REVIEW(Updated): The best Legioss toy…. ever?
Packaging & Extras: Japan (4.5/5), Singapore (3.5/5)
This is a vintage toy released first in Japan and later repackaged for consumption outside of Japan. This review covers the original Japanese release and either the Henshin Robo branded version sold in Europe and the US or the Excite Robotech Alpha also sold internationally. Both the Henshin Robo Legioss and the Excite Alpha were made in Singapore whereas the original toy was made in Japan. The packaging has a lot of great art but the plastic windows up front are prone to being punctured or otherwise damaged and allow sun to damage the toy inside. It should be noted that the Japanese packaging does differ depending on what Legioss is inside while the packaging for the markets outside of Japan was the same for any color scheme. The Japanese version of the blue Legioss also comes with a plastic card taped to the Styrofoam to protect the box’s window, I have seen this card be both clear or yellow tinted. The only significant difference between the Japanese version shown here and its counterparts sold throughout the rest of the world is that the Japanese version comes with bullets that can actually be fired by the gun. Child Safety Laws prohibited the export versions of the toy from including these. The gun included is nice and features an adjustable stock. A separate figure is included with the toy and is supposed to be a standing 1/35 scale pilot (that can be painted by the owner). Sticker decals, instructions, and advertising inserts are all get the job done. Inner tray and advertisement are shown below.
Charm & Collectibility: Japan (4/5) +1 for Fuke/Houquet, Singapore (3.5/5)
There are a few wildcards that should be considered here. First, the red Legioss piloted by Houquet (sometimes listed as Fuke due to the imprecise art of Romanizing the Japanese language) is the rarest Japanese version of the toy. As mentioned previously, the Japanese toys have packaging specific to the contents so this adds to its collectibility. Beyond that all of the Japanese toys are slightly more collectible due to their scarcity. Some people may also feel a connection to the Robotech name and thus choose the Excite Singapore model of over the Henshin Robo. Just to be clear, the Houquet/Fuke version of the Alpha/Legioss is no more collectible than the others when the product is packaged as either Robotech or Henshin Robo. Lots of fans love this toy due to its size and for sentimental reasons which helps boost these scores higher. Shown below is a picture (a picture of each mashed together actually) of the underside of the chest intakes which is where you can look to determine if your toy is a Japanese original or if it is made in Singapore.
Sculpt, Detail, and Paint: Japan & Singapore (6/10)
The strong suit of these original Gakken toys wasn’t their likeness to the lineart. The paint schemes are significantly different from the ones represented within the show and the proportions are altered (but less so than some of the more modern attempts). There is some detail present but for the most part the toy is smooth and does just enough to get by. Despite these shortcomings the toy is still a beautiful representation of the Alpha/Legioss in all modes and is a significant improvement over Gakken’s smaller offerings. How does this toy compare in the looks category against the modern 1/55 Toynami MPC? Judge for yourself!
Design: Japan & Singapore: (8/10)
This toy is an excellent example of how keeping it simple can have big returns. The transformation is straight forward and the extending mechanisms seem quite clever. Diecast landing gears that work well are tucked nicely into recesses of the figure allowing for better display capability. The landing gears aren’t in the right position, they’re integrated into the thighs rather than the calves. The cockpit actually opens revealing a seated pilot figure (shown below). On a toy this big it seems some extra little frills could have easily been added in but everything that is present seems well done.
Durability & Build: Japan & Singapore (8/10)
Overall this Legioss feels exceedingly sturdy but it does have a couple of weak links that show with age. The kneecaps are prone to breaking and are sorely missed once they’re gone. The pins in the wings also have a tendency to become unseated causing winglets to go missing. After a great deal of time the wings also begin to sag a bit and the toy will show its age. Still, it takes a good long while (typically) for any of these weaknesses to show their face and the initial impression made is rock-like. Fortunately for myself, my toys are still pretty rock solid and minty so I don’t have any pictures of these ailments.
Articulation: Japan & Singapore (6/10)
For the era this toy came out in the articulation offered wasn’t half bad. Sadly, by today’s standards, this toy leaves a lot to be desired. The biggest weaknesses would have to be the inability to position the head or twist the torso. The feet, legs, and hips don’t offer much assistance either leaving the toy rather stiff. Check out the collage pics above (and the video review) to see this toy in action. It’s a true shame that the Toynami Masterpiece didn’t start with this toy and just add some articulation, some panel lines, and a proper anime paint job.
Total Score: Japan (36.5/50) +1 Fuke/Houquet, Singapore (35/50)
It’s important to remember that this toy is being reviewed as if it were released today. In its time, this toy was a sterling example of what could be. For today’s standards it’s a bit plain and stiff but it still does very well otherwise. Its sturdy feel would be the envy of newer Alpha/Legioss toys and there are very few areas that require any special attention at all. Being the largest Alpha to date and the best vintage example this toy remains a must-own for any Robotech or Genesis Climber MOSPEADA toy collector. I should also note that while this toy does score as “average” that’s actually better than Toynami’s Masterpiece and CM’s Legioss toys which were released DECADES later. It was always tough being a Mospeada fan… at least we got phenomenal Beagle Ride Armor toys for our patience.
Note: This review has been updated
This review has been updated December 1, 2012: A high definition transformation video was added.
This review has been updated May 18, 2011: All new pictures were added (higher resolution), line art comparisons were added, video review was added, content was updated.
This review has been updated June 11, 2007: All new pictures were added, content was updated.
Original Post Date: May 17, 2006