#1660: Guardian Bravo

GUARDIAN BRAVO

ROBOT SPIRITS (BANDAI)

“Designed for combat at range, Guardian Bravo wields the Elec-16 Arc Whip: a proto-metallic successor to the chainsword, and brings a new sophistication to the chainsword’s whiplash move.”

When a problem comes along, you must whip it.  Before the cream sits out too long, you must whip it.  When something’s going wrong, you must whip it.  Now whip it!  Into shape!  Shape it up!  Get straight!  Go forward!  Move ahead!  Try to detect it, it’s not too late, to whip it.  Whip it well.  Yeah, I know it’s “good” in the song, but grammar is important.

Sorry, I didn’t know how to start another Uprising review, so I went all pop-culture on it.  Anyway, in the spirit of whipping it good, let’s have a look at the whip-wielding Jaeger, Guardian Bravo!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Guardian Bravo is figure 233 in the Robot Spirits line, the third, and final, chronological figure in the second series of Pacific Rim: Uprising-themed Jaegers.  The figure stands a little over 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation.  Guardian Bravo’s design calls back the most to the first film’s Coyote Tango, though perhaps not so much in color scheme.  He’s also got a lot in common with your average NFL football player, which I suppose is fitting for a Jaeger with a name as American as “Guardian Bravo.”  Guardian has the same basic construction as the other Jaegers in this line.  Obviously, he’s not quite as mobile as Saber Athena, but compared to the first series Jaegers, he’s actually a fair bit more posable.  That’s more a design thing than anything, though.  Guardian is a lot blockier and less advanced than his two series-mates, which helps offset him a bit.  If anything, he almost looks more at home with Bracer and Titan (that’s certainly not a bad thing).  The sculpt on this figure does a solid job of recreating the on-screen appearance in plastic form.  Guardian’s paintwork is some of the more complex of the Jaegers in this line, which on one hand is nice, but on the other hand, it’s actually not quite enough.  Guardian’s got some of the most complex detailing in the film, and the figure tries to handle some of that, but ultimately, a lot of details end up lost.  There are sections of red that should go on the white, and vice versa.  At least he gets all the identifiers and insgnias, though.  I can understand Bandai’s dilemma, of course, since Guardian done correctly really would require a lot more paint than any other Jaegers in the set.  It’s difficult to make that cost out.  As is, he looks reasonable on his own, provided you’re not making direct comparisons.  The figure makes out pretty well on accessories, with both gripping and open palm hands, as well as two Arc Whips to hold.  The clear plastic on the whips is particularly cool, and a very effective way of handling the energy effects.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I grabbed Guardian Bravo at the same time as Saber Athena.  Of the two, Athena was the one I was most looking forward to.  I liked Guardian, but I largely got him to fill out the set.  He’s got some paint issues, which are a little annoying, but the thing that surprised me most about this guy is just how much I like him.  Out of the three Series 2 figures, I think he may well be my favorite.  I didn’t see that coming.  As it stands right now, Guardian is the final figure in this sub-set.  I’m still hoping for a third series with November Ajax, Valor Omega, and perhaps one of the drones, but I may have to turn to DST for those.

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#1659: Saber Athena

SABER ATHENA

ROBOT SPIRITS (BANDAI)

“The sleekest and most elegant jaeger ever created, Saber Athena is the fastest in the fleet, wielding twin blades in hyper-acrobatic combat.”

