Cracked Plastic - Revoltech: Evangelion 2.0 You Can [Not] Advance

by Richard Winters, Aug 14th 2009

Evangelion: 2.0 You Can [Not] Advance is out in Japan and while we breathlessly await Madman's release of Evangelion: 1.0 You Are [Not] Alone just in time for Christmas, the Eva 2.0 merch is flying off the shelves in the rest of the world.

Kaiyodo have decided, in their infinite wisdom, to launch yet another sub-line of Revoltech figures, Yamaguchi. Now my ability to speak romanized moon runes is almost as great as my ability to speak regular moon runes, so I can't tell you what this word means other than from observation, and my observation leads me to believe it means “Shatteringly good mecha toys” (Editor's Note: The Yamaguchi series is in fact named after it's sculpter, Katsuhisa Yamaguchi.) I was fortunate enough to obtain Unit 01, Unit 02, and Unit 05 through a reputable Hong Kong seller and I think the appropriate phrase is “Oh wow.”

Let's start with Unit 01. Being based on the movie version means shiny metallic purple, glossy black, and metallic yellow and green highlights.

I can't highlight this enough; this is a completely different sort of figure to the sort of Revoltech Eva's that have been released previously. Starting from the head down, the figure has been re-sculpted and redesigned. The jaw is movable for full berserk mode roars. The neck is double joined, allowing for a much wider range of motions. The shoulder armour is now attached with pegs to the back to allow simple switching between one type of shoulder and another. Unfortunately the wrists are on basic swivels rather than revolver joints, but a much wider range of hands than previously provided with Eva figures allows for extreme posability and looks really, really nice. And let's face it, we're not just buying these things to play with, we're buying them because they look great.

The waist is revo-jointed with a free floating armour panel covering the ball, giving a wide range of motion while actually looking good. The hips are dual swivelled, and care has been taken not to get paint in the joints with this run of figures (alas my poor Unit 00). Finally, the feet are hinged at the toes to allow for more realistic posing. Accessories include a stand, progressive knife, pallet rifle, two huge swords, power plug, and a pair of progressive knife holding shoulders, with knives. The last are colour matched to Unit 02, but there is nothing preventing you from using them on Unit 01 if you like.

Also included in these new series is a bits box. Yes, there's no need to bother the local fishing shop with ever more strident cries for larger tackle boxes, these new Revoltech figures come with a small orange tub able to carry…. Well some of the parts. Guess the tackle box won't be retiring any time soon, but it's the thought that counts, right? Also included free in a black plastic bag is a semi posable Assembleborg that comes with all the Yamaguchi Revoltech figures. All of three of mine were the same transparent red dude that I have already consigned to the custom bits bin. So how does this one stack up? Well for a start, you can move its legs without having it rip apart.

With the exception of the wrists, the new body has been designed for maximum flexibility and posability without compromising the Unit 01 aesthetics. No matter if its crouching with a pallet rifle, kicking with a progressive knife in hand, or striding berserk and roaring with twin swords ready for action, if you can think of it, you can probably pose the Unit 01 like that and then use the variety of joints and mounts included with the stand to hold it permanently in place. I keep mine berserk.

But what's a Unit 01, without a Unit 02 to be its foil? Unit 02 gets a smashing redesign, with a narrower head, and a whole bunch of fun included. The Unit 02 body is, unsurprisingly enough, the same as the Unit 01 body. It has similar paint applications but with metallic red instead of purple. Nice!

Where Unit 02 really shines forth with is accessories. You get a progressive axe, beam rifle, and pallet rifle as well as a flight kit. The flight kit consists of replacement shoulder armour with rocket boosters, plus new lower arms with stabilizers. Unfortunately, due to the geometry of things, I found it impossible to use the beam rifle and the flight arms. An identical stand configuration to that in Unit 1 is included, and the flight armour gives you all sorts of excuses to make silly flight poses.

But really, let's get to the meat of the sandwich, Unit 05. Fan reaction to this new bot ranges from screaming howls of “EVA is ruined forever” to “well, it's a Tachikoma, but I like it”.

To my mind, with those omni-directional wheels it looks more like one of the proposed metal storm unmanned delivery systems.

Down low with the knee double joints utilised to make it spidery

The Revoltech figure captures the unorthodox design beautifully. For a start, this thing has a ludicrous number of joints in it. Each hip is a revolver joint, each knee is a double revolver joint, and each ankle is a revolver joint. The waist is a revolver joint. The shoulders have swivels and revolvers. The neck is also double jointed. The only thing that does not bend at all is the elbows, and given the massive size of the right arm lance, this is hardly surprising.

The one drawback to this is that a lot of the smallest size Revoltech joints used. These are frequently prone to ratchet failure out of the box, making for some floppy joins. My Unit 05 has a bad dose of this in its ankles, making use of the heavy duty stand, the only accessory included, mandatory in most poses.

Love or hate the new design aesthetic, Kaiyodo captures this mech in amazing fashion. Given the likely delay before we see a release of Eva 2.0 and the complete death of other kits and figures, this is the only Unit 05 we're going to have for quite a while.

And I love it.

From the brutal simplicity of the drill-lance to the seriously complex omni-directional legs. Even the eyeless face and crazed whippy wire cutter shoulders please me. This is not your grandfather's EVA. And this is good.

Pros: Kaiyodo quality sculpts, massive articulation, lots of optional parts, bits boxes, Cheap at the price

Cons: Kaiyodo quality control, form over function wrists and somewhat limited availability.

Price: A+

For what you get, approximately $35 USD shipped a piece is a bargain.

Availability: C

You might find these at a local speciality store. Otherwise, you're looking at importing them. They are currently sold out at most importers, expect to see more available come late august. Also, it's Revoltech. Kaiyodo frequently only has a licence for a limited time, so if you want it, get it now. I got mine from Toy-Wave and had to pay a slight premium over the Japanese RRP.

Production Quality: B+

Expect a few dodgy joints in all that articulated goodness. Fortunately, the quality control on the paint applications have picked up enormously since the first Eva Revoltech figures and joints are no longer painted shut.

Design: A

Brilliant looking pieces, movie accurate, with crazed articulation. The only drawback is form over function wrists.

Final rating: A

In the end, posability, price, and movie accuracy, not to mention the lack of similar products, make these pretty much must haves for eva fans and giant robot aficionados. They should be available from reputable Japanese exporters by the end of the month, so save your pennies and order now.


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