Bandai Hi-Metal R VF-1 Toys

Review: R for Rebuild, Reboot, Revival, RESPECT

Packaging & Extras: (4.5/5)
One reason to get excited for the HMR line is the promise of beautiful Tenjin art gracing each box. The Original Hi-Metal (OHM) regular releases toys came in a box with a collector’s flip-top lid allowing you to keep the toy forever MIB but you don’t get that treatment with the HMR toys. HMR toys come in thin cardboard boxes with a plastic window. Excluding the two seat variants (VE-1 and VT-1), all toys come with the following:
1) Gun
2) 2x pair of wings (with hardpoints/without, none are attached to the toy in the box)
3) 4x 3 missile clusters for wings
4) Clear canopy for fighter/GERWALK modes
5) 2x pairs of fixed posed hands (Fists/R gun grip, L barrel hold)
6) 2x intakes with turbine detail
7) 3x landing gears (2 rear, 1 front)
8) 3x display stand adapters (Tamashii stage act displays, strike variants  and mass production version come with a fighter adapter that only works with strike/super parts attached)
9) Instructions (unique per release)
All toys also have a pilot figure. On the early releases this pilot is glued to the seat. In later releases the pilot is a separate accessory.

There have been two releases of the VF-1J Hikaru custom, one with GBP (which is not technically a Hikaru custom since it is primarily inspired by the DYRL movie) and a standalone offering. The standalone offering comes with a fighter mode display stand adapter meant for a valk with super parts (which obviously isn’t right). The gun gripping right hands come with the grip of the gun molded in, unlike the super/strike VF-1S toys which came with a gun gripping hand that you inserted the grip of the gun into. The Hikaru toy, like the Mass production toy that preceded it, came in a box that was 24x20x5cm and has the following extras:
10) Mini battroid-mode-only wings (1 piece that looks like two wings)
11) Chest cavity filler
12) 1x fixed posed left hand with open palm
13) 2x pairs of fixed posed hands and additional left hand with open palm in DYRL style
14) Bandai DX/Macross Delta advertisement
15) Replacement rubbery head lasers

Like the Hikaru toy that followed it, the Mass Production toy  comes with a fighter mode adapter meant for toys that have super parts. Though the mass production toy does not include the Macross Delta advertisement or a rubbery replacement head laser, it does include even more stuff than Hikaru like:
14) TV style pilot figure (DYRL style pilot comes in cockpit)
15) TV style head (DYRL style comes attached)

The 35th Anniversary VF-1S Messer Custom comes with all the same stuff the TV Hikaru came, including the same super-fighter mode adapter but no Delta advertisement or rubbery head lasers.  The Messer toy adds:
14) Straight VF-1S head lasers (for fighter mode)
15) Tamashii Stage Act “35th Anniversary” display stand (base, arm, extension, and joint)
The pilot figure was now a separate accessory that was also included rather than being glued in the seat. This pilot figure was the TV style pilot which looks pretty small in the cockpit.

The GBP release adds the following in a second plastic tray:
10) Replacement rubbery head lasers
11) GBP Armor (includes 2x fists and 2x pairs of feet covers (front and back)
12) 8x spent missile pieces
13) 2x pairs of fixed posed hands (Gun grip, wide open)
14) One fixed posed hand holding a gun grip (first tray)
15) Bigger gun handle for bigger fixed posed hands
16) Display stand adapter for GBP attached battroid (black, in first tray)
17) Giant blue toothpick (for dislodging the missiles in the GBP parts to replace them with the spent missile pieces)
I’m not at all a fan of the spent missile pieces. It would have been so much cooler of Bandai to include yellow tipped missiles instead.

Super/strike VF-1S releases obviously don’t have GBP related parts and they also don’t come with the four sets of three TV style missiles but they do have this goodness instead:
3) 4x 3 missile clusters for wings
9) VF-1S head lasers (straight for fighter mode)
10) Super parts AKA Fast packs (2x leg armors, 2x arm armors, 2x back boosters with missile launchers)
11) Strike cannon
12) 6x Reaction Missiles (2 sets of 2 and 2 sets of 1)
13) 2x pairs of fixed posed hands (R/L saluting, R/L finger on the trigger)
14) Replacement head lasers (rubbery)
15) Third set of wings (1 piece, smaller for battroid only)
16) Custom Tamashii display stand (Focker only – packaged separately)
The strike (and super) release(s) gets one demerit for not including a fourth adapter for standard fighter mode (a mistake repeated from the OHM). The strike fighter adapter can be used to ghetto-rig a set-up if you’re desperate as shown in the pic above (it works fine).

