09.03.17

Arcadia 1/60 VF-0 Toys

Posted in 1/60, Arcadia, Macross ZERO, VF-0 Zero at 4:02 am by micronian

Review: Sharpen your love sticks!

Packaging & Extras: (4/5)
Before its demise Yamato had moved to simpler/cheaper packaging. Arcadia has decided their niche is decidedly upper scale so they’ve brought back the premium flip-top lid (though no Velcro or magnetic tabs as we’ve seen on some other premium offerings). Having handled a lot of masterpiece Transformers toys lately, I was thrilled to see that the plastic tray Arcadia uses doesn’t crack and break when being handled. Sometimes it’s the little things in life. Here’s what’s in the box besides the big blue beast:
1) Gun (with extending stock and grip)
2) 1x Pilot figure for 0A and 0S variants, 2x pilot figures for 0D toys (Shin Kudo and Edgar LaSalle)
3) 3x display stand adapters (fighter/GERWALK/battroid)
4) 4x Missiles (0A/0S variants have 4x tree of three missiles, 0D has 2x long distance missiles and 2x micro missile pods)
5) Replacement pitot tube
6) Stickers
7) Instruction Manual
8) 2x conformal tanks for the legs (0A/0S variants only)
9) 2x chest conformal tank adapters for use with a Ghost toy
There were complaints that the 0D toys didn’t come with enough weaponry to occupy all the potential hardpoints on the wings. A counterpoint to this would be that the extra hardpoints let you deck out the weapons you do get at different spacing and those hardpoints do accommodate weaponry from other Arcadia and Yamato releases.  Should the toy have come with more weapons? At this price range I could see where that would be an easy expectation though, conversely, I think everyone agrees that if that meant the price would be even higher we can live with the payload we get.

Charm & Collectability: (3.5/5)
MacrossZero is kind of a red-headed stepchild of the Macross universe. It was a short OVA series that isn’t particularly popular in Japan or abroad. Shin Kudo was the not particularly popular co-hero to the younger depiction of Roy Focker. The VF-0D was Shin’s training vehicle with his more heroic battle featuring a VF-0A. Here’s a list of Arcadia releases and MSRP:
VF-0D Shin Kudo Custom, February 25, 2015 36,800 YEN
VF-0A Shin Kudo Custom, August 28, 2015, 34,800 YEN
VF-0S Roy Focker Custom, December 25, 2015, 34,800 YEN
VF-0A Mass Production, TBD, 34,800 YEN (teased at WonderFest, we’ll see if it actually happens)
The price is at a stratospheric level placing it well beyond the reach of the casual collector. There’s an alternate gray drab VF-0D cannon fodder color scheme that would serve as an easy repaint. The VF-0D seems to have sold very well and it looks like Shin’s VF-0A isn’t clogging up shelves too badly at the moment though it can still be found several months after release slightly below MSRP. VF-0S sales may be helped by Arcadia’s announcement of a reactive armor accessory for release in 2016.

Sculpt, Detail, & Paint: (9/10)
Let’s address the elephant in the room. The 0D toy was made in the wrong colors. How wrong those colors are is a matter of opinion ranging from “Eh, they missed it a bit” to “Holy crap, it’s like they’ve never watched the show.” The blue needs to be lighter and more gray. The white needs to be more gray. The good news is, the colors they did use, while not accurate, certainly look good. I felt like Shin’s 0A, on the other hand, looked terrible. It’s a light gray mixed with baby blue occasionally painted with gray white trim that’s barely noticeable and some points seem to have a bit more baby blue than others. On all toys, Arcadia skimped on the level of tampo-painted detail. While I was thrilled to see some great detail work ranging from the big UN Spacy kite to the cock-pit displays the other little warnings and modex numbers are conspicuously absent. The molded in panel lines are crisp and the toy molds are gorgeous. The black plastic used for the gun has a sparkly additive of some sort for a metallic finish but the gun appears to be the one item that is retained from the original VF-0 mold though the grip is new and now locks in place better when extended. These toys do play very well with Yamato’s original VF-0 line although you can see in the battroid comparison that the chest is much more narrow while everything else is very similar. This was one of the main differences between Yamato’s 1/48 scale VF-1 toys and their V2 1/60 VF-1 line so it’s not surprising to see the narrower chest here also. The pilot figures are much better than the Yamato VF-0 molds and may even invoke a ‘wow these are really nice’ moment before you put them in the cockpit and no one ever sees them close enough for it to matter again.

