NECA is notorious of releasing sculpts of the same exact figure time and time again. It came as no surprise when they announced that Axehead - the concept design of the Kaiju that would ultimately become Trespasser, the first Kaiju to make landfall in the early moments of Pacific Rim (2013) - would be released. A lot of people initially mistook Axehead as a cheap repaint of the already released Deluxe Trespasser action figure from early 2014, but it turns out that is not the case with this figure.
Keeping with NECA's style, Axehead utilizes the same body sculpt as the previously released Deluxe Trespasser, Knifehead, and Scunner. However, there are multiple aspects of this figure, which differ entirely from the nearly identical Deluxe Trespasser, which we will cover throughout this review. One of the initial differences you will see with Axehead that it has blade-like protrusions sticking out of the figure's knees, a trait that no other Kaiju has. The figure stands around 7-8 inches tall, and possesses a good amount of detail meticulously sculpted into this figure. What sticks out the most with this figure is the paint job, which is radically different than all of the Kaiju figures we have seen up to this point in the figure line. The dominant green color is present all over the body with washes of dark gray to bump out areas filled with detail and texture such as the crest and carapace on the figure's back. The chest and belly area is a light turquoise/blue color which really sticks out. And then, instead of the vein-like markings on all of the other Kaiju, Axehead has blotches of yellow spots. Even though it's what NECA refers to as a "concept figure," Axehead easily has one of the best paint jobs of any figure they've released in their Pacific Rim toy line.
Articulation is no different than that of the Deluxe Trespasser, Knifehead, and Scunner. If you have those figures, then you will have a good understanding of what to expect with this figure. If not, then you have articulation in the jaw, neck, shoulders, arms, wrists, waist, legs, knees, ankles, and a bendable rubber tail. Unfortunately, as with the previous said figures, the elbow articulation is limited. However, if you're brave enough, you can try pulling the arm out from its socket, which would pull out the joint. That should give the arm a bit more range of motion.
Going back to differences in sculpt between Trespasser and Axehead, the crest of the latter is the first we'll be looking at. Initially I didn't see much difference between the two figures, but upon closer inspection, the top of Axehead's crest is sculpted to look more jagged and worn while Trespasser's is much more smoother.
Another major difference between Trespasser and Axehead is that the carapace on Axehead is entirely different than that of Trespasser - and on top of that, it's also different from Knifehead and Scunner's as well. Instead of a giant fin-like carapace, Axehead has one similar to Knifehead and Scunner, but has a large spike at the top of it instead of a rounded bump. Also, Axehead is unique that one of the spikes on the side of its carapace is broken. A sign of battle damage perhaps. For those concerned about that, it's no accident. That's what it is supposed to look like.
I don't always like ragging on NECA's issues of quality control, but they make it way too easy. While I don't have a problem with the figure in general, there is one hiccup that I can't easily overlook. On the right inner arm, the claws on the hands are not painted, leaving the claws the same green color as the skin instead of a glossy black. I personally don't find it a huge distraction - especially since I don't always look at my figures close up. However, this is an issue I can see most people flipping out over.
So, is Axehead a worthy figure to add to your growing Kaiju collection? I initially had no intention whatsoever to buy this figure at first, passing it off as a cheap redeco of the original Deluxe Trespasser. However, upon noticing the slight differences (some I have not even mentioned) I decided to give it a shot. While the figure did come with one notable issue (unpainted claw,) it still did not deter me away from appreciating this figure. It may not have been featured in the final cut of Pacific Rim but based on the detail, and paint job alone, it's one of the most extravagant looking figures in the line so far.
Is it a worthy purchase? Certainly!
Is it a worthy purchase? Certainly!
If you're interested in buying this figure, you can still get it at BigBadToyStore.