Friday, 9 January 2015

Original Figure Review - NECA Pacific Rim Figure Series 04 - Hong Kong Brawl Gipsy Danger

After the lackluster Series 01 and 02 releases of Gipsy Danger, the lead Jaeger from the 2013 giant monster vs. giant mecha action flick, Pacific Rim, it was somewhat foreseeable that NECA would revisit her and bring collectors an entirely brand new and improved sculpt of the famed Jaeger. 

NECA wished that their new Gipsy would be up to standards with their Pacific Rim figures beyond Series 03. Does it succeed at improving over the original sculpt? Let's find out together!

This is the third Gipsy Danger figure released in the Pacific Rim 7" Figure Series, and it certainly won't be the last. The sculpt is entirely brand new. Nothing from the original Series 01 sculpt is present in this updated version of Gipsy. On top of a brand new sculpt, there are new points of articulation, not present on the original as well. 

While looking at this figure, there are some details that the designers of the new Gipsy might have overlooked. This figure is labeled as Hong Kong Brawl Gipsy Danger, therefore it's supposed to be based on Gipsy in the second half of the film after it's been rebuilt after the events at the start of the film. In the film, Gipsy's left arm is completely replaced and the decals read the number "5" instead of 34 - which would be accurate for Gipsy at the start of the film. I assume that the error in detail here is either due to laziness on NECA's part or sheer obliviousness. Also, another flaw in detail on this figure is that on the section beneath its knees, there should be a bit of yellow paint. This bit of detail is present on the original Series 01 and 02 figures. As to why NECA missed this little detail on their new and "improved" version is beyond me. However it isn't a BIG issue to most people. Me, I enjoy the small details on figures and the couple of errors I've mentioned here kind of irk me a tad. 

Articulation on the Hong Kong Brawl Gipsy Danger is without a doubt an improvement over that of the original Series 01 Gipsy Danger figure. The arms feature a bicep swivel that gives a wider range of motion on Gipsy. Also there is segment on the biceps that slides up and down, giving Gipsy's elbows more of a bend, up to 90 degrees give or take. The shoulder pads are on ball joints themselves, which help give more range to Gipsy's shoulder articulation. The legs, while slightly improved, still are limited in motion thanks to Gipsy's leg design up towards the midsection.

Unfortunately, Gipsy still suffers from balancing issues, no different than those as seen on the first two figures. You'd think by now NECA would have figured out a way to keep Gipsy Danger - or better yet most of their Jaegers - to keep toppling over (and even breaking on several occasions.) 

When scaled against other figures in the line, Gipsy perfectly fits with NECA's Deluxe Knifehead. However, when next to the Series 02 Striker Eureka, you see that there is an issue. Striker should be at around the same height as Gipsy. Hopefully NECA ends up doing a brand new sculpt for Striker Eureka that is more fitting alongside the new Jaeger figures. 

What sets the Hong Kong Brawl Gipsy Danger figure aside from most other figures in this line is that it comes with a few accessories. The infamous Boat Sword, which Gipsy used to strike Otachi with during the Hong Kong battle scene, an accurate version of the Chain Sword, and a pair of fisted hands. 

Gipsy's fisted hands allow the Jaeger to achieve a somewhat successful Elbow Rocket punching pose. As a note for people interested in buying this figure, the ball joints on the fisted hands are bigger than those on the opened hands. Due to this, when one takes off the firsts and puts back on the opened hands, the articulation will feel loose. 

Gipsy's Chain Sword is inserted into a socket on the arm, no different than that of the Series 02 Battle Damaged Gipsy Danger. The Boat Sword on the other hand has little indentations on the hull for Gipsy's fingers to fit into. However, with the Boat Sword in hand, Gipsy's balance is compromised a bit. It takes a little while to work a pose that is able to be balanced. 

So, is this new Gipsy a worthy improvement over its Series 01 and 02 counterparts?

A bit of yes and no.

It succeeds in bringing a greater attention to detail and overall sculpt, however, it falls short with balancing issues, lack of attention to tinier-yet-distinguishable details, and issues with loose joints.

If one desires a figure of Gipsy Danger, then this one is pretty recommendable. Better this than the original Series 01 and 02 crap! You do get neat accessories, and a greater range in articulation with this figure, which gives you more options on how to display it. While my feelings on this particular figure are obviously mixed, I'm still glad I picked it up.

You can still buy the Hong Kong Brawl Gipsy Danger at BigBadToyStore (along with Tacit Ronin).

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