Saber Athena was kind of advertised as Pacific Rim: Uprising’s equivalent to Striker Eureka, a secondary Jaeger that would get a lot of focus.  That was not the case.  Honestly, I was a bit shocked by how little Saber Athena there was in the movie.  The expected secondary Jaeger turned out to be Bracer Phoenix instead.  Nevertheless, Saber Athena, like all the Jaegers, did at least get her moment to shine.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Saber Athena was figure 232 in Bandai’s Robot Spirits line, as the second figure sequentially in the second series of Uprising-themed figures.  The figure is one of the shortest in the set, standing just shy of 6 1/2 inches tall and she has 35 points of articulation (the fins on her back provide for some extra mobility).  Saber has perhaps the most delicate and ornate sculpt of all the Jaegers in this set.  She uses the same basic style of construction as the others; a skeleton with armored pieces.  The sleek and slighter build of the armor means that Saber also gets the most range out of her joints of all the Jaegers.  She’s just a heck of a lot of fun to pose, especially deep running poses.  The detailing on the armor is sharp, clean, and very concise.  She’s a great recreation of the on-screen design, and melds accuracy with playability quite well.  Saber gets more paint than the other Jaegers; it’s still not a ton, but there’s some decent detail work, especially on the identifying numbers and insignias.  In addition, the slightly pearlescent plastic that was used for the majority of her armor looks really slick, and makes her one of the coolest looking of the Jaegers when the light catches her.  Saber is pretty well accessorized, including two sets of hands in gripping and flat poses, as well as her blades in both twin and combined configurations.  Compared to some of the other Jeagers, that’s pretty great, though I’d imagine it’s more to offset the slightly smaller nature of this figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After managing to find Obsidian Fury at Toys R Us, I was keeping an eye out for both Saber and Guardian, but not having much luck.  I’d pretty much resigned to have to order the pair of them online.  That said, a few weeks back, I was out with my family, and we decided to catch a movie (Isle of Dogs, for those curious; definitely worth a watch if you haven’t seen it).  We got to the theatre with about an hour to kill, so we decided to stop in the Barnes & Noble next door.  I wasn’t expecting to find anything, but I wandered over to collectibles aisle and boom, there was this figure staring right back at me.  I was actually pretty darn excited, let me tell you.  Saber was possibly my favorite of the new Jaeger designs (well, barring November Ajax, who is just boss), and it translated really well into an action figure.

#1658: Obsidian Fury

OBSIDIAN FURY

ROBOT SPIRITS (BANDAI)

“A towering mecha so powerful its origins are shrouded in secrecy, meet the deadliest Jaeger to ever walk the Earth.  With stealth chrome armor plating chainsaws and a chest-mounted AKM salvo-launcher, Obsidian Fury is ready to defend our world…or destroy it!”

Infinity War may have come along and blown everything else away, but before it came along, I was all about Pacific Rim: Uprising.  Though hardly a perfect film, it was certainly a fun movie-going experience, and, most importantly, it gave us a bunch of cool new robot designs!  One of the coolest was the dark rogue Jaeger, Obsidian Fury!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Obsidian Fury is figure 231 in Badai’s Robot Spirits line, sequentially the first of the second series of Uprising figures, and fourth overall from the movie.  The figure stands the tallest of the new Jaegers at 7 inches and has 31 points of articulation.  Obsidian is the most advanced Jaeger we see in the film, so his design is a lot sleeker and made up smoother lines than all of the others.  This gives him a slightly more organic feel that goes well with his Kaiju-origins.  He’s also got a bit of a modern-BSG Cylon feel to him, which helps keep him appropriately sinister.  The figure’s sculpt is handled the same way as the others; there’s an underlying skeleton of sorts, with all of Obsidian’s armored bits placed on top.  It’s definitely a solid piece of work, though I do have one complaint, having to do with how the articulation has been worked in.  For the most part, the joints of the figure follow the natural points of movement from the movie, but Obsidian’s shoulder pads just sort of break right in the middle to allow them to move.  It doesn’t follow the flow of the design at all and can be quite jarring.  Like his three predecessors, Obsidian is mostly light on the paint, but the few bits he has work well.  I quite like the translucent orange visor; it looks a little off from some angles but when it catches the light just right, it looks pretty sweet.  The figure is packed with two sets of hands in both open grasp and fist positions, as well as his laser chainsaw attachments from the film.  Interestingly, the blades aren’t attached to a separate forearm like Gipsy, but instead require you to pop the outer plate off of the forearms and click the blade into place.  It’s actually a lot easier than swapping the arm every time, so I prefer this method.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up the whole first set from Toys R Us a week before they announced they were going under.  I wasn’t expecting to find any of this set there.  After the announcement of their closure, and the beginnings of the markdowns, I made my first stop at my usual store.  It was something like a wasteland, really, with things just in piles everywhere from people rummaging through (and this was when they were still only at 10% off, mind you).  After doing a few loops around the store, I had one or two things I was going to buy.  I was standing in line at the register, when Christian texted me about an Amiibo they had that he wanted.  On my way back to grab it, I happened to knock over something from a shelf near the front, thus revealing two of this bad boy.  I was surprised to say the least.  This is a pretty good figure, and a great counterpart to the first assortment’s Gispy Avenger.

