Zinogre is the third Monster Hunter entry for the S.H.MonsterArts line. This incarnation of Zinogre is seen in Monster Hunter: World’s DLC, ICEBORNE. This figure was created using 3D CGI data from the game in order to capture every detail and maintain a 1:1 screen accurate appearance. Zinogre is released as a general sales item in Japan and made available to the US through Bandai Namco Collectibles (Bluefin). Zinogre is priced with a hefty $127.99 MSRP. Though the figure may come with less accessories, it is rather bulky and boasts incredible detailing that is more complex than what we’ve seen in the current Monster Hunter lineup. So how did it turn out? Let’s dive in!

 

Design:

 

A little trivia for those who aren’t familiar with Monster Hunter. Zinogre is a quadrupedal monster with superficially lupine features. It has a very unique design--very wolf-like with sharp fangs and claws. Despite its bulky size, Zinogre is very agile and is able to perform many impressive aerial and land-based maneuvers and considered quite an adversary against the like of the mighty Rathalos. Its primary ability allows for it to summon electricity to amplify its attacks. Zinogre’s sculpt is incredibly faithful to what’s seen in game (MHW). As mentioned earlier, the figure was created from the 3D CGI data and looks to be 100% accurate to the source material.  If there’s one word to sum up the overall aesthetic used for Zinogre, it would have to be “spikey”. The entire sculpt is covered with scales, spikes, and fur. The figure itself is also made up of a harder plastic material compared to the average S.H.MonsterArts figure.

 

 

The face is streamlined, yet fierce. Zinogre sports a two-horned crest on its head, long ears, and what appears to be akin to an armored beard for the lower jaw. The upper jaw line and overall facial features are very reminiscent of a wolf setting it apart from the more dragon-oriented creatures in the world of Monster Hunter. The eyes are quite small, but work well. The mouth is interesting where inside it are teeth as you’d expect, but the outside of the jaw line is also serrated. I’m not sure if I would consider it another row of teeth as it’s apart of the outer mouth. It looks really cool either way. The underside of the neck is sculpted with familiar wyvern scales while the sides and top are covered in fur which continues along its backside and shoulder blades. It should be noted that the neck piece and fur parts are made from a translucent material allowing external light to illuminate them under the right conditions. A very cool effect. Another really cool addition to the fur on the back of the neck are the addition of several spikes interspersed.

 

 

Zinogre’s body has a lot going on, especially compared to Nargacuga. As mentioned earlier, it’s covered with scales, fur, and spikes giving it a unique aesthetic. Its chest is detailed with a rough scaly hide and a sharp pointed crest in the center. At the base of the neck, and continuing along the shoulder blades, are large spikes of varying sizes. Just for fun, I counted over 70! The top of its backside is essentially a mane—very detailed and life-like. The torso area is sculpted with a familiar dinosaur-like armored hide throughout. The waist and hip area continue with large spikes blended with the scales and fur. It’s very well done.

 

 

The arms are buff, defined, and terrifying. In more detail, the biceps are muscular and scaly while the forearms have that spiky armored hide with the translucent fur detailing on the back ends. The claws are huge and long. The detailing here is incredibly good. The legs look great and are similar to the arms design. The thighs continue with the armor hide with larger sculpted armored parts towards the knees. The legs are also significantly smaller in size. The knees are covered with armored spikes while the hind quarters are detailed with fur. The claws on the feet are smaller in size, but still sharp. It should be noted that the arms and legs are also made of translucent material as well, however since they’re painted with a non-opaque paint, it’s difficult for them to illuminate compared to the fur.

 

 

The tail isn’t too long. Instead, it is a bulky mass of spikes and fur. It’s essentially a club. The entire tail uses translucent materials, however only the fur parts illuminate when light shines through. The underside of the tail is just as spiky as its sides. At the base of the tail are four large spikes. It looks fantastic and the variation of details is refreshing. Overall, I would describe Zinogre as beautiful design while maintaining a terrifying presence. At the timing of this review, it is the best looking of the Monster Hunter figures thus far. It’s accurate to the source and looks just fantastic on the shelf. It doesn’t get any better than this.

 

Articulation:

 

The articulation engineering for Zinogre is fantastic given the complex shape and sculpt of the figure. I think they pulled it off quite well as the articulation is quite seamless in most parts, and with very few gaps. That’s not to say that there aren’t any but most can be avoided depending on the desired pose. The most noticeable gaps off the bat are the shoulder and hip areas. Surprisingly, the fur and spikes transition quite well and manage to hide most seams naturally. As the second quadruped in the S.H.MonsterArts line, this bodes well for future releases.

 

The head and neck area has fair range––the head can look left to right, about 30° each direction, while looking up is a bit more restricted due to the fur on the back of its neck. Zinogre can look straight down, 90°, and face the ground, a huge range of movement. Almost like it could tuck its head in for a barrel roll! Basic open and close functions work as expected. The mouth can open fairly wide. It is similar engineering as Nargacuga’s where there are pegs that fit into the upper jaw area––no ball joint. The neck area has similar movements as the head. The fur and spikes on the top side of the neck are broken into three pieces on ball joints. They’re sort of meant to be free-floating pieces to adjust with whichever direction the head and neck are positioned. In most cases it works really well, however, in some cases you may have to adjust it as they can look quite ugly with large gaps exposing Zinogre bear neck. By the way, they went as far as sculpting the neck area below the floating fur pieces. The tongue is not articulated, so don’t move it or you’ll risk breaking it.

