Revoltech EVA-01 Test Type
by Adam Pawlus,
WHAT IS IT?
Shinji's EVA-01 from the classic anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion, with enhanced articulation and a decent amount of accessories. Included are an extra head, extra hands, several weapons, and everybody's favorite power cord.
Somewhat cheap, easy to find, and small.
Buying another EVA-01 toy is like deja vu all over again. Also, it's $25.
Since the series Neon Genesis Evangelion premiered many moons ago, companies like Sega, Kaiyodo, BanDai, and others produced a ridiculous amount of merchandising. The realm of statues, figures, and models is completely saturated, and while each new generation of merchandise often improves upon the last, there's no getting around the fact we're treading the same ground. Take this nifty Revoltech EVA-01 Test Type figure, produced by Kaiyodo and distributed in the USA by Organic. About seven years ago, Kaiyodo treated us all to a line of much larger figures that, when distributed in the USA, were about $15 each. (In Japan, they were closer to $40 after currency conversions.) So why is it more expensive now that it's smaller? (One word: volume. The more you sell, the lower your price gets. Revoltech figures are not produced in vastly huge quantities, as far as I can tell.)
This particular figure is painted a bright, cartoony purple color that makes it look like it was colored in the same manner as the animators at Gainax intended. However, what works for the small screen doesn't always translate well to a toy, and this figure looks very cartoony and overwhelmingly bright. I placed it on top of a computer monitor with several other toys of mine, and it really stands out. Depending on what constitutes "realism" in your toy purchases, this may be either off-putting or very welcome.
In an industry populated by statues, this figure is a welcome change. With ball joints everywhere, this figure has at least 14 points of articulation that allow it to aim, to stand at attention, and to do almost anything you could imagine. The hips aren't ball joints, sadly, but you can still get nearly any battle pose you want out of this figure if you're willing to mess with it a little. If you like to open something, place it on your shelf, and admire it from afar, this is probably not a good item to get. Also, if you like figures that require hours of assembly and paint, this isn't for you either. But if you're watching TV or using your computer and want something you can reach over, grab, adjust, and move around to fight with your other toys, this may be one of the best things you could get.
With loads of interchangeable hands, the figure is capable of assuming a variety of action-oriented poses. The problem is that the hands fit onto the wrists so tightly, you'll feel you're fighting with it at times just to what should be a simple task, but maybe I just got lucky and my sample was a bit tough to deal with. Still, keep that in mind-- you might have to fight with this figure to get what you want out of it.
It's just that it's Evangelion. Again. (Yes, I know it makes money and yes, I like it too... but man, there's a lot of stuff to buy from that show.)
IS IT WORTH IT?
If you have no other toys from this classic series, absolutely. But to steal from Mark Twain, "if you don't like the Evangelion figures available on the market today, wait a minute." Not a month goes by where someone doesn't announce a new Asuka statue or some bizarre towel with Rei on it or Shinji branded shrimp chips. (Maybe not that last one.) There's just no shortage of stuff to look at, so you'll never have to settle. It's not like most series where if you go a year after it ends and don't see any decent licensed products, that the ship has probably sailed.
If you don't care for the series, and this is just another robot-looking toy to you, it's not a bad one but you can probably get another cool robot toy for cheaper. If you just have to get a new action figure or statue and have money burning a hole in your pocket, you can do much worse. It's better than the Mattel Naruto figures you see at Wal-Mart for $10, that's for sure.
Anime fans are often used to slightly higher prices for their toys, but when compared to other action figure lines in the USA, this is a pretty expensive toy. Spider-Man figures, Marvel Legends, or any of a number of other toys with similar articulation and (for the most part) accessories can be had for about $10 or less, so this isn't really much of a bargain.
MORE ABOUT REVOLTECH
Other characters in the Revoltech style include Dante from Devil May Cry, Optimus Prime (Convoy) and Ultra Magnus from Transformers, and several other characters from Shin Getter Robo, Evangelion, and so forth. Due to licensing restrictions, not all of these will be distributed in the USA, but can be had from importers, eBay, and of course your good friends in Japan who owe you a favor. The figures seem to be well made, fairly durable, and of a reasonable quality for the price as an import.
WHAT ELSE MIGHT YOU LIKE?
If you're a fan of Stikfas, a series of small figure kits from Singapore, you might want to hold off and get a look at those first. The company was granted the license to produce EVA kits, which should be smaller and more stylized, but probably also cheaper and similar in terms of articulation.
If you like ridiculous repaints of the same product, a glow-in-the-dark variant of the Revoltech EVA-01 was sold at select summer conventions in 2006 as an exclusive, limited to 1,000 pieces. There's also a partially clear variation with added NERV logos on it, but I have no idea how it was distributed. I am not aware of other variations at this time.
|DISTRIBUTED IN: USA, Japan|
|AVAILABLE: Now (released in 2006)|
PACKAGING: Window box designed for easy removal and replacement for storage
|HEIGHT: 6-inches, give or take|
That's all for this week! Check this space every other Tuesday for a brand-new toy review!
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