Monday, July 21, 2014

Imported Thoughts: The Future of Pacific Rim Kaiju Figures

Greetings, fellow collectors! This is Mr. X, reporting for the first time on Import Monsters! Today, for my first post here, I thought I'd share my thoughts on the future of NECA's Pacific Rim lineup, specifically what kaiju I believe they should absolutely release who isn't really necessary, and how likely these kaiju are to be produced. What kaiju do I firmly believe should NECA definitely do? Read on to find out!


By far the most requested figure in the line, it's incredibly baffling how, a year after the film's release, we still have not a single figure of the female kaiju. I think it's a safe bet to say Otachi had the most screen time of all the kaiju in the film, so… she’s pretty important. So where is she? I really can't say why we don't have her yet. The wings might pose an issue, being as ginormous as they are, but she doesn't even need wings; she only revealed she even had them at the end of her battle with Gipsy Danger. She's still big, and would probably be more than the usual $30 for kaiju because of how long she is, but they are indeed capable of making her. Heck, NECA is more than capable of doing one even with the wings, as they've done big, deluxe figures before. I really hope we see her soon, there's no excuse at this point. They can't ignore the overwhelming demand forever.


One of the final challenges from the Anteverse. Though he was killed off quickly, he's still an important kaiju, being one of the last kaiju and managing to cripple Gipsy Danger even more than it already was. Scunner has already recently been released, so I think we should definitely have his partner in crime. And frankly, I fully expect we'll be seeing him very, very  soon. He's not particularly large; I can see him being a regular $30 like Scunner (though the "flower pedal head" might add to that price somewhat, depending on how they go about creating it). Still, it's not like he's very large or difficult to make, so I definitely expect we'll be seeing him soon, maybe even in the next wave.


The head honcho of kaiju, and the only Category 5 ever encountered by humanity. Slattern is the final boss, the strongest kaiju ever. That alone should be enough justification for his release. Unfortunately, I don't know if we'll be seeing him for a long time. An in-scale Slattern would likely be around 12” long. And that’s just the body; the tails would add another foot, at least, maybe more. But again, NECA’s definitely capable of releasing giant figures, even a Slattern. He'll definitely be a release to remember, that’s for sure. As the final threat to humanity, the last obstacle our heroes had to overcome, I say he's a must for this line.


Okay, now here's where my opinions might become more debatable. Mutavore is one of the rather forgettable kaiju of PR to be honest, only appearing for a few seconds on a TV. I don't consider him a "required" release, personally, even though I am a fan of his design and would certainly like to see him. However, though he might not be particularly important, I feel like he has a decent shot of becoming a figure. Size is important, and unlike Otachi or Slattern, Mutavore is practically the same height as Knifehead/Trespasser/Scunner. He also has a similar build to those three. I can see him being a regular, $30 kaiju. Not to mention NECA can essentially get two kaiju out of the mold with Hardship, but more on that later...


Onibaba was only in the film for less than a minute, but did serve an important role in Mako and Stacker's lives. However, I consider him one of the more "obscure" kaiju, like Mutavore, and also not a necessary release. I don't know how likely he is, either. Onibaba is a rather... interesting kaiju. Though lacking in height, he makes up for it in width. His main body is thick, similar to Leatherback, but not as huge. His large build is supported by four small legs, with no tail for additional support, which means those legs better be strong enough to support the rest of him. I think packaging for this one would be a nightmare. And articulation would be limited beyond the legs and claws as well. I'm not sure if NECA's up to the challenge on this one, though like all kaiju, I would really like to see him down the line.


Now we're getting into the really "obscure" ones. Karloff appeared in the film for roughly 4 seconds, and most of that he was obscured by smoke. However, though his role in the film was entirely forgettable seconds after he appeared, he, like Trespasser, has a very significant role in the universe of Pacific Rim. As seen in the graphic novel, Karloff was the first kaiju to take on a Jaeger. The battle signified a turning point in the war. But how likely is a figure of the kaiju? I think he has somewhat of a chance, even if there isn't a whole lot of demand for him right now. Like I said, size is important. Karloff is fairly scrawny, moreso than other kaiju already seen in this line. His exact height is unknown, but he's probably not that tall; he can't be any bigger than Knifehead or the like. If he was to be made, he would be in the $30 range, possibly less. Not to mention NECA’s Director of Product Development, Randy Falk, is rather fond of the kaiju, which might help give Karloff the push needed to become a figure.


Hardship was seen in the film's prologue for a few seconds, fighting the Jaeger Romeo Blue. Little is known about him. What we do know, however, is that he's essentially Mutavore with a new head. See, Hardship was an early design for Mutavore, but went unused. Not totally unused, however, for the design was revived with a new name and was put in the prologue of the film. If NECA made a Mutavore, all they'd have to do is swap the head and give it a new back structure - exactly what they did with Knifehead and Trespasser. While Hardship is probably the least "necessary" on this list, a figure of him might not be that far-fetched if we ever do see a Mutavore, and like Mutavore, he'd very likely just be a regular $30 release.


And there you have it, my thoughts and opinions on the future of NECA Pacific Rim figures. Don't get me wrong, I'd very much love to have all of these kaiju in my collection. But we don't know how many NECA will do. While the line is reportedly doing quite well sales-wise, we've been lacking in kaiju, and most of the kaiju we have all share the same body-type. It seems as though NECA is hesitant to do more. So if we were to only get a few more kaiju from them if they decided to axe the line for some reason (as unlikely as that is), I say that Otachi, Raiju, and Slattern are absolutely necessary above all other kaiju and need to be put out before the line comes to an end (again, not likely anytime soon, I cannot stress that enough).

The 2014 San Diego Comic Con is only a few days away, and NECA has already confirmed there will be new kaiju on display. I'm sure I'm not alone in hoping we see Otachi. If not her, I'm hoping for Raiju or Slattern. One thing I really don't want to see is Knifehead's body type yet again, or any "Concept Kaiju" like the upcoming Axehead. While Concept Kaiju would be cool, it's way too early to have any, especially when most of the kaiju in the film still lack figures. As always, Import Monsters will be covering the SDCC, so be sure to check back here to see what surprises are there!

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