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By Ray H.

image1.jpg - 4427 Bytes Neon Genesis Evangelion, the classic tale of father vs. son and mankind competing with the Heavens, is one of the most popular anime titles ever, and is often hailed as an all time great. Evangelion is also one of the biggest titles in the U.S. right now, this summer Manga Entertainment will be releasing the long awaited and controversial "End of Evangelion" movie in the U.S., which concludes the epic series. All that's great and all, but lets get on to the good stuff.... the Evangelion Action Figures!

Evangelion toys are not exactly anything new. Merchandise has been getting pumped out since around 1996. This first edition of RTM's Speed Lines will spotlight some of the cool Eva merchandise that's come out over the years.

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The Sega Real Models, were the first Eva "action figures" to come out. These are very nice toys, that stand about eight inches tall and are decked out with lots of accessories. They have about 11 points of articulation and can be had at specialty stores for around $13 to $15. The name of this line might confuse some people, they are not "models" or kit figures like Gundams, these are honest to goodness fully assembled and ready to go blister carded action figures. The SRM immortalized all the Eva units in the anime and a couple of Angels into plastic. Unfortunately, they never did any of the people characters who drove the show, granted there not quite as "toyetic" as the Eva's, but I wanted a Misato action figure.

A number of companies have manufactured dolls of some of the Evangelion human characters over the years. These are high end limited items so the prices are a little steep, and there a little harder to find than most other Eva merchandise. Marmit, Kotobukiya, Tect have done dolls of Rei, Asuka, and Misato in various scales and different outfits.

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Like Gundam there is a large variety of Evangelion kit figures in different sizes and grades. One kit figure towers over all the others though.... the Perfect Grade EVA Unit-01. The Perfect Grade Eva stands about 14 inches tall, and has a "wet suit" type deal that covers the working joints underneath so they are not visible. The PG Eva has a large amount of articulation, and even features working light up shoulder insignia. If you can still find this, be ready to pay 120$ and up.

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The Kaiyodo Evangelion toys first started coming out last year, These have totally wowed many collectors. The sculpts are amazing and the attention to detail is fantastic. The figures stand about 7 inches tall, but there hunched over in fighting stances. They are almost to scale with the Sega Real Models, you can see a comparison picture of a Sega Eva-01 [on the left] and a Kaiyodo Eva-01 [on the right] to the left. The Kaiyodo Eva's have around 16 to 20 points of articulation. Another aspect of the Kaiyodo line that's pleased many collectors is they did a Rei Ayanami figure. Rei features multiple interchangeable arms and heads to reinact different scenes from the anime. Many fans, like myself, hope Kaiyodo will continue to make more of the people characters from Eva. The Kaiyodo Eva figures retail for about 25$ to 30$ each, if you can still find them, Hobby Link Japan currently has the Kaiyodo Eva figures in stock. Last fall, Previews offered the Kaiyodo figures for 14$, so one of these days if your lucky you might see some at your local comic shop for that very nifty price.

image7.jpg - 10002 Bytes Medicom Toy has also recently gotten into an Eva line of their own with the ever funkadelic Kubricks. Its like they threw super deformed figures and Legos into a blender, these Kubricks have amassed the largest amount of character selection out of all the other Eva lines. The latest Kubrick sets are just hitting Japanese retail so be expecting to see more of these guys real soon.

If your interested in Neon Genesis Evangelion, The TV series is available on VHS and DVD, and is distributed in the U.S. by ADV. You can find it at your local Suncoast, comic shops, and specialty stores. The Neon Genesis Evangelion movies will be released soon by Manga Entertainment. If your interested in Eva toys, check the plethora of on-line import toy retail sites, or try your local comic book retailers or Suncoast.

Special thanks to Hobby Link Japan for help with the images

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