09.17.17

Banpresto Super Deformed Valkyries

Posted in Banpresto, Macross/Robotech TMS, Oddball, VF-1, VT, VE Valkyrie at 2:56 am by micronian

Review: Includes Super, Strike and GBP Varieties

Packaging & Extras: (2.5/5)
All of these toys come in the same box, meaning same images and text, and are only differentiated through the huge window in the front. I give Banpresto credit for not just throwing these on a blistercard but instead putting them into a hanging box. The window allows you to see everything that’s inside. For the Super Fokker toy you get the following:
1) Super parts (2x leg, 2x arm, 1 backpack with boosters attached)
2) Gun
3) Instructions
The Strike Ichijo is essentially the same except the backpack piece has one missile boom and one strike cannon instead of two missile booms. The VF-1J toy is the same but instead of Super or Strike parts you get the grenade box protection parts (2x shoulder pieces, 2x arm pieces, 2 x leg pieces, 1x chests piece, 1x backpack with boosters attached). All toys come with the same instruction manual that covers all variants. For a non-transformable super deformed toy, you’re pretty much getting everything you could expect with the possible exception of some fixed posed hands. If the toy was dynamic you might also want a display stand but since this toy can’t really move much a display stand would be wasted on it.

Charm & Collectability: (1.5/5)
These toys were released on the front end of the Macross resurgence. They don’t transform, they aren’t made of metal, there isn’t much play value to them, and they are super deformed which means they will only appeal to the smallest niche of fandom. There were three releases of this toy, all issued in 1999, though I don’t know what the original MSRP was so leave a comment if you know.
VF-1S Focker with Super Parts
VF-1S Ichijo with Super Parts
VF-1J Ichijo with Grenade Box Protection

Sculpt, Detail, & Paint: (6.5/10)
It’s always hard to judge a super deformed figure but I do like the heads on the VF-1S toys more than I’ve liked any previous or subsequent VF-1S head. It’s basically just a normal VF-1S but bigger. In contrast, the KitzConcept VF-1S head looks awful to me. The Fokker VF-1S is one of the few TV variants made of that toy and features the black arrows on the head and more gray fast packs that look much more appealing to me than Hikaru’s blue strike parts. The blue of Hikaru’s strike parts are matched by a very mild blue hue to the white of the valkyrie that is not present in the 1J or 1S Focker toys. All the markings on the toy are painted on, including the Jolly Roger on the chest of the VF-1S toys and the “101” numbers in a few spots on the GBP. Curiously, the arms are molded in a way that no articulated VF-1 toy can accomplish. The bottoms of the arms are pointed away from the toy though the arms are themselves are pointed straight down. This is undoubtedly to make better effect of the super/strike/grenade parts but it may look really funky to some people. The booster detail on the back could definitely have been molded better.

Design: (5/10)
At a paltry 7CM tall there’s obviously not a lot of engineering packed into the toys. These are very stable toys, as one would hope since they’re basically fixed-pose. Attachment of the accessories is very simple with all having pegs that fit nicely into a receiving slot. Nothing here is over-thought, there are no opening missile bays on the GBP nor removable armor parts on the fast packs. The gun connection works the same way, pegging securely into a thin slot in the right hand (no left-handed valks here!). Unfortunately, if you’re using the GBP parts you will not be able to also put the gun in the hand. The connections are secure and minimalist. It’s a surprise that with such a small toy, and such a simple attachment mechanism, that the slots on the toy aren’t more of a visual issue but, to my eye, they’re not. The forearm armors do attach via a lone circular peg though so it’s easy to knock them out of alignment while handling. Otherwise, I think Toynami could have taken a lesson from the simplicity here when they made their 1/100 line of toys.

Durability & Build: (8/10)
My toys are nearly 20 years old and still very bright white. These toys are made of rubbery PVC which is bad in that it feels really cheap but good in that it’s forgiving. Dropping these toys will just cause a head laser to bend for a moment, it won’t cause something to break. This was a cheap toy and so build quality is understandably on the poor side. My VF-1J with GBP toy has a paint flaw and my 1S Focker toy has a very minor mold deformity on one shoulder.

Articulation: (2/10)
There are only two points of articulation, the head guns, and the arms. Both are just peg in parts to the central core so they can rotate freely all the way around (until they hit an impediment in the case of the head guns). Don’t buy this toy unless you like how it looks in the window of the box because you’re not going to be able to do much else with it. I was a little surprised that the fists weren’t separate parts that could rotate.

Total Score: (25.5/50)
Obviously these little knick-knacks are not going to compete with the likes of an Arcadia VF-1 toy or even Bandai’s Jokemachines. They’re silly quasi-statues. That doesn’t mean they need to be avoided by any means, it just means that they’re more display case flair than must-have collectible. This is the kind of thing you buy and throw in a corner of your cube at work or slip into your girlfriend’s cube to remind her of her nerd at home. Don’t buy them expecting more and certainly adjust the scale for what you’re willing to pay accordingly.

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