Packaging & Extras: (2/5)
Since this is a vinyl toy with essentially no frills it’s kind of nice of Toynami to encase it in a clear plastic box. This allows potential buyers to really examine what matters most in a vinyl toy: whether or not they like the look of it. Generally I’m not a fan of large windows on boxes because typically they make the boxes more fragile but this battlepod box seems pretty sturdy. Unfortunately, there’s absolutely nothing you’re not seeing when you look at the battlepod inside. There are no hidden extras or anything like that. You won’t find a heavy or light missile attachment any where… you’ll have to buy those separately molded into the existing toy.
Charm & Collectability: (3.5/5)
This won’t be a huge collector’s classic since there’s no metal and no transformation but the dearth of competing battlepod products and the low price made this a winner. I thought it was dumb Toynami didn’t include swap out heavy artillery and light artillery parts with the release (and increase the number in circulation). Sales of the heavy artillery and light artillery versions lingered. After having their prices slashed and being dumped in sale bins, all variants are now long sold out. The good news is, Bandai now offers a Hi-Metal R Regult which is a much better toy though much more expensive which will likely put downward pressure on the prices of these Toynami products in the secondary market. I’ve included a picture above which shows all of the regult toy releases, how tall they are, and what their theoretical scales are. Releases were:
02 Standard Battlepod, $24.99, 2,000 pieces,February 2010
04 Heavy Artillery Battlepod, $24.99, May 2010
05 Standard Battlepod (DYRL? Color), $35.00, , July 2010, 2010 SDCC exclusive, 1000 pieces
06 Heavy Artillery (DRYL? Color), $24.99, October 2010, BBTS exclusive, 1000 pieces
07 Light Artillery Battlepod, $24.99, June 2011
* 01 of Toynami’s vinyl collection was Voltron (Golion). 03 was Vehicle Voltron (Dairugger)
Sculpt, Detail, & Paint: (8/10)
This was the best rendition of the battlepod to date though the Hi-Metal R toy now gives it a run for its money, especially if you look at more than just one piece of line art. The toy is practically a 3D rendition of the line art above which is very impressive. The only thing that could have really been done better, on a vinyl toy, is some more pre-painted detail. The real trick though would have been for Toynami to make this toy out of plastic and feature some transluscent bits and maybe some interior detail… they couldn’t justify doing that but it’s exactly what Bandai has done with the Hi-Metal R.
I like the toy, I like its simplicity, but there’s nothing really to judge from a design standpoint so I can’t give it a good score. It has hip joints and a waist but it’s otherwise a few assembled hunks of vinyl. The toy was originally planned to have knee joints but those were eschewed at the last minute (unfortunately, the boxes had apparently already been produced as the box art indicates the toy DOES have knee joints). The dream battlepod toy has swappable missile parts, an interior compartment that opens, and an articulated Zentraedi figure that can fit inside. This toy is miles away from the dream battlepod toy.
Durability & Build: (7.5/10)
I’m tempted to give this toy a lower score because I had a leg pop off while posing and I read that some MWers encountered the same issue. Fortunately the problem is just inadequate glue on the leg. The fix was simple, apply more glue, but it’s a silly thing to have happen on such a simple toy. Since it’s just a case of under-gluing, and nothing is broken, I’m not going to be too hard on this otherwise very sturdy (albeit light) toy. It’s a hunk of vinyl though, don’t leave it next to a radiator or smash it under something heavy for a prolonged period.
The legs move, the waist swivels, and the main guns are ball joints. That leaves this toy with quite a bit it can’t do and just enough range of motion where if you had a few on the shelf you could differentiate them from each other. If you’re looking for something truly dynamic then definitely go with the Kaiyodo Revoltech offering.
Total Score: (28/50)
It looks good, it handles well, but it’s really not much of a toy. If you need a battlepod/regult to stand there while your valkyrie toys bust incredible poses shooting at it, then this will do the trick. This toy makes a great backdrop to displays of Toynami 1/100 VF-1 toys as well as Bandai’s Hi-Metal (and Hi-Metal R) VF-1, Yamato’s Gnu-Dou VF-1, and Kaiyodo’s transformable VF-1. Some might say “Hey, you get what you pay for” in regards to this toy’s simplicity… but that sort of ignores the cheaper Kaiyodo Regult which has a ton of articulation and more pre-painted detail (at the expense of being much less sturdy). Unfortunately for the Revoltech Regult, it doesn’t really scale well with any toys leaving a very nice niche for the Toynami vinyl battlepod. I’m not going to say that this $20-$30 toy was expensive for what you get… but I would fall short of saying it’s a screaming deal. Before Yamato was shuttered they produced a very expensive, 1/60 Regult model but, despite being made of a plastic resin, it was notoriously unstable and certainly not suitable as a toy.
Original Post: May 18, 2010
Updated March 20, 2016: Added info and pics of Hi-Metal R release and added the information of all variants that were released including MSRP, quantity, and release date.
Updated April 20, 2016: Added HD Video review.