12.01.12

Gakken 1/35 Alpha/Legioss

Posted in 1/35, Alpha/Legioss, Gakken, MOSPEADA/RT New Gen at 5:46 am by micronian

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. 

Intakes.jpg

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

17 Comments »

  1. Mark Moore said,

    January 7, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    I won a Henshin Robo version of Brook’s for £10 including postage, I think it is a great toy and probably the best legioss toy, although I do not own a Toynami/ Aoshima version yet, but it would be hard to beat this mould.

  2. Mark Moore said,

    April 25, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    Great review by the way.

  3. MisterRyno said,

    May 8, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    I’ve read this review a couple of times now and I must say you did a fine job. I just purchased my first 1/35 Gakken Legioss and am VERY happy with it. Keep up the good work mate. I look foward to more of your reviews.

    N I N J A

  4. Mayita said,

    December 30, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    I have to say , that this still the best alpha ever make till today

  5. Brad said,

    March 27, 2010 at 3:46 am

    Great review! Gakken alpha and cyclones are amazing toy. The golden age of mecha goodies!

  6. Sammy said,

    March 28, 2010 at 4:16 am

    Simply the iconic Gakken toy anyone can own. Just like the Takatoku Vf-1 is to Macross collectors, this toy is a must have for Mospeada collectors. I own all three and I am truly happy.

    I like the look of these Legioss over any other ones produce to date.

    If you guys can get the Japanese version with shooting missiles, their boxes (as pictured in this review), are simply a work of art.

    Micronian, fabulous review as always.

  7. Brad said,

    April 10, 2010 at 4:27 am

    I just purchased my blue alpha 1/35…. I almost cried, seriously! I been trying to purchase him for a long time. I only need the red Jupiter and my collection will be complete. These toys are the sweetest things ever created. And this is comming from someone who collect toys from transformers to mego. Sorry transfans not even close. This toy is the ultimate mecha period!

  8. Brad Koski said,

    April 17, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    I had a question for you,

    Were did you get those genesis stickers that are on
    You’re green alpha.
    I love those decales that are on there.

  9. micronian said,

    April 18, 2010 at 1:17 am

    My greenie is the first 1/35 Legioss toy I purchased and was bought used and completely stickered. It’s the original Japanese version so I assumed that those Genesis Climber stickers were part of the original decals. Perhaps those stickers were not on the sticker-sheet included with Robotech or Henshin-Robo branded toys. I’ll double-check when I get around to updating this post.

  10. Gunman said,

    March 15, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    I have a large collection of Japanese toys, till now these huge Legioss(es) are still my favorite..

  11. Nic "tec" said,

    June 11, 2011 at 7:01 am

    I just got Red Jupeter “Rooks” the toy is in great shape missing quite a few stickers it seems…but I love the clean lines it has I traded a Toyami Blue and some other TFs for it and it was well worth it if you happen to run across a unused sticker sheet for Red let me know at tec5x5@gmail.com

  12. Michael said,

    July 24, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    What is a fair price to pay for a complete MIB version of the original Japanese Legioss release? (C8.5-C9 condition)

  13. Dustin Driver said,

    March 2, 2012 at 4:28 am

    I recently dug my original (Singapore) red Legioss out of storage. It’s been through some tough times—the tip of the sensor pod antenna is broken off and the handle of the gun is broken and has been re-glued several times. Still, it’s a sight to behold. I remember buying it in SF Chinatown with my grandpa when I was a kid. Glad I hung onto it.

  14. Sluman said,

    October 21, 2013 at 8:07 am

    Cheers and thanks for the awesome review!

    I just ordered mine recently, and am excited to get it.

    Do you know where to source any sort of reprolabels or a scan of the sticker sheet?

  15. micronian said,

    October 22, 2013 at 4:25 am

    While I’m fairly certain someone made replacement stickers at some point, I never needed to get them so I never hunted them down. Hopefully someone who visits will be able to respond and point you in the right direction.

  16. legiossfan said,

    December 17, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    1/35 gakken sticker sheet repo would be awesome . Collectors would be ableto apply them and still preserve the of sheet value !

  17. micronian said,

    December 18, 2013 at 2:22 am

    Well yeah… but you’d destroy the value of your legioss by applying the stickers!

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