Super  releases were very similar to the Super/Strike releases but you won’t get a strike cannon, replacement lasers (rubbery or straight… since the straight ones would be inapplicable for 1A and 1J toys), and you get different fists. Here’s the complete list:
3) 4x 3 missile clusters for wings
9) Super parts AKA Fast packs (2x leg armors, 2x arm armors, 2x back boosters with missile launchers)
10) 6x Reaction Missiles (2 sets of 2 and 2 sets of 1)
11) Additional fixed posed hands:
Max & Miria Super VF-1J: 1x fixed posed left hand open AND TV styles of all included hands (fists, gun grip, barrel hold, and open)
Hikaru Super VF-1A: 1x left hand open, 1x left hand gun grip, 1x right hand salute, 1x left hand salute.
12) Third set of wings (1 piece, smaller for battroid only)
13) Custom Tamashii display stand (Max & Miria only)
Since the Super Hikaru VF-1A reuses the gun gripping hands from the strike VF-1S Hikaru release, a separate, larger gun handle is also included to be used with those hands.
That’s a ton of stuff so you might be wondering why I didn’t give it a perfect score. There are two reasons. First, these toys seem to come with stuff I’m not sure there’s much demand for (the two sets of wings, the spent missiles on the GBP) and not the basic Tamashii display stand that would benefit everyone (toys that include a little Tamashii display stand would score higher than the others).Second, these boxes, while very attractive, are very flimsy, and the black and white instruction manual that’s not a book but rather a huge folded piece of paper just screams ‘affordable option’ rather than ‘premium collectible.’

Though the Elintseeker and SuperOstrich come with their unique super parts, they come in a pretty small package (VE-1: 23.5x20x7cm, VT-1: 20x20x7cm). You won’t find a gun or missiles here, these valks are pure electronic warfare and trainer, respectively. Contents (beyond the body of the toy) include:
1) 2x pairs of fixed-posed hands (fists and two left hands with open grasp)
2) Chest cavity filler
3) Clear canopy for fighter/GERWALK modes
4) 3x display stand adapters (one for each mode)
5) 2x DYRL pilot figures (the VT-1 comes with 4x pilot figures, Hikaru in blue and white flight suits, Minmay in orange flight suit, Misa in dress uniform)
6) Custom super parts
VE-1: 2x backpack boosters, 2x arrays for boosters, backpack extension, AWAC array, 2x leg equipment, 2x arm equipment
VT-1: 2x backpack boosters, 2x antenna for backpack booster (one is an extra), 2x leg armors, 1x backpack booster
7) Wings (no hard points)
8) Battroid mode only stubby wings (it’s one piece that looks like two wings)
9) Intake fan detail (for swapping with the closed intake detail piece atop the hips)
10) 3x landing gear
11) Instructions unique to the toy
The SNAFU here is the fighter display stand adapter included with the VT-1. It’s the standard fighter adapter meant for VF-1 vehicles that won’t wear super parts which makes some sense since the VT-1 doesn’t have arm super parts. Unfortunately, the adapter on a normal VF-1 doesn’t have to fit in between legs that have to drop down because of leg super parts and thus they weren’t designed to provide clearance for this. The end result, to use the fighter mode adapter you have to push the legs uncomfortably away from center of the body and, even so, the adapter won’t fit in very well.

