Thought to have never been released again Mecha-King Ghidorah returns to the S.H.MonsterArts line as “Mecha-King Ghidorah Shinjuku Decisive Battle Special Set”. The first release debuted in 2015, approximately eight years ago, and now so many new fans will be able to have the chance to obtain this holy grail. The first release was a web exclusive meaning that it cannot ever be reissued ever again, so many collectors felt the heat of the aftermarket if they wanted to add Mecha-King Ghidorah to their collection. However, Bandai has its own loophole to get around that policy and can re-release web exclusives so long as they are not the exact same as the first release. This is how Mecha-King Ghidorah is able to be released in the market today. This figure boasts a whopping 78 points of articulation allowing for dynamic posing and re-creating favorite moments from Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991). Mecha-King Ghidorah Shinjuku Decisive Battle Special Set was released in Japan on February 22, 2023 and was made available in the US thanks to Bandai Namco collectibles for $279.99. One of the main points of this figures release was that it has a more accurate paint application that matches the what was seen on screen, improved articulation engineering in some places, and new accessories. The question is, if you already own the first figure is it worth it to double dip and get this version? Or if you’re a new collector, is it worth the price point to add to your collection versus what you would get on the aftermarket for the first release? Let’s find out!




Mecha-King Ghidorah looks absolutely fantastic. The figure is rendered with great detail and largely unchanged from its first release in terms of sculpt. If you already own the first release there’s not going to be many differences here, if any at all. That said the first release was solid when it came to its sculpt and presentation. Mecha-King Ghidorah is sculpted and colored by legendary monster modeler, Yuji Sakai, who used reference materials from Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991). As with the first release some parts are reused from the first King Ghidorah figure such as parts of the neck, legs, and tails. Everything else are newly sculpted parts. In the box, Mecha-King Ghidorah is shipped with the standard wings attached and the damaged wings packaged separately. For this review I will be discussing the damaged wings primarily over the standard wings.



Let’s start with the organic heads. Out of the box these heads will likely have warped horns due to temperature and shipping conditions, but don’t worry, you can fix this with a hairdryer to reset them into the correct position. To the casual buyer, they may not even realize that the horns look off, but if you know, then you know. These heads are spot on with what you’ve seen in the movie. There is an incredible amount of detail in the sculpt which is enhanced by the paint application. The teeth look really great, sharp and defined unlike some previous S.H.MonsterArts figures where they look like lobbed pieces of plastic. The inner mouth is very detailed and the tongue is well defined. The scales on the necks are meticulously sculpted, there has to be thousands upon thousands throughout this entire figure! I couldn’t imagine the patience it took for Yuji Sakai to craft these at this scale! The undersides of the necks are reminiscent of Western dragon stylings, which is on point. The middle head looks great! The teeth are well defined with sharp edges. The inner mouth gravity beam emitter is sculpted in great detail, an excellent touch when it comes to accuracy. The horns are made of a harder plastic so they’re not likely to be warped compared to the organic heads out of the box. The eyes are translucent meaning that when light is shown through, they will illuminate. Depending on your lighting situation it can really enhance Mecha-King Ghidorah’s presence.



The mechanized sculpting throughout the neck is clean and spot on with what was seen in the movie. My only criticism here is that the underside of the middle neck has extra plastic parts from where the mold was cut from, so it doesn’t look good. That being said, since it’s on the underside of the neck, it’s probably not going to be too noticeable. Mounted at the base of all three necks is a control collar that connects to the main body using a cable coil system. These cable coils are made of softer plastic allowing them to bend and move with whichever way the necks are posed. The torso is completely mechanized and looks very clean. The detailing is smooth to the touch and uses plastic in a combination with diecast material parts. The pilot window looks great and even has some detailing on the inner chest area. There are four hinged pieces that are able to open and close which expose the ports that connect to the machine hand cable parts. These hinged areas are made of diecast and have some heft to them. Unfortunately, the middle section’s swappable part is made of plastic and doesn’t use any diecast material, which I suppose makes sense since it is a swappable piece. However, I think it would’ve been neat if this part was also made of diecast to match the hinged covers. The back side of the torso is smooth and well defined.



The wings are absolutely fantastic and the added damaged effect portions are done very well. The left wing has four damaged holes while the right has two. Yuji Sakai goes the extra mile by adding layers to the damaged portions to give an extra sense of depth to the battle damage. The cross-thatching detailing within the solar panel wing parts is phenomenal and has a good texture feel, very precise. On the backside of the wings, it’s much smoother to the touch and very clean with mechanized aesthetic keeping within the futuristic cyborg design. The edges of the wings have five protruding spikes. The top two are thick and made of diecast materials while the three in the middle are thin and sharp. Be careful when handling the wings and to avoid touching these parts while posing as they are quite fragile and may break if too much stress is applied. At the base of the wings, the hinged joint system is sculpted in a way that is seamless with Mecha-King Ghidorah’s overall mechanized aesthetic.