#1615: Titan Redeemer

TITAN REDEEMER

ROBOT SPIRITS (BANDAI)

“Built for brute force and armed with a seismic morningstar, Titan Redeemer is the walking wrecking ball of the new fleet.”

Before Pacific Rim: Uprising hit theaters, there was a little bit of confusion about specifically which Jaegers would be making up the four ‘bot team seen in the big city shot from the trailers.  The source of the confusion?  Titan Redeemer’s seismic morning star weapon, which was prominently featured.  The catch was, it wasn’t actually Titan using the weapon, but rather yesterday’s Bracer Phoenix.  Titan’s role in the film is decidedly more minor, but it’s unique design does make for a stand-out design.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Titan Redeemer is part of Bandai’s Robot Spirits line, and is figure 230, making him the third of the three Jaegers in the first Pacific Rim: Uprising assortment.  The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and has 30 points of articulation.  Size-wise, Redeemer falls between the other two in both height and bulk.  At first glance, Titan and Bracer seem a little similar in design, but they’re actually quite divergent in person.  Titan’s sculpt is on certainly on par with the other two figures, being a multi-piece sculpt over an underlying skeleton.  I think motion-wise, Titan’s the most restricted of the three figures, and it’s mostly due to the way his shoulder armor is designed.  Since, unlike Bracer, the shoulders are all one piece, there’s a limit to how far the arms can move in any direction.  Honestly, this is less an issue with the figure and more a design thing; I suppose the real Jaeger would have these issues too.  On the plus side, the actual sculpt quality is pretty top notch, and the details are the sharpest of the three figures here.  Literally in some places, most notably his morning star hand, which looks appropriately lethal.  Overall, the sculpt just looks pretty sleek.  Also pretty sleek is his color work.  Like the other two Jaegers, the actual paintwork is one the scarce side, with most of the color work being done with molded plastic.  The dark metallic green in particular is really spiffy looking.  It gives him a nice sense of polish, similar in a lot of ways to NECA’s Chero Alpha.  Titan Redeemer is somewhat light on the accessories compared to the other two Jaegers.  There’s a swappable open palmed hand for his right side, which is the only Titan-specific piece.  No extending chain for the morning star or anything, which is a bit of a bummer.  To make up for it, Titan is also packed with Scrapper, Amara’s one-man Jaeger.  It’s just a little unpainted, unarticulated figurine, but seeing as it’s one of my favorite parts of the movie, I’m glad it wasn’t totally overlooked.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As with Bracer, I debated whether or not I should pick up Titan.  The announcement early on that Titan would be including Scrapper certainly swayed me, and seeing the figure in the store, I just couldn’t turn it down.  I wish there were more accessories, or that Scrapper was at least painted, but I can’t deny Titan is a very solid figure.  If I had one complaint, it would be that we’re getting Titan, who is quite minor, before we’ve seen any indication of a November Ajax, who is the first Jaeger we see.  But, that’s hardly Titan’s fault, and it really doesn’t actually impact this figure.

