Review: For the Diecast Diehards
Packaging & Extras (3.5/5)
There’s no doubt that these toys were meant to appear like high-end collectibles with their very sturdy, jewel-box-esque, containers. These toys were packaged with some extra care to make sure the paint doesn’t rub off too much on its journey to your home including little pieces of plastic strategically placed within the box. As great as all this is there really aren’t any extras to speak of. There are removable landing gears on the VF-1 toys but that’s it and a display stand is sorely missed.
Charm & Collectability (3.5/5) (+1.5 for event exclusive)
Comprised mostly of diecast these toys definitely stand apart from gashapon figures of similar scale. As with any toy that involves repaints, some paint schemes are much more collectable than others. One thing to note: while a Hikaru 1J was advertised it was never released. Releases were as follows:
1) VF-1A Hikaru (December 2001)
2) VF-1S Focker (December 2001)
3) YF-19 (December 2001)
4) VF-1J Miria (April 2002)
5) YF-21 (July 2002)
6) VF-19A VF-X2 (September 2002)
7) VF-1J Max (October 2002)
There’s also one wildcard here, there was a bronze YF-19 (unpainted) produced for a toy show in Japan in very limited quantities. That toy in particulary should get a nearly perfect score in this category. I will update this page when I can track down this show exclusive with more information about its availability. All releases retailed for 2,980 Yen
Sculpt, Detail, and Paint (8/10)
I was impressed by the level of painted on detail in these figures. They’re not perfect but they do pretty well for themselves at this scale. The only more detailed VF-1 in this scale is the Charaworks series but those toys don’t have nearly the finish of these toys and not even a fraction of the painted on details. The sculpt does leave a bit to be desired as many of the pointier features of the VF-1 toys in particular have been abandoned. Similarly, all the toys have their landing gears out but the detail on the bottom of the plan looks as if the gear bays are closed. I think it would have been nicer if the canopy wasn’t so smoky but was instead clear and revealed a detailed cockpit.
There were modest intentions here and they were met. All the planes feature wings that can be manipulated but not much else. There are no opening cockpits here and only the VF-1 toys feature landing gears that are meant to be removed. Definitely don’t buy these toys for their tricks… think of them simply as the Hot Wheels of the Macross universe. One other thing to note, the YF-21 comes with its yellow antenna (or whatever the yellow fin on top is) attached to a sprue and needs to be installed separately; I did not do this.
Durability & Build (8.5/10)
The paint job on my samples is all impeccable and they’re all diecast so they’re built to last. You’ll want to be careful with the paint but there’s nothing about them that makes paint chipping a particularly prevalent problem. Be sure to keep them wrapped in plastic within their trays if you plan on storing them as the paint can wear on the faux velvet over time. An adult handling these will not have to worry about having something suddenly break on them but don’t go tossing them about the house as you might really hurt someone if they were accidentally hit by one and I suppose something like the cockpit area might break.
Did I mention that the wings move? I did? Well then there’s really nothing more to add here.
Total Score (30.5/50)
These are definitely much higher quality pieces than the Chara-Works series but they’re also a lot tougher on the wallet. If you’re into models and don’t care for diecast you’re much better off buying the much cheaper CharaWorks figures, doing some clean-up work to them, and displaying those instead. If you’re into diecast collectibles then you’ll definitely enjoy these Doyushas. I’d be a lot happier if these came with little display stands and more easily removed landing gears.
Note: This review has been updated. Higher resolution photos were added, more information about release dates and MSRP, line art comparisons, and an HD video review. Original post date: July 6, 2008.