The VF-1D comes in a very compact package (20x20x5cm) but includes some very unique accessories. This package contains the 1D toy as well as:
1) Gun
2) A large grip for the gun (for use with the included fixed posed hands)
3) A set of wings for use in all three modes (no hard points)
4) A small set of faux wings for use exclusively in battroid
5) Clear canopy for fighter/GERWALK modes
6) Hikaru pilot figure
7) Minmay figure
8) 7x fixed posed hands (2x Fists, 2x gun grips, L open, L barrel hold, L Minmay hold)
9) 2x intakes with turbine detail
10) 3x landing gears (2 rear, 1 front)
11) 3x display stand adapters (one for each mode)
12) Neck and cavity filler piece
13) Neck and cavity filler piece with extended pilot/co-pilot seats
14) Instructions (unique per release)
This toy really ought to include a Tamashii Stage Act 5 for Mechanicals display stand to help with the GERWALK holding Minmay action. Speaking of Minmay, she sits in the VF-1D quite a bit so a figure of her in that position would have been very nice. If you need a workaround, you can grab the seated Minmay or Misa from the VT-1 release. Wings with hard points and TV style missiles also seem like they should have made the cut. Some people would have also liked the toy to come with a swap out damaged arm to recreate the look after Hikaru’s first Zentran entanglement. This toy does come with a lot of cool stuff so the wish list does start to feel greedy at some point. Maybe Bandai should have gone with a no frills release and then sold an ‘option parts kit’ separately….

Charm & Collectability: (4/5)
As noted in my review of the OHM toys, the name is a misnomer. The name is meant as a tie-in to the Takatoku era of toys though it’s largely a hollow grab at sentimentality given the metal content of these toys. The HMR line did add one metal joint though, the swing the arms are on which seems like it was only made metal in reaction to complaints about how little metal the original line had, not because it needed to be metal for durability purposes. See the picture at the top of this article for a full list of VF-1 releases, dates, and MSRP.

Sculpt, Detail, & Paint: (8.5/10)
General comments
While there are a few enhancements, these toys are largely the same as the OHM line. The biceps are bigger and there are a few nuances for the individual molds discussed below. Bandai still tampo’s “UN Spacy” on the gun upside down in fighter mode (which is right-side-up in battroid) which is opposite of what Yamato did. From the side, fighter mode looks great. The only thing that’s slightly off is that the nose itself droops down a hair further than the line art indicates it should. Fighter mode definitely looks fat from above but all toys look fat in comparison to the line art so it may not bother you. My HMR toys do seem to tab together a little tighter than my OHM toys in fighter mode reducing gaps and seams that bothered me the first time around but this might be more a function of how tight they are straight out of the box rather than something we should expect long term.

The first release is a little confusing in that it’s not a TV version. The GBP+VF-1J is seen briefly in DYRL firing its missiles and the box art does a good job of capturing that. The pilot figure though doesn’t really fit it actually being Hikaru (and in DYRL, it’s not Hikaru). Strangely though, the most obvious difference between a DYRL GBP and a TV GBP are the yellow vs. red missile tips. This toy should have yellow tips, it has red tips, a very poor oversight. The GBP itself is very nice with decent painted on detail and translucent plastic bits in the shin. The VF-1J with GBP toy differs from the OHM line in that there’s no longer a thin stripe on the heatshield. The HMR toys also now have a removable nosecone tip (for attaching the GBP parts).

Super/Strike VF-1S Toys
The VF-1S toy features a revised head sculpt which is much improved from the OHM. The new head is larger with a more defined crown and larger head lasers that now angle away from each other. The VF-1S also features a better Jolly Roger emblem that is a little lower down on the heatshield which makes for a more balanced torso. The optional battroid small wings are way too small to my eye and difficult to remove. You may want to swap head lasers with the provided straight ones in fighter mode. The strike parts are now a little darker shade of blue and have “UN SPACY” on the leg armor and don’t have a dot of red paint on top but everything else remains unchanged from the OHM, including the paint and detail work revealed when the armor is removed from the main section of the rear booster. While the OHM releases were a bright white, the HMR DYRL toys are a light gray. There seems to be a little variation in the gray as the VF-1S Hikaru is slightly darker than the VF-1J DYRL.

Mass Production
The first two releases of the OHM, the VF-1J Hikaru and VF-1S Strike Focker have painted interior bays on the landing gears, after that Bandai stopped painting the parts and the HMR line continued leaving this area unpainted until the mass production release. The new shoulder gap covers look great and are simple to swap in. Both heads look great. Bandai went the extra mile and painted the metal parts a metallic bronze that puts the cannon fodder look over the top.

Hikaru Standalone VF-1J
This version has some large differences from the original “Hikaru-like” scheme of the release that comes with GBP armor. This toy is lighter in color, doesn’t have a gray head visor, and has angled stripes on the chest. The bright blue canopy is irksome to many as it makes the toy stand out from all the other Hi-Metal toys in your collection.

