|Toy Design||Yuji Sakai|
Review by SentaiSeiya
Gigan is a fan-favorite kaiju that has appeared in several Godzilla films and even in Toho’s Zone Fighter TV series. Gigan’s first appearance was in 1972’s Godzilla VS. Gigan and its most recent appearance was in the last Toho-produced Godzilla film, Godzilla: Final Wars. We are here to check out the S.H. Monsterarts of the latter. In Final Wars, Gigan first appeared in a dormant/mummified state. The earth’s scientists are baffled as to how a monster from thousand years in the past could be part machine and part organic. As the film progresses, a new alien threat, the Xiliens, awaken Gigan and use it to subdue their soon-to-be-cattle, the humans. But things don’t go according to the Xilien’s plans. The humans release Godzilla from his icy slumber and the King of the Monsters is ready to take on the cyborg-kaiju.
The original Gigan is a comical mix of deadly and rotund. Sure it has blade-hands and a chainsaw belly. However, I look at it and think, “You really have to cut out some of those carbs, Gigan.” While the 2004 Gigan keeps some of the hallmark features of the original’s design, the 2004 version forgoes the pudgy proportions of the original in favor of a slimmer, sleeker and deadlier-looking design that leaves no doubt in the viewer’s mind that this monster means business. There are protrusions aplenty in the 2004 Gigan. Every section of this kaiju’s body has some sort of pointy bit sticking out of it.
The mono-eye of the original is replaced by a sleek, red visor that Gigan would shoot a scattershot beam out of.
Gigan’s blades, like the other metal parts of this design, sport a nice weathered paint job.
The whole toy is just very nicely detailed and painted to look very much like its onscreen counterpart.
The teeth are made of a soft plastic and are really the only part of the figure that I thought could have used a better paint job. Since you can see some of the color from under the paint, it is quite obvious they were molded in black and were painted over in white.
The S.H. Monsterarts aims to achieve a balance between movie-accurate designs and tons of articulation. The 2004 Gigan is probably the most flexible Godzilla toy in this line.
The neck has a ball joint at the base and where it connects to the head.
Gigan's opens and closes. However, the mouth cannot be fully closed due to the fact that Gigan’s got those chompers that keep the mouth from shutting completely.
The mandibles can rotate a full 360 degrees. It would have been nice if the mandibles were on a ball swivel, so that you could bring them closer to the mouth, as this is something the monster could do in the movie.
The shoulders are on ball swivels and the elbows are double jointed. The shoulder pads are also on ball joints, which gives the shoulder pads some flexibility to move along with the shoulders.
The figures sports an abs crunch.
The fins on the back shift up and down to accompany the movement of the abs crunch. The same goes for the saw in the belly. However, the belly-saw has a tendency of coming out of its place when you tilt the figure back.
The fins on the back can also spread out.
The articulation for the legs are as follows:
- The thighs are on a ball swivel
- The knees are double jointed
- The ankle is on a ball joint
- There is a hinge in the middle of the foot.
The tail features a multitude of ball joints that allow for the tail to be very twisty and poseable. Just a quick note about the spikes on the tail, a couple of them will overlap at times, which looks a bit odd.
So the articulation points is very much up to the S.H. Monsterarts standard, which is an awesome amount of articulation. However, what makes Gigan’s release better than many of the other Godzilla characters in this line is the fact that Gigan’s slim build makes use of all the joints to a better extent than many of the bulky monsters of the Godzilla universe. I found that very seldom did the plastic parts around the joints get in the way of the pose I was trying to achieve.
Gigan can even almost take a knee.
It can also lay fairly flat and look forward to simulate a flying pose.
But that is not all there is to this S.H. Monsterarts release, it also has a few neat extras.
During the Final Wars film, Gigan receives a pretty nasty wound from Godzilla. By that I mean that Godzilla uses his atomic breath to decapitate Gigan.
But losing its head does not permanently put Gigan out of commission. The aliens reattach Gigan’s slightly-upgraded head using a metallic neck brace, and give Gigan chainsaw hands in place blades it originally had.
The upgrades to the head are the new mandibles and horn.
Just like the other metal parts of this toy, the new chainsaw-hands are nicely weathered and detailed. The teeth of the saw are made of a very soft plastic and are on a belt that allows you to manually rotate the chainsaw. It is a neat, low-cost gimmick that is unfortunately hard to photograph.
This thing looks way deadlier now!
The S.H. Monsterarts GIgan is a wonderfully realized kaiju action figure. Articulation and accuracy to the source material are top notch. The design and engineering of this figure work very well to deliver a toy that can move in all sorts of manners and also do it without any unsightly gaps between the cuts in the mold. It is another solid entry into this line and highly recommended for any fans of the Final Wars movie.
And now let’s see how Gigan fares against Kiryu. (Kiryu just cannot seem to stay out of trouble these days.)
The two kaiju face off in the battle of the walking weapons.
Since I shot three alternate endings to this fight, think of this as the Special Edition version of the review. Pick whichever one you prefer.
Ending 1: Kiryu learns that you shouldn’t bring a knife to a chainsaw fight.
Ending 2: Gigan learns that you shouldn’t bring a chainsaw to an artillery fight.
Ending 3: Kiryu and Gigan learn that they are not very different from each other. Both are cyborg kaiju being controlled by more intelligent beings. They come to terms with the fact that they shouldn’t be fighting each other, and form an alliance to destroy the humans and Xiliens. But first, a hug to commemorate the new partnership.
|Posted 17 July, 2014 - 10:58 by SentaiSeiya|