Yamato & Arcadia 1/60 VF-1 Toys (VersionM 2)

Mega Review:  Includes all variants

DISCLAIMERS:
1) I have provided some promotional photos in this article, promotional photos are not always 100% accurate to the final production item.
2) Some pictures in this article feature an aftermarket accessory (gun strap).

Packaging & Extras:
Standard Releases (4/5)
The packaging for Yamato’s ‘Version 2 line of toys evolved through simplification.  Original V2 releases came in boxes that featured collector’s style flip-top lids.  These releases also had a standard format to them with black borders along the top and bottom, white borders on the edges, and a picture of the toy in fighter mode on the cover.  It was later determined that there were some durability issues with these first releases so I generally advise you avoiding them (check the durability section).  Gradually the boxes became a bit more flashy (although the art is just limited to pictures of the toy, nothing like the gorgeous art that decorated old Takatoku toys) and then Yamato removed the collector’s style lid.   So, what extras come packaged with this toy?
1) Painted pilot figure.  The original Yamato Version 1 toys came with legless pilots… no such problems here.  Toys with two seats feature pilot and copilot figures.
2) Gun with collapsible stock and handle
3) 4 sets of TV style missiles (which can be removed from their tree like the 1/48 TV-style missiles)
4) 4 sets of DYRL? box missiles (which can not be opened like the 1/48 DYRL missiles)
5) 2 Yamato display stand adapters for use with the DYRL Launch Arm stand (sold separately)
6) 1 attachment for the separated nosecone to be connected like a gun.
7) 1 Set of DYRL style fixed-pose hands or 2 Sets of TV  Style hands
8) Instruction manual


8A) Some toys come with a supplement for sticker placement


9) Stickers

No Paint Version (4/5)
The no paint version comes with everything listed above and adds the following:
10) 2x water-slide details
The no paint release is odd in that it includes a TV style pilot, is molded in a bright TV color white, but includes DYRL fixed posed hands and decals that would make it easiest to convert into a DYRL style vehicle.

VF-1D Releases (4/5)
There were two VF-1D releases, the standard trainer that was Hikaru’s (Rick’s) first vehicle early in the TV show and the “Virgin Road” VF-1D. The Virgin Road VF-1D wears Max’s livery and is a solution to the question “How did Max’s vehicle suddenly have two seats?” To celebrate his wedding they painted a VF-1D in his scheme (though I think the animation shows a different head on the vehicle… but we’ll ignore that). The VF-1D toys add one element:
1) Painted pilot figure – the VF-1D toys have very cool custom pilots. The standard VF-1D comes with Hikaru in his civilian flight suit. The Virgin Road comes with Max in his tuxedo
10) Painted co-pilot figure – and again, very cool. Hikaru comes with Minmay in civilian clothes, Max comes with Miria.
11) Note of warning – For Hikaru, it looks like Yamato wanted you to be sure to pinch his arms in enough so he didn’t block the canopy. For Max, the warning is that you’re probably going to scrape the paint off the back of the lights on either side of the head in battroid mode (see picture).
Note that there was a reissue of the trainer colors of the VF-1D for the 30th anniversary that included option parts… see the 30th anniversary section. The VF-1D toys also had unique instructions attached below.

VF-X release (4/5)
The VF-X toy added the following accessory:
10) Head replacement and arms cover for fighter mode
This release came with the standard VF-1A instruction manual and stickers but added a Macross Chronicles insert and antoher insert explaining how to install the additional part.

Yamato 30th anniversary releases, Arcadia 35th anniversary VF-1J (4.5/5)
Most of these toys were reissues of previous toys but the boxes were updated to eliminate the flip-top lid if it was present on the first release.
For the 30th anniversary (look for a blue banner along the corner of the box) Yamato added “Option parts” with all releases except the VF-1A Cavaliers. Option parts consist of:
10) Side/armpit covers
11) Seat to simulate exposed pilot in battroid mode with head leaned forward (it’s a double seat for the VF-1D)
12) Neck cover
13) Instructions on how to use the option parts
Arcadia’s 35th anniversary VF-1J follows the same format as Yamato’s 30th anniversary toys coming in a box that lacks a flip top lid and contains option parts. The stickers are unique and you receive a marking guide on an additional piece of paper. Given the complexity of the sticker sheet, it’s unfortunate water-slide decals weren’t also included.

Arcadia 30th Anniversario VF-1J (4.5/5)
While the Yamato boxes became more basic over time, Arcadia’s first release, the 30th Anniversario VF-1J, stepped up the game in a big way. This toy comes with a box sleeve with cover art provided by Tenjin. Inside is a classy white box complete with gold foil print and a flip top lid. The box is 32x28x11CM. This toy comes with option parts, two sets of press-on stickers, and the following extras:
14) Waterslide decals (both the press-on sticker sheets are reproduced as water-slide decals)
15) Display stand (Fighter mode only, in a bag under the tray)
Arcadia even gave this toy a customized instruction booklet, you can see the unique pages here:

Arcadia VF-1S (with stand) (5/5)
The first Arcadia VF-1S releases (Focker and Ichijo) returned to poorly photoshopped art but retain the flip top lid.  The inclusion of the display makes the Arcadia VF-1S packaging larger than most standard releases at 32x28x15CM. This display stand was significantly better than the solid piece of plastic that came with the 30th anniversary VF-1J:
13) Waterslide decals
14) Display stand (includes base with storage, arm that pivots, and pivot at connector, works in all modes and all existing Yamato launch arm adapters)

