Monday, 19 July 2010

N.E.S.T. Global Alliance Evac

Helicopters have had a raw deal in the TransFormers line for many years, and it's really only been in the most recent lines that this has improved in any significant way. Galaxy Force produced the excellent Live Convoy (coincidentally named Evac in the US/UK version of the story) and the original live action movie gave us the awesome - though undersized - Blackout.

Perhaps there's something about helicopters and scale, because this latest one - originally used as Blazemaster in the RotF line - is easily the smallest Deluxe in the entire line. Rotor blades may well fill most of the packaging and make them awkward to keep in scale, but this thing is pretty ridiculous...

Vehicle Mode:
Yep, it's tiny. Really, really small. Vehicle mode could honestly be mistaken for a Scout Class figure, it's so small. Even so, it's a reasonably detailed mold and, unlike even some of the best TF choppers, it doesn't have any awkward gaps to ruin the overall flow of the vehicle's shape. I'm not sure if it's based on a real helicopter, but it appears to be somewhere between a Bell 222 and a Sikorsky S-76B an Aerospatiale HH-65C Dolphin. Considering the size, it's no surprise that most of the windows are painted, that the stabilising rotor is fixed.

What is surprising is that, even at this size, they managed to pack in the typical helicopter gimmick - the push-button working rotors. As usual on these toys, it's a bit hit-and-miss, but it's always cute to see a helicopter toy that doesn't rely on flicking the blades round.

Also quite nice is the inclusion of landing gear that folds quite neatly into the sides if the chopper and under the nose. A nice touch, for such a small toy.

The paint job is reminiscent of G1 Protectobot Blades, though Emergency Orange and white, rather than red and white. This makes him far more realistic, as a contemporary toy.

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Robot Mode:
Evac's appearance can be summed up in two words: 'gangly' and 'awkward'. He has enormously long legs, tiny feet, a small and bizarre body made up almost entirely of angled panels, shoulders that don't like to move and unfeasibly long, bizarrely-shaped forearms that end in pincers.

Yet you can see the logic in this appearance, when compared to the likes of Starscream. All the airborne TransFormers seem to have very odd legs that don't really seem suited to walking... but then, if you're capable of adopting a form that allows you to fly, why would you ever walk?

I'm really not sure how to position the many panels that make up Evac's 'torso' because, whatever I do, he still looks odd - for all the world like a small person with a very large head sitting in an open cockpit on one of the walkers out of Battletech. Evac's feet are very bird-link, and should be quite stable, but loose hip joints on mine make him very difficult to stand, except at full attention.

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I'm really not sure what to make of this mold. It's not bad... but it doesn't transform into a particularly solid robot mode. It's reasonably poseable, but the sheer number of joints and their general weakness makes him a chore to pose. Transformation is tricky, but not annoyingly so.

As a reference to the G1 Protectobot, it's quite effective... but the arms - and the lack of anything even resembling hands - really do let it down. It basically has two large chunks of helicopter shell folded over, with a kind of 'thumb' that folds out from one side..

He does manage to look great in some poses (the fifth picture above is my favourite, I think), but this is one model that really was good to leave out of the movies...

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