Kaiyodo Revoltech Macross Plus toys (YF-19 and YF-21)

Mega Review: Now both YF-19 and YF-21 toys are in one post

Packaging & Extras: (4.5/5)
These toys come packaged efficiently in a small box.  With an MSRP of 1,900 YEN these were budget toys so you won’t get a collector’s style flip-top lid, instead there’s a large window that shows you the goods within.  The boxes came with a sleeve advertising the product within.  Each toy comes with the following:
1) Super parts (4 parts for each toy)
2) A gun (only one gun, you don’t get both guns for the YF-21)
3) Pin point barrier punch effect part (attaches to closed fist)
4) 2x Pin point barrier shield parts (simulates the forearm shield defending against an incoming attack)
5) 2x (4 total) sets of fixed posed hands (gun gripping, and open palmed)
6) Display stand
7) Advertisement leaflet
True to Revoltech form, many of these extras are included in little baggies taped to the inside of the plastic tray that houses the toy.  This is unfortunate as once you open that baggy it greatly increases the odds of losing parts.  The inclusion of so many extra parts that lend themselves to so many more cool poses has allowed me to overcome some of the packaging shortcomings in this category.

Charm & Collectability: (2.5/5)
June 2008 saw the release of the Kaiyodo Revoltech and the Yamato GnU Dou Macross Plus toys .  The market for off-scale, non-transformable versions of these toys didn’t warrant the glut of releases.  While Yamato’s toys were more expensive and made of higher quality materials they were also had less articulation and came with fewer extras.  The small market was split and it seemed neither manufacturer was a winner in terms of sales.  Both lines of toys became shelf warmers receiving steep mark-downs before ultimately selling out but remaining available near MSRP in secondary markets. Here’s a complete list of Revoltech Macross releases (excluding the transformable Yamaguchi line that followed):
Regult, 1,900YEN, May 2008
YF-19, 1,900YEN, June 2008
YF-21, 1,900YEN, June 2008
VF-1J Hikaru Custom Super Valk, 1,900YEN, September 2007
VF-1S Focker STrike Valk, 1,900YEN,  October 2007
VF-1A Hikaru Custom Super Valk, 1,900YEN, November 2007
VF-1J Max Custom Super Valk (Limited), 1,900YEN, May 2008
VF-1J Miria Custom Super Valk (Hobby Japan Exclusive), 1.900YEN, October 2008

Sculpt, Detail, and Paint: (7/10)
The Revoltech brand is synonymous with stylized interpretations of mecha and characters with highly animated, often aggressive, postures. Revoltech’s joint system is ridiculously cool and adaptable but it does require a compromise when it comes to the looks of the toys.  Generally the toy’s designers do a good job burying the round Revoltech joints into the figure but some joints, like shoulders, can sometimes still standout more than they should.  In the case of the YF-19 the joints weren’t the only issues.  First, the paint application to the toy is very glossy and a bit bright which makes the toy look cheap.  Second, the Fast Packs are the wrong color.  The Fast Pack parts are supposed to be gray, not beige.  The YF-21 does slightly better but some may feel the choice of color is a bit dark which washes out much of the limited detail that is present.  The picture below compares various facets of the Revoltech toys to the Yamato GnU counterparts.  This picture highlights how obvious the ball joints can be and also how Kaiyodo took a simpler approach to design elements.  Surprisingly, the level of detail is very similar between the Kaiyodo and Yamato offerings.

Design: (8/10)
Kaiyodo does a pretty good job with their Revoltech line.  For the most part the joints are hidden well and positioned as to not hinder the range of movement.  You may find yourself occasionally popping a limb off so you can fidget with the underlying joint to get it just how you want it but that’s a small price to pay for having a joint system that typically does allow you to get exactly that pose you’re imagining. If you’re into customizing toys than you may want to opt for Yamato’s GnU Dou toys instead.  Those toys allow the owner to pop off the exterior of the toy which makes them much easier to modify.

Durability & Build: (6.5/10)
These toys are bendy and feel cheap in the hands but that should be somewhat forgivable since they are, in fact, cheap toys.  There’s some fear that some of the joints might get sloppy/loose at some point but I was able to handle these without fear and the joints all cooperated perfectly.  What holds Revoltechs back in this category are their cheap materials, potential incorrect accessories (like the two left hands I received on my VF-1), and questionable paint applications.  I originally remarked that the peg on my YF-19’s pin-point barrier seemed poorly put together and three years later I opeend up the toy and the peg was nowhere to be found… it seems to have disconnected from the part, fallen out of the baggy, and ultimately out of the box.  This goes to reaffirm why I’m not thrilled with extras thrown in a baggies or the build quality of these toys.

Articulation: (9/10)
Revoltechs are fun to pose, plain and simple.  The only place they will ever fail you is if you are trying desperately to make them look stiff and uncomfortable or simply “at attention.”  Here’s a tip, don’t be afraid to pull the toy apart and reposition the joints inside to get just that angle you’re looking for.  Revoltechs are designed with people doing just that in mind so have at it and try to come up with something crazy.

Total Score: (37.5/50)
These are not the greatest quality toys ever made but they are a lot of fun.  Some people are bound to be turned off by some aspects of them, particularly the stylized look and if that’s eating you up as you look at these pics then avoid them.   At some point both these toys and the Yamato GnU Dou toys were marked down so dramatically owning both was easily accomplished.  If you find yourself weighing which one to own these days here’s a quick breakdown of the pros and cons of the GnU line.  The GnU Dou line doesn’t come with a display stand, super parts, or pin-point barrier effects.  You can buy the super parts separately and Yamato makes stands that would work with their GnU Dou toys but would also need to be purchased separately.  Yamato offered more variants in their GnU Dou line than Kaiyodo did in the Revoltech series.  The GnU Dou toys are larger and offer a more true to the line art appearance.  The GnU Dou toys can be disassembled for customization and modification purposes but this feature added a tendency for parts to fall off the toys while handling.  Yamato’s toys are made of better materials and don’t feel as rubbery in the hand.  The GnU Dou toys don’t offer quite the range of articulation found on the Revoltech toys, even with the sold-separately improvements bundled with Super Parts.  Overall, since I’m not a customizer and I don’t mind the appearance of the Revoltechs I’d give them the edge.  When I factor in that the Revoltech toys were much cheaper than the GnU line it’d be an easy choice to go with the Revoltech if I could only own one and I was buying them at MSRP.

NOTE: In my continuing effort to make the site easier to navigate I have merged to prior posts into one:
July 21, 2008 Kaiyodo Revoltech YF-19
July 23, 2008 Kaiyodo Revoltech YF-21
I have also added line art comparisons, many new pictures in higher resolution, and a video review.

2 Replies to “Kaiyodo Revoltech Macross Plus toys (YF-19 and YF-21)”

  1. Hi, I have just discovered your fantastic blog. I am also a big fan of Macross, Mospeada, Gundam, Patlabor and Orguss. I guess we belong to the same world. I have also maintain a blog showcasing my toys. Really love your collection of Macross toys and nice reveal on them. I have added your blog to my link if you don’t mind. Five thumbs up for your blog. Thank you.

  2. Thanks for the kudos Dennis, I’ve returned the favor and added your site to my links section. That’s a good looking site, thanks for posting! If you’re not Dennis and you’re reading this comment, click on Dennis’ name above to check his site out.

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