Max & Miria Super VF-1J Toys
There are some big departures here from most representations of these paint schemes. First, the white trim has been replaced with light gray. Second, the fast packs are painted in a way indicative of what most people consider either an animation error or an attempt at representing lighting conditions. The good news is, that makes these pretty unique. The bad news is, some people will reject the paint job on the super parts entirely as just being wrong. Judging by the included accessories, which includes DYRL missiles but NOT TV missiles and both TV and DYRL style hands, Bandai again seems to be intentionally blurring the line between the DYRL and TV universes. Perhaps the fast packs are supposed to represent how Bandai feels they would have looked in the DYRL universe. Unlike the original Hi-Metal toy, the Hi-Metal R toy has a clear plastic visor on the head rather than a painted one but has lost the black paint app on the back.

35th Anniversary Messer Custom VF-1S
This paint scheme was inspired by Macross Delta and represents Bandai’s effort to get Delta fans buying the original series merchandise while simultaneously appealing to us old fogies still buying the original merchandise and try to pique our interest in Delta. The pictures above show the HMR VF-1 next to the DX VF-31 toy. The grim reaper emblem is definitely cool and the bright white of this VF-1S contrasts well against the DYRL gray VF-1S toys released previously. Some have said the purple highlights in battroid mode look a little too much like nipples which I can’t entirely disagree with but it wasn’t enough to bother me. Fun fact, Macross Delta takes place after the end of UN Spacy so this scheme comes without “UN SPACY” on the gun.

VE-1 Elintseeker
Bandai elected to use a gray with a touch of beige as the base color for the Elintseeker. While I was a fan of the color, it does have the unfortunate consequence of meaning you won’t be able to swap in hands or other body-colored accessories from other toys. Want to see what a VE-1 would look like with DYRL missile pods and standard wings? Well, you can attach the wings from your Strike VF-1S toys but it’s going to look funny. My only big complaint about the VE-1 is the eye sensor in battroid mode. While the first VF-1J had a painted visor, later releases had clear plastic. I had hoped all ‘eyes’ going forward would get that treatment but alas, the VE-1 has dark red paint instead. Bandai didn’t cut corners here. The attributes that are unique to the VE-1, primarily the backpack and the cockpit area, have been modified. Note that the VE-1 does not have a little dip in the chest at the head and instead goes straight from left to right.

VT-1 SuperOstrich
If you have fond memories of your white 1/55 Hi-Metal VT-1 from the 80s then this toy might be a shock to you. Bandai went with a color palette that is is very dull, reducing the vibrance of the orange and swapping the white of the original toy, or the cream of the Yamato V2 toy, with a dull beige color. Beyond the questionable color choice, there’s plenty here to like. Like the more traditional releases, you can remove the armor panels on the backpack boosters to show off the interior detail. The antenna on the backpack booster is probably on the fat side but, given the scale, that’s to be expected. The head does tuck in fairly nicely in fighter mode but it would have been nice to get it to settle in even farther. The main body of the Valkyrie is mostly a repaint of the VE-1 so it retains the attributes that make the two-seaters unique like the modified cockpit area and chest that cuts straight across below the neck.

Like the VE-1 and VT-1 that preceded it, Bandai went the extra mile to include the unique attributes of the VF-1D. The 1D has a new canopy, nosecone, chest, and hatch. Bandai retained the drab paint scheme from the HMR VT-1 which is probably good from a consistency standpoint but I’m still not a huge fan. The lack of paint on the hatch is an unfortunate eyesore on an otherwise well done toy.

