Observations & Critique: includes TV & DYRL versions
This post is meant to primarily cover the standalone accessories that were sold by Yamato. Those standalone accessories come in a flip-top box which was kind of an odd decision but not something I would complain about. Flip-top boxes make a lot of sense of valkyrie toys, allowing you to see how cool the toy is without opening the box. I’m not sure how many people are going to by add-on parts and then stare at them sitting in their tray. Inside the box you get the following:
1) Super parts consisting of:
2 x calf armors
2 x outer leg armors
2 x arm armors
1 x backpack boosters (consisting themselves of 2 boosters, 2 missile towers, and 1 cradle)
2) 6 x reaction missiles
5) Strike cannon (DYRL set only, not included in TV super parts)
There were two flavors of this accessory:
DYRL Super/Strike Parts, released July 2008, MSRP 3,990Yen
TV Super Parts, released December 2008, MSRP 3,990Yen
Of course, that’s just the standalone offerings. The same accessory was included bundled with numerous releases and rest assured, the super parts and everything they come with are exactly the same if you bought them as standalone accessories or with one of the bundle sets. There are a few exceptions:
Max & Miria Super VF-1J toys come with TV super parts that have color-matched leg and booster armors (red or blue). Otherwise everything else is the same.
VT-1 Super Ostrich & VE-1 Elintseeker toys come with super parts that are unique for these vehicles. There are almost no shared parts between the super parts for these specialized vehicles and their more common brethren.
Since these accessories now routinely sell for much more than original MSRP, it’s easy to say they’re a hot item and probably will remain so until some company releases a more modern VF-1 someday. As of yet, Arcadia has not released a standalone version of the accessory but they did include strike parts in one of their VF-1S Focker reissues.
TV parts differ from DYRL parts in a few key ways. First, there’s obviously no strike cannon with TV parts. Since TV parts cost the same as DYRL parts, that might help make the DYRL parts more desirable to you. Second, DYRL parts are a darker hue than the TV parts. Third, TV parts have different arm armors that end abruptly at the wrist whereas DYRL armors continue beyond the wrist. Finally, Yamato released their TV toys in bright white base colors and their DYRL toys in off-white and the color of the arm armor accents and reaction missiles mirrors this treatment. Arcadia’s strike parts, included with their VF-1S gift-set reissue, is sort of a hybrid with bright white missiles and accents. Nuances aside, Yamato did a wonderful job capturing the look of these parts. The only thing that seems off is how long after the elbows the arm armors extend. Yamato seemed to go a little long in that spot. I know some people would change the colors if they had their druthers but I’m not very finicky and the job they did selecting hues is fine by me.
These parts retain all the cool gimmicks of the 1/48 super parts accessories meaning you get:
1) Removable booster armor to show internal detail
2) Removable leg armor to show internal detail
3) Removable missile boom covers to show internal missile detail
There are two big differences between the 1/48 and the 1/60 V2 super parts. First, the missiles on the 1/48 toy were actually separate missiles that you had to cut off a sprue and install on the toy, on the V2 it’s just missile detail that’s molded into the missile boom. The 1/48 missiles generally installed well and I’m sure diorama builders loved the option of doing a reloading scene. Since I’m not a diorama builder, I was happy with the V2 change. This means you don’t have to worry about them popping out and ruining them nor snipping them free and losing that “mint in box” feeling. The second big change is the inclusion of a cradle which I am not as happy about. The 1/48 solution was elegant and clean; the boosters simply plug into the side of the backpack. The 1/60V2 solution seems to imply there’s a durability issue in the backpack or somewhere else so it needs reinforcing. Ultimately, this new support underneath the backpack makes installing the rear boosters a little more clumsy and necessitates that you either remove the boosters during transformation from fighter to battroid mode OR (more reasonably) that you remove the toy’s head in Gerwalk mode and reinstall it in battroid mode because the trap door that the head lasers should pass through in inoperable.
As some of you may be aware, the VF-1D has some minor changes to the mold to accommodate the second seat in the cock-pit but don’t worry, that won’t impact your ability to add super parts.
From a durability perspective, the only area for concern on the super parts themselves is the little nozzle on the side of the booster. When removing the armor covering you can pop that nozzle off and you’ll need to glue it back in. Nothing is actually breaking, you’re just popping a glued on part off and then having to glue it back on again. Unlike the 1/48 toys, V2 1/60 toys have wing hard points that feature a twist-lock which will hold the reaction missiles very firmly in place. Unfortunately, this lock mechanism sometimes causes the hard point to sheer off the wing completely. Be careful when installing and removing the missiles to not pull away from the wing. One of the best things about the 1/60 V2 toy is how rock solid it comes together in each mode and adding the super parts does not change this. The super parts stay on very securely… for the most part. The only bit I found at all troublesome were the covers on my missile booms. If you find yourself having an issue with those parts, try re-seating them with the booster cover removed. If that doesn’t work, a little two-sided Scotch tape would probably be enough.
There’s only one point of articulation and that’s the big thrusters on the backpack boosters so don’t buy these parts thinking they’ll add a lot of play value. I do love how that everything attaches so securely that you can still play with the toy without items falling off. The reaction missiles were a real weakness on the 1/48 toys; they would fall off with the slightest bump so it’s great to see that was rectified. Unfortunately, the awkward cradle underneath the backpack boosters and the occasional popping off of the armor atop the missile booms does prevent this from being an entirely glowing write-up. Still, those cons are hardly enough to keep me from recommending everyone have at least one set of super parts to go with the V2 VF-1 toy every Macross fan should have.