#0571: Gipsy Danger – Hong Kong Brawl

GIPSY DANGER – HONG KONG BRAWL

PACIFIC RIM (NECA)

GypsyHK1

Certain movies just exude pure awesomeness. Pacific Rim is one of those movies. Seriously, giant robots fighting giant monsters. What more could you want from a movie? Well, if you’re me, action figures of said giant robots and giant monsters. But, that’s just me. Well, not just me, clearly, what with there being a whole line of such figures. So, why not look at another figure of the main giant fighting robot Gipsy Danger.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

GypsyHK3Hong Kong Brawl Gipsy Danger was released as part of Series 5 of NECA’s Pacific Rim line. This is the 3rd Gipsy Danger to show up in the line (though the 4th I’ve reviewed here). The figure is just about 7 ½ inches tall and features 27 points of articulation. That’s a whole ten points more than the first two Gipsies, which is certainly impressive. The figure represents Gipsy’s basic look from the film, but if you want to get really technical, this figure is based on Gipsy during her Hong Kong battle with Otachi. Just in case the name hadn’t clued you in. Gipsy’s big selling point here was that she featured an all-new sculpt. Of course, that sculpt went on to be used as the base for the Anchorage Attack Gipsy, so I’ve actually reviewed a fair portion of this sculpt before. The head, upper torso, and left arm are different, of course, but they’re consistent with the pieces we saw on the AA figure. I made it no secret how much I loved the AA Gipsy’s sculpt, and my opinion of it continues on this figure’s sculpt too. The level of detail present in this sculpt is nothing short of amazing. It well and truly looks like someone miniaturized a real Jaeger. Fantastic work all-around. Getting to see the sculpted work on a more clean example of the design is really nice. Things like battle-damage can hide a sculpt’s flaws, so the fact that the sculpt of the cleaned up counterpart is just as great really means a lot. In addition to massive strides in the quality of sculpts, NECA has also made some tremendous strides in the quality of the paintwork applied to said sculpts. Gipsy’s paintwork is, well, maybe not as fantastic as the sculpt, but it’s still pretty darn great. The various insignias and smaller details are nice and clean (though with a touch of weathering, for realism) and the pearlescent blue is just as cool here as it was on the AA Gipsy. There are a few spots where bleed over crops up, most noticeably around the edges of the visor and chest reactor, but they’re relatively minor and only really noticeable under close examination.  This version of Gipsy is incredibly well-accessorized. She includes two sets of hands (gripping and fists), a fully-extended version of the chain sword, and …what was that last thing? Oh, right, a BOAT SWORD!!!!!!!!! Yeah, that’s kind of the winning piece here, not just because it happens to be one of the film’s cooler moments (which is really saying something), but also because the boat features the same level of sculpted and painted detail that the figure itself possesses. And that’s just downright impressive.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Yeah, I totally skipped this figure when it was first released. Why would I need another normal Gipsy Danger? Well, then I bought the Anchorage Attack version and realized I was wrong to skip this one. Of course, by that point the HKB Gipsy had disappeared from most stores, so I assumed I had missed my chance on getting one. But then I was out with Super Awesome Girlfriend and we stopped by Toys R Us, because that’s just what we do. Obviously, said TRU had this figure, since I brought it up here. Anyway, I’m glad to have finally found this figure, and it’s just a fantastic update on the first Gipsy.

