With Kiryu being the first Millennium era kaiju to grace the S.H.MonsterArts line, it was only a matter of time before a Millennium era Godzilla would follow. But which incarnation? Godzilla 2000, naturally. However, an unexpected surprise in its reveal was that it was not based off the suit used in the 1999 film Godzilla 2000, but rather on the Yuji Sakai concept that was used in promotional artwork and pre-production models. It is unknown at this point if we’ll see a release featuring the actual design from the movie, but one can hope. Godzilla 2000 Millennium is priced at $74.99 MSRP and boasts the most advanced articulation and longest tail in a Godzilla incarnation figure to date. In total, this marks the fourth incarnation of Godzilla in this line, along with other Godzilla type monsters such as Spacegodzilla, Mechagodzilla (1993), Kiryu, Little Godzilla, and Godzilla Junior. That’s nine types of Godzilla. With so many available to choose from, do collectors really need another to add to their collection?

Design:

 

Standing at 6.1 inches, Godzilla 2000 Millennium is brilliantly sculpted by veteran monster sculptor, and original creator of its design, Yuji Sakai. The official reason why they based the figure on the concept design, instead of the suit from the movie, is unknown, but it most likely has something to do with Sakai’s influence as the sculptor of most Toho S.H.MonsterArts figure.

 

Godzilla 2000 Millennium features exquisite details from head to toe. The head is reminiscent of several incarnations of Godzilla, such as KingGoji, MosuGoji, ShodaiGoji, and 84Goji. Combining these influences make a fierce representation of the unused Millennium concept. One thing I noticed about the figure’s design is that it feels much softer than the past Godzilla figures. It’s just as durable, but this softer material is obviously meant to allow for greater articulation as well as a decreased production cost. It works very well and I hope that this design decision continues in flesh based monsters in the future. The eyes are similar to Godzilla (1964)’s, however, they have reverted back to painted decals without the glossy glass design. The teeth are larger than those found in the past released Godzilla incarnations and vary in size throughout the mouth. This is also the first Godzilla to feature a tongue that is not sculpted into the base of the mouth. The head has many meticulous details, with bumps and rivets that accurately portray a tough hide along with two little ears, which are more noticeable than the Heisei Godzilla’s. The neck is thick and sort of frills at the base, perhaps to give Godzilla a more threatening and modern look.

What I like about this new design is the careful attention put into hiding most of the articulation seams while still achieving advanced articulation. The body, arms, legs, and tail are comprised of many bumps and rivets that offer more depth than, we’ve seen in past released incarnations. These details offer a texture that feels and looks rough. The chest and abdomen’s designs are a bit smoother, but still share a similar pattern found in the rest of the design. The arms feature leaner muscles and look less bulky. The hands and claws are larger, thinner, and sharper, which makes them look more deadly than those of the past incarnations of Godzilla. The legs, while big, feature a leaner muscle design as well and don’t suffer from any unintentional bowing. The feet are huge and feature longer claws as well. Unlike most Godzilla designs, the feet feature a dewclaw for extra support. The tail is lean and very long, and its segments draw more attention to detail, continuing with the bumps, rivets, and roughness found throughout the rest of the sculpt.

The dorsal spines are absolutely fantastic and are the highlights of the figure’s design. With a little over fifty-six sculpted dorsal spines, each one features its own unique design and they are sharp! They’re textured with lines, rivets, and bumps, creating three rows of a linear and jagged design. These are made of ABS material, so be very careful and avoid moving the figure by the spines as they could easily rip off. It is the most outstanding part of this figure’s design and the execution is perfect. Just don’t cut yourself!

Overall, the figure looks magnificent as it hides articulation seams very well, it accurately portrays Sakai’s concept, and it delivers on a terrifying, leaner looking, modern Godzilla.

Articulation:

 

Godzilla 2000 Millennium offers the most advanced articulation of the Godzilla incarnations so far. Simply put, it’s very smooth with little to no resistance and it doesn’t sacrifice the integrity of the sculpt. The head and neck work together in achieving maximum articulation potential. For example, the head itself can slightly move left and right and tilt up and down, while the neck can twist and tilt. These two motions working in tandem allow for advanced expressions that were unachievable in past released Godzilla figures.  The neck has a particularly awesome amount of range as it can completely look downward at a 90 degree angle, can rotate left and right at almost 180 degrees of motion, and can partially curl in a “C” shape. This by far is the most advanced neck articulation design we’ve seen yet in a Godzilla figure. The only drawback is that the neck and head are very limited when tilting upward. This is due to the second dorsal spine’s placement on the neck. The only way to achieve a higher pose is to make the figure lean back or remove the dorsal spine if you’re really keen on having it look upwards. The mouth opens and shuts as expected, however it can be tough to close it completely due to the tongue. Speaking of the tongue, it is articulated and able to tilt up and down. It’s better utilized than King Ghidorah’s articulated tongues.

 

The torso has a great amount of movement, despite having all of those spines on the back. It’s sectioned into three parts, similar to Godzilla Junior’s torso area design. The top half’s major function is to tilt up and down and rotate left and right. The mid-section bridges the top and main body and also is able to slightly tilt up and down and rotate left and right, allowing for even more range of motion. This section also helps move the dorsal spines out of the way while performing these actions. The third section is the main body, which acts as a grounding point and offers no articulation. While it’s easy to rotate the torso from the left, it can be tricky from the right as you have to move around one dorsal spine to achieve the same potential as movement from the left.

