REVIEW AND PHOTOS: JOHN STANOWSKI
In a standard pose, the NECA Godzilla figure is about 6 inches (15.24 cm) tall. With the tail laid down flat, it’s about 12 inches (30cm) long. Sans any split poses, the figure is slightly over 3 inches (7.6 cm) wide. It weighs in at about a pound (.45 kg). It features 19 points of articulation (not including the wire tail tip). It was released May 2014.
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
This figure has a deceptive name: “Godzilla 12 Inch Head-to-Tail Action Figure.” While technically an accurate description, some collectors have ordered this figure believing that it’s 12 inches TALL. It’s not. It’s 12 inches from head to tail, as in length. (But don’t fret, there really is a 12″ tall version on the way, but more on that later.)
The NECA Godzilla 12-inch Head-to-Tail Action Figure comes packaged in the standard NECA clamshell packaging (same as their Pacific Rim figures). Opening these can be a pain, and you could give yourself a good jab with serrated plastic if you’re not careful when you open it. I took a pair of scissors and cut across the top, and then down both sides. It opened pretty easy after that.
Inside the figure is in two pieces (main body and tail) which are wire-tied into the shell.
PUTTING ON THE TAIL
There is a double ball joint at the end of the tail. Sorry, I’m not up on the super-articulated terminology, but this joint looks like an old-fashioned barbell, with a ball on either end. The receiving end on the tail looks to be made of soft plastic. To attach, just straighten out the joint at the end of the body, grab the tail close to the joint and Puuuuush! And then puuuuuuush again. I had trouble getting it on and at one point I thought it was on as far as it could go yet left a huge gap. But after another push, it suddenly popped right in. I later learned that warming the “female” part of the tail joint with a hair dryer makes it more cooperative when assembling.
NECA, you did good. You did really good. You did a good, good thing.
I had low expections for this figure. A combination of the production photos and its low price left me expecting a subpar figure.
My first hint at being wrong － oh, so wrong － was when I finally laid my eyes on it through the clamshell packaging. And then it was the weight; this thing has a bit of heft to it!
No lie, I had a crazy, involuntary grin on my face while I opened it. I’m grinning now just looking at it besides the computer.
NECA, you did good. You did really good. You did a good, good thing.
I thought I read somewhere that the sculpt for this figure came from CGI data right from the movie. I’ve only seen the movie once so far and this new design isn’t burned into my brain like all of the classics are, so I can’t confirm it. But just let me just say that, either way, it looks AMAZING.
Godzilla 2014 has a skin pattern far more complex than the traditional, standard tree-bark texture from classic Godzillas. There’s a TON of subtle pattern changes all over the body, and they’re all here on the figure. The details may be a bit softer than on the upcoming S.H. MonsterArts, but it’s still pretty damn impressive.
Note: the lower jaw, end tail piece and dorsal fins are made from softer, bendy material.
What paint job? Apart from the head and chest, there’s not much to see here. The NECA Godzilla 12-inch Head-to-Tail Action Figure is pretty much just black. No highlights*, just black.
I won’t lie. Yes, it would have been nice if this figure had subtle highlights over the black. But, the black paint on this figure is semi-glossy. It’s not shiny enough to look like a cheap, plastic toy, but it has just the right amount of shine to it to let the light play off the detailed texture of the skin.
*The chest and front of the neck does come brushed with a super subtle dark green which you may not notice right away. This blackish, olive green is also used on the toes.
The inside of the mouth is painted a non-toyish, reserved red and, somehow, they managed to get those tiny teeth white. Nice touch! The eyes are a hint of yellow, but are hard to see since they’re so small.
There are plenty of photos online from collectors who have received a variation in the paint scheme. Some figures came with blueish highlights brushed over the higher elevations on the textured skin. I don’t have this version and I’m not sure I want to. I may just be mesmerized by what I have in front of me. So, keep in mind when you order this figure that you might get something that looks slightly different than the photos posted here.
When I first saw the publicity photos for the NECA Godzilla 2014 figure, I thought the joints were lame. Based on what I saw from the photos, it looked like the joints were going to be overly simple and just rotate like the Jaks Pacific. I was wrong, wrong, wrong! It turns out a surprising amount of thought went into the articulation.