Yamato Stike & Super Bundle Gift-sets (4.5/5)
Yamato never released any super bundles with option parts other than the 30th edition Elintseeker. The first releases had flipped top lids but those were gone by the time we got to the anniversary release. Fun fact, the VF-1J Max & Miria boxes have congruent art so they create unified images when placed next to each other. Yamato super bundles come with everything from the regular standard releases, including expanded instructions and stickers plus:
10) Strike and/or Super parts (strike parts contain the extra missile boom so they can convert to super parts, TV versions don’t come with a strike cannon, they are ‘super’ parts only)
11) 4 sets of reaction missiles

Elintseeker & Super Ostrich (4/5) +.5 for 30th anniversary Elintseeker
The Elintseeker and Super Ostrich vehicles weren’t known for carry armaments and so Yamato deleted a few of the otherwise traditional accessories with these gift-sets. Inside the tray you get:
2) Gun with collapsible stock and handle
3) 4 sets of TV style missiles (which can be removed from their tree like the 1/48 TV-style missiles)
4) 4 sets of DYRL? box missiles (which can not be opened like the 1/48 DYRL missiles)
2) A copilot figure
3) Unique super parts
The 30th anniversary reissue and Arcadia Premium Finish release of the Elintseeker include the option parts consisting of:
9) Side/armpit covers
10) Seats to simulate exposed pilot/copilot in battroid mode with head leaned forward
11) Neck cover
The instruction manual is also unique to each release.

Yamato 1 year anniversary edition bundles (4.5/5)
Yamato reissued their DYRL VF-1S Hikaru and VF-1S Roy Super/Strike gift-sets in anniversary packaging. It was everything the first release was without a flip-top lid but now you also got:
12) A flashlight that showed the Jolly Roger emblem

Yamato assembly kits
I’m not going to give these kits scores since they’re essentially models and delivered as such. They come in no frills black & white boxes that generally feel like they’re falling apart the moment you touch them. Inside you get everything from the 30th anniversary releases, except this time you’re going to have to paint everything yourself. You also get:
9) Instead of stickers, you get waterslide decals
14) Marking guide (how to apply those decals)
15) Assembly manual (CLICK HERE FOR AN AWESOME ENGLISH TRANSLATION BY Mech9)
16) Baby pod carrier (with VF-1J assembly verison only)

Yamato and Arcadia Hikaru VF-1J + GBP Gift-sets (5/5)
Both Yamato and Arcadia have released VF-1J Hikaru toys bundled with Grenade Box Protection (GBP) armor. As well as all the stuff you got with standard Yamato releases and expanded stickers and instructions, you got the following:
10) Side/armpit covers
11) Neck cover
12) GBP Parts (including feet covers)
13) 4x fixed posed hands (the standard fixed posed hands don’t work with the GBP armor on so you’ll have to use these)
14) Display stand adapter

Arcadia Strike & Super VF-1 Gift-sets (including “Premium Finish” releases) (5/5)
While the Arcadia Super/Strike gift-sets don’t come in the most attractive box, the regular releases do have flip-top lids. Oddly, the “premium finish” (PF) releases come in black boxes that look awful and don’t have a flip-top lid. Between the release of the Hikaru and Roy PF and the Max & MIria PF toys, Arcadia changed from a gloss black box to a matte black box. Inside the box, you get everything that came with the 30th anniversary standard releases (including the option parts) as well as:
13) Strike and/or Super parts (strike parts contain the extra missile boom so they can convert to super parts, super releases do not include the strike cannon)
14) 4 sets of reaction missiles
The PF versions come with a toy that basically has all the markings provided with the regular releases as stickers already painted on the toy (so premium versions don’t have a sticker sheet). Other than the gun, there are no markings on the accessories like the pilot, missiles, or option parts. The Arcadia Max & Miria releases also included a small strip of stickers that could be used as screw covers (though screw cover stickers were already applied on the arms of the toy).

Charm & Collectability: (4-5/5)
at 24 cm long in figher and 21 cm tall in Battroid, these toys are 1/60 scale and fit nicely in the growing 1/60 scale universe created by Yamato and Bandai. The demise of Yamato in early 2013 sent the secondary market into a frenzy and prices have stayed high as Arcadia, who purchased the molds, has been very slow in producing more.  Yamato did their absolute best to make this the most complete line of VF-1 toys EVAR.  As with all VF-1 lines, some schemes are more popular than others and the ones that didn’t have a lot of appeal and are unlikely to ever be reissued are demanding steep premiums. At this point, you can’t find any release below MSRP. Toys that were only reissued once or twice (like the Max/Hayao VF-1A toys) are expensive while the toys that were never reissued may cost a kidney (like the VF-1J Mass Production, VF-1A Cavaliers, and VF-1D Virgin Road). The Angelbirds and VF-X releases were Macross Chronicles exclusives that later were more widely available as Yamato web exclusives. The original VT-1 SuperOstrich and Hikaru+GBP gift-set are great examples of toys that are extremely popular now but were shelf warmers upon release due to the number of broken shoulder hinges. That means some poor folks are paying an arm and a leg for one “new in box” right now and may some day find that the shoulder was broken at the factory. To be safe on the Hikaru+GBP set, look for one where the “1” isn’t painted on the chest and/or check out the head, the first release had a brighter white head than the rest of the body since Yamato just slapped new heads with gray visors on old Hikaru 1J stock. A similar problem is present with the ‘weathering’ versions which are generally limited to 300 pieces and represent initial release toys that received a secondary paint treatment to look weathered. Unfortunately, since these are initial release toys they are prone to the same flaws of rainbow canopies that crinkle and shoulder hinges that were broken at the factory or will break once you begin handling the toy. There was a no paint VF-1S toy that could easily be customized that seemed to be made in very small quantities making it one of the odder releases to demand a premium. Yamato also released unassembled kits of the 1A/J/S which were cheap at the time, better suited for customizers, and should still be reasonably affordable if found in the secondary market. If you’ve ever seen a picture of a “Alaskan Guard” VF-1A, that was just Yamato advertising what could be done with their assembly kits. Yamato also released photo-etch parts to support their assembly kits… but good look finding them. Arcadia has begun producing “Premium” versions of their toys. The “premium” versions have more painted on detail and cost significantly more than regular releases. These appear to be much more popular than Yamato’s “weathering” versions. You can find a complete pictorial release above of what releases have happened in this line from either company as well as a description of the improvements that were made as the line progressed and a warning about which releases had durability issues (a special thanks to Macross World’s Grand Cannon for some those details).

