Bandai 1/60 DX YF-30 Chronos

Review: What dreams may come

Packaging & Extras: (4/5)
The box measures 36x23x11 centimeters making it a little deeper box than the VF-171 toys and a little less deep than the V2 RVF-25 but otherwise the same. In keeping with Bandai’s trend since the first YF-29 release, there is no fancy artwork on the box and no flip-top collector’s lid. Inside the box there’s a Styrofoam tray that holds the majority of the toy and accessories, a plastic tray that holds the stand and braces, and a plastic pouch for the instructions. The styrofoam tray includes the YF-30 as well as:
1) 2x Pairs of fixed posed hands, 1 x pair of articulated hands
2) 2x Replacement head lasers (ABS)
3) Gun (with opening and scope gimmicks)
4) Pilot Figure (already in cockpit)
Behind the tray is a plastic tray that includes:
5) Display stand: Base, arm, 5 connector pieces (2 for fighter, 1 for GERWALK, 2 for battroid)
6) Fighter mode display stand adapter (2 parts)
7) 2x GERWALK brace (one for use with the display stand, one without)
8) 2x Battroid brace (one for use with the display stand, one without)
On top of everything, there’s also…

9) Instructions
I’ve never played Macross 30 so I don’t know if there’s anything missing from this package that gamers would feel ought to be here. From my perspective, it’s a competent package without any bonuses to make you say “ooh neat!” The toy comes with a set of fixed-pose hands in the knife-hand position already installed which is a little peculiar since the articulated hands fit just fine.

Charm & Collectability: (4.5/5)
Released in August 2014 for 20,000¥, it was the most expensive Macross DX toy since the first YF-29 ushered in the “V2” era in June 2011. The toy has never been reisusued and no other paint schemes were produced. I was surprised the YF-30 was never in Macross Delta. In a world where I’m still waiting for a modern TV SDF-1, Bandai made an (almost) entirely new mold for a vehicle that most Macross fans aren’t even familiar with. The toy sold briskly and has become rather collectable in the years following. Scarce quantity, mostly perfect transformation, decent metal quantity (it weighs 394 grams!), and a 23 cm battroid height (24 cm with ankles extended, another 2.5 cm higher to the top of the mission pack) that plays well with the 1/60 universe of Macross toys, there’s a lot here for collectors to like!

Sculpt, Detail, & Paint: (9.5/10)
It’s always very hard to judge the only toy representation of a new mech, especially one I’m not familiar with from having watched it in an anime. From the images I have seen, this toy looks like a faithful recreation of the design. Some will be thrilled to hear this toy isn’t as glossy as previous DX releases, no need for a ‘revival version’ here! The plastic doesn’t feel textured like some matte toys out there but it doesn’t feel slick either. Finer details like the ‘no step’ signs and many other markings are painted on so you won’t be upset by the lack of a sticker sheet. The text is so small you’d probably never notice, but the missile boom does have a couple issues. The “Caution Missile” sign is painted upside down and on one side of the boom the words are transposed to “Missile Caution”. There haven’t been any upgrades to the mold or detail paint work on the pilot and the turbine detail in the intake continues to be lackluster. I adore this toy in fighter mode where it looks sleek yet aggressive from every angle.

Today, on Unsolved Mysteries, how does the YF-30 Chronos propel forward while in GERWALK mode? Again, I think the toy is doing a stellar job recreating the design but I’m not totally sold on the design. The side profile of GERWALK shows a very long and thin tail behind the arms.

My only issues with battroid mode relate either to engineering (discussed in the design section) or to the mechanical design itself. Specifically, the vertical stabilizers dangle very low off the back of the toy. I can’t think of another Macross design that has this much drooping kibble. It really feels like the stabilizers should lay flat and then pivot upward to tuck under the wing. Still, the toy should be lauded for how well it nails the look. I also appreciate that this toy’s battroid mode looks and feels different from so many other toys which was much needed after the pipeline of VF-25, VF-27 and YF-29 toys which shared so many core attributes. The only thing I believe that has carried over here are the shape of the feet and the internals of the ankle/foott which are likely shared with other Bandai DX toys.

