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Product:  Neon Genesis Evangelion Portraits 3

Product Type:  Display Figures

Manufacturer:  Bandai

Suggested Retail Price (SRP):  400 (approx. 2)

Purchased from:  Sofmap, Teramachi-dori, Kyoto

Rarity:  Uncommon

Reviewer:  Rich (Webmaster)

Yes, once again we bring you...Evangelion merchandise!  Look, okay, I know that we seem to review quite a lot of Eva merchandise, but what can we say?  There's a hell of a lot of it around and we're Evangelion fans here at Animetion so we're quite likely to buy it.  So there.

 Anyway, this third range of Evangelion Portrait figures consists once again of five figures, with one each of Shinji Ikari, Rei Ayanami and Hikari Horaki, and two of Asuka Langley.  Like the previous ranges, Neon Genesis Evangelion Portraits 3 depict the characters in instantly recognisable poses from the series or accompanying artwork.  Hikari and one of the Asuka figures are wearing their school uniforms and striking typical poses, Shinji is adjusting his plugsuit (the uniform of an Evangelion pilot), Rei is wearing her plugsuit and wielding the massive Lance of Longinus and the other Asuka figure shows her wearing casual clothes.
 

Neon Genesis Evangelion is only really topped by Final Fantasy and Hello Kitty in the Japanese merchandise stakes, so what sets these apart from anything else?  Well, they're a decent size, each figure stands at over 5" (13cm) tall which gives them enough presence to display alongside more expensive figures.  They're also pretty well made and painted, so they look good, but the best thing is the design.  Each figure captures the character really well and in typical poses that fans will instantly recognise.  Care and attention has been made to making the characters faithful to the source material, and the detail on each figure is high.  As you would expect some of the join lines are quite visible, but it's only really on the hair that it's particularly pronounced The standout figures in the range are undoubtedly the ones of Asuka in her school uniform and Rei with the Lance of Longinus, an eyecatching two-pronged spear which is nearly double the height of the figure itself!  The Rei figure looks especially stunning, and I was pleased to see that the Lance was packaged in a cardboard sleeve within the box that kept it straight.  I often find that boxed trading figures and gashapon are ruined by poorly packaged parts (usually swords and weapons) that are already bent or damaged when you take them out of the box.  Thankfully this is not the case with the long and brittle Lance, which is something other toy and figure manufacturers could learn from.


In fact the only real problem with these figures is that they are often top-heavy, and you must be careful to use the support stand that comes with them.  If you just attach the figure to the red plastic base without using the support it eventually starts to lean forward and after that it's pretty much ruined.  Of course there's always the additional issue that if you have already bought figures from the first two Evangelion Portrait ranges then you'll no doubt already have several figures of both Rei and Asuka.  Great though the two characters are, it's a shame that there's multiple figures of these two characters in each range when there are so any characters that remain unused.  It's nice to see Hikari get a look in this time, but there are still no figures of major characters like Gendo, Kaji, Fuyutsuki or Toji.  Admittedly these are all male characters, and sexy female figures sell better than those of men, but it still seems like a missed opportunity.

In the end though the Neon Genesis Evangelion Portraits 3 figures are another very good piece of Evangelion merchandise.  As figures they are impressive, with good attention to detail and plenty of thought put into them, and at just a couple of quid each they are decent value for money.  It's a shame more characters haven't been covered by the range, and you can be caught out if you don't use the stand properly.  However, the figures are all very good and as long as you follow the instruction diagram you shouldn't have a problem.  At the time of writing these figures are not that hard to come by from online retailers and at Expos and conventions, and if you're an Evangelion fan they are well worth checking out.

Extras

Each figure comes with a base made of transparent red plastic and a clear plastic support, as well as a slip of paper showing how to put the figure together.  They also come with a piece of chewing gum!

Ratings

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