Sculpt, Detail, & Paint: (9/10)
As you can see in the various line art comparisons, Yamato did a phenomenal job capturing the look of the VF-1 in all of its modes.  The final product isn’t quite perfect, but some would argue it’s as close as toy manufacturer should be expected to get. Before I dive in too far, I do have a separate super parts review. Yamato did go the extra mile making truly different super parts for TV and DYRL and they didn’t just add different shells to the VT-1 and VE-1, they made new molds there too. The removable armor gimmick exposing detailed interior parts does carry-forward just like it was employed on the 1/48 toys.

In some cases the pre-painted detail applied to these toys goes beyond what I would expect from a toy getting a perfect score.  Oddly, Yamato was not consistent in what details they applied to the toys but what’s there is always nicely done.  The two Yamato toys with the most painted detail are the VF-1J Mass Production and the VE-1. The TV Mass Production VF-1A also had above average painted on detail including “Prometheus” at the base of the tail fin. The Elintseeker was later reissued by Arcadia in the “Premium Finish” format which added even more markings.

I could spend quite a while praising these toys but you can see for yourself just how good the job was so I’ll just jump right into my nitpicking.  First, the canopy is a little too bulbous (although I liked the rainbow effect which Yamato is no longer implementing due to quality control issues).  On a positive note, Yamato did make different canopies and cockpits for the two seaters (VT-1, VE-1, and VF-1D) and the included pilot figures are a huge step-up from V1.

While there is a lot of variability from release-to-release of what detail was painted on these toys, there is also one release that has no painted detail at all. The “No Paint” VF-1S lives up to its moniker. Even the included accessories are completely unpainted. Translucent trim pieces that you might have assumed were molded in color are revealed to actually be completely transparent. There is no trim work on the missiles or pilot. This toy was purely meant for custom schemes so every marking is 100% do it yourself (though both stickers and water slide decals were provided to help you on your way).

Second, Yamato continued to opt for the backpack section being too short in fighter mode, likely a compromise made for a better battroid mode but I felt the Bandai Hi-Metal toys handle the backpack better in both modes.  Third, and possibly something better addressed in the Design section, is that the neck in battroid mode is elevated above its proper position in the line art (some call it a ‘priest collar’)which makes battroid more slender and feminine looking. Before we discuss the individual releases, it should go without saying that the V2 toys are massive improvements over their V1 predecessors. While the V1 toy was passable in fighter mode, the large metal hunks had thicker seams, GERWALK was gangly, and battroid mode had a narrow crotch, thick hip connectors, and more thick seams. After the V2 toy came out Bandai eventually released a Hi-Metal toy in a much smaller scale. The much smaller toy has lots of compromises but it does a pretty good job given it’s size though it’s still no substitute for a V2.

Speaking of heads, the Hikaru VF-1J that comes with the GBP gift-set (and sold separately as the “gray visor version”) features a gray line around the visor. The GBP hands don’t work particularly well with Yamato’s DYRL off-white color.

The rainbow canopy effect was nice and I was sad to see it go. It can create some interesting conundrums when collecting. Most of the early releases were re-released without the rainbow canopy. With the exception of 30th anniversary reissues, none of the other reissues have any indication on the outer portion of the box to show whether or not they are first releases or reissues without the rainbow canopy. In the pictures below, you can see the Hayao toy has the rainbow canopy while the others do not. I’ve also included a picture of the first VF-1A Max TV version I owned, you can see that one was an early release with rainbow canopy. Both came in identical boxes. The same is true of the TV Mass Production toy which has both early versions and later versions with a clear canopy. The DYRL VF-1A Mass Production toy only comes in a clear canopy and the VF-1J Mass Production toy was only available with a rainbow canopy. Max and Miria’s VF-1J toys only received a rainbow canopy release by Yamato, subsequent Arcadia reissues have a clear canopy.

There is a Low Visibility Focker release but the gray hue that was used is a bit too rich for me. I much preferred the gray on the Yamato 1/48 Low Vis scheme.

The TV VF-1S Focker was released in two flavors, with or without super parts. The version with super parts comes with a Hikaru pilot figure which makes sense considering Hikaru was the pilot by the time super parts were introduced in the television show. The version without super parts comes with a Focker pilot figure. Yamato used bright whites for their TV releases and a gray white for DYRL releases so, as you would expect, the TV release is bright white. The other notable difference is a black arrow on the head instead of a yellow arrow on the DYRL release.

The VF-X toy was a fun addition to the line-up.  Although it doesn’t perfectly simulate the non-transformable prototype Roy is seen with in the show, there were some painted on details added and a new part to simulate a non-transformable underside to fighter mode.

