EDIT: Be Sure to Check out the UPDATE (whoops, my bad)
Pacific Rim may not have made all that much money at the box office, but it’s sure got great toys! We’re three years out, and NECA is still delivering gigantic robots and monsters! And now we’ve got Hardship, who sort of was in the movie. It’s not quite the same as Concept Art Trespasser, but it’s not strictly a monster that appeared directly in the movie.
If you look carefully, you can see Hardship for like a frame or two, but more importantly… he’s got shoes. Those were Hardship-brand sneakers, and that was a Hardship-brand toy. Hardship was one of the earlier and more prominent Jaeger victories, really helping to cement the effectiveness of the program in the public consciousness. Interestingly, it’s another Kaiju that essentually uses the Trespasser-Knifehead-Scunner body, lthough it is much more slender.
Hardship was also based on concept art that ultimately became anothr Kaiju, Mutavore (which is going to get a toy of its own). So, how did this guy turn out? Was he unique enough to justify the toy? Let’s find out!
As is the trend with Kaiju now, Hardship comes in a big, sturdy cardboard box. Hilariously, it fits on the pegs, too. It shows off the figure well enough to let you know what you’re getting, and unleashing Hardship isn’t too difficult.
Hardship is built off the same basic body concept as Knifehead, Tresspasser, and Scunner, though his pieces are all new. His proportions are different – skinnier – and the specifics are not the same. He clearly runs along a Beetle theme, with a nose-weapon resembling a Hercules Beetle, and a carapace that looks more like it belongs on a bug than a turtle or shark. Even his smaller secondary arms are insectile! If anything, he reminds me of Beetle Mania from King of the Monsters. Even his unique dual jaw kind of fits the bug theme.
Bug bits aside, Hardship absolutely fits in the Pacific Rim motif (well, of course he does). He’s absolutey huge, hefty, wonderfully-detailed, and a perfect addition to any giant monter display. In fact, because of thigns like the shape of the horn on his head, he fit in better with Japanese Kaiju than the others from the movie. Funny how that works, isn’t it?
Now, there is one flaw in the figure that’s due to accuracy. Hardship has tiny feet, and stands on his knuckles. It is very, very hard to get him to stand on those feet without tipping over. It’s not impossible, but you’re best off propping the tail on something – in nearly al of these photos, Hardship’s tail is actually resting on a tiny building! His balance makes shelf display a challenge, because nobody wants to see a toy take a dive onto the floor.
Hardship stands out severely among the Kaiju. Whereas the others are variants on grays, gray-blues, and gray-greens, he’s got a crazy pattern of scintillating, gradient shades of purple and gold! It doesn’ look bad or unrealistic, and stands out in a rather good way.
Hilariously, this means that the light piping on Hardship is harder to make out than on the others, but that’s fine. You can see the stripes, so they aren’t missing.
The paint itself is as accurate and non-sloppy as anything from NECA. These figures really look high-end, which is a wonderful thing. Hardship’s paint enhances his sculpt beautifully, making him a fantastic figure, regrdless of whether the character got much screentime at all.
Hardship has a bunch of durable ball-and-socket joints, even with a few suprrises, like his dual lower jaws, the sideways socket in his neck, or the extra articulation with those tiny arms! The joints are sturdy, as well, and have decent range of motion.
Hardship’s articulation does highlight his balance problem, though. You have great range of motion with those legs, but you’ll need it to keep him balanced. Note that he can’t seem to put both feet flat on the ground, but that’s honestly all right – he seems better-braced that way.
But aside from that, he’s got more range in his arms and legs than Knifehead, though not as much as Scunner. His head has great variety in what you can do, and those split jaws are very interesting. You can lower his resemblance to others using that body type by hunching him over, as well.
Nada. Nothing at all. Deluxe Kaiju figures rarely come with anything.
Although it is a fair amount, $45 is a hefty wallet dent.
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR:
This figure may be durable, but it can barely stand. Have fu trying to keep it stable!
WHERE TO BUY:
Toys R Us still has them in a lot of places I’ve checked.
Well, he’s kinda pricey, and this isn’t really a recognizable Kaiju, but Hardship is a fantastic figure. Even with his balance issues, it’s just a great toy.
With a limited future ahead for the Pacific Rim line, it’s a pity that we haven’t seen more creative Kaiju like Raiju or Karloff, but Hardship certainly stands out in the group. If you can figure out how to keep him standing, he’s worth a spot on your shelf!