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Pacific Rim Monster

Pacific Rim
Kaiju: Knifehead
7 Inch Scale

One of my all time favorite Gamera kaiju is the knife headed monster, Guiron. His wacky design and downright insane concept just add a lot of fun to the Gamera franchise. Guillermo Del Toro may have been a fan as well, as it seems like some of the more bizarre Gamera-esque kaiju designs have slightly permeated into Pacific Rim. The most obvious is the monster simply known as Knifehead.

Kaiju Monster
NECA have cranked out a figure of him in the first wave of their new Pacific Rim toy line. Knifehead has the distinction of being not just the first, but also the only kaiju in the line thus far. He’s also figured prominently into the advertising for the film. While we have seen glimpses of other monsters, Knifehead like Jaeger Gypsy Danger, has seen the most commercial screen time.

As the only giant monster in the line thus far, Knifehead offers us a rare look at what the designs for Pacific Rim may hold and also gives us a good indication on how NECA plans to deal with these unique monsters. Is this figure a home run? I think you’ll be surprised to find out this guy is made by NECA and not Trendmasters. Continue reading

Gypsy Danger vs Godzilla

Pacific Rim
Jaeger: Gypsy Danger
7 Inch Scale

It’s no secret that we love giant Japanese monsters here at Infinite Hollywood. With our Japanese Monster Week, 12 Days of Gamera, Ultraman Love and just general Kaiju coverage, we’re always giving you something monstrous to enjoy. With Pacific Rim set to hit theaters in just a few weeks, it’s an exciting time around here. NECA’s new Pacific Rim figures immediately caught my eye as it’s the first time in a long while that we’ve had another American company in on the giant monster action.

Viras Trendmasters Figure
Add to that, I love NECA toys! Particularly some of the figures they’ve made in the past few years, now that articulation seems to be at the forefront of many of their offerings. They tend to be affordable, nicely designed, expertly painted and loaded down with articulation. Unfortunately my local Toys R Us rarely has any selection and I considered myself pretty lucky when I walked in the other day and managed to find all of the Series 1 Pacific Rim figures.

Pacific Rim certainly looks to be the most fun movie of the summer with giant robots (mechs) fighting giant monsters. For someone who lives and breathes Godzilla, Ultraman, Gamera and all things Kaiju, this should be a slam dunk. With Guillermo Del Toro attached, my main concern with Pacific Rim is how high it’s going to set the bar for the upcoming Godzilla film. So today I take a look at the first of several NECA Pacific Rim figures. Be sure to keep checking in all week long, as I’ll review the complete first wave. Up first is what I presume is the main hero of the film, the Jaeger, Gypsy Danger. All that said, does NECA + Pacific Rim = Massive Win? Continue reading

I was torn on the title of this article, but I figured this one would be the most eye catching. Other potential titles included, “Toys that would be on clearance in 2 months, now worth $1,000s of dollars”, “The most valuable ReMego toys to date” and my favorite, “Django UnBayed”. The story, if you haven’t been keeping up, is that NECA’s Django Unchained Mego-like figures have stirred up quite a controversy. It’s certainly not the first time a toy has been controversial and it’s hardly the first time in the last few years that protesters have convinced someone that an “adult collectible” is being sold to children in a toy store.

Of course, times change. Matchbox got into quite the controversy in the 80’s when they made Freddy Krueger figures that WERE marketed to kids. But nobody bats an eye at Krueger figures lining the shelves of Toys R Us anymore. We have action figures of everything from fictional murderers to real life serial killers. You’d think we’d be past the days of a plastic toy getting people up in arms, but we’re not.

So what makes this controversy different? Slavery, I suppose. You see, at the heart of the issue is the concept that kids will buy these toys and play “slavery” with the dolls. As someone who played with toys far longer than he had any right to, I’m sure certain aspects of slavery already creeped into my toy playing. Weren’t Rocksteady and Bebop basically slaves to Shredder? But I digress… Even though these toys are aimed at adult collectors, it was first that we had to “think of the kids” and how they might be exposed to such horrors.

Even though none of these figures had made their way to Toys R Us yet (one assumes they would have eventually), they were pulled from the virtual shelves. Now we couldn’t just protect the children, we all needed to be protected. You see, we live in a strange world. You can own an AK-46 assault rifle, but you can’t own a toy from a movie where someone was a slave in it. In America, as long as it’s not hurting anyone, you can complain and get rid of it. Just try and find a t-shirt with the Kentucky Wildcat penis tongue on it anymore. But guns, those are okay. You can buy a rebel flag, dynamite, beer and a katana at the local flea market on Sunday, but not toys about a slave hero from a movie.

Perhaps what makes this so interesting is that the brouhaha went national. It garnered the attention of the Weinstein Company, producers of the film, who then forced NECA to stop making the figures. They even made NECA go so far as to call for the toys sold to retailers to be returned. Since the toys had just barely hit and not yet made it to larger retail chains, it’s pretty easy to stop these toys cold.

Django Dude
The figures are so rare that protesters can only carry pictures of the figures to complain about.
That more or less negates the need for a protest, no?

Apparently, the National Action Network and Project Islamic Hope, two civil rights groups at the center of the storm, felt the figures were commercializing the slave experience. Of course, one could easily argue that the movie itself does the same thing. And we know there will be other Django merchandise, t-shirts, hats, Slurpee cups. It’ll happen and that’s just as much commercialization as anything else. So why are toys persecuted? Because nobody stands up for toys. Toys are still considered “children’s playthings” in the minds of the masses.

Yet, despite all that, the figures have been selling for hundreds and thousands of dollars on Ebay. The highest auction I could find was over $5,000 for a set of figures. At least until today, as Ebay wants nothing more to do with Django. Ebay has removed all of the auctions, at the behest of complaints, because it violates their “racially or ethnically offensive” policy. Even though Ebay pulled the items down, several have popped back up, all at inflated prices. Ebay’s jump into this mix will likely briefly increase the figure’s worth but I suspect over time, if Ebay continues to pull auctions, the price will plummet. Nobody really wants these figures, they only want them because they’re rare and controversial.

Continue reading

Just in time for the DVD release, it’s NECA’s Hunger Games Katniss!

It’s time once again to shine a spotlight on some of the customs out there and this time we’re looking at something a bit different. Jeff sent along this great piece featuring his NECA Ninja Turtles. He created this custom display using the vintage Eastman/Laird art.

I started out with a ‘crystal clear’ display case from the local Hobby Lobby that would house all four turtles, measuring 7″ x 6″ turned vertically. To give two of the turtles height (to appear leaping in midair) I found some bendable metal wire in the train aisle and drilled holes into some wooden circular discs large enough to support the balancing figure. I painted the disc gray and glued a NYC man hole cover on top.

Next, I scanned in a page from my old Mirage TMNT book 1- the vertical panel that shows the turtles escape after defeating the purple dragon gang. I scaled the image in photoshop, printed it and attached it to the back of the display along with a similar graphic for them to stand on. I’m very happy with how this display turned out and have started working on a similar display for the Classics line (using art from the arcade game) and the new Nick toon. Let me know if you are interested in making your own display or sharing it with others on your site. I’ll gladly provide the files for fellow turtle fans.

Awesome work Jeff! I am loving this display. I imagine a lot of folks will take some inspiration from this. Very well done!

That’s it for this edition of Custom Creations Corner, but if you have a cool custom you want spotlighted, drop us a line and maybe you could be featured right here!