Last year saw the release of a lot of great movies, but my favorite was definitely Pacific Rim, Guillermo Del Toro’s tribute to Japanese giant robots vs. giant monsters movies. The film had some really great design work, especially the Jaegers. NECA acquired the license to the film and has done three series of figures. The first two waves were perfectly fine, and even gave us a pretty great figure of Jaeger Striker Eureka, but they weren’t quite on the same level as the movie.
With the third series of figures, NECA announced that they had heard fan complaints and they would be stepping up the quality of the figures. Did they succeed?
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Cherno Alpha was one of the four main Jaegers featured in the film. Cherno is Russia’s resident Jaeger and is a Mark I, making it the oldest of the Jaegers still in action. Cherno had the boxiest of the Jaeger designs, taking more after the giant robots of old than the others. Cherno’s figure stands about 8 inches tall and features 22 points of articulation. While the amount of articulation hasn’t changed that much, the usability of it has been tremendously improved. The range of motion on this figure is tremendously good. He can not only take some dynamic poses, but he can hold them without too much worry of toppling, something that really can’t be said of any of the figures from the first two series. The articulation also includes moving fingers and fists that can slide back and forth, allowing Cherno to deliver some harder hits. Cherno’s sculpt looks spot on to the design from the movie, and the figure doesn’t suffer from any of the “gummy” details that plagued Gypsy. The paint work has also taken a step up. Previous Jaegers used molded plastic for the majority of their coloring, resulting in flatter colors on the figures. This didn’t bug me initially, but after seeing the metallic tones present on Cherno, I can’t help but feel the previous figures don’t look quite as cool. The details are also really great, especially the really small ones, such as Cherno’s logo, and the figure has some great weathering to help bring out the sculpted details a bit more. Cherno includes no accessories, but I can’t really think of anything he should have, so no complaints there.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Cherno was my favorite of the Jaeger designs in the movie. I feel it’s the one with the most character. As such, I was a bit disappointed to see it was not in the lineup for the first two series of Pacific Rim figures. I was thrilled to see him announced for series three, and after seeing the tremendous jumps NECA has made in quality with this series, I’m happy Cherno got pushed back a little bit. He is easily the best thing the line has had to offer so far. I hope all future Jaegers can follow in this figure’s footsteps.