Review: Includes all versions
Packaging & Extras: (3/5)
The Hikaru and Max toys came in premium packaging with a matte finish and collector’s style flip-top lid (21 x 38.5 x 10.5cm). The doll is housed in a form fitting plastic clam shell with a tray, a partial cover over the head and torso, and then a full body-length lid. The plastic clam shell is housed in a slide out cardboard tray decorated in silver with the Jolly Roger logo on it. Inside you’ll find:
1) Dog tags and a sew on patch in 1/1 scale
2) An extra loose grip hand so you’re not limited to saluting or pimp smacking poses
What more should have been in the box? A doll stand would have been a very cheap and useful accessory to include. There are lots of other 1/6 scale items that could have added to the fun even if they only had a tenuous relationship with the movie.
Max comes in the same box but he did just a touch better on accessories:
2) A saluting hand (Hikaru comes with the saluting hand installed and an extra loose grip hand, Max comes with the loose grip installed and an extra saluting hand)
3) A pair of fists
4) A flyer with a redemption code for an accessory kit that was never officially produced. A third party later produced the accessory kit which consists of a mutated fish on a stick and a portable stove with flame from Hikaru and Misa’s romantic date night.
One small thing to note, the hands did increase in size when going from the Hikaru to the Max figure.
With the transition from jumpsuit (blue) to flight suit (white) releases, the packaging changed to a glossy black box that’s wider (26 x 38.5 x 10.5 cm). Gone are the patch and dog tags but the doll gets more accessories. Inside the box you’ll find:
1) Additional head
2) Helmet (and two hose attachment pieces for the back of the helmet)
3) three hands (pair of loose grip, right hand saluting, the toy comes with fists installed)
Taped to the top of the tray you’ll also find:
4) Instructions for helmet installation
The final release was a limited, light-up, version of the Hikaru flight suit toy. It comes in a plain cardboard, no frills box that’s very svelte at 16.5 x 36.5 x 9 cm). The toy is in a plastic bag twist-tied to a cardboard tray. In a compartment below the lid you’ll find the accessory hands and the top of the helmet in a plastic bag. Accessories include:
1) five hands (pair of loose grip, extra pair of fists, right hand saluting, the toy comes with fists installed)
2) Instructions on battery installation
The toy comes with 3 LR44 batteries already installed.
Charm & Collectability: (2/5)
At 31 cm tall, 32 to the highest hair, this doll is slightly larger than 1/6 given Hikaru’s official height of 178 cm. The white flight suit version bills itself as a “12 inch figure” rather than 1/6 like the jumpsuit versions do. It has a little longer neck and head for a height of 32 cm (33 cm to tallest hair) which still rounds to 1/6 but is definitely on the large side. This is a limited edition man doll with only 3000 being created but the number of people interested seemed far lower. Most releases were eventually sold off at incredibly steep discounts. Toynami may have damaged demand for the jumpsuit versions by splashing images of future dolls in their white flight suits, some potential customers may have chosen to wait for later releases. There were four total releases before PopBox and the line abruptly ended so all of you hoping for a sexy Meltran, Misa, or Minmay will have to customize a Barbie. A planned accessory kit which was never officially sold but was released later through a third party. Planned Roy and Max in the white DYRL flight suit figures were displayed at various shows but never released. Releases were:
Hikaru in his blue suit, November 2006, $79.95
Max in blue suit, September 2007, $79.95
Hikaru in his white flight suit, May 2008, $99.95
Hikaru in his white flight suit, July 2008, $99.95 (300 event/web exclusive, 300 pieces)
Despite prototypes of Roy figures and Max in his pilot suit the line ended with the Hikaru release.
Sculpt, Detail, & Paint: (8/10)
For the most part these dolls are excellent likenesses of the characters they portray The faces on the jumpsuit versions are particularly well down. The largest issue with the jumpsuit versions are the loose fitting undershirts. One would expect a shirt worn under a jumpsuit would be relatively tight. There’s a glued on red stripe on the front of the jumpsuit that should probably should be a breast pocket. On the back of the uniform there’s a vernier thruster emblem like those on the VF-1 that seems oddly out of place. As you might expect, the stitching on the jolly roger logo looks large.
Since Max is taller than Hikaru in the show, Max’s figure received a little more length in the form of a spacer above the ankles. His doll’s overall height increases to 32.5 cm tall. Some of that height may be attributable to his voluminous hair, the rest is due to a spacer above the ankle. One down side to the additional length is that his pant legs don’t come down over his feet as much as they do on Hikaru so the skin tone of the body color sometimes peeks out at the ankle. I really like his face, glasses, and hair and think PopBox did a tremendous job. He also sports an improved watch on his wrist.
The white flight suit version of Hikaru received an all new head sculpt that was more narrow and had a smirk. The narrowness allows the head to look right with or without the helmet. It’s not a bad representation of Hikaru but I preferred the head that came on the jumpsuit version of the doll. I don’t own enough Do You Remember Love art to argue over the details of the flight suit. I initially thought the shoulders covers were too wide apart, that they should come up a little tighter to the neck, so they wouldn’t extend so far beyond the curve of the shoulder. The backpack is nicely detailed though the bells of the exhaust nozzles could have been differentiated a bit more from the rest of the backpack.
