The Pacific Rim toy line ended up being one of the big hits of the summer, with NECA’s first assortment selling out fast and furious as the movie hit theaters this Summer. Now, we’re treated to a second set, featuring two more Jaeger figures and a new Kaiju, and each one is even better than the previous releases.
The totally new Jaeger in this mix is Striker Eureka, the Australian mech from the film. The figure is a perfect realization of the Jaeger, with every sculpted detail in its armor plating and the mechanical robotics underneath. Striker was one of the more straight-up anime designs of the film, with its larger chest, big arms with twin sabers at the end and fins on its back. Striker is shorter and stockier than Gypsy Danger, and feels appropriately solid as a figure.
Striker Eureka gets a perfect paint job, with lots of nice detailing on top of the light grey armor, and, like Gypsy, the gold visor on its head definitely stands out. The figure is well articulated– thanks to some well done double-hinged shoulders, hinged elbows and knees, hinged wrists and hips, swivel waist and ball ankles. This allows you to get quite a few good poses out of the figure, despite its stylized proportions, and the ample articulation below the waist help to balance the figure’s top heavy design.
To save some tooling bucks, the other Jaeger in this series is a repaint– Gypsy Danger gets a new “battle damaged” deco, with burns, blast marks and other weathering adorning the same sculpt as the previous version. No one does weathering as well as NECA, so it goes without saying the paint apps here are amazing. This Gypsy looks like its been through some stuff (and if you’ve seen the movie, you know it has), and the new design, while obviously featuring much darker colors, has a realistic, lived-in quality that fits the Jaeger and the world of Pacific Rim perfectly.
The only new tooling on Gypsy is the forearms, which include a slot of its new accessories– a pair of segmented swords which mount over the hands. These weapons are again completely movie accurate, and help to further distinguish this version of the Jaeger from the original. My first Gypsy got stuck with some loose joints, but the new version is much tighter, with no floppy moving parts to worry about, making posing much more effective.
Of course, Jaegers are only half the equation of Pacific Rim, and NECA delivers another amazing Kaiju to round out the new set. And Leatherback is awesome, and one of the coolest toys of the year– this guy is HUGE! The beast’s simian proportions are translated perfectly here, from his massive arms to his big, solid belly… and despite his unique shape the figure manages to include a lot of articulation (way more than the previously released Knifehead from Series One). Leatherback sports a hinged jaw, swivel head, ball and socket shoulders and hips, hinged elbows and knees, ball wrists and ankles and individually jointed fingers.
The Kaiju looks great on his own, or standing alongside Knifehead, with the two sharing a similar grey skin and bioluminscent patterning. Looking at the difference in size, though, it’s amazing that NECA was able to release Leatherback as a standard priced figure, because everything about him– from the detail, articulation, size and overall quality, definitely suggests deluxe figure.
As a diehard Guillermo Del Toro and giant monsters fan, I was an easy sell on the Pacific Rim action figures, but I will admit there were certain limitations in articulation and poseability among the first wave of figures. I’m incredibly glad to see NECA correct those issues with these new figures, creating a trio of massively great figures, worthy of this awesome movie.