Dark of the Moon Deluxe Evac Toy Review

in 2012, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Dark of the Moon, Deluxe, Movie (2007), Universal Studios

Dark of the Moon

General Information:
Release Date: June 2012
Price Point: $22 (Estimated before tax)
Retailer: Universal Studios Exclusive
Accessories: None

Images:

In the summer of 2012, a new ride opened in Universal Studios Hollywood based on the live action "Transformers" movies. This thrill ride had the unusual feature of making the vehicle you were riding in one of the actual characters in the story, namely the Autobot "Evac" who was on a high priority mission to save the day (and not get blasted by Decepticons in the process!). As part of this thrill ride, a small line of action figures was put together to be sold at the store near the ride. Most of these figures were redecos of previous toys in different packaging, but one sculpt was completely original: Deluxe Class Evac. Being exclusive to the ride, these wound up going on ebay for over $75 each at one point and the store wound up limiting visitors to six per person and then three (that may have changed by the time I'm writing this review in June 2012).

As a character, Evac only makes this one appearance, but it's enough to establish firmly that he is part of the live action movie universe. I'm mostly putting him under the "Dark of the Moon " banner since it was the most recent live action film release for the series within the timeframe the figure was released. "Transformers The Ride" features many characters from the movie including Ravage, Bumblebee and Megatron in (what I would call) an "out of continuity" adventure though you could possibly squeeze it into the main continuity if you wanted to badly enough. Also, the other toys sold with Evac are redecos of live action movie figures, cementing his role as one of the Autobots in the "Bayverse" of Transformers.

Before I dive into the review proper, special thanks need to go out to fellow fan Norman S. (leaving out the rest of his last name for his privacy) who just happened to be at Universal Studios when I realized the figure was out and was good enough to take time out of his own vacation trip to grab this figure for me (and save me triple mark ups on ebay). Thank you Norman!

Robot Mode:
You may want to check out my Legion Class Evac review for some commentary on the design of Evac fro mthe CGI model to that toy. Without going on and on too much the similarities with the Legion Class figure to its CGI counterpart were mild in some parts and downright non-existent in others. I attribute this partly to the small scale of the Legion Class figures, which allows for a limited canvas for the designers to work with.

On the other hand, the Deluxe Class offers much more possibility, and for the most part it shows in this figure. That said, it should be noted that this figure isn't exactly the biggest or bulkiest Deluxe. Indeed, he's even missing any sort of hand held weapon (though his hands are sculpted to accomodate the 5mm pegs found on most modern Transformers weapons). In essence, he was a limited figure and not one intended for mass release, so it doesn't shock me that the designers cut back somewhat in the feature department. Still, some sort of blaster would have been nice.

The design of Evac is partly a CGI kitbash, meaning parts of other CGI models from the movie characters were used to build him. This includes the legs, part of the torso and head. The legs have a pattern of angled bars on them that is reminscent of a similar design on Roadbuster. He also shares a design featuring a prominent disc on his chest that seems partly inspired by Roadbuster as well (it's more obvious in the CGI model than the figure). The robot head is very similar to Sideswipe's in design with its smooth helmet section that curves backward. Evac is however missing the extra parts that "flared" out on the sides of Sideswipe's head. All these design aspects are reflected in this figure, making him much more accurate to the CGI model than the Legion Class version. Being a larger figure, Evac has the benefit of getting more room for the sculptors to add in all sorts of mechanical detail ranging from the springs and wires in his arms to four blasters, two on the arms and two on his waist area. He's not perfect however, there are at least three other weapons found on the CGI model that are not present here. This includes blasters that wind up over the wheels on his legs and one on his shoulder.

Evac is cast in blue, silver and black plastic. Blue and silver alternate a lot, making up a bulk of his armor. The black is found in the middle of the body, from the chest to the hips where it helps break up the blue and silver. Black is also found on the wheels, all of which are prominent in this mode. Paint aplications are a combination of silver, yellow and gunmetal grey. The blue matches the blue plastic nicely, and can be found on parts like his knees and feet where it brings out the sculpted armor panels nicely. Silver services a similar purpose, but seems mostly used for more functional looking parts such as parts of his thighs and the circle in the center of his chest. Silver is also used on the face, where yellow also comes into play for his eyes and additional detail on the back of his head. Judging by the design, the piece that's painted yellow was originally intended to provide "light piping" for the eyes but was decided against in the final design. Yellow is also used on the row of lights on his chest, providing a nice, bright contrast against the darker blue. Overall this is a cool color scheme though to really kick it up a notch it could have used some silver brush work to look more like his CGI counterpart.

