Toynami generally uses Comic-con as a way to announce Robotech merchandise that only has a slight chance of ever becoming a reality. We never did get the Shadow Beta, 1/100 Vinyl series glaug, 1/100 Grenade Box Protection armor, 1/100 series four and five, or any of numerous Shadow Chronicles bits of merchandise (no super poseable, no morpher, no masterpiece). At this year’s Comic-con Toynami showed off their Robotech 30th Anniversary Super Deformed Figurines as well as the plushy veritechs that had been exhibited before. If you’ve ever preordered a plushy veritech then you’ve probably already had your preorder cancelled as word trickled through the grapevine that Toynami was never actually going to make the product. Has that changed? Only time will tell. In this article we’re going to focus on a release that actually seems imminent… the super deformed figurines. These toys will come in blind-box sets, each box will contain 12 boxes. Right now it looks like the figures will be:
1) Hikaru pilot figure
4) White VF-1S (Fokker)
5) Red VF-1J (Miriya)
6) Blue VF-1A (Max)
7) Brown VF-1A (Ben) so far he’s only been depicted in the art so he may have been cut from the list
8) Chase figure (Not specified)
As these aren’t released yet I can’t speak to their packaging in detail. The event exclusive VF-1S Fokker comes with a big window on the front of the box that shows off the goods within. Inside the toy is twist-tied to a plastic clamshell. There are no accessories. The box is not taped shut.
For the lucky Comic-Con price of only $15 ($3 more than the blind boxes will MSRP for) attendees were able to scoop up the event exclusive (let me know if you’ve seen the production number somewhere) gray VF-1S. There will be a white VF-1S that will ship with the blind boxes. As far as exclusives go, I generally prefer that they be less desirable characters so there’s some surety the manufacturer won’t double dip. Remember when Toynami launched their 1/100 VF-1 line with a Hikaru VF-1S? Then Wave IV of that line included Hikaru’s VF-1S with strike parts. Don’t be surprised if Toynami orders a second set of these deluxe gashapon figures and includes a gray strike VF-1S. Perhaps we shouldn’t let all the negative previous experiences with Toynami leave a sour taste in our mouths. This toy carries the name Calibre Toys on it which appears to be a brand new company specializing in merchandise that doesn’t require articulation (read: stuff that even Toynami couldn’t f*** up). It looks like their focus will be high end so maybe these gashapon toys will be a slam dunk.
Being a super-deformed caricature of a veritech makes discussing the sculpt a highly subjective matter. I find them pretty cute but not without their faults. First, the Jolly Roger is puffy on the heat shield. Second, the forearms are rounded (it has the shape of the GBP gauntlets). Third, the shoulders are clearly locked in place by the chest. Fourth, the arrow on his head is supposed to be black (unless this is merchandise from Macross’ Do You Remember Love). Alright, so it has some flaws but they’re definitely minor. On the positive side the paint is clean, the eye visor is made of clear green plastic, and, while they didn’t go nuts with the paint apps or molded detail, there’s enough detail to make the figure pop.
As I mentioned before, Calibre (not sure if that’s pronounced “caliber” or “Ka-lee-bray”) or appears to be aiming at making statues more than toys. These figures fit that bill. The exclusive VF-1S appears to be made from roughly ten pieces of plastic that are glued firmly together and measures roughly 8.5CM tall. There is no articulation at any point. The glue appears to be applied appropriately, my sample has no issues with excess glue at any seams. All parts on my toy are also glued in the proper positions. The toy stands without issue and the head lasers are aligned perfectly.
Need a cute Macross statue for your desk (or to leave at your girlfriend’s desk to remind her what an 80s nerd her boyfriend is)? This definitely fits the bill. As far as gashapon goes the price here is pretty ridiculous and the box count to available statues seems out of whack. It also seems odd to me that Robotech is celebrating its 30th anniversary by releasing merchandise that only relates to The Macross Saga. Where’s the SD Bioroid? No SD Alpha? I’ve seen artwork of an SD Cyclone so I already know that would be adorable.