Yamato 1/60 Version 1 VF-1 toys

Mega Review: Includes original releases, super releases, armored release, and 2 seaters

Packaging & Extras: (3.5/5)
These toys come in oversized boxes (27.5x30x10cm) made of very thin cardboard dominated by large plastic windows that reveal everything inside. The artwork isn’t the best and the boxes definitely don’t feel premium. Regular VF-1 releases (no fast packs or armor) come with the following:
1) 4x Missile clusters (three missiles glued together)
2) 4x Do You Remember Love missile boxes
3) A gun with collapsing stock (V1.2 and greater variants also have collapsing grips)
4) A heat shield/canopy cover for battroid mode
5) An extras nosecone plug for fighter mode
6) A curved antenna for GERWALK mode
7) A pair of fixed posed hands (gun grip and open palm). The Hikaru + GBP toy comes with a second set of fixed posed hands, giant fists
8) Stickers
9) Instructions
The VF-1D toy, released after the super/strike releases, also included:
10) Two pilot figures

The Super and strike releases were the first to include fast packs. The box now measured 27.5×30.2×11.5cm. The following accessories were dropped:
1) 4x Missile clusters (three missiles glued together)
2) 4x Do You Remember Love missile boxes
In lieu of those items, you received:
1) Pilot (in cockpit)
2) 4x reaction missiles
and, along with the other items included with the regular releases, you of course also received:
9) 2 x sticker sheets
10) Fast packs (2x leg armors for each leg, 1x forearm armor for each arm, and 2x boosters for the backpack)

After the VF-1D release (included in the ‘regular release’ section), Yamato created the two unicorns of the DYRL Macross universe, the VT-1 SuperOstrich and VE-1 Elintseeker. Though the boxes for the regular and super releases were already large, Yamato turned things up to 11 on packaging size this time around. The packages ballooned to an utterly unwieldy 38x38x12cm. To put that in perspective, that is a larger length and width than Yamato used for their 1/48 scale toys!  These releases dropped all weapons so you didn’t receive:
1) 4x Missile clusters (three missiles glued together)
2) 4x Do You Remember Love missile boxes
3) A gun
You did get:
1) 2x Pilot seats
2) Custom fast packs including accessory antennae as appropriate
These toys still have the ability to stow missiles or a gun so some folks weren’t thrilled to see these accessories removed even if they’re never seen in the movie and logically wouldn’t be on these valkyries.

Yamato’s 1/60 Version 1 toys officially rode off into the sunset in 2004 with the final release: Hikaru’s VF-1J with GBP accessory. This toy includes everything that came with the regular release as well as:
9) 2x sticker sheets (one for the armor)
10) A pilot figure
11) GBP armor

Charm & Collectability: (1.5/5)
There’s no question that Yamato’s release of the “Version 2” 1/60 VF-1 line has crushed the collectability of their original effort and for good reason, this effort wasn’t particularly good. While the toys do contain a good amount of metal, particularly in the lower legs, the imperfect transformation leads to a sloppy feeling toy which, even back in the early 2000s, had many VF-1 turning to Bandai’s re-releases of the original Takatoku toys and Toynami’s underwhelming Masterpiece line. Yamato made several improvements as the line aged. These improvements can be identified as follows:
Version 1.1 – Backpacks were modified to work with fast pack boosters
Version 1.2 – Guns were improved to feature a collapsing grip as well as a collapsing stock. This allowed the toy to abandon the awful forearm filler pieces found on versions 1.0 and 1.1.
Here’s a list of the release schedule with original MSRP:
Hikaru DYRL VF-1A, October 2001, 7,800YEN (V1.0)
Focker VF-1S, December 2001, 7,800YEN (V1.0)
Mass Production VF-1A Toys-R-Us exclusive, January 2002, 7,800YEN (V1.0)
Max DYRL VF-1A, February 2002, 7,800YEN (V1.0)
Mass Production VF-1A, April 2002, 7,800YEN (V1.0)
Hikaru Super VF-1J, June 2002, 9,800YEN (V1.1)
Focker Strike VF-1S, September 2002, 9,800YEN (V1.2)
Max Super VF-1J, January 2003, 9,800YEN (V1.2)
Miria Super VF-1J, January 2003, 9,800YEN (V1.2)
VF-1D, March 2003, 7,800YEN (V1.2)
Elintseeker VE-1, September 2003, 9,800YEN
SuperOstrich VT-1, September 2003, 9,800YEN
Armored Hikaru VF-1J, May 2004, 9,800YEN (V1.2)
There can be arguments made that some versions are more desired than others but at this point the key thing to note is that none of these are painfully obsolete toys. While completists may still enjoy hunting down the VT-1, VE-1, VF-1D, or VF-1S Focker they still don’t demand a premium and the others are usually purchased. These toys also have a very bad tendency to yellow so scrutinize carefully when purchasing second hand.

