Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Original Figure Review - NECA Pacific Rim Mini Figure Set

Before I get started on this review, I'd like to give a huge shoutout to my pal, Steven McCarthy of Steven's Toy Reviews on YouTube for acquiring this box set for me! Be sure to check out his amazing, and often very spot-on, reviews on action figures of our favorite giant monsters. Also, be sure to watch his review of this particular box set too. 

Without any further ado, let us get started! 

The NECA Pacific Rim Mini Figure Set was first unveiled earlier this year at Toy Fair, and ultimately sold last week as an exclusive at San Diego Comic-Con 2015. However, several sets were sent off to various Toys R' Us locations throughout the United States where Steven was able to snag an extra box on my behalf. The set includes five figures, three Kaiju and two Jaegers. They include (from left to right,) Trespasser, Karloff, Horizon Brave, Romeo Blue, and Hardship. Some people may be unfamiliar with these particular Kaiju and Jaegers, which is understandable - they are mainly featured in the film's prologue sequence depicting the beginnings of the Kaiju attacks on Earth as well as humanity's rise against them. In fact, these particular figures are actually based on in-movie props from that very sequence. See the image below! 

The mini figures are based on actual in-movie props!
In the movie, the introduction of children's toys for Kaiju and Jaegers arose in a similar way as little plastic green army men did during World War II. Compared to their film counterparts and the actual products in real life, the Mini Figure Set is pretty faithful to what we see in the movie aside from some very minor details. Each figure stands at around three inches tall. They each have a bit of weight to them, which I found surprising.

From here on, we will be taking a look at each individual Kaiju and Jaeger in this set.

The first Kaiju we will look at is in fact the very first Kaiju who invaded our world (in regards to the Pacific Rim movie universe,) Trespasser. Trespasser is sculpted in an all-yellow plastic and has no other distinguishable paint features. Details on this figure are very light and the only bits that really stand out are its eyes, teeth, claws and muscle tones. There are two points of articulation on Trespasser, and they are in the figure's shoulders. However, with Trespasser being a little top-heavy, if both arms are both raised, the figure will topple forward. I always intend to keep one arm down and one arm raised as a means to maintain balance. With Trespasser being one of the more recognizable Kaiju in the set, it's pretty neat in its own right, but it certainly isn't my number one favorite in the group. 

Next up is Karloff! Karloff is a Kaiju who is covered in great detail in both the movie novelization and the art book Man, Machines and Monsters, but is only featured for less than a split second in the film's documentary-like prologue sequence. Despite that, Karloff is a huge fan favorite and I do personally hope NECA does a full sized Deluxe figure of him. The Karloff mini figure is the lightest figure in the set as well as one of the smallest. It has some little details that set it apart from other figures in the set like thorn-like structures on its body and the spiny crown-like head. He has a very humanoid appearance with a very elongated skull. The figure is sculpted in a very light blue coloration. Karloff has three points of articulation - on the arms and neck. Even though it's the smallest figure in the set, Karloff is among my favorites due to it being a complete weirdo when compared to the rest of his Kaiju brethren!

Here is the first of two of our Jaegers in this set, Horizon Brave. Horizon Brave is a first generation Chinese Jaeger who was featured completely destroyed in Pacific Rim (shortly after the title sequence.) It has a very distinctive design with two huge missile-like barrels on its shoulders. Horizon Brave is the largest and heaviest figure in the set. It also has the most paint detail too with its shoulder barrels and eye colored yellow, its head and fingers colored dark gray, and its body in brown. Horizon Brave has three points of articulation on its body: it's arms and waist. As noted in Steven's video review for this figure, it gives off a certain "Come at me bro," sort of look!

Romeo Blue is our next and final Jaeger in the box set. Unfortunately it's the most bland looking figure in the entire set. Regardless it perfectly captures the details that make it distinctive - the chest-blade, the rectangular head, the back fins, large hands, and cylinder legs an feet. It has only two points of articulation - its shoulders. One thing I found a little off about this particular figure is the slight bleed of glue around some of its joints and seams (notably where the chest blade meets the body.) It's not completely noticeable so it's one aspect I can easily forgive. 

Hardship is our final figure and our final Kaiju in this set, and ain't he a beauty! Much like this figure's in-film counterpart it starts out with a brownish-red color scheme at the very top and eventually turning into a dark gray through a seamless gradient lower on its body. Hardship possesses quite a bit of detailing in its sculpt, giving it very distinguishable features across its body. It has two points of articulation, which are its shoulders. In regards to this box set, Hardship is my absolute favorite figure. It's pretty neat that we will be getting a Deluxe figure of Hardship eventually.

Overall, I really like this set. It has its flaws, but it makes up for it in sheer charm. It retailed for around $50 at San Diego Comic-Con, and far more in the ruthless aftermarket. Is it worth it though? If you were able to acquire it at retail price like Steven and myself did, then it is, as long as you're into Chibi designer toys such as these. However, if not, then you will not be missing much. If you're into more detailed figures, NECA already has 7-inch figures of both Romeo Blue, Horizon Brave, and Trespasser still readily available at select vendors online and local comic book stores. 

Personally, I adore this set and I am so glad I jumped on it when I had the chance.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT - Be sure to check us out next week when we do a VERY special original figure review for the upcoming S.H. MonsterArts Godzilla 2014 Spit Fire Ver. which comes out in Japan later this month and in North America later in August! 

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