Vault Review: NECA’s
Pacific Rim Leatherback

Wave two is a mixed bag of good and bad.  NECA is definitely making progress to getting these figures where most collectors will be happy, but they’re not quite there yet.  Unfortunately the shortcomings are still most evident on kaiju side, which is why I wanted to take a look at Leatherback first.


First, the good.  Leatherback has three excellent things going in his favor.  First is his size.  I always knew Knifehead was a little on the small side, but the figure can look deceptively large with his wide stance and large upturned blade head.  That illusion was shattered when I brought Leatherback home.  The figure was big in the package.  On the shelf he’s just this massive hulking form that puts Knifehead to shame.


With his massive body comes a pretty amazing sculpt.  Like Knifehead, he’s got different textures depending on where you’re looking.  His underbelly and legs are chubby and wrinkled, like a naked gorilla.  This is in stark contrast to his back, which is heavily armored with plenty of bone-like spikes protruding around his EMP emitter.


His forearms are a mixture of massive muscles and protruding armor.  The most impressive part is his hands, which are basically giant spiked clubs with talons.  It’s always cool to see all the small details up close, especially when they weren’t as noticeable in the movie.  Leatherback’s hands are massive bludgeoning weapons that really make me take notice as to why his attacks were so devastating in the movie.


To top of the figure, he has an excellent head sculpt.  The bony protrusions and teeth just make him look intimidating.  Then you have the added strangeness of those tendrils that come out the back of his skull.  Let’s not forget his tongue.  It may not be all out there like Knifehead’s, but it’s definitely noticeable with its own texture.  Continue to page 2…

8 thoughts on “Vault Review: NECA’s
Pacific Rim Leatherback

  1. Great review! I Saw this bad boy tonight, he was MASSIVE!!! Finally a good product from NECA in this line for the kaijus. BTW I Saw a comparison pic of wave 1 knifehead with wave 3 knifehead (over at bbts) if that size difference is real than I unfortunately have to say that I personally feel like NECA robbed people who bought wave 1 knifehead.

    1. Thanks, Jack!

      Yeah, he was HUUUGEEE in package.

      I do wish the first Knifehead was better, but I don’t think they intentionally set out to make a bad figure. There was supposedly a deal with Wal-Mart, who wanted the figures to come in under a certain budget. So his size and articulation were scaled back, but when the deal fell through it was too late to change the figure.

      I’m actually glad they’re redoing him so we can actually have one that’s in scale with the rest of the line.

  2. looks sweet. I’m guessing mechs are 8″? that would make this guy BIG.

    He does look like the lovechild of Kong, Gojira, and/or maybe Gamera. NTTAWWT.

    1. Yeah, I really like the King Kong influence he has. It gave him a really unique feel over most of the reptile blade heads.

  3. He is a massive figure. Even at the higher price point (I found series 1 for 14.99 at the TRU I bought them at), he’s still a huge chunk of plastic. But the articulation problems are still sticking points. As cool as these figures are, by the time they fix them, the line may be done. Which would be a shame; I would love to get the ‘dragon’ kaiju, even if it had to be a deluxe figure.

    1. I’m hoping the line’s sales are strong enough to keep it going until all the movie Kaiju are made. Slattern is so big, he’ll probably need a unique body. Then there’s Onibaba, who’ll definitely need a new body too. The kaiju from other media tie-ins would be cool too, but probably a pipe dream.

  4. i’ve been looking forward to this review. i must say, the announcement on the series 3 kaiju has reinvigorated me for this line, and i hope in that wave NECA completely balms my aching toy sore after the debacle i feel that was wave 1.

    leatherback looks like a true beast, and would be a welcome stuffing for my stocking this season. the sisters in law just requested gitft ideas, and he’s going on the list. thanks vault.

    BTW, i held off buying the movie on blu-ray since the season was so close, and now i want to watch it at least 4 more times immediately to try to take in more of the actual content of the film… the downside to watching on an imax screen is, you always feel like you’re choosing where to watch at the expense of the rest of what’s happening. or maybe i was just too close. either way, i feel like i missed a lot of the content of the film, so i’m eager to dive back into it, and you’re comment about noticing leatherback’s hands totally reminded me of that experience.

    1. Yeah, the previews of wave three look pretty amazing. If NECA can pull it off, they’ll definitely be getting a lot of praise from me.

      You’ll love rewatching the movie. I saw it in the theater, then I watched it twice the day I bought it. Wasn’t planning to, but after the first time through I wanted to hear the commentary. Wasn’t bored either time cause it’s just a damn fun movie.

      You should add to your list too. Leatherback plus the movie would make for a perfect full stocking.

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