Review: Simultaneously deformed and cute
Packaging & Extras: (3.5/5)
It’s a perfectly average score for a perfectly average package. You get what you need, the shoulder-mount and the gun (with the obvious exception of the Shadow Fighter which has no shoulder-mount). The boxes are small and sturdy and it’s nice to see these toys weren’t relegated to the blistercard but honestly, they very easily could have been. The “Metallic” versions came with the Remastered DVDs and were thus packaged differently as shown above.
Charm & Collectibility: (2/5)
Super deformed toys have a very small audience. Very small scale super deformed toys have an even smaller audience (scale above is the morpher, a 1/72 Gakken, and a 1/55 Gakken). These toys do have perfect transformation though but you won’t find any diecast or any other reason to think these will ever be remarkably collectible. The metallic versions are said to be “limited” but who knows how limited they actually are. Strangely enough, the blue metallic toy is EXACTLY the same as the non-metallic edition so I have to wonder how exactly it could be a limited edition. The green and shadow figures are different from their standard releases though as seen below (the silvery guns are te easiest way to tell).
Sculpt, Detail, and Paint: (5.5/10)
Obviously the toy is super deformed so you can’t expect this to be a perfect representation of any lineart. That said, for its size this toy does a very impressive job. Honestly, this toy is a MUCH better representation of the Alpha than Gakken’s old 1/72 releases and is more convincing in all modes outside of battroid. There are some problems though. The VTOL points upward in fighter mode which is clearly just wrong. The arms and legs don’t collapse here so don’t expect fighter mode to quite look perfect. Toynami, make a larger jokemachine version with collapsible limbs! One thing to note, the Shadow Fighter has the shoulder-mount delete but is otherwise just a carbon copy of the Alpha mold which isn’t correct to the lineart.
I’m pretty impressed with this little toy. It seems to be better engineered than Gakken’s 1/72 or 1/55 offerings and it’s smaller than either. Unlike those toys it features perfect transformation that looks decent in all modes, fins that collapse into their arms, and an anime accurate paint job. The fun doesn’t end there though, these are pull-back/rush forward toys. Okay, no one probably cares about that, but it’s there.
Durability & Build: (7.5/10)
The morpher benefits from its simplicity. No collapsing arms and legs makes for a sturdier toy. It is possible to pop a leg off this toy when trying to pose it but the method of construction allows you to just pop the leg back on without any permanent damage. I did have the feet loosen up on one of mine though which made posing it in guardian a bit difficult. There isn’t much to be afraid of in terms of fragility here but it’s no diecast rock either.
All things considered, this toy doesn’t do half bad here. You can’t turn the head and there’s no elbows or knees so don’t think you can go crazy. You do get a waist joint and arms and legs that move independently of each other. The lack of knees and elbows is mitigated by the fact the toy is so small with such exaggerated features that elbows and knees wouldn’t really make for all that much more posability (think of the VF-1 jokemachines). It’s too bad about the head not turning though, that would have been nice.
Total Score: (33/50)
The Alpha Morphers are the real gem amongst Toynami’s Morphers series. While the Vf-1 series leaves quite a bit to be desired, the Alpha series really is a bit of bite-sized fun. They still score a shade below average though and I don’t see a driving reason why anyone would ever HAVE to own these. Still, as a freeby with some DVDs they aren’t half bad. If your kid is old enough not to worry about the detachable shoulder-mount and gun this could be a fun, small, introduction to Alpha toys.