Soul of Chogokin GX-17: Eva 00 Prototype

Giant Robots. If there is one thing that anime does well it's giant robots. But every so often they manage to take the same old theme and completely turn it on its head. And so it was Neon Genesis Evangelion. Another giant robot anime, except that the robots weren't robots. Nor were they mechs or mobile suits. They weren't even mechanical. Now ten years later, most of us still don't quite understand it all. But understand it or not, for ten years now people have been eating it up. And when Bandai decided to create versions of the Evas as part of their Soul of Chogokin line, they ate those up too. This review covers the fourth in the linewhich is oddly enough, the very first Eva: the unit 00 prototype.

Packaging - 7/10

As with the other three figures, Eva 00 comes in an attractive box with images of the figure shown prominantly on the front. The back of the box nicely displays all of the parts included. The top and bottom of the box also feature an image of the figure, weapon in hand, in front of a cityscape. The overall effect is quite simple but very effective. It's not often that you find a figure that looks so good that they don't need graphics, just photos of the figure. It's weakness is that the box doesn't show the actual contents of the box at all so you don't get any real appreciation of the figure inside until it is opened. As a collector's item it isn't a big problem unless you happen to be a MOC/MIB collector. But then you are missing the real value of this figure.

Sculpting - 9/10

The design of the Eva's is rather simple compared to many mecha/robot designs. But often it is the simple designs which are the hardest to translate to 3D. No fear of that here. The sculpt is amazing. While it does borrow heavily from the other three releases, the overall look is quite different due to the unique chest and shoulder armor and the lack of shoulder fins. The sculpting does suffer from fairly noticable seam lines along the limbs and the elbow joints don't flow as well as the rest of the sculpt.

Paint - 8/10

Overall the paint details seem rather sparse on the figure. But what it lacks in quantity it more than makes up for in quality. The metallic finish is very well done. The detail work is good though not perfect. And the print on the forearms and shoulders works very well. As I said, the paint is not perfect. My figure has a paint clump on the chest plate which is the first such imperfection I have seen on the four figures I have. There is also a tiny amount of paint slop on the head which is only visible under the close inspection.

Articulation - 8/10

Well it is a hunk of metal, how much articulation can it have. A lot. The Evas have double jointed everything: elbows, wrists, neck, knees, waist and shoulders. The feet alone have ten points of articulation. The joints can vary in tightness but I haven't found any yet that were so loose that they couldn't hold a pose. They could use articulated hands.

Accessories - 6/10

The accessories with this line have been quite impressive and while the unit 00 prototype doesn't disappoint, it doesn't have quite enough to really impress either. The manual lists twenty three accessories but most of those are simply parts for the nine actual accessories. There are two sets of hands (gripping and open), entry plugs, a large sheild, the positron sniper rifle, pallet rifle and case, external power cord and display base. That is an impressive list, but only the shield and sniper rifle are new. The rest have been recycled for all four figures. The shield looks good but can't be held very well since the hands are designed to hold a gun. The sniper rifles looks perfect but is a weapon designed for the Unit 01 figure. If you don't have both figures, its value is substantially deminished. Plus, it is the first weapon that just can't be displayed on the display base, a rather large drawback in my eyes. The pallet rifle is still the staple weapon, though even it loses some value since it recycles the same case as the past figures. But this figure doesn't have the shoulder fins to which to attach the case, another drawback. Fortunately the display stand still holds up well, offering not only a great way to display the figure, but to store the weapons as well. But even it is not without problems. Without the shoulder fins, the figure doesn't 'lock' into the restraints.

Value - 6/10

This is truely an impressive figure. But with a price tag of between $40 and $70, its overall value just doesn't hold up as well as the previous figures. All three of the other figures manage to edge out the prototype unit 00 in just about every category. This figure is really best for those for whom the proto unit 00 happens to be a personal favorite or that can afford all four figures that have been released so far.

Happy Hunting:

I ordered from Big Bad Toy Store as part of their clearance sale. Even then it was $46. If you have an import store locally, you can try there. If you missed out on the first three figures, there are often sellers from Hong Kong selling the set of four which will probably be your best oportunity to get the entire set for a reasonable price, especially Unit 01.