 

The arms and legs feature significant improvements over those of the other Godzilla incarnations. Utilizing the ball joint system and proper plastic coverings for the gaps, and thanks to its softer plastic material, the arms are able to move in any direction you desire with no risk of joints popping off. They’re able to rotate, twist, and lift with no resistance. It’s nice to move the parts of a figure and not feel that if you move them too far, they’re going to break or fall off. Heck, they can move in just about any direction you could move your own arm! It only took them three (or nine, if you count the other Godzilla types) times to get it right. The hands’ articulation is much more secure this time around. Rather than attach the hand to the arm, the hand is attached to a small ball jointed wrist. For the first time ever in the S.H.MonsterArts line, the wrists are able to express motion that allow the hands to be posed in all the various ways imaginable. The fingers were originally articulated in the prototype, but were scrapped in the final product, most likely due to quality control issues and small parts falling off easily. I can live without articulated fingers and the new wrist joint is a welcomed compromise.

 

The legs are refreshing as well, as they implement the same improvements used in the arms. They are able to rotate 360 degrees, though this is not recommended, as well as pull apart for wider stances. It can practically do a split and it doesn’t need triangle seams to achieve it! These legs also feature an independent knee joint that helps Godzilla bend its legs into various poses. The feet are attached using a ball joint and, thanks to the softer plastic material, are able to be positioned similarly to Kiryu’s feet, even without Kiryu’s special hinge design. Furthermore, the ankles are able to rotate in a 360 degree motion and tilt up and down with ease. The dewclaw also helps the feet hold these positions. Excellently executed, Tamashii Nations.

 

In Kiryu’s release it seemed that Tamashii finally got tail articulation right. Thankfully, the same goes for Godzilla 2000 Millennium. Featuring twenty-nine points of articulation and the use of softer plastic material, the tail is able to pose in any direction desired. Articulated all the way to the tip, this truly is the tail Godzilla is meant to have as a super poseable figure.  It’s able to recreate the signature “S” look much better than Godzilla (1964) could. You can even pose the tail so that it’s touching Godzilla’s back from any direction. It can curl into various other poses as well. While the softer plastic material seems to solve our tail articulation demands, it does come with a minor issue. Since the tail is so long, heightened poses usually end up with a drooping tail. For example, while the tail can touch Godzilla’s back from any direction, the pose can’t hold its own and ends up drooping or reverting back to an undesired pose. It’s not a deal breaker- just expect that if the tail is posed too high that it will either slowly droop back to the ground or drop immediately.

 

Overall, the articulation is absolutely fantastic and another step in the right direction for figures in this line. Tamashii is really focusing hard on getting things right as of late, and it shows.

Paint:

 

Godzilla 2000 Millennium shares the same basic color palette as found in previous Godzilla incarnations. Though basic, it still features some fantastic use of colors and blending. The inside of the mouth and tongue feature a blend of a blood red color with dark shading. The teeth are a yellowish white color with minor blending issues of the blood red color from the gums. The roof of the mouth has white outlined curves that accentuate small but fine details. The eyes are painted white with a black pupil. The head, neck, arms, body, legs, and tail are a very dark shade of gray. The knee caps and the area from the underside of the neck to the center of the chest feature a light brownish color that blends with the gray to add some differentiation. This is more noticeable in brighter conditions. The claws on the hands and feet are perfectly blended with a yellowish white color. The dorsal spines offer wonderful shades of dark purple that blend with the body’s dark gray shade. More specifically, the tips of the dorsal spines are purple, while their center are dark gray.

The overall paint job is pretty good. It’s not exciting like the colors used for other monsters, but it conveys the perfect look for Godzilla 2000 Millennium. Blending issues of the teeth aside, it doesn’t suffer from any other flaws that might be caused by mass production.

Accessories:

 

Unfortunately, Godzilla 2000 Millennium does not come with any accessories. At this point in the line, it has become an expected disappointment, however, it doesn’t hurt to hope that beam effects will make a comeback. You can always borrow the beams available from the first wave releases as they seem to work fine. The atomic ray effect that came with Fire Rodan is especially a good choice.

Overall:

 

Though it is an unused concept design, this version of Godzilla 2000 is exceptional and takes steps into the right direction in terms of articulation versus sculpt. It also helped that the original creator, who happens to be the veteran sculptor of the S.H.MonsterArts line, sculpted this figure. The paint is excellent, the articulation is executed nearly perfectly and many of the issues found in the past Godzilla incarnations have been fixed. Constructing the figure using a softer, yet durable, plastic was the right choice to make the articulation fantastic, however, something should done to stiffen the tail a bit to hold extreme poses. It’s not a deal breaker, but it would be nice to find a happy medium. The design itself is a welcome addition among collectors of giant movie monsters. In addition, I do hope to see a screen accurate version of Godzilla 2000 in the future. As good as this figure is, I do prefer the film version. Perhaps it could be a web exclusive? Only time will tell.

 

Is it a must have? Yes. Do I recommend Godzilla 2000 Millennium? Yes.

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.


Copyright © Toho Co., LTD 1954-2016

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