The legs look great, using organic parts in combination of mechanized parts over the shins. All of the material used here is made of plastic, no diecast materials. The scales are sculpted larger and rougher. The mechanized shin parts are clean and use minimal design elements compared to the rest of the mechanized sculpt. The feet are well defined as expected. The tails are very long and sculpted to perfection. The scales continue to get smaller as they reach the tip of the tail and maintain excellent sculpting precision. The tips of the tails are pieces that need to be connected to the main figure out of the box. The half of the tail tip that connects to the tail is made of diecast and requires some force to insert it into the socket. Be careful while doing this because the tip of the tail piece is made of thin plastic and is very fragile. I don’t recommend holding these parts at any time, especially when connecting these parts to the tail. They are well designed and are out of this world!


Overall, the sculpt is phenomenal and doesn’t see much of any change from the first release. Fans who decide to double dip will know what to expect while newcomers can expect the same level of quality in detail that they missed out on the first time around. The detailing on the battle-damaged wings is the highlight of this figure.




While preparing for this review, I was able to compare the articulation engineering between the original release and the new figure. The engineering itself is mostly unchanged, however, there are areas that have been improved over the first release. I’ll be sure to highlight those throughout the review, but first let’s dive into the heads. The organic head’s mouth articulation is on a ball joint system allowing for a wide and closed mouth. The tongue also sits on a ball joint and can be lifted and slightly rotated left or right. I recommend using something like tweezers to move these parts as they’re hard to get to with your fingers. Additionally, use caution while moving the tongue as the range is limited and may pop out of the socket if extended beyond its threshold. There is an improvement over the original release in which for some reason had an overbite issue, but that seemingly has been fixed here in the new version. The middle head also uses a ball joint for the jaw which can open and close, but not as wide as either organic head. The lower jaw on the middle head can be finicky while opening and closing. What I mean by this is that it has a tendency to become crooked. Thankfully it is easy to adjust so that it is straight but it is a nuisance, especially for those who are interested in stop motion. The organic necks have a good range of motion sporting ten points of articulation. They can be posed in various directions and curvatures while achieving dynamic and cinematic poses seen in the movie. The joint tolerance is fairly good and no parts of either neck pop off will posing. The middle neck does seem to have some modifications to its articulation engineering. At first, I actually thought the middle head wasn’t able to look downward as much as the first release. However, after messing around with the neck joints, it does appear to curve a lot more in any direction with parts of the segments being able to be positioned in a way that allows them to slide up and down to accommodate more range. While it is an improvement the way the neck is sculpted due to the design of Mecha-King Ghidorah is still restrictive compared to the organic heads. The range of articulation is still going to be limited to an extent, but better.



The torso has one point of articulation at the waist. It can slightly tilt up and down and twist slightly from left to right. This allows for some range, and with the help of the leg’s articulation, can achieve more than just a standard neutral pose. I don’t think there’s more that can be done to improve this based on the sculpt and overall design of the main body area. As mentioned earlier the machine hand cable system has four hinged joints that can be opened and closed. The middle piece is a swappable part for the main machine hand claw, which we will talk more about in the accessories portion of the review.



The wing articulation engineering has seen a significant improvement over the first release. For those who are unfamiliar, the first release wings were very tight and made a loud creaking sound as you moved the wings. Given the fragility of the wing design of the very first King Ghidorah figure in the line, you can imagine that collectors in 2015 were extra cautious and nervous when hearing those horrific sounds. Additionally, it was discovered within a short span of time that the first release’s swivel joint at the base of the wing cracks within the slightest amount of stress. This new version of Mecha-King Ghidorah has modified the internal engineering so that it no longer makes a creaking sound and is a very smooth transition while moving the wings. Furthermore, the joint tolerance at the hinged joints has also been improved so that when the wings are tilted up and down, they can hold a pose. The first release also had difficulties doing this and most of the time the wings would quickly slide back into the lower position. The hinged joint system has also been revamped so that the wings can easily be removed and swapped out with the undamaged wings. Swapping parts on Tamashii Nations products has been is met with mixed opinions, depending on the joint system, but trust me… The process is so smooth and easy you’ve got nothing to worry about. With very little force these will pop on and off easily. That being said, the manual recommends that the wings be positioned so that when you pull on them that they’re not bent at the hinges. This will prevent the likelihood of breakage. There is no additional articulation in the wings themselves aside from the hinged area. The wings have an awesome amount of range and can be open and closed in extreme positions that don’t even make sense, it’s just that versatile!