Design: (7.5/10)
This toy has the standard gimmicks we’ve seen of all the DX releases in the V2 era:
1) Opening canopy with removable pilot
2) Integrated landing gears (2 doors each with the hinges on sliders which better conceals them)
3) Metal landing gear that lock in their extended position and have spinning wheels with rubber tires
4) Ability to attach the gun in fighter mode without additional clips. Some people may not like the idea that the vehicle would not be able to deplay the front landing gear while the gun is attached in fighter mode. For toy purposes, you can pull it off by shifting the gun to the side but that might not be good for the gun handle.
5) Removable intakes that reveal turbine detail
6) Perfect transformation*
7) Opening missiles bays

The YF-30 introduced the concept of the mission pack. The missile pod, in theory, could be swapped out with other mission packs though no others were created. This concept was further developed on the VF-31 and VF-31AX (and their associated toys). The mission packs for those toys are easily removable and swappable but they’re a different size from the YF-30’s pack so don’t look for interoperability. The mission pack can be deployed or not deployed in fighter or GERWALK modes though it must be deployed in GERWALK if you’re using the included display stand. In battroid mode, leaving it behind the toy can be done but it’s awkward and it’s clear the toy is meant to have it on top.

Can you transform this toy to any of its modes and not use the included braces? Yes! You can leave the braces in the box. However, handling this toy without the braces is not enjoyable. Without the GERWALK brace the toy is sloppy. You’ll need to be cautious with hand placement to keep from jostling it all. This toy would have scored better had there been integral solutions to the instability. It’s a shame too because the new take on GERWALK (which adopts more of the features of battroid) is a lot of fun provided the brace is used. For those of you who refuse to use braces, you can achieve a satisfactory traditional GERWALK mode (where the intakes are attached to the fuselage). The GERWALK mode display stand adapter doubles as a brace so if you were planning on using the display stand then the brace won’t feel like an additional part.

In battroid mode the brace is (at least initially) less important. The brace is meant to hold the nosecone up and lock the upper body down. Out of the box, the toy is stiff enough to accomplish this on its own throughout light handling. For more moderate handling and posing, you’ll want the brace on, more to lock the top of the toy down than anything else. Unfortunately transformation to battroid once again requires manipulating a plate below the neck and as with the VF-25 and YF-29 toys it’s difficult to know when you have it in exactly the right place since it doesn’t lock into a position. Otherwise, transformation is very smooth and it feels more similar to the YF-21 transformation than the VF-25 which is a nice change of pace.

I have a few nits not related to transformation. In fighter mode the rear stabilizers don’t lock into position so they’re easily jostled during handling. The gun could similarly benefit from a design element to help acquire the right position and keep parts in their proper positions. The swing bar the gun uses for installation in fighter mode seems as if it were intended to recess fully into the butt of the gun but it doesn’t; it looks awkward. When installed in fighter mode, the gun has a gradual slope downward meaning it probably wouldn’t be the most effective in a dogfight. The pilot figure is not secured well within the cockpit so he rattles around during handling. For those of you who hate the missile bar, it is removable and will sometimes come removed when you try to disconnect the gun.

On a positive note, the toy comes with hard points on the wings allowing you to install the weaponry from the DX 171 armor parts (and probably a future YF-30 specific Tamashii upgrade kit).  The missile bar can be extended in fighter mode.  Check out Saburo’s black background picture below proving this.

If you own other DX toys from this era then the display stand will be familiar to you. While the adapters are unique the base and arm are unchanged. There are no pivot or banking points. The display stand elevates the toy and holds it securely and nothing more. As mentioned in the brace section, there are standalone GERWALK/battroid braces and then versions meant for use with the stand.

