Biollante is the result of an experiment gone awry, a mutation from a rose’s cellular structure fused with Godzilla’s. This is the second known form of Biollante, the first being a Giant Rose creature.  In 2012, an early prototype of Biollante was revealed to the public. Responses ranged from optimistic to pessimistic, excited to cautious. Almost a year went by and there had not been any news on the figure since its first reveal. It wasn’t until mid-2013 that the official announcement came that Biollante was to be produced, thanks to fan demand! To ensure its authenticity, the original creator, Fuyuki Shinada, of the Biollante model used in the "Godzilla vs. Biollante" movie was brought on board to personally plan, sculpt, and approve this figure in order to create the most accurate articulated Biollante figure possible.

Design:

 

Biollante is meticulously sculpted by its original creator, Fuyuki Shinada, and is comprised of ABS and PVC parts that create an incredible figure. The face is extremely detailed with rivets and wrinkles. The head is the only piece that looks saurian-like throughout the sculpt. Inside the mouth are approximately one hundred and thirty-six teeth, each individually protruding from the base and roof of the mouth. It’s good to see that the teeth were carefully sculpted and have some uniformity. Biollante also has six tusks, three on each side, which are smooth and rounded. I appreciate that the snout is leaner than in most Biollante figures, as most tend to get this part wrong and make it a little wider than it is supposed to be.

The body, neck, and vines reflect the plant mutation design and less of the saurian look found in the face. The top of the neck is reminiscent of Godzilla’s dorsal spines, but in plant form. These “spines” are detailed with only curved lines to differentiate them from the rest of the body. This design pattern continues along Biollante’s back side. The main body’s texture consists of meticulous rivets and crevices that look as if this plant’s layers are made of flesh. Additionally, the body features thorns protruding from its fleshy plant hide. The front of Biollante consists of a vine netting made from ABS that hides a translucent sap sack, Biollante’s core. The netting is also implemented under Biollante’s neck on this adjustable flap. The core looks exactly how it did in the film, sporting a fleshy membrane texture. It has an incredible amount of detail and the pattern doesn’t repeat itself, making each rivet and line unique from the rest.  WARNING: Avoid handling the figure by the netting. It’s the most fragile piece and could easily break with too much pressure. The vines are detailed to look just like a rose’s vine with thorns.

Biollante doesn't have traditional legs as it’s a monster that is essentially a plant that can root itself into the ground, or use its four massive vine tendrils as legs to help scuttle along the mainland. That being said, the base of Biollante is designed like it’s supposed to protrude from whatever surface it’s resting on. The vine tendrils continue with similar design decisions from the body, including thorns. Closer to the end of the vine tendrils, the texture becomes less rough and much smoother like the stem of a plant. Some parts actually have a little extra vine growth that look like veins and some even protrude from the stem. What’s cool about Biollante’s vine tendrils is that not only do they act as legs, they also have heads at the ends with sharp teeth! These heads are reminiscent of a Venus Flytrap, but also incorporate a little saurian mutation by including teeth and a tongue. These are very well sculpted and look like the ones from the film. Underneath the figure is completely flat and has no texture design. It makes sense since you’ll never see it in any pose, so why waste money creating something unseen?

Overall, this is truly the most authentic sculpt of Biollante in existence, aside from the design used in the film. There’s not much you can complain about since it was created by the original monster sculptor. You would sound pretty silly if you did.

Articulation:

 

Biollante is massive and has limited movement. Nevertheless, Tamashii Nations implements articulation exceedingly well. The head has a good range of movement and is able to rotate side to side and tilt up and down. Rotating left to right is a bit restricted, but it can still achieve enough movement to look left or right. Tilting down works very well and Biollante can look straight at the ground. Tilting up is limited to being flush with the neck, however more articulation can be achieved through the neck, allowing Biollante to look up at a 90 degree angle. The mouth actually sports a different method of articulation, allowing for both the top and bottom pieces to open and close. This works quite well and allows Biollante’s mouth to open very widely and display all those deadly teeth. It’s perfect for recreating the scene when Biollante tries to crush Godzilla’s head with its massive jaw.

 

The neck is where the articulation design stands out from the rest. It’s essentially its own piece, connected with ball joints, that attach to the head and runs down Biollante’s back. Not only can the neck lift all the way back at a 90 degree angle, but it can also achieve a proper hunched over pose by grabbing the back of Biollante and sliding it up. You could call it Biollante’s official neutral stance. Because the neck is able to lift so high, a vine net flap was implemented under Biollante’s neck, which serves two purposes: to cover up the inevitable hole in the figure created by lifting the neck and to support the neck while in the air to that it can sustain heightened poses. The flap is not attached to the neck itself, so it must be manually adjusted as the neck is moved into various poses or it just stays in its default position. While the neck is lifted to its max potential, it can rotate left to right more so than its movement in the default hunched pose. The only hang-up is that the vine net flap can only tilt up or down and can’t rotate with the neck. So when the flap is lowered, the neck can achieve even more movement left to right, but it sacrifices the sculpt’s true form, as now the flap sticks out like a sore thumb. That aside, the neck’s articulation is what shines and it’s beautifully executed. WARNING: While gliding the back of the neck upwards, do not apply an exceeding amount of force. When it stops, that’s as far as it goes. The gliding piece is secured on a track that has two small pieces of plastic that don’t offer much support when it comes to massive stress and they will break if pushed too far. If these pieces do break it doesn’t inhibit the figure’s articulation, however, you have no way of knowing where to stop the glide movement and the back piece will fall off the track.

