Pacific Rim looks like it's going to be the movie of the summer. Giant robots vs giant monsters with giant special effects going on. Did that robot just pick up a battleship and use it like a baseball bat? Yeah just take my $18 now. NECA toys is on top of things with the license for this hopefully epic throwdown by offering us a line of 7" figures and an 18" Gypsy Danger. Here we take a look at the three-armed Crimson Typhoon and the four-armed Knifehead. Are they cool? Let's find out.
The Kajiju Knifehead's sculpt is really nice as it deals with monster-like
detail. Fleshy folds, claws, and razor sharp looking teeth stand out along with the large blade-like protrusion from its head. The leathery skin looks very detailed but there's some sort of one-directional 'mesh' design covering it almost like someone laid a cloth over raw clay. The figures were supposed to have been created directly from the movie's 'digital files' so perhaps this is some sort of pixel or wire framework leftover? It's only noticeable up close and everything else about Knifehead like his tiny eyes and flipper-tail look perfectly monstrous.
Articulation is a mixed bag between the two figures. All of Crimson's main joints like his hips/waist/shoulders are double-ball-jointed allowing for excellent flexibility and rang. The legs are single hinge as are the arms and he lacks bicep or wrist swivels meaning you'll need to rely on the shoulders to turn the arm slightly. It's not terrible but NECA could have done so much more with the articulation if they had just given it ball-in-cup or just more ball joints like they usually do.The lack of tilt ankles hurts the leg posing.
Knifehead's articulation is severely limited to a hinged jaw, cut shoulders, hinge elbows, cut/ball hips, hinge knees, and a bendy tail. You can tell this was a direct-from-stature articulation job as there is gapping on the neck and elbows instead of a fluid sculpt around the articulation. The hips while having a ball joint in them have such small range outward it's more like a cut joint tho you can still get a little extra pose option here and there. I would have loved to see some head/neck articulation as that is THE most important joint to give a toy personality while posing. The bendy tail works great and the plastic isn't too rubbery or too hard, it's just right. His front arms are static and I really wish they could be posed.
Paint application for Crimson is molded in color brick red that's been darkened up by a dirty 'oil wash' with the inner sections black using silver highlights. Tiny tampograph Japanese names, symbols, and tech detail really help the look. Make sure you compare paint jobs because I saw some with plenty of slop around the eye and waist. Knifehead's paint is excellent. The sea-worn greys it uses, gloss black claws, and mouth give the figure a screen-worthy look. The yellow lines that run across the skin are too thick and clean compared to the screen-look of the Kaiju where they run across the body in a more natural way. Still Knifehead will fit right along side your Godzilla figures.
So what's the verdict for these two figures? I didn't pick up Gypsy Danger yet but Crimson Typhoon and Knifehead are a good start to the series. They both have heft to them so you feel like you're getting your money's worth. While they could have been better articulated (a skilled customizer could replace a lot of Crimson's joints with Revoltech ones) these are some pretty cool giant mecha vs giant monster toys. You can snag singles or better priced sets at Amazon with free shipping in most cases or find them at our sponsor Big Bad Toy Store along with other great movie merchandise. I'm really REALLY hoping this movie does well and from all the trailers and interviews it looks like it will. Hopefully we'll see all the Jaegers and Kaiju done by NECA this year, hopefully seen at the 2013 SDCC.