Cliffbee.com: Movie Evac Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Evac
Series: Movie Tie-Ins
Allegiance: Autrobot
Alternate Mode: MH-53 Pave Low Helicopter



CHOPPER MODE
Height: 10cm Length: 25.5cm Width: 11cm, 22cm across blades

   A bright orange military helicopter-come-rescue chopper with six black grey blades, a four blade rotor on the portside of his tail, black at the base of his main rotor and around the cockpit, Evac has white pontoons on either side. The windows are metallic blue along with a grey refuelling probe on the starboard side nose a grey radar dome on the portside of the nose. There's an Autobot logo in black (against white outline) above the front window and a registration number, EV1015-07, on either side of the tail, in black. Ignoring that this is a chopper designed for infiltration, the colours used here work well - and they certainly catch your eye a lot better than the dull colours of Blackout.

   This is a fairly accurate helicopter, if not up to the standard of a Binaltech or Alternator. The sculpt is very good even if there are a few screws visible on the starboard side - you might want to display the portside, although the screws are fairly subtle, amongst all that orange. The tail rotor is counterbalanced by a winglet on the starboard side of his tail and the since main rotors have well sculpted mechanisms at their bases. Evac's main detraction in this mode is the compartment for his life raft at the rear, and while it's on the belly, the sides are hollow with the life raft visible. The life raft looks far more credible than Scorponok's arms do on Blackout, mind you. The missile pods found on the Pave Low choppers are present here, and feature hardpoints (for his weapon in robot mode). There are three subtle grey wheels underneath.

   There are two gimmicks here, one good and one not so good. The little raft under the tail is the lesser one - the idea is that you press a small button at the back of the cage and the hatch opens, dropping an orange raft with survival tent and pontoons. The tent falls off as soon as you look at it, however - it's not glued down. It beats the crappy Scorponok bundled with Blackout, but it's still a fairly lame gimmick - that's down to the execution. I'm happy that the designer improved on Scorponok, at least.

   The other gimmick is much more satisfying, without really compromising the helicopter mode as a disguise. There's a black plunger at the back of the tail, push it in and the main rotor will rotate through a turn or two. Pressing it repeatedly causes the rotor to keep spinning - and it'll do so quite rapidly. This gimmick is still able to combine with Scorponok. While this gimmick is very satisfying, the combination of Evac and Scorponok seems far fetched.

   On the whole this is a good chopper mode, with quite a deal of realism and a gun colour scheme. The spinning rotor gimmick is great - the winglets acts as a handle too, but the Scorponok add-on is somewhat redundant here. The life raft that comes with Evac doesn't offer as much, but it's still a lot better than Blackout's mini Scorponok.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the raft, since it'll fall out at some stage anyway. Stow the front wheel, swing the cage up and clip onto the top of the tail. Open the front of the engine block (just in front of the rotor), swing out to the sides and flip over to reveal missile banks. Lift down the rear fuselage, which becomes his legs, swing the side panels down through 90, rotate the waist and push the nose in between the side panels, clipping it into place. The automorph feature kicks in as you do this - as the waist forms the central stripe of the nose rotates to reveal his chest and head. It doesn't work that well - everything is one tooth of the gear out, so the head leans forward a little. Rotate the boots, fold down his feet and heelspurs. Swing the arms out from underneath his missilepods, rotate the forearms, lift up the panels covering his hands and swing down the hands. Lastly, collapse the rotors on his back to form something resembling a cape.

   A common mistake here is to clip the torso in incorrectly - not place it back far enough. Even when it is correct, the panels box in the head to a large extent, and this will be even worse if you get it wrong

ROBOT MODE
Height: 18.5cm Width: 10.5cm

   The orange is now largely limited to his arms and head, with the torso mainly black and grey and his legs largely white with grey feet. There's some "Allspark" blue here and there while his face is silver with a transparent blue eyestrip. There's a good lightpipe however it fails to activate since there's a lot of chopper on his back. There's a small white Autoobot logo stamped on his chest, flanked to by the gold radar dome and black refuelling pod. Evac's hands are grey and there are black and yellow danger stripes on his shoulders. While the stripes are random, the rest of this colour scheme works well - even the overused "Allspark" blue.

   The overall shape is pretty good, and the level of detail is generally good - with a couple of exceptions. The feet are big, clunky affairs with two big toes each, which looks a little strange. I'm not a huge fan of the overall effect, but they do make this backheavy toy quite stable, so I can accept it. The head sculpt is good - and is retooled compared to Blackout. His hands are closed rather than the open palms Blackout has, but have a good sculpt just as on the Decepticon. There's not that much chopper here - the missilepods are outside his elbows and either side of the chest is the front of the chopper - but much of it sits on his back.

   The rotor gimmick is essentially dead here, but the tail & rotor assembly can detach, the rotor folding over to form a huge blender weapon. It actually attaches to the hardpoint on his left shoulder, a handle resting in his hand. Again the big feet come in handy, they're able to support the now side-heavy Evac (in a limited range of poses, but that's okay - IRL he'd be limited anyway). The blade gimmick does work here although it'd limit his mobility. The missilepods, along with the smaller missileracks above them, provide some ranged weaponry. The raft becomes a handheld gun with the pontoons as barrels and the tent as a handle.

   The articulation is quite good, although the resultant poseability isn't quite at the same level unless you set the tail/rotor assembly aside. His shoulders, elbows, hips and knees are all compound joints, with full motion. The feet and heelspurs don't move much, but the giant footprint needs to be sturdy anyway. The head and waist rotate, although both are fairly restricted. His wrists don't move in a meaningful way.

   A decent robot mode with great detailing and a good colour scheme. The poseability is good, even if weight distribution issues do limit posing to some extent. The rotor gimmick isn't as effective but can still be used, and the other one sits on his tail. Evac does carry a lot of kibble on his back, which is perhaps his main flaw here. The boxed in head is a little impractical, but he manages to get away with it visually. The big feet are a necessary evil, making sure this mode works.

VARIATIONS

   None as such although he is a repaint and retool of Blackout, as mentioned.

OVERALL

   A decent retooling of Blackout with a good colour scheme. I appreciate the designer going back and changing the bundled Scorponok toy to a life raft - the life raft still fails, but to a lesser extent. The rotor gimmick and sculpt are great, and both modes generally display well. The kibble in robot mode does drag him down. Leaving aside Blackout's appearance in the film, this is the better version of this mould. If for some reason you passed up Blackout, Evac represents an improvement - but I'm not sure I'd recommend both - 7/10

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