Review: It’s got a head so big it’s a virtual planetoid
Packaging & Extras: (4/5)
This toy doesn’t come in a collector’s style package so it wasn’t going to get a perfect score. That score is dropped a little bit lower because the toy doesn’t include super parts like the old Joke Machine toys did. That said, it does come with lots of fun stuff:
1) Smaller head (necessary for transformation)
4) Optional gun/knife holding fists (both left and right)
5) Display stand connectors (Fighter/GERWALK/Battroid)
6) Display stand
7) Gun-firing effect
Charm & Collectability: (4/5)
Released in September 2010 for 4500 Yen this toy appeared to sell fairly well but it never received a reissue. It seemed likely that it would be the first in a line of SD VF-25 toys but none ever came. At 10.5CM tall in battroid mode, there’s not much of a ‘bang for your buck’ feeling in handling these toys despite some heft added by metal in the feet and the swing bar. It plays very well with the Joke Machines of old. Will it be a huge collector’s item some day? it’s bound to have limited appeal since it’s non-scale and super deformed but it already demands more than original MSRP in the secondary market.
Sculpt, Detail, & Paint: (7.5/10)
For a super deformed toy you can color me impressed. In the past it would have been impressive for a company just to paint on all the main markings but Bandai has gone beyond that and given us the SMS logos, little red triangles and squares, and other little details that will impress you. Another nice plus is the inclusion of an extra head. Bandai could have just given us the slightly over-sized head that works for transformation but instead they also gave us a mega head which better drives home the super deformed effect. The big weakness here is that Bandai did not include a pilot. The transformation mechanism would have required removal of the pilot but it would have been a nice extra to have.
Compromise was definitely the name of the game here. The completely overhauled transformation to work in SD is very impressive so Bandai gets points there. After that, the bummers begin. First, there’s no opening cockpit. Second, there’s no integrated OR attachable landing gear. Sure, we get a little display stand but my wife has a fighter mode Joke Machine on her desk at work and it slips under the radar so it’d be nice if this toy could do that also. Second, the display stand is pretty basic and it seems silly that it wasn’t designed to work in fighter mode with the gun attached. GERWALK mode is present but it’s not particularly fun.
Durability & Build: (8.5/10)
I’ve read a few other reviews where people thought the toy felt a bit frail but I haven’t heard of many frequent breaks and I thought the toy was amazingly solid. The paint job had only the most minor of flaws, only noticeable when taking close ups for website reviews. There is a bit of metal in the swing mechanism for durability purposes but the majority of metal is in the feet to give the toy some stability in battroid mode.
This is an amazing score for such a dinky toy. Could it be better? Absolutely. I was a bit let down by the knees ability to go back (they quickly hit the wing roots) and hips which don’t give a huge range of camber for really mean A-stances. It’s impressive for what it is but if you’re looking for something to compete against the Robot Spirits VF-25F this is not it.
Total Score: (36/50)
A score of 35 is average so this pint-sized toy scores solidly in the range where VF-25F fans (who aren’t disgusted by SD) should consider a purchase, if you could find one near MSRP. While the articulation certainly didn’t fall in the Robot Spirits spectrum this toy was definitely a lot of fun to handle in battroid mode. It may be cute but it feels well built and the level of detail on a toy with this kind of purpose is very impressive. It’s too bad we didn’t get super parts, a pilot, or landing gears. As it is, it’s a cute bonus for a display in any mode but that’s about it.
Note – this review has been updated
Original post date November 23, 2010
Updated November 19, 2014 to include HD Video Review and HD Transformation guide. Increased resolution of a couple photos.