VF-25G Michael Custom
Review by Atom
Ok, so let's just get the basics of the review out of the way. Other than a new paint job, head and actually including the Super Parts with the release; it's the same toy as the Alto Custom or Ozma Custom. So before I proceed with the specifics of this release let's go over the highlights from the last review... The Good
- Excellent representation of the mecha in both Battroid and Fighter mode while remaining very “toy-like”. Not “anime perfect”, but good.
- Very high quality and sturdy plastics in use.
- Transformation is fairly straightforward and easy
- All markings and details are pre-painted on.
- Die-cast landing gear, ankles, thigh intakes and crotch
- Shoulder design allows for large range of motion
- 1/60 scale has a nice presence on the shelf. Not to big, not to small... just right.
- Worst Gerwalk mode ever. Only able to create dynamic poses by disconnecting the intakes and fiddling with the feet angles, leaving you with a very un-toy like, fragile and precarious display.
- The head lasers/antennas are made of soft PVC and are prone to bending.
- Spotty Quality Control. Many report having very loose or very tight shoulder joints. My Alto had a loose and a tight shoulder. Some have reported having the screw holding the block assembly together breaking in two after only a few transformations.
- Swappable hands getting loose after being changed out a just a few times.
- Printed detail on plastic parts rubbing off after casual handling.
- For something in the “Chogokin” line, there isn't a lot of the key ingredient in it. Approximately 15% of the piece is metal, the rest is all plastic.
- Die-cast landing gear is short and stubby.
- Die-cast ankles are too loose to hold Gerwalk mode upright.
- Range of motion overall in the knee area is severely lacking in both Gerwalk and Battroid mode.
- Bandai is capable of creating a much better and well rounded toy and really left me feeling like they rushed the design and settled for “good enough” instead of “great.”
So how does Michael's Custom VF-25G fare since the Alto release? In a nutshell. The super armor and stand makes a mediocre toy, awful.
It didn't start with hate. I picked this up knowing it's faults from my experience with the Alto Custom release but I expected the extra parts to make it better, not worse... When I got it, I carefully transformed it to Battroid mode, put on all the armor, equipped the stunning sniper rifle and created a very nice, neutral looking pose to accompany my Klan Klang figure. There it sat for a week and a half and everything was good. It looked pretty on the shelf and I was satisfied. The paint scheme looked sharp and the armor looked relatively good (Granted the thigh intake cover was a bit delicate and kept popping off but it stayed on after I stopped trying to pose it.) But then I picked it up last night and took it through its paces while shooting photos for this review and any enjoyment to be had almost got itself thrown out the second floor window. Seriously. The suggested retail price is 16,800 YEN and at the time of this article that's approximately $170 bucks before importing to the states. So the average collector state-side is paying close to $200 after shipping. In this economy that is a $h!t-ton of money so keep that in mind as I show you what Bandai has decided is “good enough” for your $200. Super Armor and a Stand All the armor feels like quality plastic molded in greyish-blue with all other markings painted on. The white detailing on plastic feels very light and thin and looks as if it will scratch or rub off easily. Be careful when handling. Putting the armor on is pretty straightforward and the included manual leaves no question as to where everything goes. Also in the box is a black stand with the base in the shape of the S.M.S. Logo.
Honestly I think this thing is very utilitarian and ugly. No points for style on this one. It's a fixed pose base that can be swapped around a bit to accommodate the piece in all three modes. Sort of...
Battroid So I must say I think that I like the blue, white and black coloring of Michael's Messiah over all the others and the colors on the piece really do pop. The plastic parts are molded in blue with the white and black being painted on. So be very mindful when handling one wrong scratch will show very prominently on those parts.
A super secret waist joint in the nose cone... Which lets you rotate the piece at the crotch. Look at that isn't it dynamic and exciting? I didn't think so either. They can think to add this stupid joint but can't give the legs proper range of motion for Gerwalk mode? With the armor on it's pretty wicked looking but you do have to fiddle a bit to get the boosters to sit properly on the wings The thigh intake armor is very touchy and has a very loose grip on the mecha. Again, short sighted design here. There is no reason better "grooves" to get the clips to hold aren't there. In and of it self, it's not a huge deal but all these little things add up... It sits fine for display but I imagine if a kid actually tried to bring this to show and tell at school they would be the parts lost before the day is over. No matter how careful you are, if you are handling it and posing it they're going to end up on the floor. They do have a hinge so you can use the joint there on the mecha. In Battroid mode, what pose-ability it did have in the lower knees is lost when you put the armor on the back of the legs. There is no range of motion, not even one “click”. If you do the armor pops off... So when you try to use the stand to pose it in mid flight your options are limited if you want to leave the armor on because you cant really bend the knee very well. I tried for a while and gave up... Gerwalk Mode Same complaints as the Alto...
You can cheat a dramatic Gerwalk mode without the stand or the armor on, on a flat surface. You basically disconnect the intakes from the fuselage, squeeze them up and in a bit and just let the rest of the fighter sit there on the top of the intakes leaving you with dramatic A stance.
With the armor it becomes an incredibly difficult exercise in Zen-like patience. The ankles can not hold it upright in even the most basic and neutral pose impossible. You have to close the feet and balance very carefully, it also helps to rotate the ankles a bit. I did the following for a half hour... parts flying and falling off... it wasn't pretty. You see while the armor does stay on, it's pretty twitchy once you start handling it. Thigh intake falls to the ground, pick up, put on, booster pops off one of its “peg holes” and needs to be realigned, realign the booster, a leg armor piece falls off, pick up leg armor off the floor, put back on, thigh intake falls off, pick up off the floor, Gerwalk mode falls onto its nose... I hope you get the point. I walked away very flustered at this point and came back a day later with the Zen-like patience took some time and figured another cheat to make the display hold up a bit more solidly... If you roll the "hip plate"... ... sort of halfway so it sits between the fuselage and the shoulder bars.. it helps it all sit a bit tighter. You must be asking yourself, “Atom, surely it can be look good in Gerwalk mode with the stand?” You would think so, it even includes a “brace” to hold up the back end. With the stand it's an even bigger joke. Leaving the intakes attached to the fuselage looks pretty lame. With the stand, you have to drop the crotch at 90 degrees to get the clip to hold the nosecone in place when you pull the intakes off to try to “cheat” your Gerwalk mode. This is the mode on the stand... Apparently this is supposed to be “good enough”... Don't believe me? Think I've just posed something wrong? Check any of the official promo photos for this or better yet check a showroom picture. Fighter In fighter mode there isn't much to complain about. It looks beautiful and everything is nice and stight. Very solid in fighter mode.
Remember that stunning looking sniper rifle I mentioned earlier? Want to attach it to your fighter and “land it”? To bad, Bandai decided short and stubby was “good enough”. Really Bandai? This is a joke right? [Editorial Note: If you need your own Pheyden (Wraith Version) to hold up the nosecone of your VF-25G be sure to check out the CollectionDX Store. and get yours while supplies last.) It is a toy that is sure to stay together unless you want it to come apart.] With the armor on it's again pretty solid except for the boosters and intake armor. With handling these will get jarred loose.
With the stand you're meant to display it like so... But you can use the Gerwalk attachment to get a nosedive pose that I prefer a bit more... Wrap Up I'm sorry Bandai, but “good enough” is NOT going to cut it in this current worldwide economy. Toys and collectibles are far from a necessity and if someone is going to drop $150 to $200 dollars on something these days it better be the very best it can be. You are capable of doing so much better and I am imploring you do just that with your upcoming Macross Quarter. I've given up on your “Chogokin” interpretation of the Messiah's sadly. Only you as a collector can decide if your willing to put up with all the short comings. I am strongly suggesting you sit it out and wait a few years till a better redo comes along especially if your toy funds are thin. If your a Macross Frontier fan, I completely understand the burning desire to own at least one of these and if you must have one I implore you to pick your purchase carefully and stick to just one. No need to reward Bandai's lackluster effort with large profits because you got all caught up in the Macross frenzy and went off on a buying spree before it sinks in - These are not that good. When they redo them all in a few years as an SOC or Chogokin 2.0 or whatever don't come crying to me. I warned ya early, I did my part as a “toy-journalist.”
Comments36 comments posted
I'll be short and to the point: the Messiah is a Valkyrie-wanna-be, not a successor. And I'm not talking about this toy here either. It looks interesting (I wouldn't want one), but it's just not the same...
No, but you definitely should, there is nothing worse than a reviewer that doesn't say ALL that he thinks. If I review a TF on my site and think it's a piece of crap, then I write it. Sponsored review or not, you're here to show people what are they paying for. And that does indeed cover warning them about some bad ideas for shopping too.
I'm not a fan of 25 too, from it looks it should be usesless in atmospheric combat and like VF-2ss, its obviously made mainly for space. But there is something in this design I honetsly don't like. Like the wing kibble in Battroid mode and almost defenseless cockpit in this mode. The only thing that I like is how it's able to transform with the armour on.
"...Sponsored review or not, you're here to show people what are they paying for. And that does indeed cover warning them about some bad ideas for shopping too..."
That's true, that's true. While I rarely get feedback on my reviewing style, I am surprised to see little comment on the majority of stuff I review regarding the item itself. Comments on the content, as much as how I review items, is just as important; it lets me take the temperature of CDX and collectors in general.
That being said, I did not bash the toy being reviewed above since I do not want one, and bashing something I do not want is negative publicity in the eyes of others who do not regularly post comments. I merely bashed the overall original materials that it was based on.
Example "A": I love the Transforming Fury Megazord Set from 2008, but wasn't thrilled with the mecha designs from Japan that they were based on (which is why I didn't waste my money on importing the DX versions).
. . .
Regarding the VF-2SS, it is less about how atmospheric-capable it is, and more about how kick-ass it looks & functions compared to all the other Valkyries (and the Messiah) out there beyond the original VF-1s and the VF-11 & VF-17. The VF-2SS is just my personal favorite out of all of these. Don't hate me for my choices.
"...You're right it's not the same, it's better in every way to the original..."
Agree to disagree.
"...Why must you take the time to post in every Mac F review how you don't like any of the designs?..."
That's not fair to say- I don't post negatively in every non-VF-1 review.
. . .
"...Do I post to every Sentai Zord review that I think they look like crap (which I do?)..."
Maybe you should...! =)
It lets others know that we're all not just a bunch of "Super Sentai" fans here on CDX. Who knows- perhaps someone from those companies is watching here; I know Angolz watches all the Macross stuff.
Oh god, will you shut the hell up? Y'know I was getting annoyed at that yutz nekrodave for this whiney, tiresome, counterproductive crap, but I've realized you're even worse! Are either of you guys ever not at your keyboards, itching like rats to be the first to comment on EVERY article that gets posted? Nobody cares to hear you bitch about Macross Frontier or the Messiah for the umpteenth time. Just because Bandai makes a crappy Messiah figure doesn't mean we need you to chime in with a basically unrelated nerd-spew. And this isn't a Macross fan-boy thing either; all this Macross crap just seems to be a lightning rod (at least on this site) for the kind of lame garbage that turns my stomach anymore.
I (briefly) enjoyed reading and posting comments on this site until I started to notice (and quickly got fed up with) what seems to be a growing trend of pointless nerd-angst that has less to do with toys/figures/models/collectibles/etc (y'know the basic purpose of this site), and more to do with people's opinions of the various source materials for the toys and stuff, including whatever obnoxious little axes they have to grind with said source materials. How about keeping the incessantly negative comments to TOYS you don't like? I'm about done bothering with the comments sections on this site. It's a shame because I genuinly like this site (rare for me) and I dig what a lot of the poeple on this site do. I'm just glad I don't seem to be the only one who notices this b.s.
You go on about counter-productive posts and then do nothing but rail on people and backseat moderate in a wall of text.
Eva has certain issues that explain his actions, those that have been on the site for a while know this and tune him out.
As for the peanut gallery on this site, it's really no different than any other one, and quite a bit better than some I've been to (Macrossworld). Comments are there for this reason, to add your opinion to the subject. While many are fine, it's unreasonable to not expect a few comments that are questionable.
"...Eva has certain issues that explain his actions, those that have been on the site for a while know this and tune him out..."
I'm trying to decide if that's an insult or you defending me...
I noticed recently on The Enthusiast Reboot review most of the comments were about the cartoon itself less the toy that he's reviewing. I kinda felt bad for him after all the work it takes to set up your lighting, take the toy out of the package, scan instructions, take pictures, upload and resize pictures, upload to CDX, write and edit a review and most the comments were about the cartoon itself and not the toy!
I rarely go on other CDX writers reviews and negatively add my point of view as it disrespectful to all the work that is put into the review. Honestly I completely dislike the art design of the Super Sentai toys you review Eva. they are just too gaudy for my tastes but to log on and say each week how I dislike them really serves no purpose because I'm aware that there is a huge fan base for the toys you review and that is the audience you are writing for not me.
All the Atom reviews I have read seem to be very fair. To be honest again I really don't like the art design of all these new Valkyries they all look the same to me but I'll be the first to admit I haven't seen the anime yet and I don't have a emotional connection with the subject. Before I saw Cowboy Bebop I was very what-ever about the Swordfish until I saw the anime. Afterwards I flipped out when I saw that Bandai made a model kit of the swordfish.
At $200 this figure should be nit-picked a bit. Bandai isn't a fly by night company. One really likes or dislikes anything Bandai manufactures we should learn to write to them directly about the issues along with these reviews.
CollectionDX Staff Writer-West Coast Bureau
The only VF that's looked like the VF-1 was the VF-0, and even that looked more like YF-19 parts grafted onto a VF-1 skeleton. Indeed, if you look at it, the VF-1 is the abberation!
Thank you! I couldn't agree more!
And, oh BTW, if it didn't transform, I like the VF-25's Fighter mode as a stand-alone.
VF-25 Gerwalk is, I think, the best-looking mode. I'd actually be interested in a high-articulation VF-25 Gerwalk toy! And, like you, I think that the Fighter mode looks really good. I've never been all that excited by the Battloid mode, though; it looks too spindly and lanky and fragile-looking.
The only loose armor on mine are the leg air intake covers, the rest is solid when attached. I couldn't believe how bad they are.
It's taken 25 years to get a close to perfect VF-1 and while I agree with you on not good enough for the money, the only thing that I have a problem with is the lack of leg rotation just above the knee. I have a general dislike for GERWALK mode, so the fact the VF-25 doesn't really have one doesn't bother me.
Another trick for Base + GERWALK, is "Blu-Tack" on the stand to make sure it stays in place as it becomes very unstable once you start tweaking the pose. But long term I would be concerned about damaging the figures plastic, but will make photo shoots a lot easier! ;)
"The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds, and the pessimist fears this to be true." - James Branch Cabell 1926.
Thanks for doing this review. I wanted to read a review of this toy. I really like the designs for the VF-25 and I want to get one but $200 is a bit much for a toy that has these kinds of flaws (and I'm even that anal when it comes to toy flaws and details). Are you or someone going to review the RVF-25?
Pheydon is so helpful. I should use mine more.
And I bet the O'Nell guys would be amused to see their $8 Pheyden being used to prop up a $200 VF toy...
Finally a review about the VF-25G. I've been eyeing the toy for weeks wonder if I should drop the $200 bills. Now I know it's a piece of sh!t not worth the price. Thanks for honest review. Buy the way it's on wonderful looking piece of junk a favorite MAC F design.
I'd hardly call it a piece of crap. It's a solid and good looking toy, and Atom's comments seem to be more based on a foundation of "it could be better" as opposed to how good (or bad) it actually is. And it isn't a bad toy by any stretch.
A bit fiddly with the fast packs, yes. Aesthetically designed differently from previous Valkyrie toys, yes. It also happens to be solid, playable, one of the easiest and trouble free transformable Valks since the 1/55's, while still looking damn good for those who are more into display pieces (which, given the way most Valks have been designed in the past, probably constitutes a majority of the vocal fanbase who are still around).