GypsyHK4

#0523: Romeo Blue

ROMEO BLUE

PACIFIC RIM (NECA)

RomeoBlue1

One of the coolest things about Pacific Rim (apart from giant robots fighting giant monsters) was the rich history of the Jaeger program of which the film gave us a few brief glimpses. Jaegers defeated outside of the confines of the main story had just as much effort put into granting them a unique name, design, and fighting style as those who were front and center. After three series of figures, NECA’s Pacific Rim line had covered all of the Jaegers who had a notable role in the film, so NECA has turned to those more minor Jaegers of which we only get a few flashes. The first was Tacit Ronin, and the second is the subject of today’s review, Romeo Blue! Romeo is one of the more visible of the minor Jaegers, appearing in the opening montage’s parade scene, as well as a brief clip of a fight later. So, let’s see how the figure turned out!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

RomeoBlue2Romeo Blue is one of the two Jaegers in Series 5 of NECA’s Pacific Rim line. Romeo marks the 4th Mark 1 Jaeger that we’ve seen in the line, which makes them the prevailing mark of Jaeger by far. The figure stands about 7 inches tall and features 32 points of articulation (33 if you count the extending left forearm). That marks the most points of articulation we’ve seen on a Jaeger so far, by quite a bit, and the figure puts them to great use, which is always great to see. Romeo has a brand-new sculpt, based upon his appearance in the movie. Initial designs for the Jaeger showed him with a three-legged, tri-pod style design, but the final film went with a more conventional two-legged look, so that’s what we get here. Ultimately, it’s a little less unique, but it makes for a pretty great standard robot design. Romeo’s sculpt is pretty much on par with the last few series of Jaegers. Going by the character’s design sheet and his two brief appearances in the film, the sculpt is very accurate to the source material. It’s all properly geometric, and it manages to look like something that’s actually built out of machined parts. The front fin, which is probably one of the more distinctive pieces of Romeo’s design, is a separate piece, glued in place. The glue on mine didn’t quite hold, requiring me to apply a little of my own. However, that’s a very minor issue, and it was easily fixed. Like yesterday’s Gypsy, the sculpt is handled in such a way as to not interfere with the movement of the articulation, which makes Romeo a lot more poseable than his predecessors (such as Tacit Ronin). It also makes getting him in a standing position a whole lot easier, which is definitely a nice change. No more shelf-diving! Romeo had one of the more exciting color schemes in the movie, and the paintwork here does a pretty great job of rendering that. Generally speaking, the paint is applied cleanly and evenly. The colors are nice and bold, and he’s got that really great pearlescent finish that we’ve seen on the last few Jaegers. The blue is, perhaps, a little too turquoise, but that’s minor, and it still looks pretty great. Romeo includes no accessories, but that’s pretty standard for the line.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When NECA first announced series 3 of Pacific Rim, and it featured Coyote Tango, my boy Tim and I were discussing the other possible Jaegers that could be made. The one the two of us were most anxious to see was good ol’ Romeo here. At the time, we never thought Romeo would actually show up in the line, given his limited screen time. So, I was thrilled beyond belief when NECA showed this guy in their Series 5 line-up. I ended up finding him at the same TRU where I picked up yesterday’s Gypsy, and I was super happy to get him. If I’m totally honest, he didn’t blow me away in the same way that Gypsy did. However, he’s still a fantastic figure, and he’s one of my favorite Jaeger figures so far!

RomeoBlue3

#0522: Gipsy Danger – Anchorage Attack

GIPSY DANGER – ANCHORAGE ATTACK

PACIFIC RIM (NECA)

GypsyDangerAnchorage1

Sometimes, a figure has obvious flaws. Things that you might like to see fixed on a future release. Sometimes, you buy a figure, and you think to yourself, “Wow, this figure is just fantastic. I really love this figure, and nothing can replace it.” And sometimes that stands. Other times, you’re dead wrong, in ways you just couldn’t imagine. Today’s review represents one of those times.