One of my personal favorite Yamato releases was the VF-1A Cavaliers custom. These valkryies made a very short cameo in the original TV series, shown stored in a bay. They were obviously too dark for a series that primarily took place in space but that doesn’t stop them from being a beautiful toy. To me, this toy is miles ahead of boring black repaints. You can see in the picture below, the Cavaliers is a very different hue from the Max paint scheme.

Arcadia’s 30th anniversario VF-1J features an sleek looking orange canopy and a paint scheme that looks straight out of 1982.  Unfortunately it looks like it’s wearing a tuxedo from 1982 in battroid mode and that priest collar effect that I hate so much has a little white triangle that draws attention to it and makes me hate it even more. I also wish this toy had had black feet rather than the plain gray since that would have gone better with the paint scheme. Using the stickers makes this paint scheme look like a well sponsored NASCAR vehicle.

Arcadia’s 35th anniversary VF-1J is another bold, non-canon repaint. I like it a lot in fighter mode but your mileage may vary. Like the 30th anniversario toy, it too features a tinted canopy that really works with the paint scheme. This time Arcadia also made the feet black for an overall better look. I’m not a fan of battroid mode where the chest and heatshield come together to look like an eye. I think it would have been better if the heat shield had the gold/white stripes terminating in the corner at the top and being predominantly blue. Note, I don’t use the stickers, and if you do then the toy will have a dramatically busier look. This is the only release that has paint applied to the barrels on the head. Both the 30th anniversario and 35th anniversary paint schemes show a lot of thought in how the scheme continues above/below or front/back and flows through each mode.

While Yamato had used off-white to indicate DYRL releases and brilliant white to represent TV releases, Arcadia releases do not be adhere to this practice.  The Arcadia VF-1S releases are both badged as DYRL toys but use the same (or very near the same) brilliant white of the TV VF-1S Focker that Yamato had released.  If you’re hoping to buy an Arcadia reissue to complete your Yamato DYRL set, know that the new toy is going to stick out like a sore thumb.  On a random note, there’s also one less bit of tampo printing on the Arcadia Focker release as you can see below.

While Arcadia’s regular releases were not heavy on tampo-printed details, their premium finish releases are competitive with Bandai and KitzConcept products and exceed what Yamato had done with their VF-1J Mass Production and VE-1 Elintseeker toys. Some of the painted on details are tiny yellow bits that are only perceptible when holding the toy right up to your face.

Arcadia made some tweaks when they brought their Miria toy to market. Henceforth, all Arcadia VF-1 toys would have screw covers in the legs and stickers covering the screws on the arms. Arcadia also claimed to make several other changes but these screw covers, the brighter white than Yamato used, and the clear canopy instead of Yamato’s rainbow canopy, were the only visible differences.

Design: (9/10)
Yamato learned a lot from their previous efforts in making this toy.  Their work with the original 1/60 partsformer VF-1 is what gave us the seamless back and chest halves in fighter mode.  That was incorporated into their work on the 1/48 which many still feel is the best VF-1 toy in existence.  After that Yamato made the 1/60 VF-0 line of toys which had some flaws of their own but obviously gave Yamato some ideas they could use when revisiting the VF-1.  So this product represents a third or fourth generation toy and that’s obvious when handling it.  The incorporation of the VF-0 sliding nosecone keeps me from scoring this toy higher.  First, there was no real precedent in the animation.  Yes, I realize there was “magic” in the shortening of the nosecone when transforming between modes but there was no hint that this magic was caused by the nosecone moving.  Second, the head in battroid is connected to the nosecone so when it moves the head migrates to a place where it does not belong.  I’m a person who would prefer the head be in the right spot and the nosecone be lower but I know there are several readers who care more about the crotch than the head (yeah… read into that and know I’m judging your life choices).

Griping about the head position aside, here’s a quick rundown of what to expect:
1) Perfect Transformation right down to an integrated heat shield
2) Removable intake covers (just like the 1/48, leave them on to maintain perfect transformation)
3) Removable pilot and opening canopy (that stays open if you want it to)
4) Integrated landing gear with front tow bar that are long enough to accommodate the stowed gun
5) Better proportioned hands than the 1/48 toy
6) Hard points on wing that work 100x better than the 1/48 hard points (they require a twist)
7) Crotch-locking mechanism from VF-0 Toys (V2.1  switch back to the 1/48 VF-1 style)

8′) Removable armor panels on Super/Strike parts (same as 1/48)

9) Removable nosecone section of the craft (to recreate the scene where Roy saves Hikaru/Minmay)

10) Better recessed head and arms in fighter mode than 1/48 toys
11) Super/Strike parts with a new center support to reduce the chances of breaking the backpack
12) A much more solid toy than the 1/48 in all modes (not to say the 1/48 was ever a slouch compared to the competition)

13) Various articulation tweaks and all toys accommodate super/strike parts
14) A hook integrated into the backpack that connects behind the neck to hold the backpack erect in battroid mode (not present on VE/VT-1 toys). This differs from the 1/48 toys that had a less substantial hook on the trap door that reached back and grabbed the backpack.

So what do you lose?  No airbrakes, no wing flaps, no gun strap, no removeable micro missiles or GBP grenades, and no ridiculously huge box to have to store.  The GBP also loses the sliding forward missiles that the 1/48 toy implements in favor of having a better proportioned chest armor section.  You can read more on the GBP specifically on the post dedicated to that accessory.  Another thing to consider is that the 1/48 series never ventured into the 2 seater products.  Yamato didn’t skimp here and employed a number of design tweaks to compensate for the 2 seaters.

