S.H.MonsterArts Interview 2020
Bandai Tamashii Nations - SDCC@HOME 2020
July 21, 2020
Event held from July 16-22, 2020
Interview by The Articulations Series
Daiki Fukaura, Senior Brand Manager of Tamashii Nations
The Articulation Series (TAS): S.H.MonsterArts collectors want to know: Why so many Godzilla molds for the last 5 years? Aside from the recent KOTM movie tie-in figures, the last new sculpt of a character that wasn't some form of Godzilla was released in February 2015 (Mecha-King Ghidorah). With a franchise that has so many enemies and allies, fans want to know if they’ll see more?
Fukaura: We care about our fans feedback and the release plan is based on fan demand. We understand the voice for more non-godzilla characters and we’ll consider this for future releases.
TAS: Special Color variants: What's the decision behind this?
Fukaura: This was decided from fan demand. We also would like fans, new and old, to have the opportunity to enjoy more by improving our products while not devaluing the original release.
TAS: Let's back up for a second, this question was asked in 2013, but perhaps the answer has changed: what goes into the decision making process for the next S.H.MonsterArts figure?
Fukaura: The answer hasn’t changed; it all comes from fan demand. We are listening to their voices from our questionnaires and any occasions [events] like this. We’ll try our best to have more to enjoy for the fans.
TAS: In one of our past interviews with Tamashii Nations, it was mentioned the line was going in a more premium direction. Later the KOU KYOU KYOKU (Lights, Sound, and Song) subline was revealed. Was this that premium direction or were there other things in mind that haven't been revealed yet? Are you able to share what those things are at this time?
Fukaura: Tough question, haha. Yes, we have more projects in mind and hoping to reveal soon. We hope all the fans will be excited!
TAS: On the subject of the KOU KYOU KYOKU subline, we've only seen one release, Godzilla (1989). During Tamashii Nations 2017 presentation, Godzilla (2016) was teased as the second entry. It has since been in prototype limbo, but fans are curious: will it ever see a release and are there plans to continue that subline in general?
Fukaura: It is currently on hold. Nothing is ever really cancelled. When it was teased for S.H.MonsterArts, it was unlikely to produce at the time. It needs more process and efforts. We’re managing the balance for the release with other brands and hoping we announce a new release soon.
TAS: S.H.MonsterArts paint applications compared to the prototypes: could you maybe explain the process how these figures are painted and what goes into the quality control? A common criticism are eyes not aligned correctly or lack of paint on the teeth/claws-- are those being actively addressed?
Fukaura: So sorry for disappointment! Our quality control is managed by highly skilled factories only. Sometimes product quality will not match with fans expectations or due to mass production limitations. We are working to improve the situation daily.
TAS: Let's talk about Monster Hunter. It was recently unveiled as a new franchise for the S.H.MonsterArts line. How did that come about behind the scenes? Was this something that was looked into the past or was the timing right with the release of Monster Hunter World and with the new Monster Hunter movie on the horizon?
Fukaura: As you know, Monster Hunter is played worldwide and we want all the fans to enjoy our products. As you mentioned, the new movie is coming up and we wish fans from there can enjoy as well.
TAS: Up to this point, S.H.MonsterArts has largely focused on famous movie monster properties, but this is the first from a video game franchise. Does this open more doors for other franchises that aren't movie related for the S.H.MonsterArts line?
Fukaura: Yes! We’re hoping to expand our experience & technology to more fans and looking forward to release more franchises.
TAS: Nargacuga and Rathalos are the first entries in the line-up, it was said that the creation of these figures were derived from the 3D CGI models used from the games. Does this make the creation process more expensive versus hand sculpting?
Fukaura: Also tough question, haha. It depends on the process of each character, so it’s hard to say. But we can say that we’re open to any new technology to improve our products.
TAS: After seeing a lot of effort put into the articulation engineering for Rathalos' wings and including an additional set of wings that are folded, was this ever considered for King Ghidorah (2019)? Or maybe plans for a King Ghidorah (2019) 2.0 Ver. in the future…
Fukaura: Thanks for the advice, we could do a Ver 2.0 ;-)
TAS: What is the best way for USA consumers to provide feedback and character suggestions?
Fukaura: We ask fans share their feedback through Tamashii Nations product surveys at release of a product. Feedback is much appreciated and there are sections in these surveys that let fans voice what they are looking forward to in future release. You can always make suggestions on our social media as well.
TAS: Monster Hunter fans, and even Godzilla fans, are impressed with the direction Tamashii Nations is taking with Monster Hunter creatures. Are there plans to produce more creatures from the games in the future?
Fukaura: Thank you so much!! We appreciate for their support and Yes, we’re planning for more releases.
TAS: Is there anything you want to share with the fans regarding S.H.MonsterArts Monster Hunter that we may not have touched on?
Fukaura: We have put every effort into these products and hoping many fans to enjoy them. If anyone does not know about our upcoming Monster Hunter products, please access the link below and see details.
TAS: Can you say anything about what's in store for the future of the S.H.MonsterArts line heading with the Godzilla franchise?
Fukaura: No spoilers! For now, you can view prototypes at latest TAMASHII NATIONS event “SDCC@HOME”. So please check out the link below and engage in the virtual tour of Tamashii Nations Tokyo!
TAS: Anything else you would like to say to the fans?
Fukaura: Thank you to all the fans supporting our brand and we hope you continue to enjoy our products. We’re planning more exciting projects, so keep following below for official updates!!!
TAS: Thank you for your time and responses!
For more information on current S.H.MonsterArts preorders:
• S.H.MonsterArts Godzilla (2019) Event Exclusive
• S.H.MonsterArts Godzilla (2002) Reissue
• S.H.MonsterArts Godzilla (1954) Reissue
• S.H.MonsterArts Nargacuga
• S.H.MonsterArts Rathalos
• S.H.MonsterArts Godzilla (2001) Heat Ray Ver.
• S.H.MonsterArts Biollante Special Color Version
Bandai Tamashii Nations and Bluefin Brands Social Media: