Observations & Critique: Works with Hi-Metal R Toys as Well
This toy was a Tamashii website exclusive so it comes in a rather non-descript black and white box. Everything is packaged very efficiently so you might be surprised how small the box actually is. Housed in two plastic trays you’ll find the following:
Super Parts (2x leg armors, 2x arm armors, 2x rear boosters with missile pods attached)
6 reaction missiles, 3 for each wing (2 pairs and 2 individual missiles)
Display stand adapter for fighter mode
Stickers (red, blue, green, or black jolly roger or red Macross kites)
You don’t get display stand adapters for GERWALK or battroid modes because the super parts don’t impact the use of the existing display stand adapters that come packaged with the VF-1 toys in those modes.
At one time these were found at or below MSRP at numerous secondary marketplaces but the introduction of the Hi-Metal R (HMR) series has changed that. These toys fit Hi-Metal R toys as well as the original Hi-Metal (OHM) line so people have been swooping these up. Until Bandai starts selling standalone HMR super/strike parts, I wouldn’t expect to find this original release near MSRP. The original release was available July, 2011 for an MSRP of 2,100 Yen.
Though there have been no releases of standalone HMR super/strike parts, there have been some releases that included the parts. HMR super/strike parts are more blue, have “UN Spacy” written on the leg armors, but lack the little red dot on top of the missiles. Bandai has never made OHM or HMR super parts in the TV version (the TV version has slightly different arm armors per the line art). A comparison to the line art reveals excellent proportions with only the leg armors looking a little long but this would be forgiven since they look appropriately sized in battroid mode. There is a clear piece of red plastic used as the sensor on the strike parts and a removable cover on the top boosters that exposes the internal details. That’s the kind of touch you would expect to see on a much larger toy. There’s no inner detail on the missile pods, strike cannon, leg or arm armors.
Everything comes together easily and intuitively. The only weakness is that some of the pegs could benefit from a bump so that they would lock more securely in place. This is particularly true of the pegs that go from the back of the toy into the legs in fighter mode. Those pegs make sure you have the legs in the right spot but they don’t make sure you have them in at the right angle and things are too easily jostled out of the proper position. The leg armor’s connection to the back of the leg could also be a tiny bit tighter. Oddly, while all my OHM toys do an excellent job locking the backpack in position (by pressing down on the backpack in battroid mode) this trick doesn’t seem to work nearly as well on my HMR toys. On the HMR toys the backpack slides down but it doesn’t lock firmly against the body like the OHM toys do.
I had no build quality issues on either my standalone super/strike parts or the ones that came packaged with my Roy Focker gift-set. You might find that the weight of the arm armors exacerbates issues with loose shoulder joints, particularly on the OHM DYRL VF-1A toys. On HMR toys the shoulders are generally so tight there would be no problem.
There’s only one articulated feature here and that’s the bell on the boosters. They’re a ball joint so you can pivot them as you like though the range of motion is limited. One strength here is that the OHM and HMR toys were made with super/strike parts in mind so there’s no concerns about the super/strike parts inhibiting the articulation of the underlying toy in any mode.
I love the super parts on the VF-1 toys and would have no problem recommending these accessories at, or near, retail. When you have them in your hand there’s no question that 2,100Yen is about all these should cost. Are the 1/60 V2 super/strike parts better? Yes, definitely, but they’re also much bigger and, much more expensive. Hopefully Bandai releases several more HMR VF-1 toys and gives us a reissue of the super/strike parts so the supply can get back into equilibrium and we can all dress up our VF-1 toys as we see fit without breaking the bank.