Design: (7/10)
Base VF-1 Toy:
For those of you hoping for legitimate improvements over the original Hi-Metal line, you can squash those hopes now. The changes (beyond paint application differences) are tiny:
A) a new metal hinge at the shoulder
B) a removable nosecone
C) thicker biceps
D) beginning with the VF-1A Mass Production release, a ball jointed head.
All of the following ‘compromises’ from the original Hi-Metal toy are still present:
1) Heatshield is not integrated, transformation requires replacing the cockpit canopy with a separate part
2) Cockpit canopy does not open (removable, no hinge)
3) Pilot is not removable (this changed for and after the mass production release)
4) Landing gears are not integrated, they are separate parts that attach to cavities accessed by removing an outer case.
5) Landing gears are painted plastic, not metal with rolling rubber tires
6) Exposed intake turbine blades gimmick requires removing the intake covers and then inserting a new intake area piece with the additional detail
7) The gun has a removable grip rather than a collapsible one.
8) The wings are removable (so you can attach different wings) which can make them feel sloppy.
That may seem like a pretty spectacular list of failures to you and if it does, then you’re probably more in the market for a premium toy like a Yamato or Arcadia 1/60 V2 VF-1 toy. If you’re not completely thrown off by those shortcomings, there are some strengths:
1) Transformation is simple and all modes lock firmly together
2) Any parts that do need to be swapped snap securely into place
3) There’s an extension gimmick at the hips that improves articulation.
4) Optional parts fit on securely
It’s good to remember that you only NEED to swap out the heatshield for the canopy to transform the toy to battroid mode. If you use one of the cheap and easily obtained Tamashii Stage Act display stands then you won’t find the lack of integrated landing gears as bothersome. Indeed, many releases come with custom Tamashii Stage Act display stands.

Macross Custom Tamashii Stage Act display stands
These stands only differ from their mass-produced brethren in that they have unique colors and artwork applied to them. The overall effect is generally pretty nice but the stands are definitely ‘bargain’ items. While they do swivel at the base and have a ratcheted joint at the base of the arm, the pivot point at the end of the arm has no ratchet. Similarly, if you use the extension for fighter or gerwalk mode, you’ll need to include another pivoting joint without a ratchet. These pivots that don’t ratchet can prove problematic, particularly when trying to do banking poses with super fighter mode toys. In most other modes and configurations the stands are adequate and they can add a lot of to the fun factor of the toys, particularly in fighter mode where they alleviate the need to use the landing gear parts and gerwalk mode where you can get crazy with the posing.

Super Strike Parts:
Unchanged from the OHM  Super/Strike parts, the HMR Super/Strike parts have a removable armor piece that exposes detail. It’s only the main panel on each rear booster. There are no panels on the leg or arm armors and nothing in the missile booms or strike cannon. To be honest, I think the one removable bay is gimmicky and I’d have rather saved some money but this toy tries very hard to straddle the line between cheap and premium so it’s no surprise the feature is there. Since these are only different from the original parts aesthetically, original Hi-Metal parts will work fine on your HMR toys and all one seat (meaning not the VE-1 or VT-1) HMR VF-1 toys can accommodate super/strike parts. I was a little let down by the connection of everything in fighter mode. Things stay together pretty well but it doesn’t give you that same super tight lock in place that you get with the standard fighter mode. I found myself constantly tweaking the legs to try to get a better fit. Some have complained that the leg armors don’t attach quite tightly enough causing the legs armors to unseat during handling. In battroid the backpack has a little downward click to it that helps keep the boosters perpendicular. If you’re having a problem keeping the backpack upright try applying downward pressure to the backpack and listen for a little click. I’m not responsible for anyone who applies too much pressure…Unfortunately, that ‘click’ also locked the backpack in place on the OHM toys but inexplicably doesn’t do the same on HMR toys. If you wanted to make a strike VE-1, the backpack boosters will need modification as they’re just a tiny bit too thick to attach to the VE-1’s modified backpack.

Armor Parts:
To install the armor parts you need to remove the toy’s nosecone throw it into your tray of miscellaneous parts. The armor itself can be broken down into essentially the same components from the YamatoV2/Arcadia GBP accessory which is pretty impressive given the smaller scale. The way everything comes together at the waist has been reworked in a way that feels a little less satisfying. The top of the hip armors peg into the back of the toy locking them in place. The end result is essentially the same as what you see with the larger products with forward/rear articulation of the hip being limited but the GERWALK joint directly beneath the hip serving as a suitable replacement. You can still achieve an A-stance with the hips which is a huge ‘must-have’ in my book. As mentioned above, there is a little trick to the backpack to help keep those rear boosters perpendicular but it doesn’t actually lock the backpack upright so if you’re using a stand and doing a falling away pose they may still droop down on you. Here are some other observations:
1) Lots of sliding hinges (hinge is concealed until you pull something forward)
2) All missile bays are present and open/close
3) Missiles are removable (unfortunately, putting in the ‘spent missile’ part can be a pain in the butt
I thought the spent missile gimmick was a waste of time and effort, I would have been totally fine with missiles that were permanently affixed. Sometimes I think Bandai forgets what scale they’re building with these toys and that people don’t really like having a lot of tiny plastic pieces to lose. The GBP accessory can be applied to any HMR VF-1 toy and the underlying VF-1J toy is 100% functional as a standalone product.

