleg. This is a bootleg of an S.H. MonsterArts figure that did not get an official release yet and using the same color palette as the S.H. MonsterArt King Ghidorah 2019 figure. Let me show you.
Paint & Sculpt:
As you can see above, the left side is the bootleg figure and the one on the right is the official figure. They both use similar paint. Even the brown and yellows on the bootleg are painted exactly like on the 2019 figure. Yet, the sculpt for the bootleg figure is very different from the 2019 figure. The reason why it looks different is because the sculpt used for the bootleg figure is based on King Ghidorah's 1964 design. In the 1964 version, King Ghidorah was actually gold and not tan and brown.
Many collectors have speculated about how this figure was made. The one that makes the most sense that I heard is that somebody got a hold of a mold or a prototype of an official figure and ran a production run. There is a lot of details and engineering in this figure that you wouldn't normally see on a statue like X-Plus. I do not think the mold used was ready just yet. There are areas on the neck and around the body where you could find air bubbles that would not be found on an official S.H. MonsterArts figure.
Also, the wings are not very durable. Just like on the 2019 figure, they do like to fall off. If you look in the pictures you can see that a couple of the spikes snapped off just because they fall off of these hinges that you attach the wings on. These hinges are small and and not very secure. So just like with the 2019 figure, I wrapped the hinges with masking tape and the should allow enough friction for the wings to slide on and not slide off.
The last thing that I sort of have an issue with is the right tail likes to pop off the same way as the 2019 figure, but the issue is not as bad. What is bad is that in one of the joints it looks like they tried to glue it on with Elmer's glue and just gave up. Also, the ball joint looks as though it was not molded together properly. I bet that if they used a different ball joint that was properly sculpted then it would've stayed on.
Putting all of the issues aside, this is King Ghidorah figure is actually not half bad. Here is what King Ghidorah can do:
The heads and necks have such wide range of articulation and many collectors are going to love this because previous King Ghidorah figures would have heads and necks popping off while attempting to move an inch.
The mouths opens and closes.
The chest can move up and down, but not much wiggle room for moving side to side.
The wings can flap up and down and can be raised or lowered.
The thighs can move, but ever so slightly.