Far East Monsters Destroy All Monsters Godzilla

Obviously, I like reviewing action figures, mini-busts, statues, and other assorted toys and collectibles.  If I didn't doing it four times a week might be a tough job.

But these days, there seems to be fewer and fewer companies, and fewer and fewer licenses.  So the best kind of review is for a product from a new company.

Tonight that new company is Far East Monsters.  They're first series of figures is based on the film Destroy All Monsters, and will include all ELEVEN monsters from the film!  The bases for the figures are designed to fit together, forming huge battle scene.  Each figure also has sounds and lights, adding to the cool factor.

The first figure in the series is Godzilla, available now.  The SRP is $45.  Up next will be Ghidorah, followed by the rest of the series.


Packaging - ***1/2
The package is collector friendly, with just a few pieces of tape standing between you and the figure.  I also really like the style of graphics and text, which have a throwback look to not just the old Godzilla movies, but the B movies of the 50's and 60's in general.

A plus is also the window up front so that you can see the figure before you buy.  This is more a statue than a figure, and having that window allows you to evaluate the critical aspects of sculpt and paint.

Sculpting - ****
The detail work on the body itself is quite impressive, with a ton of deep texture that matches the film version quite well.  I'm not an expert on the big G, but his internal proportions (neck length, head to body size, limb length, etc.) look quite good too, and this is one of the nicest Godzilla's in this scale I've seen.  Compare the quality of the detail here to something from Bandai or the Medicom 12" suit, and you'll see what I'm talking about.

The figure is actually made of plastic, PVC and resin, which gives him a real heft.  Not only does he look more like a statue, he feels more like one too. 

The sculpted pose is a standard battle pose, which works fine when he's on his own.  I'm betting that the design also works well with the other monsters, once they are released.

This guy is about 7" tall with the base, making him closer to 6" on his own.

Paint - ***
There's not a ton of paint detail on Godzilla - it's not like he had a lot of small details on the costume.  But the what is here is done relatively well.  The eyes are clean, and the claws are dirty in an appropriate way.  There's a fair amount of dry brushing type work to bring out highlights, especially on the clear spikes on his back, and even the base has some nice work.

There's a few issues, including some slop around the teeth, but considering the source material this is based on, it's certainly above average work.

Articulation - Bupkis
I'm not counting the lack of articulation against this guy, since I knew it going in and that's the intention of the design.  You wouldn't count it against a statue, and that's really what this is.

However it is worth noting if you were expecting this to be an articulated figure you could pose.  It's not, and has zero articulation.  I'm betting the pose will work with the other figures in the series once they are released.

Accessories - *1/2
Surprise - there's an accessory!  Each figure in the series will come with one piece of the nameplat "Destroy All Monsters!".  These are 3-D blocks that sit together to form the overall logo.  Godzilla comes with the center word "All", which is shorter in height than the words that will go on either side.  It's an idea everyone will like better once the whole series is out.  Til then, it's just a good idea that's not quite finished.

While this score seems low, it actually helps the overall since the expectation was actually no accessory.

Light/Sound Feature - ***1/2
Press a rock-like button on the top of the base, and Godzilla issues the usual roar.  As the roar continues, first the back spikes light up, and then the mouth lights up, both in a bluish white color.  The feature works well and consistently, and the sound and light are both clear and strong.

There is only the one sound, and it does seem a bit cut off, as if he was interrupted in the middle of a sentence.  But the company claims that this sound clip is unique to this product, and not available in any other current product on the market.

Fun Factor - *1/2
These aren't really meant as toys.  The light and sound feature works well, but this is more of an adult collectible.  Again, this isn't something that hurts my overall, but if you're looking for a toy for your six year old, this one isn't it.

Value - *1/2
Ah, but this is a category where it takes a hit.  At $45, it's an expensive little statue.

Things to Watch Out For - 
Not much.  I'm betting the general quality of paint and sculpt is going to be pretty consistent, with little to worry about in terms of quality overall as well.

Overall - ***
The sculpt is extremely nice, and while the paint has a few issues, it's solid work.  The big issue here is simply the cost, which is quite a bit higher than I expected based on the product.

If the Value score carries more weight for you, this figure will drop another half star or more.  For me, the fact that this is the first product from a new company adds weight to the quality and reduces some of my concerns of price.  For a start up to get off the ground, they often have to charge more than larger, more established companies.  Clearly, this series isn't going to be for the faint of heart or short of change, since you'll drop about $500 to complete it, but the serious fan will enjoy.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpt -  ****
Paint - ***
Articulation - Bupkis
Accessories - *1/2
Fun Factor - *1/2
Value -  *1/2
Overall - ***

Where to Buy -
Online options include these terrific sponsors:

- Time and Space Toys has him listed at $45.

Related Links -
I've had a fair share of Godzilla related reviews:

- There's the guest review of the Final Wars Godzilla, the Final Wars Gigan and Burning Godzilla, the Complete Wars series 3, Complete Works 2, Complete Works series 1, the RAH 12" Godzilla, and the Bandai's Movie Monsters version.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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