 

 

The chest and abdomen areas have three points of articulation. The upper chest doesn’t have much range of movement as it barely swivels left to right as well as tilting upwards. However, when positioning the figure into an ab crunch the upper chest area does slide a little further downward. The torso area range of motion is very good by comparison. It can twist left to right at about 90°. Tilting the torso area backwards is limited due to the sculpt. The torso area can also tilt left to right at about 60° each way. Even though the upper chest area may not move as much, the torso area makes up for the lack of movements and offers quite a few fierce dynamic poses.

 

 

The arms have excellent range, probably even better than Nargacuga’s. Each arm has five points of articulation, all ball joints. The shoulder can rotate 360° and also can move inward and outward so that Zinogre can spread its arms whether it’s lifting to strike or to dig at the ground. The elbow areas have satisfactory range with a slight restriction bending outwards due to the sculpted fur. It can also be slightly rotated to adjust for better positioning. The front feet can tilt downward, just about 90°, while tilting upward is limited by the sculpt. It can also be rotated 360° left to right. The movement is so fluid you can just about get almost any pose out of these arms. Very well done. The legs and hip area also have a good amount of articulation. It’s so good that you can make Zinogre do the splits! Each leg has five points of articulation as well. As I mentioned earlier, the hips have a good range of movement. The hip area can also be rotated 360°. The knees are bit more restricted and can only slightly tilt up and down, mainly due to the sculpt. The hind leg area has much more movement--the claws of the feet can be positioned to touch the knees! They can also be positioned backwards and forwards to depict a charging stance as well. The rear feet are a little more restrictive compared to the front, only slightly rotating left to right and tilting up and down. They’re not as dynamic as the front but they work. The only thing that bothers me is that Zinogre is a bit heavier and in some poses the legs tend to collapse under themselves. Most neutral poses are fine but if you want to take the next level, I would recommend applying Kiki Fix to the rear joints of the legs to improve their tolerances so that they can hold dynamic poses better. Additionally, I wanted to mention that after applying Kiki Fix, I was able to pose Zinogre standing upright on its hind legs with no problems.

 

 

The tail has nine points of articulation, all ball joints. Thanks to the sheathing design, the tail has an incredible range of movement. It can swing left to right quite well and even twist in parts for more dynamic poses. Tilting it backwards has a surprising amount of movement given the sculpted fur and spikes on its top side. It can be positioned backwards at just about 90°. It can be tilted forward, curling towards the chest. It’s very satisfying to have Zinogre curl up in to a ball, although it looks more like a figure 8. The point is that it can sort of do a barrel roll… I did notice out-of-the-box that the base of the tail tends to droop creating an unsightly gap at the base of the body meeting the tail. I highly recommend applying Kiki Fix to the socket of this area as well so that it will strengthen the joint tolerances and hide the gap while creating your dynamic poses.

 

 

Overall, the articulation engineering on Monster Hunter’s third entry to the lineup has some great ideas. When I saw the promo pics for Zinogre I thought it would have been quite limited due to the complexity of the sculpt. I’m happy to see that it is still able to be dynamically positioned without sacrificing sculpt details. The joint tolerances are just right with no parts popping off easily. Gaps are fairly well sheathed in most cases and can easily be adjusted when exposed. I do think Nargacuga is more flexible then Zinogre, but I wouldn’t say that Nargacuga is the better figure in the end…

 

Paint:

 

Zinogre is a beautifully painted figure--another refreshing addition to the S.H.MonsterArts line. It’s color palette consists of blending shades of metallic blue and shades of white on the main body, fur with an off-white coloration, and dark yellows for the armored spikes. The figure is about 80% airbrushed with the rest utilizing dry brush techniques. Starting with the head, the upper jaw and skull are painted a metallic blue. The inner ear uses flesh tones. The crest is a solid dark yellow with what looks like a slight bluish overspray in parts. This could be intentional per the design but to me it looks a little unnatural. This may vary figure to figure. The eyes are digitally painted and quite small. It’s hard to tell if there’s any wonky paint going on, but it looks solid from what I can tell. The lower jaw uses the same paint application as the crest with a matte finish. It’s quite a contrast from the body as some parts are less shiny than others but somehow it still goes together. The inner mouth is painted with flesh tones including the tongue. The inner row of teeth on top and bottom jaws are painted white with no slop. Overall the head looks really great. The neck is mostly an off-white application with yellowish highlights to bring out the details of the fur. This is especially more noticeable when shining a light through the translucent pieces. The spikes on top of the neck are a bit of a lighter yellow, sort of like they’ve been frosted which is likely due to over-spray from the paint used on the fur. It doesn’t bother me much but it may bother some as the coloration is not consistent among the spikes. What’s interesting is that the back of the spikes are painted with an dollop of black paint. I’m not sure if this is 100% accurate, but it looks very off when you look at the figure from behind. The bottom of the neck, which uses wyvern scales, is a faded brown color.

