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Pacific Rim
by yo go re

You'll recall that for the first two series, NECA's Pacific Rim toys featured two Jaegers and a Kaiju. Well, now things have changed.

click to embiggen

In Series 3, there are two Jaegers and two Kaiju(s?), and they're not even sold together. Why the change? Because NECA has bumped the size of the monsters up so much that they won't even fit in the same shipping cartons any more!

We begin with Trespasser, aka "Axehead," the first kaiju to come through the breach (on August 10, 2013, so really just a few months ago). You know, the one that went rampaging through the Golden Gate Bridge in the prologue, the one that took six days and three nuclear missiles to take down? Yeah, him. No idea why they call him "Axehead," though: do you think it's because he's really into guitars? Like, the way a "gearhead" is into cars? Yeah, that's probably it. There's nothing else it could possibly be.

In the film, Trespasser used the same basic body as Knifehead - other than a few key identifying differences, they used the same CGI model (Knifehead's was tweaked to create Axehead), so it's no surprise that this toy looks so much like that one. The bent legs, the nipple-arms, the thick outer arms with the split in the forearm... those are all details shared between the two creatures. But this is an all-new sculpt, make no mistake. There are no credits on the package - possibly at WB/Legendary's insistence, possibly because the toys are made from reworked digital files. Either way, whoever turned this into a toy did a great job. The scale patterns look organic, rather than toyetic, starting out all smooth and leathery on the chest, then getting rougher as you move back.

While Knifehead had a big, flat pad on his back, Trespasser's dealie is more like a fin. It starts out spread wide, but rises up sharply to a point, similar to the axe on his head. Two large horns erupt from this organ and point forward along the shoulders. He's of course got massive claws on all his hands - one of the differences between the Knifehead and Trespasser was that Tressie had more prominent claws, but these aren't quite that big - they'd need to be about twice as long as they are to match the CGI model.

Trespasser is a dark bluish-grey, with a tan color on his belly and back. His claws are all jet black, and there's a little bit of "corroded copper" green on his head-axe. The stripes on his body still look like tribal paint rather than an internal glow, but there's no way around that. They're closer to orange than Knifehead's yellow, and his eyes and the interior of his mouth match the color. He's got a pointy red tongue hiding behind his fearsome teeth.

As you know, the poor articulation on the Series 1 Knifehead was Walmart's fault, and now that they're out of the way, things have drastically improved. Trespasser has a bendy tail, balljointed ankles, swivel/hinge ankles, balljointed hips, a swivel waist, balljointed wrists (all four of them), swivel/​hinge elbows (big arms only), swivel/​hinge shoulders (times four), a balljointed head, and a hinged jaw. The range of motion on the elbows isn't very far, but this is, in every way, better than Series 1. Way to keep improving!

We said the monsters have gotten bigger, and we meant it: the fin on Trespasser's back breaks the 8" mark, while the Series 1 Knifehead struggled to reach 7" with his nose pointing up. There's a reason the clamshells these are sold in are the second biggest I can ever remember seeing a toy come in. To give you an idea of how big Trespasser was, a full-size F-22 Raptor could fit easily in the palm of his hand - his smaller hands!

So you've got a great sculpt, great paint, improved size and improved articulation. The only reason I can think of that you wouldn't buy a Trespasser is that no one seems to be carrying them. Toys Я Us got Series 1 in, but never seemed to get Series 2, so it's unlikely that Series 3 will make an appearance, either. I ordered mine from Amazon as soon as they came in stock, and I'm glad I did; Trespasser is too good to miss!

-- 03/08/14

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