Lastly, the tails range of articulation is fantastic. Each tail has sixteen points of articulation and can be posed in a variety of different directions. Out of the box the joints near the base of the body are quite tight, so I recommend using a hairdryer to soften them while you move the joints around to get more range. Towards the end section of the tail, the joint tolerance is a bit loose, however, these sections are secure and don’t fall off easily while posing. Do note that if you pose any part of the tail beyond its given threshold, parts will pop off. If you feel that the tail should be able to move in such position and it seems stuck or too tight, just heat the section with a hairdryer as previously mentioned and try again. Some examples of the tails range are that they can be posed so that the tips touch Mecha-King Ghidorah’s chest, can easily achieve flight pose, and can wrap around enemy figures seamlessly.



Overall, I’m extremely happy with the improvements that were made to the articulation engineering of Mecha-King Ghidorah. There’s no overbite for the organic heads, the middle head has a little bit more range, the wings have seen a significant upgrade and don’t sound awful when you’re trying to move them, and nothing seems to fall off to the slightest touch generally (this can vary to figure-to-figure). An absolute fantastic job.




One of the main highlights of this figure is that it boasts a new paint application that is more accurate to what’s seen on screen versus the paint application that was done for the first release. This was something that I was especially looking forward to since I had some issues with the paint application of the first release such as the eyes being the wrong color, the overall paint job for the organic parts seemed a bit too saturated and were closer to the paint application used for the King Ghidorah Special Color Version, and the teeth paint was a little sloppy in parts. This release aims to give us the ultimate Mecha-King Ghidorah figure, so I was expecting these to be changed and was happy to see that they were!



Starting with the heads and necks, the organic parts are now colored to match the first King Ghidorah figure in the line. There is a black wash applied to the crevices throughout the sculpt to help bring out the details. The inner mouth is not a vibrant red like the first release and it’s more subdued in color. I actually prefer this coloration as it looks more realistic, less like a toy. There isn’t any shading in the mouth though has a flat matte paint job. Another difference between the first release and this one is that the gums around the teeth are painted the inner mouth color whereas before they were gold. The teeth are fully painted, which is a feat when it comes to S.H.MonsterArts figures. The eyes have also been updated for the organic heads to feature an orange color and are more defined thanks to the digital paint method over the previous release which were hand-painted a Dijon mustard color. In some cases, for the first release, it was very hard to see the eyes as some had issues of smeared paint. Additionally, under the necks there is more of a bronze paint job to differentiate it from the scales on the backside. This is a welcomed change and adds a little bit more paint variation to what’s already mostly a gold covered section. The middle head features a gunmetal paint application with some weathering effects. The eyes are green which is spot on with what’s seen in the movie. Comparing the eyes to the first release, they do not illuminate as much. The red markings on the sides of the middle head are also not as saturated as the first release, more of a subdued red. Same can be said for the red used on the gravity cannon in the mouth as well as the red needle on top of the head. At the base of the necks, the control collars are gunmetal and the control units are painted the subdued red again.



The torso continues with the gunmetal paint job throughout with slight weathering effects in the crevices. The hinged doors for the machine hand are glossy by comparison which may have to do with using a protective coating for the diecast materials. The main torso uses a matte finish but it’s still shiny when lit appropriately. The swappable part for the machine hand grip is consistent with the gunmetal paint application throughout the torso and blends very well.



The wing’s solar panel areas are painted a little bit darker compared to the first release. After looking at them both, I actually prefer the original release paint application, however, looking at production stills the new release is more accurate to what’s seen in the movie. For the parts that have red markings, they continue to use the subdued red color. The backside of the wings is also painted with the gunmetal application with weathering effects throughout. On the damaged parts there is a darker coloration to emulate a burn effect from the damage done by Godzilla’s heat ray, which is an excellent touch. The lower body and legs continue with the gold paint application with some shading of bronze through parts to add variation. The mechanized parts covering the shins use the gunmetal paint application and have some slight weathering effects. The feet are gold with the nails painted slightly more bronze. The tails are fairly straightforward and painted gold throughout. There are some spots that have random patches of bronze, not sure if this was intentional or not… It looks okay. The tips of the tail’s diecast parts are a glossy gunmetal color, while the ends are a matte coloration. The inner part is a subdued red and in keeping with the rest of the figure that has red parts. Absolutely fantastic throughout.



Overall, I’m extremely happy with how the paint application turned out on this figure. The changes that they’ve made have definitely made it more accurate to what is seen on screen. I just like knowing that I now have a Mecha-King Ghidorah figure that can be posed next to the first King Ghidorah figure and they’re cohesive. I will likely put the first release of Mecha-King Ghidorah next to the King Ghidorah Special Color Version in my display moving forward.




