Review: The M&Ms with a hard exterior that melt when left alone with each other
Packaging & Extras: (3/5) Original Miria release (-1 for Max or reissue)
The toy is delivered in the standard version 1 1/60 style Yamato packaging. This means you’ll get a large box (33x 30.5x 18 cm) that is made of flimsy cardboard with an overly large window. The back of the box is adorned with attractive art. Inside the box there’s a plastic clamshell housed in a cardboard tray. Inside the clamshell you’ll find the Queadluun Rau and:
1) A Miria pilot figure (fixed pose)
2) 2x open missile pods
The included Miria pilot figure was a nice touch and there’s no accessories shown in the movie that seem like they should have been included here.
The later release of a Max version comes in a less wide box (but slightly deeper) because it ditches the pilot figure (33×25.5×19 cm). Other than the Queadluun Rau itself, you only receive the 2x open missile bays.
In 2008 Yamato reissued both toys. The Miria reissue dropped the pilot figure and was priced the same as Max this time around. Bizarrely, rather than using the same box as the Max toy, Yamato continued to use the larger box from the original release but updated the tray within to exclude Miria.
Charm & Collectibility: (2/5)
These toys sold poorly initially and hit clearance shelves before selling out completely. Even 15 years later it’s still easy to acquire these toys at or less than their original MSRP. There’s a common belief in the toy industry that the “bad guy” doesn’t sell well and this could be evidence to support that claim (even if “bad guy” is an inappropriate term here).
They are fairly large toys (about 27.5 cm to the bump on top of the head, 28cm to the top of the backpack missile bays depending on the angle of the backpack, and about 30.5cm to the top of the antenna) and their measurements are a nice fit for the ever increasing universe of 1/60 scale toys but they’re not transformable and lack metal in any significant quantity so long-term collectability is questionable.
Miria 639, March 2004, 12,800¥
Max Jenius, October 2004, 9,800¥
Miria 639, December 2008, 9,800¥
Max Jenius, December 2008, 9,800¥
Sculpt, Detail, & Paint: (8/10)
There are significant differences beyond color pallet used for the movie version of this mecha from the original TV artwork. Yamato did a solid job emulating the movie art. My only quibbles are that the flaps around the waist should all jut out more and be a little less prominent, the head antenna should be thinner (they should have used metal since it’d be a durability issue otherwise), and there’s some ankle detail/paint work missing.
This toy hit shelves before the universe decided matte finishes were the way to go. The glossy look wouldn’t be bad but this toy is an odd combination of smooth and matte. The white bits are a flat white paint, the body red and gray are smooth and glossy, but the very back part of the backpack is a matte red that looks a little out of place. There are numerous Vernier thrusters and ports on the legs, arms, and backpack that are finished with a touch of paint to make them pop. There’s also a nice exhaust effect within the main backpack nozzle area.
The opening cockpit gimmick is a nice touch. The shoulder covers are painted to look like pads. The monitor in front of the pilot and the controls under the arm area also gets some basic paint apps. A lot more could have been done to the gray surrounding the pilot
Should you have purchased the original release, you’ll also get a pilot figure. She features a helmet complete with a translucent visor. Aesthetically, I’m a big fan of the figure. The paint applications are excellent including the face detail. She also gets high marks from a sculpt perspective with my only quibble being that the hips look like they’ve been pinched in a bit.
Max’s Rau doesn’t make any significant diversions from Miria’s other than the colors. The cool grays of Miria’s scheme are replaced by beige. The included missile bays don’t agree very well to the movie on either toy and they look pretty bad sporting Max’s beige trim color. In the anime, there are 13 barrels inside the housing and a missile is fired for each barrel. On the toy there are 19 missile tips (Macross Mecha Manual says there should be 21 so.. shrug).. The pod is repeated on the legs with the same look so if it bothers you on the backpack, it will bother you there also.
