Ride Armor (Stick Type)
Review by JoshB
The VR-52F MOSPEADA Ride Armor hails from the anime series Genesis Climber Mospeada, better known as Robotech: The Next Generation here in the states. In Mospeada, the VR-52F ride armor is used by Stick Bernard. In Robotech he was renamed Scott Bernard and the Ride Armor was renamed the Cyclone.
The last transformable Mospeada Ride Armor toy was made by Gakken in 1983. I got that toy for my 10th birthday, and I still have it to this day. I love that toy and that design.
Last year, no less than FOUR companies announced that they were making new Ride Armor toys. Twenty five years with no ride armor toys then BOOM, 4 toys. These are crazy times we live in.
The first of the four companies to hit the shelves is CM’s Corporation. They released 2 versions of the Ride Armor – a Stick type and a Ley type. I got them both from HobbyLink Japan about a week ago.
I can’t remember the last time a toy filled me with such internal confusion. I want to love this toy. I really do. I just love the ride armor design, and I love CM’s toys. It sounds like a match made in heaven. Unfortunately, it seems like someone at CM’s dropped the ball here, because this toy is kind of crap.
LET’S BREAK IT DOWN SHALL WE?
The Stick figure is about the size of a Microman or GI Joe figure. This figure is actually really nicely done, with great articulation and paint detail. The translucent visor flips up and down, the arms are double jointed and pretty much everything moves where it should. The feet have the pull down action to accommodate the ride armor and they pop out just like the old Gakken toy did.
The chest and waist of the figure is painted but the arm and leg armor are just plastic. I’m not sure why these are different, but the figure would look a whole lot better if it was all the same color.
The Bike comes packaged in bike mode with only a few parts to assemble. It features nice printed-on markings, removable saddlebags with opening hatches, rubber tires. The frame is diecast metal as are the swing bars on the legs. Also included is a small stand that clips onto pegs on the bottom of the frame.
Once you begin to handle the bike, it all begins to go horribly wrong. The two parts of the front cowl never seem to line up right, and the headlights on the front have no locked in position, so they are always pointing the wrong way.
The missile launchers on either side of the front wheel are really awkward. Lets see if I can explain this in a way that makes sense. The struts that come from under the front of the bike are supposed to clip onto the pegs on the inside of the missile launcher plates. This peg is removable, so each time you try to clip it in, it pops out. The front of the panel is supposed to attach to a peg on the wheel, but the hole isn’t deep enough for it to really grip. The rear wheel armor has a similar problem.
Riding the bike
In theory, Stick should be able to ride on the bike, but it takes an extraordinary amount of patience. This is the worst part of the entire toy. The interface between the bike and the rider is just terrible.
First off, you have to swap fists on Stick so he can grab the handlebars. Then there is a small “hook” on the back of the seat that is supposed to attach to Stick’s rear, but there’s just no way its gonna work, the fit is all wrong.
Beneath the rear wheel armors there are small riding pegs that fold out and you can insert them into the holes in Stick’s feet. Not only are these pegs small and fragile, but they like to fall off for no apparent reason. If by some sheer luck you get both hands on the handlebar and both feet on the pegs, you will notice that you can’t get the Stick figure anywhere near that peg.
Oh, and as you are doing all that, you will be swearing because the other parts keep falling off. The foot pegs just come right off of the armor.
RIDE BABY RIDE
So, next is the Ride Armor. You’ll be happy to know it’s not all that bad, but still there are some glaring flaws.
Transformation is similar to the vintage Gakken toy, just made more complicated. I’m not going to go through all the steps here, you can watch the video for that. Put it this way, CM’s included some spare parts in case you break something.
Once you go through all that to get it together, its not actually half bad. The figure remains poseable and can stand on its own, but is aided by a stand of sorts. The stand is actually just a stick that plugs into the back. 6,000 yen and they couldn’t pack a real stand?
The most noticeable thing wrong with the ride armor is the giant seam right through the center of the metal. I can’t help but think there was a better way to do this. It just looks like crap.
Speaking of crap, there’s the gun. The gun comes attached to a hand, but the glue is so weak that it just pops off. The hand doesn’t stay on that well due to the armor, and then get it to try and hold the gun, well, you get the picture.
On the good side, there are some nice touches, like the rubber tires, targeting scope, and the pop-out articulated vents on the wheels.
SIZE MATTERS, NO MATTER WHAT SHE SAYS
This thing is SMALL. Disappointingly small. When I held the box in my hand I had this feeling of dread. It felt light like a model kit. In Ride armor mode, the toy is only 12 cm (4.75in) tall. The metal content is almost laughable. Apparently, at CM’s they apply the Brave Gokin label to anything that has ANY metal in it.
I am going to have to recommend that you don’t buy this toy, unless you meet the following criteria:
- You have a high tolerance for frustration
- You are good at origami
- You are a complete and utter Mospeada maniac (and even then…)
- You plan on never taking it out of the package
It just misses the mark… sorry CM’s. Let’s hope the Legioss is better.
|Posted 7 March, 2008 - 00:58 by JoshB|