Observations & Critique: With light-up effects!
This toy comes packaged in a reasonably small box with a big window so you can see all the goods inside. Sliding out the tray within you’ll find the following:
1) Fast Packs (aka “Super Parts” or “Super Armor”) consisting of 2x leg armors, 2x covers for leg armors, 2x arm armors, 2x back boosters, 2x covers for back boosters
2) 2x booster effects
3) 2x missile firing effects
4) 2x sets of 3 reaction missiles (for each wing)
This is a Robotech toy, not a Macross toy, so you won’t find a strike cannon and the backpack boosters are not designed in such a way that one would be feasible. At this size, the removable armor parts to show off interior detail is a pretty deluxe touch.
Released in February 2017 for $39.99, these Fast Packs cost more than the MSRP of a Toynami 1/100 VF-1. They are an SD accessory and SD toys don’t have the broadest appeal. To further limit appeal, KitzConcept is releasing a VF-1S Fokker, VF-1A Ben Dixon, VF-1J Mass Production, and VF-1A Mass Production all with super parts. That will make it so only the original converts who purchased a VF-1J Rick or standalone VF-1S Roy/Rick will have a reason to track these down. The Max & Miriya releases come with color matched fast packs already included. Buying bundled toys is far more economical as the bundles go for $89.99 while the standalone toys went for $79.99.
When pulling these parts out of the tray, I was initially very impressed by their sculpt, detail, and paint. They look good from the armors to the missile trails which are clear and only pick up color on either end. The removable covers on the boosters and legs is a really nice touch and there’s some paint work that makes it more worthwhile. The panel lines are generally pretty deep and obvious but they have to be since that’s the style of the underlying VF-1. The UN Spacy kite button is very well integrated. A customizer might want to add a dark spot at the bottom of all the little nozzles.
Starting with the good from a design perspective:
1) All parts attach securely to the toy, including the removable covers and missile/booster effects
2) There are light up effects in the boosters front (for missiles) and back (for boosters).
3) Though the spring-loaded UN Spacy button can get a little crooked when being recessed, it’s a clever and convenient way to turn on the booster effects.
Having the parts stay on securely is definitely the most important ‘fun value’ aspect of fast packs so it’s great that KitzConcept was able to check that box. Unfortunately, there were some issues as well:
1) Installing the missile firing parts turns on those lights, you can’t have the missiles attached and the light off. It’s probably because they didn’t want to have one LED on but not in use if a person didn’t have the missile effects attached but it makes it so now people won’t use the missile effects very often.
2) The arm armors droop way too low in fighter mode
Fighter mode can be tricky because when the front hip joint is brought down, the intakes may not hold their peg in place as well. If you’re having problems with fighter mode coming together properly, watch my video review and installation guide. Make sure you have the individual reaction missile closest to the leg armor because there’s not enough space for the two missiles on one mount to fit properly. Having the knee bent in fighter mode means the kneecap gets splayed permanently which looks very goofy. Since the arms in fighter mode are already awkwardly positioned, adding big armors to them only makes things worse. Since the arm armors are substantially thicker than the back of the leg armors, the arm armors will dangle down below the craft in fighter mode. While I don’t really understand why every SD toy doesn’t just steal Bandai’s Joke Machine’s manner for attaching the back boosters, the method KitzConcept uses works very well. You’ll need to use that hook on the backpack to keep the boosters from falling backward in battloid mode but there’s no way to use it in fighter or guardian modes.
There are a few small pegs on these pieces, particularly for attaching the covers on the legs and boosters, but otherwise this seems like a very solid accessory that adults won’t need to be worried about accidentally breaking. The batteries housing for the boosters has a small screw which could be lost if unscrewed too far or carelessly handled so keep an eye on it.
Nothing on these accessories is articulated. You can’t pivot the missiles at the front or back. The big boosters on the back of the toy are also fixed in position (to accommodate the light-up gimmick).
For the gift-sets, it’s easy to argue that these accessories are worth the extra $10. Paying $40 for them separately is more questionable. The missile effects make the most sense in fighter and guardian modes and those are this toys two worst modes. Even as the worst modes, they’re still very cute and these fast packs help to dial up the cuteness. The adorable looking battloid mode is a bit more adorable with super parts without the host of issues seen in the other modes. I do hope we get a GBP aka “Heavy Armor” set that was teased with the initial VF-1J release. Since battloid is the best mode, that accessory makes a ton of sense.