As far as I am concerned the Pacific Rim action figure line starts at series three. That isn’t to say that NECA didn’t make a bunch of cool Jaegers and a neat Kaiju in the previous two waves. The issue was that concessions were made to cater the line to mass retail, and the lack of articulation was not up to the modern standards themselves NECA set. The figures looked great, but they didn’t offer much in the way of posing. In the end I never rushed to get the figures, and it didn’t really matter that I didn’t support the line early because everyone else in the world did. The first series appeared on shelves shortly before the movie hit theaters, and those toys disappeared as fast as they came. People wanted their robots and large sea creatures so NECA had a hit on their hands.
This is the second release of Knifehead. I did see the first in a store and that was my cue not to buy any of the first series. The original release was undersized (for a “small” figure the clam shell also stuck out a mile!) and for the most part a statue. This version is considered a “battle damage” variant, but realistically it is a complete overhaul. Where there was no articulation before there is now. Shoulder swivels have been replaces with ball joints, the elbow is ball jointed as well, and the wrists now have articulation. The little arms are also ball jointed both where they connect to the body and at the wrist. He’s now able to move his head around a bit, and the jaw can still open and close. The legs each have movement at the waist, knees, and ankles. Knifehead is now a fully articulated action figure!
I believe the new MSRP for the Pacific Rim Kaiju series is $24.99 each. Which if you think about it isn’t that bad at all for what you are getting. Just compare him to the $20.00 Knifehead we got in series one. The amount of improvement was easily worth throwing an extra five bucks at, and if you find him in a store great, no shipping! Unfortunately specialty shops are becoming a rarity in my area so Amazon was my lord and saviour for buying these. I was shocked at how gigantic the clam shells were for both Knifehead and Trespasser. These are big toys, and that heft will make that twenty-five dollar investment feel worthwhile.
The detailing on Knifehead is pretty incredible. Even before we get to the paint you can just feel the texture work that went into the sculpt. When dealing with sculpts adding appropriate texture to a good likeness goes a long way in helping sell that this is in fact a big leathery monster who came from the ocean. One of the biggest improvements this Knifehead has over the original is that the shell or plating on his back looks a lot more natural. The original had a shiny black finish and I do not believe was as detailed at this one so it stuck out a bit. This one looks to have more texture sculpted into it and also has a nice brownish “weathered” wash.
Of course the biggest improvement is the size. He is scaled very close to correct on the current batch of Gipsy Dangers since he should be roughly about 40 feet taller than him. However, since Gipsy is getting a redo as well, the new one will be slightly taller so scale is never going to be perfect. Even if height is going to be slightly off the weight and thickness of the figure more than make up for it. His big pointy head is gigantic, and I actually was able to use it to ward off an attacking dog the other night. Knifehead could actually kill somebody if the circumstances were right where he was lying on the floor face up and a person fainted and landed on him. The chances are pretty slim but weirder things have happened.
Well Battle Damaged Knifehead you’ve done it this time! I half regret not keeping up with the Pacific Rim line prior to this. Even though I have no need for your original release there are a couple of Jaegers and a Leatherback I wouldn’t mind getting. I am very happy with the new direction the line is taking, so if it keeps doing well I’m sure I’ll get plenty of monsters and robots to keep me happy. If you see these guys in a store snatch them up, they are fantastic. I’m not even the biggest fan of the movie but I can’t deny that Knifehead is a cool looking toy.
By the way, Pacific Rim doesn’t need a sequel. I’m quite happy with what we got.