Observations & Critique: Toy elevated and accessories stowed
Arcadia refers to this as their “Macross Simple Display Stand” and the retail packaging represents it well and is efficiently sized at 18 x 21 x 3.5 cm. The outer box is efficient in size, monochrome, and completely blank on the back. Have your scissors ready because the stand comes packaged in several sealed baggies. If you received your display stand as a gift-set with a VF-1, the parts instead come to you in a plastic tray below the Valkyrie. Whatever the form you acquired the stand in, it consists of:
3) Support arm
4) Connector and plug (slides on one side, plug goes on opposite)
5) Acardia to Yamato adapter
The Arcadia to Yamato adapter allows you to use the stand adapters that come with toys originally produced by Yamato (including Arcadia reissues of Yamato products). Yamato used a rectangular plug for their display stand adapters while Arcadia uses a round one.
These simple display stands were available one of three ways:
November 2013, VF-1S Focker + Simple Display Stand, 16,800¥
December 2013, VF-1S Ichijo + Simple Display Stand, 16,800¥
January 2015, Simple Display Stand, 2,700¥
There doesn’t seem like any good reason why they couldn’t or wouldn’t reissue these in the future. Demand certainly seems present as they are all long since sold-out and current secondary market prices exceed MSRP, sometimes by a healthy margin.
This simple display stand is rendered in clear plastic. While it shares an evolutionary history with the display stand included with Yamato’s 1/60 scale YF-21 and SV-51 toys, it’s a totally different mold with the only possible shared part being the small plug that locks the adapter pivot into position. Unlike the very opaque plastic used for the YF-21 display stand (or the black for the SV-51), the clear plastic used for this stand is transparent. There are some panel lines above and below to give it a more mechanical feel.
It may be a ‘simple’ display stand but it’s also thoughtful. The base includes two storage bays on either side of the arm. As the stand is entirely rendered in clear plastic, anything stored in the bays will be visible, some will find that helpful and others will think it’s ugly. I imagine some would have preferred a gray base with a clear arm to conceal accessories. A plastic nub on either side of the storage door is supposed to give you access to your accessories but the nub is too smooth, too round, and too small to get a grip on it. A thin notch should have been molded into the nub to allow room for a fingernail or the nubs should have been completely eliminated in favor of a notch on either end of the door.
The circular attachment point for the stand has squared off edges. This means you can’t fine tune the left/right positioning of the nose of the plane after you’ve attached it to the stand. On the positive side, this notched circle ensures that, if you had multiple stands and wanted to display all of your VF-1 toys at the same angle, you could easily do so (and that display would look amazing).
Function of the stand itself is as perfunctory as the ‘simple’ name would imply. The included arm has no length adjustments so you may find it too small for certain displays (like if you’re trying to point your SV-51 upward). For staggered height set-ups with multiple stands (imagine several planes flying horizontally but not all at the same altitude) you can connect the support at different positions on the base and adjust the pivot on the adapter accordingly.
There’s an included adapter that allows you to use the Yamato style slotted connectors with this display stand. This part HAD to be there since Arcadia continues to include Yamato-style connectors with all their VF-1 releases but it additionally allows you to connect the stand to any previous Yamato release, further increasing the value proposition of this budget stand.
The pivot point at the top must be removed and reinserted to adjust the position which means you’ll have no worries of your toy drooping or falling forward/back. Like the squared peg, this means that you can easily position many different toys on different display stands at the same angle with relative ease. While the connection only pivots on one plane, spinning the display stand and connector allow you to simulate banking poses in various levels of ascent/descent.
Some toys work better with this display stand than others. Though this stand came packaged with Arcadia’s reissue of the VF-1, I find the VF-1 to be one of the worst toys to use with this stand. Installing the connection piece in fighter mode is a little awkward, requiring you to partially transform the toy to create enough clearance to slide the connector in place. The stand connects at an awkward position, toward the front of fighter mode and the center of GERWALK. The connectors packaged with the VF-1 are made of gray plastic, not clear like this display stand, and when attached the gun in fighter mode nearly butts up against the connection. In battroid mode the connection is too thick to allow the wings to close entirely limiting you to either awkwardly semi-open wings or fully spread. All of these issues are concessions to providing a rock-solid-connection of the toy and the display stand.
The Arcadia VF-0 doesn’t do a much better job than the VF-1. In fighter mode, the connector is a giant harness that obscures too much of the front of the plane. In battroid mode the VF-0 suffers from the same inability to close the wings that plagues the VF-1. Other toys, like the SV-51, have much better adapters and no such limitations in battroid.
The small clear connector that locks the connection point in place can easily go missing so keep an eye on it. Everything else here feels very sturdy and I’ve never heard of anyone breaking their display stand or coming home to find there’s broken. Arcadia generally makes pretty light Macross products so it’s unlikely you’ll exceed this stand’s parameters since it can only accommodate one toy at a time.
Though called a ‘simple’ display stand, and compared to the Launch Arm Display Stand it certainly is, this stand is FAR superior to the basic display stand Bandai includes with all their DX products. While I generally prefer universal display stands that don’t require futzing with connectors (router style display stands), displays that do use connectors, like this one, are more secure and much better suited to uniform displays where you want all your toys to be at the same angle. So, if you wanted to have a display of 10 fighter mode vehicles all pointed in the same way, and wanted the power to choose which angle that would be, then this would be a great choice. You would even be able to keep many of the accessories with the toys and throw their boxes and trays away (if you didn’t ever plan on reselling them). If you were looking for a display stand to use with just a couple of toys that you wanted to have fighting, or wanted the flexibility to use those stands with toys from other manufactures and products, then router style display stands may be a better option. Arcadia should reissue these stands and expand their use to include their growing line of Megazone23 products.