15) The chest plates have been properly redesigned to eliminate the nook in the chest of 1 seater vehicles and the backpack hook has been adjusted to compensate.
16) Revised canopy and cockpit to fit two pilot figures

The VT-1 and VE-1 went even further than that.  The VT-1 features concealed head sensors and an impressive amount of articulation on the head-mounted array (the big black piece).  Both the VT-1 and the VE-1 feature different backpacks which have tailfins that don’t fold down.  Instead, little clips slide up from the back of the plane to pinch the tailfins in place in gerwalk and battroid modes.

The VE-1 features everything mentioned above plus some seriously sweet and well thought-out super parts.  Here are the design attributes unique to the VE-1:
1) The art for the VE-1 has the low-hanging radar array flip from one direction to another during transformation.  Previously toy manufacturers chose not to deal with this and let owners remove the part, flip it around, and put it back on (or simply leave it on backward). The Yamato V2 incorporates a pivot.
2) The top radar array telescopes.  Previous versions of the toy lacked this ability so the dish was always way too high in fighter mode
3) The radar dome spins freely
The other big plus is that Yamato made the spikes that stick out of the boosters tuck tightly in place so you won’t find them popping out all the time like you did on the V1 toy.  The one bummer to the VE-1?  There’s a big slot in the middle of the backpack which makes a non-super version of the VE-1 look a bit strange in gerwalk mode.  Also, the way the super parts connect makes them nearly impossible to remove… be sure to exercise an abundance of patience.  If you’re buying one second-hand ask for lots of pics of the super part connections to make sure they weren’t broken when the original owner pried them loose from the valk.

When Arcadia gave us their VF-1S toys in December 2013 they included a display stand.  At a glance this display stand may apear very similar in appearance to the one that came with the 1/60 YF-21 toy Yamato made but the truth is there is only one part that the two stands share in common, the connector at the top of the arm.  Otherwise the Arcadia stand functions very similarly but it now has base that allows you to store all the extra parts that come with the toy.  The display stand gives you the ability to raise the toy higher or drop it lower and to pitch it forward or back.  There’s no left to right motion or pivot which is a shame in this day of ball-jointed everything.  Another bummer is that the display stand requires the wings to be slightly ajar in battroid mode.  In fighter mode the connector for the display stand bumps right up against the gun but I didn’t find this to be an issue and there’s no question that the grip the display stand has on the toy is very solid.

Durability & Build: Toys marked “avoid” in the above chart of releases  (4/10), “Safe*” (7/10), “Safe” (8/10)
Regrettably the first several releases of these toys have a predisposition toward catastrophic shoulder failure.  Even more regrettable that same issue popped back up for the release of the VT-1 and then again when Yamato sold remaining VF-1J Hikaru stock in their GBP gift-set bundle.  Getting replacement shoulders is hard to do, I have no idea how you can get them, but if you do get your hands on a set I’ve got a how-to post to show you what needs to be done to replace them.  In the end it was a real shame that an otherwise very sturdy toy suffered such an obvious durability issues upon release.

You don’t have to worry as much about the arms breaking off the toys labeled “safe*” toys but you do have to worry about the paint.  Out of the box these toys look drop dead gorgeous but after just one transformation you’ll likely start seeing scratches in the paint.  The biggest problem is the white paint applied to the sensors that appear near the shoulders in battroid mode.  These sensors almost have to rub against the plastic during transformation so the thin white paint just flakes right off.  It’s as if Yamato used White-out to paint that area of the toy… so the good news is a little dab of white out every time you transform it may be all you need to keep yourself happy.  Another thing to watch out for on these toys is the rainbow effect on the canopy.  I’ve seen Weathering versions of the toys that have issues with the rainbow coating coming off.  There’s a reason Yamato stopped applying the rainbow effect and that reason was the number of complaints they received.

These toys are a joy to own but you should still exercise some care with the shoulder joints.  Some people complain that they’re too stiff out of the box but once you get used to just how sturdy they are that will become a thing of the past.  The joints start stiff and they stay that way.  The paint is clean and executed in ways where scratching it isn’t likely though there are a few hot spots where rubbing can occur.  Variants with painted vertical stabilizers (most schemes) are susceptible to marks when using the backpack support arm in battroid mode which presses the stabilizers VERY firmly against the small radar node on the toy’s back.

Of all my 1/60 V2 VF-1 toys, I’ve had two hard points pop off on me (a Yamato TV VF-1S Focker and an Arcadia VF-1J Max).  As mentioned earlier, the hard points require you to twist the missile as you put it on. In some cases, the missile twisting pries the hard point right off. I’m not sure if it’s an issue with the assembly of the wing, the mold of the hard point, or the mold of the missile, but either way, it’s a real bummer. Super glue would probably fix it but I haven’t performed that surgery, instead relegating my busted hard point toys to battroid duty.

As you can imagine, I’ve also transformed these toys LOTS of times and I have had two break at the same point. After a dozen or so transformations my Yamato Annniversary Version VF-1S Focker had the backpack break.  I’ve successfully glued it back together but you can see where it broke in the picture above. I had the exact same break happen on my Yamato VF-1J Miria. My theory is that this break can occur in two ways. First, when transforming to GERWALK, make sure that you’re ‘freeing’ the hinge before folding the backpack over. The hinge can be tight and folding the backpack without freeing the hinge causes the plastic to flex which can snap the nub as it leaves the housing. Second, when transforming back to fighter, make sure that the flap is up as you seat the backpack into position. The tolerance on where those nubs fit into the backpack is EXTREMELY tight so if the flap causes the nub to lift at all, the pressure from trying to get the backpack into position could easily pop it off. All that flexing and tightness makes a successful glue solution that much harder to accomplish.

