Toynami 1/55 Alpha and Beta vs. CMs 1/48 (not really) Legioss and Tread

CMs Legioss Tread 7 


Showdown(updated): And you thought you’d never live to see the day

 Toynami Boxes 1Aoshima Legioss Boxes 1CMs Legioss Tread Box 1

Packaging & Extras: Toynami
In many ways this post is just a summary of what you can already find in the two dedicated posts to these products.  If you haven’t read them already, take a moment to read my Mega Reviews on the CMs Legioss and Tread products (which includes the stand alone Legioss toys that were released), my Toynami and Aoshima Alpha/Legioss review, and my Toynami and Aoshima Beta/Tread review.  As you’ll see in those reviews, one of the real highlights of the Toynami products is their packaging.  Toynami’s book-style boxes are nicely decorated, uniquely decorated for each repaint, feature flip-tops that reveal the toy inside, and the only real downside is the amount of space on your shelf these two boxes will take.  The CMs package is smaller (still not small by any means) but it’s the same for all releases and not really a collector’s quality box.  The CMs comes with a sword, extra missiles for the Legioss, more miniature ride armors, and an extra missile box, all things you do not get with the Toynami products.  The Toynami does come with a better stand though which will probably mean more to you than all those extra CMs items… not to mention the much better connecting booms.  If I had to, I probably would include the Aoshima toys in front of the CMs products here also simply because they have unique packaging, even if it’s not as nice as Toynami’s.  CMs does come with the little ride armor figures though and that’s a very cool perk.

CMs Legioss 5Toynami Beta 9Aoshima Toynami Alpha 1 

Charm & Collectability: Toynami
This is tricky but since the Toynami features diecast and is more faithful to the line art it seems like it should be more popular than the CMs.  The CMs product, while not labeled as a limited edition, was made at only a small fraction of the number of the Toynami products so there is a lot of potential there.  Just the same, if Scott’s MPC Alpha is any indication, the Toynami will probably prove the hotter item.  So far this prediction is holding true although, as of March 23rd, 2011 both toys are selling at very steep discounts.  The mark-down is even more dramatic in the case of the CMs toys where the intial MSRP was so high.  These days even the CMs products that come with the “improvement parts” can be found very cheap.

Toynami vs CMs 2.jpgToynami vs CMs 1.jpgTread comparison 1 

Sculpt, Detail, & Paint: Toynami (honorary mention to CMs Dark Legioss and Pilotless Legioss types)
Here’s a quick run down of the strengths and weaknesses of the two toys:
Toynami Alpha’s (and Aoshima’s Legioss) nose doesn’t slope down as it should which throws the look of fighter off, including combined fighter with the Beta.   Soldier and diver (Battloid and Guardian) modes look good.
CMs Legioss has a needle nose, more under wing kibble produced by the knees, very poor head placement and a sloppy-looking back end to fighter mode.  Soldier mode doesn’t have the right amount of chunkiness and the fins don’t collapse properly into the forearms which is also a problem in combined fighter mode with the Tread.
CMs does receive additional praise for their Dark Legioss and Pilotless Legioss types.  The Dark Legioss incorporates the unique features of the model (head, canopy, shoulders, VTOL delete, canopy, intakes) whereas Toynami opted to only incorporate the head, chest, and VTOL delete.  Obviously CMs Pilotless type has a lot of unique features and Toynami apparently felt that version of the toy was too unique to bother making.
Toynami’s Beta (and Aoshima’s Tread) in bomber mode suffers from large gaps between the legs and the center array but is otherwise a very solid effort.  The Battloid (soldier) mode suffers from not concealing the cockpit.
CMs Tread looks excellent in bomber mode but the connection cradle is far less visually appealing than Toynami’s boom and separate landing gears.  The worst aspect of CMs’ bomber mode has to be the center array which can’t properly rest between the legs leaving you with a choice between one toy that has way too big a gap for the array and another which doesn’t have enough of one.  I would say CMs has the better looking Soldier mode as the chest cleverly conceals within the main body.

