Bandai & Tamashii Nation's incredible SH MONSTERARTS figures have been pretty amazing--if pretty much ALMOST completely entrenched in the 1990's--but now they have found a way to make them even better. Two effects sets have just been released, both just over $30, that will really push your figure shelf from "display" to "diorama."
Effects set 1 is a bunch of airplanes and tanks, and that's fine if that's what you are after, but Effects set 2 gives us the crucial element for Godzilla display: BUILDINGS!
Another great inclusion are two beams, which is really nice if you bought some of your figures a little late, and the "bonus beam piece" wasn't included. That's how my '94 Godzilla was, and I think the practice of excluding it is just dumb. That's like saying "If you pre-order Luke, you get a lightsaber, but if you wait a couple weeks, no dice." I mean, come on, Bandai!
|Unboxing: Top layer|
The explosion is cool, and it really got my attention when this set was announced (I think I ordered it in April, so it was a long wait), but it's a little wonky to attach it to the beam. While it also has a hole for using a second stand to support it, they should have produced a shorter version of the stand that attached to a second hole in the ground piece--I say this because otherwise, you end up with clear plastic skeletons going everywhere. This is exactly the reason I didn't buy Effects Set #1, because you have plastic forks going everywhere to support all those planes, and it gets, well, cluttered.
As it is, you have to turn the explosion until it lines up well enough, wedge it onto the beam, and hope it stays. Also, take note that this is one piece you don't want to leave on the floor and step on in the dark. It's a spike-ball to rival a medieval mace.
|Unboxing: Lower layer|
Maybe Bandai makes shorter stand pieces, and I just haven't discovered them yet. Each building has a hole on top for such a piece, and that would work better for airplanes. I've been buying up Tamashii "Act 4 Humanoid" stands, so maybe I could shorten some extra pieces. [Side note: these are the only stands I have found that work with Pacific Rim figures. Other side note: they are now carried by Barnes & Noble at $17 for a 3-pack!!!]
All in all, Bandai hit it way out of the park. So what is next? I think more of these Effect sets would be a welcome idea, but I have one other suggestion....BACKDROPS. Yes, I can get on the internets and find one, but I think a small baseplate that would hold some interchangable sky and city backdrops would really complete a Monsterarts diorama. Just a suggestion, Japan, if you are listening.
To conclude, I would like the class to stand, so we can recite the SH Monsterarts Theme Motto: