Takatoku Vending Machine DX

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Review: Not really a toy, more of a gadget

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Packaging & Extras: (4/5)
Overall the box is nicely decorated although it’s not quite as nice as the boxes that come with the valkyries.  This box doesn’t have that same sturdy feel and textured appearance (although it’s still flat, not glossy).  The vending machine portion of the box lacks any support for the machine itself, it’s more like the machine is supporting the box.  Three extra pieces are included with the vending machine.  Those extras are any of the various main mecha from the show ranging from Glaugs to Destroids (Mine came with a VF-1J Battroid and two Destroids).  These extra pieces are essentially much larger and nicer versions of the toys that are in the plastic bubbles available for dispensing.

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Charm & Collectibility: (3/5)
This thing has charm and collectibility really only because it is licensed Macross merchandise and it’s so odd.  On it’s own, there’s not a whole lot you can do with it.  It does have a high “Wow, that’s funky” factor but there’s not much more than that going on here.

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Sculpt, Detail, and Paint: (4/10)
Okay, the toy itself is a miniaturized Gumball-Style vending machine much like you’d see at any supermarket.  It does a very nice job of emulating said machines.  The toys inside the machine are another matter entirely.  They are rubber-eraser style (I can’t say for sure that they actually are erasers), each piece is molded from one color and then crammed into a plastic bubble.  After spending 20+ years in their little bubbles you are guaranteed that these toys will never adjust back into their natural positions.  Being eraser-style toys, even if they did, there’s not a whole lot of room for anything that would resemble detail and Takatoku isn’t exactly known for nailing the proportions on their rubber or vinyl toys.  The larger toys provided as a supplement are obviously better than the tiny toys in the bubbles.

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Design: (6/10)
Okay, you put a little coin in the machine, turn the wheel, and a bubble toy drops out.  Not exactly revolutionary but it’s efficient and it does what it’s supposed to.  So, the vending machine is cool enough but the little figures are all absolutley immobile chunks which is a bit of a let down.

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Durability & Build: (9/10)
The rubber toys that are packaged with the vending machine may be the first toy I have ever handled that can literally withstand a hammer blow without any negative effects!  I wouldn’t try the same with the vending machine itself though.  The real problem here has to do with all the toys morphing into the shape of the bubble they are imprisoned in.

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Articulation: (2/10)
The vending machine has a mechanism for dispensing plastic bubbles.  The plastic bubbles open to reveal a toy that does not move.  The larger toys provided with the vending machine do not move.  No cool poses here, not much movement here at all.

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Total Score: (28/50)
Let’s be honest, this isn’t really a toy and it’s not something you’re going to play with.  If this were 20 years ago it’d be kinda cool ’cause little kids could open all the balls and have a small army of tiny toys.  Now-a-days it’s just kind of a funky embodiment of Gashapon… which is kind of cool in its own right.  As far as Macross merchandise goes this has to be one of the more unique items I’ve come across.  It may not have the allure of a super-deformed plush valkyrie or the style of the Basara Sunglass replications but it’s still kind of neat to have on a shelf some where… if only for that “Wow, that’s funky!” moment it inspires occasionally.

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