There are plenty of people who are very happy with the DX Valks. The unfortunate fact is that they aren't nearly as vocal, or as loud, as those who dislike it.
So it's not perfect but it is Bandai's first attempt at a Valk in how many years, plus no matter how large the company is the items they produce are not perfect and running changes is the standard in any industry which Bandai is doing. From most reviews I've read it seems the biggest complaint is the subpar Gerwalk mode, which for some is a big deal and for those like me could care less. As for the price, well that seems to be about the average for high quality "toys" these days so I doubt some kid would have this figure let alone take it to school to show his friends unless his dad was Donald trump or a NBA star, these are meant for adults. It's only a "toy" in name only but really it's a transformable display piece just like SOC's or Yamato Valks or whatever.
But for 170$ isn't the the quality bar should set very high? Maybe if it's a 70$ toy, not much complain coming, but for 170$? I'm thinking of buying a high end Macross toys, maybe I just went to Yamato instead Bandai.
Like I've complained about before,(we) collectors accept too much crap for their money. We shouldn't just forgive the manufacturer because it's been a while since their last similar product, this is what they do, make toys. If they can't get it right after all these years, they never will, and should quit now. Unfortunately, sub-par toys have become the standard, because we buy them even when we know they suck.
And, whether $170, $70, or $7, you should expect a toy that doesn't crumble and fall apart when touched. The manufacturer should be held to a simple standard of making USABLE toys, I don't expect the world, just a toy that isn't broken out of the box and does what it is supposed to do. If Yamato has better quality, then don't waste time with this, or similar sub-par items.
"If Yamato has better quality, then don't waste time with this, or similar sub-par items."
Except for one or two exceptions though, they DON'T. "crumble and fall apart when touched" has become the mantra for Yamato releases, from their Garlands, to the Macross Zero Valkyries, the YF-19, even their otherwise phenomenal V2.0 VF-1 has had a consistent failure in the shoulder joints that has only recently been rectified... meanwhile, those who bought the first release? Boned.
However, I do agree with you totally. We DO accept too much crap for our dollars. Unfortunately, we're at the mercy of these companies since there's very little overlap of product lines; if you want a VF-25, you have to get a Bandai. If you want a VF-1 or a VF-0, you go Yamato. Macross in particular seems to suffer from a quality breakdown coupled with a high price; it's only recently that Yamato have been able to overcome the quality issue, but at the same time the price has been climbing to compensate.
tl;dr - Being a Macross fan sucks.
The lack of competing products does make it tough if you really want a certain toy. But, if we're willing to shell out hundreds of dollars regardless of quality just because we LOVE the robot/anime/vehicle, then we have to be willing to accept the crap, because companies won't improve quality until the lack of it affects their sales. If I know it sucks, I don't buy it.
Macross does seem to 'get it' the worst. After all these years, you'd think they'd just copy what worked as closely as possible, re-paint, repeat. Even when they get it right, the same company's next product screws up again. The Transformers G-1 Jetfire was better than some veritechs I've seen recently.
I bought a $200 GFFM Zeta Plus and that's more playable, well built, and has more going for it out of the box than the DX VF-25. Just wait until I review it.
Lots of anger over the various items brought up in the post.
I do want one but its not high on my list to get. I'm waiting for the Ozma Custom Armored version. I agree that Bandai could done A LOT better, but it been how many years since they've made a TOY this complex (gundam models dont count to me)?. I do like that they gave you a stand and the fast packs instead of saying you need to pay an additional 20 or more usd or more for it. I like the paint scheme.I Also the fact that it a sniper unit!!! Seriously is there another macross series that has a sniper vf ?
Oh, and the gerwalk mode does suck. seeing as how one has to tweak it in order to get a good pose.
The series/ mechanical design:
IN the series it was developed on the colony which is in space.so one would think space combat would be higher on the list than atmospheric combat. It would n't make sense to m e to develop / design a fighter that excels in atmospheric combat and maneuvering then put it to use in space. But really just watch the series and form your own opinion
The various post:
I like this site i wish i had found it sooner. But if one wants critiscm:
There is a lot of macross stuff on here, but that whats being released and the hot item at the moment
I found it useless and a waste of time/ space for a video review about the MAcross DYRL Valkyrie Vf 1a Hikaru Ichijyo ver and Max Jenis ver. Considering they are the same toy the only difference being a paint variant and maybe a head sculpt. i think only one video to cover them both would have sufficed
I'm gonna stop now before this post gets way too long.
