Takatoku 1/76 VF-1J with GBP Armor Toys

Takatoku Hikaru 176 GBP 8

Review: GBP = Grenade Box Protection… ’cause why not?

Takatoku Hikaru 176 GBP 1 Takatoku Hikaru 176 GBP 10 Takatoku Hikaru 176 GBP 12

Packaging & Extras: (2.5/5)
The attractive box includes instructions for how to apply the stickers and the GBP armor on the back. Beyond the core VF-1J toy you get the following:
1) GBP armor
2) Gun
3) Stickers
4) Advertisement
In an era when Takatoku was selling just non-transformable battroid VF-1 toys with just a gun, this was a nice little bundle but it still leaves a lot to be desired. The gray market white VF-1J toy comes in a cardboard sleeve rather than a full box like the Takatoku releases.

Takatoku Hikaru 176 GBP 13 Takatoku Hikaru 176 GBP 11 Takatoku Hikaru 176 GBP 4

Charm & Collectability: (2/5)
There were three total releases of this toy but only two are officially licensed:
1) Hikaru gray VF-1J with dark blue GBP
2) Max blue VF-1J with gray GBP
3) Hikaru white VF-1J with dark blue GBP (not officially licensed)
There is no diecast and no transformation so it’s not a toy in the upper echelon of Takatoku or Macross collecting. It has a fair amount of charm for being different but it’s never been highly sought after.

Takatoku Hikaru 176 GBP 3Takatoku Hikaru 176 GBP 6

Sculpt, Detail, & Paint: (5.5/10)
When viewed from certain angles this toy isn’t bad. Unfortunately, most angles reveal some flaws, particularly with the GBP attached. The GBP generally slides on the appropriate parts but leaves an opening on the back side. There are also large cavities under the shoulder armors that are easily exposed. The back has big screws but they aren’t as bad as the toys with greater articulation. There are a few panel lines generating a visual pop. The proportions can be a little beefy and the section around the hips makes it quite obvious that the hips aren’t going to move. The pilot leaves a bit to be desired.

Takatoku Hikaru 176 GBP 7

Design: (5/10)
This is the only Takatoku toy that featured a pilot that pops up from inside the toy and out of the head area. It’s a spring loaded gimmick triggered by simply pulling the head forward. The GBP armor fits onto the valk very securely and sacrifices looks for simplicity. Some of the attachments are a little too secure but I’ll discuss that in further length in the next section.

Durability & Build: (6.5/10)
There are a couple major problem areas to watch out for. The first is the peg on the back of the booster armor that attaches to a hole in the backpack of the valkyrie toy. The design ensures that the boosters aren’t going anywhere but you really have to scrape that piece of plastic against the tailfins and that causes the peg to be pushed upward into the plastic creating stressmarks and, potentially, a crack. The shoulder armors also fit very tightly onto the shoulders but there are factory installed stickers on the shoulders. You can see in my pictures that one of the factory applied stickers has already been peeled free and the other is on its way. Fortunately, losing those stickers isn’t a huge visual loss and will make putting the shoulder armor on/off easier down the road.

Takatoku Hikaru 176 GBP 5

Articulation: (2/10)
There’s not a whole lot to discuss here. The pop up pilot figure appears to come at the expense of a rotating head . I’m sure some would have preferred the rotating head. The shoulders rotate. Unfortunately, when you put the shoulder armor on, the rotation is inhibited unless you angle the armors outward a good deal. Even so, once you do then rotate the shoulder it exposes the hollow cavity at the base of the shoulder armor. The firsts rotate though you won’t find much reason to angle them. There’s a knee joint but without a hip joint there’s not a lot you can do with it other than faux running poses where the back/lifted leg rests on its toe. The toe does move up and down which, again, would be more meaning full if you had a hip joint.

Takatoku Hikaru 176 GBP 2 Takatoku Hikaru 176 GBP 9

Total Score: (23.5/50)
As with all classic toys, this score should not be considered out of context. This was not meant to be a deluxe toy. Even in its day, this toy was for a niche, sub-premium audience. None of today’s offerings are similar with today’s toys being premium or super premium in comparison. Today, only people with a sentimental soft spot or on a diehard Takatoku completist kick should hunt these things down today. Hopefully this review and the attached video review will sate your curiosity enough to allow you to save some money and spend it one something better or more iconic.

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