Accessories for Yamato’s 1/60 VF-17 Toys: Super Parts

Observations & Critique: ‘Super’ seems a bit too strong a word

You could get these parts in one of two packages, either bundled with the VF-17D toy or as a standalone accessory. As a standalone set the box included is the same width of the VF-17S box but it’s got a bit less depth and less height. The packaging is reasonably attractive though the cardboard is the standard ‘very thin’ of other Yamato releases and there is no flip-top lid that lets you see the parts without opening the box. It’s a good thing too because sliding out the goods within is definitely one of the more underwhelming aspects of ownership. “Huh, this is it?” In the package are the four super parts in a plastic holder housed in a cardboard tray. Behind the tray, in the standard Yamato style, are the instructions for how to attach them to your toy. Maybe I’m in the minority but I really wish manufacturers of extras like these paid a bit more attention to the characters and gave us some standing pilot figures or something.

As noted above, you could get these parts with the VF-17D gift-set released in December 2012 for 29,600 Yen or as a standalone accessory released that same month with an MSRP of 4,800 Yen. Neither the gift-set nor the stand-alone parts were available in excess with both selling out fairly quickly. It’s safe to assume that both would now demand a premium with Yamato’s going out of business and hopes of reissues being diminished. It’s possible Arcadia will acquire the Macross7 rights and purchase the Macross7 molds (since it seems unlikely anyone else would be interested in the Macross7 license) but for now these items are going to remain hard to come by.

The difficulty of capturing the ultra-stylized presentation of the Macross7 valks in real world plastic extends beyond the core mech to the attachments. In battroid mode it feels like the parts should be bulkier and larger. In fighter mode it feels like they should be a little bit longer and more narrow. Much like the underlying VF-17 toy Yamato had to make some tough compromises to try to make the parts passable in all modes. For the most part I’d say they succeeded but the end result is super parts that just don’t feel like they deliver very much punch.

Yamato cleverly included all the mechanisms you needed to transform the toy without needing to remove and reapply the super parts. You don’t need to remove anything from the VF-17 toy to install the parts either. The integration and attachments of the Super Parts receive high marks. The flip out doors on the legs are nice revealing missiles via an extending hinge. In fighter mode the super parts do not conflict with using the landing gears. Everything is very well thought out and implemented with a minimum of frustration to the user.

The super parts on the backpack do attach disturbingly well and do create a durability issue. The plastic pegs on the backpack piece attach to a piece of plastic that slides for different modes. It seems likely the force of removing the super parts several times will cause the part to eventually get loose. Even when everything is tight these parts can seem a little wobbly in fighter mode (although I would say the average person wouldn’t notice it).

With the parts installed there is no effect to the articulation of the toy. Other than the missile bays swinging open and the guns extending there’s no articulation on the parts themselves (other than the sliding mechanism for transformation). So the number one function of these parts is to add a bit bulk to the VF-17’s physical appearance. While I appreciate how well the super parts function that initial “this is it” moment was never really overcome. $50ish dollars for this? I could get some sweet Transformers for that dough. If you’re huge fan of how the 17 Super Parts look though there’s nothing here that should discourage you from getting them. Most shoppers are probably better off living without these (and it’s not like the Super VF-17 is particularly memorable in the show anyway).

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