Metal Build Evangelion Units 1 and 2
The Metal Build series is no stranger to this site, with several Gundam figures safely photographed and scrutinised already. Time for a change of style though as Evangelion designer Ikuto Yamashita revisits his iconic designs and and gives the classic mechs a new spin in what is now Metal Build's signature move - the overhaul.
There's a lot to go into here, so let's break it down.
The base figures
Straight away, there's no mistaking the looming Evangelion Units 01 and 02. The matte colours on the 01 and muted colours on 02 add a real maturity to the overall look for each design, but it's the fusion of metal and plastic that really hits all the sweet spots. Heavy and stiff, the figures can pull off almost any pose asked of them, with only one or two joints not quite being as rigid as you might hope. The silhouettes are unmistakable Evangelion, looking like overly tall humanoids encased in metal armour. Unit 01's iconic horn and flared detailing on the head is pin-sharp here, and Unit 02's head opens to reveal the monstrous eyes lurking beneath the frame. They really capture the hidden menace of these creatures perfectly.
The decos are equally sharp, but still distinctive between each unit. The exposed metallic breastplates on Unit 01 do have that test-type feel to them, while the smoother lines of Unit 02 make it look and feel like the finished article ready for mass production. There are decals aplenty along the arms and chests of the figures, with the plastic giving way to the underlying metal structure, which itself is a mixture of bronze, gold and chrome. It is genuinely striking.
In terms of movement, the figures impress with highly articulated spines and panels, which allow the figures to bend and sway far more than you'd expect. Arms and legs feature a wide range of motion, going so far as to add spring-loaded panels to the calves to allow them to move out of the way for extreme bends. This is a cut above your average figure.
In truth, it's hard to find anything to fault here - I'm genuinely blown away by the superior quality and build these figures bring to the table.
Oh, and what accessories! Each figure comes with a selection of hands (fists, trigger hands, knife-wielding, casual and clawed mitts are all included) plus a variety of bladed weapons, guns, cannons and swords. The guns are detailed beyond the norm too - Unit 01's rifle comes with a variety of mods to create firing, bladed and even laser payloads, and even the pistol has an ammo clip that slots into the handle. But it doesn't end there, the pistol can even be cocked! Blimey! There's immense variety here, and in fact the only accessory that seems like a glaring omission is the Spear of Longinus, but maybe they're holding out for Unit 00 before throwing that in the box.
You can load all these weapons onto the Eva by way of shoulder and hip holsters which attach to the figure and then allow a series of ports into which you can plug connectors and sheathes for the guns, knives and swords you think you'll need to take down an Angel. Fully loaded they're a bit daft for my tastes, but a careful selection of what's available will get you a dangerous looking Unit every time.
Were that not enough, each figure also comes with a stand that resembles a launch pad. These awesome bases can also hold all the available weaponry, as well as support your Evangelion Unit so that you can create even wilder poses. Of course, every EVA needs a power cable, and these are included too. This is what they call "the complete package".
I'll be honest, I'm not the world's biggest EVA fan. Sure, I was there when the series dropped, and like everyone else I was beguiled by the freshness of the concept and insane design throughout the show, but when the TV ending petered out and the films went completely overboard with their shocking imagery, I was turned off completely. I recognise the importance of Evangelion in both artistic merit and for how it revitalised the industry, but the ending didn't speak to me and the spell was broken.
That said, it's hard not to love the iconic mecha of the show, lumbering, monstrous and otherworldly as everything was. These figures help to rekindle that initial sense of awe I had on my first viewing and they're among my favourite high-end pieces now gracing my collection. With their vibrant colours and distinctive silhouettes, they're the perfect counterpoint to their Gundam cousins in the same line. If you're an Evangelion fan with the money to hand, these are the jewels-in-the-crown of any Evangelion collection.
Unit 01 was purchased from Animegami, Unit 02 was purchased from Curibo
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