Matchbox Battle Pod (Regult)

REVIEW(Updated): They don’t come in peace


Packaging & Extras: (2/5)
When the styrofoam tray is replaced by the cardboard cut-out to keep toys safe on the inside of the box then the box itself becomes inherently less stable and more prone to being crumpled, torn, and otherwise beat.  Such is the case with the Battlepod’s box and why it’s hard to find really pristine boxes in your search for this collectible.  The toy comes partially assembled.  Easy to read instructions tell you how to get it together and all stickered up; there’s a fairly standard sticker sheet which does dress the toy up nicely, and the toy also came with an invitation to join the RDF Fan Club.  To summarize: you get a cheap box with poor integrity, cardboard tray, extremely limited extras (no pilot) and the toy itself isn’t even fully assembled.


Charm & Collectibility: (3.5/5)
Originally when I reviewed this toy the Matchbox still had no serious competition in the Battlepod (AKA Regult) market.  That changed when Kaiyodo released their Revoltech Regult and then Toynami released their roughly 1/100 scale vinyl collection Battlepod.  Yamato then produced a plastic resin 1/60 version Regult (AKA Reguld) as a model kit (essentially a model that should have a toy’s durability).  The Yamato version features a detailed cockpit that accommodates a theoretical 1/60 scale Zentran pilot at a price tag that would probably run you close to $500 (and more now that Yamato has folded).  Even more recently Bandai has produced the Hi-Metal R Regult which is approximately the same size as the Toynami vinyl figure. Has any of this hurt the original Matchbox toy’s collectability?  It may be too soon to say but there are clearly three separate markets being serviced by the available toys so I wouldn’t be surprised to see some collector’s still seeking these toys out.  After all, the Battlepod was the most prolific enemy in the Macross universe.  The lack of metal, transformation, and scarcity keep this Matchbox toy from really generating any fervor.  Like many Robotech toys, this toy has at least three variations as pictured below.  I don’t believe any particular variant is more desired than the others.


Sculpt, Detail, and Paint: (6/10)
As mentioned previously, some versions of this toy have different appearances from others.  The representation is fair although not perfect.  Some detail is present, the decals help a lot, but more could have been included and the modern toys feature more slick painted on detail.  I’ve included a picture below to compare the Battlepod to the original line art but the rigid hips of the toy made getting the proper angle difficult.  As you might expect from a mid-80s toy, the cockpit detail is extremely sparse.  In terms of line art accuracy, if it weren’t for the bulge on the top, the window for the pilot figure, and the thick legs this really isn’t a bad representation at all, especially when compared to Matchbox’s various other efforts.


Design: (7/10)
It’s an average score for an average design.  The toy can be a bit gangly and awkward at times.  Other than fitting an action figure within its opening cockpit there really isn’t much in the way of frills here.  Below is a picture of how that mechanism works and a glimpse at the detail inside for the 3 3/4″ action figure.  I probably don’t have to mention this but the scale is all wrong, a Rick Hunter action figure should appear tiny inside a Battle Pod, he should not look like a Battle Pod’s natural pilot.  I did some measurements and while it’s very difficult to come up with an accurate scale for this toy (due to conflicting Macross vs. Robotech canon sizes and it being unknown where the height was measured to and what angle the legs were at) it seems fair to say this toy is somewhere between 1/50 and 1/60 scale.


Durability & Build: (7/10)
Another average score here as the toy has some parts that can be broken with play but nothing that seems prone to breaking from simple accident.  The plastic feels thin but the toy is essentially an egg with legs so nothing stands out precariously.  Obviously you’ll want to take special care with all the little tabs that lock things like the rings for the big guns down.


Articulation: (5/10)
How poseable should an egg with legs be?  Well, let’s just say it exposes the weakness of the legs pretty quickly.  The system used is the same as the one employed on the Officer’s Pod which means it would also benefit from being able to achieve a wide stance and incorporating ankles.   It does feature a toe that allows you to mix things up ever so slightly.  A big let down here is that the little antennae and guns all move slightly but never enough where you could actually point them somewhere the toy might be looking.  The little adjustable “shoulder” jets are a nice but nearly useless touch.   The extremely limited leg mobility is going to make it so you can’t achieve all the most desirable Battlepod poses which is a real shame.