Design: (9/10)
This toy has all the premium design attributes you’ve come to expect by now. There are integrated landing gears that feature rubber wheels. The front landing gear has an articulated tow bar and the rear landing gears angle outward and lock into position. The gun can be attached in all modes though, in fighter mode, it would have benefited from a notch near the elbows to prevent the gun from pointing downward. The intake shields are removable exposing the turbine detail within. The attachment of said shields has been improved since the V2 VF-1 valkyrie now featuring a central peg that makes it easier to pop the shield off while still fitting on securely. The included weaponry attaches to the hardpoints securely and work well with the attachments from the original VF-0 Yamato line as well as Arcadia’s YF-19 from 2014. Fast packs/leg armors from Yamato VF-0 toys will not fit on the Arcadia toys due to the different shape of the leg and lack of a mate magnet within the leg at the location the Yamato toy required. The ghost from Yamato toys will also not fit the Arcadia VF-0D due to the differing location of the tailfins and the lack of attachment parts and it only fits on the VF-0A/S toys without the extra armaments which don’t peg in properly. This toy does have the same airbrake gimmick that the Yamato VF-0 line featured although the detail has been very slightly upgraded. The 0D does hit a pet peeve of mine in that it has numerous items that are articulated but don’t have a notch or lock to keep them in their proper position. This is particularly true of the tailfins and the forward canards of the VF-0D (forgive me if those aren’t the proper aeronautical terms).  Though the joints for these problem areas are sufficiently stiff, handling the 0D in fighter mode can easily cause you to accidentally bump them out of place and then you’ll have to eyeball it to make sure you get it back into a spot that ‘looks right.’ At this price point, I expect some sort of detent to tell me “yeah, you got it.” The transformation is very similar to the original Yamato VF-0 line although the chest involves an extra step. There’s no rotating cockpit gimmick on the 0D but it is present on the 0A/S toys. The 0A/S toys also added integrated cavity fillers for the area above the chest.



Durability & Build: (4/10) (seems to be higher for VF-0S)
There is nothing that peeves me more than pulling a toy out of its tray and immediately seeing flaws before I’ve even handled it. Looking at the intakes of the Shin toy, it’s clear they don’t connect as solidly as they’re supposed to and I’m fairly certain this is a problem with almost every 0A toy. WTF? This is a $300 toy and that’s what you get? Terrible. Arcadia has eliminated the broken back in GERWALK and fighter modes. On the Yamato toys there were joints that were very prone to breakage, those joints are now metal on the Arcadia toy (all metal is reserved for joints). You will likely have issues with paint scratches on 0A and 0D toys. There are a lot of very sharp edges that will sheer anything they come in contact with during transformation and all versions of these toys have a lot of paint on them. Check out my 0D transformation video for a pointer on how to avoid one of the more common areas of scratched paint. Those sharp edges are potentially blunted if your toy were to take a small fall from an over-aggressive dynamic pose. If you’ve seen my videos you’ll also notice my 0D and my 0A toy’s frickin’ legs fell off.. Absolutely inexcusable. At the time, I figured I was the one sorry sap that would experience this but since then it’s become clear that it’s happened to others for both the 0D and 0A. I received numerous questions about “how’d you fix it?” after the 0A came out and more people had their legs come off. I’ll link to a fix-it guide someone else created later. So far, the 0S doesn’t seem to have the leg issue as I haven’t heard of a single instance of a leg falling off. The 0S also has far fewer painted surfaces so scratching should be less of an issue. The 0S head is on a ball joint and I did have some issue with it popping off during handling.





