S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla (2021) And Kong (2021) (Reviews)
The S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla and Kong figures have finally arrived. I know that it took so long, but I just got these figures some time ago. After spending some time playing with them I can now give you my thoughts on what I think of the figures. Are they good, bad, or mediocre? Let's break it down and find out if they are worth adding to your collection.
Sculpt & Paint:
The sculpt for Godzilla (2021) is great, but nothing new. If you own any of the S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla (2019) figures, then you will find that the sculpt is mostly the same except for the head, which looks more narrow making Godzilla look angry. The displayed hands helps Godzilla look intimidating. I do really have to say that I do not like how the teeth are smoothed out rather than pointy. They did this with the 2019 figures and it does bug me that Bandai just refuses to update the sculpt to make the teeth more accurate to the movie. Bandai has done Godzilla figures with small individually sculpted teeth before. Even on my Godzilla (2014) figure has teeth that are sculpted and detailed. So smoothing out the teeth on this figure just shows a little bit of laziness on Bandai’s part.
What I do have to give this figure credit for is that it has a much vibrant paint application. The base color is charcoal grey, but it has blend of brown mixed in on Godzilla's chest and groin areas of the figure. What really stands out, however, is the metallic blue paint on the dorsal plates and mouth. It really makes this Godzilla look like he is charging up or is using his atomic breath or is using his intimidation display as seen through out the movie, which looks awesome for the most part. I will say that the blue paint does not look very good in the mouth. It makes Godzilla look like he chugged down a blue raspberry slurpy and looks a little sloppy with the paint bleeding on to the mouth. With the teeth smoothed out, it is hard to distinct where the teeth are located. I certainly like the metallic blue on the eyes, but the eyes are sunken into head making the eyes hard to notice.
Articulation is the same song and dance as the Godzilla (2019) for the most part. Most of the figure consists of ball joints through out the body. The exceptions are the elbows and knees having hinges. One thing that does bug me a little bit is the lower jaw not closing all the way. I'm not sure if it is the tongue being too big or if it is something else blocking the jaw from closing all the way, but it feels a bit of a hindrance.
Another thing I noticed is the tail being a little more posable than the 2019 figure. I don't know what Bandai did to the tail on this figure to make it a little more posable because I don't see any alterations with the sculpt of the tail, but I like that it has a bit more posability. What I do not like, however, is the base of tail being a separate piece from the rest of the body. I know that this was not an issue with the 2019 figure, but I just don't like how the base is loose like and dangly creating this gap that the previous figures did not have before.
Otherwise, the range of articulation is great as usual. I like to pose my figure in this battle ready/aggressive stance since Godzilla is always hunched when attacking Kong or MechaGodzilla in the movie.
Godzilla (2021) comes with a pair of neutral hands. Usually, these hands come already attached on the (2014) and (2019) figures, but not this time for this figure. To attach the neutral hands, you just need to detach the displayed hands that are already on the figure and attach the neutral hands to the ball joint.
This Godzilla figure does not come with an atomic breath effect part and I can sort of understand why. If you have the S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla (2014) Spit Fire version or any of the Godzilla (2019) figures then you would already have an atomic breath effect part that would fit just fine with this figure. I would have liked one that was updated to look more like a beam just like in the movie, but again if you have been collecting any of the Godzilla figures from this line then any breath effect part should work just as well. Maybe if Bandai released a poster version or a Hong Kong battle version it will come with a beam, but only time will tell.
Sculpt & Paint:
Kong (2021) has a decent sculpt, but the paint could have been better. Bandai really did well sculpting the details with the fur, the scars on Kong’s chest, and little wrinkles on the face here and there. I don’t know if it is just me or if anyone else noticed, but in my opinion say the face looks a little flat.
Kong is mostly covered in brown paint with some darker shades of brown throughout the body, which looks very bland. Everything is painted so dark that it is hard to make out the details without looking at it up close and personal. Even the eyes are too dark to see any details. Some white on the eyes or red on the scars and just a lighter brown highlight could help make some of the finer details on this figure pop out more.
Much like the S.H. MonsterArts Peter Jackson King Kong figure, this Kong (2021) figure can be in various poses. You can make Kong look like he is dancing, jumping, running, attacking, and walk on his knuckles like a regular gorilla (see articulation section to view photo).
Unlike the 2005 figure, however, this Kong does have an issue of standing on its own two feet. Even though the 2005 Kong came with a stand to hold the figure in place it has no issue standing without one. For Kong (2021), unfortunately, does need a stand just to keep it standing. Trying to get Kong to stand on its own requires some creative measures due to being so top heavy and the feet not being flat enough to allow Kong to stand up. If you have been collecting Godzilla figures in this line or figures from Tamashii Nations in general I am sure you have plenty of stands that will support Kong. If not, I have heard collectors recommend the Stage Act 5 stands. So give those a try since I don't have any.
The most frustrating part about Kong's articulation is that parts do pop off due to how Kong is sculpted. So be careful posing Kong so parts don't fly everywhere and you wind up losing something.
Kong (2021) comes with many accessories in this release. This figure comes with an alternate roaring head, a pair of grabbing hands, a pair of open hands, a pair of knuckle walk hands, and the battle-axe.
Taking a look at the roaring head, my first impression of is that Kong looks like he has a double chin with his beard being so thick, even though his beard wasn’t that thick in the actual movie. Unlike Godzilla (2021), Kong’s mouth is nicely sculpted with the teeth painted in a cream color and the inside of the mouth looking gummy. Really well sculpted head all around.
The axe looks pretty good, as well. I like how the bone is painted with two shades of brown, but it could use a little more of the light brown, in my opinion. In the movie, the blade part of the axe is made from a dorsal plate of one of Godzilla's ancestors and Bandai did a decent job capturing that with the blue and silver highlights. It would be even better if the axe was semi-translucent or if the blue was the same color as the metallic blue on the Godzilla (2021) figure just so the axe looks like it can glow. The leather that is wrapped around the axe could have used a different color like charcoal grey or green just to show that it is leather from Godzilla's skin rather than using the same brown used on the bone. To make Kong hold the axe, there are a pair of hands that are in the grip position. The axe is a tight fit in these hands, but once the axe is in Kong's hand Kong will now look like he is ready for Round 2 with his fight against Godzilla.
Taking a look at the size of the two figures side by side along with other figures from S.H. MonsterArts and PlayMates, you can see that Kong is the shortest of the bunch. No extra room is needed for either figures since you know what to expect from this Godzilla and Kong does not have a tail to take up shelf space.