REVIEW(updated): Now includes metallic and Toyfare variants
Packaging & Extras: (2/5)
I don’t like blistercards in the least, this is especially true of limited edition products like the metallic versions. The extras these toys come with are nice but basic. You get three fixed-pose hands with the Alphas, one extra hand with the Shadow Fighters, and all toys come with the appropriate gun. You won’t get any other cool extras like the medieval knight parts from Rand’s fantasy episode or a display stand.
Charm & Collectibility: (2/5)
These toys were never big hits. They lack metal and they don’t transform so the market for them was small. That market did grow somewhat for the standard editions when Toynami released their MPC Beta toys which linked up nicely to these Alphas since they’re the same size of the MPC Alphas. This is especially true of the blue Superposeable since the blue MPC Alpha has gotten increasinly harder to come by. The metallic paint schemes look great to my eye and have a bit of extra weathering but they never seemed to garner more attention than the standard releases. The metallic editions initially were exclusives of various vendors. Scott’s Blue Alpha was an exclusive at ComicCon 2003, Lancer’s Green Alpha was an exclusive at Electronics Boutique, Rook’s Red Alpha was an exclusive at Gamestop (I may have those two reversed), and the Shadow Fighter was an exclusive at Robotech.com. Eventually sets of all the exclusives (except the Toyfare Shadow Fighter) were available online from Robotech.com. The Toyfare exclusive Shadow Fighter is a lot cooler than many clear plastic limited edition toys that have been released over the years but like the metallic paint scheme versions there doesn’t appear to be a large audience for it. All the exclusive toys are limited to production runs of 2000 units.
Sculpt, Detail, & Paint: (7/10)
The sculpt of this toy is hard to judge as it deliberately strives for a more “cartoony” look. This back of the battroid is the most clearcut example. The folded over nose of the fighter has been replaced by a comparatively much smaller triangle – beyond that though the proportions look great. The toy doesn’t come with extra decals to attach but it does come with some painted on detail which is nice. The Shadow Fighters are better approximations of the line art than the original MPC Shadow Fighters in that the Superposeables better emulate the chest.
In a toy lacking transformation it’s difficult to come up with a score that means much in the design field. The success or failure of this toy is most accurately determined by its articulation but there will be more on that later. The gun fits in the hand it’s supposed to and the toy has no major flaws to point toward. This toy does have the same weakness of Toynami’s previous superposeable offerings in that the hips could have been better developed for poseability purposes. The knees could also benefit from a twist joint but again, that’s more of an articulation issue. Other non-transformable toy offerings, such as Yamato’s GnU line scored higher in this category because they offered the ability for the purchaser to disassemble the toy for better customization. Bandai’s Robot Spirits Q-Rea scored highter because that toy had opening missile bays and a cockpit with a pilot. You won’t get such nice design elements here… but these toys were also a lot cheaper than Yamato’s Gnu line or Yamato’s Robot Spirit toys.
Durability & Build: (8/10)
It’s true there’s no metal to be found in this toy but that doesn’t mean it’s not sturdy. There is one item that stands out in build quality that I would have thought Toynami would have been able to avoid. Just as the original Gakken diecast 1/55 double changer toy had a rubber shoulder array antenna/fin that warped easily, so too do these superposeables (except the Shadow Fighters which don’t have these arrays). Beyond that, these toys can certainly be broken but it’s not likely to happen through average use. Through several poses I have not seen one begin to get loose in any way. I thought I broke the head of my Scott/Stig version when I twisted the head but it turns out it’s just plugged in there and can easily be plugged back in. If you try to twist the legs at the hip (which the hip can’t do) you might manage to pop the leg apart… but that would just mean you’d have to peg it back together.
The only thing keeping this toy from a perfect score are the hips which don’t allow the leg to be pointed away from wherever the waist is pointed. Other than that, this thing is nothing short of amazing. The feet feature toes, ankles, and heels which can all be adjusted independently. The articulation is stellar allowing for some beautiful action poses that will look great on any shelf or desk. Don’t think these toys are unstable either, those clown-feet let you pull off some fun stuff.
Total Score: Standard (34/50)
There’s no “it” factor here that is going to make someone desperate to own one of these toys. Just the same, the superposeable accomplishes what it sets out to do. I do recommend the standard toys as replacements in displays to accompany MPC Betas. They won’t link to the connecting arm as well as an MPC Alpha but they’ll stay where they’re supposed to thanks to gravity.
Note: This review has been updated
Original Post Date: May 22, 2006
First udpate April 23, 2007, new photos were added.
Second update June 21, 2012, all new photos in higher resolution were added, HD video review was added, and condensed the standard and metallic posts to make the site easier to navigate.