Review(updated): An accessory and a toy in one
Packaging & Exras: (4.5/5)
You get everything you could need here to connect the Ghost to either color VF-0 (be it Roy’s, Shin’s, or the Unknown Soldier’s). You also get all the parts to have either Ghost operate as a stand alone vehicle or as a booster attachment to the VF-0. Basically, you get everything you really could need. It does kind of seem like some missiles should be present though because from what I remember the Ghost is shown in Macross Zero launching a flurry of them. This toy includes a collector’s style flip top lid which shows the toy and all its accesssories via an interior window.
Charm & Collectibility: (2/5)
The first Ghost released has a triangular paint scheme that separates it from the pack and it hasn’t been sold in any combo packs so it seems that should be the more collectible of the two. That being said, this first paint scheme really doesn’t go well with either of the 0A toys and it never appears in the OVA on a 0S so I think it will be an easy accessory for many collectors to pass on. Since the second version of the Ghost has been packaged with Shin (if you own a Shin version you also own the Ghost, you didn’t have a choice) and is offered as a gift set with Roy. It seems unlikely demand will be high for the sold-separately 2200D-B model. According to Yamato’s website, these toys were released in April 2007 (2200D-A) and October 2007 (2200D-B) with an MSRP after tax of 5,050 Yen.
Sculpt, Detail, & Paint: (7.5/5)
For the most part this is a pretty good-looking piece. The tones of the paint are nice, the paint job is strong, and there is some modest tampo-printing. The landing gears are detailed nicely and there’s plenty of detail to be had. It has been pointed out though that the line art depicts more intakes than are present on the toy so it seems Yamato has simplified the look of the craft. Unfortunately the only line art I have access to is stylized so it wasn’t suitable for comparison pics.
There really isn’t a whole lot going on here. The landing gears are an absolute bear to open. I used a twist tie looped around to pull them out or tweezers (being carefuly only to grab the rubber of the wheel). They’re also a bit of a tight fit and sometimes it is hard to have them snuggly retracted with the bay doors nicely closed. The attachment to the VF-0 toys also doesn’t seem nearly as sturdy as it could although it works well enough (provided the fit is good, more on that in the next section). The parts swap from automated Ghost to booster pack is super quick and easy (but do remember to remove the spacer pieces from the belly when putting your Ghost back in its plastic tray after using it as a booster). The toy does seem to be sorely lacking in the weaponry department. Was this drone up there just to get shot in lieu of the VF-0 fighters or did Yamato just not include the weaponry?
Durability & Build: (7/10)
It should be pretty hard to screw up a toy that is crafted from so few pieces of plastic but Yamato couldn’t overcome a simply average score. By far the saddest issue I encountered had nothing to do with the Ghost itself but rather the VF-0 toys. My VF-0A had the piece that needs to be swapped to accomodate a Ghost completely stuck and it finally snapped a peg off as I worked it out (pictured below). In the end it’s no big deal as that piece gets replaced by a Ghost-friendly version of the same piece. Reverting the toy back to Ghost-less proved not to be a problem too as the one remaining peg was so snug it was more than sufficient to keep everything in line so the only real affect was a decreasing in my toy’s value. Going through the same process with my 0S revealed a different problem. The pegs on the 0S were entirely too loose so when the Ghost was attached as a booster (in any mode other than fighter) it seemed to want to pull the pegs straight out and plop to the ground. Honestly, these seem more like problems with the VF-0 toys rather than the Ghosts but I think they go better in this review since they are problems you’d never notice unless you bothered buying a Ghost. There have also been complaints that the parts that accomodate the Ghost as a booster are slightly larger than the normal parts which can force a gap to exist between the back and chest pieces in fighter mode. Another odd issue was one of my samples having a spike-fin be bent. It appears to be a factory fault and it’s such a sturdy little piece I can’t imagine how it happened (you can see it in the underside pic of the gray Ghost below).
Just about the only piece of articulation I can imagine being missing here are the missile bays that appear to be lacking. Otherwise there’s a huge range of motion on the rear booster allowing you to pull off crazy poses like the cobra maneuver Shin uses in the final episode. The accessory does do very well in not inhibiting the articulation of the original toy.
Total Score: (34/50)
If you’re not a huge fan of how the VF-0 looks with the Ghost attached then this should be an easy pass for you. As a stand alone item there’s just not enough here to warrant the purchase. It’s too late to try to hold out hope you can find one of these on the cheap (I’ll though they’re not collectable enough to demand much of a premium). The booster doesn’t add nearly the heft to a VF-0 toy that Super/Strike parts add to a VF-1 and they seem to cost the same about. Basically, a VF-1 with Super/Strike parts will be cheaper to purchase and be a much better toy (both the valk and the accessory).
NOTE: This review has been updated, resolution of photographs was increased, content was updated, a video review was added.
Original post date: November 30, 2007