 

 

The topside of the torso continues with the current paint scheme for the fur and spikes. No globs of paint noticed here. The backside of the yellow spikes are not painted black and look more natural. The torso area uses a metallic blue which bounces the light of the figure quite well. There are parts near the arms where the blue paint looks a little globbed on and turquoise in color. It does look a little off from the rest of the paint scheme but it is just a small section. Perhaps it’s meant to simulate a glow effect? Honestly, there are so many little details here, it’s a wonder how it’s painted so well in these areas in the first place! The underside of the torso is more of a faded brown coloration with the crest of the chest a frosted white. The abdomen area has some yellow and bluish coloration on the armor hide. It’s interesting because the figure becomes less metallic and shiny toward the base of the tail. Not saying that it looks bad, I’m just noting that there’s an interesting transition going on with the paint application. The main body parts here look like there airbrushed while the armored parts are dry brushed.

 

 

The arms and legs look fantastic. The tops of the arms feature the metallic blue with the armored bits painted a dark yellow color. The forearms are a faded brown color and blend nicely with the armored spikes. The fur parts have a little more yellowish highlights compared to the top side. The claws are very dark, some almost black, with dark yellow tips. The blending here is fantastic and very well implemented. I do want to note that the rear claws have a matte finish while the front claws have a glossy finish. The legs are similarly painted as the arms, however, the thighs or more of a matte finish of the metallic blue, which is also a bit darker as it transitions to the tail. The feet have a consistent semigloss finish and look natural. Overall, the arms and legs look great.

 

 

The topside of the tail’s fur is painted a much more yellowish white while the armored spikes become more of a frosted yellow. The transition isn’t jarring and looks natural, whether it was intentional or not. The tail’s armored spikes on its sides go from the dark yellow to more of a faded brownish color all the way to the tip. The bottom side of the tail is a muddy brown color with some elements of dry brushing for highlights. Some parts look a little globbed on, but I don’t think it’s too noticeable unless you really fixate on it. It’s likely to vary figure to figure. The blending and shading overall is absolutely fantastic. When shining a light through the translucent parts, the highlights really pop.

 

Overall, the paint application on this figure is fantastic and well thought out. It doesn’t feel rushed and the result is a very beautiful figure. Being a more colorful figure, it had the potential to have more issues, but even with the ones I mentioned, you’ll likely never notice unless you hold it up to your face. Thankfully the paint doesn’t seem to chip or flake easily while posing the figure either. I would say of the three figures in the line, at this current writing, Zinogre is the most beautiful to look at.

 

Accessories:

 

Zinogre comes with accessories to enhance its pose ability and overall value, as expected for the third entry of a new franchise being introduced into the line. It comes with alternate talon parts for both front and rear feet, as well as a dedicated pedestal stage in the shape of flat rock. Sort of similar to how Nargacuga came with dead trees pedestal stage. Unfortunately, Zinogre does not come with any effect parts like lightning/electricity.

 

 

The alternate talons feature a resting and aggressive state. The resting state positions two talons folded along the backside of the forearm (shipped installed on the figure) whereas the aggressive state they are splayed, great for slashing. I prefer the splayed aggressive state as it makes the figure look fierce. However, instead of swapping out an entire hand part, you only have to swap out the talon parts. I think they aimed to keep most of the figure intact while swapping parts, perhaps to save on production costs, however I find that these pieces don’t stay in very well and constantly fall out to the slightest touch. The resting state is quite secure, so no worries about those falling out. This is a warning to any collectors that have a tendency of losing pieces--be careful. The replacement parts for the feet are an actual foot swap, so no worries about those parts falling off.

 

 

The pedestal stage is a neat addition and looks great in the display case. It’s not something that I ever thought I would have wanted for a S.H.MonsterArts figure, but it’s a nice bonus. If future releases didn’t come special stages, I wouldn’t be heartbroken over it. The detailing is fantastic and the paint application is done quite well. If you didn’t know any better, it looks like an actual piece of rock. That being said, any extras from this line are a welcomed addition. I would have also liked to have seen some electricity effects packaged with it. I managed to purchase some blue lightning effects parts separately and they go quite nicely with it.

 

 

Please enjoy the additional gallery below featuring Zinogre, Nargacuga, and Rathalos!

 

 

 

 

*The Tamashii Rock Effect Set is sold separately.

*The Tamashii Lighting Effects are sold separately.

 

Overall:

 

Overall, Zinogre is a beautiful third entry for the Monster Hunter franchise. It looks fantastic, has good range of articulation, and comes with some accessories. Though it has a higher price tag, I think it’s definitely worth the value. It’s a bulky figure with a crazy-good sculpted details. The paint alone is also an eye catcher. If you’re able to get it around $115, it’s worth it. As of this writing there isn’t another Monster Hunter figure on the horizon, however it has been confirmed that more will be announced at a later date. Zinogre is available through retailers such as Amazon, Eknightmedia, and Awesome Collector. Be sure to grab one before it’s gone for good!

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