Observations & Critique: Lill Draken on the VF-31? Deculture!
Like other Tamashii Web Exclusive items, this accessory is mailed in a brown shipper box. Inside you’ll find the monochromatic ‘retail box’ as it were showing off the Lill Draken and their connection to the DX VF-31 toy. Some of you might be wondering what sort of abomination this is since, in the show, only the SV-262 vehicles used the Lill Draken. In the movie version of Macross Delta (Passionate Walkure), Messer’s VF-31 sports the Lill Draken (full disclosure, I have not seen the movie). The box does not strive to be fancy in any way, it’s made of very thin cardboard and there are no premium features like a flip-top lid. Sliding the plastic clamshell from within, you will find the two Lill Draken toys as well as:
1) 2x DX VF-31 fighter/GERWALK mode attachment pieces
2) 2x DX VF-31 battroid mode attachment pieces
3) 2x display stands consisting of bases, arms, claws (for use as support when connected) and adapters (for use when the Lill Draken are not connected to a VF-31)
The arms for the display stands are in a baggy that’s taped beneath the plastic clamshell. Behind the plastic clamshell you’ll also find instructions. NOTE, the four connecting pieces (listed as items 1 and 2) are EXACTLY the same as the ones included with the DX VF-31F Messer/Hayate release. What’s missing? The shield and missile pods for the next DX SV-262 release, that’s what’s missing! Maybe I should accept we’re not getting any more DX SV-262 toys.
Released as a Tamashii Web Exclusive on January 23, 2019 for 6,480円, this is the first Macross Tamashii web exclusive in recent memory that seems to have lost value immediately upon release. Passionate Walkure may have performed admirably but this is a weak effort to recoup funds on the Lill Draken mold after dropping the DX SV-262 line. On the positive side, if you didn’t get Keith’s Lill Draken set, it has become very expensive on the secondary market. While this set is colored different and doesn’t include the sword, shield, or missiles, this is a good opportunity to get Keith some buddies. The Lill Draken don’t do much and many people don’t associate them with the VF-31 so the outlook for this set to become very valuable any time soon is very unlikely. Like the look of the Lill Draken on a DX VF-31? The connectors work on ALL DX VF-31 Siegfried releases so there’s no need to limit them to Messer’s ride.
As noted in the review of Keith’s accessory, the Lill Draken seem large at 13.5cm long. They do have nice transclucent detail pieces for the sensors near the front, fairly intricate white trim, a nice, subtle, two-tone blue/dark blue paint scheme throughout. Construction is high-end with no obvious screw-holes and concealed hinges at the base of the wings. Peering deep into the dark rear of the craft reveals nice interior jet engine detail. If you’re looking for a nitpick, the integrated landing gear are plain.
The integrated landing gear are the highlight from the design perspective. You can also angle the wings up on the Lill Draken to suit your display purposes but they lack detents to help you get everything symmetrical (and you’d probably only pivot them in battroid mode because it looks kind of silly in fighter/GERWALK.
The toy also has an attachment mechanism on its bottom that pivots so the Lill Draken can be angled to your desire while attached to the toy.
On the downside, the attachment pieces to connect the Lill Draken to the VF-31 are a clear after-thought. While they are fairly well concealed when everything is put together, the very existence will be a huge turn off for many. The need for two different attachment brackets, depending on the mode the toy is in, will compound this issue. While the attachment pieces, and the Lill Draken themselves, do a decent job staying on the vehicle, they do allow for some slop in the angle of the wing and I did inadvertently pop them off a couple times while handling.
Want to install the super parts at the same time as the Lill Draken? You can do everything except the wing boosters as the attachment piece needs to occupy some of the same space.
The included display stands come with very long arms so they can function as a brace for a VF-31 in battroid mode on its display stand. The result is that you have to fold them over multiple times to get a lower altitude flying pose. You can pivot the display stands in a few ways to have a bit more fun with the individual Lill Draken and plug the arms into one of three locations.
The good thing about such a basic accessory is that it seems unlikely to have durability issues. Paint and build quality were top notch on my sample. The clips for the VF-31 seem to go on and off easily enough without any real concern about causing paint scratching unless you do something egregious.
It’s an awful feeling to get an accessory that hinders your toy’s articulation and doesn’t fit properly adding its own frustration to what had been a better handling toy. The big positive about these accessories is that they don’t negatively impact enjoyment of the underlying VF-31 toy. While that’s very good, they also don’t do a lot to add to the fun factor. This is just a “do you like the look of it” kind of accessory. If you’re going to have all the DX VF-31 toys, these might be a fun way to break up the display and have a toy look different. If you’re not a huge Passionate Walkure fan and don’t really see the Lill Draken as a positive visual addition then this should be a very easy pass.