Figure Review: Bandai Metal Build – Evangelion Unit-1

Shonen yo, shinwa ni nare…
Evangelion – a series famous for its organic bio-mecha with flesh, blood and a literal human soul inside the giant. Metal Build – a line specifically created to give giant robots superb mechanical detail at premium quality. What happens when Bandai decided to combine the two? We get an Eva-01 that we’ve never seen before. In this review we’ll also include the Evangelion Weapon Pack sold separately by Bandai (because of course they did)

– Info: 
Metal Build Eva-01
Series: Neon Genesis Evangelion
Price: 22,000 yen
Release date: 22 Feb 2019
Metal Build Evangelion Option Pack
Series: Neon Genesis Evangelion
Price: 4,950 yen
Release date: May 2022

+ Design: This version of the Eva-01 stands out due to the mechanized looks of it. The original tv version has very little surface details or armor plating. The Rebuild version has more segmented parts but overall still looks quite organic. The Metal Build however put a new set of armor onto the Eva-01, with a very similar design to the Super Eva or Eva-01 Type-F in ANIMA. Bandai must really liked the ANIMA design by Ikuto Yamashita that they invited him to design this beast as well.

Even with the super mechanical looks, there are still parts that give the unit a bit of “humanity” to it. There are red streaks around the hips and arms hidden in the joints to simulate blood veins, and of course the mouth can open to reveal some inner details. The silhouette is also much more up-right compared to the more slouched figure of the Tv and Rebuild version. This Eva looks like an athlete ready for war.

+ Painting: While Bandai QC process leaves a lot to be desired, their painting has been very very good for the Metal Build line. The purple looks amazing and the neon green really pops. There are some orage misc details to help break up the palette, and further emphasis that this is a giant robot, not a giant human wearing armor. Contrary to the Rebuild version where the middle of the torso is green, Ikuto decided to include a green middle segment at each torso joint, which kinda marks the spine of the unit. In addition, the gun-metal chogokin color on the joints is absolutely on-point, especially the back-spine.

+ Articulation: Every Eva figures and kits have superb articulation, so when there’s some solid die-cast included, it’s taken to the next level. The Metal Build has extremely high range of movement, the only thing you need to keep in mind is to move the armor accordingly. The shoulder pads are probably the most inconvenient, but if you spend a bit of time checking out the movement range, you can pretty much pose it however you want. The elbows and knees both have superb range due to the skinny proportion of the unit.

The legs have great movement range, although the backwards kick is a bit limited due to Bandai’s weird die-cast frame. And it’s also the only potential weakness of the figure. If you pose the figure too aggressively and too many times, the hips will get loose and won’t be able to support a lot of weapon mounting without a stand. Luckily, Bandai give us a pretty cool stand.

+ Accessories: This figure comes with a nervgasm amount of weapons (fitting for the price tag):
– 1 x Magoroku Exterminator Sword (with sheath)
– 1 x Counter sword (with sheath)
– 1 x Pallet rifle
– 1 x Grenade Launcher Attachment
– 1 x Long Barrel Attachment
– 1 x Bayonet Attachment
– 4 x Pairs of interchangeable hands
– 1 x Progressive knife (with sheath)
– 1 x Handgun
– 1 x Umbilical cable
– 2 x Gun magazines
– 1 x Spec-ops Armor (visor, knee and shin armors)
– 2 x Hip weapon rack
– 6 x Weapon connectors
– 1 x Display stand with restraint cage

So many accessories, and you can add even more by buying the Weapon Pack the literally fill all of the connectors on the weapon mount. There are 2 weapon pegs on each shoulder, and the hip-mounted rack has 6, so you can go wild with it. The possibilities are endless. In addition, the MB also give you some alternate armor parts – a visor, 2 leg guards and 2 shin guards. It really give the Eva a more spec-ops style. You will need to remove the eye part from the head and the existing shin guard to equip the new armor. But it is a very easy process.

+ Gimmicks: Most of the gimmicks are for weapon mounting and the restraint cage. The weapon mount gimmick really let you go ham with your creativity and how you envision a complete loadout for the Eva-01. The restraint cage is very cool, you can lock the unit in for easy display and mount the weapons on the rack of the cage. The umbilical cord is also extremely durable and flexible, and the material doesn’t get wrinkled so it’s easy to connect and pose.

The next one is what I’d like to call “spec-ops” mode. The alternate visor and leg armors really give it a night-combat style. It looks cool. Metal Build is known for extending new concept for Metal Builds (just like with Gundams) so this is a surprising but welcome change. With this, the unit look less like an organic giant but a mechanical soldier in stead.

+ Conclusion: The Metal Build Eva-01 is one of the best value Metal Builds out there. The amount of playability on the main figure alone combined with the accessories and gimmicks give it a lot of value. I’ve gotten many, many hours out of this figure outside of just taking pictures. And with the add-on weapon pack, you can double the number of load-outs you can display this guy in. Thanks to the base and cage combo, displaying this figure is super easy as well. Definitely recommend for a big, solid Eva figure.


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