Sculpt, Detail, & Paint: (6/10)
These toys have weaknesses in every mode although fighter is generally where they perform best. Fighter mode looks a tiny bit too angular or pointy toward the front, the tailfins aren’t quite far enough to the rear, and the feet aren’t recessed enough but compared to its contemporary competition (Bandai’s reissue of the Takatoku toys and Toynami’s Masterpiece Collection VF-1) the Yamato version 1 toy was an easy winner. Originally I gave this toy a higher score because of some of the detail work which has since become expected of all VF-1 toys. These details include the sculpted cockpit and surrounding area, paint application on the pilot’s seat, clear plastic parts on the wings, and three opening doors for the rear landing gears within the leg. On the negative side, the panel lines in the legs are of a different depth of the panel lines on the plastic which creates an uneven appearance. Things get worse as you transform the toy out of fighter mode. GERWALK mode looks jumbled together due to problematic fit at the intakes and the misplaced twist point below the knee. Moving on to battroid mode introduces more problems as these toys have small heads (especially the VF-1S, which is quite possibly the worst effort at a VF-1S head ever) and the narrow nosecone combined with the large hip connectors makes for an awkward look.
takatoku-hikaru-176-gbp-2

Design: (4/10)
This toy is poorly designed. It feels as if Yamato had two goals in mind: 1) a good fighter mode presentation, 2) lots of diecast metal. This created some big problems which I’ll present in list form:
1) Transformation isn’t perfect, it requires some parts be removed and installed again differently in the next mode. The heat shield is not integrated, it’s a separate part you’ll have to swap out with the canopy as you transform from GERWALK to battroid.
2) Super parts weren’t part of the original concept. Yamato addressed this by releasing the version 1.1 toys which have the proper slots to accommodate the additional parts. Only version 1.1 and 1.2 toys can attach the super parts which were bundled with select 1.1 and 1.2 toys. The armored parts included with the Hikaru VF-1J toy and sold separately do fit all versions of the 1/60 V1 toys.
3) Version 1.0 toys have two slender pieces on the forarms which have to be removed hold the gun in fighter mode. This was an absolutely terrible idea that was resolved by version 1.2 which eliminated these forearm filler pieces and introduced the collapsing pistol grip (yet another item introduced in this toy that became standard on subsequent VF-1 toys).
4) The swivel joint located in the legs is located at the upper-calf point rather than the knee.
5) The leg bars in GERWALK mode rub/press against each other causing the legs to look unstable and GERWALK mode itself seems to be a serious after-thought.
6) The transformation is arduous… and that’s despite the fact that it involves removable parts! Trying to get the thin inner-tray to slide into the grooves in the shoulders on this toy can be extremely frustrating and the instructions don’t offer a world of help (the trick is to keep the chest loose while doing this). Then, when you have everything put together right, you may find the shoulders don’t quite clear the chest.
7) The hand that can retract into the forearm does a poor job holding the gun.
8) The armored and super parts eliminate the swivel point in the leg reducing articulation.
This toy was a tremendous learning experience for Yamato… and it’s quite clear this was their first effort.
9) The Elintseeker variant permanently has the radar dome attachment bar protruding from the backpack.

Durability & Build: (6/10)
These toys are slightly below average in terms of build quality and durability. There are a few possible problem areas to look for. First, as with the Toynami MPCs, it is possible to receive one of these with a bent head laser although it’s far less prevalent here. Due to what seems to be manufacture inconsistencies, sometimes the legs on these toys are less apt to stay attached (especially in GERWALK mode) than they ought to be. The front landing gear doors are easy to dislocate. This toy has lots of parts that come on and off so more you’ll have to be concerned about keeping the whole package together more than worrying about accidentally breaking it. That said, I can easily imagine a couple ways in which this toy could be accidentally broken but since I have yet to really have one bust apart on me I’m going to assume it’s much sturdier than it seems. Build issues right of the box should be less common than they are. One large nuisance are the many screw covers Yamato littered this toy with. First off, kudos are in order to Yamato for making a toy that is built in this manner instead of gluing. Unfortunately, the execution sucks and the little screw covers come popping out all the time. Even in very minor, gentle handling it is not unusual for a screw cover to bounce out for seemingly no reason at all. Another sad note is that these toys seem apt to yellowing more than any other Yamato effort I’ve ever heard about. My TRU has two landing gear doors that have already yellowed and none of my toys are ever in direct sunlight.