"but it been how many years since they've made a TOY this complex"
They've been making Soul of Chogokin toys, DX Chogokin toys, and now stuff like the GFFM figures non-stop for the past ten years.
what i meant was Valkyrie type going from a to b to c or some combination of that without having to break it down into separate pieces(im thinking getter robo, power ranger)
once again nice looking toy but i'll wait until bandai's qc gets better.
Given that im not into macross stuffs (but will get into it in the future ^_^;)but i think that it looked nice and beutifull thats all.
Have to chime in now that I FINALLY have a DX Chog. VF-25... I just got me reissue Alto from BBTS, and I have to say, I LOVE this toy! The lack of mid-thigh or knee swivel is a bit of a disappointment for posing, and I can see where the way the crotch locks and the hips interact isn't the greatest, but this toy is solid, tight, and fantastic looking. I unwrapped it, and was ready to be disappointed with things like needing special hands for transformation and needing a clip for the gunpod to mount, but the gunpod will actually mount in there solidly without the clip, and the other hands can be mashed into the shield compartment. Otherwise the toy transforms solidly and feels great to play with. I can see tho, how the addition of the armor with all its fidgety pieces could quickly turn this toy into a travesty, but the standalone Alto is phenomenal.
It's not like these figures explode if you look at them funny Bandai just missed a few of the details. Plus there's no point in bringing up the SOC line, just look at GX-01 compared to any recent SOC it's like night and day and it also took over ten years to get to the point where SOC's are arguable the standard of the industry. When you buy a toy like this, Bandai knows that for the most part these will be shelf pieces that owners will take down once in awhile and fiddle with. Does that mean that Bandai is then allowed to build a fragile POS, no, but this thing isn't fragile just fiddly which Bandai is actively trying to fix. In fact try and show me a brand new figure from a brand new line which is perfect from the get go or didn't have some kind of improvement done to it. That's like asking Mercedes or some car company to build the perfect car, some of these companies have been building cars for over a hundred years but it's impossible to do. Price is also relative, I agree for the average collector $150-200 is a lot of money but compared to $300 CM figures to $600+ SHE figures to $1000++ vintage figures $170 is quite reasonable, I'm not one of them but they are out there.
Look this toy is far from perfect but I think expectations were super high, just like MP Grimlock, some collectors were disappointed and some were perfectly happy with it. I just say give Bandai time, we all know that they can make first class toys and just like any toyline it's just constant evolutions and improvements that will get them there.
This toy is perfect in 2 out of 3 modes. The gerwalk mode is the ugliest and most disappointing part of the toy. However, not alot of people display the unit in gerwalk mode and alot more probably just shelf it in plane or robot mode.
How much is this figure? is $170 reasonable? no one can say for sure, as this is an individual thing. Some are willing to spend more and some are not reaonable. Take Vintage toys for example. Collectors think one day their collections would yeild double or triple returns for them. It works just like those baseball card collectors...
I'm actually displaying my Alto in Gerwalk mode right now... It would be nice if the knees and hips bent more, but right now my Messiah is on a flight stand doing some crazy Gerwalk moves and looks good to me. I must really just have a low standard for toys or something, because I am thoroughly enjoying my Messiah and cannot leave it alone.
I've got this figure a few weeks ago and to be honest i have a bit of a love-hate relationship with it. I love how the figure looks in battroid and fighter mode especially with the armor on but i'm very annoyed with the level of difficulty on putting the armor and getting some of them to stay on and the weird stiff looking gerwalk mode. But after putting the armor on, you wont be able to bend the knees on the battroid form which is a bit disappointing.
Another thing as wall, will collection dx be making a video on transformation between fighter to battroid? i cant seem to get the head and neck right (just like in the picture). Even after looking at the instructions over and over again. Thanks