Coyote Tango, the Japanese Jaeger featured in merely a flashback in Pacific Rim. This marks NECA’s third new Jaeger mold for the 7″ figure series, and is part of their third wave. I had mentioned getting this one in the mail a while back, along with fellow Mark I Jaeger Cherno Alpha, which I will get around to in due time.
I gotta say, after playing around with it for a bit, I think Coyote Tango has shot right up there as my favorite Jaeger figure to date. Ironically it does have a good amount of balance issues (which I will get to) but the design itself is really appealing to me. I never really had a good look at it before (we couldn’t even see all of its head in the film) but it has a more classic Japanese mecha feel to it than the other Jaegers, which I dig.
Coyote’s design is, from what I’ve read and can tell, inspired by the RX-77-2 Guncannon of Mobile Suit Gundam fame. The resemblance begins and ends more or less at the shoulder cannons and head design, but Tango is also more…mecha-humanoid than even Gipsy Danger. It’s proportions almost scream Gundam.I feel like NECA’s gone and stepped up their detail in the mechanical parts of the Jaegers. Coyote’s superbly detailed (them legs!) and most of all the gunmetal used for the armor and body looks incredible.
I’m actually really impressed by the more minuscule paint apps on this figure – the red stripes and especially the blue on the Conn-pod are surprisingly clean and well-done.
Something of worthy note however, are Coyote Tango’s markings and decals. It was officially publicized as one of Japan’s Jaegers, and fought in Japan (presumably as one of the Jaegers stationed there to defend its coast), though it didn’t have Japanese pilots. All the same, NECA’s figure sports markings like “USAF” and “US-2A” all over the place. We also get some Yankee insignias under the cannons. So…it’s a Japanese Jaeger, presumably built in Japan, defends the Japanese coast, and is part of the US Air Force? I mean I guess…
See, I’m not tripping balls here. I thought the big “JAPAN” and the flag on its right were enough indication, but I’m sure somebody just messed with the maps and country directory in NECA’s offices again.
I don’t doubt that NECA made all the Jaeger figures right from the official CGI models from the film, but they clearly had some liberty with the markings. Coyote Tango in the poster above doesn’t have Yankee insignias on its cannons…
Moving right along with Tango’s articulation – given that this is NECA’s third series run with the Pacific Rim Jaegers, you’d think they’d have learned a lot from Gipsy and Crimson to imbue their latest molds with some pretty mind-blowing stuff.
After all, from what I can tell, NECA was being cautious with their first wave – they had actually released it before the film came out, so predicting reception to the film and by extension the demand for the figures was tough. So not a lot of budget or time was invested in the first few figures – Gipsy Danger and Crimson Typhoon – though they ended up skyrocketing in both price in demand. I’m guessing NECA is well aware of this, and thus is continuing to crank out these figures, even going so far as announcing a Gipsy 2.0 (they must’ve realized how subpar their first attempt was and now that they have the fanbase, can go ahead with a more advanced product without risking losing money). But this is all really well-placed conjecture in an attempt to explain their figure evolution.
NECA’s official concept diagrams for Coyote Tango. We even get to see what kinds of joints are used! Looks impressive doesn’t it? Kudos to them for making use of more ball joints (yes! ball-jointed ankles!)
Unfortunately, while it looked pretty good in the diagram and schematics, the final product fell a little short of expectations…
The first image above is the maximum bend that the elbow can achieve. Look familiar?
Like Gipsy, Coyote’s elbow bend is limited by its own design – the forearm is simply too bulky, negating the joint in there almost entirely. A funny little quirk it has, however, is that it can actually bend backwards. Not quite what I was looking for…
About the most dynamic you’re gonna get out of arms like these. But it still looks pretty cool – them elbow joint detail doe…
Coyote uppercut! Not gonna lie, I don’t think the Jaegers are suited for dynamic, motion-centric posing. I pin half of it on their lack of articulation and the other half on the fact that they’re supposed to be more massive than your average giant robot.
The arms can also extend out just about that much. Looks like in general we really got screwed over with Tango’s arms. The theory seemed nice – there’s a ball joint where the shoulder and bicep connect, but it doesn’t do much except for allow the arm to swivel a bit. The shoulders themselves are also on double ball-joints (see the above joint diagram) but due to the obstructive design of the shoulder plates, it’s all but negated.
Something interesting to note – Tango actually only has three fingers for each of its hands, lending it a more alien appearance in that aspect. Not particularly outlandish when compared to Crimson Typhoon‘s fingers, but a nice touch nonetheless. I had actually never noticed this about its original design, only found out when I examined the figure.
The legs on this mech are actually really interesting to me – first and foremost I’m really loving the drybrushed metal look – it shows up particularly well in this area. The detailed joints and inner mechanics that show through are also pretty insane.
What I find most intriguing, however, is how it can sport such a large foot size and still not be able to balance well.
Of all the Jaegers I’ve come to own, Coyote has objectively the worst balance issues. It falls over almost every other day in the shelf, glomping whatever poor brother Jaeger is displayed in front of it.
I’m not entirely sure about the cause of this, but I think I’d have to pin it on the ankles. They don’t bend inwards enough to offer Coyote a good, stable stance. Once again, the ball joints are certainly inside, but the actual mecha’s design and armor limits the movement.
I’m still rather disappointed by NECA’s lack of accessories for the Jaegers released thus far (barring Battle Damaged Gipsy’s Chain Swords). I mean yeah the Jaegers weren’t really shown using much more than their fists and on-board weaponry on-screen, but some more playability would be nice.
Rather hard trying to figure out how to really pose shoulder-mounted cannons…but either way, those things are mounted on “rails” that really attach into the shoulder and slide forwards and back via that. The effect of the moving rails is honestly pretty dang cool. Unfortunately however, you only get forwards and backwards movement; it’s not on a ball joint or anything so it can’t swivel side to side.
So overall I gotta say – despite it not possessing the pinnacle of modern figure articulation, I’m still a pretty devout fan of this Jaeger. The design is just so aesthetically pleasing, and once again NECA’s worked their magic with the paint apps and beautiful weathering. As these Pacific Rim figures are steadily going up in demand, I’d advise grabbing them quick if you see them, before price hikes hit hard.