Articulation: (7.5/10)
In the turn of the millennium “VF-1 Wars” the Yamato V1 toy was the king of articulation easily trouncing the Toynami Masterpiece Collection and Bandai 1/55 Reissue efforts. The mid-leg swivel looked funky and made GERWALK mode a little awkward but at least it had a swivel unlike the Bandai reissue. Another problem are the hips. Though a huge improvement over pivot-only hips of the Toynami or Bandai, they don’t seem to be a lot of help when it comes to keeping the battroid standing. The toy wants to fall over quite a bit and it’s too easy to accidentally dislodge one of the legs. In the toy’s defense, many of the falls it took were because eager owners finally getting to experience a ball jointed hip were pushing the range of movement too far in their attempts to get yet more dynamic poses. Future toys improved upon Yamato’s V1 by increasing the range of motion of the elbows, adding articulated hands, hip extensions that increase the range of movement, and ball-jointed heads.


Total Score: (28.5/50)
This toy best serves as a glimpse into the future. On its own, it’s not very good although it looks sharp in fighter mode and can pull off some cool poses in battroid mode. However, many design attributes here hint to the thinking that eventually would be used to create the 1/48 line of valks and that’s definitely a good thing.

Updated April 10, 2012: This review has been updated. Picture resolution was increased, new pictures were added, line art comparisons were added, and an HD video review was added. In my continuing efforts to make the website easier to navigate, this review combines the following previous posts:
May 25, 2010 – Yamato V1 1/60 Armored VF-1J (Originally posted on October 23, 2007)
May 2, 2010 – Yamato V1 1/60 VE-1 Elintseeker (originally posted on June 13, 2006, updated on November 25, 2007)
December 7, 2009 – Yamato V1 1/60 VT-1 SuperOstrich (originally posted June 12, 2006, updated on November 12, 2007 and then again on December 7, 2007)
March 16, 2009 – Yamato V1 1/60 VF-1D (originally posted September 18, 2006)
September 6, 2008 – Yamato V1 1/60 Super VF-1 Toys (originally posted June 10, 2006, updated February 21, 2007)
September 4, 2008 – Yamato V1 1/60 VF-1 stand alone releases (originally posted June 10, 2006, updated February 2, 2007)
Updated October 16, 2016 to include an HD transformation guide.
Updated October 23, 2016 to include a more complete HD video review.

7 Replies to “Yamato 1/60 Version 1 VF-1 toys”

  1. Something I’ve experienced but nobody has noted about these fighters (The VF-1A Do You Believe In Love Version anyway) The Larger Boxed Missile packs have a notch in them that requires you snap and turn at a certain angle for them to fit on. Well some of them are quite tight and I managed to break off the missile fastener underneath the wing when twisting the missile pack into position. Not even 24 hours after owning the thing. It appears the missile notches under the wings are only attached to the plastic by the small tabs sticking out from each side as there’s not visible breakage points on the bottom of the O-ring that would be pressed up against the wing. Kind of a crap design really.

  2. I got this one too along side the v 2 for comparison. For it’s time, I still consider this one as a poor toy. Nitpick about the packaging. It’s labeled for the DYRTL line up and it’s advertised as an animation series release. Yamato rectified the misprint with the yellow sticker stating that it was a TV color release.

  3. I had recently bought the Yamato TRU VF-1A exclusive and I must say, I was completely disappointed. I honestly don’t mind if the color scheme is off or if the head looks too small, etc. Just as long as it’s sturdy and it looks “cool”, if you will. Now, I must say, I couldn’t get over how brittle this one in particular was. I mean, I’m usually good at handling these toys, but the TRU exclusive was beyond my control. Maybe it was the luck of the draw? After all, I did buy this on eBay as a new/used figure. Anyone else had this problem?

  4. First for all, your blog is by far the best source of news and reviews of Macross and Robotech related toys I´ve ever seen, even better than Macrossworld.com. Indeed I have marked your page in my favorite´s list.
    About the review of the Macross toys by Yamato, I think you were too harsh; I am sure we both agree that the Macross Valkyries version 2.0 if not the ultimate toys, are by far the best toys released until now, but I think you were unfair with the first effort of Yamato.
    These toys were release about 11 years ago and Yamato tried to do something different instead of following the same pattern or copying the Takatoku designs or Bandai HCM figure as Toynami did: sure, Toynami improved some things from the HCM by Bandai but at the same time repeated the same issues like the unforgivable metallic pegs of the legs which are very ugly, that´s why Yamato decided to sacrifice the transformation process fidelity in pros of the figure look. Yeah, the design wasn´t perfect, some pieces are too loose as the rear fast packs or the armor and the paint is easy to scratch, but still I think in aesthetic terms the Yamato was by far better than the Toynami MP and the Bandai re-release both together. Also the Yamato Macross Valkyries 2.0 are an answer for those issues of the version 1.0.
    Even with those issues, INMHO the Yamato Macross Valkyries 1.0 were a big improvement and huge step from the Takatoku and HCM and that´s something I´ll be grateful forever with Yamato. In fact, for me these are the “ultimate” valkyries and I am proud owner of the follow models:

