Review: What happens when a toy mates with a trophy
Packaging & Extras: (2/5)
Takatoku’s boxes are renowned for being adorned with top grade artwork and this toy is no exception Most of the art work is the same that adorns other Takatoku boxes so don’t expect anything surprising. There’s a big window in the front which may be fragile so care should be taken. Inside the box you’ll get the following beyond the battroid packaged toy:
2) Fighter mode rear
3) 2 x wings
The gun and fighter specific parts, casted in a contrasting color to the battroid toy are housed in the lower portion of the box. The instructions for how to transform the toy are printed on the back of the box rather than being included separately.
Charm & Collectability: (3/5)
This toy isn’t plentiful so for VF-1 completists it can prove a challenge. There are two variants which are simply opposites of each other. There’s some charm here for being such a quirky older representation of an extremely popular mecha but don’t expect any actual metal and know that the transformation is far from perfect.
Sculpt, Detail, & Build: (4/10)
This toy does well at capturing battroid mode but has far more weaknesses than strengths. You’ll note things like big open hollow cavities in the backs of the arms in battroid mode. The method of plastic creation also makes some should-be flat surfaces appear concave. Some transformation mechanisms are also obvious, such as the bars that extend up from the hips to attach high on the fuselage. Fighter mode is just a disaster in almost all respects and does a very poor job emulating the line art. The cockpit canopy isn’t see through so Takatoku had no reason to add a heat shield over it… but they did to the detriment of fighter with no real benefit to battroid. One might also wonder why Takatoku would opt to make the secondary parts a different color. The giant head looking out from fighter is pretty ridiculous also… since the instructions don’t require the arms being installed in fighter then the head should have simply been left off also.
From a design stand point this toy is a comedy of errors but it does have a hackneyed transformation so I’m giving it a few points out of sympathy. In battroid mode the toy’s one trick is the ability to hold a gun. It’s very curious the designers couldn’t think of relatively cheap and quick ways to make it so the legs and shoulders simply pegged in (with one round peg) in battroid mode giving the limbs at least one swivel point of articulation. The feet should also be separate parts that could be swapped with closed feet for fighter mode. Fortunately battroid mode does stick together extremely well but fighter mode can make no such boasts. Despite a plethora of pegs fighter mode is fiddly and ill-conceived.
Durability & Build: (6/10)
The problem with shiny coated plastic toys that need to peg together is that putting the toy together will eventually cause the shiny coat to wear off the pegs. Once the coat starts wearing off the part won’t peg together as well and will start looking bad in the alternate mode. Since this toy is old-school the plastic is not as well formed and can be wavy. If the toy were mishandled it seems it’d be easy to snap off a head laser.
1 point for 1 point of articulation, the neck.
Total Score: (19/50)
Buy this toy because it’s shiny, unique, and you’re a classic VF toy diehard. Do not buy this toy because it’d be fun to play with, fun to transform, or any reason other than how quirky it is. The shiny finish definitely makes it stand out in a crowd… how many other gold Macross toys do you own (you may own a gold VF-17 if you’re a true collecting nut).
Original post: July 14, 2011
Updated February 11, 2017: Added pictures of the second variant and an HD video review.