My premium version toy came with an odd build issue where the chest didn’t lay perfectly flatly in fighter/GERWALK modes. I also had the misfortune of rubbing off one of the painted on markings so be careful when handling a “Premium” toy into battroid mode.

Articulation: (8.5/10)
There isn’t a waist and some joints have a limited range of movement  (like bringing the leg back at the knee) but otherwise this thing is fantastic.  The elbows have been designed so the toy can now touch its own shoulders which allows for a huge range of fun posing possibilities. The Hi-Metal R line wasn’t perfect transformation but it did hold a slight edge on the Yamato V2 toy by incorporating a hip extension that created more range of movement and an articulated toe that made some poses look a little more natural. When Bandai released their DX toy they added a ball-jointed head, articulated head lasers, waist, fully articulated hands, hinged GERWALK joint for wider stances, and ankles with a much broader range of motion.  Though there are now a couple transformable VF-1 toys out there that beat the Yamato V2 design out, it is still very fun to pose and you will have no issue finding a look you like. Don’t be worried about the super/strike parts dampening your fun either.  Those parts won’t reduce your range of motion at all.

Total Score:  (38.5-43.5/50)
You know this is a good toy when even the worst of the lot is hitting right at about the 40 mark.  Under no circumstances should you buy the very first issue of the Focker VF-1S (in regular or super/strike variants).  Consult my photo of the release list above (charm & collectability section) and know that any with red text should be avoided should only be purchased at a super discount and know that you’re playing a QC lottery.  Getting replacement parts is very hard outside of Japan (and I bet it’s not fun in Japan either). The two-seaters have cult allure and are brilliantly executed, especially the VE-1 with its complex super parts.   While the weathering versions are cool looking, I’d personally be afraid of handling them often and even more afraid I’d get one with a rainbow canopy that’s damaged. There were lots accessories made. Some were official, like the clear super part armors, exclusives only sold at conventions, and others were made by enthusiasts like the gun straps shown below.

EDIT – August 8, 2011, combined the following articles into one mega review:
1) Yamato 1/60 V2 Elintseeker (originally posted March 9, 2010)
2) Yamato 1/60 V2 Super/Strike VF-1S toys (originally posted August, 2008, updated March 17, 2009, updated again March 2, 2010)
3) Yamato 1/60 V2 Super VF-1J toys (originally posted November 2008, updated March 15, 2009, updated again March 1, 2010)
4) Yamato 1/60 V2 VF-1D toys (originally posted March 2009, updated March 1, 2010)
5) Yamato 1/60 V2 VF-1S Focker LowVis (originally posted January 2010, updated March 1, 2010)
6) Yamato 1/60 V2 VT-1 SuperOstrich (originally posted November 2009, updated March 1, 2010)
7) Yamato 1/60 V2 VF-1J and GBP Gift-set (originally posted February 16, 2010)
Content was also updated, resolution of pictures was increased, new content/pictures were added, and a video review was added.  My apologies to all the comments that were deleted (something like 100) from the previous posts.  You can feel free to post comments in this post as it now represents the only spot for all things V2 VF-1.
Updated January 23, 2013 – Updated for additional releases and 30th anniversary bonus parts.
Updated October 9, 2013 – Updated with information about Arcadia and the Arcadia VF-1J 30th anniversary toy
Updated January 15, 2014 – Added content about the Arcadia VF-1S Focker release and included an in-depth HD video review discussing all Yamato and Arcadia releases
Updated July 17, 2014 – Included an HD video review examining Yamato’s VF-X release
Updated November 8, 2016 – Included an HD video review of the Arcadia VF-1S Focker Super/Strike Bundle
Updated November 20, 2016 – Included content about the VF-1J Mass Production toy, VF-1A Mass Production TV version, VF-1A Hayao TV version, and VF-1A Max TV version
Updated December 4, 2016 – Included content about the VF-1A Cavaliers toy
Updated December 10, 2016 – Updated the content and structure of the article, increased resolution of numerous photos, added new photos
Updated July 9, 2017 – Included pictures, content, and an HD video of the “Premium” version Hikaru VF-1S release.
Updated February 11, 2018 – Included pictures, content, and an HD video of the “No Paint” VF-1S and assembly kits.
Updated March 18, 2018 – Included higher res photos of the Elintseeker and added a 4K VE-1video review.
Updated November 25, 2018 – Added a 4K transformation guide (fighter to battroid), scans of Yamato’s and Arcadia’s instructions, and content related to all Super VF-1J Max & Miria releases
Updated December 9, 2018 – Added a 4K video review of Yamato and Arcadias Max & Miria Super VF-1J toys
Updated January 27, 2019 – Added a 4K transformation guide (battroid to fighter)
Updated May 26, 2019 – Added a 4K review of the un-animated VF-1 schemes including the 35th anniversary toy
Updated June 9, 2019 – Added Arcadia’s Premium Finish VE-1 and a 4K video review
Updated October 25, 2019 – Added VF-1S Max Jenius pictures

99 Replies to “Yamato & Arcadia 1/60 VF-1 Toys (VersionM 2)”

  1. Hey im a long time reader. quick question. i just cracked one of the head lasers on my hikaru vf-1s anniversary edition. it didnt brake completely off but is definitely in danger of doing so. is there any way i could order just a new head or fix the laser?

