Popular Culture Collectibles Reviews

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Pacific Rim and Planet of the Apes

About ten years ago the collectible, minimal articulation, action figure market took a heavy blow.  Cheaper, less-detailed and uber-articulated action figures (most downsized to 3 1/2 inches) took over the market, primarily aimed at the child consumer.

While some detailed figures were still produced, collectors watched as the selection dwindled and many of the small manufacturers of collector figures downsized or ceased to exist.

Fortunately for collectors NECA was not one of those companies.  Early on NECA began to diversify, expanding  its product line and garnering  many of the toy licenses from popular TV shows and movies-mostly 7 inch figures, with the occasional foray into larger figures, depending on the licenses.

NECA began to dominate specialty shops, comic book and game shops and successfully introduced its product into larger store chains.

While other high-quality toy manufacturers do exist, NECA flourishes and continues to turn out license properties of the highest quality collector figures-and they are even articulated!

Two such successful property tie-ins produced by NECA are Planet of the Apes and Pacific Rim.

Several series have come out. I'd like to concentrate on two of the figures.

When Pacific Rim hit movie theaters it was a huge success.  Why wouldn't it be?  After all, it featured giant monsters and huge robots.

NECA's Pacific Rim Anchorage Attack Battle Damage Jaeger Gipsy Danger is one of the figures.
Fashioned after the huge robot, the Gipsy Danger figure is painted a dull gray/blue, boasts resplendent decal and paint decoration and looks every bit as dangerous as its large namesake.

Arms and legs are articulated and battle scars and damage are present all over the figure.  Its left arm is severed from its shoulder and wires and gears protrude from the stump.

Gears and pistons are seen partially hidden by the robot's segment body armor, a huge turbine in yellow and orange shows predominantly on its chest, three shoulder and head plates guard the vulnerable head and a huge gash is slashed across its left chest plate.

A detachable hand and lower arm can be snapped on to replace its lower right arm plasma weapon and a partial section of its head component in also damaged and missing.

Paint and sculpting are first-rate with tight articulation points and assembly and overall armor, mechanisms and weapon accuracy are spot on.

The figure's bubble pack allows the figure to be seen in full, labeling is clear without being obtrusive and full color photos on the back showcase other figures in the series.

When the Planet of the Apes movie came out in the late 1960s I was in my mid-teens.  I remember watching the movie and being totally captivated.

The images, concept and storyline were fascinating and yet frightening and I couldn't take my eyes off the screen.

One of my favorite ape characters was Dr. Zaius.  The Doctor made for an interesting character in that he knew (or at least was suspect of) the fact that at one point humans were the predominate species, not apes.

While compassionate, Dr. Zaius was headstrong and set in his ways and very protective of the deception played on the apes-mainly because of its ramifications.

Considered a classic, the Planet of the Apes movie series has its first three chapters remade.  However the original is still my favorite.

The Dr. Zaius figure from NECA looks exactly like the Doctor.


Dressed in tans and browns the Doctor figure looks regal, wise and unswerving.  Articulated and standing seven inches tall the figure is meticulously sculpted, matching the appearance of the film version. 


The Doctor's cane is also included with the window-box figure.  Pay particular attention to the facial details, hand sculpting and careful attention to the paint and color application.