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Guardian Bravo

Pacific Rim: Uprising
by yo go re

Who's a cute widdle powerhouse? You are! Yes you are!

Designed for combat at range, Guardian Bravo wields the Elec-16 Arc Whip: a proto-metallic successor to the chainsword, and brings a new sophistication to the chainsword’s whiplash move.

One of the biggest disappointments of Pacific Rim: Uprising was that the Jaeger designs lacked any real standouts - you had Gipsy Avenger, who looked like a slightly fancier Gipsy Danger, and the bright orange Saber Athena, but then all the rest of them looked pretty interchangeable. In this crowd of samey sameness, though, the colorscheme of Guardian Bravo does manage to be at least a little unique: even in the first movie, there were no robots with more than one color.

Even more than (fellow shorty) Bracer Phoenix, Guardian Bravo looks like a robot designed to play football. [Like the Fox NFL robot, you mean? --ed.] Actually, yes! This Jaeger may not have a facemask for a kaiju to grab, but the roundness of the head combined with the shape of the shoulder pads? Are you ready for some football!!

If you look at the official blueprints released as promo material for the movie, lots of the features of Guardian Bravo's design get little names. Some of them, like the "burst foils" sticking up off her back or the "21 X-9 Core Salvo Charges" stuck to her ribs get cool designations, while others (the prototype sprint capacitors and Defiant-13 shin-mounts in the legs) do not. Still, given Bravo's chunky proportions, it's surprising that she's apparently built for speed. Big torso, big limbs, big armor... and big boosters to keep the 'bot from lagging behind the group.

The paint really is dang cool here. In addition to the white and brick-red colorscheme, the interior parts are dark grey and there are Pan Pacific Defense Corps logos tampographed on the biceps, the ankles, and the forearm panels, "PPDC" on the back of the arms, "GB049" on the right side of the chest and the back of the legs, and "53-29" on the left thigh. Finally, there are a few bright blue accents, to suggest power and energy. From the front, the Jaeger is almost divided in half, color-wise, but the back is much more balanced.

Guardian Bravo's articulation is theoretically on par with the other DST Jaegers, but some of it doesn't work so great. There are ankle joints? Well neat! Shame the shin armor is so close to the feet to render them pointless. Some sort of joint for the head? Okay, too bad the shoulder pads are so close that my giant Thanos-fingers can't get in there to do anything other than turn it. Those are the exceptions, though. The pads are on balljoints, so theydon't block the arms. There are swivels and hinges in the shoulders, swivel biceps, hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, swivels for the forearm pads for some reason, a balljointed chest, swivel/hinge balljoint hips, double-hinged knees, and hinged heels.

The extra pieces here give you your choice of hands - fists or relaxed - plus a third left hand designed to hold the electro whip. I'm not sure exactly what about a whip says "combat at range," but you have to remember, this is the same property that thought nuclear reactors were analog. The whip has a dark metallic grey handle, and a pale bluish white body. It does a decent job of looking like crackling energy, but it's very loose in the toy's hand. If all that hand does is hold the accessory, shouldn't they have made it the right size? And also the right hand? She's never shown using it in her left.

With its unusual colors and distinctive weapon, Guardian Bravo is one of the better bots in Pacific Rim: Uprising. And though this toy isn't perfect, Diamond did a good job with the little thing. Though we can't imagine what the "non-Select" version would have come with, since this one's accessories are so sparse already.

-- 01/01/19


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