Observations & Critique: Because we like things that go boom
Unfortunately, there’s just really not much to this packaging beyond the actual product itself and mediocre box. The included stickers do a great deal to really dress the armor up. The insert, box, tray are all the typical Takatoku goodness with sturdy textured cardboard and windows displaying the product prominently. Oddly enough, Takatoku moved from the full box treatment to a tray/lid system for the GBP release (Please note, I am not discussing the giftset, that came in the traditional elongated box). Yamato’s 1/48 GBP came with side and neck covers for the valkyrie, additional hands, an optional crotch armor in case you liked the look better with the nosecone removed, two extra fixed-pose hands, and a collector’s flip-tox box… Takatoku’s ol’ chunky has no need for most of that stuff but it makes you think there could have been more here.
People love this item. It’s fairly hard to come by, especially with colors that are still true and have not faded or yellowed over the years. The molds for this item have apparently been lost. I’m not exactly capable of fact-checking how it happened but I’ve heard that they were on board a boat that sank and I’ve also heard they were pitted from being improperly stored (in much the same manner Matchbox or Playmates lost the molds for its Robotech line). This means that Bandai won’t be reissuing the chunky GBP. As this isn’t an actual toy, only an accessory, its collectability is somewhat hampered and when one considers the superior 1/48 and V2 1/60 GBP that Yamato released (see my review of those products separately) it’s likely that fewer and fewer people will be willing to spend ridiculous amounts trying to acquire this.
Yes, it does look like a cross between a hockey goalie and a Valkyrie. That being said, the GBP really did resemble that in some of the animation scenes where the valkyrie itself looked a bit on the chunkier side. I just love the look of the chunky GBP even if it’s not the most accurate or intimidating. Heck, I even think this thing looks good from behind. I certainly invite readers to judge for themselves. The arms do stand out as offering substantial room for improvement.
I love it. The attachments fit smoothly and very securely. There’s no feeling that anything is about to fall off of this toy. The back boosters attach via a similar method that Yamato used on their V1 1/60 line years later but they work even better on the original. I don’t believe the GBP was considered when the original Valk was created but you don’t get that sense when applying this accessory because everything fits snugly. The shoulders and chest open to reveal missiles (although the chest missiles are pretty terrible looking and the hinges aren’t concealed well).
This add-on is seemingly as strong as the chunky itself. There are some tabs that you probably would want to be a bit cautious with. If you had this thing teetering on a shelf with it’s armor open (revealing the missiles within) and it fell you might snap off the doors on the shoulder accessories. Otherwise, this thing feels like a tank, which is exactly how something like this should feel.
It’s amazing how little this accessory hampers the ability of the toy within it to be posed. For the time, this thing was fantastic, current fans may not like the fact that this toy does not have many features the 1/60 and/or 1/48 Yamato versions have. Namely, you will not find opening doors on the leg armor (sides or back), the grenades in the arm armor and at the hips can not be removed, and the boosters in the back are not adjustable.
Like other Takatoku Macross products, the GBP is built exceptionally well and is remarkably sturdy. It’s a bit underwhelming in terms of overall sculpt and detail as well as articulation but it was certainly above par back when it was released. Common question: Will the Takatoku GBP fit on Bandai’s various Reissues? A: Yes! In fact, the toy used in all the updated photos is a Bandai re-release from 2002 (you should note though that Takatoku super armor does NOT fit on Bandai re-issues due to the re-shaped arms). Yes, this GBP also fits all the other various Bandai and Takatoku 1/55 VF-1 toys, not just Hikaru’s VF-1J or toys released after a certain production run.
Updated October 29, 2012: Added instruction manual, cleaned up a pic, and added the HD video on the evolution of GBP parts. Converted from review format to observation format since it’s tough giving points to a toy that enhances another toy.
Update 2010: This review has been updated, all new pictures were added and more of them, content was also updated
Original post: August 21, 2006