 Toynami vs CMs 7.jpgToynami Beta 3Toynami Beta 4

Design: Toynami
Both these sets of toys have lots of strengths and lots of weaknesses.  Toynami’s Alpha is way too complicated for its own good and has too much diecast for its joints to support.  The CMs Legioss has an odd transformation and a sloppy feeling fighter mode.  Both fighter toys do get kudos though for having all the proper missiles whereas only the CMs bomber has all the proper missiles (Toynami omitted the shoulder missiles).  Where Toynami trounces CMs is in the engineering of the connection to the Alpha/Legioss toy.  The CMs looks like two unrelated toys parked next to each other connected by an unwieldy heavy metal arm (with permanently affixed landing gears).  The Toynami, on the other hand, actually brings everything together properly.  The display stand provided with the CMs also only works for displaying the toys with the Legioss in soldier mode with the Tread acting as a booster.  Toynami’s display stand allows you to display the toy with both in their flying configuration (although a better display rig would be a smart purchase).  CMs did release a version of this toy with “improvement parts” that, once installed, greatly increased the effectiveness of the connection.  Unfortunately, this required another part and still seems like a sad after thought when one considers that CMs was building the Legioss and Tread toy simultaneously and should have integrated ways for the toys to come together.

 Toynami Beta 2MPC Line Art Comparison 1Toynami Beta 1

Durability & Build: CMs
While it appears Toynami has made LARGE strides forward with their new Beta toy the MPC Alpha has always been a game of quality control roulette that only diehard Alpha fans should play.  Once you’ve handled the much better Beta the Alpha seems like an even more pathetic effort.  To this day I don’t think I’ve heard of anyone breaking a CMs Legioss or Tread.  The only issue I’ve seen first hand is that the paint on the faces can be chipped off by the plastic of what forms the chest while the Legioss is in fighter mode.  The CMs toys are so solid that they become a lot of fun, you can pose them and transform them without worry.

Toynami vs CMs 6.jpg Toynami Beta 11CMs Legioss Tread 3

Articulation: CMs
The CMs Legioss toy is microscopically less poseable than the Toynami (although, as mentioned above, you do get to pose it without fear of breaking, a luxury you’ll never have with an MPC Alpha).  The CMs Tread though is more poseable enough for CMs to win this category.  As outlined in my Toynami Beta review, the Toynami can not twist at the waist, can not angle its head upward, and can not angle its knees outward like the CMs can.  That’s not to say the Toynami is so stiff it’s not fun, it’s just not as good as the CMs.

CMs Legioss Tread 8CMs Legioss Tread 2Toynami Beta 13 

Overall: Toynami
It’s such a terrible shame that the MPC Alpha is not a better toy.  It’s also a shame that CMs threw the line art to the wind when they came up with their package.  As you can see, the CMs Tread doesn’t even adhere to the scale of the CMs Legioss.  Neither of these sets represents the perfect effort, but of the two Toynami managed to get the closest.  Remember the winner in the durability and build section though.  After you’ve had a few Alphas become floppy broken messes you may start thinking that that section is worth more than all the other sections combined.  I’ve added some pics below so you can see that, while CMs eschewed strict line art adherence, they did do a good job getting the unique bits of the Dark Legioss.

Shadow Alpha Line Art 1Dark Legioss vs Shadow Fighter

Note: this review has been updated.  Original posted December 22, 2008.
Some existing pictures had their resolution increased, many new pictures were added and content was updated.

28 Replies to “Toynami 1/55 Alpha and Beta vs. CMs 1/48 (not really) Legioss and Tread”

  1. I’m liking the CMs much much more than the Toynami–connection be damned. The Toynami Legioss/Tread may look more like the lineart, (which is an especially arguable point for the Tread) but the CMs version looks like how it actually appeared in the animation; much more dynamic and agile.

