Observations & Critique: I want my GBP
This entire product could be labeled as an extra so what makes it so special? Yamato has included two different “cod” pieces which allows you to tone down the look a bit if you think the full nosecone is just too much. New fixed-pose hands are included and they’re beautifully sculpted. Also included are new cavity-fillers for the area between the chest and the back in battloid mode (see picture below). A support piece is included that goes behind the battroid’s head and connects to the backpack support, this support piece is similar to the ones provided with the fast packs but is molded in a gray that matches the GBP. The backpack support and cavity-filler pieces are all gray no matter which version of the GBP you purchase. Sure, I’d love to see Yamato shrink they’re packaging down a bit, but otherwise this is great all around and features a collector’s flip-top lid. Each GBP also comes with individual missiles to be placed within the armor. With all that good stuff, what more could we want? These toys don’t come with all the hands necessary to put the GBPs on whatever toy you like (no black, green (except in the wood land variant), or gray hands. Conversely, the Wood Land Color (WLC) GBP only comes with green hands so it looks a bit odd on the more traditional VF-1 toys.
As you might be able to imagine, demand for an extra that costs as much as the toy itself (or close to it, 12,600 Yen MSRP) was not huge. When I originally wrote this post I warned that there might be long lulls between production runs but Yamato pretty thoroughly flooded the market and it was easy to find all versions at a discount at some point. The 1/48 line has been retired now and it’s been a long time since the days when these were plentiful so their secondary market is beginning to creep back up. This product is destined to be something many fans would love to buy but will likely balk at the expense of it. Lots of charm and a fair amount of collectability here. If you wanted to put this on a Stealth valk I would suggest finding black hands as the combined package looks a little motley otherwise (the same is true of all valks with colored hands, LV1 & LV2 jump to mind). The original anime colored release went on sale in December 2005, the WoodLand color version went on sale in June 2006, and the Urban camo version went on sale in July 2007.
Some of the proportions are a bit flawed but this toy is still plenty sexy. The color is great, the paint application is great (although not as great as the 1/60V2), the detail is great. Even the individual missiles are prepainted. The only improvement beyond some proportion tweaks that could have been made would have been more prepainting of details supplied as stickers. It may have also been nice if the shoulders didn’t require sleeves for the giant shoulder-mounted missile pods as I’m told the sleeves were not needed in the original design work. The chest looks like it extends out too far and should have been culled in a bit. The Wood Land prototype had bright green shoulders which originally received quite a bit of negative feedback and ultimately replaced with beige shoulders in the final product. Unfortunately, that splash of bright green was the only thing that livened up the WLC GBP and it appears quite dull without it. The urban camo toy has a striking paint job inspired by a Japanese custom. Not surprisingly the custom is a little bit more impressive than the Yamato version. Yamato inexplicably chose to badge their Urban camo with two points of origin in the stickers whereas the original custom had some very nice Prometheus decals.
Originally this post was formatted as a review and I gave this toy a perfect 10/10 but I have since had one too many issues with the hip grenades falling off and if I weren’t changing the format to eschew the scoring I would have knocked the score down a bit. Even with some occasional frustrations from the hip grenades, this accessory deserves high praise. This whole thing can be disassembled to reveal even more detail. Hinges are hidden. The chest missiles slide forward when the chest bay is opened. Everything that should move does move. Everything you think could be removable is removable (and things you think shouldn’t be removable are also removable). This is a truly impressive piece. Even the shoulder sleeves feature trap doors that cover ther the gap near the arm. Check out the pics below for images of the missile bays in action and watch my video on the evolution of the GBP to hear all the improvements Yamato made over their original version 1 1/60 offering. The legs have been redesigned so the font of the leg is its own piece which eliminated the seam line which ran down the front of the legs on the version 1 1/60 toy. Some minor issues worthy of comment but not reflected in the score, the optional hands don’t fit in their slots particularly well, the hands have square pegs that go into round holes and the fit is awkward. Awkward is also a good way to describe how the toy handles holding a gun while the GBP is attached. It’s capable of holding the gun, and you can get some pretty good poses, but in many action shots something about the way the gun is held and angled will look a little off.
It’s a wonderful product but it’s not quite perfect. The reinforcement piece in the chest that slides missiles forward is prone to breaking. It’s made out of very thin plastic so this could easily have been mentioned in the design section (see pic above). A quick note on not breaking that chest piece, the GBP is built with screws so you can actually avoid breaking the center chest piece on the GBP by opening the chest up, installing the missiles while bracing the piece from the rear, then reinstalling the part, then closing the chest back up. The only parts I’ve had issues with falling off without any effort on my part were the hip mounted grenades as mentioned in the design section. These are really parts that should have been glued together and fit onto a peg but Yamato instead opted to just press them together so you can slide them onto grooves. There were also some complaints about the quality of the paint job on the leg armors of the WLC variant. There’s a black ring around the leg that sometimes has visual flaws.
The toy inside the armor will retain an amazing range of movement which is quite the feat when one considers how much additional bulk that toy is now carrying around. You might run into some center of gravity issues but for the most part, you can get dynamic and these armored parts won’t hinder you.
I was truly amazed by how much I loved this product. I’m not really the hugest fan of the GBP in truth. This toy accessory made me a fan of something in the series which is a first. If you own a 1/48 Valk this is more than a worthy accessory. below is a gallery of the GBP on various Yamato valks. For those of you frustrated that I’ve removed the points from my reviews of accessories, there’s a pretty simple math equation on which GBP accessory is king, Yamato V1 1/60 GBP<Yamato 1/48 GBP<Yamato V2 1/60 GBP.
This Post Has Been Updated
Original Post Date: June 12, 2006
First Update: October 28, 2006 – Included Wood Land Color GBP2 and Gallery
Second Update: September 9, 2007 – Removed Wood Land Color to increase page load speed. Improved pictures. Created separate Woodland and Urban Camo GBP posts.
Third Update: October 5, 2010 – Condensed all three GBP posts into one (Anime/WoodLand/Urban) as part of my continued effort to make the site easier to navigate. Increased resolution of all pictures and added the video review. Added comparison to line art and comparison to other GBP toys.
Fourth Update: October 30, 2012 – Added info on release dates and replaced original low def video review with HD Evolution of GBP video. Updated content for current availability and status of 1/48 line. Visit my youtube channel (scorched earth toys) to see the original low def review. Changed format from review to observation.