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Vault Review: NECA’s Pacific
Rim Cherno Alpha

It feels like I’ve been waiting forever for NECA’s third wave of Pacific Rim figures.  Wave’s one and two had issues, to say the least.  The cost limit imposed on those waves set severe restrictions on size, articulation, and paint apps.  But wave three would bring a rebirth of sorts.  The line would continue with a higher price point and a hopeful resolution to the problems of the first two waves.

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While I chose Cherno Alpha for today’s review, I’ wanted to take a little sidebar to talk about this wave as a whole because they’re starting to hit online stores and sell out rather quickly.  I don’t want anyone to miss out because they were waiting on a specific review.  So while there are a few little issues here and there, these four figures are everything NECA said they would be.  Articulation, paint apps, and size have all been improved.  These are the figures the fans have been waiting for, and if you have the chance to grab the one you want at retail, then don’t hesitate.

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Sculpt has never been an issue with this line, and Cherno Alpha is a perfect example as to why I’ve stuck with it.  Cherno was one of the first Jaegers created to fight the kaiju.  He doesn’t have the sleek armor of the newer bots, or those hidden weapons that pop out and save the day.  He’s just a bulky and brutal fighter that physically smashes his opponents into submission.

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Cherno’s chunky rectangular arms and legs make him look like a robot from a 50’s sci-fi pulp, while the majority of his body is comprised of a huge reactor tower on top of an armored torso.  This Jaeger may be Russian designed, but he really reminds me of an old wind-up robot toy from Japan.

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Even past his overall design, Cherno is full of tiny sculpted details that were too small to even notice in the movie.  The top of his tower hat is covered in little vent panels and even a couple of exhaust fans.  While the front of the figure displays the cockpit and plates that could open and close in the movie, his back is even more detailed with a motorized looking spine and various large plugs.  Even his waist has these tiny wires connecting the upper and lower halves.

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Most of Cherno’s body has been molded in a dark green paint with a bit of a metallic glittery sheen to it.  There’s also a dark gray around the fingers and various joints that aren’t covered in armor.  Both green and gray are covered in a dirty wash, giving the figure a worn and battered look.  He also has a nice amount of tampoed panel lines and Russian decals and stars.  Continue to page 2…

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21 comments to Vault Review: NECA’s Pacific
Rim Cherno Alpha

  • dayraven

    god yes… i can feel the cool seeping off this figure.

  • Josh Shimko

    Yeah, this figure is the tits. I have Crimson Typhoon, Knifehead (v1), Striker Eureka, Leatherback, and now Cherno Alpha. Cherno Alpha is the clear star out of all of them. Now to track down Axehead/Trespasser. And maybe Coyote Tango, a shame the elbow articulation is kind of meh on Tango, though.

    Killer review, as always. Glad the Pacific Rim love hasn’t died yet.

    • Thanks, Josh.

      After how good Cherno turned out, I’m definitely looking forward to the new Gipsy.

      While I wouldn’t mind some better articulation on Coyote, I think his limits may be based on how the character was designed. He’s literally a giant tank with two barrels strapped to his back. I don’t think the robot itself was meant to be a brawler. He’s more walk-up-to-enemy-and-blast-its-face-off.

  • clark

    Thanks for the review, I can’t wait to see your thoughts on the other figures.
    I’m pretty excited for this wave. Despite loving the movie I have skipped all the figures so far. This wave changed that, and tomorrow my Cherno and Trespasser should arrive. I can’t wait to see how these things feel and move in-hand.

    • This is definitely a good wave to start with. You’ll have to let me know how you like them.

      • clark

        I have to say, I really love these figures. I sort of regret not getting Knifehead now, but Trespasser is fantastic. I do with the kaiju had more range in the elbow bend, but that’s nothing that a razor blade can’t fix. I thought I would want a bicep swivel for Cherno, but his shoulder has such a great range I don’t think it would add much. I do wish Cherno had a thigh swivel, but that doesn’t retract from how great he is.

        Ultimately both figure seem great, I can’t find any paint issues and all the joints are tight but moved freely right out of the package.

  • Fire King Xi

    When I look at this figure all I want to do is remove the head and mount it on a MOTUC buck. So much custom potential.

  • Paul

    I got Cherno Alpha and Coyote tango last week, and I’m so happy. I didn’t notice any QC issues with mine, but I will take a closer look tonight when I get home. Great review and great pics! I love all of the “added” things over the previous waves or jaegers.

    I have never been able to track down a Crimson Typhoon or a Striker Eureka (at a decent price, anyway). I REALLY hope that they’ll get updates like you said, though to be honest, even if they didn’t, I’d just be happy if the older versions got rereleased.

    • Thanks, Paul.

      I have a feeling we’ll see Crimson and Striker again, at the very least remodeled slightly for their attack modes. I’d really love to see new versions though. Ones that are more in scale and have more features.

  • dayraven

    Anyone planning to snag the big ones? I had no temptation until strolling into the local comic shop week before last and spotting the 18 inch gipsy danger and it was freaking awesome. He is incredibly tempting and so knifehead had joined him as a temptation after seeing how cool danger came out.

    • Jon

      He’s not too bad. Definitely better than the S1 7″ version but he’s still kind of limited. $100 for a 18″ robot isn’t too bad though!

      • Hey Jon, did you review the big Gipsy?

        If you did, post a link. I think we’d all be interested to see how it turned out.

    • I was originally tempted to get the big ones, but these new versions satisfy that need for me, I think. The light-up features are still really tempting though, especially on Knifehead.

      • Jon

        How do you feel after the showing of the 18″ Cherno? Was kind of thinking of dropping the 18″ line, but damn if I love that Soviet robot.

        I haven’t done a review of Gipsy. I should though. I feel like once we get the 7″ updated Gipsy it will make me think less of the 18″ version, because for the most part it still shares the same articulation scheme as the original 7″ one.

  • The pictures made me want Knifehead more than Cherno Alpha…
    Mostly because I’ve been sitting on the fence about him for a while (Like the size and sculpt, not a fan of the battle damage).
    Cherno Alpha is tempting, though.

    • He’s a great figure. I wasn’t a big fan of the battle damage either, but I changed my mind once I had him in hand. It’s got two shades of vibrant blue with a wet look to it. Pictures don’t do it justice (at least mine don’t). Definitely check him out if you can find a physical copy. You may like it.

  • this figure is a masterpiece for its scale. my favorite in the movie and finally in hand. the best place I found Cherno Alpha is at FYE. I got three in one shot.

    • Yeah, I’m definitely glad we got all the main Jaegers. If the line does end, I at least feel complete on that end.

      I’d really like to see them all get the same love Cherno did though. He’s fantastic.

  • adam czech rep

    i have crimson typhoon,striker eureka and yesterday i got cherno alpha and i must say cherno is best of these 3 figures so far.its fantastic figure from fantastic movie