Review: NECA Pacific Rim Gipsy Danger (Hong Kong Brawl)

Pacific Rim is the kind of franchise that has the potential for an amazing toyline. Giant robots with awesome designs and unique special abilities fighting giant monsters with awesome designs and unique special abilities… it seems like it would be perfect in the hands of Hasbro. Unfortunately, the toy rights for del Toro’s kaiju-busting romp fell into the hands of NECA. In NECA’s defense, the production of their Pacific Rim line was one plagued with problems that were not entirely their fault, but regardless, the line has been plagued with poor design, poor paint, and very common breakages. Despite this, however, NECA seems determined to get this line right, a determination shown in their third version of Gipsy Danger, this time an all-new mold under the subtitle of Hong Kong Brawl.

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Appearance

The original Gipsy Danger mold never particularly looked bad aside from its inaccurate colors, but putting it next to Gipsy 2.0 makes it look like, well, a toy. The blue is richer and darker, and tons of detail missing from the original are present on this new version. It looks kind of fantastic. The proportions are spot-on, the paintwork is nice and clean (though, as with all NECA toys, this is very much of a case-by-case variable), and the sculpted detail looks great. I can’t find a single thing to complain about with how this figure looks. It’s more or less perfect.

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Articulation

Aside from the fragility of certain joints, one of the biggest issues with the Pacific Rim line was the lack of adequate articulation. The original Gipsy Danger was one of the worst offenders, being near-impossible to pose in any stance other than standing stock still. To rectify this, NECA loaded Gipsy 2.0 with a ton of actually useful joints: His head, torso, shoulders, hips, and ankles are all on ball joints. The first two have a very nice range of motion, and his shoulders are somewhat limited in their outward motion but otherwise work great (the shoulderpads themselves are also on ball joints).

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The hips, however, are much more restricted than I would’ve liked; outward movement is pretty much null. The ankle joints are virtually immobile, too. His arms are probably the biggest improvement, boasting a much-needed bicep swivel as well as a forearm swivel, and his elbows can bend to about 90 degrees. His legs gain a better thigh swivel, and double-jointed knees. It’s still not perfect, as I think the hips, shoulders, and ankles could still use improvement, but it’s much, much better than the first version. You can even pull off the signature pose!

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Accessories

Where the first Gipsy Danger came with a grand total of zero accessories, Gipsy 2.0 comes with four. The first accessory is the infamous chain sword, which, unlike the battle damaged Gipsy or the 18″ Gipsy, is finally represented in its proper configuration. The sword can peg into either wrist, looks great, and is pretty solid (not warped like the others).

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Gipsy also comes with the oil tanker he repurposed as a sword in the Hong Kong battle. This is a freaking awesome accessory and has a ton of detail put into it… but he can’t hold it too well. There are holes and curves on the boat that line up with the sculpt of his open hands, but the grip is never terribly secure. The sculpt also suggests Gipsy can wield the boatsword with two hands, but getting both hands to properly grip the boat is pretty much impossible. Regardless, it’s an awesome accessory and I love that they included it.

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Overall

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again, and with NECA, it looks like their effort has paid off. Gipsy 2.0 isn’t perfect, and there have still been reports of knees breaking, but I have to give them credit for listening to the input of fans and making a solid effort to do Gipsy Danger justice as a toy. The level of detail of this figure is miles ahead of the original, the articulation is mostly well-done and functional, and the accessories are just icing on the cake. If you already have one of the two variations of the original Gipsy, feel free to toss it in the trash and get this guy.

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Where to Buy

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