Mecha-King Ghidorah is bundled with accessories, as expected for mecha figures in line. The machine hand grip cable system makes its return with some improvements made with the addition of a swappable pair of damaged wing parts. As I mentioned previously, I’ve discussed this review with the damaged wings attached, so I’ll be discussing the clean wings in this section.



The machine hand grip parts are in keeping with the gunmetal paint application on the main figure. The main claw uses diecast parts in combination with plastic pieces. The extension rods are not articulated however the claw is able to open and close. The cables that plug into the main body use a bendable wire which allows for the freedom to pose in any direction to fit your displays needs. The improvements here compared to the first release is that the wire is no longer exposed to the elements and it is encased in a protective clear plastic. This was seen previously in the recent release of Gigan (2004) Great Decisive Battle Version for the first time and I think it’s the best way to approach bendy wire moving forward. Another note to consider is that the bendy wire for the first release has oxidized over time and isn’t as shiny as it used to be. It is now more of a dull gray wire. This is also apparent on the main claw as well where the diecast rods have begun to oxidize over time. The main rods of the new main grip claw are not encased in this protective plastic casing, so it will likely oxidize over time as well unless there was a special protective coating applied to it that can’t be seen. Time will tell.



The claw parts are all able to open and close with a wide range of motion. The underside of the main machine hand and the cable system claws have holes so that you can display them on the dedicated stand that is packaged with Mecha-King Ghidorah. There are no differences between the original stand and the new one. The machines parts fit any standard Heisei Godzilla. For these photos I used Godzilla (1989). The clean wings look fantastic and are painted the same as the damaged wings. The gunmetal is identical to the damaged wings paint application. The solar paneling is consistent with mild shading, and the red parts look great as well. As mentioned in the articulation section, the wings are designed to pop on and off very easily, which they do as advertised.



The wing’s solar panel areas are painted a little bit darker compared to the first release. After looking at them both, I actually prefer the original release paint application, however, looking at production stills the new release is more accurate to what’s seen in the movie. For the parts that have red markings, they continue to use the subdued red color. The backside of the wings is also painted with the gunmetal application with weathering effects throughout. On the damaged parts there is a darker coloration to emulate a burn effect from the damage done by Godzilla’s heat ray, which is an excellent touch.



Unfortunately, the Dorats were a first benefit exclusive to the first release and do not make a return for this one. It would’ve been nice to have them included to make the set more complete however, Tamashii Nations wants to give a reason for collectors who own the first release to double dip and get this one since the first release didn’t come with swappable damaged wing parts while also making the first release a special unique item in their collection that today’s collectors don’t have. That being said, if I had to take my pick between the first release and this one, I would definitely pick the renewed version as I feel it is the better figure overall and having damaged wings is just a lot better than Dorats.


Overall, the extras are great and well designed with a few improvements. Collectors new and old will enjoy them, especially the swappable damaged wing parts. Another thought is that if you own the release, now you can display that one with clean wings and this one with the damaged wings—no need to swap parts anymore!




Overall, I’m very happy with the Mecha-King Ghidorah Shinjuku Decisive Battle Special Set. The improvements made to the eye color, to the articulation in the middle neck, the revamped wing articulation, the accurate paint application, and the inclusion of damaged wing parts make this the ultimate Mecha-King Ghidorah figure. But is it worth the $280 price tag? The original release was $200 which this one sees an $80 increase. Granted, there are no Dorats in the renewed version but the added swappable damaged wing parts I feel make up for some of the price increase. Other factors in pricing, at the time of this writing, include a combination of the depreciation of Japanese Yen and the rise of costs of materials used to create these figures. As I said, it’s definitely worth it, but if you’re tight on a budget definitely wait for a sale in the future… But don’t wait too long as this is a highly coveted character in the line, so keep an eye out on market prices before deciding on pulling the trigger. I’d say that if you are able to score this for around $250 that would be an acceptable price point. The sculpt is phenomenal, the articulation is top-notch, and the paint application is spot on. Mecha-King Ghidorah definitely commands shelf presence in your display and every Godzilla collector should jump on this while it still available. It doesn’t get better than this.


Please enjoy the additional gallery below of Mecha-King Ghidorah brawling with Godzilla (1989).


*The buildings used are available through TomyTec & Outland Models.

*The backgrounds used can be purchased here.



Please enjoy the comparison gallery below. Make sure to checkout the SHOWCASE GALLERY for over 100 photos of Mecha-King Ghidorah in action!


 SDB (Left) vs. OG (Right)

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