Review: A metal hunk of nostalgia
Packaging & Extras: (2.5/5)
The Takatoku toy comes adorned with schematics (that double as sticker instructions) and line art, the box is simple and attractive. Inside the box you’ll find a Styrofoam tray with Styrofoam lid sealing the heavy toy within. The toy doesn’t come with much, just a Takatoku advertisement and a sticker sheet. It seems like I have to remove the barrels of the toy to pull the rest of the toy out of the tray. I don’t own the Matchbox toy but I did find some pictures from the guys at DXRobo.com. It looks like Matchbox simplified the sticker sheet, moved the sticker instructions from the box to a piece of paper, and went with new art to support a forest green paint scheme rather than the more military drab of the Takatoku.
Charm & Collectability: (3.5/5)
This toy was released by Takatoku in the early 1980s. If anyone has additional information on the date and the MSRP please leave a comment! In 1985 Matchbox acquired this mold and the molds for the other miniature destroid toys (to be reviewed separately) from the defunct Takatoku and released them under the Robotech license. The Takatoku will always be the hotter collector’s item as it has a better paint scheme and sticker sheet and it’s the Japanese original. Bandai’s recent release of the Hi-Metal R Destroid Monster gave us a modern toy that far exceeds this one’s capabilities but collector’s will always have a soft spot for this vintage toy. Working against this toy’s collectabilty is the fact it doesn’t transform, isn’t a ‘hero mech’, and is an oddball scale (made to be more similar in overall size to the other small destroid toys when it should be much, much, bigger). It has diecast metal, and lots of it, and is surprisingly heavy for its diminutive stature. Again, all pictures of the Matchbox toys are from DXRobo.com. The Takatoku box references the ‘collector’s series’; I’ve provided a list below:
No. 1 VF-1J Hikaru Custom Variable Fighter(1/144)
No. 2 MBR-04-MK VI Destroid Tomahawk (1/144)
No. 3 ADR-04-MKX Destroid Defender (1/144)
No. 4 MBR-07-MKII Destroid Spartan (1/144)
No. 5 HWR-00-MKII Destroid Monster (1/240)
No. 6 VF-1S Focker Custom Variable Fighter (1/144)
No. 7 SDR-04-MK XII Destroid Phalanx (1/144)
Sculpt, Detail, & Paint: (7/10)
For the era and the size, this is a pretty impressive piece, especially when properly stickered up (without stickers on it’s quite dull). Unfortunately, due to the large quantity of metal and small size, there are some very prominent screws. The proportions are off in a few places, namely the rear where the barrels attach and the core area beneath it. The manufacturer information is cleverly tucked away on the insides of the feet.
This may seem like a particularly harsh score but there’s really nothing going on with this toy. The barrels just slot in to the top and don’t do the best job staying there. It’s too easy to dislodge them during handling. The legs are spring-loaded to handle all the weight of the upper body so that’s a plus. There’s a bit of articulation but we’ll get to that shortly.
Durability & Build: (5/10)
A toy that’s mostly painted metal has plenty of opportunity for scratches. The legs are notorious for giving up the ghost and making the toy floppy and eventually having a leg fall off entirely. Of course, this is with decades of experience, the design might have been perfectly adequate for several years of use.
The arms have a decent amount of articulation with a rotation point at the shoulder, an elbow joint, and a rotation point where the rocket launcher connects to the arm. There are hip joints and a knee.
Total Score: (26/50)
Okay, so by today’s standards this isn’t much of a toy but for the era it was pretty solid, particularly in the looks department. It’s unfortunate there weren’t more toys in scale with it. It makes a fantastic piece for a vintage display shelf, especially with the other destroids (even though they’re not in scale together).