Review(updated): Haven’t had your fill of fidgety small scale toys yet?
Packaging & Extras: (4/5)
This toy comes with the following:
1) Small instruction leaflet (all in Japanese)
2) Head (removed from body for packaging purposes)
3) Heat shield (needs to be swapped with canopy to complete transformation)
4) Two “fishing” hooks to enable transformation (back to fighter mode from GERWALK or battroid)
5) Three sets of fixed pose-hands (there are two mini hands on the toy that can swap with these hands)
6) 10 Revoltech points coin
7) Storage box or pepper shaker
8) Gun (made from three parts, the middle section can be replaced with a ring to simulate the collapsed gun, the ring comes packaged already on the fighter mode toy)
9) Advertisement leaflet
10) Display stand (not pictured below as it is taped to the bottom of the tray
11) Two Revoltech joints for attaching the display stand to the toy.
The toy does not feature a fancy flip-top lid which shouldn’t be expected at this price range. Okay, the Toynami toys have flip top lids and they are at this price point but Toynami has always had a penchant for excessively nice boxes. Also not included are missiles of any type, super parts, or landing gears.
Charm & Collectability: (2/5)
With the economy tanking the smaller scale toys saw a rebound in popularity. It became harder to justify a $200 Macross purchase but a $20 toy might offer the fix you needed. The problem with toys in that price range is that there’s nothing all that desirable about them and ultimately they’re completely disposable. Many Macross collectors turned their nose up at these toys and those that didn’t played with them for a bit, broke them, and then either replaced them or moved on with their lives. Don’t buy these toys out of some misplaced dreams that they’ll become a hot collector’s item; they won’t. Releases were as follows:
VF-1A Hikaru Ichijo Custom (DYRL), 2,286 yen, January 2010
VF-1S Roy Focker Custom, 2,286 yen, January 2010
VF-1J Hikaru Ichijo Custom, 2,286 yen, February 2010
VF-1J Max Custom (Exclusive)
VF-1J Miria Custom (Exclusive)
Sculpt, Detail, & Paint: (5/10)
Just about the only angle this toy ever looks at all half decent is the bird’s eye angle of fighter mode (as demonstrated in the line art comparison). From any other angle the awkward proportions stick out like a sore thumb. Is it clear that this is the VF-1 in all modes? Yes. Is there a ton of great detail? No. There is no pilot or cockpit detail but the canopy is made of tinted blue clear plastic which is nicer than just a painted canopy. To put it simply, you’re not going to buy this toy because it looks great. I measured this toy as being roughly 14CM long in fighter mode and roughly 13CM tall in battroid. Both of those numbers correlate to roughly 1/100 scale.
I have to give Kaiyodo credit for finding ways to make a VF-1 toy with almost every joint being a Revoltech joint. Unfortunately, while several of the Revoltech joints seem perfectly suited for the task at hand there were a few others which felt gratuitous. The biggest fault of the toy is obviously the wing pegs which simply don’t do enough to keep the wings attached to the toy. Other shortcomings include the inability for missiles to mount to the wings or attachments for landing gears or super parts. The real strength of the toy comes from the pegs and slots used to keep the whole thing tightly together once the user struggles through the fidgety transformation. I definitely question the logic of making two of the pegs flip behind the fists and then requiring the user to fish them out with little plastic grabbers but those pegs do help make fighter mode really solid.
Durability & Build: (6/10)
These toys do feel a bit rubbery and cheap. So far I’ve managed to have mine fall apart in a few different ways but I’ve always been able to put it back together again. The paint on the wing is showing wear already at the red stripe (probably from being pushed back on the tiny peg and wiggled to make sure it’s on there tight). I’m tempted to score this toy lower because of how easy it is to pull apart but pulling these apart can also be necessary if you’d like to rotate a Revoltech joint into just the right position (or pull one out a bit to extend the joint’s range of motion).
As demonstrated in the video, this toy can really be tweaked and angled into some exciting positions. Unfortunately, the cartoonish look of the toy’s posture makes some of the more standard poses look a bit odd. As mentioned in the durability section, if there’s a sweet pose you can’t quite make happen you should pull the toy apart a bit and modify the angle of the joints involved. The display stand helps free you from the confines of making the toy balance which is nice since the feet are so poseable they can create issues of their own.
Total Score: (31/50)
When this was released I told people to wait for Bandai’s Hi-Metal but the Hi-Metal was a $50 toy and the Hi-Metal R toys are essentially $100 toys. If you’re still in the market for super bargain toys your choice is the Yamaguchi or the Toynami. Is the Revoltech Yamaguchi better than the Toynami 1/100 toy? I don’t think so. The Toynami toy can be dressed up with super parts, displayed with landing gears out, and have missiles attached to its wings. That said, the Yamaguchi is better articulated and less likely to have limbs fall off and need to be plugged back in (ignoring the wings). Some people noted that Robotech.com sold these toys and dreamed licensing issues were being resolved… clearly those thoughts were misguided. In the bargain basement section I would rather have a non-transformable Revoltech VF-1, a Yamato GnuDou VF-1, or a Toynami 1/100 VF-1 over this transformable Revoltech.
Original Post: June 8, 2010
Updated April, 13, 2016, added HD video review and transformation guide, updated content, added HD pictures.