Articulation: (8.5/10)
The 0D toy has better articulation than one might expect given the giant barrier directly behind the hips. There are four notable improvements over the Yamato VF-0 line. First, there are ball joints in the ankles. These look like the same ball joints that didn’t perform particularly well in the Yamato VF-19 line but they feel much tighter so cross your fingers they won’t get loose on you.  Second, the head is on a ball joint allowing it to be cocked at an angle. Third, the legs can be pulled away from the crotch allowing a steeper angle to the legs. Fourth, the elbows have been improved to add a larger range of movement. Of course, the 0D toy does have a huge wings right behind the hips so articulation of the 0D toy is bound to be a bit more encumbered than the VF-0S and VF-0A follow-up releases.

Total score: (38/50)
It’s a decent toy if you’re lucky enough to get one where the leg doesn’t pop off but honestly, very few people should buy the 0A toy. It’s not worth the chance of having it be marred with scratches or having a leg fall off in your hand. Only the diehard Macross Zero fans with more dollars than sense should really jump aboard on the 0A. The 0D is similarly delicate but I found the aesthetic a lot more appealing. The jury is still out on the 0S toy which seems to have eliminated the hip issues and has a paint scheme less prone to scratching. This toy measures the same length in fighter mode as the Yamato VF-0 series, it’s 31CM to the top of the nose, 32 CM to the top of the pitot tube. In battroid mode the toy is once again very similar in size to the Yamato line coming in at 25CM when the ankles are fully recessed to Yamato’s 25.5CM (and since the Yamato ankles sometimes slide all the way back into the leg anyway, this seemed to be the best way to judge battroid height). In fighter mode the 0D toy has several spikes and with a full payload it can be kind of a pain to handle it without knocking a canard or tailfin out of place.

Updated January 12,2016 to include VF-0S content
Updated January 27, 2016 to include VF-0A leg fix video
Updated February 17, 2016 to include VF-0S/A fighter to battroid transformation guide
Updated September 3, 2017 to include VF-0S/A battroid to fighter transformation guide

 

5 Comments »

  1. Joey said,

    February 13, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    Great review, just got my VF-0S and man what a improvement it is compared to the yamato one, no floppiness and very solid. Unfortunetly i have black paint rubbing off on the knee joints from the metal bars but really cant see it in gerwalk mode or battriod mode when you slide the lower legs back in position. I also put clear tape on the inside of the heat shield after reading about people having their canopy badly scratched from it.

  2. Nathaniel said,

    February 28, 2016 at 6:32 am

    I guess I was fortunate enough to get toys where there were no leg issues or paint. Transformed D,D, and S to battroid mode and posed with no issues. Good review though..

  3. Jay said,

    May 17, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    For the vf 0s would you say the high price stands for the improvements over the yamato????
    There is quite a gap of price between each.
    Cheers!

  4. David Bruce said,

    September 29, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    I love your reviews and enjoy your Macross world posts. My question is about the durability and quality differences between the Yamato and Arcadia VF-0 toys. Do you have a video comparing the 2? If not, do you plan to make on a comparison video? The reason I ask is that I can only afford around 4 collectibles a year and buying a less expensive toy is obviously ideal, so is holding out for a good deal on the Arcadia the best idea or should I scoop up a Yamato release at a better price? Thanks!

  5. micronian said,

    September 30, 2017 at 5:58 am

    In the Roy Focker review up above, skip to about 4 minutes 18 seconds, I think that’s the section you’re looking for. I would not buy a Yamato VF-0 toy at this point, the plastic on them didn’t age well and there’s a good chance you would have something crumble. That said, I wouldn’t buy an Arcadia VF-0 toy right now either. They were too expensive at launch and now they’re sold out so you’d have to spend even more on them. I’d wait for a reissue and focus on other collecting desires for the moment.

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