Written by Arlo Hansen
I have been a huge fan of the Evangelion franchise for at least the past seven or so years. What intrigued me was its complex story, characters and use of religious and psychological symbolism. As soon as I was finished watching the original anime series, I then discovered the Rebuild of Evangelion films, which is a partial retelling of the original story with new characters and elements thrown in. Things remained mostly familiar within the movies Evangelion 1.11 You Are (Not) Alone (2007) and Evangelion 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance. However, by Evangelion 3.33 You Can (Not) Redo (2012) things changed a great deal - SPOILER ALERT - there was a 14 year time skip between the second and third film, new characters, new organizations, new EVAs, and new questions that will hopefully be answered in the fourth/final film whenever it releases. One of the definite highlights of the film was the battle between the upgraded Evangelion Unit 02 and Evangelion 13 in Terminal Dogma, which bears a striking resemblence to Unit 01 (with some notable differences). For a long time I've collected the smaller Revoltech action figures for the EVAs, so I was venturing into brand new territory in regards to the Medicom RAH NEO Evangelion 13 action figure.
Truth be told, this was an impulse purchase. I was feeling rather blue this past Valentines Day as I am alone. I decided to buy myself something I've been eyeing for a while as a means to lift my spirits. That little something was this figure, which costed me a little over $400 USD. So, was it worth the price and my emotional state at the time? Let's take a look!
Medicom's Real Action Heroes NEO (RAH NEO) EVA 13 figure stands roughly 14-15 inches tall. It's sculpt is a mix of a soft flexible rubber outer skin and harder plastics for the armor and shoulder pylons. Underneath the skin is a super articulated plastic skeletal armature. As far as detailing and sculpt goes, this thing is absolutely movie accurate. Many of the proportions are spot on and definitely match its animated counterpart in the movie. The paint work on this figure is mostly good. I would have said it was absolutely perfect, but there is one aspect of this particular figure that upset me.
Upon receiving this figure, I noticed that some of the paint on its right bicep is peeling off. Normally the paint should be glossed and look as if it is part of the figure itself, but here some of the yellow on the bicep stripe is stripping off revealing the black rubber underneath. For a figure that costs well over $400 this is unacceptable! It should be flawless at that price. However, since I was unable to return the darn thing for a replacement or refund, I just had to live with it. Figures!
Still, I do my best to hide the flaw by displaying the EVA's left side more prominently than the right.
Moving on from my complaint above, let's look at this figure's articulation. Truthfully I am reluctant to put this figure in overly dynamic poses, because I am afraid that I may accidentally tear the thing rubber skin coating that covers much of this figure. However, based on what I was able to achieve, I'd say that it has a decent range of motion and manages to replicate poses that we see in the movie just fine. However, since I've heard issues regarding breakages of the rubber skin, I choose to keep the figure in relatively tame poses that don't put stress on the elbow or knee joints.
What I've noticed over time as well is that if there is stress on the joints for a while, then the joints will loosen. Some joints hold up better than others like the joints on the legs, but the shoulders, elbows, and wrists will become loose and sag if much weight is on them - especially if it's gripping the two Lances of Longinus. To me that's rather disappointing, because through time it renders the two spear accessories moot since the figure will no longer be able to hold them up eventually. Still, there are ways to combat this, which I'll discuss in a little bit.
EVA 13 is loaded with an abundance of accessories! Perhaps more than any of Medicom's previous RAH NEO EVAs. Firstly we will look at EVA 13's second set of arms. Attaching them to the figure is rather easy. Carefully remove the plastic chest piece from the four sockets on the figure's torso. And then insert the second chest piece with the second set of arms in its place. Once you hear a click, then they're set!
EVA 13 with both pairs of arms attached is truly an amazing looking figure and definitely a unique EVA unit in itself. The reason for the second pair of arms in the movie isn't made clear, but EVA 13 required two souls (Shinji's and Kaworu's) in order to remove the Lances of Longinus from the corpses of Lilith and Evangelion MK .06 during the film's climax. Also there's the fact that EVA 13 is actually one of the multiple Adams that was hinted at way back in the second film during a stylized flashback sequence of Second Impact through the point of view from a young Misato Katsuragi.
The figure also comes with a display base and stand. The stand is a bendable rod with a black fabric covering to match the base's color. It has a plastic claw at the end to grip the figure. The stand is pretty neat and sturdy enough to allow you to achieve a levitating pose for EVA 13.
The figure's most notable accessories are the twin Lances of Longinus. These things are quite long, exceeding two feet! They're sculpted out of a thin plastic, so I handle them with care to prevent accidentally snapping either of them. When EVA 13 grips the spears, the figure looks totally complete. The display space it takes, however is a lot and as seen above, it exceeds my current photo set for my reviews. Take some time to also see how the RAH NEO EVA 13 scales with the Revoltech EVAs displayed in the photo above as well.
Jumping back to the articulation topic from earlier, the figure's shoulder and elbow joints do sag over time when holding to the spears. Initially I displayed it with the spears not touching the base, but with the sagging issue becoming more apparent, resting the ends of the spears on the base provides stability for the arms to maintain their positions. I think this is what I'll do for now on.
The final accessories that I will cover are the four RS Hoppers that generate protective AT Fields during battle for EVA 13 since the unit itself can't generate it's own AT Field. They're pretty nicely detailed and are provided with transparent stands that attach into the two visible sockets on top of the base. They add a nice effect to the figure when it's in its normal form as seen during its battle with Unit 02.
So what is the verdict? My overall feelings on this figure are rather mixed. I like it. I like it a lot. However the issues I've brought up about it earlier prevent me from totally loving it. For this review, I will try something new and give final reflective comments on each section...
The sculpt is absolutely amazing and truly captures the look and proportions of this EVA unit from the movie. Best EVA 13 sculpt available as far as I know!
The paint work on this figure is mostly good, and would be flawless if it were not for the peeling on its right bicep. As I've stated earlier, being a $400+ figure one should expect every figure that comes out of the factory to be flawless.
Articulation on this figure is really good and if I give it the chance, it could achieve some rather dynamic poses. However, due to the overall fragility of the figure, I am reluctant to do anything too risky that would cause tears in the thin rubber fabric that covers the joints.
This figure is absolutely loaded and has everything you'd want out of this figure. No complaints regarding the accessories which include multiple option hands, the display base and stand, four RS Hoppers, and the two Lances of Longinus.
In retrospect, the Medicom Real Action Heroes Evangelion 13 action figure is definitely a nice figure that perfectly captures the unit as seen in Evangelion 3.33 You Can (Not) Redo (2012). However, based on the problems I've experienced with this figure I do not think it is worth the $400+ retail price. One would expect such a figure at that price to have no issues whatsoever. Unfortunately, because of the issues I've had with this figure, this will be my very first and last RAH NEO Evangelion figure.
Do not get me wrong though. I like the figure a great deal, but if I can expect issues such as paint peeling, breakages and loosening joints in a figure that is that high priced, then it is not worth it for me to buy the others.