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Crimson Typhoon

Pacific Rim
by yo go re

And now, here's the Jaeger who shows up every 28 days.

Crimson Typhoon Designation: Crimson Typhoon
Classification: Mark-4
OS: Tri-Sun Horizon Gateway
Weight: 6,122 tons
Energy Core: Midnight Orb 9

Crimson Typhoon was originally released in Series 1 - you remember, the series that was pretty much sold out before the movie even opened? Yeah, that one. Her fellow Series 1 releases have both seen upgrades of one sort or another, but Crimson has been unavailable since then.

When her insane secondary market prices were pointed out to NECA on Twitter, they immediately announced a special "2nd Deployment" series to give fans another shot at picking one up.

The Jaegers of Pacific Rim have lots of influences. Sometimes it's in the designs - submarines, helicopters, airplanes - and sometimes it's in the backstory. For instance, the technical specs on Crimson, here, specify that her head has a "28-GO" liquid software system, which is a reference to Testujin 28-Go, the original version of Gigantor.

Crimson Typhoon is painted a brick red, to help immediately remind us that she's the Chinese Jaeger. The immediately overwhelming design feature you'll notice is that C-to-the-T has three arms: a big one on the left, and two thinner ones on the right. The Jaeger is piloted by the Wei triplets, which is why there can be an extra arm - the original plan was to have four female pilots, but they couldn't find identical quadruplets. There are tiny winglets on the back of the shoulders, and several rounded cooling vents. The single cyclopean eye on the head is a nod to HAL-9000, and the design has digitigrade legs that apparently came into play very late, since even the "final" concept art still had plain legs. Of course, Crimson Typhoon is the only Jaeger that can kick as an attack, so the unique legs help viewers realize there's a difference.

Kicking isn't Crimson Typhoon's only attack (though it does explain the big shock absorbers sculpted on the back of the ankles): her left hand is a plasma gun that opens up like an orange peel and has a biometric function to only target kaiju skeletons; and in the movie at least, all three hands can convert into saw blades to cut a giant monster into itty bitty strips. The toy can't do that last one, sadly - even if it would have been removable/​swappable hands, it would have been nice to get those here. But this was designed as a straight re-release of the Series 1 toy, not an upgrade.

One of the major complaints about this figure is the articulation in the wrists: while the left hand is on a balljoint, both right hands are plain hinges. Not even a swivel, just hinges! Yes, it seems lacking, but you know what? That's all they seemed to do in the movie! Why would NECA add joints that don't exist? All the elbows are hinged, and all the shoulders are balljoints. In fact, so are the hips, waist and neck. The remaining three joints in each leg are just hinges, but they support the figure well enough. The head is a little weird, since there are elements that are clearly meant to be pistons that attach to the collarbone area, but they only reach down there when the head is tipped all the way forward.

Crimson Typhoon is either 250' tall (per the art book) or 291' tall (per the blueprints), but a 40-foot discrepency isn't a big deal when you're dealing with a figure that stands about 7¾" tall. The edges of some of the panels are outlined in gold, and Crimson Typhoon's logo (a demon face with the word 煒 [wei, "bright"] in its mouth as a nod to the pilots) is painted on the front of the large shoulder pad, the center of the chest, and the small of the back. There are 14 white marks on the chest and back, presumably counting kills, but CT has only killed seven monsters. The name of the Jaeger is printed in Chinese on the back of the shoulder pad and the left side of the chest - 暴風赤紅 (bàofēng chìhóng) actually translates as "red crimson wind violence." There are Chinese symbols painted on the right hip and both right arms, which sadly does not identify which triplet was controling which bodypart: the mark on the leg and the front arm reads 命 (life/fate) while the back arm reads 貴 (costly/superior).

She may have some flaws, but overall, Crimson Typhoon is a good toy. The poseability is nice, and the paint apps are very detailed. But the most impressive thing is the way NECA reacted to the toy's scarcity and made sure the fans who wanted one could get it without having to drop four times retail value to get one.

-- 07/26/14

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