Wednesday, 16 February 2022

TOP 5: S.H. MonsterArts I'd Like to See

Top 5 S.H. MonsterArts I'd Like to See

It's time for another My Shiny Toy Robots top five list and this time we're getting kaiju-sized and entering the world of S.H. MonsterArts! Since the line debuted back in 2011 Bandai Tamashii Nations have arguably led the way when it comes to high-end articulated Godzilla (and a few other franchises, but mainly Godzilla) figures, but it hasn't always been smooth-sailing for the line. Expensive figures that only get more expensive on the aftermarket, endless repaints and a focus seemingly only on Godzilla suit variants, there's so much potential Bandai have left untapped. So without further ado, here are the five characters I want most to join my (admittedly rather small) collection of S.H. MonsterArts figures!

5. Mechagodzilla (1975) 
Mechagodzilla (1975)

Out of all the monsters on this list, this one is definitely the most likely to happen – in fact it's surprising that it hasn't happened already! We all know how Bandai would rather repaint/retool existing moulds rather than go all in on brand new figures for this line, and with a 1974 Mechagodzilla already in existence (and in typical MonsterArts style, long sold out and costing a pretty penny on the aftermarket) it makes sense to retool it into the Terror of Mechagodzilla version. On top of all the subtle differences made to the suit the real highlight of this release would be that second head hidden underneath the main one, giving collectors who already own the 1974 version a considerably different version to display as part of their collection.

4. Gigan (1972) 
Gigan (1972)

The biggest problem of the S.H. MonsterArts line isn't the fact it solely focuses on Godzilla, it's the fact that it shows the Showa era as little love as it possibly can. Even amongst the myriad of Godzilla variants we've had over the years, the number of Showa era versions are distinctly lacking. Hopefully the Hedorah figure coming later this year will lead to more, but that feels like an exception rather than the start of something. With so many weird and wonderful creatures hailing from Godzilla's "superhero" years there's plenty of kaiju that would make fantastic figures, but a popular one like the original Gigan is a solid choice. The 2004 version was a bit hit with collectors, both back when it was first released in 2014 and its re-release last year. The Showa version may be considerably less hardcore, but it's still a fantastic design that Bandai could do wonders with. The Revoltech SFX version is pretty great, but a little too small to sit comfortably with the MonsterArts range. Plus, this version of Gigan would also go great alongside the HAF Zone Fighter if you're lucky enough to own that figure as well.

3. Jet Jaguar (1973) 
Jet Jaguar (1973)

Given his size and build Jet Jaguar is a character that might feel better suited to the S.H. Figuarts line, but given that everything Godzilla has stayed in MonsterArts so far (as well as all the MonsterArts-esque Ultraman kaiju figures still being considers Figuarts) let's just keep him here for now. Despite only having one film appearance to his name the original Jet Jaguar has always been popular among Godzilla fans, and his appearance in last year's Godzilla Singular Point has only enhanced that. With the anime version already scheduled for release later this year, a MonsterArts version of the original definitely seems in order. Just imagine how great that design would look with Figuarts-level articulation. The best thing is, at this scale he'd work alongside both human and kaiju-sized figures.

2. Megalon (1973)
Megalon (1973)

If you haven't realised it by now, I have a soft spot for the later years of the Showa era. Godzilla vs. Megalon may not be perceived by many as a particularly good film, but most Godzilla fans out there will happily preach about just how much fun it is. So of course I want the star of the film to go alongside Gigan and Jet Jaguar, because who could say no to a giant beetle monster with drills for hands that hops around like an angry bunny? I have many a fond memory of playing as Megalon on Godzilla: Save the Earth too, drilling into the ground and then popping up on unsuspecting opponents. Megalon is a brilliant looking kaiju that's well-deserving of an articulated figure – maybe not more so than other Showa era kaiju but then it's my wish list. Also it's not a monster that would require a great deal of accessories either, so collectors wouldn't feel short-changed when Bandai inevitably shaft them in that department.

1. Gyaos (1995) 

Make no mistake I LOVE Godzilla, but my heart really belongs to Gamera – or more specifically the Heisei era Gamera trilogy of the 1990s. These are some of the best kaiju films ever made, and if you haven't seen them I definitely recommend seeking them out now that Arrow have made them readily available to the English-speaking market. It was a rather pleasant surprise to see Bandai produce all three Gamera suits from the Heisei films a few years ago, but even then the collection feels rather lacking without some enemies to pit the giant terrapin against. While most would probably rather gun for either Legion or Iris given the complexity of their designs, I'd much rather have Gamera's most noted enemy join the MonsterArts line. Gamera: Guardian of the Universe is my favourite of the three films, and there's a lot of potential in a Gyaos figure. Flight stand, sonic beam effect part, alternate leg stump, miniature Gyaos figurines…there's so many cool accessories they could add to this release to make it something truly special. Again there's a perfectly fine Revoltech SFX version out there, but it's not something that could match up to Tamashii Nations quality. Most of all, it'd just be nice to see the line step outside the Godzilla franchise again.

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What characters would you like to see join the S.H. MonsterArts line? Let me know, as well as any ideas you may have for future top five pieces like this, in the comment section below!

2 comments:

Oar said...

Right there with you on wanting the classic Gigan! Its menancing (and maybe even cute?) in its own unique way.

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