Observations & Critique: Includes standalone, gift-set, and exclusive releases
The Grenade Box Protection (GBP) armor for Yamato’s 1/60 Version 2 (V2) VF-1 toys (now produced by Arcadia was released as a standalone accessory. The box is 32.2 x 28 x 9.1 cm and is fairly basic made of thin cardboard with no flip-top lid. Though the contents are pretty obvious, Yamato did make the boxes for their three flavors of this toy look very similar which may have been confusing for some. The standalone accessory includes:
1) The GBP armor
2) 2 pairs of fixed posed hands
3) 2 Battroid side-gap covers
4) 1 Battroid neck-gap cover
5) 2 pairs of Front and back foot enlargement pieces
6) Display stand connector (Yamato display stands sold separately)
Those items are included in a plastic shell that sits inside a pull-out cardboard tray. Behind the cardboard tray you’ll also find:
The box swells to 32.2 x 28 x 17 for the web exclusive GBP + Missile Firing Effect set. As with the regular release, there’s nothing special to the box and the art, though decent, looks too similar to the standard release. This toy includes all the same stuff as the regular release but adds a second plastic tray that includes:
9) Missile firing effects
The GBP made its debut as part of a gift-set with a Hikaru VF-1J with gray goggles (they later made the VF-1J with gray goggles available without the GBP as an exclusive through their website). The box for this set is the same size as the exclusive version box which makes the similar artwork a bit more confusing. This toy included everything with the standalone release as well as everything included in a typical VF-1 release:
9) VF-1J Valkryie with gray visor
10) 4x DYRL missiles
11) 4x TV missiles
13) 2x display stand adapters (fighter/GERWALK and battroid)
14) Nosecone attachment part for nosecone removal gimmick
The packet with the GBP instructions and accessories also includes
16) VF-1 Instructions
17) Stickers for the VF-1
After Yamato’s demise, Arcadia took up the mantle and reissued the GBP+VF-1J giftset twice. Arcadia used the same size box as the Yamato giftsets but with a flip-top lid and new artwork that made it distinct from the previously releases. Oddly, the box for the Arcadia toy depicts a VF-1J without the gray visor but the first release (UPC 4-582482-821190) of the toy does include a gray visor while their second release does not (UPC 4-582482-821534). The box for the Yamato standalone and missile firing exclusive sets show a VF-1J without the gray visor but that was because those toys didn’t include a VF-1J toy and the only Hikaru VF-1J toys sold separately when those boxes were created would not have had gray visors.
Yamato got off to a rocky start with their first release, a giftset including the VF-1J Hikaru toy. For that bundle they used year-old dead Hikaru VF-1J stock which predated several improvements. That release, and the missile-effect set that immediately followed it, included the “1” on the chest. All reissues removed the “1” under the premise that customizers might prefer other numbers on the chest. As mentioned above, Arcadia included the gray visor on the VF-1J Hikaru toy for their first reissue and then dropped it on the second. The exclusive GBP with missile parts is the toughest to snag as the missile parts have not made their way into any reissues. I’m holding out hope that Arcadia will give us a PF GBP with missile parts someday. See the collage above for full release info.
The line art comparison doesn’t lie, this is a fantastic representation of the hockey-goalie armor. Though plain by today’s standards, there are a fair number of details painted to the toy including the yellow emblem on the waist and numbers on the forearm (and chest in early versions). I liked the gold trim painted to the boosters on the back. This accessory benefits from the high head placement of Yamato V2 VF-1 toys (see my separate review) which also raises the nosecone crotch. On the 1/48 GBP, the chest armor is massive and makes it so that the battroid would have a huge blind spot in front of the chest and the crotch was so massive a separate cap was included that allowed for a smaller crotch by way of removing the nose of the plane. Yamato’s dedication to capturing the anime look led to the inclusion of the side/neck covers and feet enlargement parts. There was definitely some foresight in the planning of the VF-1 toys as they feature a leg fin which lays flat for the installation of the GBP armor parts which allowed Yamato to make smaller leg armors to better emulate the art. This missiles in their bays look convincing and are not just the painted bumps we’ve seen on other toys.