  2. Unfortunately Yamato is not allowed to service buyers outside of Japan due to Harmony Gold’s having the international rights to Macross merchandise. So, your only hope would be to send an email to the seller you purchased the toy from originally and hope they can arrange to get you a replacement part. If you received the toy as a gift or purchased it from the secondary market then you’ll have to search high and low for someone selling a toy that broke in a different area on the cheap.

  3. i bought it off an ebay retailer. i guess my best bet for the time being would be to break out the super glue

  4. Sorry, I didn’t see these last two commemts… not sure why but I didn’t get notifications on them. I’m afraid I’m no customizer and I don’t have modeling skills so I’m really not sure what would work best for you.

  5. Hello. Thanks for all the time and effort you put into your site. It’s just awesome! I was looking at ordering the 05/2010 release VF-1J Ichijo Custom from HLJ, but it wasn’t listed on the V2-VF1 table. Do you know if it’s just a “v2.0 Avoid” repackage or if they actually made a 2.2 version of it? I could opt for the gray visor custom, but prefer the visor in white. Thanks for any help.

  6. Sorry, it appears my list wasn’t as complete as I thought it was. Unfortunately I don’t know anything about the 5/10 reissue. If you do decide to make the plunge, please let me know what version(2.0, 2.1, 2.2) it is!

  7. My order just arrived. The 05/2010 VF-1J Ichijo Custom is a 2.2. Clear canopy, wide hip lock, good shoulders, and the head paint/plastic matches the rest of the valk. Perfect!

  8. Hi, I’m a long time reader and fan of your site. Your reviews really helped me out alot on my purchases and I just wanted to say thanks. I also wanted to help confirm that the 05/2010 reissue of VF-1J Ichijo Custom is a 2.2 like the last post stated. (My order just arrived today). Any idea if the 1/60 VF-A Ichijo DYRL ever have a reissue as well?

  9. Alright, had to take it easy this week so I did a quick update on this post. Like the two people above, I too purchased a May 2010 reissue of the Hikaru VF-1J and it is, indeed, a V2.2. I’ve updated the listing of toys. I’ve also modified the line art comparison to include the VF-1J line art comparison which I think is pretty telling. As a heads-up to everyone, it looks like the T-Rex baby pod and battroid seat parts may be heading to mass production. Also, it looks like Yamato has plans to release more “non-painted” versions, this time giving us the VF-1A and VF-1J. I’ve also included links in the “Total Score” sections to the various accessory posts I’ve done including the Zentran Outfit, Clear Parts, and T-Rex accessory parts.

  10. I can’t wait to buy those T-Rex products, especially the zentradi soldier which could fit into the Yamato 1/60 Regult..but obviously it is too big for that! Anyway, it’s good to see it is heading to mass production for sale!

  11. Sadly it hasn’t been stated the 1/60 Soldier is amongst the T-Rex parts going for sale. As of right now it looks like it’s just the baby-pod and seat attachments for battroid.

  12. It’s true, but i’m hoping to see more Zentradi mecha to be launched by yamato..maybe 1/60 Nousjadeul-Ger? Who knows? hehe!

  13. Hello, I’m now reading your reviews for a while and first of all I want to thank you for the quality of those ones.

    I’m wondering how can I ensure to buy a V2.2 when buying online (on BBTS or plamoya for example), can you help me?

  14. For reissues it is often impossible to determine which version a retailer has in stock since the boxes are identical. Some of the boxes feature lids that can be opened so you could ask that someone look inside and surmise if the canopy has the rainbow tint. Unfortunately the rainbow tint is very subtle so I could see people telling you that the tint is not there just because they couldn’t notice it through the plastic. In most cases, if you think there’s a chance the retailer has an older version in stock, I would suggest not buying the toy and waiting for a future reissue that you can then preorder and know you’re getting a toy with the latest fixes. You can also go to a place like Macrossworld and start a thread stating that you’d like to buy tox X from retailer Y and you’re wondering if anyone else made the same purchase and can tell you if they received a version with a clear canopy and upgraded leg locking mechanism.

  15. Great reviews as always! I’ve bought a couple toys from Over Drive but it seems their supply has pretty much dried up. Any other trusted online retail recommendations? Thanks for your time!

  16. Ugh, disregard my recent post. I guess I was checking an older version of their site. I just used your link to OverDrive and found they have a lot more stuff. Thanks!

  17. Overdrive seems to be moving toward a manufacture position and away from the web store, you might try more traditional outlets like Hobby Link Japan. I just updated my “where to buy” page to reflect this.

  18. Hey, I’m wondering how to tell between the avoid 2008 VF-1S roy focker version and the safe 2010 VF-1S Roy Focker TV versions. Does anyone have picture links to the two box covers? There’s several being offered on Ebay, but I can’t figure out which one is the safe and which isn’t, and they only show the box fronts.

  19. If it says it’s a TV version then you have nothing to worry about, it’s safe. It’s the Do You Remember Love versions that were to be avoided.

  20. Thnks for the review. Actually, it was your review pic of the Max’ VF-1A tv-version, which prompted me to get this for Xmas. The thing looks beautiful, no quality issues at all. However, I do disagree a bit with your 9/10 score for articulation. As you said yourself ; the knees can’t do a full 90 degrees. I also find the range of motion for the hips extremely limited.

    Basically, this Yamato VF1 can only fake a true natural wide stance ; unless you revert to cheating by means of using the knee swivel : this basically just flares out the lower legs, but the thighs still won’t rotate outwards sufficiently.

    Bandai’s 1/100 Hi Metal VF1’s perform a LOT better when it comes to this ; thanks to their slide/scope mechanism on the hip-ball joint, the hips of the Hi Metal VF1 allow for better articulation than these 1/60 Yamato VF1’s.