There are thirteen points of articulation in this mode. This includes ball joints at the hips and shoulders along with the ability for his ankles to turn in, which is great for posing (though a ball joint would've been preferable). If you want to be generous, you could add one more point with the blasters located above his hips, which can swivel up and down. While Evac doesn't come with weapon accessories, he does have four blasters. Each forearm has one and he has the two above the hips. Now, despite his lack of accessories, Evac is perfectly capable of having new accessories attached to him, which is super cool. His shoulders have two "C" clip bars that you can attach weapons to. His forearm blasters have the same and each of his hands can accomodate a standard 5mm peg weapon. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the "C Clip" attachment points, and I'm very happy there are four of them!

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Straighten out the robot arms.
  2. Pull the back of the figure out.
  3. Push the robot head back so the circle from the chest is now pointing up.
  4. Rotate the back piece around.
  5. Swing the back piece down. This will cause the circle form the chest to now form a rear thruster and the cabin section to connect to the chest armor to form the front end of the vehicle.
  6. Swing the weapons on his hips up, then swing the hips themselves up. The weapons should "peek" through underneath the headlights at the front of the vehicle.
  7. Swing both arms in so they're on the bottom of the vehicle, then attach them to the black tabs sticking up.
  8. Swing each leg back and connect it to the sides of the vehicle. The primary connection is between the pegs on the back of the vehicle and the holes on the sides of the feet.
  9. Swing the front wheels on his legs forward and adjust the rear wheels so the blue cover piece is towards the back.
  10. Swing the side "door" panels down.

Vehicle Mode:
Evac's vehicle mode is a sleek yet powerful looking vehicle at the same time. This sculpt pulls off this look perfectly with a low front end curving up to the back where everything is wide. This is even reflected in the designs of the wheels, where the front wheels are smaller and the back ones are huge in comparison. While the front looks aerodynamic, the rear section has a big thruster in the center flanked by the robot feet with more thrusters sculpted into them. Looking at this vehicle definitely makes you think of "power" all the way! He also has a lot of the smaller details from the CGI model including the four headlights in front in the center, guns sticking out the front of the vehicle and the spoilers on the back. In a real nice touch (that's hard to photograph), the inside of his cabin section actually has four seats sculpted into it! This is meant to reflect the actual vehicle you sit in during the "Transformers: The Ride" experience and looks really cool.

In this form, Evac winds up being mostly blue in color with black showing on the seats inside his cabin and on the wheels. Silver peeks out in the back in the form of his feet/thrusters and the arms that stick out a bit on the sides. Silver paint is used to paint the sides of the wheels and Autobot symbols right behind the front wheel wells. A really nice honeycomb pattern followed by a curved and angled line pattern is found on the sides. This pattern isn't seen on the ride itself or (near as I can tell) on publicity shots of the CGI model, but it does look really cool and I prefer something painted on the sides rather than leaving it blank. All these designs are painted in a bright green color. It's not the most complex color scheme in the world, but it does look cool.

Evac's doors (or side panels if you prefer) can swing up, revealing some extra sculpted detail underneath. You can also see these details in robot mode, but it's easier here. These include what look like blasters and exhaust pipes along with extra armor plates. The left side panel has the Hasbro trademark information on it while the right has Tomy's. Thanks to his arms being on the underside of the vehicle, you can attach some C Clip weapons to the forearm weapons on the sides, giving him additional firepower. I was surprised to see there is no space to attach 5mm peg weapons however. At first I thought the holes on the sides of his rear wheels would do the trick, but nope, they're too big. However, if you wanted to attach weapons to the back, his C Clip bars do stick out there.

Final Thoughts:
From a functional perspective, Evac is totally a fun toy, but part of that fun is predicated on you already owning other Transformers with weapons he can borrow. That's not necesarily a bad thing and if you think about it, it encourages you to buy more figures (which let's face it, is Hasbro's ultimate goal). I think if you hold Evac to the standards of a typical Transformers Deluxe, it's easy to say he's not worth the $22 price tag. However, take into consideration his exclusive status and that the theme park (in addition to Hasbro and potentially Paramount) is getting a cut and suddenly the seemingly steep price makes a lot more sense. I think how much you will want this largely depends on your enjoyment of the ride (if you're there in person) or how much of a hardcore collector you are. I think this figure is definitely worth the theme park price, but not the $70+ mark ups I've seen on ebay. Recommended with reservations.