Ever since NECA gave us a brand new sculpt for their Knifehead figure [Battle Damaged Knifehead/Deluxe Knifehead] back in early 2014, they have been steadily coming around producing brand new sculpts for their older Series 1 and 2 figures. Gipsy Danger received a brand new sculpt with the Hong Kong Brawl Edition, released late 2014 [with multiple variations following,] and as of this summer it too will receive the "Ultimate Edition" treatment. Right now, however, we are blessed to have got an updated 7-inch Striker Eureka. A couple years ago, I reviewed the original figure and gave it a thumbs up... I take ALL that back! Because, ever since then it has been the most problematic Jaeger figure that I've ever bought from NECA! I've went through three figures since that review and all of them had broke, and I barely handled them roughly. So I am hoping that NECA's second attempt at a 7-inch Striker figure comes out good.
Other than its sculpt and detailing, is this figure an improvement over what came before?
Let us take a look at it now!
Let us start by taking a look at the box. The box features magnificently eye catching artwork of Striker Eureka striking a battle pose in the Hong Kong docks. On the left side you see the name as well as the Australian flag, being that Striker is an Aussie Jaeger. Below are the Jaeger statistics including speed, power, armor, Kaiju kill count, date core, and more. When you open the box's cover, held closed by Velcro, you can see the Jaeger blueprints on the inside as well as a windowed out section where you can see the actual figure.
Like the 18-inch figure, Striker Eureka requires some very minor assembling when you take it out of the box. The back fins come separated, and it is an easy task inserting them into the sockets on the figure's back. If you find yourself having a hard time, just take a blowdryer, soften up the socket area, and gently yet firmly insert the fins. They should slide right in and settle in snugly.
The overall sculpt for the figure is very well done. Basically, it's a shrunken down version of the 18" figure without the LEDs. It is a significant improvement over the original figure. It features intricate panels across its chest, arms, and legs. The decals are now a lot more movie accurate. The colors are very spot on with very minimal paint bleed on some areas. I would have done a comparison between the original and Ultimate figures, but before receiving this figure, the original figure's leg decided to break on me... So, yeah.
In regards to articulation, Striker Eureka mostly remains the same as the original except with a few minor, yet notable, additions. Similar to the 18" figure, Striker features an added swivel joint down at the elbow, to give the figure's arms much more range of motion. Same at the legs. With the added swivel joints, Striker can achieve a wider range of poses than its original counterpart. Also, one thing that was absent from the original, yet present on the 18" figure and this one, is the ability for it to retract its Stinger Blades. Ever since seeing this feature with the blades on NECA's Tacit Ronin figure, I figured that if NECA was to do an updated Striker Eureka, they'd achieve retractable blades. Thank god, they did!
However, like the original figure though, Striker's blades are held in place by a peg and if fiddled, the blades will pop out. Not a big deal, though. They're easy to put back in place, so no sweat!
With this being an "Ultimate Edition," Striker Eureka is packed with additional accessories to give you more bang for your buck. First we will take a look at the Nuclear Payload (pictured above,) that was added onto Striker's back during the film's climax. The accessory can easily be inserted into a socket in the exhaust port on Striker's backside.
The payload is nicely detailed. But some of the decals could have been more precisely applied, such as the nuclear hazard symbol, which looks somewhat faded. The exhaust ports on the payload are articulated and can be slightly maneuvered - similarly to the toes on NECA's Horizon Brave figure.
Striker Eureka's most notable accessories, however would have to be the alternate open chest and missiles. Removing Striker's normal chest plate is easy. Once you have it removed, just insert the opened chest piece into the sockets. Be careful though. The opened panels on the alternate chest are held in place by a thing piece of plastic, so handle with care.
The figure come with three missiles, each of different length. You can arrange them however you like, for they can fit in each of the six turrets. I really love this effect as it gives the figure some life and action to it!
Being one of the shortest of the four Jaegers featured mostly in the movie (discounting the prologue Jaegers,) Striker fits perfectly in scale with NECA's Gipsy Danger [Hong Kong Brawl Edition], Cherno Alpha and Crimson Typhoon (not pictured.)
It is also in scale with all the Kaiju as well. Let us just hope that one day we will get a resculpted version of Series 2's Leatherback (pictured above) as well! I think he deserves an updated figure to match the quality and articulation of NECA's current set of figures.
So, what do I think of the Ultimate Striker Eureka? I made sure not to jump to reviewing it as soon as I took it out of the box. I had some time to fiddle with it and see what it can do. After hours of posing it and trying out the different accessories, here is my verdict...
NECA achieved what I had hoped: vastly improve on the very flawed Series 2 figure. I have the 18" Striker Eureka as well (albeit it's boxed and stored away right now,) and despite being an incredibly awesome figure, it's biggest flaw was that it was too top-heavy and that it couldn't stand on its own without the use of of a 1/4 scale figure stand. I was dreading that the 7" Ultimate figure would have the same problem since it's a miniaturized version of that same sculpt. However, thankfully that was not a case for my figure.
The Ultimate Edition of Striker Eureka is the definite version of the Jaeger currently available. It is a significant improvement over what has come before, and it is packed with amazing accessories that allow you to recreate your favorite movie moments from Pacific Rim (2013). I totally recommend this figure to anyone who collects the Pacific Rim line. Buy it, and toss that old Series 2 figure away, 'cause you won't be needing it anymore!
With the Ultimate Edition of Gipsy Danger slated for this coming June, what other Ultimate Jaeger figures would you want to see from NECA? Crimson Typhoon? Cherno Alpha? Share with us in the comments section below!