Observations & Critique: Windermerean Trump Cards
As Tamashii exclusives, these toys come in the standard brown shipper boxes. Inside is a no frills blue and white box which is a stark departure from the very high quality packaging of the SV-262 toys. Inside the box you get the following:
1) 2x Lill Draken
2) 4x Missile (pair of top and bottom for each leg)
4) Shield (fixed in open position)
5) 2x Display stands (consisting of bases and arms)
Taped to the back of the tray you’ll find the following:
6) 2x Display stand adapters (for Lill Draken detached operation)
7) 2x Tamashii display stand “claws” (for Lill Draken attached in GERWALK)
8) 2x wing locks (for Lill Draken attached in fighter)
And behind all that you’ll find
So is there anything notable that we’re missing? I suppose it would have been nice to get a pilot figure without the helmet since we see the characters that way often.
This accessory package was released on August 20, 2017 as a Tamashii website exclusive that cost 8,424 Yen inclusive of tax and including shipping to domestic Japanese addresses. The inclusion of a shield and missile pods mean that these parts are character specific. It’s unclear yet if there will be more SV-262 releases, I certainly hope so, but maybe there’s hope that any future ones will mimic what Bandai did with Murayama’s VF-171 by creating web exclusive gift-sets. If Bandai were to include the missile packs and the shields with the remaining SV-262 toys that could make these Lill Draken sets highly sought after.
To my eyes, the Lill Drakens look a little large (13.5CM long) but I don’t have the “real world” dimensions to compare them to. The detail work is great with paint applications top and bottom and clear plastic bits used as appropriate. The landing gear may look a little chunky, and you may prefer them to be white, but I thought they looked pretty good. The missile pods look great so long as the doors are closed. Like the SV-262 toys, the trim paint application is superb. Once the doors are opened the missiles themselves look less ideal… they could have really used a coating of thinned dark paint to make them appear more like individual missiles though the white paint app on top of each missile helps. The shield is obviously a huge improvement over the transformable shield. The sword is very nicely detailed as well.
The Lill Draken vehicles have integrated metal landing gear with rotating rubber wheels. The front landing gear has flush-mounted doors that include an extending hinge gimmick. When that landing gear is extended it locks nicely into position. The rear landing gear feature a twist at the wheel allowing them to stow nicely into a very compact space. Unfortunately, these landing gear do not lock in their outward position. The real bummer here is that it would have been very easy to include this frontward lock either where the landing gear connects or by putting a notch in the doors that conceal the landing gear so the user could just push those back down a little thereby trapping the landing gear in its position. The display stand bases for the Lill Draken are insubstantial and, given the long length of the attachment arm, may prove limiting or force you to be more inventive to make everything work as you desire. There are three different positions on the base for mounting the arm which may help in your efforts to get just the right pose without everything toppling over. Fortunately, the adapter that connects the Lill Draken to the display stand arm secures firmly on the vehicle’s belly and includes a ball joint allowing you to angle and twist the vehicle independently of angling and twisting the large display stand arm. In GERWALK, the SV-262 toy doesn’t have the sturdiest wings so mounting the comparatively large Lil Draken looks funny and invites some longevity issues. Bandai provided claws for the display stands so they could be used to prop up the Lil Draken but the execution is fairly awful (which is fitting since using the SV-262 display stand in GERWALK mode is also problematic at best). While I had no problem setting up GERWALK mode without the supports for a photo-shoot, I wouldn’t feel comfortable leaving the Lil Draken on indefinitely in a display… fortunately, it looks so funky to my eye that it’s not something I would want to do anyway. Attachment in battroid mode was similarly problematic. You can tuck the Lil Draken in tight with the wings vertical to make the hinges in the SV-262’s wings less likely to pivot but no matter what you do the toy ends up more something that might look cool to your eye and less something that you’d want to handle. The good news for battroid mode is that the supports for the Lil Draken can be positioned behind the toy making it more desirable to use them and thus alleviating some of the long-term durability concerns.
The toy comes with two clear plastic pieces (themselves comprised of two clear plastic pieces) I described as “Wing locks” in the intro. These are intended for use when attaching the Lill Draken in fighter mode. On my sample, these pieces weren’t necessary but the wings do hold up a lot of weight with the Lill Draken attached and I didn’t do a long-term test. It does seem very plausible that over time the wings would start drooping but here’s the rub, the locks don’t even seem like they’re designed particularly well. I would want the locks to prevent the wing from drooping down from its 90 degree angle but it doesn’t seem to achieve this. Instead, the lock prevents the pivot within the wing from rotating. From what I’ve read, the 1/72 models do things that allow them to better accommodate the Lill Draken attachment including having a ratchet in the wing and the ability to fold the wings further over. Since the DX toy can only fold the wings up 90 degrees, there is no clearance for landing with the Lill Draken attached. You can attach them but the Lill Draken wing will sit flush with/on the ground… it’s very unsatisfying but I don’t remember Delta enough to say that there was ever a scene with the Lill Draken attached on a SV-262 on the ground. Basically, the Lill Draken are much better mounted in fighter mode if you’re using the display stand. Even then, the Lill Draken mount by way of a connection that rotates so it’s easy to jostle them out of their correct alignment and they don’t peg in as tightly as I would prefer.
Lots of people have complained about difficulty installing the missile parts on the SV-262 toy. One of the chief culprits in this dilemma is that all the missile pods look identical but are meant for a specific position. Look closely at the instructions that indicate where to find the marking on the pod and how to interpret it (triangles go on top, triangle with line go on bottom in fighter mode). I had no problem at all securely attaching the missile pods. The missile pods themselves are quite nice with a silver front piece that slides forward and then doors that swing open to reveal the missiles within. They add a nice bit of heft in all modes. The only negative of the missile pods are the lack of sword stowage as shown in the anime. This is because Bandai did not make the sword collapsible. So, for those of you making a “renewal version” wish list, there are a couple more items to add. The fixed shield pegs in via the same manner used for the transformable toy but since it doesn’t transform it is much more satisfying to handle.
The Lil Draken display stand adapter (for when the Lil Draken are not attached to the SV-262) cracked the first time I placed them on the display stand. The crack isn’t fatal, the adapter still attaches securely, but it’s clearly a tolerance issue and may be a long-term longevity issue. The weight of the Lil Draken attached in any mode may also lead to longevity issues. It’s easy to imagine the hinge on the wings getting loose in fighter mode (though the Lil Draken sits so close to the hinge it alleviates some straing) and the pivots internal to the wing getting loose in GERWALK and battroid mode.
Nothing on any of these toys is articulated other than the extending landing gear and opening missile bays. Given what is present here, that’s not surprising.
Overall, the shield is easily my favorite part of this set. I didn’t like how the original shield worked or how it functioned. This shield looks great and makes handling battroid and GERWALK modes much more enjoyable. The missile pods on the leg are also very nice. The sword should have been collapsible and stowed in the missile pod but, though it lacks this gimmick, it still adds a surprising amount of fun factor to potential displays. The Lil Draken themselves are a nice set but I prefer how they look flying near my SV-262 rather than attached. In all modes, I found having the Lil Draken attached unsatisfying in execution and, only a purely personal level, just didn’t love the look as much as I did the SV-262 without the Lil Draken. In the end, this accessory kit is a perfect fit for the SV-262 because it’s cool but it’s flawed. What’s here is “decent” without being “really good”. I wish Bandai would have released a set for half price that didn’t include the Lil Draken OR included the vehicle specific parts with the toys and then just sold sets of Lil Draken separately. I hope Bandai is revisiting this mold and making enhancements and that we will see the rest of the Draken IIIs, perhaps with different included parts, in the future.