The exclusive version of the toy is exactly the same except it now includes missile firing effects. I have heard some say these missiles look like exploding cans of shaving cream but I still find the overall look fun. There is a very light dusting of smoke gray airbrushed onto the missiles.
As noted above, later Yamato reissues and all Arcadia reissues dropped the “1” from the chest. In all other respects, the armor is unchanged from the first release.
Arcadia’s first VF-1J + GBP reissue received some flack for having a VF-1J toy that appeared pink under certain lighting conditions. It’s impossible to do an apples to apples comparison given the age of the toys but the Yamato toy does have a little creamier white while the Arcadia toy’s brilliant white can pick up a warm (pink) hue in certain light conditions.
As previously mentioned, Arcadia’s second reissue of the toy seems to be the same as the first reissue except that the head lacks the gray visor. As the animation is inconsistent, you may be in the camp that prefers head all white… I missed the gray trim.
Like Yamato’s 1/48 accessory, this armor has all the following gimmicks:
1) Ability to disassemble to numerous component parts
2) All of the appropriate missile bays open to reveal missiles via hidden hinges
3) The armor has only a minor impact on the articulation of the underlying toy
4) The armor snaps firmly into position and does not fall off during normal handling
Item 4 is critically important to the enjoyment of the toy and is superior to the 1/48 version. The diaper has been upgraded to attach more securely and benefits from the removal of the individual grenades on the hips. I suppose that’s a good segue to the gimmicks you don’t get with this version of the accessory. Unlike the 1/48 version, this 1/60 V2 version does not include:
1) Removable missiles in chest, shoulders, or legs
2) Removable grenades on hips or above fists
3) Sliding forward missiles in the chest cavity when the bay is opened.
No, a version 1 1/60 heavy armor will not work with a V2 1/60 VF-1, nor can you put a 1/60 V2 armor on a V1 VF-1 toy. This armor works on all ONE SEAT Yamato 1/60 V2 VF-1 toys, it does not work on the VF-1D, VT-1, or VE-1 due to the shape of the chest. Since the included hands are the bright white of Yamato TV releases, the GBP doesn’t look perfect on the off-white DYRL releases and conflicts with toys that don’t have white hands like the Low Vis VF-1S.
The included display stand adapter will hold the toy securely to any Yamato Launch arm display stand but doesn’t allow the wings to close in the back.
The missile launch effect does a decent job attaching to the toy. I didn’t like the fit of the missiles that attach to the back of the leg but everything else could be pressed firmly on and would survive regular handling.
The only lemon to avoid is the very first Yamato Heavy Armor + VF-1J Hikaru gift-set (UPC ends 1763). As mentioned above, this release includes a Hikaru VF-1J toy that predates the improvements Yamato made to the line. The toy has a rainbow canopy that may be prone to wrinkling, a less user-friendly crotch log for the swing bar, shoulders that frequently crack, and a head that may be a slightly different shade of white since it was produced at a different time than the rest of the VF-1J toy. Speaking of the armor specifically, there have been a few complaints of parts that don’t snap together as securely as some users would like so there may be some build tolerance issues from toy-to-toy. As mentioned above, the exclusive version’s missile firing effects for the back of the leg didn’t fit as comfortably as all the other missile firing parts.
The GBP does an excellent job of NOT impairing the articulation of Yamato’s very well articulated VF-1 toys. The opening bays combined with the mostly unencumbered VF-1 will allow better posing than expected. If you’re a fan of the GBP, and you’re a fan of Yamato’s V2 valk, then you really owe it to yourself to go out and buy one.
Original Post Date: February 10, 2010
August 29, 2011 – Added HD evolution of GBP video and information about additional releases.
October 31, 2012 – Added Comparison pics
November 8, 2020 – Added 4K video review, pictures, and updated article to include latest Arcadia reissue.