My S.H.MonsterArts Alien Warrior review is up at CollectionDX

Short version: great sculpt, fantastic articulation, joints are a little loose, figure is a tad on the small side, possibly my favorite Alien toy of all time.

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This has to be one of the busiest weekends ever for PGPoA. Usually I take weekends off. And I even skipped some news, like the new Jetfire and Unnamed One leaks.

Anyway, my review of the S.H.MonsterArts Alien Warrior from Alien vs. Predator has been posted on CollectionDX. (The reason it’s up over there is because it was a sample provided by Bluefin via my CDX connections, and part of my agreement with CDX is that any samples I get from their connections I review over there.)

Short version: great sculpt, fantastic articulation, joints are a little loose, figure is a tad on the small side, possibly my favorite Alien toy of all time.

There is now an Alien arms race between NECA and Bandai

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NECA has been hitting on all cylinders with their Aliens figures recently, offering super-articulated versions of everyone’s favorite xenomorphs. But this month also sees the release of the S.H.MonsterArts Alien from Alien vs. Predator, courtesy of Bandai’s collector-oriented division, Tamashii Nations. I’m hoping to get my hands on one to review in the near future.

There is one thing that’s always bugged me a bit about NECA figures: the 7″ scale. Why don’t they produce figures in the more popular 6″ scale? I don’t know for sure, but NECA started their Reel Toys line in the early 2000s as both a competitor and a complement to McFarlane Toys’ Movie Maniacs (which had started closer to a 6″ scale but then soon crept up to a 7″ scale, probably to allow for a bit more detail). In those early days, NECA wanted to appeal to Movie Maniacs collectors, so they went with the 7″ scale to make sure those collectors would feel comfortable placing their Reel Toys figures alongside their Movie Maniacs. Eventually NECA had produced so much of their own product in the 7″ scale that switching to a 6″ scale would risk alienating their own fan base.

To get back to Bandai, I was initially intrigued by the prospect of S.H.MonsterArts Aliens and Predator figures. I knew they would likely be in an actual 6″ scale, and would conceivably offer even better articulation than NECA (albeit at three times the price). But I was disappointed when the first two S.H.MonsterArts Alien and Predator figures were based on the two worst films of either franchise – Alien vs. Predator (the Alien) and Alien vs. Predator: Requiem (the Predator). While I still plan to get both figures – mostly to sate my curiosity more than  anything else – I’m not particularly fond of those designs. So it seemed that NECA would remain my one and only place for figures from my favorite Alien films.

But then Tamashii goes and announces this – an S.H.MonsterArts “Big Chap” from the original Alien. Continue reading “There is now an Alien arms race between NECA and Bandai”

Odds ‘n Ends > Halloween begins, S.H.MonsterArts AvP, random plugs

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  • It’s Halloween season! For as much holiday fun as can be fit into a blog, be sure you’re following Dinosaur Dracula, the current blog of Matt Caracappa, one of the minds behind the late, great X-Entertainment.com. Oh, and be sure to keep an eye around here as well, of course.
  • Pixel Dan has three new video reviews of upcoming MOTUC figures: Geldor, Strongor (Strongarm), and everyone’s favorite(?) pink bunny dictator, Plundor!
  • Speaking of Pixel Dan, it looks like he’s getting another #MyMosquitor – a new Mutagen Man for the current TMNT line, coming in spring. (I must confess I prefer the more grotesque vintage version a bit more.)
  • I’ve never even seen Alien vs. Predator: Requiem – even though it evidently sucks, I probably should get around to it anyway – but I’m still intrigued by the upcoming S.H.MonsterArts versions of the characters. Here’s the official Tamashii Nations page for them. They’ll run $60 apiece, of course, but they’ll be better-articulated then NECA’s figures, offer more accessories, alternate heads, and I believe they will be closer in scale to 6″ lines like Marvel Legends, Star Wars Black, and DCUC than NECA’s stuff (which is in a 7″ scale). While the movie may be dreadful, I don’t mind the designs themselves, so I’m considering getting these. The scale will probably be the determining factor for me, so I may have to see them either in person or next to some other figures first.
  • Requested plugs: T-Rav from Doomkick.com is running a contest for some cool classic villain drink coastersAcheson Creations is about 1/3rd of the way to their goal for their Kaiju Kaos: Super Robot StratoMaxx resin kit figure with just five days to go.

