Gypsy Danger vs Godzilla

Pacific Rim
Jaeger: Gypsy Danger
7 Inch Scale
By: NECA
$15.99

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.

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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?

Packaging:

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The packages are the standard clamshells that you’re used to if you’ve bought pretty much anything from NECA before. You either love them or hate them. On the positive side, these were pretty easy to open up and the figure was only held in with one twist tie.

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The backing insert is nicely designed and I suppose it could be used for display. I appreciate the aesthetic, even if it doesn’t really serve a function. It does help the figure stand out a bit when inside the clamshell, so for you MOC types, that’s a bonus.

Sculpt/Paint:
The sculpting here is top notch. While I haven’t seen the movie yet obviously, I have seen enough trailers and stills to say that this looks to be a pretty accurate recreation of the actual Jaeger. Yes, there might be an odd bit here or there that’s off if you examine every frame or something, but it’s generally a very accurate design.

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It’s loaded down with lots of great sculpting details, from little engine pieces to various mounts and flaps. This looks like a giant robot. I know a lot of people think this looks like the Fox Sports robot, but I was immediately reminded of the more recent Real Steel robots.

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Sure the sculpting is great, but if it has crappy paint it may not matter. NECA doesn’t let us down here, delivering tons of great paint applications. From the tiniest painted detail to tampo work and even some shading and battle damage. It looks fantastic.

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Altogether the sculpting and paint on this figure is second to none. In fact, every time I look at this guy I’m almost amazed that it wasn’t made by 3A or something. It has that kind of detail, but at a fraction of the price.

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Articulation:
This is where Gypsy Danger falls apart. NECA has been improving their articulation and truth be told, this Jaeger is loaded down with articulation. The problem is that the design of the bot interferes with a lot of it, to the point that it renders certain areas almost useless.

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Adding to the problem is that certain other points, such as arm swivels are left out. Ultimately what ends up happening is that the arms, which have ball joints at the shoulders, can barely move out at all. So you get a figure that basically has cut arms. Even that is a bit limited. This is a figure that calls out for dynamic posing, but you just can’t get it out of the arms.

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The legs aren’t much better. While NECA included knee hinges and some amazing ball joint feet with a separate hinge on the toes, it’s the legs themselves that are frustrating. They’re designed so that they can go out at the hip, for cool side to side poses, but the sculpt gets in the way yet again. It also gets in the way when you move the leg forward to kick.

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Oddly enough you can get some movement when moving the legs backwards, but I wish you had that same range of motion in the front and the side. The head is also on a ball joint, but it’s pretty much immobile.

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The positives include hands that are on ball joints and they move nicely. The torso ball joint also has some good range. It’s just frustrating that the arms basically have the range of a Rock’em Sock’em Robot.

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All that said, I can’t necessarily blame NECA too much on the articulation here. They stayed faithful to the robot design. I suspect Gypsy Danger will be doing a LOT more posing in the film than this figure is capable of however. I wish the shoulder padrons were hinged. I think that would make a world of difference.

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Accessories:
None of the NECA Pacific Rim figures come with anything. I can’t say that they should necessarily have accessories, although a smashed building or something might be nice. However, it’s worth noting that NECA’s other figures at similar price points often come with quite a few cool accessories. Nature of the license, I guess.

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Value:
100% unique sculpted figure with great paint application and multiple points of articulation for $16? NECA delivers just about the best bang for you buck in town. While I have some pretty major qualms with how the figure’s articulation doesn’t work as well as I’d hoped and it doesn’t come with any accessories, it’s still hard not to call this a very good value. NECA continues to shine in this department above almost everyone else.

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Score Recap:
Packaging – 8
Sculpt/Paint – 10
Articulation – 6
Accessories – N/A
Value – 9
Overall: 8

I’m really conflicted on this figure because while the paint and sculpting is really good, the articulation is downright frustrating. Nothing annoys me more than misplaced articulation or articulation that doesn’t work well. I feel like NECA would have been better making a couple of sculpt sacrifices or getting a bit more creative to make the articulation that they did put into Gypsy Danger more useful.

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I’m sure some people will wonder how I can knock a figure like this which does include a lot of articulation, while praising other toys that have far less. Ultimately it’s a feel factor. This guy feels like he should move a lot more and when you can’t put him into those positions, it really hinders the fun factor. The fact that he has good articulation but the sculpt hinders it, just amplifies the problem. That’s why he gets docked major points in these areas.

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NECA’s Pacific Rim Gypsy Danger is a bit of a mixed bag, where the sculpt and paint is awesome, but the articulation doesn’t quite meet that level. I was SUPER excited when this guy was in the package and a few minutes after messing around with him out of the box, I was pretty deflated. Still, if you’re looking for nice sculpted and generally accurate figures, Gypsy Danger from NECA is a winner.

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