Friday, January 6, 2017

Review - NECA Godzilla 2001

2014 saw a huge revival in Godzilla's fame, and with it came a new toy line from NECA (the National Entertainment Collectibles Association) - a series focused solely on Godzilla's various incarnations through the series' history. Though NECA's work is often of relatively high quality, it seems their Godzillas often highly fluctuate between excellent, acceptable, or just plain bad.

Often, the line is seen as a cheaper, more available alternative to Bandai's coveted S.H. MonsterArts; this view solidified by NECA's choice of producing Godzilla from the 2001 film, "Giant Monsters All-Out Attack", very quickly after Bandai's announcement of the same design (check out my review of that figure here). Released in October of 2016 (though originally intended to come out in July, likely attempting to rival the SHMA offering in sales), he'll cost you roughly $20, depending on the retailer.

Sculpt - 3/5

This design, known as SokogekiGoji, is easily recognizable among the Godzilla's many looks. Having a heavy build, twisted spines, and large feet, he's quite intimidating in and of himself. 

NECA has done a fairly good job capturing the suit's subtleties. Different parts of it's body have different types of scales, ranging from bumps, to ridges, to simple lines. This gives the figure a very pleasing variety of rough textures. The bulky feet and wild spines are nice, and tiny additions such as the small, misplaced teeth and correctly shaped spines show there was a good attempt to remain accurate.

While the little details seem to have been picked up, more upfront issues make them a bit less impressive. First and foremost is the 'off' head sculpt; from some angles it looks somewhat close to the actual suit's, while in others, it comes off as overly cartoony. Big goofy teeth, an over-exaggerated browline, and and ugly underbite do nothing to alleviate this issue. Beyond any accuracy issues, there's also some technical problems, which force the figure into a noticeable hunch, and really limit the articulation. Despite the hunch, he comes in at 6".

Articulation - 2.5/5

With a total of 21 points of articulation, consisting primarily of hinges and double ball joints, one would think there's opportunity for a variety of poses; however, thanks to the aforementioned hunch, it's limited to a very small few. 

The hunch itself has made it so that the ball joint in between Godzilla's upper and lower halves cannot allow for any stance but the forced lean forward. This really neuters how many unique poses the figure can achieve, as even the neck's ball joint cannot move fully upright. Then there's the very bad jaw hinge; not only is it precariously loose on it's pegs, it barely lines up with the rest of the head sculpt.

Everything else is alright, and can allow for some nice poses. As usual with NECA's figures, the end of the tail is a bendable wire. I highly prefer the segmented tails common on SHMA figures, and kind of see this as a cheap choice.

Paint - 2.5/5

Usually, Godzilla consists of primarily monochromatic colors. However, with every release so far, NECA has insisted upon an (surprisingly, to some) inaccurate green wash. Though it looks nice for what it is, it takes even more away from the accuracy.

One will notice in most pictures that the jaw has traces of pink showing through; this is because the jawpiece itself was moulded in pink, and painted over in black. For whatever reason, this has been a consistent issue on this figure, and really makes the head look low quality. The back of the jaw is also entirely unpainted, leaving an odd black abyss at the end of his mouth.

The only outstanding paint work is the spines, which I actually like a bit more than the aforementioned SHMA edition; the spray is very strong, and fades well.

Fun Factor - 3.5/5

He's cheap, he's mostly sturdy, and though he's kind of inaccurate, he makes a fine mass-market figure of this design. The only issue here is that hunch, which cuts off a lot of the toy's potential by keeping poses all pretty similar. Far from being a bad figure when it comes to play, but not as good as it could be all-around.

Overall - 3/5

NECA's Godzilla products have greatly varied in quality, and SokogekiGoji seems to fall squarely in the middle. He's not totally inaccurate, but there's too many things wrong to call him lifelike. The articulation serves it's purpose, but can't do all that it could because of various problems. The paint looks alright on the surface, but falls apart upon inspection; once again, not a poor offering - he's on the higher end of 'middle ground', at least among NECA's figures - but not among the best, either.

It's pretty easy to see the huge differences between SHMA and NECA's versions of the character, and it's safe to say both are serviceable for their price and collector's range. SHMA provides utmost quality for a higher price tag, whereas NECA gives what it can for less. Not a bad trade off, all things considered. 

No comments:

Post a Comment