Review: More tchotchke than toy
Packaging & Extras: (1/5)
Super7 is more of a nostalgia company than a toy company. These products are meant to harken back to the day when you’d be in the Gemco with your mom and plead for her to pull a GI Joe figure off the peg and throw it in the cart. Your mom would say ‘no’ and now you’re a 40 year old with a closet full of unopened action figures… yes, you really showed her didn’t you. These figures come on blister cards adorned with Robotech art you’ve likely already seen somewhere else and seems like the wrong look given the toy you’re purchasing. A little less refined art, something more ‘cartoony’, seems like it would have worked a lot better. There are several flavors to choose from, VF-1, SDF-1, and Battlepod. The VF-1 toys come with a gun taped to the inside of the blister card, none of the other toys have any accessories. When the tape is peeled off the gun it leaves plenty of sticky residue for you to remember it by.
Charm & Collectability: (2/5)
While Super7 leans hard on nostalgia, which is certainly pretty charming, these are ultimately overgrown gashapon toys so demand will never be fervent. In fact, they probably would have done better scaled-down and sold in blind box sets with a chase figure. Instead they half-hearted emulate some vinyl toys of yesteryear with a bit of articulation. It seems like vinyl collectors are the target demographic (though these toys feel like ABS and PVC) with the hope that the action figure homage will broaden appeal. Releases so far include:
VF-1S Roy Fokker, $14.99, July 2018
VF-1J Rick Hunter, $14.99, July 2018
VF-1A Mass Production, $14.99, July 2018
VF-1D Trainer, $14.99, July 2018
SDF-1, $14.99, July 2018
Battlepod, $14.99, July 2018
Sculpt, Detail, & Paint: (5/10)
These sculpts seem intentionally off as part of the nostalgia trip. You can imagine the guys at Super7 deciding that they wanted to do this toy but they only wanted to do it with exactly the tools and resources that would have been allotted to such a project in 1982. Though the sculpts aren’t very accurate portrayals of the line art, the paint work is decent for funky little vinyl figures. It’s nice that they didn’t resort to a bunch of hastily applied stickers. I found the head sculpt of the VF-1A to be particularly heinous and the proportions of the SDF-1 to be shake-your-head worthy.
Pieces rotate and stay connected… so that’s cool! There’s nothing to be frustrated with in handling these but they don’t transform and they’re not meant to be interesting, their just bobbles for the desk. One interesting gimmick I was surprised to see is that the VF-1 toys can attach their guns to their forearms.
Durability & Build: (8.5/10)
If these were one piece of plastic with immaculate paint it’d probably get a 10. To their credit, these toys don’t feel soft like vinyl toys, or tacky like some PVC toys. The only item that ever gave me pause for concern for breakage were the tiny grips on the gun that the VF-1 toys hold and the whisker guns on the top and bottom of the battlepod. The VF-1 guns are curiously small so you don’t want to go handing these off to a two year old (Super7 would tell you not to even hand these off to a 13 year old). I knocked a half point off the score here since some of my paint apps were a little sloppy…. And my Roy version is missing the paint app on the hip entirely.
On the VF-1 toy, the head rotates, the shoulders rotate, and the hips rotate. The SDF-1 has pivoting shoulders, rail guns on the shoulders, and hips. The Battlepod was the biggest let down featuring rotation points at the hips and ball joints at the main guns but nothing else.
Total Score: (21/50)
I feel like these are trapped between a realistic look and a chibi look and had they gone for either of those I would have found these more appealing. Yes, these probably do mimic some 80s merchandise, perhaps of the original Macross or some other show, maybe only in Japan, but clearly I’m not sentimental for whatever that was. If you want a VF-1 toy, why not just get a Revoltech or a Toynami 1/100? Sure, they cost twice as much but they’re both 4x the toy these things are.