Gakken 1/20 VR-052F Cycle Mode Ride Armor

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Review: No metal, no transformation, but it rolls!

Packaging & Extras: (2/5)
This toy comes in a box (9.7x12x5.5 HxWxD in cm) that is a bit smaller than Gakken’s 1/20 scale armor mode toy. The toy is secured by a Styrofoam tray. Contents are limited to the toy and a sticker sheet. At a minimum, it would have been nice if the toy included Stick’s heavy gun and a way to peg it into the front of the bike.

Charm & Collectability: (4/5)
Gakken’s visions of a metal line of Mospeada collectibles was short-lived. The metal, armor-mode-only toy is labeled as 1/20 scale with ZDC (Zinc die-cast) badging and indicates that the bike-mode-only toy will be part of the line. The ZDC line, which was to include armor mode versions of Stick, Ray, Yellow, and Houquet, never made it past Stick with the only other release being a 1/55 scale, two mode transformation Legioss. When the bike-mode-only toy made it to shelves, no metal was present and the box doesn’t mention ZDC nor 1/20 scale on the packaging showing a migration toward a younger demographic. At about 10.7 cm long, the toy is about 1/18 scale and, since the rider can be removed, may pair well with other 1/18 scale action figures you own. Without the transformation gimmick or metal, these toys lack the primary elements of the hottest collectible but this is a representation of the most iconic mech from the series and was the best representation of the motorcycle in that era. The tires are made of rubber.

Sculpt, Detail, and Paint: (6/10)
The representation of both the bike and the rider are fair. The rider looks a bit out of proportion, unnaturally thin from being stretched somewhat laterally. The back of the bike accommodates the rear tire by cutting the exhaust pipes in half. Paint on the bike looks great, it’s spruced up nicely by the included stickers, but the rider is completely unpainted and looks odd. Gakken thought ahead making the rider completely removable so fans could paint him on their own.

Design: (3/10)
This toy has three noteworthy design elements:
1) The rider can be removed
2) The tires spin
3) The kickstand has a “free rolling” or stopped position.
Sliding the kickstand forward elevates the toy enough so that it won’t roll freely. Moving the kickstand back allows the toy to roll. When the kickstand is in the rear position it is only narrowly off the ground so it acts to keep the toy standing perfectly erect. Since the rider is generic, it would have been nice if the gauntlets were interchangeable and it came with the parts to swap it into a VR-52T… but they were probably hoping to sell that as a separate toy had things turned out better for Mospeada.

Durability & Build: (9/10)
The bike is basically one piece of plastic with no real tricks so the only thing you should fear is breaking the connecting pegs the rider grabs (and that doesn’t seem easy to do). The removable plastic rider is a bit rubbery and seems like he’d be able to stand up to some serious play. Oddly, the first one of these I owned was missing the kickstand without any evidence of having been broken in any way.

Articulation: (2/10)
As I said when I did my review of the Matchbox Armoured Cyclone, a motorcycle CAN be articulated. Moving handle bars are a start, a suspension, wheels that move, and pedals/breaks/clutch/misc would get a bike a perfect score. This bike has a rider that could also have been made articulated but was not. 1 point for an operable kickstand and 1 point for wheels that spin.

Total Score: (26/50)
If you’re nutty for Mospeada, then this can be a fun, kind of obscure but not impossible to track down, collectible. If you’re not nutty for Mospeada, then this toy does not bring enough to the table to be compelling. You can make your enjoyment of the toy go a little farther by removing the rider figure and replacing it with one of the CM’s 1/18 scale rider figures.

Original post July 3, 2007
July 8, 2011: Added HD Images
June 28, 2020: Added 4K images and video comparing toy to the Matchbox Armoured Cyclone

3 Replies to “Gakken 1/20 VR-052F Cycle Mode Ride Armor”

  1. Seems it would only be good for Hardcore Mospeada fans or as a statue. I wonder what the Aoshima 1/12 kits are like, or more importantly how do you think Toynami’s Masterpiece will be?

  2. I know I’m way behind on reviewing the new Macross releases. There are so many new toys I have yet to get up (The Ghost set, Shin’s Giftset, the YF-19, the YF-19 Super Set, the Urban GBP, and soon the SV-51). While it may take me all of the rest of the year to get all those toys up, I will say I do plan on reviewing any new Mospeada products as soon to release as possible. I’m not doing this to slight Macross fans, it’s just Mospeada toys come out less frequently and cost less money so they’re a lot easier to stay up-to-date on.

  3. Got to say these bikes would be great extras for the CM Corps Brave Riders (the twin pack of just the figures).
    Looks like they are pretty much on size par with the CM Corps Brave Riders Bikes.
    I think I`ll see if I can track one or two of these down for a hands on comparrison.

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