Wednesday, May 18, 2011

SOC Evangelion 04 Production Model: Smaller But Solid


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I was originally going to review all of my Soul of Chogokin toys in the order in which I purchased them, but I got really behind, and I can't remember what order I purchased them in anymore. So instead I decided to review the remaining ones in the order that they were released. Which is interesting, because Bandai has been making Soul of Chogokin toys for a very long time, the first one came out in 1997, the oldest one I own is the GX-03 Combattler V which was originally released in 1999. The previous Eva figure I reviewed was part of the Spec sub line (a supposedly cheaper and more toy like line) and was released in 2008, this Eva figure is part of the SOC proper line and was released in 2004, so there's quite a bit of difference in construction.

Amusingly, this is actually my most recent SOC purchase, I got it because I had a gift certificate to burn, and the figure was cheap and shiny.

The story behind Eva 04 is it was one of the production models, as opposed to the prototype, 00, or the test type, 01. Eva 04 was never actually shown in the anime, it was mentioned at one point that the entire facility it was built at was completely irradicated under somewhat mysterious circumstances.

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04 features quite a bit more diecast metal content than the Spec 00 does, it's also only about 75% of the size.
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Here the shoulder fins are actually clipped on via a magnetic attachment point, which works fine, but it's a little fiddly.

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Once again the Eva has an impressive amount of articulation, and the joints are solid enough to hold most poses. Oddly, it only comes with two sets of hands, the standard splayed finger "jazz hands" and a set that are sort of halfway between forming a fist, and holding something.

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One nice little touch on this Eva is an articulated mouth.


This Eva also has too sets of shoulder fins, one sleek set, and one functional set that hide weaponry.

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The different between the two is much more drastic than on the Spec Evas, and the functional fins also have some unsightly exposed screws.
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The right should again has the projectile battery, I believe this method of opening the fin is less cartoon accurate.

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The left shoulder has the hidden knife sheath, this one can actually hold the full sized combat knife, however, the sheath doesn't fold into the fin, and thus the compartment can't be closed while the knife is inside it.

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The figure comes with three entry plugs, that can actually be fired out of the figures back with a spring loaded release. I don't know if it's the age of the figure, if mine's defective, or if the design is flawed, but I had a lot of trouble getting the plugs to stay in, and then fire.

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Onto the weapons, first up is the photon rifle, this is a really big gun that locks onto his shoulder be replacing one of the fins.

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He also has the standard Eva assault rifle, it can even be stored in a weapon case, which is kind of awesome.
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One thing about his hands is that it can be quite difficult fitting these hands around the gun grips, they can't be simply slid into the hand since the handle is capped on both sides, so you have to stretch the fingers around and worm the hand onto the gun. It's a little worrying, feeling like the hand might eventually become brittle and crack, or just tear off.

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Like all Evas, 04 has to occasionally gas up.

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I almost forgot the bazooka/rocket launcher thingy.

Being one of the earlier full SOC releases, this figure comes with a stand that holds most of it's accessories. This stand requires more than a little assembly and is surprisingly complicated.

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Once you've got it all assembled, it holds most of the weapons, has the charging hose fed into a hole in the base, and has pillars that fit the shoulder fins, almost like the Eva is resting on it.

Bottom line, it's a very nice figure, but while it has a higher diecast content, to me it just doesn't compare to the level of detail on the Spec figures, if you love Evas and want to get one from the SOC line, I would recommend the Spec line.

2 comments:

  1. If only they'd make SOC Gurren Lagann stuff

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  2. Nice pics! Actually, the progressive knife does fit into the knife-holding shoulder fin! The sheath itself is on a joint, just push it into the fin before closing the lid. Nice feature, but I still prefer the sleeker fins!

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