At long last, S.H.MonsterArts Godzilla (2002) enters the foray! This is the third millennium era Godzilla incarnation from the hit film Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002), and a welcomed one at that. Collectors will no longer have to use their Godzilla 2000 Millennium Special Color Version as a stand in with their Kiryu figure. Not to mention this Godzilla comes 5 years after Kiryu’s debut. Godzilla (2002) was released in Japan April 28, 2018 as a general release and brought to the US by Bluefin Distribution, priced in the US at whopping $89.99. Unlike past Godzilla releases in the line, this one is one of the pricier incarnations. How did it turn out? Let’s find out!

 

Design:

 

Godzilla (2002) is a fantastic piece of work. It’s like it just walked off the screen and into my display cabinet! The attention to detail and expert craft can be seen throughout the entire figure thanks to the hands of legendary monster sculptor Yuji Sakai. The head looks just like it did from the movie and features Godzilla’s slender snout design perfectly. The teeth are individually sculpted and look great. The ears are also pronounced just like they were in the film as well. The neck also uses the new frill design incorporated with this Godzilla given it cobra-like aesthetic. I have read some critiques that the neck is too long compared to the film but I honestly cannot tell the difference. This may have to do with the way you pose Godzilla’s neck and head, but in the neutral position the length looks just right to me.

 

 

The entire body is what one would come to expect as it features Godzilla’s recognizable skin texture. I actually like this figure’s texture because it isn’t as consistent like the Heisei design. For example, near the dorsal spines Godzilla’s scales began to protrude like mini spikes. There’s a little bit of this on the shoulders and thighs as well. It allows this incarnation to stand out from the rest. The arms and hands look great featuring various different muscle like structures. The hands were sculpted in a neutral open clawed position which works for just about any kind of pose. The chest area looks great with good definition to Godzilla’s pectoral muscles and waist area. The legs and feet also look great. The muscle definition continues here all the way down to the ankles. The feet are large and detailed on the bottom. The claws on the feet have some minor detailing to give that bone-like texture.

 

 

The dorsal spines are perfect. They’re placed in a manner where there are no major gaps between them. They are so well defined and with meticulous fine detailing, especially towards the base. They kind of remind me of what craters look like on the moon. Very sharp to the touch, so be careful. The tail is similar in design and length as the 2000 Millennium figure but finessed and leaner. The detailing continues all the way to the tip of the tail which is so small it’s incredible how Sakai is able to keep up the quality. Overall, I really like the sculpt and I think it does justice to what was seen on screen.

 

Articulation:

 

Godzilla incarnations tend to be good to amazing in terms of articulation engineering. A lot of this has to do with the suit design combined with how the sculpt is cut up. Godzilla (2002) is in the middle where it excels in some areas of articulation while others are limited. When the figure was first announced, the promo images highlighted that Godzilla could rear its head to the sky to re-create an iconic scene from the film and the final product delivers on that. The head is able to turn and look up and down with ease. The mouth opens and closes with no issues. That being said the mouth is on a ball joint which can give Godzilla a bit of a crooked jaw. It’s a non-issue since it can be posed correctly, so play around with it. The tongue is on a peg in the mouth and can be moved up and down however be careful because it can be dislodged and a pain to reassemble. The neck has limited articulation due to the frill sculpt. It can’t really look down or left to right. Most of the movement is with the head and the attached neckpiece it’s connected too. I don’t think this could necessarily be avoided given the design of this Godzilla.

 

 

The torso and waist area feature very good articulation engineering and can perform an ab crunch with no problem. The upper body can be twisted left to right and even tilted which is great for dynamic poses. Leaning back is limited due to the sculpt and dorsal spines, however, that is to be expected and actually closes all the gaps between the dorsal spines. This looks great if you’re posing Godzilla in a neutral upright pose. The arms and hands have great articulation engineering but for some reason the bicep/elbow disconnect from the ball joint sockets very easily. I’ve disassembled each piece to figure out what exactly is going on and it appears that there is sculpt interference combined with the ball joint peg being just a bit too short to allow for optimal range. What happens is when the elbows bend, the lower part of the arm tends to just fall off. Ball joints that fall off every now and again is something to be expected with this line, however, to perform basic movements like bending the elbow shouldn’t fall off so easily. Especially when there are so many other monsters that don’t have this issue. The wrists feature additional articulation that’s commonly found in the millennium era Godzilla figures. It allows for some additional movement for the hands.