You may have found this post because you saw a friend’s Hi-Metal R wearing a slick white armor. That’s not a Bandai product but the OWL One Armor from a third party called FEXT Hobby. As you can see in the pics above, it’s pretty dramatically different from the GBP as it’s based on a custom design by a fan. Definitely check out my full review of the OWL One separately!

A little note, the GBP parts do not attach to the Elintseeker or SuperOstrich. The chest armor doesn’t fit, all two-seaters have a different chest shape. You can hang the chest armor to fake it a bit but you’ll see the heat shield popping out below it before the waist armor. The backpack boosters from the GBP definitely will not attach, the pegs are too large for the reshaped backpack on the Elintseeker though you could conceivably file them down if you were hellbent on accomplishing it (then they may interfere with the dish and they’d be angled backward pretty steeply).

Mass Production (switching from DYRL to TV type):
The heads swap out very easily, popping off a ball joint and plugging back in. Clearance for the head in fighter mode is extremely tight so Bandai had to add the ability for the DYRL visor to recess into the head. Pulling back on the laser once the head is revealed extends the visor back out. The shoulder cover plugs in easily and securely. The pilot figure is now removable. A very small peg in the seat slips into the pilots rear and, on my toy at least, manages to hold the pilot securely in place.

VE-1 Elintseeker
While the fast packs are reshaped, the boosters that attach to the backpack retain the ability to be opened to remove the internal detail. The underlying VE-1 has the ability to function completely with the fastpacks and AWAC array removed. You can then add just the AWAC dish to create an atmospheric condition VE-1. The AWAC dome extends upward for battroid mode. The instructions also indicate that the higher position should be used whenever the fast packs are attached but you can feel free to do whatever you think looks best. The array that attaches to the right arm pivots around and the larger array that attaches to the left arm has two pivots and a swivel. Attachments of the fast packs is intuitive and secure. Unlike the Yamato V2 fast packs, these fast packs can also be very easily removed. Like the Yamato V2, the forward facing array under the belly of the plane in fighter mode tucks up nicely to provide plenty of clearance for the landing gear.

VT-1 SuperOstrich
As noted previously, you can remove the panel from the backpack booster to show off the detail within and, when simulating atmospheric flight, you can tuck the head into the nosecone a fair amount in fighter mode. The sensors on the sides of the head are permanently extended, they don’t recess in for fighter mode like they do on the Yamato V2 toy. I already mentioned it in the packaging section but the fact that the fighter mode display stand adapter doesn’t really fit is a big shame… Bandai seems to consistently fail when it comes to fighter mode adapters. The VT-1 is fully function either with or without the super parts.

Durability & Build: (7.5/10)
The new metal shoulder joint broke on one of my Focker toys. Since I haven’t heard of anyone else having this problem I’m going to assume, for now, I’m a very unfortunate fellow and was the victim of a simple manufacturing flaw, like an air bubble in the metal. That said, I do recommend you try to loosen the shoulders up a bit before you start aggressively posing the toy. The shoulders out of the box are very stiff. In comparison to other 1/100 toys, these are built very well but they don’t compete with premium toys. There are definitely reports of QC letting some manufacture rejects get through but no reports yet of common breakage points. Out of the box all joints were super stiff. I’ve heard of people complaining about their OHM toys getting loose but I haven’t experienced that first-hand. Of course, at this price range you’d expect people to handle these more than their more expensive collectibles. The head lasers are vulnerable so be careful with them, especially if you don’t want to swap head lasers on the VF-1S toys for the bendy versions. The head lasers that come installed on the toy splay outward and could get caught during the transformation from battroid mode and, in fighter mode, they could rest against the ground. I did find the head lasers on the standalone Hikaru VF-1J toy popped out of their sockets too easily when being rotated. They just peg in so nothing is broken but it does create a very real fear of losing a head laser if it goes unnoticed or bounces away. The Super Hikaru VF-1A release was plagued by numerous instances of people getting the wrong armor attachment pieces for the legs (a toy would come with two right leg connectors or two left leg connectors instead of one of each).

