Pacific Rim is one of the most exciting releases of the summer, and all signs suggest Guillermo Del Toro knocked it out of the park with his giant robots versus giant monsters opus. One thing is for sure– the various Jaegers and Kaiju on their way to the big screen sport some incredibly iconic and awesome designs, and they have now been translated beautifully by NECA’s new toy collection.
The first series of Pacific Rim figures features two of the heroic Jaegers and one Kaiju, all in a 7″ scale. We get the US Jaeger Gypsy Danger, China’s colossal defender Crimson Typhoon and Knifehead, one of the massive beasts which the Jaegers must defend against.
All three figures are incredibly well sculpted, looking exactly like their on screen counterparts, and the classic, instantly recognizable designs make for some great looking figures. Gypsy, the most humanoid of the Jaegers, is very cool with every armored panel, hydraulic and exhaust vent adding to his detail while not interrupting his overall sense of style.
Crimson Typhoon is probably the most interesting looking of the Jaegers, and the three armed warrior makes for another fantastic figure. I love the dinosaur-like hock joints on this guy, and his camera-esque head makes him very unique compared to Gypsy Danger, while very clearly still part of the same overall aesthetic.
Our first Kaiju is Knifehead, and he’s a mean looking monster. The four-armed creature has an almost shark-like quality in his pointed head, from which he gets his name. Guillermo Del Toro knows how to make a monster, and Knifehead is a distinct-looking creature, bucking the recent cinematic trend of anatomically ambiguous monsters like the Cloverfield creature, and NECA’s sculpt captures his design very well. There’s a great sense of texture to this beast, from his scaly skin to his shell-like back and chest, and he certainly looks nasty enough to be a match for the robot protectors.
The Pacific Rim figures all sport great sculpts and excellent paint details– there’s a very good gunmetal and black wash on the Jaegers which makes them look like actual, well-worn machines. It’s interesting that NECA opted for flat finishes on their red and blue armor, but I like the end result– it enhances that sense of real-world practicality in these guys, and the lack of a gloss finish makes the robots look far less like toys. I’m a big fan of the tampo work on both as well, especially Crimson Typhoon. Its various markings, Chinese characters and awesome dragon crest are as cool looking as they are thematically appropriate. Gypsy Danger gets less of these details (by design) but the red and white stripes and “34” stamps on his shoulders give him an aircraft carrier kind of vibe, which lends nicely to his massive size in the film.
Knifehead is largely dark grey but there’s a good mix of tones to give him depth and really spotlight the sculpt. The creature also features neon yellow lines on his arms and chest, which look very striking– I’m not sure if this pattern will have any relevance in the movie but it makes for an eye-catching pattern on the toy.
The Pacific Rim figures definitely look great, and these three are only serving to get me even more stoked for the movie. The one thing that these guys come up a little short in is the articulation department. These figures are by no means statues, but they do not feature the same hyper articulation we’ve seen in many of NECA’s recent toy lines. There’s more than enough to get some great poses– the Jaegers both feature ball heads, ball torsos, ball shoulders and hips, hinged elbows and knees, moving wrists and moving ankles. It’s a solid setup, and which works well without interrupting the great sculpting, but a few bits seem unduly cut short, like Typhoon’s forward-most right arm, which has a swivel shoulder instead of a ball.
Knifehead is the least articulated, mostly due to his unique design. He gets cut shoulders and hips, hinged elbows and ankles, a hinged jaw and a bendy tail. It’s not a lot, but it gets the job done and doesn’t impact the sculpt at all. The jaw is a nice surprise, and he looks great with it open or closed. It seems like a few more joints could have been added to this beast, too, like hinged wrists or ankles, or mobility in his second set of arms. Even without these, he looks great, and I understand NECA’s design choices, in reverence to the designs and also in light of the short turnaround time they’ve had for this property. I’ll take a little less articulation on a great looking toy, especially if it gets that figure out ahead of the movie’s release.
If you’ve been as smitten as I am by the design work in Pacific Rim, these action figures are absolute must-owns. They’re incredibly faithful to GDT’s iconic creature designs, and they’re a lot of fun to play with. I cannot wait to build out my Jaeger and Kaiju armies with future assortments from this promising toy line!
NECA’s Pacific Rim Wave One is available now. Check out their eBay store to get yours today!
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