Durability & Build: (7.5/10)
As with all Bandai DX toys, extreme caution will be necessary with the paint. Right out of the package, with very careful inspection, you’ll probably notice some blemishes from the plastic or Styrofoam the toy is packaged in. Handling and transformation definitely will give you opportunities to do more damage. There seem to be common build issues with the left foot where the front and rear sections don’t align perfectly in fighter mode but this is something you might actually have to look for to notice. I noted earlier that you don’t NEED to use the braces to put this toy into any of the given modes but it seems a good bet that over time these toys will loosen up and the value of those braces will increase. On the sample Bandai was using the nosecone joint had become very loose thus making the brace an absolute necessity. This toy seems susceptible to yellowing, possibly more than other toys, so make sure you keep it in a climate controlled environment away from sunlight.

Articulation: (9.5/10)
The articulation on this toy is fairly amazing in GERWALK mode and is phenomenal in battroid mode. Check my video to see everything in motion. The head is on a ball joint and the guns on the head are articulated. The shoulders are on ball joints and there’s a pivot where the shoulder connects to the arm allowing you to swing the arm away (although the range of motion on this pivot is limited). There is a swivel mid-bicep and a double-jointed elbow that allows a full 180 degrees of movement. The articulated hands are not particularly impressive with four fingers on a pivot point and a ball joint at the base of the thumb. As the hands are removable ball joints you can of course twist and pivot them at the wrist. The toy has a waist joint that actually allows you to spin it 360 degrees. The hips are ball joints attached to an extender (though the extension doesn’t help much) so if the wings weren’t in the way you could spin the legs all the way around as well as pivot them outward or inward enough to obtain very aggressive poses. The GERWALK joint is available but the mobility at the hip renders it unnecessary. There’s a rotation point at the knee as well as the knee joint itself which can go backward more than 90 degrees when extended and forward 90 degrees. The ankles appear to be the same ball-joint-based ankles on the YF-29/VF-25 V2 toys so they pivot in and out and you can raise the toe up a little or point the toe way down.

Total Score: (42.5/50)
Ignoring the YF-29 since so much of that toy is very closely related to the VF-25, this is the best first version of a variable fighter toy since the Takatoku days but due to the inclusion of those braces it still leaves the impression that it’s the first time a company has attempted this particular model. Being attractive provides reasonable cover for a multitude of sins and this YF-30 toy is very attractive and fighter mode seems flawless. The kick-ass battroid mode also helps make up for some design shortcomings. So how does this toy stack up against the other recent Bandai DX Macross offerings? Here’s my rankings:
1) YF-29
2) VF-25 Renewal
3) YF-30
4) VF-27 Renewal
5) VF-171
Agree? Disagree? Did I miss something? Leave me a comment! Thanks –

August 19, 2014 Original Post
March 10, 2022 Added Battroid to fighter guide and expanded content

4 Replies to “Bandai 1/60 DX YF-30 Chronos”

  1. Disagree although my favorite design is between the ozma 25 and 29 like a toy feel the 30 is better and hope more repaints and even a “S” type variant by the way great review as usual

  2. I don’t have enough of Bandai to rate the ranking but cool idea to include your ranking. Gives me an idea on which to hunt for.

  3. Thanks for the feedback guys. In order for the YF-30 to have topped this list I would have wanted to see the following changes:
    1) The missile bar would extend out at its base before coming completely off the toy. I feel like I removed the bar on several occasions where that was not my intention (although with more experience I see that you can swing the legs/waist down to give the missile bay freer movement so I guess it’s not that bad)
    2) Integrated tabs or magnets to render the braces unnecessary.
    I could have lived with a loose pilot and a gun that didn’t lock into its extended position well but those issues bug me and I don’t have similar issues with the YF-29 toys (excluding Isamu’s) or the VF-25 toys (excluding the RVF). This toy also could have done better by including a payload and having been featured in animation with a decent pilot to give it a bit more allure.
    Still, very high marks and it’s definitely a toy I am happy I purchased and easily recommend.

  4. I played the game and this is my favorite. The compactness and profile coupled with the hidden arms. I will be using parts from my 171.. Great review.. You do great reviews.
    I am looking for a vf-11c Yamato to go with my vf 19s, Fire Valk, and 117. Reasonably priced.

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