Review: A hearty thank you to ‘Red Shoulder’ for becoming the first anymoon contributor! Read his review and give him feedback!
Before I get started, I just want to say I’m honored to be selected to help out Anymoon.com as a contributor. I love this site and it is the main reason I am an avid toy collector again. I think that Micronian’s reviews are some of the most detailed and helpful on the net, and I will strive to uphold that level of quality with all of my reviews.
My ultimate aim is to enhance Micronian’s already fantastic review structure and provide more day-to-day content for the site. I hope this will enhance site growth and allow anymoon to be an even bigger voice in the collecting community.
I want to thank everyone for reading my humble reviews and feel free to leave comments and feedback! I have a new, higher quality camera in the mail and I’ll be doing video reviews as well, once my set-up is complete.
When it comes to buying your first VOTOMs toy there are a lot of options and a lot of questions you want to ask yourself. Do you want to collect big, or do you want to stay small? If you’re going to go with a large scale, should you chose Takara, or Yamato? I decided to go big, and put my money down on the Yamato offerings. I initially got my feet wet with a Strong Bacchus, and from there I realized I wanted a Turbo Custom.
But this realization lead to more questions. Should I get the Turbo Custom standalone and hunt down a red shoulder custom set? I could also I try to find the elusive Oddon equipment set instead, or finally, should I just look for a Last Red Shoulder gift set that includes all the parts right out of the box?
I decided to go with the Last Red Shoulder giftset for several reasons.
First off, I like how the shoulder mounted missile bay on the LRS displays better than the Oddon set. The LRS version has an extra missile slot that dips down in a v shape toward the shoulder, whereas the Oddon equipment set is just a square box shape. To me it has a much smoother and technical look that really enhances the toy. Second, I felt that I could always go back and hunt for an Oddon set in the future and swap out parts. If I went down the road of buying a Turbo custom, and then waiting for the Oddon set to show it’s face I might be waiting several weeks to have the complete look. Besides, It’s always nice to have something to hunt for when it comes to collecting.
Pulling the box out of the shipping box was a pure Joy, as one of the reasons I love the Yamato VOTOMSs is the striking box art. Created by a design company named HUSH, which I can find absolutely zero information on, I love the striking Manga-like art and high level design employed. The boxes themselves could be great show pieces for any collector.
Being slightly larger than a 1/48 VF-1 box, it is about the size of a small coffee table. I feel like Yamato could have done a better job packing their larger scale toys to save space, but I’m in too deep now to worry about that.
After pulling the actual dog out of the box, I can say that it felt like a totally different toy from my experience handling the V2 Strong Bacchus. I love my SB, but the TC feels tighter, yet almost lighter, with entirely new legs. I also noticed that their seems to be more detailing and paneling work across the entire toy, over the older versions of the scopedog.
The Turbo Custom Unit:
1. The knee joint is ratcheted and tight. This makes all the difference in getting good “crouching A” poses to make your Scopedog appear to be skating into battle.
2. The feet themselves are smaller, but have better weight distribution and lock into the ankle nicely. They still have the pull out ankle joint that allows you to keep the feet flat though, which is a must when posing these toys.
3. The TC wheels that pop out of the back of the leg add even more stabilization, and look awesome. I was also delighted to see that the tires are a nice thick rubber.
4. The hands and main gun fit better, while the arms are slightly smaller in the bicep and forearm area. They also seem to lock and hold much better for the weight of the big Gat gun. On previous versions, the gun tended to weigh too much and cause the arms to flop without a proper bracing pose.
The LRS really gives the feeling that these mecha are walking, moving Abrams tanks. The OVA’s and TV show really give you the impression of a durable, heavy, and clunky bot, but with a springy leg system that allows for jumps and landings at a blinding speed. The earlier yamato offerings don’t really capture this without the legs from the turbo custom, as it’s a fairly static standing toy. The details on the back of the box state that the turbo custom’s high speed is about 50 kmh, and the weight is about 7.2 tons. This is slightly faster than an Abram’s with the obvious advantages of being bipedal. It is terrifying to imagine if these VOTOMS were real machines, or the impact on enemy morale when Seeing a squadron of upright tanks bearing down on you at such high speeds.
But back to the real world and this fantastic toy.
The upgrade Red Shoulder set:
I was quite impressed with the Ratcheting in the Missile bay. I thought it was going to be a pain to keep locked in place as per my experience with the other giant weapons sets. Not so. It locks in nice and tight and ratchets as you move it up and down.
The backpack has a nice feel, but isn’t nearly as heavy as the parachute sack. It’s basically the same design but slightly scaled down.
The waist Gatling gun has a little spin gimmick which is fun. You basically twist a dial on the back of the cannon and it rotates. The forearm machine gun also has a cool slotting magazine, but I haven’t pulled it out. It’s attention to detail like this that lets you know this toy was worth the money.
All the parts attach fairly easy to the main unit with very little fuss or frustration, but I did use a hairdryer on low heat to warm up some of the slots, but that’s typical with any toy I get.
My only complaints:
1. The 3x Mortar on the right replacement shoulder are not articulated. It feels like they are, and should be, but no joy.
2. The small equipment ammo holders in the backpack are kind a pain to slot in as you have to push the handle up into a locking mechanism.
(I was going to add a 3rd point; that the missiles on the waist are annoying because they do not lock in place. However, after spending some more time with the piece I realized that they do lock into place nicely, both on the waist bay and the shoulder bay. All you need to do is push the missiles all the way into their slots, and then continue to push the tip of the missile with the tip of your finger until you hear a satisfying lock.)
These are minor complaints and not at all something that would keep me from loving this toy. I feel it’s worth every penny I spent.
Speaking of Pennies that I spent… thanks to the collapse and buying frenzy since the announcement that Yamato of Japan ceased operations these pieces have become very rare and sought after by collectors. If you’re not willing to scour Yahoo Japan with a proxy service or wait for a second hand seller expect to pay $800 plus, or an incredible wallet busting $1,100 USD on Amazon. On Japanese auction sites they seem to be going for around $400-$450 before fees, and I suggest you use that route to hunt one down. I wouldn’t pay more than that for one of these monsters, but I would keep in mind that I doubt any other company will bring these suits to life at such a scale any time soon. VOTOMS is a limited market and isn’t nearly as well known as a Macross or Gundam.
I feel that the LRS giftset is the ultimate VOTOMS collectible and it’s worth all the money I spent. I liked the idea of buying this complete package better than spending $300-$400 on a single TC and feeling like I didn’t get that much of an upgrade over other scopedog toys. I would then have to spend another $100-$150 on the Oddon/RS Custom parts set. After fees and shipping it could easily be anywhere from $500-600 dollars to complete this look..
If you have the space, the cash, and the burning desire for real robot genre action, do yourself a favor and hunt down this toy.