Review: No, it’s not just a Convertors toy
Packaging & Extras: (3/5) +1 for Three-Pack
As always, Takatoku came through with solid packaging with great art work. These boxes aren’t textured but each one is customized for the valk that will go inside it. The Henkei toys were available as stand-alone products or in three-packs. The three-pack came with some additional mini toys and would score an additional point over their individually packaged counter-parts. As you can see in the pictures above, there were at least two different variations on the box these toys came in. Some are marked as “vattroid” valkyries and one also comes with a black tray instead of the blue. Each toy came with a gun and pamphlet as shown below.
Charm & Collectibility: (3/5) + 1 for Three-Pack
The three pack seems to be the hardest to come by so I’m giving it an additional point but the truth is that the genuine Takatoku version of all of these toys can be quite the chore to track down. These toys have seen “similar” releases under the Convertors name (and probably other knock-off type toy lines) which can make weeding through for the Takatoku versions more difficult. At a later date I hope to update this review with comparison pictures of a Convertors toy. You should know that these toys are small and lack metal, check out the comparisons below showing more modern toys next to this classic (Toynami 1/100 is the largest, Banpresto 1/144 is the second largest, Takatoku Henkei is the smallest).
Sculpt, Detail, and Paint: (4/10)
Okay, this toy is downright hideous in fighter mode when compared to contemporary toys. In fact, this toy only looks like a decent representation of the valkyrie in battloid mode. The paint is fair, the level of detail is fair enough for a toy of this size, but there are more compromises than I can list. Note that the VF-1S version only has two protrusions instead of the standard four lasers on the head.
Compromise was definitely the name of the game here. Rather than having a back with tail fins the inner portions of the legs pivot upward to form fin-like structures (as seen below). It’s really odd that they couldn’t come up with a way of getting the feet/intakes to close in fighter mode. The mechanism the arms slide along and lock into isn’t particular sturdy so the arms end up trying to slide back down while in battroid mode. No, there aren’t any landing gears here and the fists do not go back into the arms for fighter mode. Basically, this is about as frill-less as a transformable toy can be. The good news is the transformation is pretty simple and as this toy was undoubtedly aimed at the destructive child market that’s certainly a good thing.
Durability & Build: (6/10)
One good thing about this toy being extremely basic is there’s not a whole lot that can go terribly wrong with it. You won’t find the fragile tail section of the 1/100s here or landing gear doors that always flop open like 1/55s because there are no tail fins or landing gears to speak of. The minimal paint isn’t going to chip off the non-existant diecast either. The toy is small and transformable though so it isn’t hard to imagine children snapping them in two or otherwise obliterating them. In the hands of an adult who knows what the toy should be capable of doing it doesn’t seem they’re likely to break it.
Just don’t try anything cool and you won’t be let down. The toy can move its arms and its legs a bit but it’ll topple over if you try anything too extreme. Calling the range of motion “limited” would be an understatement. Want to get your valk to look anywhere but dead ahead? Too bad. These are definitely toys best left standing at attention.
Total Score: (26/50) +2 for Three-Pack
Takatoku really supported Macross in a big way and some of the toys are much less cool than others. These toys aren’t going to bowl anyone over with any spectacular features but they are vintage transforming toys none-the-less and will thus be coveted by some collectors. I find myself becoming more and more a fan of smaller and smaller toys. These toys nicely fit the gap between gashapon and more expensive offerings found today. Then again, if vintage has no draw for you then these toys don’t really have anything to offer you. A special thanks goes out to Zor Master for allowing me some time with a couple of the toys featured in this review!