The Queadluun Rau is a relatively simple armor (non-transformable). The big pluses for this toy from a design standpoint are:
1) Opening cockpit area
2) Opening backpack missile bays
The cockpit area is impressive with concealed hinges. The shoulder features extra pivots for the shoulder pads. If you received one that came with the Miria pilot figure, she’ll fit securely into her compartment. While everything latches well enough, I did feel like the center piece could lock more securely into position when everything was closed. For versions of the toy that came without a pilot figure, the opening cockpit becomes a bit of an expensive boondoggle as you probably won’t be displaying the toy with the cockpit open. Fortunately, Yamato and CM’s partnered to make an accessory figure set (see my separate review of those figures).
The Miria pilot included with the first release looks good but she’s not articulated in any capacity. At roughly 12 cm tall, that would make a full sized Miria 7.2 meters which is significantly shorter than her 8.55 meter official height.
The opening backpack missile pods are nice, it’s too bad the leg pods couldn’t also be made to function similarly. The silver lining is that the swap out parts pop off and re-attach effectively so, while it’s not ideal, at least it’s not a point of frustration.
Durability & Build: (8/10)
This toy can get floppy and it can be very difficult tightening it back up again. Just a little floppiness can really suck the joy from it. The toy also has some potentially precarious parts such as the large head antenna, thin fingers, and cockpit mechanisms that a child or fall might snap but they won’t be an issue for an adult collector. I had no issues with paint or glue over-spray.
Some of the problems with this toy stem directly from the original line art. The thin legs and huge, hulking back creating a high center of gravity. The feet connect via a ball joint but they do a poor job in both allowing for additional poses and in keeping the vehicle stable. The knees are located very high which means some poses will be difficult to pull off though Yamato gets point for having two pivot points in the knee (at the thigh and calf connection). Even with the two joints, the knee is only capable of less than a 90-degree range of motion. The hips are ball joints but the armor flaps on either side of the legs will prevent you from getting a very wide stance, those flaps should have been articulated also. On a more modern toy we would expect the feet, knees, and thighs to have some sort of ratcheting mechanism or otherwise be much tighter. There is no pivot joint at the waist but that seems true to the design where more articulation at the hips would have allowed a similar twisting motion. The armor above the shoulder spins back so the arm can reach farther forward or up. There is a twist point above the elbow and the elbow allows the standard 90 degree range of movement. If another company attempts this toy in the future, it would be nice to include a lateral pivot at the elbow as well since there are various pieces of art where the elbow pivots left/right allowing the elbow to be bent while the guns remain horizontal (this is also done when the mech is shown flying like Superman). The hands are pretty amazing being able to rotate and clutch with individually articulated fingers but they’re too loose fitting and don’t stay how you want them to. If we were really greedy a knuckle would have really made the hands incredible. There is some head mobility but it’s very loose and awkwardly implemented; the wishlist for a future toy would include a properly ball jointed head so that it could do the Superman flight pose and look upward. The antenna rocks front/back to facilitate the opening hatch.
Total Score: (32/50) -1 for pilotless versions
There aren’t a lot of people desperate for a Queadluun Rau so Yamato really needed to make something stellar to get people’s attention and they didn’t do that. From the mediocre packaging, lack of accessories, and awkward articulation and handling, this toy never surpasses “good for a first effort” territory. There are no deal-breaker issues so diehard fans of the Q-Rau can comfortably grab one. It was great to see a company take a modern stab at enemy mecha. Bandai never sniffed at a DX Queadluun Rare (the updated version of this design seen in Macross Frontier) but they did produce one as part of their short-lived Robot Spirits line but sales also seemed fairly tepid despite being a pretty solid effort at a reasonable price point. There’s still hope we’ll see Bandai make Queadluun Rau as part of their Hi-Metal R line and, if they do, I’m sure there’s lessons they can take away from handling Yamato’s effort.
Original Post: June 10, 2006
Updated: May 22, 2007, included Max content
Updated: December 21, 2011, All new pictures, line art comparisons, and a video review. Original post date June 10, 2006 with an update on May 22, 2007 to include the Max figure.
Updated October 28th, 2019, added new 4K pictures and review.