Review > Godzilla 1964 (S.H.MonsterArts, Tamashii Nations)

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As I’ve frequently mentioned on this site, I’ve behaved somewhat oddly in regard to my S.H.MonsterArts collection. I have always, always been an opener – an immediate opener (although sometimes I’ll hold off if I need to take pics for a review). But despite owning every single S.H.MonsterArts toy in existence, up to and including the subject of this review, I have only opened three (again, including this one) so far.

I’m really not sure why I waited so long to open them. Am I becoming a (horrors!) mint-on-card collector? No, I didn’t even have them on display, so that wasn’t it. Part of me wondered, am I getting tired of toys? It’s possible, but I don’t think that’s it either. I have other toys I open right away.

Part of the truth, I think, is that I just wasn’t really into the monster designs. With the exception of Godzilla 1985, I’m not really a fan of the Heisei era of Godzilla films. They were made in the 1990s and with few exceptions, they weren’t imported over here until the late 1990s when the American abomination of a film came out. By the time I watched the Heisei movies, I’d already grown nostalgic about the “Showa” era of Godzilla films (the 1950s through the 1970s). Also, I just didn’t enjoy the Heisei films – I found them rather dull affairs, with little of the fantasy and skill that went into the early Showa era.

So while I was very excited by the prospect of “super-articulated Godzilla figures,” I think I held off opening them because I was waiting for Tamashii Nations (the collector arm of Bandai that produces these figures) to get to the Showa era, at which point I would decide to either integrate my Heisei collection with the new Showa monsters, or just sell them off and focus on the Showa era.

Well, the Showa S.H.MonsterArts figure is finally here. Unfortunately, I found it very disappointing. Continue reading “Review > Godzilla 1964 (S.H.MonsterArts, Tamashii Nations)”

Ten Good and Bad Action Figure-related Things from SDCC 2013 (by Nemo Eight)

Please welcome a new PoeGhostal.com contributor, the eldritch Nemo Eight!

As a long time attendee of the San Diego Comic Con, Poe has asked me to share my thoughts on some of the major news from the show. Since this is primarily (at least to date) an action figure blog that’s where I’ll focus my attention, and fortunately that won’t be too hard.

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Continue reading “Ten Good and Bad Action Figure-related Things from SDCC 2013 (by Nemo Eight)”

S.H.MonsterArts Godzilla 2000 and Heisei Mothra revealed

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(Go straight to the bottom of the article if you want all the photos.)

It’s hard enough keeping up with the news on Western toy lines with Tamashii revealing S.H.MonsterArts figures with no fanfare at Wonderfest. Import Monsters always catches ’em, though. I’ve got to figure out where to keep an eye out.

Anyway, they revealed a Heisei-era Mothra from 1992’s Godzilla vs. Mothra (not entirely unexpected, since Battra was revealed last week) and also a new Godzilla based on his appearance in Godzilla 2000. If you’ve never seen it, it’s actually one of the most entertaining Godzilla films out there, especially in the modern era. The dubbing is good because the film had an actual American release. It’s a great movie to introduce someone to Godzilla with.

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I’m not a huge fan of the 2000 design. I prefer Godzilla’s traditional “leaf” spines to the crazy jagged projections; I don’t like the green skin; and I really dislike the rose-colored hue of the spikes. Fortunately, all of that is relatively downplayed on this figure, which is actually based on the original design maquette created by sculptor Yuji Sakai during the development of Godzilla 2000. So while it’s not a realistic 1:1 translation of the movie design, it’s arguably cooler than that.

And they seem to have articulated the hell out of Goji this time around, right down to the fingers – we haven’t seen that on a SHMA figure yet. Sakai sculpts almost all the S.H.MonsterArts stuff and this is one of his favorite G designs to sculpt (for obvious reasons, since it was his design), so I’m not surprised it seems to have gotten a lot of love.

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While I’m not a huge fan of this design – I was hoping for the “Kiryugoji” version, which is similar to this one but features charcoal skin and bone-colored spines – I’m finding myself pretty excited by this figure. It looks fantastic and badass. And I don’t have to worry about a red breath weapon, since I’ve already got one from the Godzilla effects pack.

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Mothra I’m not quite as excited about. I really, really wanted a Showa Mothra to go with Godzilla 1964. However, I will concede that to anyone but the most detail-oriented fan, the difference between the 1964 Mothra and the 1992 Mothra is not something you would notice unless you had both of them side-by-side.  Continue reading “S.H.MonsterArts Godzilla 2000 and Heisei Mothra revealed”