Total Score: (30.5/50)
When I first reviewed this I said: “The Battle Pod is a very simple toy and it’d be hard to imagine one so great that it wowed me in every category although I certainly look forward to the day (should it ever come) where some manufacturer steps up to the plate and tries to make it happen.  In the meantime we have this toy and things could certainly be worse.  It’s no eye-sore and it’s built to a scale that’s comfortable with a lot of hero mechs as demonstrated by the pics here.” Subsequently, Bandai released their Hi-Metal R Regult toys and it is truly impressive in every way and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a modern take on the mecha. If you’re cruising down memory lane or you’re a stickler for scale, then maybe this toy is still worth your consideration.

Original Post Date: May 25, 2006
August 12, 2007 – Added better pictures
June 21, 2010 – Updated with Kaiyodo Revoltech, Toynami Vinyl Collection, and Yamato 1/60 information. Added video review.
March 20, 2016 – Updated with Bandai Hi-Metal R information, cleaned up a couple pictures.
April 6, 2016 – Added HD Video Review


7 Replies to “Matchbox Battle Pod (Regult)”

  1. Unfortunately to update this post I’ve had to lose all the comments that were available. The new posting shows the toy next to Yamato’s 1/48 and 1/60 as was suggested by previous comments. I also made this comment on the last post and I’ll keep it here:

    I am missing lots of the Matchbox/Playmates toys that were released under the Robotech or ExoSquad names. You’ve touched on a few but here’s a more complete list:
    1) Zentraedi Male Power Armor (Botoru – Green)
    2) Zentraedi Male Power Armor (Quadrono – Purple)
    3) Rick Hunter’s Super VF-1S (fit the figures, non-transformable)
    4) Hover Tank (Dana Sterling’s, also fit the figures, two-mode transformer)
    5) Invid Scout (little red one)
    6) Invid StormTrooper (bigger purple one, fit the figures)
    They didn’t get around to making the really cool Invid figures like the blue Enforcer or Royal Command Unit.

  2. Matchbox had the red “leader” Bioroid and hovercraft as well – both looked pretty inaccurate though. There was also a Southern Cross hovercycle. I don’t own them myself but I’ve got photos if you want them. Love your thorough reviews – thank you!

  3. As for the Southern Cross Hovertank, I’ve been active on Robotech boards for over a decade, and there used to be pics on the net of some very interesting mods to it.

    While the released version had only two modes, it is apparent from the design that it was originally designed to have ALL THREE modes, but time restraints must have caught up to them and it was released before the third mode was perfected. There’s even a groove in the legs, and a corresponding flange elsewhere, that would, if brought together, have stabilized the toy’s parts in its vehicle mode.

    Several people have, in the past, went ahead and modified their toys to actually GO into vehicle mode – but what links I used to have for their sites, 4 computers ago, went dark a long time ago (And of course I never copied the links to the newer machines). The resultant kit-bash was simple, but lacked a few of the external pieces that were part of the vehicle design, but not obvious for the other two modes.

  4. Wow, I’m a little shocked.

    I have to admit I owned this when I was in high school and first getting into anime, (through Robotech), but I look back on that Matchbox Battlepod as the most god-awful hunk of plastic I ever owned. The proportions are ATROCIOUS. I’m surprised you gave this a 7/10 in the design category (and the detail and sculpt category). The leg design alone knocks it down to a 3 for me… I’d rather pay $500 for an anime-accurate Yamato figure than get the Matchbox figure for free… :-p

    Anyway, the only Matchbox Robotech toy that ever did it for me (other than the fully transformable SDF-1 import) was the stand-alone “Cyclone” for the Mospeada figures to ride. It couldn’t transform, but at least it was fairly accurate…

    That said, this is still the best Macross/Mospeada toy review site out there! Keep it up!!! ^_^

  5. Ya know, that’s a good point, I updated the content but I didn’t even look at the scores, those are the same scores that have been there since May of 2006. A lot of really neat things have come out since then that have undoubtedly raised the bar… maybe when I have a free moment I’ll hack the scores up here. The total score still lands “below average” so it wasn’t a high priority.
    EDIT – went back through and edited the score. I didn’t go too brutal on it’s still the only Battlepod toy made that features a cockpit for pilot figures. I bumped down the packaging, sculpt, and articulation scores a bit to put them more in line with the Toynami and Kaiyodo toy reviews.

  6. Hi Jenius,

    I think it would be good to mention the 1/60 Yamato HDP Kit as that was intended to scale with the 1/60 V2s. Unfortunately the HDP Kit is in the stratosphere when it comes to price, but well worth mentioning it here.

    Food for thought,

  7. Kits and toys exist in very different universes, even if a model is meant to scale well with toys. Think of all the kits that could be mentioned in Hi-Metal R posts!

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