If you haven’t seen 2013’s Pacific Rim yet, I urge you to fix that as soon as possible. Unless you don’t like giant robots fighting giant monsters. In which case, you have my pity. Life must be so dull. NECA picked up the license to do the toys and released two series in rather quick succession, before doing a slight retool of the line with Series 3. Main Jaeger (aka fighting robot) Gipsy Danger has been a consistent fixture of the line. Today, I’ll be taking a look at NECA’s most recent version of the character.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

GypsyDangerAnchorage2Anchorage Attack Gipsy Danger was released as part of Series 5 of NECA’s Pacific Rim line. She’s the 4th Gipsy to see release and the second of the re-tooled Gipsies. Gipsy stands almost 7 ½ in height and even with the missing arm, she manages to have 21 points of articulation. She’s one arm down and she’s still got 4 more points of articulation than the first two Gipsy figures. Gipsy is based on her appearance following being damaged by Knifehead in the film’s opening fight scene. It’s a pivotal moment in the movie, illustrating the end of the “Golden Age of Jaegers,” while simultaneously giving the lead character a little bit of pathos. It also happens to be a look that Gipsy was seen sporting on a few of the posters for the movie, so it’s a rather key look. The figure uses the Hong Kong Attack Gipsy as a starting point, adding a new head, upper torso, left arm, and lower right arm. Simply put, this figure’s sculpt is nothing short of amazing. The small details are incredibly sharp and defined, the proportions are spot on, and not a single detail is out of place. At a small scale like this, it can be easy to lose some of the finer details (like on the first two Gipsies), but not here. This looks like a miniaturized version of the model in the movie. The new lower arm featuring the plasma cannon looks spot-on. That’s a piece that was worth the wait. In addition, the figure’s articulation has been worked in amazingly well. The figure features a great range of motion without sacrificing the sculpt. In general, this figure just feels really solid. More so than sculpts, paintwork was something that felt a little lacking on previous figures in the line. That’s changed almost completely here. There are a few small instances of bleed over, but in general the paint on this figure is clean and full of lots of layers of detail, making it look like the figure is really built out of iron. If I had one complaint, it would be that I’m not sure how well the bright orange ends on the damage work. From a normal distance, the work well to convey super-heated metal, however, they do just kind of look like orange dots up close. Still, they don’t really detract from the rest of the figure. And I can’t get over how cool that pearlescent finish looks. Gipsy is packed with a spare lower arm, so that she can be displayed sans-cannon. It’s nice to have the option, and it makes that poster look even easier to pull off!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When NECA first announced that they would be re-working their Gipsy Danger sculpt, I was intrigued but uncertain. Seeing the Hong Kong Attack figure in the package, it didn’t seem that different from the Gipsy I already had, so I passed on it for other things. While seeing a friend’s play with Super Awesome Girlfriend last weekend, I came across a Toys R Us which had both Series 5 figures in stock. I knew I wanted Gipsy’s Series-mate Romeo Blue, and I figured this Gipsy looked different enough to warrant a purchase. Having actually taken one of the new Gipsy figures out and messed with it, I can see that passing on Hong Kong Attack was a mistake. Comparing this Gipsy to the Series 2 Gipsy is like comparing night and day. They look like they’re from two different lines. It’s rare for a toy company to top themselves on a figure this quickly, but NECA really shines on this figure. Holy crap, this figure is so cool!

GypsyDangerAnchorage3

#0465: Tacit Ronin

TACIT RONIN

PACIFIC RIM (NECA)