In comparison to transforming toys, these dolls are pretty simple. I wasn’t feeling brave enough to strip down my figures to see how complex the body was but the box states that there are 23 points of articulation. You don’t have to worry about confusing this toy with a Ken doll. To my surprise, the shoulder joints are ratcheted. The little zipper works well, so if you were really determined you could probably take the outfit off. The biggest complaint I see about these toys is that they have a high center of gravity and topple easily. You would hope with that being the case a doll stand would have been included but it’s not (you can find them very cheap). Swapping in/out the optional hands is easily done via ball joints.
The white flight suit adds more to discuss form a design standpoint. The head is easily removed by pulling straight up when the figure is looking forward. To install the helmet, you put the bottom half of it on the figure when it is headless, then install the head, then install the top of the helmet. There is a visor attached to the bottom half of the visor that can flip up/down but is easily detached so handle it with care. The helmet has some foam in the back to ensure a reasonably snug fit though you’ll still be able to move the helmet around without moving the figure’s head. This means, to turn the head, you’ll want to bring the visor up, place one finger on the back of the helmet and another on the figure’s nose, and then turn. There are air hoses that plug into the backpack and then rest against the back of the helmet. As you wouldn’t want the hoses to impede the ability to move the head, this system works just fine. I wouldn’t expect long, very flexible hoses to be stored within the backpack and then attach to the helmet at this price point. The open hand is flexible enough to pinch the helmet and hold it for more posing options.
Unlike the blue jump suit body, installing the optional hands on the white flight suit can be very frustrating. The flight suite has big, soft gauntlets which prevent you from grabbing the forearm and pressing the ball joint in firmly. The end of the gauntlet is also a narrow housing so you may thing you’ve plugged the hand it but it’s actually just hanging on in the housing which allows it to drop off during handling.
The light up version of the toy needs to have the helmet on at all times. Batteries and the switch are stored in the backpack. While the regular release version has simulated tubes that go from the backpack to the edge of the helmet, the light-up version connects these tubes to the helmet so wires can be run through them to the lights inside. This has the unfortunate consequence of preventing movement so the helmet is both permanently attached and immobile. The tube that goes from the backpack around the ribs to the chest conceals the wire for the red light on the chest. The big circle on the backpack functions as the button to turn on the lights but it has to be held down for the lights to stay on, it doesn’t recess and then require a second press to pop back up. Protip: you can put a penny on top of the button then install the backpack and it will leave the lights on, but you’ll have to remove the penny when you want to turn the lights off.
Durability & Build: (8/10)
As there aren’t any intricate parts here it’s not surprising that the toy is sturdy. I get the feeling though that 1/6 figure collectors are more gentle with their products than transformable plane fans so that should benefit longevity as well. After all these years, I did notice that the shoes on some of my figures are starting to get sticky. I mentioned in the design section that these toys tend to topple over. If you’re going to go for a full standing pose, get a doll stand. From a build perspective, some might be unhappy with a bit of flash left on Max’s hair.
The white flight suit version is a little more complicated so it’s no surprise it has more issues. The belt didn’t function as well as Toynami had hope so they applied some two-sided tape to the latch in the back. This was a fine solution 10 years ago but you’ll probably need to put some new tape on at some point. I also had one of the forearm gauntlets installed at a different angle on one arm than the other. They rotate enough where I can hide this in several poses but if I’m bending the elbows it becomes obvious. The ankles are also a little loose on this toy which can lead to more falling which could conceivably lead to some damage on the helmet. One of my spare hands has also started breaking down and feels tacky to the touch.
You’re not going to be able to do every pose you can imagine, and you may have problems getting the figure to balance, but you’ll be able to have some fun. I did a few poses from the Matrix to test this out. As I’m not a 1/6 collector so there might be MUCH better figures out there but for what this is, it’s fine. Articulation for the head comes from the base of the neck. It may sound awkward but it generally works except you can’t cock the head to either side like you would be able to do if the head had a ball joint at the top of the neck. As noted in the design section above, the light-up version of the toy can not move its helmet so that toy will always be looking forward. The shoulders allow a wide range of movement but they don’t allow the arms to dangle straight down, the arms will always have to be angled away from the body. There is a rotation point that allows the arm to spin all the way around below the should. The elbow allows greater than 90 degrees of movement and the hands are ball joints with a wrist pivot. There are pivot and rotation points at the torso and waist. The hips have a huge range of motion forward and to the side but the leg can’t go very far behind the toy. There’s a rotation point in the thigh and a knee that allows more than 90 degrees of range. The foot spins and points the toe down easily but lateral movement is very limited.
Total Score: (33/50)
These figures are solid and have good likenesses which are probably the two most critical aspects for this type of product. Unfortunately, they fall short on fun factor due to the lack of accessories and stand. 1/6 scale is also HUGE and will easily dwarf most the other toys in your display cabinet. I like using character figures in my display in a supporting role to my mecha toys but these toys are too large for that. If you’re looking for character figures to mix in with your mechs, check out my review of the KitzConcept 1/12 figures; their size is much better suited for that. If you have an existing 1/6 collection and want to add some Macross to it, PopBox and Toynami gave you an opportunity so long as you only are looking for Max or Hikaru/Rick. Though the fish and stove were never officially released, they were sold long after PopBox went under by a third party seller and pictures of them have been included in this review.