I cannot think of a toy line that has evolved so dramatically in such a short amount of time as NECA’s Pacific Rim collection. While the original figures all featured gorgeous sculpts, they were limited thanks to a short lead-up time before the movie and the need to keep product cost as low as possible because Wal-Mart was considering the line.
The Wal-Mart thing didn’t happen, but NECA has made the best of the situation by upping the articulation, scale and detail in their more recent assortments of Jaegers and Kaiju. This new series, the third, takes things a step farther by splitting the monstrous Kaiju into their own deluxe line, leaving the basic spots to complete our team of “hero” Jaegers from the movie with Cherno Alpha and Coyote Tango.
Russian mech Cherno Alpha was probably my favorite robot design in Pacific Rim, and its new figure is wonderful. NECA totally nailed the strange proportions of the Jaeger, including its big, clunky smoke stack sort of head, and the gangly arms and legs with boxy hands and feet. The figure is quite poseable, with ball joint shoulders, waist, hips and ankles, hinged elbows and knees, and even a semi-functional neck joint under that giant armor plate. The figure’s forearms can also telescope out, replicating the hydraulic punches the robot can deliver to approaching Kaiju.
The paint apps on this guy are amazing, with lots of subtle weathering and grime worked into his military green and red metal plating. What I loved most about Pacific Rim as a movie was how lived-in this fantastic world felt, and this Cherno most certainly feels like he’s been through some stuff in the past.
Coyote Tango is one of the old school Jaegers from Japan, who we only see in flashback in the film. I’m really glad NECA decided to give Coyote the toy treatment anyway, because it is another great figure. Like Striker Eureka, Coyote is a more traditional anime-style mech, and NECA’s all new sculpt really captures his on screen appearance.
The figure features approximately the same articulation pattern as Cherno Alpha, with better movement of the head (obviously), and the awesome twin cannons which can slide up and down along his back and over the shoulders. I love the look of this Jaeger guns blazing, but I like that the signature weapons here can be adjusted to suit whatever look you’re going for. The ultra realistic weathering in Coyote’s paint is once again incredibly well done, adding lots of visual detail to break up what would run the risk of being a more dull, typical mech robot.
NECA’s work has always been impressive, but what makes them such a force in the collectible toy market more than anything is their drive to keep improving. I cannot think of another toymaker who would look at the very good first series of Pacific Rim figures and not think “Eh, they’re good enough.” And yet NECA, less than a year later, is already stepping up their design game in a big way, creating bigger and better and MORE FUN toys from this great movie. It’s hard not to respect someone willing to keep reaching past “very good” to GREAT, and NECA does this quite often. When it works out, like we’ve seen with the massive success of these awesome new Pacific Rim toys, I couldn’t be happier for them, or for collectors like me.
The Pacific Rim Series 3 Jaegers are available now at many etailers, as well as NECA’s eBay store. Click Here to order yours today!