Review: Classic toy with a cool gimmick
Packaging & Extras: (5/5)
I’m scoring this toy perfect here because of the quality of Takatoku’s boxes, the quality of their packaging materials, the quality of the adorning art, the inside collector’s display lid, and the fact this toy is one destroid that comes with almost everything you need to make two other destroids. You also get instructions and stickers and the typical Takatoku toy catalog. While the score may be perfect I do see one area I could complain: I frequently see these toys for sale with the parts having fallen off the Tomahawk in the box so it makes it very hard to ascertain if all the parts are there. It would have been nice if Takatoku had devised a way of packaging the toy that would have made it easier to account for all parts and kept things locked down tighter in transit. For this review, I’ll include that as a knock on the toy’s design as, if the parts stayed locked on tighter, that probably wouldn’t be a problem.
Charm & Collectability: (3/5)
This thing has oodles of charm but falls flat on collectability. The golden rules of collectability are toys that were readily consumed, featured heroic mecha, and featured metal construction. For my generation having perfect transformation be a featured design element also adds to both charm and collectability. While the destroid conversion kit does feature metal construction it doesn’t meet the other criteria. This wasn’t a hot selling toy, the destroids didn’t see a ton of play time so many are still in great shape, this particular kit seems like it was geared more toward young adults which would have further enhanced its ability to survive the era, and the destroids themselves don’t draw a lot of fanfare. The conversion kit has a really neat gimmick to it, and it’s undeniably old school, but it’s just not a Hikaru VF-1J or a Focker VF-1S.
Sculpt, detail, & Paint: (6/10)
The most obvious shortcoming of this toy is the lack of detail but that comes with the territory of being a classic toy in a smaller scale. Takatoku included plenty of stickers for you to dress the toy up in though and that definitely helps. The tomahawk cannons are way too big but the Phalanx and Defender both look very good proportionally. Check out the various line art comparisons to get an idea for how well Takatoku did.
Unfortunately the idea of this toy is a little cooler than the execution. My biggest complaint is that some parts don’t lock on quite as well as they should, namely the thigh and waist armors. At this scale I guess I shouldn’t expect cool gimmicks like opening doors but it’d still be nice to see some and they’re not there. The conversion gimmick itself is ultra cool for a moment… but then you realize how much better it would be just to have all three destroids. In fact, if Takatoku didn’t bother with the cool internal frame gimmick they almost certainly could have made all three destroids and sold them in a bundle for less. I’m sure the thought was that destroids weren’t sexy enough to sell without the conversion gimmick, and maybe Takatoku was right since I hear this conversion kit floundered at stores. As cool as that internal frame is, unless you can see yourself enjoying the act of converting a destroid into a different destroid then the neat gimmick doesn’t really add much to the fun factor.
Durability & Build: (6/10)
For the most part these toys are very solid but by their nature you’re going to be taking things apart, handling small parts, and it’s very easy for something to go missing. Be very wary when buying these toys second-hand and when handling these toys on carpet. One false move and a part can disappear and if you’re not a stickler for putting things back away in the tray perfectly it might be a long while before you ever realize that a part has gone missing. This is compounded by how easily some of the parts can become dislodged so lots of caution is advised.
I was very pleasantly surprised by how well articulated this toy is. I was expecting something more akin to the old 1/144 destroids which are essentially little statues so I was shocked to see ball jointed hips and ankles with a large range of movement. Sure, none of these destroids have much in the way of arm or head mobility but what they can do with their legs and waist is very solid, especially considering the era they were made in.
Total Score: (32/50)
It’s hard for me to rate a toy I think is this “neat” this poorly but sometimes “neat” just doesn’t cut it. The internal frame is cool and is what I imagined when I first heard of Yamato’s GnU line of toys. Unfortunately that internal frame requires lots of external parts and only allows you to build one toy with so many spare parts it seems silly you don’t have three toys. Imagine how many extra parts you’d have lying around if you did buy three kits so you could display all three destroids… it would be ridiculous. If you love old-school Macross and you’re a fan of destroids then you should consider buying one for the nostalgia and uniqueness of this particular Takatoku offering. If you’re looking for a sweet destroid toy skip these and go straight to Yamato’s 1/60 destroids.