The Messer toy has the most paint on it of any Hi-Metal R toy which can cause issues. The small back battroid wings accessory on my toy had some blurry paint and had a large paint transfer when I removed them because they fit very tightly and apparently were bent a little when I pried them loose allowing them to make contact with the paint above. There were also areas where the black paint seemed to end a micron early leading you to wonder if a little black paint had scratched off.

There seems to be an issue occurring frequently on more recent releases where one or both feet will not pivot back as far as they should. This issue can be vexing in GERWALK mode as the toy won’t be able to achieve as aggressive of a backward sweep at the knee.

Articulation: (9/10)
Initially unchanged from the OHM toys, the HMRs remain a total blast to handle. Some joints could use a little greater range of movement. VF-1S toys and the VF-1J + GBP releases don’t have heads on a ball-joint but all VF-1A and later VF-1J heads are., Definitely check out the video review and the pictures here for a full run-down.

Total Score: (40.5/50)
To be sure, these aren’t the same quality as the Yamato (now Arcadia) V2 VF-1 toys, but they’re much cheaper which can make them more fun because you’re not as worried about harming them (though those toys are very durable). The OHM line died a relatively quick death due to the fact it was competing against bargain bin Yamato VF-1 toys. Now that Yamato is no more and Arcadia is not releasing VF-1 toys with any regularity, this seems to be an opportune time for a second effort. Bandai has supported these VF-1 releases with enemy mecha and destroids making this a fun universe of toys to collect.

Original post date: January 7, 2016
Updated March 29, 2016, added HD VF-1 + GBP video review.
Updated July 24, 2016, added HD strike VF-1 review and Focker custom content.
Updated October 30, 2016, added Mass Production content.
Updated November 27, 2016, added Hikaru VF-1J content.
Updated October 15, 2017, added Messer VF-1S content.
Updated November 12, 2017, added Max & Miria Super VF-1J content.
Updated November 26, 2017, added a battroid back to fighter transformation guide.
Updated February 18, 2018, added VE-1 Elintseeker content
Updated September 16, 2018, added VT-1 SuperOstrich content, FEXTHobby OWL One commentary, and content relating to the Super Hikaru’s VF-1A
Updated May 5, 2018, added VF-1D content and updated post to the new WordPress format. This had the unfortunate consequence of reducing the size of many of the older images.

9 Replies to “Bandai Hi-Metal R VF-1 Toys”

  1. I like the new 1/100 HMRs if icould get my hands on some of them i would keep them for ever. My favorit are the VF 1S roy focker VF 1J Rick hunter, Max Sterling, Myria . I remember watching on TV i was fasinated with this cartoon. A year later i remember buying the revell plastic model kit and also the SDF-1. I was so fasinated i felt like a kid all over again. I’d like to know if the plastic models are more detailed than the toys please reply thank you.

  2. Thanks for all the thorough reviews on these figures, I’ve avoided Macross toys after being disappointed by the earlier Yamato releases and the very first DX Chogokin Macross F releases…

    I’m so deep into the Hi-Metal R line now that I’m a bit annoyed that I didn’t jump in earlier, but those original Hi-Metal figures were terribly underwhelming.

    I hope we see a review of the Missile Effect set from Tamashii Webshop soon, :D

  3. I hope so but nothing announced yet. There’s a big Bandai show next month so hopefully we’ll hear something then.

  4. Hi. I’ve just unearthed an old Hi Metal VF-1A Valkyrie that I purchased around 1986-88. I’ve been trying to find out it but all the markings are in Japanese so I don’t know how to distinguish it from newer versions in order to find out a bit more about this release. In Battroid mode it stands about 9 inches tall. Any suggestions where I can find out a bit more about it?
    Many thanks

  5. Thank you so much for your site and all reviews, Its so usefull. I love all your review work.

    I recently bought VF-1A Super Valkyrie ( first of my future collection) and I want to know what kind of base / stage I can use ?

    Does Bandai Action Base may fits ?
    Or should I only search for Tamashi Nations stages ? (is there a specific reference ? )
    Or maybe have you some other references ?

    Thank you !

  6. Hi again !

    I found the information watching video : “VE-1 Elintseeker Review”
    So the good displays are Tamashii Nations stages Act.5

    So many Thanks for your awesome works on all your reviews/articles.

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