Saturday 20 October 2018

Toybox REVIEW: Transformers: The Ride 3D Deluxe Class Evac

Release Date: 2012
RRP: $30

I recently went on a trip to Universal Studios Resort in Orlando, and quite a lot has changed since I was last there about a decade ago. For a start the park (along with the ones in Singapore and California) now is host to Transformers: The Ride 3D - a motion vehicle 3D ride where passengers assist NEST in defending the last shard of the Allspark from a Decepticon attack. Passengers board the Autobot Evac as they race through both NEST facility and the nearby city, fighting against the likes of Ravage, Bonecrusher, Devasator, Grindor, Starscream and of course Megatron alongside Bumblebee, Sideswipe and Optimus Prime. Evac is a Transformer created exclusively for the ride, and is also available in toy form exclusively at Universal Studios gift stores. This deluxe class figure has been available consistently since 2012 and probably will continue to be until the ride eventually closes, which is a pretty impressive production run when you think about it.

The current edition of Evac available at Universal Studios is carded on Age of Extinction style packaging, following a change in 2015. The front of the card features a nice big image of Evac's 3D model along with a nice big "exclusive to Universal Studios" badge to remind you that this is a rather special figure. The back of the card then has images of the toy in both robot and vehicle modes, along with a short bio to tell you a little more about this otherwise rather unknown Autobot. Opening up the plastic bubble you'll find Evac packaged in robot mode on a moulded plastic tray, with the instruction pamphlet also tucked away inside.

Evac's instructions are printed on a two-sided fold out pamphlet, with one side depicting the transformation from robot to vehicle mode and the other side vice versa. Each side displays the transformation in plenty of easy to follow steps, so there's no risk of getting confused.

Evac's robot mode is supposedly a modified version of Roadbuster, with a new head that closely resembles Sideswipe and a different array of vehicle kibble adorning the body. Despite these similarities, I'd still argue that Evac very much looks like his own bot all while fitting in perfectly with that distinct Transformers movie aesthetic. The deep blue colouring of the vehicle parts feel reminiscent of Jolt, however the main thing that sets them apart is that Evac does more in the ride (and thus has a personality) than Jolt ever does in the movies. Evac's skeletal frame is a mixture of unpainted grey and black plastics, with a splash of silver paint on the legs and chest just to make the details stand out a little more. Evac also features painted yellow lights/missile pods (?) on the front grill as well as painted yellow eyes, as well as the engine block style piece on the back of his head. Interesting the images of the figure on the box show the wheel trims on the shoulders being out of sight when in robot, while the 3D render on the front clearly have them visible. As these pieces can be moved, you can push them however you feel if you'd rather the figure look more ride-accurate. Evac features four moulded (but sadly unposeable) guns - one on each forearm and then also a pair on either side of his abdomen.

Despite carrying a fairly hefty backpack Evac is still quite an articulate little figure, sporting plenty of joints to pull off a range of decent poses. The toy sports a ball-jointed head, ball-jointed shoulders and hips, hinged elbows, knees and ankles along with swivel cuts in both the biceps and upper legs. As previously stated that backpack does mean that balancing can be a little tricky and the lack of a waist swivel is always a bit of a disappointment, but the big feet and hinged ankles means the toy is fairly good at balancing. 

Granted it's been a good while since I bought any movie Transformers toys, but one of the things that annoyed me most about the earliest ones was just how unnecessarily fiddly their transformations were. "Difficult" might not be the best way of putting it (though there were certainly some that could be considered that), but almost all of them seemed to have some sort of step where if you applied the tiniest bit of pressure in the wrong place you could end up breaking it. Thankfully this isn't at all the case with Evac. The instructions do an extremely good job of laying out exactly how the toy goes from robot to alt mode, and there's a few pretty clever steps in there to shift that mass from one mode to the other. I'd perhaps advise sticking to the instructions the first time around, but transforming it back into robot mode after that is a breeze.

Evac transforms into a self-proclaimed "supercar", which more accurately (and far cooler) is actually the vehicle used in Transformers: The Ride 3D with an added canopy/windshield to make it look a little more complete. Universal Studios goers will know this is also a reskinnned version of the SCOOP vehicles used on the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man ride at Universal's Islands of Adventure (which itself is the same kind if car/3D hybrid ride as Transformers). Behind the windshield are even two rows of seats for passengers, mimicking the actual seats riders would be sitting in (albeit with less rows and no lap bar). It's a cute, compact little vehicle that oozes personality thanks to its somewhat unique shape, and the colour combination of blue with lime green decals really pops. Thanks to the transformation, the doors can even open up on the sides the same way they do on the actual ride vehicle. In terms of gimmicks there isn't a whole lot else to say about Evac's alt mode, other than the fact that it has the obligatory four free-rolling wheels you get on pretty much any car-based Transformers toy. Evac's robot mode is cool for sure, but the alt mode is where the toy really shines because this is what you physically see when you're on the ride.

The fact this toy is only available at Universal Studios for a pretty hefty mark up doesn't do many favours for it, but for any Transformers fans attending the parks Transformers: The Ride 3D Evac is pretty much going to be a priority souvenir. While the toy itself is a fairly average deluxe class movie figure, the sheer coolness of owning a toy based on an actual ride vehicle is just too much to ignore. If the toy had been made available in more ride-specific packaging or packaged in vehicle mode I'd have honestly been tempted to buy a second just to keep in the box. For those who haven't been on the ride Evac is probably a figure you're only going to seek out either if you're a completist or have a particular penchant for unique Transformers, but if you're hitting up any of the parks that have the ride definitely consider putting him at the top of your shopping list.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm think still some Evac toys available for purchase on, a second hand Transformers website that sells Transformers for pretty decent prices. Could be wrong though.