Gakken 1/35 Ride Armors

REVIEW(updated): Little, Metal, Different

Packaging & Extras: (2/5)
These toys are tiny and so are there boxes at (11 (or 14.3 if you include the peg holder flap) x 9.3 x 4.5 cm). What appear to be extras when the box is opened are parts that must be attached to complete the toy. No true extras are packaged at all. The box is sturdy enough, the artwork is nice and unique for each armor. Be careful with the arm gauntlets. Some of them, like Houquet’s, fit rather loosely in the Styrofoam and could potentially rattle out of their housing and ultimately out of the box. I recommend covering the arm gauntlet cavities in the Styrofoam with a piece of tape to make sure nothing falls out inadvertently.

Charm & Collectibility: (4/5)
Being 1/35 scale means these armors are the right size to be (dis)played with the large 1/35 Gakken Legioss (Alpha) toys. At 6.3 cm tall, they may be a bit larger than they ought to be but they’re close enough (the standing pilot figure that comes with the 1/35 Legioss toy is 5.2 cm tall). While they’re rather small and don’t transform, these toys do feature a lot of metal. Gakken had big dreams for where Mospeada would go and part of those dreams was a line called “ZDC” for “Zinc Die Cast”. That line was supposed to be the premium line while toys like the 1/72 Legioss and transformable 1/20 were more ‘accessible’. The ZDC line didn’t make it far, seeing only two official releases (1/20 non-transformable armor mode VR-52F and 1/55 two mode AFC-01H Legioss) but it’s a safe bet that these 1/35 ride armors, though they dropped the name, were intended to be part of this line as well. One of mine has a 680¥ price sticker on it, though it’s unclear if this was the original price. If you’re interested in procuring these toys, keep your eye out on auction sites. Though seemingly every ride armor becomes collectable to some extent, the influx of additional Ride Armor toys from Mega House, CMs, Beagle/Toynami, and Sentinel may have put some downward pressure on this score.

Sculpt, Detail, and Paint: (6/10)
The sculpt is pretty impressive with each ride armor featuring its unique elements. Houquet/Fuke has the rounded chest of her armor as well as the larger gun she toted. Stick has his missile pods and Rey has his gun. Unfortunately, the paint schemes don’t follow the show. Houquet/Fuke isn’t off by much but the others are a broad jump from where they should be. Otherwise, the level of detail is quite impressive for something so small, but a far cry from modern, larger releases.

Design: (4/10)
The only true design element to discuss with this toy is how well the individual parts come together and stay attached. In that respect, the toys perform admirably as I had no issues with parts popping off without a clear reason (my fat fingers). Gakken did improve the attachments of the gauntlets between the VR-52T (Ray) and the VR-38L (Houquet). For Ray, the gauntlets attach via a peg that goes into a protrusion on the gauntlet. This is a fine system for gauntlets with weapons that cover the protrusion like the missile launchers on the 52F or the gun side of the 52T, but it looks like an awkward hump where there is no weapon and worse, the pressure of inserting the peg into the housing could easily crack the gauntlet. On Houquet’s armor, the gauntlet has a receiving hole for the peg allowing the attached gauntlet to look perfectly flat.

Durability & Build: (6.5/10)
The main section of this toy is made of metal so it’s quite durable. It’s pretty easy to knock the detachable pieces off but it’s just as easy to put them back on without anything being broken. The build quality could be better, your toy may suffer from paint smudges, over-spray, and seams. The paint will also be susceptible to wear but the lack of articulation should minimize that issue. Though there’s no good reason to do it, you could pry these toys apart at the seam that runs down the middle (they’re not glued and this wouldn’t hurt the toy). As discussed in the design section, the attachment for Ray’s non-gun-side gauntlet features a button to fit over a peg in the arm and the pressure of the peg can crack the gauntlet. This shouldn’t be a concern with the other variants since Stick has missiles that strengthen the gauntlet and Houquet has slots on her gauntlets instead of a button.

Articulation: (3/10)
The head moves, the arms move, there’s some slight movement at the knee, and the gun moves since it’s attached by a peg. You won’t be putting these toys in fun poses.

Total Score: (25.5/50)
This isn’t a fun toy so much as a 1/35 Legioss accessory and it tends to be very expensive in the secondary market in light of what you actually receive. The scale here would also pair nicely with the Evolution Toy Legioss. Don’t buy this hoping it will knock your socks off with its play attributes, buy it because it’s going to look good on the shelf in your Mospeada display (or don’t buy it at all).

Original Post Date: May 24, 2006
April 8, 2007: Improved pictures, SD video review
May 31, 2020: New 4K pictures, 4K video review, updated content

6 Replies to “Gakken 1/35 Ride Armors”

  1. Hey – great reviews, as always. I was wondering if you’ve ever thought about review “updates” at least with respect to collectability. For instance, Scott’s VFA-6H have fetched over $200 (on evilbay) as have the appendix armor packs for the toynami veritechs.

    I think this would be very useful information. Any updated forecast on whether there are VFA-6Hs hiding in the shadows until a Beta is released? What about the impact of Cm’s Legioss/Tread on the collectability of other alpha toys?

    THanks for any insight – Duck996

  2. Thanks for the input, I definitely hope to be able to update my little review blurbs with more accurate and present information as time allows. Unfortunately, most the time I have for the site gets consumed by taking and cleaning up photos since they’re supposedly worth a thousand words as the old saying goes. Some of my early posts have really atrocious and odd-sized photos so getting those up to snuff is my number 1 priority (with some brand new toys to the site also to keep things fresh).

    Sadly I’m a bit removed from the new toy market at the moment with everything else going on so I have no scoops regarding the new toys on the horizon or what Toynami might have hidden away in a warehouse. I’m a huge Mospeada fan though and am attempting to get my site all caught up so I can have reviews of the upcoming products by Aoshima, CMs, Beagle (if it’s not a Toynami release) and Toynami pretty much the moment those toys are released. Looks like it might be an expensive summer!

  3. Thanks. I look forward to more of your reviews. You are right, it is going to be one VERY expensive summer….

  4. I used to have these like 15 years ago. I think I still have the red one in my toy box. Yeah. Today they’re nothing more than nostalgia fuel.

  5. I only have the standard Scott Bernard version and the condition ain’t like yours. Those you have are well preserved and it’s through your blog I get to know more about Mospeada, Macross/ Robotech toys.

  6. how can I get these three little diecast? I wish I can have the blue one at least. thank you for your advise.


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