Vault Review: NECA’s
Pacific Rim Leatherback


The last thing this figure has going for it is the paint job.  There are a few tiny details missing, like his other four eyes and unpainted teeth, but overall it’s pretty amazing.  His entire body has been lightly brushed with a slightly metallic blue which gives the figure a really neat sheen.


A more intense version of this blue paint was used on his tattoo-like patterns, mouth, eyes, and tendrils.  These details become almost luminous with how they reflect and add a really cool organic glow to the whole figure, and it turned out much more effective than the attempt on Knifehead.


Unfortunately the one solid negative about Leatherback’s figure is its articulation.  The figure has hinge joints at the elbows, fingers, thumbs, and two on the back legs.  These all do their job fairly well.  It’s the ball joints at his shoulders, wrists, hips, and ankles that are the main problem because they’re all hindered by his body sculpt.  This could have been worked out better if the joints were given more room to move around inside the sculpt, similar to a MonsterArts figure.  But they way they’re hindered leaves most of them acting as swivel joints.  Sadly, the one area that should have a ball joint is his head, but it ended up with a swivel.  This leaves the figure constantly looking up and pretty much useless on his hind legs.


Leatherback’s a big figure that looks great and can strike a couple of nice poses.  On a whole that leaves me much more satisfied with him than I was with Knifehead.  He looks good hanging out on my shelf with the Jaegers, and I think he’ll also fit in nicely with his future kaiju brethren.  Is he perfect?  No.  But he’s much closer to what I want out of this line and leaves me with a lot of hope for wave three.  Don’t let me down, NECA!


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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