  2. GREAT vs review mate! Personally I like the look of the CMs better. But…that is prob. cause I’m not a Robotech fan. Macross is more to my liking. I do however think that the Toynami Beta looks decent. I also believe the overall rating you gave it is fair. I really would not mind owning one myself in the future. Right now I have 1/60 v.2 VF-1s to worry about. But when the time comes….I feel a Shadow Alpha + Beta would look awesome on my shelf! Until next review.

    N I N J A

  3. thanks for the nice review , Iam not going to say that CM did a bad job but this time TOYNAMI beat them by far

  4. I know it’s a bit off topic, but how big is the color deifference between the MPC Beta and the Aoshima Legioss? I’m getting a Beta, but I don’t have an Alpha, so I was looking into getting a legioss.

  5. Josh, check the dedicated MPC Beta post, the last picture shows an Aoshima Legioss connected to the Beta.

  6. NICE! I don’t own any of these toys, but visually speaking, the Toynami pair blows away the CMs… never thought I’d say that. I big factor is the bright blue plastic CM uses (as they do with all their stuff!)… Again, great job man!

  7. Thanks, I checked it out. The color clash really isn’t that big a deal for me. I just wish the Alpha/Legioss was a better toy.

  8. This review is impressively outstanding. I don’t think anyone could have done this better. I would like to take the opportunity also to wish you Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Cheers!

  9. Great review. I really wanted a Beta to bo with my Alpha…but Toynami’s Alphas were not good toys. I owned a Aoshima Legioss and it was a total waste of money. I still think the Gakken 1/35 Legioss is the best Alpha toy made….it is over 20 years old…surely some company should be able to make a good Alpha toy soon. They should have just got Yamato to make one.

  10. Great site and I’m really struggling with buying the second volume or not of the Beta Fighter. Could you tell me how long and wide it is with the alpha connected in fighter mode? It needs to fit in a Detolf cabinet from IKEA. Thanks

  11. I don’t have a tape measure handy at the moment but I’d be amazed if you could get the combined vehicle to fit in a Detolf. If I recall, Detolfs are like 13″ square and I’m fairly sure the wingspan and overall length of the combined fighter are both greater than that.

  12. micronian,

    Great site and geat review.

    I was curious to see the CM offering, but after I read your review and saw those pictures (well done btw) I am glad I went with the Toynami. I just like the overall look way better.

  13. Be careful!! Keep in mind that the Toynami alphas photograph REALLY well. Get one in person? What a piece of junk. Waste of effort as it is a fairly elaborate toy. Die Cast should give value, not become a liability.

    I have not seen the CMs in person, but I will say that for what it’s worth, their ride armors are really nice. They ARE super delicate, but instead of feeling delicate because they’re poorly put together and unbalanced, the CMs are delicate for the right reasons, they are small, light, and have very fine detail. If that makes sense. – and again, those are ride armors. From the review it sounds like the Betas are a different kettle of fish from both companies, but I still wouldn’t be surprised if the CMs “feel” like a better toy.

  14. I just got my CMS Legioss + TLEAD + upgrade parts a week ago, and once I found out that the nose can actually lock, I’m really enjoying these toys!

    If you use the newly provided link block and transform the Legioss into fighter mode with the shoulder missile pod (spread arms), the connection will be really tight since the end of the arm thrusters are propped by the TLEAD’s chest covers. I can even do barrel rolls with it, and although I didn’t do it for an extended period of time, the Legioss did not fall off of the docking connection.

    There are some issues with the Legioss not locking when transformed or the TLEAD being not really in scale with the Legioss (unless TLEADs are supposed to be piloted by small children), but I believe the real issue of this set is the pricing. However, since the prices have dropped off practically everywhere, it’s quite justifiable, as the upgrade parts do improve the look, and provide better docking connection.

