Ben's Toy Box: Bandai Tamashii Nations Robot Spirits "Pacific Rim" Titan Redeemer
The original "Pacific Rim" debuted in the summer of 2013. The film was Guillermo del Toro's love letter to giant robots and monsters (aka Kaiju) from Japanese programs such as Gundam and Godzilla. The movie did not exactly break box office records, but its worldwide total was enough to justify a sequel due for release this month in the North America titled "Pacific Rim Uprising". While U.S. based NECA produced the toy line for the first "Pacific Rim" movie, this time out the toy duties have been given to both Bandai and Diamond Select. While Diamond Select's figures are due out in April 2018, Bandai's "Pacific Rim Uprising" started hitting stores in late February 2018 mostly via Toys 'R' Us stores and import shops. Released under the "Tamashii Nations Robot Spirits" sub-brand of figures, this marks a changed strategy for these figures which used to be entirely relegated to import shops.
Pacific Rim Uprising is set ten years after the original film. In that time there have been no Kaiju attacks, but the Pan Pacific Defense Corps have learned their lesson from the first film. Instead of retiring the Jaeger program (as they did in the first film), they reinvigorate it by building a whole new generation of Jaegers. One of these is Titan Redeemer, who introduced early on in the film. The Jaeger pops up again later in an exciting sequence that - ah wait, we'll stay away from spoilers since the film just came out as I write this!
Titan Redeemer is an example of how the Jaeger designs were much more streamlined than their predecessors. The original "Pacific Rim" focused on very bulky designs, but Redeemer looks more like a muscular humanoid with giant shoulder pads on. What strikes me as distinctive about this figure is how streamlined he is. While he is described as a powerhouse with a distinctive melee weapon, he looks more like a fast moving warrior who I wish had been on screen longer during the movie.
There are a lot of beautiful small details on this figure. In the film the Morningstar weapon starts as a ball and as it lights up several small blades extend out from it. This sculpt represents the weapon in its "deployed" state. I'm also fond of details on the back that look like a spine with additional machinery on top of it. He even has what looks like a gatling gun style weapon mounted onto his left forearm (though I do not recall this being used in the film).
Titan Redeemer includes an additional hand that is open. It pops off his right wrist easily on a ball joint. The Morningstar weapon can extend out (as it does in the film). Sharp eyed fans may have noticed that in the trailers for the film it is actually Bracer Phoenix who winds up using this weapon. If you wish you can pull the Morningstar out and pop it into Bracer Phoenix's wrist, but I do not believe these figures were meant to interact this way, it just turns out the pegs and ports involved happen to be roughly the right size.
Since one of Titan Redeemer's "hands" is the Morningstar weapon, Bandai included an extra accessory: Scrapper! This small Jaeger was created by one of the film's characters to be piloted by one pilot (instead of the usual two). This odd little Jaeger is a mish mash of parts, including the front of a car on his torso, a construction vehicle's shovel as his left hand and asymmetrical legs. Scrapper is a PVC figure painted entirely gunmetal grey. His arms can move up and down (which frankly, surprised me, I thought it would just be a solid lump of plastic).
Titan Redeemer may not be one of the "final four" Jaegers heavily featured in the trailers for the film, but he does get an important scene in the film and he "lives on" via Bracer Phoenix using the Morningstar weapon. He is not a "must have" but I enjoy having him as part of my Jaeger display!