Tacit1

This site is in desperate need of some giant fighting robots. Seriously, our quota is way down. It’s been like seven or eight months. Obviously, the go to when you want cool giant fighting robots is Pacific Rim. And, would you look at that, I just so happen to have one of the Jaegers from NECA’s latest series of Pacific Rim figures sitting here, waiting to be reviewed. That’s convenient!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Tacit2Tacit Ronin is part of the fourth series of NECA’s Pacific Rim line. Beginning with Series 3, the line split into two concurrent lines devoted to Jaegers and Kaiju, respectively. Tacit is a member of the former line. If you saw Pacific Rim, you might not recognize Tacit right away.  Unlike all of the previous Jaegers released by NECA, Tacit Ronin does not have any actual scenes in the movie. The Jaeger is only seen briefly during the opening montage of Jaegers. It did, however, serve as a prototype for Striker Eureka, one of the film’s primary Jaegers.  Essentially, Tacit Ronin is the Mk 1 version of Striker Eureka (and early versions of the film’s story even had Tacit in Striker’s role). The figure is roughly 7 inches tall and features 24 points of articulation, as well as dual-piece sliding blades on each forearm. Like the majority of the Jaegers from this line, Tacit is an all-new sculpt. The sculpt is pretty well handled. It’s a little soft in some areas, but not excessively so. In a few cases, the sculpt also impedes the articulation, especially on the lower legs, which can make getting Tacit to stand a very difficult proposition. Going by images I was able to find online, the sculpt is pretty accurate to Tacit’s on-screen appearance. The cool thing about Tacit’s design is that, while it’s none of the individual elements are unique to this Jaeger, a lot of them have been taken a generation or two back, which makes this guy a really cool precursor to the other Jaegers. Tacit doesn’t have the most thrilling color scheme; it’s mostly just white and red. That said, the paintwork is fairly cleanly applied, and NECA’s added a thorough amount of detail to the figure’s armored bits. Tacit includes no accessories, though he does feature a set of slide out blades on each forearm. They’re pretty cool, though they are a little difficult to slide back and forth.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Upon seeing Pacific Rim and receiving the first assortment of figures, I was pretty much on board to buy just about any of the Jaegers NECA saw fit to release. One of my particular favorites was Tacit here, so I was absolutely thrilled to find out NECA would actually be releasing him. I ended up finding the figure at an FYE at my local mall. I actually had to pass on the figure at first (I was buying a few Christmas gifts). After the Christmas season, I went back and was pleased to find that they still had a Tacit left. While Tacit isn’t quite as thrilling as, say, Cherno Alpha (still my vote for the best of the line), he’s still a very strong figure, and he fits in very nicely with the rest of the Jaegers.

#0170: Coyote Tango

COYOTE TANGO

PACIFIC RIM

Coyote4

I’ve talked quite a bit before about my love of the movie Pacific Rim.  Suffice to say, I am obviously picking up NECA’s line of action figures based on the movie.  So far, I’ve looked at three of the Jaegers (Monster fighting robo-suits) from the movie.  Today, I’ll be looking at another: Coyote Tango.  To those of you casual observers of the film, you may not remember Coyote.  Coyote has a small but important role as Stacker Pentacost’s Jaeger in a flashback.  The scene is efficiently awesome, but most of the actual fighting happens off-screen, leaving Coyote with a small amount of screen time.  Still, he’s a cool design.  Let’s take a look.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Coyote3Coyote Tango was released as part of the third, much-improved, series of NECA’s Pacific Rim line.  Coyote stands about 7 inches tall (not counting the cannons), and has 24 points of articulation.  As I noted in my Cherno review, the articulation hasn’t jumped much in number of points, but it has taken a decent up-turn in actual movement.  It’s not quite as impressive as Cherno’s, but Coyote can get some pretty great poses.  Notably, the cannons are also articulated, which is a really great touch and adds a whole new level of play to the figure.  The sculpt is the usual NECA quality.  Lots of really great details, all wonderfully handled.  The paint just adds to the sculpt, bringing out lots of great details, plus it has some great detail work of its own, with logos and letters all over the place.  Coyote includes no accessories, but that’s not really anything new for the line, nor can I really think of anything Coyote should include.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I wasn’t as excited for Coyote as I was for Cherno, but he’s still a really cool character, and the figure is really high notch.  Getting the Jaegers as a set may be the most economical option if you’re after Cherno, and getting saddled with Coyote is hardly the worst thing to happen.  Coyote will definitely be getting a spot on my shelf!

Jaegers(wCoyote)

#0168: Cherno Alpha

CHERNO ALPHA

PACIFIC RIM

Cherno1

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

Cherno2Cherno 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.

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