  15. Is the CMs really that durable? My Mugen Calibur just fell apart in my hands without any force at all. A crucial piece holding the waist together apparently disintegrated, like a case of gold plastic syndrome in blue plastic. I’m furious and fearful of any future CMs purchases.

    I really want a Legioss, but I don’t want something that will fall apart on its own, especially for that kind of money.

  16. I just wrote a paragraph in response to your comment about how I still have encountered anyone who has had their legioss break and that the only thing I’ve seen is some chipped paint on the faces and then I re-read what I wrote originally and it was nearly verbatim. I even disassembled my Tread toy when I did my review of the ‘upgraded’ version of this toy and after having seen the toy’s insides I still have nothing bad to say. I have my complaints about the design and proportions of the CMs Legioss but I remain impressed by its durability. I have heard lots of others complain about numerous other CMs offerings having build flaws and being easy to break but this particular toy is rock solid.

  17. Thank you for that lightning-fast response. I just had to ask because I hadn’t heard any bad things about the Mugen Calibur either and it turned out to be extremely brittle. I just don’t want to get burned again.

    I think I’ll hold out to see if Toynami really goes through with a plastic version. I’ve heard good things about the Maia Sterling Re-issue, so I’m hopeful that they can pull a plastic version off. The CMs will still probably be more durable in the end, if it is as durable as you say and I tend to trust your reviews, but the Toynami version photographs so well.

  18. I really hope someone can answer this question. Can the CM Legioss combine with the Toynami Beta? The Dark Legioss is on sale right now. And a Toynami Dark Beta is coming out soon. I really want a complete Set, but I’m trying to combine the best of both companys.

    nikodiablo said something about upgrade parts for the CM Legioss and Tread for a better tight connection. Is this true, and can anyone point me in the right direction to find the upgrade.

    btw, Great Review, Exactly what I was looking for.

  19. Bad news Gary, from what I understand Toynami has canned the Dark Beta. Sales of the red and green Beta were poor so rumor has it the Shadow Beta was cancelled. Remember, the Shadow Beta was due out in September of 2009.

    The upgraded CMs is available on eBay (I also have a review of the upgraded version on this site). Sorry I don’t know if the CMs Legioss can pair up with the Toynami Beta, at some point I’m going to condense all the CMs Legioss/Tread posts and when I do that I’ll give that combination a whirl.

  20. Thanks for the reply. I think I’ll go for the upgraded CM Legioss and Tread Blue version. They have some pretty good deals on ebay. Hope they are still around in September when I can actually afford to buy them.

  21. Hey Micronian. Great reviews. I have all three of the CM’s and saw that you mentioned the upgrade parts being sold at some places in your review. Would you happen to know if I can buy them on their own and where to buy them from? I’ve searched everywhere online and can’t seem to find anything. I desperately want to buy upgrade parts for all three of my legioss. Thanks in advance.

  22. Sadly, I don’t know of any place that ever sold the upgrade parts separately. The only time I ever saw them for sale you had to buy a brand new blue Legioss/Tread set with them (it may have been a gimmick CMs did to push old stock). Good luck in your continuing search and glad you’re enjoying the site!

  23. I’m late a bit late to the party and I just got my CMs Eta set.

    I was lucky enough to get it for just under 100 usd new from a fellow collector, so I consider myself lucky. For the price I paid, I feel that it’s an amazing set, but considering how floppy and fragile the CMs feels to me, I can’t help but wonder just how bad the toynamis are.

    Thanks for your reviews! As a returning macross/robotech collector who’s been on hiatus since 2001, your site is a goldmine.

  24. Yes, there’s a different post that reviews the Aoshima and Toynami MPC Betas and it shows pictures of what it looks like.

  25. Just a few question,

    To date no one does Mospeada better for the Legioss,
    Just wonder the copyrights belong to Bigwest or Toynami?

    Really hope someone can reproduce a better Alpha/Beta given the technology improvement over the years

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