I don’t get many exclusives. Exclusives usually cost money and a lot of time to collect, two things that I just don’t have a lot of. Would I like to have picked up the Million Publishing exclusive Transformers United Stepper? Sure. What about the Revoltech Danboard Sakura version? Yes. And the various Figma Black Rock Shooter exclusives? Hell, yeah. But we’re talking toys that cost more than Php 3,000.00 each. In the case of the Black Rock Shooter figures, we’re talking nearly 20k a figure.
No way am I dropping that much cash for a toy that barely scrapes the 6 inch mark.
Now that I’ve drawn the line, here is Universal Studios Deluxe Evac. He cost me about Php 1,200.00, well below 20K or even 3,000, so I’m thinking I’m still not crazy enough for one of those Collector Interventions.
The only place it’s available though is inside Universal Studios. As in Hollywood. Well… there’s also Singapore, I mean if you want to nitpick. At the Transformers Supply Vault (which I imagine must be somewhere near Transformers the ride) It costs $34.90 Singapore dollars (Php 1179.0197 Philippine pesos) for the Deluxe figure. They also have the Transformers: Prime Cyberverse EVAC for about half that, and Dark of the Moon Deluxe Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, all in exclusive Universal Studios packaging.
Of course, I don’t have the money to go to Singapore, so I got this off of one of the guys on Cybertron Philippines who had an extra. Score one for collector solidarity!
As you can see, the card is very similar to the Transformers movie packaging in style, though red, rather than blue or black. I’ve got to say I kind of like it. Visit this website here and you can see how that red pops off the shelf nicely. If this were available at local prices in local stores, it’d definitely be on my list of toys to pick up.
The figure is packaged in its robot form, which is pretty nice. It’s definitely got that movie universe aesthetic that is so recognizable, with little sculpted bits here and there sticking out. I love that he looks hefty, even if he really isn’t that substantial when you get him out of the box.
It's really mostly because of the huge chest that this bot has, and the way his tires make his shoulders look as wide as the Incredible Hulk. In reality, though, most of the volume he occupies is a cheat, because he's pretty much hollow on the inside. The chest piece is basically his hood and bumper and hides an empty cavity.
If you turn him around, the entire top of his vehicle form hides things from the back:
In most cases, that would bother me, but like I said, I love the way this robot looks.
I helps that the thing is well articulated, too. I'm kind of surprised that this toy turned out so well, seeing as it's pretty much a 1-off kind of thing, designed specifically for Transformers: The Ride at Universal by Hasbro. I'd say that the thing is pretty damned close to the concept art that's around the web:
|Concept sketch of Autobot Evac from Transformers: The Ride|
He's a little top heavy in real life, but that's ok in my book.
One of the things that does bug me though is the lack of any kind of accessory. No guns at all, though he does sport a number of c-clip anchorages. Kind of weird, though I guess since he's supposed to be a ferry for human refugees, and other Autobots are supposed to be covering his ass while he hightails it out of the combat zone, he really doesn't need the big guns. At least that's what I get from his bio on the back of the card:
Evac is used to dodging laser fire. His entire life, Decepticons have gotten in his way, and tried to stop him. They've never succeeded. No matter how overwhelming their attack, Evac knows that with Optimus Prime and Bumblebee covering him, nothing will stop him from delivering his passengers safetly.
Love the way Hasbro markets their other toys like that. Can just hear kids saying, "Ma, I want an Optimus Prime, too!".
He does have some sculpted gun barrels on his arms, though, if that makes you feel better (not for me). And in addition to those great c-clip bars, there's also the fact that he can accommodate the standard 5mm weapon post on other Transformers' weapons.
Transformation is a pretty involved considering he's a 1-off. The legs kind of just fold underneath the chassis that's formed by his torso, but in order to get everything into place, you need to swing various things into place and plug them into various sockets. It helps that his entire backside is the cockpit of the vehicle form.
He looks like something from The Thing in mid-transformation.
Once you get everything going and know where to lock up what, he converts into an amusement park roller coaster car: or at least Michael Bay's version of an amusement park roller coaster car:
|Advertisement for Transformers: The Ride|
Well until you got to his face, which looks nothing like Beachcomber.
The car mode is pretty awesome looking. There's not a lot of robot kibble visible if you're displaying him on all four tires. It's pretty much limited to the undercarriage where his legs and arms kind of just hang there. Not that they wiggle around too much. It's a fairly put together Transformer.
Again, the c-clip mounts are there if you want to use them. He's got two on top of his afterburners, and two underneath the shell, where his arms are.
I love the blue they've chosen for him. It's dark enough that it doesn't look cheap, but light enough so that he still looks bright and happy, as befits a roller coaster ride. There are some techno-deco decals tampographed to his sides, as well as some Autobot insignias for good measure.
The only real paint applications are some yellow spots to color his headlights (and also the back of his head, which I guess must be a thruster), and some silver on his rims. It's a nice touch that adds a lot to the proceedings.
He's also got a nice translucent canopy with sculpted seats for passengers inside. Woot!
Size is probably the only real gripe I have about him. Like the Fall of Cybertron Optimus Prime, he's just small compared to the Deluxe Class toys from a few years back. Go back a few years to toys like the Transformers: Universe Smokescreen and there's a marked difference in the size of both the vehicle and robot forms of Deluxe Class toys.
I know, I know: It's just an effect of our shit economy, but I still can't help be be a little sad at the fact that this guy is just about the same size as a Bumblebee would be.
Still, other than that, he's a great figure, and one I don't regret picking up at all. Excellent sculpting, excellent articulation, nice color scheme, nice fun factor with the tie in to the Transformers: The Ride part of the franchise. The accessories gripe is easily remedied with your choice of c-clip or 5mm weapons, and the size thing is something we'll need to get used to eventually.
If you have the means, buy one for your collection, too.