Ever since I first caught wind of Pacific Rim way back when it was in post-production, I was hyped. We’re finally getting real giant mecha in American theaters! Fighting giant monsters from the sea no less!
This isn’t Transformers, with robots only as tall as the cars they turn into; this was a robot movie larger than skyscrapers. Naturally I saw the movie ASAP when it came out, bought the DVD, and love it.
By extension I love the giant robots. My favorite giant robot in the film just so happens to be the Australian Jaeger – Striker Eureka. (It even has the coolest name goddangit).
God she’s beautiful.
Long story short, I happened to come upon these Jaeger figures at a local Geek Merch. store that had them for very cheap. Like, half of what they go for online cheap. So I went ahead and bought a whole mess of Jaegers, one of each to keep, another few to sell at blatantly inflated prices. Business is fun.
Apparently this particular figure (roughly 7 inches tall, made by NECA, part of the second wave) is based directly off of the mechanical files for the CG model as seen in the film, and to a certain extent that’s believable.
I should point out now that my figure has been modified just a bit to be a little more screen-accurate. The main difference is the fact that I painted some bits of the arms and the fingers gold, to match the “bronze knuckle” feature Striker has on-screen.
Something noteworthy to add is that in all the promotional images and even on the back of the figure’s box the image shows the prototype model for the figure, with open hands and correct colorization of the fingers. Why this never made it into the production version (which sported closed fists and white fingers instead) will forever be beyond me.
Beyond that, I added some very minor lining, all of which is so minute and few and far in between that it’s indistinguishable.
Yes, NECA was awesome enough to line and even weather the figure for you.
All those black smudges and whatnot were there originally from the manufacturer, not custom added.
They generally did a really good job capturing the feel and look of the Jaeger as a whole, without sacrificing too much mechanical detail for a relatively small sculpt, and didn’t skimp much on the paint apps (the visor in the head is actually really nice, as opposed to the usual paint bleeds and whatnot seen on figures of this caliber).
The one thing that bugs me is that the decal on the chest reads some random 2-01 instead of the correct GN006 as seen in-film. Kinda a big disappointment, especially for a big Gundam fan like myself.
But it’s rectified in the Sideshow statue, which I will also be acquiring in due time, so all is forgiven for now.
Now, not gonna lie, this is my first experience with a NECA-made figurine.
I really had no idea what to expect, though from what I’ve seen of these things online in the promotional pictures and reviews, they seemed like your general run-of-the-mill Wal-Mart action figures.
Strangely enough…that was not the case. Beyond not being available at local retailers in the first place (not sold at Wal-Mart or Target or any of the usual toy-carrying super-stores) they became pretty hiked up in prices very quickly.
Contrary to the usual Transformers figures, which (unless they’re exclusive) remain relatively the same price and aren’t so subject to price acceleration with age.
However, these figures were all $18.99 when released, and now, a few short months later, have quickly risen to the $50 price range online. Rather ridiculous, as you’re still getting the same package for what you pay, but I suppose it goes to show the demand for these figures.
Such a price was rather outrageous when I saw it; I had personally wanted some Jaegers myself, but I wasn’t about to shell out that much cash for a 7 inch figure whose quality I was fairly certain would be around that of a standard Transformer’s.
Turns out I was sorely mistaken. In all the best ways.
My biggest gripe with these figures originally was that they were trying to take something so complex and amazing on-screen and over-simplify them, distort their proportions – turn them into cheap toys for the mass market. But NECA definitely proved me wrong there.
The amount of detail put into this figure, as well as its considerable heft for its size, is pretty amazing.
NECA goes out of their way to include, as I mentioned before, the panel-wash effect and weathering, as well as some chrome/silver highlights to simulate metal on the Jaeger.
The figure is also fairly heavy for its rather small size. I believe this is attributed to the material it’s made out of, which appears to be a really thick soft plastic. Either way the material is satisfyingly heavy, and actually quite bendable. No metals used, as far as I can tell.
The main accessories/armaments Striker comes with are its Stinger Blades.
Mind you, those things are sharp. I’m surprised they’re not children-safe on a generic action figure like this, but the box does read 14+.
Unfortunately it doesn’t include anything else, no extra hands or nipple-blasting missile launchers. More accessories and gimmicks would’ve been really nice extras, but alas, a conservative down-to-earth solid action figure is nice too.
Curiously enough, the blades are clearly designed to fold backwards, but…they don’t actually fold anywhere or into anything. In the movie proper, they swing forward from the forearm compartment, but no such storage space here.
The blades only fold as far as shown above, there are no grooves for them to slide into or anything. It seems to be a rather flawed feature, and having them unequipped would be better achieved by simply removing them from the forearms completely.
You get some gaping peg holes when the blades are off, but now Striker’s free to pound some Kaiju scum.
NECA has received a fair amount of backlash from fans for the sub-par articulation present in their first wave of Pacific Rim figurines (including Knifehead, Gipsy Danger, and to a lesser extent, Crimson Typhoon).
As Striker is part of the second wave, he features some acceptable articulation, but it’s still somewhat lacking.
For the most part, you get some crazy shoulder articulation, which is always good. Instead of using the traditional ball joints there, NECA goes with two multi-directional hinge joints that allow for forwards, backwards, and upwards movement.
The biggest problem in articulation I think this figure suffers from is in its ankles and elbows.
The ankles are on ball joints, I believe, but the feet are too closely attached to the lower leg to really allow for any side-to-side movement. While there is some, it’s hardly any.
As a result, Striker can rotate its feet, but not actually bend its ankles forwards, backwards, or side to side much. This gets bothersome with wide stances and its unable to plant its feet flatly on the ground (a problem shared with all the previous Jaegers).
The elbows are also on a single hinge that goes a mere 90 degrees. This can’t really be helped much, but for dynamic posing, it’s a rather large limitation.
All in all, as my first NECA and Pacific Rim figure, I am most pleased. I think the sculpt really does Striker Eureka justice.
While the articulation is a minor limitation and you really don’t get much in the ways of added parts/pieces or gimmicks (as for all Jaegers and Kaiju from NECA) this is a worthwhile display piece in and of itself.
However, even I’d be a little hesitant to pay over $25 for this. The regular prices of $50~ is a little unjustified for me (call me a hypocrite for selling my extra figures for just this much) but if you can find it at a reasonable tag, don’t hesitate.