Review: Look… but don’t touch
Packaging & Extras: (3/5)
While the Series 001 pieces I got came in a nice outer box, my Series 002 toys were not delivered this way. Mine came in plastic wrap as pictured above. This can mean one of two things. One, there is no bigger outer box available for these or Two, whoever shipped ’em to me saved a few bucks on shipping by excluding the outer box. Regardless, each toy comes individually packaged in a box identical to all the others (meaning if you order the set you’ll probably find all the boxes open as that’s the only way of determining which piece is which). Each box contains a figure and a leaflet depicting the transformation of the Valkyrie pieces. As far as extras go, the transformable Valks come with a stand, the poseable Focker figure comes with extra sets of hands and the GBP Hikaru comes with a stand and a closed chest piece. Both sides of the pamphlet and the contents of a box containg a transformable valk are pictured below.
Charm & Collectibility: (2.5/5)
The Series 001 pieces were popular because of the kick-butt Regult. The Series 002 pieces have an impressive looking Tomahawk and GBP but didn’t seem to generate the same demand. Originally released in February 2004 for an MSRP of 3,000 Yen for a box of 10, they could easily be found for peanuts after a long while warming shelves. To give you a feel for the size of these pieces, the picture below shows them in comparison to a AA battery.
Sculpt, Detail, & Paint: Transformable Valkyries (5/10), Battroid Roy (7/10), Hikaru GBP (7.5/10), Tomahawk (8/10)
If you were hoping to see an improvent in the transformable Valkyries from Series 001 you can forget it. These toys are exactly the same as their predecessors which is kind of sad since the predecessors could have been better (especially in GERWALK and Battroid modes). The same is true of the Roy poseable Battroid. The head on that figure seems small, the gun seems too large, and it obviously has some pretty cartoonish features/proportions. The Hikaru GBP seems to me to be a bit better off than the poseable Roy Battroid in terms of proportion and sculpt but it doesn’t really see intimidating enough… it doesn’t quite have the meat I’d like to see on the GBP to really make an impact. The star here is the Tomahawk but I think Kaiyodo strayed a smidgeon from the lineart to give the piece a more exciting look. The paint applications here are all pretty wonderful with one exception… what the heck is with the green paint on the Hikaru GBP’s feet?
Design: Transformable Valkyries (5/10), Battroid Roy (5/10), Hikaru GBP (8.5/10), Tomahawk (8/10)
The transformable Valks and Battroid Roy are the same as the pieces in Series 001. Here’s what I wrote previously: “The transformable valkyries get points for being transformable, even if it is completely imperfect, but they don’t get too many points since the figure looks like an absolute compromise in every mode. Something needed to be added here to make the toy look natural in some position. The Battroid Hikaru (Roy) comes pre-positioned somewhat awkwardly making it predisposed to dodging-type poses. I would imagine the goal here was to make the figure look extremely active so don’t try to go for any nonchalant or stoic poses.” Now, the Tomahawk on the other hand is pretty cool. It can be posed in a number of ways do to a nice selection of joints but the real bonus here are the doors on the chest that swing open to reveal missiles. The mechanism to reveal the missiles also draws them out which looks pretty cool. The GBP Hikaru also features doors that open to reveal missiles. What’s truly cool about the Hikaru GBP is the number of doors that open (check out the pics below). The GBP Hikaru also comes with a chest piece if you would like to now show off the missiles constantly… unfortunately I found it extremely hard to remove the stock chest piece so I just gave up.
Durability & Build: (3/10)
Oh my… these toys are bad when it comes to staying together. The transformable valks feature an unseated pin that keeps the legs attached (see my first review for comments on that). The real weak link here though are all the joints on the poseable figures. The joints are made of soft vinyl which adheres to the socket over time. The result is that when you finally twist a joint the soft vinyl simply tears instead of moving. This problem is VERY prominent. By the time I was done this review my Battroid Roy figure was practically completely glued together. Speaking of glue, I really hope that’s what the gunk is that came plastered all over the back of my Battroid Roy figure, check out the pic and judge for yourself.
Articulation: Transformable Valkyries (2/10), Battroid Roy (5.5/10), Hikaru GBP (7/10), Tomahawk (7/10)
There’s still just about nothing you can do with the transformable Valks. With all the other toys I recommend you take extreme caution when trying to move the joints. Once you do start posing them you’ll find they look much better in some stances than others. The Tomahawk and GBP seemed like more fun to pose as the Battroid Roy figure seemed ready made for only a few action shots.
Total Score: Transformable Valkyries (20.5/50), Battroid Roy (26/50), Hikaru GBP (31.5/50), Tomahawk (31.5/50)
What’s supposed to make these toys cool is how much fun they are to pose but since they’re so poorly made you probably won’t be having much fun. They are exceptionally well detailed for toys of this size though and in that respect their fun for displays even if they are completely glued back together. It doesn’t seem like there will ever be a Series 003 and that doesn’t seem to have caused much mourning within Macross toy circles.