If you don't pay attention to anime, the words "Neon Genesis Evangelion" may seem like a fairly group of words. But for the
rest of us, even if you are not a fan of the series you will probably recognize it as one of the better known examples of
giant robot anime. While fans will gladly go on and on about how the series is so much more than that, this review is
concerned with those giant robots or Eva's as the are called in the series. There have been many different toys based on the
Eva's over the years including the amazing Soul of Chogokin Eva's. But when
Kaiyodo launched their Revoltech line last year that was suppose to bring together many different anime characters and robots
with a revolutionary type of articulation (hence the name) the Eva's were a natural fit.
Packaging - 4/10The packaging for the Revoltech line is quite simple and utilitarian. Each figure comes in a relatively small 7.5" by 5.5" box with the figure displayed in a window along the side of the front panel. The name of the figure and Revoltech logo are the only prominent graphics on the front although there is a small logo identifying the figures as being from Neon Genesis Evangelion. One of the side panels is devoted to a description of the Revoltech joint while the other identifies the figure once again along with a photo of it in the background. The back is where you first get a taste of what the figures are really about with multiple images of the figure in extreme poses with its various accessories. The packaging doesn't really show off the toy well. But since these are import items only here in the USA, they aren't likely to ever end up in your hands unless you have already bought them. What does hurt them is that the packaging is quite text heavy and of course, I can't read Japanese. If I could, all of that text might add something to the packaging.
Sculpting - 6/10It should be no great surprise to anyone that all four Evangelions share the same basic body, just the heads and chest panels differ and the yellow version of Unit 00 doesn't have the shoulder fins. It matches the designs from the anime well, or as well as they can without becoming incredibly complex constructions. The sculpting is a bit simplistic, which actually helps it to match the animation better. But I don't really care for it. The details are there. They just aren't quite as sharp or as clear as they should be. They also had to compromise on the chest compartment for Unit 01 to reduce it to a single piece. They didn't do a great job of concealing some of the joints either. The lines for the arms flow well past the elbow. But the knees leave the sphere portion of the joint completely exposed. For such early offerings in the Revoltech line, the Eva's show a great deal of potential. But they need more refinement before they can fully realize that potential.
Paint - Unit 00 (yellow) 5/10, Unit 01 7/10, others 6/10Much like the sculpting, the paint work is nice but not great. The main color for each Eva comes from the color of the plastic. This means it is very consistent. But it doesn't have the depth or richness to the color that it would have had if they were painted. The areas that are painted turned out quite well with no issue that I've noticed. But beyond the quality of work on Kaiyodo's part, the results for the figures vary greatly just due to the color palettes used for each one. The yellow and whites used for the first version of Unit 00 don't really provide enough contrast. The blue version of Unit 00 and Unit 02 are better. But the purple/black/green color scheme for Unit 01 works so much better.
Articulation - 7/10The articulation is suppose to be one of the highlights of the Revoltech line thanks to Kaiyodo's new "revolver joint" design. The revolver joint consists of two halves which each have a peg on them to attach to the pieces of the figure to be joined via a peg. These two halves are then pinned together to form a hinge joint in the middle. While I wouldn't call it revolutionary, the revolver joint is a nice design which essentially creates three joints at each connection. There is the obvious hinge joint in the center, but the pegs on each end create two rotating joints as well.
Each Eva except the yellow version of Unit 00 has a total of forty two points of articulation:
Accessories - Unit 00 (yellow) & Unit 02 6/10, others 7/10One of the areas where the Revoltech Eva's stand out is their accessories. Each of the four figures come with three extra sets of hands and an umbilical power cable. The power cables can plug into the figures' back and have a bendable wire cable. In addition to the fists that each figure is packaged with, the six extra hands include a pair for holding guns, a pair of open hands, a pointing right hand and a left hand designed to support the figure in a three point stance. To these items, each figure adds an assortment of weapons. The yellow version of Eva 00 comes with a pump action shot gun (it doesn't actually pump) and the sniper rifle and shield from episode 6 of the anime series. The sniper rifle is nice, but has limited play potential. The shield would be great if not for the oddly melted area around the eye slot despite the rest of the shield being in perfect condition. The shotgun is nice, but the figure could really use a few more weapons. The blue version of Unit 00 comes with a positron rifle, a machine gun with supports to use it like a sniper, a pallet gun, a progressive knife and a N2 bomb. I wish they had included a hand to carry the N2 bomb. But other than that it is a nice assortment of weapons. Unit 01 also has a pallet gun and progressive knife as well as a pistol, sword and berserker head. I've seen the sword before from the Soul of Chogokin figure, but I have no idea what it is based on. It doesn't appear in the show as far as I can recall. Unit 02 comes with a pallet gun, progressive knife, a different pistol (this time with a silencer), a ax and a spear. The idea of putting a silencer on a pistol to be used by a giant robot mech seems rather comical. But the ax and spear, while accurate to the show, are kind of dull compared to weapons like Unit 00's sniper rifle. On their own, the accessories for any one of the figures are nice. But when you put them all together, you wind up with a decent arsenal for your Eva's.
Value - 7/10The retail price for the Revoltech Eva figures is 1,900 yen. That's about $16 in US currency. Unfortunately since they are not available for distribution in the US, you are going to have to pay at least a few Dollars more to get them as an import. At $20 they are still a good deal for what are probably the best Evangelion figures short of the Soul of Chogokin series. While some places will charge even more than $20 each, if the price climbs more than a Dollar or two above that, you might want to shop around before placing an order.
Happy Hunting:These are import only items. But the Revoltech line is getting a lot of retailer support so they shouldn't be hard to find. I ordered mine from Entertainment Earth during their clearance sale this summer. But they are still available from both Big Bad Toy Store or Hobby Link Japan. Both of those sites offer them for a decent price and have track records for great service.