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Striker Eureka

Pacific Rim
by yo go re

According to the timeline of Pacific Rim, the breach opened and the first kaiju, "Trespasser," attacked on August 10, 2013. If you're wondering why you didn't hear anything about it on the news, well, The Daily Show was probably on vacation that week. Anyway, the Jaeger Program began on November 9, 2014; the first one (Brawler Yukon) launched on January 30, 2015; and the final one launched on November 2, 2019. So what we're saying is, happy Negative-6th birthday, Striker Eureka!

Designation: Striker Eureka
Classification: Mark-5
OS: Arbiter Tac-Conn 12
Weight: 6,650 tons
Energy Core: XIG Supercell Chamber

Sriker Eureka was supposed to be the first of the Mark-5 Jaegers, but turned out to be the last - not because of delays in production or anything, but because the powers that be (the Pan Pacific Defense Corps) decided that the Jaegers were too expensive and that their money was better spent building giant walls. Because if history has taught us anything over and over, it's that if you ignore your problems, they'll go away. Rand Paul 2016!

Francisco Ruiz Velasco's early designs for Striker Eureka were much more "Transformer"-shaped: with flat, winglike arms and a broad, angled plate over her shoulders, she literally looked like she'd change into a plane. That got smoothed out a bit by the final design, but you can still see hints of it if you know to look.

Actually, Striker Eureka was the first Jaeger design to reach final approval - it was just designed for Gipsy Danger. Del Toro found the design was too "arrogant" for the hero mech - too cold and modern - so it was shunted over to the brassy Australian team.

Striker Eureka is a very beefy robot, with a huge chest hiding a WMB2x90// Anti-Kaiju Missile Chest Launcher (but only in the movie - the toy's chest sadly does not open to reveal missile launchers inside [though, come on, how cool would that be?]). On the back, you'll find a pair of T-16 "Angel" Wings, scapula mounted fin towers that maintain aerodynamic balance during the turbulence of burst combat. I must admit some disappointment that NECA didn't include a removable nuclear payload backpack like Striker carried in the film, but maybe they're saving that for a future re-release of the mold? It wouldn't be the first time they went that route (not even in this line).

Just like the rest of the body, Striker Eureka's head is broad and flat. It looks more like the control tower on an aircraft carrier than a head, really. The escape hatch is sculpted on the top, and the 90RE21// Amber Platinum Visor Shield (an advanced photochromic display offering four planes of situational awareness) is angled perfectly.

The suit's main attack is punching, so her main weapons are the "Brass Knuckles": a highly temperature-resistant brass and steel compound has been cast around joints of each finger extension, adding greatly to the impact potential of each punch. Of course, you can't really see that on the toy, so NECA included Stiker's secondary melee weapons, the "Sting-Blades." In the movie they're retractable blade gauntlets laced with carbon nanotubes that channel thermal energy, and while the toy gamely tries to re-create that, it falls a bit short. They do swivel away, just like in the film, but the plates on the forearms don't rise up to let them under - it leaves them looking silly if you move them. However, NECA did make them removable: for a "no-blade" look, just pull the pegs out.

Depending on what source you believe, Striker Eureka is either 250' tall (per the art book) or 312' tall (per the blueprints). Either way, the toy tops out at 7¼" tall, thanks mainly to the Eva towers on her back - she's a full head shorter than Gipsy Danger.

Striker Eureka was based (very loosely) on Oakland Raiders defensive back Lester Hayes, who had a really weird pre-snap stance - he'd squat way down, rather than leaning forward in a three-point stance, and would spread his arms wide. Ruiz-​Velasco based Striker's attitude on that, and the toy does its best to let you duplicate the pose. There are balljointed ankles, though they sit so close to the shins the range isn't great. Moving up, you get hinged knees and swivel/hinge hips, but the armor on the thighs limits how high you can raise the legs - so no squatting. The waist is a balljoint, but a stiff one so that the torso doesn't flop around. The wrists are plain hinges, rather than balljoints, and of course there are the swivels for the Sting-Blades. The elbows are hinged, and the shoulders, much like McFarlane Toys' Vikings and Predators, are double-hinged, with a swivel where they meet the torso. Finally, there's a balljointed neck.

The outer hinge on each arm was stuck fast, and required a lot of digging and prying before they would move freely without tearing the plastic connecting them. It's definitely worth having the double hinges here, but getting them working was a very scary prospect. So be careful, you don't want to rip your toy's arm off. Unless you do.

If you're gonna get Leatherback (and you should, he's great), you're gonna want a Jaeger to go with him. And as long as you're getting a Jaeger, Striker Eureka is a terrific choice. Even though everybody knows we're all just waiting for Series 3, when NECA's promised us a Cherno Alpha.

-- 11/02/13

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