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Transformers: Cybertron
by yo go re

Every Transformers property has to have its Optimus Prime. Transformers: Cybertron had five.

Part of the premise of Cybertron was that there were four planets "seeded" as colonies by the ancient Transformers, and when the Cybertronian TFs came to these worlds, they found that each had its own leader. While they got different names in the English dub, in the original Japanese, they were all Convoys - thus, their world's particular incarnation of a Prime. Galaxy Convoy, Nitro Convoy, Flame Convoy, Megalo Convoy and Earth's own Live Convoy - Evac to you and me.

Evac loves flying on Earth almost as much as he loved soaring over the epic skylines of Cybertron. Evac He's been in hiding on Earth since guardianship of the Planet Key was passed on to him millions of years ago. He feels a keen affection for the people of Earth, whose history he has observed from its very beginnings. It frustrates him that the Transformers must keep their presence on Earth a secret, because he recognizes the potential value of the humans as allies. Courageous, determined and gentle, Evac avoids fighting when he can, but if forced into combat, he can be a very tough opponent. He is dedicated to the protection of other life in all its forms.

Dedicated to the protection of life in all its forms? Isn't that straight off G1 Optimus Prime's file card? They really went all out to tie this figure into his lineage. According to the secret unlockable bio on Hasbro's website, Evac has taken the guise of many different vehicles over the years, in order to keep up with the changing times. He's been a bi-plane, a small army jet, a super-fast stealth bomber, a propeller plane, a blimp and at least 14 different types of helicopters. While the original plan for the figure was a more sci-fi kind of helicopter, they settled on a realistic vehicle, instead.

Evac is based on the Eurocopter Dauphin SA 365 N2, which is one of the most widely used copters in the world, rescue! serving news media, police, EMS and even the US Coast Guard's search and rescue team. Suiting his character, Evac is a rescue chopper, painted bright yellow with blue highlights and just a few spots of white. The sculpt really captures the smooth, tight-fitting panels of the real thing, as well as its distinctive dolphin-shaped body. Pressing a lever on the side of the engine makes the rotors spin, there's a hook and winch hanging off the starboard side, and the landing gear is retractable. The vehicle is only about 3½" tall, but more than 10" long.

Evacimus Prime There's a nice degree of complexity about the transformation, but nothing so complex that you won't soon master it. Fold down the front of the copter, rotate it 180° and lock it in place. Split the front to reveal the legs, and straighten out the feet. Pull the engine and winch out to the sides, spinning them into place to form arms - the hands fold out of compartments in the forearms. Tip the missile launcher back and slide the whole thing up to reveal the head.

Earth Key Evac is 6¾" tall, and moves at the knees, hips, elbows, biceps, shoulders and neck, which is enough to get some really nice poses. The design of the robot is nice, save for the big helicopter kibble that hangs off his arms and serves as some sort of weaponry. Other than the abscence of a mouthplate, Evac's head has the classic "Optimus Prime" look, with the antennae over the ears and the crest on the forehead. His eyes are light-piped a rich, bright blue. Evac has a gold-bordered Earth Key, which marks it as the "official" one.

In addition to his normal robot mode, Evac also has a "super mode." Plug the Cyber Planet Key into the figure's back, Super Ultra God Mode Plus and two missile launchers pop out. The whole assembly can be raised up to point over his shoulders. You can also straighten out the two halves of the copter's tailfin to give him some pseudo-wings, completing the Super Mode. If you leave the launchers pointing straight up, they're almost reminiscent of Optimus Prime's smokestacks or Ultra Magnus's shoulder pylons.

Shortly after he came out, Evac got bundled with two Mini-Cons - Razorclaw and Steamhammer - as a Target exclusive. Surprisingly, the repackaged Evac cost less than the normal version, which was on shelves at the same time. Weird. You'd have to be nuts to pay more to get less, after all. Whether you get Evac with or without the Mini-Cons, he's still a great buy - especially since he's almost an incarnation of Optimus Prime.

Which of Evac's previous forms would you most like to see as a toy? Tell us on our message board, the Loafing Lounge.


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