 

The base of each vine tendril’s articulation moves like a crab scuttle. These parts are flush with the ground and can only rotate left and right. Connected using ball joints, the vine tendrils are able to rotate in a 360 degree motion. While rotating, it’s a little restricted left to right, but offers more range tilting up and down. Each vine is able to move similarly to the past monsters’ tails, but they are unique in the way that they use less segments and some parts are pre-curved rather than straight. I didn’t know what to think of this initially, as this definitely adds a different look to each vine, but you would think that pre-curved segments would inhibit articulation in some way. The solution is to rotate these vine tendril segments until they go with the articulation flow. It’s a minor nuisance, however, in favor of preserving the sculpt authenticity by having no vine tendril look alike, it works. The rear vine tendrils offer easier articulation with less pre-curved segments as well as fourteen points of articulation. The front vine tendrils are shorter and can be tricky to adjust since they have more pre-curved segments and eleven to thirteen points of articulation. The heads on the vine tendrils are articulated like Biollante’s head and have both the top and bottom of the mouth open and close. The joints are fairly strong, just don’t force a piece in the wrong direction or it will pop off.

 

There isn’t as much articulation here compared to past S.H.MonsterArts figures, however, it’s important to remember that Biollante didn’t have a wide range of motion in the first place and that the range of this figure is more gracious than expected. Implementing the gliding function, allowing for more pose options, was an excellent move. Well done, Tamashii Nations and Shinada.

Accessories:

 

Biollante does not come with any accessories. The only thing I can think of that could have been included is an acid sap effect part. However, there is an LED light gimmick in Biollante’s translucent core. To access this feature you need two LR44 batteries, which are not included. The bottom of Biollante has a switch that can be flipped left and right to access two different variations. The core glows orange when the switch is flipped to the right and it glows red when flipped to the left. I prefer the red as it’s brighter than the orange and looks more exciting. The LED light is an awesome feature and it’s actually what I’ve always wanted for all S.H.MonsterArts that have translucent pieces. It makes stop motion purposes easier since I don’t have to externally light the eyes.

Overall:

 

Tamashii made a wise choice bringing the original creator of Biollante on board in its development. This is the ultimate version of Biollante and, though it’s expensive, it’s worth every penny. The sculpt is amazing, the articulation is surprisingly exceptional, the paint is phenomenal, and the LED light is the icing on the cake. Don’t wait too long to get this figure. Chances of a major price reduction from $230 are slim to none as it is a web exclusive and they tend not to decrease much in price. Being a web exclusive also means that even though Bluefin Distribution brought it over from Japan for the United States, there may not be an abundance available. I predict that Biollante will be sold out in six to eight months, but I hope I’m wrong. Once this beautiful figure sells out, that’s it. Expect skyrocketed aftermarket prices. So get it while it’s $200-230 rather than $500-$1000!

 

Is it a must have? Absolutely. Do I recommend Biollante? YES!

Paint:

 

With a figure this expensive, a well-executed paint job is expected. Biollante doesn’t disappoint, as it is rid of any mass production flaws (at least my figure doesn’t have any), and offers a phenomenal paint job. The teeth are a solid yellowish white, which is refreshing to see after countless blending issues with the teeth and gums in past S.H.MonsterArts figures. The gums are a solid pink with not much blending. To some that may look strange, but it doesn’t bother me. The tusks are perfectly blended with a yellowish white to black color. The eyes are interesting as they’re mostly white, but with a blended purplish outline. I think it’s a cool effect and it adds more to Biollante’s menacing gaze.

The neck, body, and vine tendrils share a fantastic blend of dark greens, yellows, browns, and a smidge of dark purple and black. The top half of Biollante tends to be a blend of lighter and normal greens, while the base half is a blend of darker greens and the aforementioned colors. The thorns are a solid glossy black color. From a distance the thorns look good, but up close I feel they could have used some sort of blending, as they can come off as globs of black paint. Biollante’s core, the sap sack, is a blend of an orange reddish color perfectly representing the core. The vine tendrils use a blend of the darker colors at the base and the lighter green colors used in the top half of the sculpt. The inside of the vine tendrils’ mouths are similar to Biollante’s mouth, as they feature an unblended pink for the gums and tongue with yellowish white teeth. I would have accepted a dark green color for the gums in the vine tendrils, but this works too.

 

The paint job is amazing and one of the high points of this figure. In the movie, this form of Biollante appears at night with weather effects, so its colors were muted and hard to see. What’s great about the paint used with this figure is that, since Shinada approved it, this figure gives us a glimpse of the true colors of Biollante that were unseen in the film. It’s absolutely stunning.

5 tokens of 5

 

"S.H.MonsterArts: The Articulation Series" does not reflect the official viewpoints or opinions

of the creators, distributors, or license holders of the S.H.MonsterArts line.


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