Saturday, 10 January 2015

Original Figure Review - NECA Pacific Rim Deluxe Action Figure - Knifehead

When NECA gave us a brand new sculpt for Knifehead (albeit battle damaged,) back in early 2013, I always imagined that they would reissue the sculpt without the battle damaged effects and once and for all replace the out-of-scale Series 01 Knifehead figure. We got our wish in Fall 2014 when NECA released their Deluxe Knifehead figure as a Toys R' Us Exclusive within the United States. However I was able to acquire mine via from Japan. 

For those who have not seen Guillermo Del Toro's Pacific Rim, Knifehead is a Category 3 Kaiju that the Jaeger, Gipsy Danger, piloted by brothers Raleigh and Yancy Becket, faced off the coast of Anchorage, Alaska. Prior, Kaiju used to be dealt with easily by Jaegers all around the world, but Knifehead is the first Kaiju to gain the upper hand intellectually against a Jaeger by disarming it and killing one of its pilots, Yancy Beckets, leaving Raleigh to pilot Gipsy solo. 

Does this figure manage to replicate Knifehead's ferocity? Let us take a look and see!

If you already have NECA's Battle Damaged Knifehead action figure, then you should be familiar with this sculpt. The sculpt utilizes the new standard body design that Battle Damaged Knifehead, Trespasser, Scunner, and Axehead all use. sculpt is pretty well done and unlike the Series 01 Knifehead figure, it perfect scales with other Kaiju and Jaegers in the line (we'll see more on scaling later.) Paint apps and detailing is done pretty well on this figure. All the appropriate markings are accurately replicated. To bump out the details a bit more, there is a significant wash of blue paint throughout the figure. To some this may seem distracting, but it really helps express a lot of the more subtle details throughout the body. 

Again, if you already have Battle Damaged Knifehead or any other Kaiju from NECA (with the exception of Leatherback and Series 01 Knifehead) that uses the same basic body sculpt, you will be familiar with the range of articulation on this figure. You get a limited range with the neck. Shoulders, elbows, wrists have a decent range, but not enough to get screen-accurate poses. The midsection has a ball joint and the articulation there allows you to twist the body left, right, and up and down to a certain degree. The tail section is rubber with a bendable wire within.

There are only two minor issues I have with this figure. Firstly, the neck articulation, while a tad better than that on Battle Damaged Knifehead, is quite loose and with the head having a bit of weight, it can't easily hold a pose. It always droops downward. Secondly, the jaw cannot close completely. The tongue blocks the bottom jaw from closing all the way. This is not an issue on my Battle Damaged Knifehead figure where the jaw can close and the teeth interlock with each other.

Despite these issues, they are by no means a deal breaker.

Knifehead perfect fits amongst his fellow Kaiju brethren. It should be no surprise that Knifehead should match in height with other figures that use the same basic body sculpt such as NECA's new Axehead figure.

Amongst the Jaegers, Knifehead towers over most of them, as he should. I give NECA credit for revisiting the character and giving collectors a movie-accurate and correctly sized Knifehead figure for Pacific Rim collectors. When I got this, I admit, I sold off my original Series 01 Knifehead. There was no point for me to keep it after getting this figure. 

So what is the final verdict? Is this figure worth it or not?

I say it is worth it!

I give NECA a lot of flack, mainly for the problems I get with their Jaeger figures. However, to their credit, they seem to do very well with the Kaiju. Probably it's because they're bigger, chunkier, and easier to work with. So far I have not had any big issues with their Kaiju figures - No breakages, no balancing issues, etc. 

NECA's Deluxe Knifehead is a worthy figure to add to your Pacific Rim collection if you're able to find one around at a decent price. 

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