Pacific Rim Series 1 Reviews
In my Gipsy Danger review, I mentioned I thought Gipsy was meant to be an “everyman” Jaeger that the audience could identify with – hence her humanoid, all-American, football player looks. Pacific Rim director Guillermo Del Toro and his team were far more creative with the other Jaegers. My personal favorite is Cherno Alpha (who strongly resembles Ashley Wood’s World War Robot…excuse me, I have to daydream about a threeA line of Jaegers for a moment…okay, I’m back), but almost all the Jaegers are awesome, including Crimson Typhoon.
Each Jaeger represents a country. Crimson Typhoon is China’s. The concept artist, Hugo Martin, took his inspiration from boxer Floyd Meriweather and Roman gladiators. I’m guessing the specific type of Roman gladiator he was thinking of was the retiarius, who wore a large piece of shoulder armor called a galerus. Crimson Typhoon’s large glowing eye is an homage to HAL of 2001: A Space Odyssey.*
Packaging: The figure comes in NECA’s usual clamshell packaging. The cross-sell graphics on the back are of the figures themselves, which I often find a bit disappointing these days – I prefer to get pics from the movie, or maybe some art. The front insert features the concept art of Crimson Typhoon by Hugo Martin.
Design & Sculpt: Crimson Typhoon has a much more interesting design than Gipsy Danger and it shows with the action figure. As NECA’s Randy Falk stated in an interview, the figures are designed from “digital outputs supplied to us through Legendary and ILM — then we articulated by hand and cleaned up and refined some details.” When you shrink a digital model down to a scale this small, a lot of details get washed out – hence Randy’s comment about refining the details. Unfortunately, the results still seem to be a bit too simplistic with this line.
That said, Crimson Typhoon came out much better than Gipsy Danger. For one thing, she has a lot of the silver/black “undercarriage” parts around and between the red armor, which gives the figure a more detailed, mechanical look than Gipsy Danger. There are some nice details on parts like the head and the claw/plasmacaster on the left arm.
The figure is hefty and chunky, which isn’t a bad thing. It reminds me a bit of Blizzard’s Starcraft figures from the early 2000s, or McFarlane Toys’ Manga Spawn. And believe it or not, despite the reversed knees, the figure stands just fine in most positions.
The film’s art book Pacific Rim: Man, Machines, and Monsters mentions that the two smaller arms can join together to form a single arm. I don’t know if that maneuver is executed in the movie, but if so, it would have been a nice touch for the figure.
It does need to be mentioned that like Gipsy Danger, Crimson Typhoon is out-of-scale with Knifehead (or perhaps it’s more accurate to say Knifehead is out-of-scale with the Jaegers). That’s obviously disappointing, but whether it’s a deal-breaker is up to you.
Plastic & Paint: The figure is molded mostly in black, with the red parts painted on. The shoulder armor is made from softer plastic so as to allow the shoulder to move, and is molded in red. Some of the smaller parts might be molded in red as well – it’s a bit hard to tell.
The black parts have a silver drybrush that works very well, giving those parts the appearance of tarnished steel. While the red sections do have a drybrush as well, it’s far more understated than that of Gipsy Danger’s and looks much better here. There’s very little slop that I can see.
There is a lot of tampograph work all over the figure, from the Chinese characters (with the tiny English lettering below) to the Kaiju count to the big Crimson Typhoon logo on the shoulder armor and several other logos here and there. They’re all clean and very well applied, which is impressive for the tiny size of some of them.
Overall, Crimson Typhoon features a far more professional job in the plastic, paint and tampograph department than on either other figure.
Articulation: Again, Crimson Typhoon crushes the other two figures in this category. She has a ball-jointed neck, ball-joints on all three shoulders, hinges at all three elbows, a horizontal hinge at the two right wrists and a ball joint at the left wrist, a ball-jointed waist, ball-jointed hips, hinged knees, and hinged ankles. The shoulder ball joints, at least, are double ball-and-socket joints – both the shoulder and the shoulder have a socket, and a double-headed plastic “barbell” holds them together, allowing for an extra bit of movement on both sides.
I know this because one side of each of the barbells was completely stuck on both right arms. You can pop the shoulders off the socket pretty easily, but getting a stuck barbell to move within the socket can be a real pain in the ass. I eventually freed mine, but one of the barbells turned out to have been practically glued in with paint. I saw a report of one collector whose barbell snapped. In retrospect I find that a bit surprising – the barbells seem awfully strong to me – but if you’ve got some stuck shoulders (and chances are you will) and you’re going to try to fix it, be sure to save that receipt.
Setting that aside, I think the articulation on this figure is great. There are seventeen points of articulation, and seven of those are ball joints. Unlike Gipsy Danger, the joints are able to move freely and aren’t restricted by the design. The only extra joint I would have appreciated is some sort of side-to-side flexibility in the feet, as I find that tends to add a lot of character to poses.
Accessories: As with the other two figures in this line, none.
Quality Control: See the discussion in Articulation about the shoulders. Aside from that, this figure seems quite solid (although the waist is thin and jointed, so I can imagine the figure snapping in half if it took a particularly long fall).
Overall: Crimson Typhoon is easily the best of NECA’s first series of Pacific Rim figures. It’s got nearly all the articulation I might wish for with a good range of motion, the sculpt is detailed, and the paint work is good. If you only buy one Pacific Rim figure, make it this one.
And with that, my Pacific Rim reviews are done. All that’s left is to see the movie, which I will do in exactly twelve hours and fifty minutes from the time this gets posted. I can’t wait.
Where to Buy:
* Cohen, David. Pacific Rim: Man, Machines, and Monsters. 1st ed. San Rafael: Insight Editions, 2013. 68. Print.