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Gipsy Danger

Pacific Rim
by yo go re

Thanks to Anthony Weiner and The Daily Show, I can't hear this robot's name without thinking of Mystikal.

Designation: Gipsy Danger
Classification: Mark-3
OS: Blue Spark 4.1
Weight: 7,080 tons
Energy Core: Nuclear Vortex Turbine (Analog)

Look, I don't know what definition of the word "analog" suggests that it means "powered by a nuclear reactor," but an EMP would affect it just the same as anything else.

Anyway, there was a Gipsy Danger in the first series of Pacific Rim toys, but it didn't really look very much like what was seen in the film. It was too bright and shiny, a "factory new" version of a mech we never saw that way. We needed a Gipsy that'd been beat to hell and was held together by duct tape and baling wire. Series 2 to the rescue!

The blue on this version of Gipsy (which, by the way, is named after the de Havilland Gipsy aircraft engine) is much darker than the Series 1 figure - in fact, all the paint has been toned down. The eye slit is a faded yellow, the red is desaturated, and the white apps are (painted specifically to look like they're) scraping off with wear.

Unfortunately, the "battle damage" on this figure is limited entirely to the paint apps. There was some talk that there would be some resculpting, but that didn't happen - at least not in any significant way. There are no torn areas on the surface of the mech, no missing limbs, none of that. Honestly, the improved paint is enough of a change for me, but you'll have to make that call for yourself.

Poe was somewhat harsh on Gipsy Danger's sculpt. Yes, it's a reworked version of ILM's digital files, but it's a reworked version of the digital files. They're not just taking the computer output and putting it into the pantograph to cut the steel tools that are used to mold the toy: the sculptors work to make sure everything looks its best. Yes, the detail seems a little soft, but that's a function of scale: the mech is either 260' tall (per the art book) or 288' tall (per the blueprints), but the toy is only 7⅜" tall; that's about a 1:455 scale. Doing the math, a 1mm notch on the toy would equal a foot and a half in real life. The sculpt isn't soft because NECA didn't do their job, the sculpt is soft because NECA was using a specific level of detail to create the illusion of size. If this was meant to be a 20' tall Transformer, yes, the sculpt would need to be more exaggerated, but Gipsy's foot is taller than that. The sculpt is where it needs to be.

Like the kaiju, all the jaegers were designed to have a unique silhouette. Gipsy's came from the flaps behind her shoulders and the Dracula collar, which provide protection for the neck - as we see in the film, the head is a separate pod that plugs into the robot, so it needs extra padding to keep it from coming detached. The designers really did put a ton of thought into these things. For instance, you see the vents on the back of her shins? Those are cooling vents that pull seawater into the coolant system to keep the mech from overheating - Gipsy was made to fight in the ocean!

Gipsy Danger has a balljointed head, balljointed shoulders, hinged elbows, balljointed wrists, balljointed torso, swivel/hinge hips, hinged knees, balljointed ankles, and weird hinged heels that fold up because... reasons? Maybe they're hydraulic shock-redistributors that allow for smooth bipedal motion by letting the foot roll into contact with the ground rather than smashing down flatly. The clearance on the left hip isn't the greatest, so it kind of sticks when you move the leg forward - you have to force it under the waist of the figure to get the full range intended. The rest of the joints work perfectly though, so there are no situations like Striker Eureka's second shoulders.

It's not just the paint that makes this Gipsy better than the first one: she also comes with accessories. No, sadly it's still not a tiny shipping freighter to beat Leatherback with. Rather, we get the steel-obsidian alloy chain swords Mako Mori designed. They're not fully formed into swords (the segments retract slightly and form a solid surface), but they're not as flexible as whips, either. Who cares? We've got weapons! They plug in above the wrists, and have silver apps along the edges. Considering that the wrists are balljoints, it's a shame we don't get swappable hands: pull one out, and you could plug in the plasmacaster guns. Maybe they're saving that for a future release.

The Series 1 Gipsy Danger was an okay toy, but not great. The Series 2 release fixes two of the main problems with her, though (the colors and the lack of accessories), giving us a toy that lives up to the movie. Go get her, and cancel the apocalypse!

-- 11/24/13

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