Review(Updated): Includes Standard, Special, and Wings of Goodbye versions
Packaging & Extras: Normal & Wings of Goodbye versions (3.5/5)
The standard release packaging is not overly large with impressive (if not a bit busy) graphic work. The Tamashii exclusive Wings of Goodbye (WoG) version comes in the standard Tamashii brown shipper box with a nicely decorated in two-tone color box inside. The toy and stand parts (which both versions of the toy have) are packaged in Styrofoam with a piece of cardboard taped down on top. The overall experience is sentimental to the chunky toys of yesteryear and very satisfying. Here’s what’s in the box besides the toy:
1) Display stand base
2) 3x Display stand adapter (one for each mode)
3) 3x Display stand arms (2 for GERWAlK, one for battroid)
4) 4x Stickers (just four stickers of the nose art seen in the show), normal release only, the WoG version has tampo-printed nose art factory applied
5) Instructions (specific to each release)
Packaging & Extras: Special (“SP” version) (4.5/5)
The special version steps it up a notch including a display stand base in a seperate box and a holographic sleeve with sexy Sheryl art that keeps the two boxes together. The content of the Konig Monster box is the same as above. Inside the smaller second box you get:
4) 2x Sticker sheets (in case your toy wasn’t glam enough). Choosing to use one sheet or the other will allow you to decorate your toy as either the VB-6 from the final episodes of Frontier or the VB-6 used in the first Frontier Movie.
5) Instructions (specific to the SP release, includes details on sticker application and use of the stand)
6) Display stand base (allegedly it resembles a surface the Konig fires from at some point during the first Frontier movie)
7) A reproduction of the credit card that Sheryl was seen using in Frontier (no idea who wanted this)
8) A copy of the contract from the first Macross Frontier movie that Sheryl signed when contracting SMS to save the Galaxy group (in English)
Charm & Collectability: (3.5/5)
To date there have been three releases of this toy:
Standard TV Version (no itasha), 16,800 Yen MSRP, September 2010
Special Version (Sheryl itasha), 21,000 Yen MSRP, September 2010
Special Version (Sheryl/Ranka itasha), 23,760 Yen, April 2015 (Tamashii exclusive)
Some people are not fans of the special version because the nose art covers up the Montser’s eye that would be painted above the shark mouth. There’s also some question if Macross Frontier did enough to make the Monster into an item fans of the show are going to really feel they need. The cross-badging of the toy as both DX and Robot Spirits indicates it does have metal (a pretty healthy amount used entirely for stronger internals) and it’s a similar SIZE to the DX toys while in scale with the Robot Spirits line. That’s a little confusing since the Robot Spirits line is considered non-scale. Essentially this toy is roughly 1/110 scale which is still very large. Scale purists obviously won’t like the sounds of that and the price point far exceeds the other MacF Robot Spirits releases so there’s a chance this solid toy might not find much of a market. The count released of the SP and Tamashii exclusive versions are not public knowledge.
Sculpt, Detail, & Paint: (8.5/10)
This toy takes some liberties from the original line art but is overall an excellent representation of the vehicle from Macross Frontier. There are nice molded in panel lines in some sections and plenty of pre-painted details. In this scale it’s a little difficult to be much more demanding but Bandai could have used some colored plastic bits instead of paint in a couple places. The tampo printed badges for the SP and WoG versions are very nicely done. The WoG release also comes in a less olive, more green finish with brighter highlights that makes the trim work pop out much better. I’ve included comparisons to Yamato’s VB-6 toy below and the pictures provide the dimensions of the toys in the various modes. In shuttle mode the wingspan dimension to scale ratio is off most likely because the official measurement only extends to the point where the toe moves upward vertically. The nose art on the SP and WoG versions look like pre-applied decals of some sort which is very well done and probably better than paint if for nothing other than scratching concerns. The design for this toy calls for a battroid mode that is kind of an ugly duckling in my estimation and this toy doesn’t do the best job of nailing it. There’s a large cavity in front of the head. Since the only line art I have access to is for the VF-X2 video game it’s worth considering that the version in Frontier may have line art that looks different so some caution is advised.
The shuttle mode comes together very well but lacks landing gear, though I’m not sure what the landing gear on this toy are supposed to look like and I’m not sure anyone really knows. There’s also no cockpit and the canopy is black painted squares. The included display stand adds a little stability but does nothing more than that and you’ll probably only use it in shuttle mode. This toy features a gimmick in GERWALK mode whereby a support plate extends from the rear to support the vehicle for firing of the main guns. Unfortunately, the only way I was able to get this support to look like it was functional was to spread the toys legs far apart and then lean the toy way back. The second feature Bandai cleverly included was the machine gun under the Monster’s chin which reveals itself in transformation and has left to right articulation. Beyond that and the well designed joints there aren’t a whole lot of gimmicks per se and some have pointed out that minor elements of the transformation and resulting forms aren’t 100% line art accurate. As a result the score here is solid for a very solid and well thought out toy. It’s a very refreshing change to manipulate a toy like this since it seems so distant in layout and transformation from its valkyrie brethren.
Durability & Build: (8/10)
Some of the plastic is a bit thin and Bandai has developed a bit of a reputation now for painting on details that can be easily chipped off their Macross toys. Still, I’ve seen no chipping and this toy handles and feels rock solid. Metal provides meaty support to the crucial joints and piece was nice and tight right out of the box. It’s been a long time since I handled a “first edition” toy that felt this solid. The only area I’ve found that has been truly concerning are the plastic tabs that extend above the barrels of the gun and off the back of the toy in shuttle mode. Out of the box some have stress marks and I accidentally broke one off during transformation. Fortunately, they’re glued on in the first place so gluing them back on isn’t the worst thing in the world but it’s definitely a durability concern for you to keep an eye on.
I originally scored this toy an 8 but have since knocked it down to a 7. While the toy does have a lot of articulation there are a few weaknesses it just can’t overcome, specifically in battroid mode:
1) No waist
2) No forward/back motion on the hips (really killer)
3) Head can swivel and look down (out of transformation necessity) but should be a ball joint
4) The side toes are lacking a necessary hinge and swivel that would better allow them to pivot and function as the heel (something you can find on the Yamato toy)
There’s no articulation whatsoever to speak of in shuttle mode (beyond the wing tips). So, how can I justify a strong score? Easy, this toy blows Yamato’s effort (the only other Konig toy I know of) out of the water. It has more articulation and the joints are stiff and hold poses extremely well. The knees twist and bend back and forth and you can actually play with this toy in both Monster and Battroid forms. The feet have a great deal of articulation, something I probably would have focused on more in my video review if it didn’t seem like such a minor point. At the end of the day I was able to achieve some pretty dynamic poses in both Monster and Battroid modes and that was without even bothering with the included stand.
Total Score: Special Version: (39.5/50), Regular version (38.5/50)
I’m sure a lot of people won’t care for the special version’s extras so if they don’t matter to you then you should only consider the regular or WoG versions. I do recommend this toy to all Macross Frontier and Konig Monster fans though it doesn’t score quite as high as some of the other Frontier offerings. Some people may also be really turned off by the odd scale so that’s definitely another thing to consider (see the comparison pics above illustrating the smaller size of the Bandai in comparison to Yamato’s 1/100 effort). Some promotional pictures appear below-
June 13, 2015: Added HD Video review
June 11, 2015: Review was updated to include content on Standard and WoG releases. An HD video transformation guide was added. Line art comparisons were added.
Original post date: October 20, 2010.