大怪獣シリーズ パシフィック・リム レザーバック
JAPAN ORIGINAL RELEASE: July 2016
SERIES: Large Monster Series
FROM: “Pacific Rim” (2013)
HEIGHT (HEAD): 8.75 INCHES / 22.22 CM
HEIGHT (SHOULDERS): 9.75 INCHES / 24.76 CM
WIDTH: (ELBOW TO ELBOW) 12 INCHES / 30.48 CM
LENGTH: (head to HEELS) 12 INCHES / 30.48 CM
FIGURE WEIGHT: 2 lbs, 1 OZ / 935 G
REVIEW AND PHOTOS: © JOHN STANOWSKI
The Large Monster Series Leatherback vinyl figure by X-Plus was released in July 2016 nearly three years after Pacific Rim first hit theater screens. It was followed by only one other of Pacific Rim’s kaijus: Knifehead. Perhaps if X-Plus had got to work on vinyls from this franchise sooner, there would be more of them. But, as it is, we have two gems. And both of them are totally worth getting.
Leatherback had some excellent screen time having engaged with jaegers Cherno Alpha, Striker Eureka and ending with an epic fight with Gipsy Danger. This gorilla-ish kaiju was f**king awesome. And, so is the vinyl by X-Plus! (Mostly)
If you’ve forgotten how f’n cool Leatherback is, take a break and check this out:
Now, let’s look at the X-Plus.
Leatherback comes in a plain, brown cube with monochromatic art printed directly on the box. This box is about 14.5 inches on all sides and has slightly more volume than a typical, larger, 30cm Series figure. If you see a round, yellow stick over this art, you’re looking at a RIC exclusive version. (I have and am reviewing the Standard.)
Inside, the figure is wrapped in plastic and wire-tied in an open plastic shell comprised of only a “floor” and one “wall”. And that’s all it needs. There really isn’t anything likely to break or pop off with rough handling during shipping. (Note: I removed Leatherback from his packaging two years ago so the photo above is a recreation of an unboxing. Your Leatherback will come to you wrapped in plastic and tied in.)
X-Plus did an amazing job of recreating the fully CGI Leatherback into a real world vinyl. The likeness is spot on. All of the musculature and flab are accurately sculpted and the array of textures is expertly rendered. That, in combination with a kickass pose, makes the X-Plus Large Monster Series Leatherback one hell of a figure.
Leatherback is posed on all fours as he was after making landfall in Hong Kong in his battle with Gipsy Danger. This guy literally looks like he’s getting ready to pounce on you!
JOINTS & SEAMS
If you look hard enough, you might be able to detect where Leatherback’s various parts come together. But without such scrutiny, this vinyl is practically seamless.
The first two things you will notice about the paint apps is that it is both plain and ornate at the same time.
The vinyl has a base coat of a rather light bluish black quite unlike what we’re used to with our Godzilla vinyls. This may surprise you when you first see since this Kaiju seemed to be colored a standard black in the movie. But if you look closely at the scenes following Leatherbacks landing, the port lights show this guy actually is a lighter color. Despite this, I think the figure would look better if it were a tad darker.
The X-Plus Leatherback’s swirly line pattern is hand-painted in a vibrant blueish-green and, at first, seems toyish. But these lines were luminescent in the movie and this is really the only way X-Plus could have recreated that effect. It’s just that these painted lines look like just that: painted lines. You quickly get used to it though and it really is excellent work.
The tendrils behind Leatherback’s crown are so expertly painted that they almost look as if they were really glowing as they did in the movie. In fact, for the longest time, I thought this piece was actually molded in translucent vinyl, but the effect is actually accomplished with just paint.
A similar bright blue is used on the inside of the mouth and the eyes. Now, about those eyes… WOW! All six of them are so tiny, yet so expertly colored without going outside the lines. And not only that, but catlike pupils and other details were somehow magically added. (This is why X-Plus rocks.)
There are minor blueish highlight on the details on the figure’s black. But, other than that, there is nothing on the rest of the body to give it depth. This is particularly disappointing where skin meets claw on both the hands and feet. Everything is simply the same color.
Overall, this figure has excellent paint apps. Yes, it could have been better. But they’ve already done so much to it.
This Large Monster Series vinyl actually has the size and mass of a 30cm Series figure. Why X-Plus chose to file this one under Large Monster Series is curious. I say throw the name out the window and display him with your 30cm Series figures. Because that’s what it really is.
The X-Plus Leatherback takes up a space which is roughly a cubic foot and raises above the shelf about 9.5 inches.
This Large Monster Series vinyl actually has the size and mass of a 30cm Series figure. Why X-Plus chose to file this one under Large Monster Series is curious.
If you collect only 25’s, know that this figure will absolutely look grossly out of place in your collection. Regardless of the series this one belongs to, I consider it a member of the 30cm Series. I say throw the name out the window and display him with your 30cm Series figures. Because that’s what it really is.
FOOTPRINT / ON THE SHELF
This figure has an actual footprint of 12 inches from front to back and 8.25 inches wide. But if you take into account the space he takes up that isn’t actually touching the shelf, then he’s a full 12 inches wide.
This figure takes up slightly more space than a 30cm Series figure. But the absence of a long tail makes it easier to fit on the shelf.
RIC EXCLUSIVE VERSION
The Ric Exclusive version, which I do not have, sports a more ferocious head sculpt with a wider mouth and erect tendrils on the back of the head. I could be wrong about this (it’s been quite a while since it was released) but I think you may get both versions of the head. I seem to remember the head being held on with a magnet making switching them out quick and easy.
Also, I believe there were alternate pieces for the back which mimic Leatherback’s EMP ability in action.
Sorry that I could not be more specific on the Ric details. It’s been exactly two years since it was released and my memory is fuzzy on it.
Here is a size comparison with the Large Monster Series Pacific Rim Knifehead. If you take into account that Leatherback is leaning forward then, yes, they display well next to each other.
As for technically being in scale, I don’t really know. Leatherback, a Category IV kaiju is supposedly 267 feet tall while Knifehead, a category III kaiju, is 315. If you go by that, the scaling of these two look about right. (Although I’m not clear on how a Category IV can be shorter than a Category III.)
At the very least, they do look good — no, FANTASTIC next to each other on the shelf.
Legendary’s Godzilla (2014) is supposedly 350 feet. Leatherback is said to be 267 feet tall. I don’t know if that’s the height while standing or hunched, but one thing is for sure: It looks like it fits right in beside the 30cm Series Godzilla 2014 Roaring Version.
For those of you who just can’t get by the obvious difference in height, here is a shot of Leatherback balanced on his legs beside the 30cm Series Godzilla 2014 (Original Version) which is about a quarter of an inch shorter than the Roaring Version in the previous photo.
As you can see, they’re not that far off. And that subtle difference in height is there despite Leatherback being a part of the smaller Large Monster Series.
The X-Plus Legendary monsters. Left to right: Leatherback, Godzilla 2014 Blue Fin Emission Version, Knifehead, (Star Ace) Kong Skull Island and Godzilla 2014 (original release).
A size comparison with other figures from the Large Monster Series. Something is definitely amiss here. Again, Leatherback is too large for this line.
Here is a real world comparison with a blu ray disc.
The Large Monster Series Pacific Rim Leatherback vinyl figure by X-Plus has a great, movie-accurate sculpt and menacing pose. While its paint apps are intricate, the overall base coat may be a bit too light. It’s a great collectible for fans of the film Pacific Rim and fans of all modern kaiju in general.
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