    VF-1A Hikaru model
    VF-1A brown (my first serious Macross toy! I still have fond memories, I bought it about 9 years ago and I saved money for 8 months to buy it. The Friday I bought and brought to my house was one of my greatest achievement as collector and I had a very funny night trying transforming it. Sure it was a true challenge transforming but it worth every cent or better said peso because I live in Chile).
    VF-1S Roy Foceker with the boosters and fast packs
    VF-1J Hikaru model, with boosters and fast packs
    VF-1J Miriya model
    VF-1D
    Elintseeker
    Ostrich

    If everything goes well, this month I´ll receive the VF-1A Max model from DYRL movie and it only would left the VF-1J Max model to complete my collection. Believe me, even with its issues, these toys are a true thrill for me.
    I´ll check (and enjoy) every review from you!

  5. Well, it’s now been a fair amount of years since the 1st 1/60 Versions were released. But people are still debating their pros and cons.
    We had the version 2 and the 1/48 to correct all the supposed flaws. Thing is, yes, versions 1 might not be perfect, far from it. But, they are solid. Perfect transformation or not, I’d rather have a sturdy toy than a built up model kit which is what Ver2 and the 1/48 are. They are way too light, and feel like you’re handling a kit.
    98% of my non robot informed friends when they see my V2 and 1/48 display always ask me if I’ve built/painted them myself!!
    It’s not surprising either that Yamato released the unpainted unbuilt version 2! If you’ve ever made one, you’ll realise that it’s exactly like building a kit albeit using screws other than glue (saying that you still have to use glue on some parts!!)
    Personally, I like the heft of the 1st versions. They are more akin to Chogokins and high-end toys than model kits.
    Most importantly, I’ve had far more issues with the Version 2 and 1/48. Hinges breaking,cracks appearing in the plastic, articulation issues, backpacks breaking , legs getting loose etc. The list is long.

    So yes, if you’re only into displaying your toys/figures. Ver 2 and 1/48 are great.
    That’s what they are: display pieces.
    I mean it’s not for nothing that now on the, 2nd hand/ used market, people go as far as saying how many times they’ve transformed their VF’s!!.
    I leave my 1/48 and V2’s displayed behind glass, never touch them or ‘play’ with them.(I’ve learned the hard way to leave them be !!)
    My version ones on the other hand,well, I ‘fiddle’ with them a lot, transform them, change their poses often without fear of having something break up in my hands.
    Yes there are some annoying aspects such as yellowing parts, paint scratches on some metal parts etc, but I’d take that over cracks and breaks in the plastic any day!
    They might not be as ‘Line art’ accurate as the later ones (Although to be honest I find the 1/60 V2 a bit ‘skinny’).
    I like having metal, die-cast in my toys.To me It makes a lot of difference especially when you spend so much $$$ on a single figure…
    I might be wrong, but now that Yamato is no more, Arcadia is unlikely to go back to the drawing board and put die-cast in their 1/48 or 1/60’s.
    I’m pretty sure it’s just a matter of time when the old 1/60 become a lot more expensive and difficult to get hold of.
    As someone who likes transforming,posing, their toys/figures, I’m glad I did not get rid of my Ver 1 to replace them with their V2 counterparts.
    To sum it up, it’s just my opinion. I know it seems I don’t like them. But in fact, I like and collect all versions, just not for the same reasons.
    They all have good and bad points.
    But to say V2’s and 1/48’s are the ‘bee’s knees’, the ultimate VF toy would not be right nor true. To this day, as far as ‘real’ toys are concerned, well, the good old chunky 1/55 is still king! ;-)

  6. How do I know if my Yamato VE1 and VT1 are version 1 or 2?
    By the way how many versions of this toys are?

  7. How do I know if my Yamato VE1 and VT1 are version 1 or 2?
    > see the pictures above the “Packaging” section. One of the pictures shows you the VT1 boxes and how to tell which is which. There is also a picture of the V1 VE1 box in this review. My V2 review has a picture of the V2 VE1 box.
    By the way how many versions of this toys are?
    > All releases are listed in the Charm & Collectability section and pictures of all boxes are provided in the first section.

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