 

 

The legs have outstanding articulation and can be posed in variations not even seen in the film. They are firm and secure. The dynamic poses you can get really help round out the stiffness of the upper part of the body. It kind of gives the illusion that this Godzilla has a lot of articulation than it really has. The tail features the best articulation engineering, maybe of the whole S.H.MonsterArts line as if its release. The tail is very long and can hold a multitude of different poses. Whether it’s up in the air or twisted to the side, this thing can hold its pose. Like most past Godzilla releases, the tip of the tail (at least two inches) does not have any articulation engineering due to how small it is but thankfully it was sculpted in a way where it accommodates any pose with no aesthetic issues. I would say that the tail is the standout piece than Godzilla rearing its head in the promo photos! Given the figures design, the figure sports a good amount of articulation despite being limited in some capacities. I just wished that the arms didn’t fall off so easily.

 

Paint:

 

Like most Godzilla figures the paint application is fairly straightforward. The body features a charcoal gray coloration throughout. There is some shading in areas like the torso and legs, but it’s lightly done. The head is painted fairly well. The teeth could have been painted a bit better with some parts having paint bleed from the gums and the fangs are not entirely painted in some parts. Teeth paint seems to vary figure to figure. The inner mouth is painted a very dark red and maintains some good dry brushing on the roof of the mouth to bring out those details. The eyes are fairly aligned however it seems consistent among this figure that the left eye’s pupil is painted bigger than the right. While the right eye looks normal, the left eye looks like Godzilla is surprised (probably because its arms keep falling off!). Again, the eye alignment seems to vary between figures as these eyes are hand-painted.

 

 

The claws feature some decent blending on both the hands and the feet using a bone-like coloration. The claws on the feet are a bit darker. It’s refreshing to see some good blending via airbrush instead of dry brushing like they’ve done in the past. The dorsal spines are the most colorful part of the figure. They’re colored a light gray that blends into the charcoal gray coloration the base with the combination of dry brushed off-white highlights. The texture on the dorsal spines really pop thanks to the highlights. It’s a good use of two paint styles. No paint slop is evident. The smaller spines towards the end of the tail, you can see that the combo paint styles aren’t as consistent with the dry brushing more abundant. Just a nitpick-- you won’t even notice this unless you hold it right up to your face. Overall, not a bad paint job and quite accurate to the source. One of the better painted figures recently in the S.H.MonsterArts line for sure.

 

Accessories:

 

Godzilla (2002) does not come with any accessories. Unfortunate but expected. So, enjoy these photos of Godzilla duking it out with Kiryu (2002) [2013 release]. Buildings used are from Outland Model building structures!

 

 

Overall:

 

Overall, this is definitely an excellent figure. The sculpt is phenomenal and the paint is good. Even though the articulation can be limited in some aspects, it makes up for a lot of those limitations with the torso and tail. If it wasn’t for both arms falling so easily, I would have rated this higher. Tamashii Nations has shown us that they are able to produce such engineering with no issues in past Godzilla figures, and normally I don’t pick on falling joints but this seems consistent among other collectors. I do want to mention that I attempted using home remedy fixes and I found that using a dab of superglue in the socket seem to help keep the arms attached permanently (use at your own discretion). They haven’t fallen off since but the fact that I had to do it is an automatic dock in points. Other than that, it’s a great Godzilla to have in the collection and pairs well with Kiryu. Definitely pick it up if you find a good deal!

"The Articulation Series" is independent of Bandai Tamashii Nations & Bandai Namco Collectibles LLC (DBA Bluefin). Though independent, "The Articulation Series" has a working relationship with these entities covering S.H.MonsterArts related news & media and is a source for exclusive and general information.


© Toho Co., LTD 1954-2020

Godzilla, Mechagodzilla, Super Mechagodzilla, Kiryu, Spacegodzilla, MOGUERA, Little Godzilla, Fire Rodan, King Ghidorah, Burning Godzilla, Godzilla Jr., Destoroyah, Biollante, Battra, Gigan, Mothra, Mecha-King Ghidorah, SHIN Godzilla, MonsterVerse and all related characters are trademarks of Toho Co., LTD. All Rights Reserved.

 

King Kong (2005) © Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

 Kong The 8th Wonder of the World™ Universal Studios.

 

Alien™, Alien vs Predator™ & © 1979, 2004, 2007, 2014 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.  All Rights Reserved.

 

© KADOKAWA NTV Hakuhodo DY Media Partners / 1995-1999

Gamera and all related characters are trademarks of KADOKAWA . All Rights Reserved.

 

© CAPCOM CO., LTD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 

 

© The Articulation Series 2020. All Rights Reserved.