VF-1A with SUPER and STRIKE parts (Hikaru Ichijo)
Review by Atom
The only really notable difference between this release and the previous VF-1S is a slightly looser swing bar in the leg mechanism and of course, the new head sculpt featuring the single antenna design. For those not in the know, the letter designation after the 1 (as in VF-1A) generally tells you what the antenna array looks like. A has a single antenna, J has two and the S features 4. The first release got everything right so there wasn't much room for improvement between releases so just expect more of the same goodness as the last review.
The VF-1A is packed in the usual Yamato window box package with two inner trays stacked on top of each other. The fighter and it's accessories in one tray and the Super and Strike Armor parts in the other tray. Yamato also sells the fighters and Super/Strike armor in separate packages for those that want a slighter cheaper experience. Personally I would rather get the set together and have it all at the same time.
Included inside the box :
- Valkyrie variable fighter
- 4 Missile Banks
- 4 Missile Boxes
- 6 Heavy Missile Clusters
- Gun Pod
- Pilot Hikaru Ichijo
- 2 clips for the Yamato after-market stand
- 1 arm clip to attach fuselage of fighter as an escape pod
- Super and Strike parts
- Manual for Fighter, Manual for attaching Super/Strike armor
- Sticker sheets for Fighter and Super/Strike armor parts
Fighter mode looks excellent and overcomes the usual shortcomings of previous designs by eliminating the gap between the leg and the chest without ending up with skinny legs in the other modes. Keeping an excellent and well-balanced look in all three modes. One mode doesn't look better than others, they all seem to have been given equal treatment and attention.
As you can see from the pictures in the review paint detail is excellent and features tons of tampo printed detail. I think most collectors will not find a need to use most of the stickers on the sticker sheet.
Gerwalk mode is the VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) mode of the fighter and this iteration again just looks stunning. The feet and knees are given the ability to hyper extend so that you can get them flipped forward to simulate the animated look of this mode. Personally, I think this version of the toy has capture Gerwalk mode better than previous releases. Using the after-market stand by Yamato allows you to get some truly dynamic poses.
The most famous of its alternate modes is Battroid mode and again the 1/60 (2.0) version really nails it. While remaining a solid toy it captures the look of the series/movie nicely but it doesn't stop at looks, the figure has a full range of motion in the thighs and knees and the arms feature a double joint so that you can get the arms in close to the body for some (again) dynamic poses.
Included with the set is an extra set of pre-formed hands. The right hand is shaped to hold the gun pod handle but also looks like it's pointing when not holding the gun. The left hand is shaped to hold the barrel of the gun pod but also looks like the classic animated hand spread open pose.
The articulated hands that fold into the fighter do not suffer from “chicken hand syndrome” like previous releases and look nice and beefy. The right hand also has a peg in it to clip into the gun pod handle so the gun pod stays in the hand nice and tight. So you may not feel the need to use the fixed posed hands as the articulated ones work and look very well but it is nice that Yamato included the extra set.
This set does include the Super and Strike armor parts. In the film Macross: Do You Remember Love Hikaru's VF-1A is only seen with Super Armor but Yamato was nice enough to include the Strike cannon in the set.
Armor is simple to attach and all stays of the VF-1A nice and tight. Yamato improved the design of the backpack attachment by adding clips that attach to the back of the fighter instead of just attaching to the backpack. On the 1/48 version, the backpack had a tendency to break during transformation so that is no longer a fear when handling the new 1/60 version. Be sure to check the video at the end as I highlight the Super and Strike armor this time around...
Transformation is very intuitive and straight forward but there are a couple of “Yamato engineered” points to be aware of. Check the video below if you want to see the full transformation. Unlike previous releases, there is no parts swapping and retains the advances of the 1/48th scale by keeping the swing bar mechanism to get the legs where they need to be in Battroid mode. Get to clicking below if you want to see more...
All around I do believe this release is superior in every way to previous releases by Yamato. While the 1/48th scale had some fantastic detail, it's large scale made it a bit too unwieldy to transform on a regular basis. I also felt the 1/48th in comparison to the newer 1/60 looked a bit long in the nose. The 1/60 scale has not sacrificed the aesthetic of one mode over the over. Simply put the new 1/60 is tight and fun to handle and looks wicked on the shelf. Buy one with no hesitation and have fun playing with it. Seriously Yamato has made a fine toy this time around.
|Posted 17 September, 2008 - 08:37 by Atom|