Updated: Sep 29, 2020
Hello, fellow collectors! Today, I will be focusing on NECA's final release (technically) in the Godzilla line, Godzilla 2003 (aka Kiryu-Goji). This version of Godzilla first appeared in the 2002 movie Godzilla X MechaGodzilla and returns for a rematch in Godzilla x Mothra x MechaGodzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. in 2003. After several years of being terrorized by monsters, Japan finally has the ultimate weapon to combat them: MechaGodzilla, and was successful in chasing Godzilla away from Japan. However, the guardians of Mothra known as the Shobijin came to warn Japan that building MechaGodzilla from the bones of the Godzilla from 1954 was a mistake and must be returned to the sea so the souls of the dead can be laid to rest. Otherwise, Mothra will declare a full scale war against Japan and promises that Mothra would be the planet's defender against Godzilla and any other monsters if Japan meets their demands. With Godzilla now fully recovered and bearing a large scar from MechaGodzilla's absolute zero cannon the JSDF must debate whether they should give in to Mothra's demands and scrap MechaGodzilla. In their last ditch effort to save Japan, MechaGodzilla and Mothra join forces to stop Godzilla once and for all.
As I mentioned in my last review, Godzilla 1989 and Godzilla 2003 are NECA's last two figures. NECA is releasing the repainted versions of these same two figures (Godzilla 89 Biollante Bile and Godzilla 03 Hyper Maser Blast versions), but I don't really know if they would really be worth purchasing $60 ($30 each) if I already have the original release. That being said, this is NECA's final swan song before August and you're wondering if Godzilla 03 is worth the $30. Let's dive in and find out.
NECA is not only known for their figures, but also the packaging. Ever since their Godzilla 2019 line, NECA has done away with the clam shell package and are releasing their figures in a more presentable box package. On the front of the box, we have the movie's poster where this version of Godzilla made its first appearance. When you open the flap, you are presented with one of NECA's promotional images of the figure on the inside part of the flap and a window to view your figure. This is actually a really good way for collectors to inspect the toy for any flaws before they make their purchase.
On the side of the box, we spot another poster of the movie. Then on the back of the box, we see three more promotional images and the description of the movie. The description reads, "Godzilla awakens at the bottom of the sea, one year after surviving a vicious battle against MechaGodzilla. Now baring an enormous scar from the battle, Godzilla makes landfall again. As MechaGodzilla is prepared to defend Japan once more, Mothra and the Shobijin appear and offer a vital clue to the reason why Godzilla continues to attack. Now the government must make a crucial decision – follow the Shobijin's orders or battle both Mothra and Godzilla!"
Paint and Sculpt:
When in hand, NECA's Godzilla 2003 figure looks very well sculpted, yet it is very much more stylized than accurate for the most part. When taking pictures, however, Godzilla's face looks good in some and not so great in others. His mouth is a little bit on the short side and it's missing the curvature on the snout that this version of Godzilla has in the movie. Also, his jaw is a little too thick and could have made it a little thinner. Other than that, the face looks great with the yellow eyes staring up like he is facing Mothra and is about to battle. The inside of Godzilla's mouth is the same maroon color we saw on Godzilla 89 figure looking fleshy inside. The teeth look good as well. It gives him that rat like face we see in the movie.
The whole body is covered in these spikes and scutes that are sculpted really well, yet it makes handling the figure a little tough since they're so pointy. The scar on the chest is painted either the same or a similar maroon color that you find inside the mouth. The scar is basically how fans can tell which movie this particular Godzilla came from and I wish the scar was a little more prominent. The rest of the body is charcoal grey, but there are heavy use of a lighter grey paint as well making Godzilla look lighter than how he looks in the movie. It's like he is covered in dust and dirt.
The claws and toes are painted in a dirty yellow or gold color. The feet looks a little too thick and could have sized down more. Other than that, they look really nice.
The larger dorsal fins are made from a softer plastic while the smaller dorsal fins are made from a harder plastic. The paint used for the dorsal fins are of a bone white color than the regular white that we've seen on the Godzilla 89 figure. His dorsal fins are actually more metallic looking than bone, but I like the bone white as it makes the dorsal fins look more natural.
Articulation and Size Comparison:
When first taking the figure out of the box, a hot water bath is always needed to wake up those really tight joints and for inserting the tail. Once the joints can move around and the tail is attached, Godzilla is found to have lots of articulation. This Godzilla figure is made up of mostly ball joints except for the mouth, elbows, wrists, hands, knees, and the tip of the tail.
The mouth and the hands are on a hinge so they can open and close. You can have Godzilla roar or have him preparing to punch a building or another monster. The elbows, wrists, and knees are on swivel-hinge combo joints, which allows the figure to bend and turn like it's walking or reaching to grab something. One major set back this Godzilla has is a wire inside the tip of the tail. I did not mind the bendy wire on the Godzilla 89 figure because the tail already flows naturally without having to bend the wire. For Godzilla 2003, however, if I want the tail in a certain position then I will have to use the bendy wire otherwise it won't look right. My biggest concern though is that the wire usually snaps after being used excessively. Seeing as the Godzilla line is about to end if the wire in the tail snaps then I will be out of luck trying to get it replaced. So if you do get this figure, be mindful about using the bendy wire tail.
Another hiccup in the articulation is the neck. Even though the neck is on a ball joint the neck itself is just sleeve and the sleeve hinders most of the articulation. The neck can twist and turn, but just a little bit before the sleeve stops you from turning any further.
NECA's Godzilla 2003 figure stands at about 7" tall, which is an inch taller than your usual size NECA Godzilla figure and taller than the S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla 2002 figure. Finding room on a shelf should be a no brainer, especially with his tail being mostly ball joints.
NECA's Godzilla 2003 figure is very stylized from his movie counterpart, but that does not mean it's bad. Godzilla 2003 has some great sculpting, paint, and articulation. I do have my gripes with the wire inside the tip of the tail and the neck sleeve hindering some articulation. While the face could use a little more work, Godzilla does look better in hand than in photos. For $30, I say pick this guy up if you can find him before August.
That's it for my reviews of NECA's Godzilla 2003 figure! I have one more post I am working on that I hope to have up by tomorrow. This post are just my thoughts on NECA's Godzilla line as a whole and looking back from where the company first started in 2014 with the Godzilla 2014 figures up to the present. Then finally, I will do my review on PlayMates Toys 11" Giant Kong figure. So stay tuned by following me on my Facebook, Twitter, and Minds pages for more news, reviews, and discussions.