    So, I’d rate the articulation of the Yamato VF1 a 5.5 out of 10.

  21. i have a question with regard to the crotch locking mechanism. which version is better? the previous version (2.00 & 2.05) or the later version (2.1 & 2.2) ?

  22. Hi,
    I’m stuck to try and locate a VE-1 Elintseeker V2.0 transforming veritech. Any suggestions as to finding it?

  23. At this point you’d have to use eBay or Yahoo Auctions Japan or wait/hope for a reissue. It’s a pretty well demanded toy so I think there’s a good chance of a reissue this summer. Just my guess…

  24. thanks for the answer. which site should i check with to see latest news on reissue or new valkyrie by yamato anyway?

  25. Not all versions of the V2 are pictured in this review since most are simple repaints but they all should be listed on the attachment in the charm & collectability section.

  26. I come here often and use the reviews and comments as a compass onwhat to purchase…you’ve saved me a lot of money by not making buying mistakes. I want to point two things out with Yamato that are just observations to table to fellow fans. One thing I’ve noticed that hasn’t been pointed out is that Yamato has failed on all versions to capture the line art of the VF-1J’s head. It is unique with three sections that fit together in the line art (side verticle, center with triangle gap, and triangle that fits into the gap.) The only other thing I hope we see is a new design for the heatshield that slides down out of the body during transformation from fighter to battleoid. This design causes the figure to have a barrel chested profile when viewed from the side that the Version 1 1/60’s do not have. Perhaps a cockpit that could rotate upside down to reveal the heatshield or some other solution will be found.

  27. I had to look around a bit but found the picture with measurements in my Yamato 1/60 Q-Rau review (see that review for the comparison pic). I measured my V2 to be 23.5CM tall, 21.5 if you stop at the top of the head and discard the laser height.

  28. If i want to get VF-1J (30 anniv), do you know where to get? i already look at ebay and HLJ, there’s none.

    I really want this badly….with reasonable price too of coz

  29. One place I found that actually have vf-1s in stock is angolz.com. I think the new 30th anniversary movie version fix the should issue.

  30. in the total score section for the Low Vis and the Weathered ones, you typed “LE”. I think you meant “LW” for Limited Weathering? LE didn’t seem to mean anything (that I know of, anyways)..

  31. Not a peep from my sources. Assuming the worst (which I’ve been doing all along), Arcadia will need to wait for the dust to settle on a Yamato bankruptcy to make sure any assets they purchased from Yamato (ie. toy molds) are not in dispute. Even if they were comfortable that Arcadia had made a valid purchase of Yamato molds or designs for future toys, Yamato would have been the license holder with BigWest. The license would need to revert back to BigWest (which it may have already done depending on where Yamato’s liquidation is) and then BigWest would have to sign a new contract with Arcadia. It’s my understanding that there is a lot of goodwill between BigWest and Yamato for the good job Yamato did with the license (and the money they made BigWest) so that should be good for Arcadia. It’s also my understanding that Bandai is starting to like the Macross franchise a bit more due to Frontier’s success so they might want to snag a license or two back. My guess is Bandai will raise the cost of acquiring the SDF Macross and Macross Plus licenses so Arcadia may stick to Macross Zero and Macross Seven for a little while once they finally are able to visit transforming Macross toys. Before that they might make stuff Bandai has no interest in for any of the series like dolls or anything else that’s not a transforming fighter.

  32. thanks for sharing your insight. sigh i came into this too slow, and the market only left a few vf-1, the rest of the vf are either too expensive or too rare. So i welcome arcadia or bandai to keep producing affordable and good macross.

    oh, btw, the super kakizaki that i shown, is it a safe version? ( not the avoid version)

    i was really unlucky to get a vf-1s with a manufacturing defect at the chest joint. some mold damage that makes it looks ugly, so i’m a little concern on the next vf-1 that i’m gonna buy.( gonna keep vf-1s at gerwalk mode only, no battleroid)

    http://i.imgur.com/RSMAZ1S.jpg
    http://i.imgur.com/V8SMHXB.jpg

  33. I know it’s probably a pain in the butt, but is there any chance that you can post photos of boxes to determine which ones are versions 2.0, 2.1, and 2.2? It’s a little scary with this whole Yamato scare taking place and people not knowing what they’re buying. Thanks for the awesome reviews always!

  34. Unfortunately for many cases pictures of the boxes wouldn’t help as the reissues were packaged in the same box as the originals. I also don’t own all the toys so I’d have to go pilfering pics off the Interwebs… but maybe for a future update I’ll give it a stab.

  35. Regarding the placement of the head relative to the nosecone/chest in battroid mode — I have a first release DYRL Roy VF-1S (tinted canopy and cracked shoulders) and a DYRL 30th anniversary Hikaru VF-1S (the one with included option parts). Comparing the two, it seems that at some point Yamato corrected the sculpt for this portion as the head on my Hikaru VF-1S sits much lower than the head on my Roy VF-1S. Perhaps this warrants a bump up on the score for the sculpt for these later releases?

  36. I’m supposed to be getting the Arcadia version either at the end of this month or the beginning of next. When I do I’ll update this review. From what I’ve seen though, if it looks like the head is in a better position it usually just means that the person who transformed the toy didn’t quite slide it up as far as you’re technically supposed to. It’s a smart move in my book, you don’t have to get everything to click into place and it will still be stiff enough for battroid to handle properly and look a little bit better than it would if transformation was done entirely by the book.

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