The fifth series of Pacific Rim Jaegers is hitting store now, and it includes another all new mech seen briefly in the beginning of Guillermo Del Toro’s movie, as well as a new variant of our hero Gipsy Danger. This is the same “one new, one hero variant” setup we saw for the previous wave of figures (and for the upcoming Series 6, as well), and I’d say it works quite well.
Let’s start with the all new figure, Romeo Blue, who is easily one of the best Jaeger toys NECA has produced. Romeo is a Mark I Jaeger, so he’s got a cool, slightly less human form not unlike other old school robots such as Tacit Ronin or Cherno Alpha. Romeo features a unique silhouette– especially the fin-like crest stemming off its chest– and NECA has really worked wonders inserting plenty of useful articulation in this design.
Romeo features an articulated neck, ball joint waist, ball shoulders and hips, double-hinged elbows and knees, swivels and hinges in the hands, and ball and socket ankles. I’m totally blown away by the hands, especially– the swivel wrists and hinged “fingers” sport an uncanny range of motion, and even these small parts can totally change the overall appearance and energy of the figure.
As his name suggests, Romeo Blue is predominantly blue, a somewhat deeper shade than his predecessor Gipsy. The red trim and gunmetal mechanics beneath the armor plating totally allow Romeo to echo Gipsy’s design, while remaining totally its own robot, which I love. It adds to the wonderful lived-in tone of the world of Pacific Rim– seeing the mech that most likely Gipsy Danger would later be built off of would be very cool, even if Romeo wasn’t as good as he is.
More than anything, Romeo Blue is great because of his sturdiness. This figure is solid, and his joints are tight but secure, making him feel way more durable than most of the previous Jaeger toys. This is great, as Romeo sort of feels like the first figure in the line who could withstand actually being played with, without fear of breakage. Looking at the steps NECA has made in terms of design and quality control, Romeo Blue gives me hope that we will someday see new versions of the rest of the A-list Jaegers, like Striker and Cherno, with this same hyper-focused attention to detail and durability.
I’ll be honest, I was going to pass on the latest Gipsy Danger variant, but in hindsight I am completely glad I changed my mind and bought him. The “Anchorage Attack” version of the robot features a new battle damage design, now merging both tarnished paint deco AND all-new tooling, including a sick looking ripped-off left arm.
Gipsy also features a new head with half the visor torn away (along with poor co-pilot Yancy), and a hull breach in the chest, courtesy of Knifehead’s signature attack. The detailing on these damaged spots is awesome– all torn and rendered metal and exposed wiring and mechanics– and the paint work is great, with a bright orange trim that suggests fire and electrical malfunctions offset against the dark grey robotics and tarnished blue armor of the Jaeger’s body. It’s a simple, very cool effect.
The new tooling and awesome paint work would probably be enough motivation to convince you this new Gipsy is worth picking up, but NECA brings things a step beyond, adding in an alternate right arm transformed into a plasma cannon. This all new piece swaps out at the lower ball of the jointed elbows, and both forearms fit securely in place. The cannon features a great sculpt, and since this Gipsy shares a base with the Series 4 figure, it is possible to switch out the cannon arm on that non damaged Gipsy as well.
We’re getting ever closer to two years since Pacific Rim hit theaters, and NECA’s toy line shows no signs of stopping. Part of that is the source material; Guillermo Del Toro introduced us to a very cool, fully realized world of Jaegers and Kaiju, one many of us have been dying to revisit as many times as possible. But part of the success of this toy line is also thanks directly to NECA. They have managed to improve with each new release, upping the detail, and the articulation, and the overall durability of their figures, with the end result being phenomenal releases like Romeo Blue and the latest Gipsy Danger.
I’ll keep buying NECA’s Pacific Rim toys as long as they keep making them, because I love this movie, sure… but also because I love great action figures. And at this point, regardless of the property they are even based on, NECA’s Pacific Rim toys are without a doubt some of the finest you will find in the toy aisle.