Review(updated): A Monster that Won’t Fit Under Your Bed
Packaging & Extras: (2.5/5)
The box has the same, somewhat large, dimensions that Yamato uses for its 1/48 products (36cm x 37cm x 14.5cm). The flip-up display panel is present and the art and decoration are fair. The toy is secured to its plastic tray via twist-ties and the plastic clam shell is taped closed. There’s really nothing here that would be considered an extra. Besides the toy you get the following:
Since the toy lacks landing gears in shuttle mode a rudimentary display stand seemed a prerequisite so its absence was conspicuous. It’s also worth noting that this toy seemed to garner the most complaints per capita from users (who couldn’t read Kanji) who insisted the transformation instructions were insufficient.
Charm & Collectability: (2/5)
This toy is from the VF-X2 game and it had not appeared in animation when Yamato released this. The Konig is a much smaller, transformable, version of its older brother, the MacII Monster from the original Macross series. When this was first released on December 28, 2004 (MSRP 14,800YEN) it lacked the charm of being in the original animation, and the diecast of vintage toys, so there wasn’t much demand. Since its first (and only?) reissue the Konig did appear in the newest Macross series, Macross Frontier. For a brief moment that made the Yamato toy very popular but since then Bandai has released a DX Konig toy which is far superior (albeit at an odd, slightly smaller scale).
Sculpt, Detail, and Paint: (6/10)
Yamato didn’t bother doing much tampo-printing on this toy so some of the large surfaces look a bit plain. Most of the toy’s color comes from the molded plastic but the little paint applied appears to be well done. There were definitely opportunities to add colored translucent plastic in a few places and Yamato opted to use paint instead… if anything at all. The large cannons are detailed nicely but it seems like some real simple weathering would have gone a long way. The rocket launchers of the arms are just black indents rather than tubes which is fine but again, it’d be nice to see Yamato go the extra mile. Most the line art I’ve seen for this vehicle is pretty stylized but given what Bandai accomplished with their DX offering, it’s clear this was a sub par effort. The shuttle mode sculpt is particularly bad. The shape of the front of the vessel is wrong, almost as if it’s been flipped upside down (though that is the one place where some nice work was done with some silver painted details). The droopy legs create gaps and make shuttle mode worse. The toe can’t point upward enough and the canards look too low. Things definitely improve in GERWALK mode but there are still plenty of shortcomings. The kneecaps are too large, the crotch dangles too low, and the turret has been reduced to a tiny peg that pops out.
In 2007 I gave this toy a 7/10 for this category noting that i felt I was being a bit generous. I was very impressed by the unorthodox transformation. The instruction manual left a lot to be desired so we relied on fan-made tutorials. Today you can check out my HD video guide if you want to pull your beast out and put it through the motions. If you’re struggling getting the toy back into shuttle mode, you’ll know you’re done when you look at it from the side and the gaps aren’t so big you can stick a finger through. There’s an issue with some of the joints being unable to handle the weight of the toy but I’ll address that more in the build section. During the production process Yamato aborted a planned missile bay for shuttle mode so you can pop open a panel to see a plastic sculpted missile on some toys but on other toys this panel is glued shut. It seems like it was aborted because it doesn’t really function properly, the missile is only visible if you apply continuous pressure to the door. It may have also been aborted because without a proper way to lock the door closed it may have drooped open when in GERWALK mode. Okay, so why the low score:
1) No cockpit/pilots. Canopy is just silver paint.
2) No landing gear or skids, integrated or attachable (though I have never seen line art of how this works)
3) No detents at the canards to let you know you’ve hit the right spot
4) No detents in the transformation mechanisms and you often times aren’t 100% satisfied everything has been transformed correctly… particularly getting back to shuttle.
5) The toy feels floppy and awkward. Parts seem to sag that should be sturdy, like the legs in shuttle mode, which in turn make the entire mode look worse.
6) Failed missile gimmick in back
7) Gaps, you can see through to the other side of the toy in several places you should not be able to in every mode
8) Insufficient locking mechanisms. The cannons just lie on top of the toy in GERWALK mode so be careful where you lift from.
Durability & Build: (6/10)
The number one complaint about the Konig comes from stress marking. A few of the areas that are absolutely essential to transformation are comprised of plastic so thin that a strong enough light will shine right through it. The good news is that a stress mark doesn’t leave you with a broken toy, the bad news is that a stress mark can be pretty obvious and, in some cases, can be a precursor to eventual breakage. Macrossworld member Sithlord created this list of areas susceptible to stress marks:
- 4 x toe hinges (where most f all the die-cast are)
- 2 x where the holes on the arms recieve the tabs in shuttle mode
- 1 x where the holes located at the back of the payload and where the pegs from the arms go into
- 1 x the back hole insertion in destroid (the undercarriage in shuttle mode has a door opening that reveals a hinged peg extension while the female counterpart is located behind the torso in battroid/destroid mode has shown stress fractures.)
Another problem comes from the heft of the toy’s limbs (as alluded to above). The limbs are too heavy for the joints to support the arms for most poses, some times any poses, and usually straight out of the box! Another area the lack of stiff-ness will really show itself is during the transformation: when this thing is all opened-up for transformation it can seem like a big wet noodle. Of course, to make things more fun, while managing this monstrosity through transformation you’ll find the large cannons popping off if handled at any point. The cannons easily plug right back in but you might have to track them down if they roll under something.
If you do remember the original monster, all it really does is aim its giant arm rocket launchers and lean slightly to position its artillery. This new transformable version is capable of not much more… which is sad considering it has a battroid mode. The amazingly complicated legs actually need to be propped in “Monster” mode to stay erect and Battroid mode may as well just be a balancing act if you’re going to try to do anything dynamic. It’s kind of fun to pose this toy with 1/100 Valkyries (such as Toynami’s or Takatoku’s or these days a Bandai Hi-Metal VF-1) but you’ll definitely have more fun with the valks then you will with this lumbering hulk. Heck, the head of the battroid doesn’t even twist and the toy costs more than $100. In GERWALK mode there is a nice pivot at the top of the leg that allows you to angle the legs outward which was very helpful in emulating the line art as shown above the sculpt section.
Total Score: (26.5/50)
This toy receives a below average score and I think that’s right. My hat is off to Yamato for taking a stab at such a beast of a toy. Honestly though, who wouldn’t have rathered Yamato make something else from the animation rather than this odd-scale and obscure vehicle? It’s my understanding that part of the reason Yamato opted for this product was because it existed in some form as a resin kit (if someone wants to leave a comment with a link to the resin kit that’d be AWESOME) much like the inspiration for Yamatos first toys from the Macross Plus line. Regardless of the reasons and the guts it took to make this thing, I just can’t recommend it. The shuttle mode is just short of hideous, the battroid mode is nothing but awkward, and the “Monster” mode is just something cool looking for the background of a display case… certainly nothing that would actually get played with. If you’re a destroid fan then you’d be MUCH better served buying Yamato’s 1/60 destroid toys. If you’re a Konig fan and not a stickler for true 1/100 scale (the Bandai DX version is about 1/107 scale in shuttle, or 1/117 scale in battroid mode assuming 41meters is the correct height).
June 19, 2015: This post was updated with an HD video review.
June 15, 2015: This post was updated with an HD transformation guide and numerous new pictures, comparisons to the line art, and size comparisons.
October 13, 2010: This post has been updated to include much larger pictures and comparisons to other toys. Content was also updated to reflect Mac Frontier and Bandai’s DX Konig release.
Original post date: September, 2007.