There is a joint at the back of the head which hardly gives you any movement at all and doesn’t seem to be of much use. The base of the neck does better, but the sculpt on the back starts to get in the way. Not much of a problem, since turning the neck too much just doesn’t look good as the detail on the front and back only line up when the figure is looking forward. The jaw is hinged and was a bit stiff at first but it loosened up after a while.
The waist turns a bit, but not much. Surprisingly, the mismatched sculpt doesn’t look bad at all when you do rotate it. One of the dorsal fins on the top half of the body extends down past the joint and can collide with the first fin on the lower body but this hasn’t been much of a problem so far.
I’m not really sure what’s going on at the shoulders, but I like it! The shoulders not only rotate well, but they can dip in and out, just like the “barbell” joint I mentioned on the tail. There’s a LOT you can do with the shoulders. The elbows are hinged and can rotate. Again, lots you can do. The wrists rotate and also seem to have the ability to move up and down as well. This is a lot more than I was expecting.
The hips move the same way as the shoulders. Again, there’s a lot you can do with them. But if you go too far, you’ll get gaps. The knees can completely rotate but they don’t bend! If you want to get a stepping pose, you’ll have to rely on the hip joints for that. The ankles rotate and can be tilted up and down. I suppose this means they’re on ball joints but there’s not much room to tilt them sideways.
UPDATE: The knees DO bend! I just watched Unimportant Reviews review of this figure which set me straight. (See link below). The knees are so stiff I just assumed they only rotated. If you’re bending the knees for the first time, keep in mind that they are most likely already in the bent back position. So try to bend them forward for straighter legs is needed.
The tail is in 5 pieces with 4 double-ended ball joints (sorry, I’m not up on the articulation joint lingo). Because of this, the upper half of the tail has a ridulous amount of articulation. I might go so far as to say a bit too much.
The last segment of the tail (the one you had to attach after opening) is about 7 inches long when straight. It comes with further articulation in the form of an internal wire which ends about 3 inches from the tip. Keep this in mind when bending it so that you don’t force the wire to rip through the soft, rubber skin. Also, because the end tail segment is soft, I fear that years from now it may dry up and crack the same way the tails on all of my MacFarlane Alien figures either did or are about to do. I can see why NECA did it this way though. The tail gets very, very thin at the end, but S.H. MonsterArts was able to articulate something just as thin with their Destroyah Evolution Pack. Ah, but this is only a $20 figure.
I’m not going to post photos of different poses, kung fu moves or dance splits. That’s not my thing. But you can see plenty of pose shots on the Super Articulated Kaiju Collector Facebook Group; one of my favorite groups!
The NECA is an okay match for the S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla 2000.
And a good match for the first NECA Knifehead (Pacific Rim).
But you can forget about having it size up to your NECA jaegers.
SHOULD YOU GET IT?
If you want/need a respectable Godzilla 2014 in your collection right now, then, hell, yes! It’s only $18-$20 and it’s out now. But if you can bear to wait a little longer there are other options on the way…
The upcoming S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla 2014 is going to blow the 6″ NECA out of the water. And it should be a little taller, too. But, so will its price tag of $68. (BTW, it looks like SHMA will be up to their old tricks again. Check out that gap in the fins.) Expect this figure in September/October 2014.
And then there’s the NECA 24-Inch Head-to-Tail Action Figure. This one will be 12 inches tall. TWELVE INCHES TALL. That’s gonna be one big hunk of plastic! And if X-Plus doesn’t get around to giving Goji 2014 the vinyl treatment, this might be sit well on the shelves with your 30cm Series. This figure is expected to arrive July 2014 for $50-$60.
A day has gone by since I received this figure in the mail and started this review. And today it strikes me as looking a little plain with its 96% plain black paint scheme. But it’s still cool enough to make me grin two days in a row.
• Photo gallery of the NECA 12 Inch Head-to-Tail Action Figure.
• Kaiju Planet Review of the NECA 12 Inch Head-to-Tail Action Figure.
• Unimportant Reviews video review of the NECA 12 Inch Head-to-Tail Action Figure.
• Rich Eso’s Video Review of the NECA 12 Inch Head-to-Tail Action Figure.
• Diego Doom Video Review of the NECA 12 Inch Head-to-Tail Action Figure.