Observations & Critique: Nickels & Dimes
As with other Tamashii Web Exclusives (TWE), the missile set comes in a brown shipper box that houses the retail box within. While many TWE “retail” boxes are two-tone and fairly simple, the box for this set is colorful and artistic and looks like it could be a normal release item. A disclaimer before we dive in, I’m not an expert at military aircraft terminology so if I mess something up, leave a comment and I’ll be happy to make a correction. Inside the box is a plastic tray that contains:
12 x TV style missiles (AMM-1 guided multi-purpose missile)
4 x AMM-1 pylons/racks
6 x reaction missiles (RMS-1 anti-ship missiles with DYRL yellow tips)
2 x dual reaction weapon pylons/racks
2 x single reaction weapon pylons
4 x DYRL style missiles (UUM-7 micro-missile pods)
Is this a good time to address the elephant in the room? This accessory makes ZERO sense. At the bare minimum, Bandai should have included the AMM-1 with TV releases, UUM-7 with DYRL releases, and reaction missiles with the fast packs (yellow tips with DYRL Strike parts, red tips with TV Super parts). So why didn’t they do that? My only guess is that they have a mark-up mandate on their toys and they are very uncomfortable with MSRPs exceeding certain psychological thresholds. The DX VF-1 toys retail for 18,000¥ before tax which puts it at 19,600 after tax. If the addition of missiles would have added just 500¥ to the cost of the toy, then the after-tax cost would have exceeded the 20K mark. Now that is me completely making up some sort of possible justification BUT Bandai has sold Macross toys for more than 20K AND they just sold a Gundam for like 100K¥ so… it really feels like they’re just nickel and diming the fan base. What makes that really aggravating is that they should have done SOMETHING to make this set more exciting. What about a ground crew? Give us some diorama equipment. Give us an extra set of reaction missile tips so we can make them red or yellow (or give us another six reaction missiles with red tips).
Bandai really put fans of their DX VF-1 toys in a lurch when they decided to release this accessory in May 2019 for 3,996円 as a TWE. With Bandai’s terrible track record of not reissuing TWE items, people who wanted missiles for the one DX VF-1 that had been released up until that point (the Hikaru VF-1J Launch Edition) had to contemplate how many to purchase so that they would not over-spend but also not find themselves wanting more missiles down the road. At the time, Bandai hadn’t signaled when a second release would happen and, when it did, what VF-1 scheme it would be. So, if you only wanted to own Vermilion or Skull squadrons, but you had no idea if Kakizaki or Max would be made, would you buy missiles for them? As one might have reasonably expected, when preorders subsequently went live for the Max TV VF-1A and Hikaru DYRL VF-1S, demand for the missiles went up and upon release they were already selling at a premium. As of writing this, it’s hard to find this accessory set, which seem like the should sell for about 1,000¥, selling for less than 8,000¥.
They’re incredibly expensive for what you get but at least they look good. The missiles have markings painted on them and the proportions seem right. I wouldn’t be surprised if real world missiles typically have a few markings not present here but you do get the missile type painted on which is a nice touch we haven’t seen on previous VF-1 toys. Another positive we haven’t seen before is the aerodynamic leading edge on the included pylons. I did see someone more familiar with real-life ordinance than myself point out that the weaponry attaches too tightly to the wing, so, if you’re a real-world fighter plane buff, that might be something that annoys you. In Bandai’s defense, most the line art I could find had the missiles very close to the wing and tucking them in so tight lets the AMM-1 and RMS-1 missiles stay on the toy in battroid mode with the wings mostly closed (you’ll need to leave a gap in the wings since the missiles extend past wing’s edge). Speaking of line art accuracy, Bandai is the first company to give us the correct rack for the dual reaction missiles. The missiles mount to the sides of the missiles rather than the top. The downside to this type of attachment is that you need to double check you’re putting the right missile on as to not get the reaction weapon logo or “RMS-1” writing upside down. Some folks may miss the red stripe that Yamato has been painting on the front of the RMS-1 for a while but I watched a few seconds of DYRL to refresh my memory and never saw the red stripe so I understand why Bandai left it off. The UMM-7s are tri-toned rather than just being solid black so they have a bit more pop than previous Yamato efforts.
The number one concern when it comes to missiles is that they either won’t stay on their hard point or launcher OR they will stay on so tight you may damage something removing them. I didn’t have any issues at all in this regard. The missiles clasped the wings firmly without the cumbersome twist mechanism that Yamato used for their Version 2 toys and the missiles also stayed attached very firmly to their launchers. As the wing rotates you can easily rotate the missiles to keep them pointed forward. As mentioned above, you can leave the AMM-1 and RMS-1 missiles on in battroid mode and have the wings behind the toy. For the UUM-1, or if you’re using the display stand, you’ll need to leave the wings extended.
Does it suck that Bandai didn’t include the missiles with the toys? Yes, absolutely. Judging the missiles on their own, they’re a nice representation that correspond well with the very nice VF-1 toys. There’s nothing here that would make me tell you that you shouldn’t buy them. There’s also nothing super compelling here other than the feeling that the VF-1 might look naked without them. Curious if these toys will work with other Bandai Macross products you own? Stay tuned, I’ll test them with other toys and include pictures of the results here.