Arcadia 1/60 VF-0 Toys

Review: Includes regular and premium releases

Packaging & Extras: (4/5)
Before its demise Yamato had moved to simpler/cheaper packaging. Arcadia has decided their niche is decidedly upper scale, so they’ve brought back the premium flip-top lid (though no Velcro or magnetic tabs as we’ve seen on some other premium offerings). At 30 x 38 x 13 cm, the box isn’t overly huge as some previous Yamato offerings. Having handled a lot of masterpiece Transformers toys lately, I was thrilled to see that the plastic tray Arcadia uses doesn’t crack and break when being handled. Little things like that can go a long way to achieving a premium feel. Arcadia began the line with a regular release of Shin’s VF-0D but followed it later with a “premium finish” (PF) version. The PF version comes in a brown shipper box housing a very plain black box that abandons the art and flip-top lid. Either version comes with:
1) Gun (with extending stock and grip)
2) 2x pilot figures (Shin Kudo and Edgar LaSalle)
3) 3x display stand adapters (fighter/GERWALK/battroid)
4) 2x long distance missiles
5) 2x micro missile pods
6) Replacement pitot tube
Behind the cardboard tray the clamshell sits in you’ll also find a baggy including:
7) Instructions

8) Stickers (Not on the PF version)
There were complaints that the 0D toys didn’t come with enough weaponry to occupy all the potential hardpoints on the wings. A counterpoint to this would be that the extra hardpoints let you deck out the weapons you do get at different spacing and those hardpoints do accommodate weaponry from other Arcadia and Yamato releases. Should the toy have come with more weapons? At this price range I could see where that would be an easy expectation though, conversely, I think everyone agrees that if that meant the price would be even higher we can live with the payload we get.

One seat versions of the VF-0 (VF-0A, VF-0S) come in similar boxes but with slightly altered contents. With the one seat versions you’ll receive:
1) Gun (with extending stock and grip)
2) Pilot figure (Shin or Roy)
3) 3x display stand adapters (fighter/GERWALK/battroid)
4) 4x sets of three missiles
5) Replacement pitot tube
6) 2x conformal tanks for the legs
7) 2x chest conformal tank adapters for use with a Yamato Ghost toy
Like the two seat toys, there’s a baggy behind the tray including:

8) Instruction Manual Arcadia VF-0A Instruction Manual Web

9) Stickers (not included with Premium Finish version)
There were complaints that the 0D toys didn’t come with enough weaponry to occupy all the potential hardpoints on the wings. A counterpoint to this would be that the extra hardpoints let you deck out the weapons you do get at different spacing and those hardpoints do accommodate weaponry from other Arcadia and Yamato releases. Should the toy have come with more weapons? At this price range I could see where that would be an easy expectation though, conversely, I think everyone agrees that if that meant the price would be even higher we can live with the payload we get.

Charm & Collectability: (4/5) +1 for PF Toys
MacrossZero is kind of a red-headed stepchild of the Macross universe. It was a short OVA series that wasn’t particularly popular in Japan or abroad. The series relied heavily on the likability of Roy Focker but I don’t think Shin would win many “favorite Macross protagonist” polls. The VF-0D was Shin’s training vehicle with his more heroic battle featuring a VF-0A. See the above infographic for a complete list of releases. A cannon fodder VF-0A was teased but never made it to production. The price is stratospheric, well beyond the reach of the casual collector, but all variants have sold decently well. These toys are 1/60 scale but the VF-0 was a large plane in comparison to the VF-1 so this toy is much larger (31 cm long in fighter) and heavier (418 grams) than a 1/60 VF-1 toy (24 cm, 190 grams). Shin’s VF-0A was the slowest seller of the group, potentially because of the catastrophic failures of the hip joint reported by several early adopters (see durability section). Even with the durability gamble on the 0A, it eventually sold out and demands a premium. The VF-0S sold very well and quickly demanded a premium. At the point Arcadia released their PF, the seemingly astronomical asking price reflecting the average sell price of a regular release VF-0S in the secondary market.

Sculpt, Detail, & Paint: (9/10) + 0.5 for 0S PF, +1 for 0D PF
NO, this toy is not a reissue of the Yamato toy. With the possible exception of the gun, this is an entirely new mold. The Yamato toy did well to capture the superficial likeness of the vehicle but didn’t handle nearly as well as this toy. Unfortunately, Arcadia didn’t load the toy up with lots of painted detail to make it stand apart further (visually) from its predecessor. There are some nice details, the UN Spacy Kite is painted on, the cockpits have controls painted in, the panel lines are crisp, the gun is molded in a sparkly black hue, but there’s also a lot of bare plastic on these relatively large planes. You can see in the battroid comparison that the chest is narrower on the Arcadia while everything else is very similar. This was one of the main differences between Yamato’s 1/48 scale VF-1 toys and their V2 1/60 VF-1 line so it’s not surprising to see the narrower chest here also. The pilot figures are much better than the Yamato VF-0 molds and may even invoke a ‘wow these are really nice’ moment before you put them in the cockpit where they won’t be seen close enough again to matter.

The regular release 0D toy was made in the wrong colors. How wrong those colors are is a matter of opinion ranging from “Eh, they missed it a bit” to “Holy crap, it’s like they’ve never watched the show.” The blue needs to be lighter and more gray (less saturated). The white needs to be more gray. The good news is, the colors they did use, while not accurate, look good. The Premium finish version, however, is absolutely exquisite. The weathering, panel lining, and tampo-printed warnings make this bird shine, even the accessories look better (pilots are the same). This feels like a high-end custom job and yes, the price reflects that. I was surprised to find that even areas like the detail beneath the airbrake and the thruster inside the foot received additional painted details. The Premium Finish 0D toy also includes the triangular leg cavity filler for fighter mode Arcadia introduced after the original 0D release but they left it painted gray so it’s not very noticeable. Similarly, the Premium Finish toy receives the integrated chest cavity filler Arcadia introduced after the first 0D release

I really don’t like the paint scheme Arcadia went with for Shin’s 0A. It’s a light gray mixed with baby blue occasionally painted with gray white trim that’s barely noticeable and some points seem to have a bit more baby blue than others. I can only presume that Arcadia’s quirky paint scheme was a desperate attempt to make their toy stand apart from the Yamato toys (which haven’t aged well). Perhaps, like the 0D, Arcadia will make more appealing decisions on a future Premium Finish version of this toy. The 0A was the second Arcadia VF-0 toy, following the regular release 0D, and debuted the triangular leg cavity filler and flip-out chest cavity filler (see design section) that would become standard.

The Premium Finish toys have nearly every conceivable marking now painted on the toy. The tampo detail is amazingly crisp and, if you grab a magnifying glass, it’s mostly legible. There were a couple little paint applications that were overlooked. There’s a light (I believe) on the front landing gear that is painted on Shin’s 0A that isn’t painted on the PF-0S. Also, the barrels of the guns on the heads could have used a dot of dark paint to add depth. Otherwise, there’s no question that the Premium Finish version of the 0S has more pop than the regular release though not nearly as much as the panel lined and weathered premium finish 0D.

Design: (9/10)
This toy has all the premium design attributes you’ve come to expect by now. There are integrated landing gears that feature rubber tires and spinning wheels. The front landing gear has an articulated tow bar and the rear landing gear angle outward and lock into position. The gun can be attached in all modes though, in fighter mode, it would have benefited from a notch near the elbows to prevent the gun from pointing downward. The intake shields are removable exposing the intake fan detail within. The attachment of said shields has been improved since the V2 VF-1, now featuring a central peg that makes it easier to pop the cover off while still fitting securely.

The included weaponry attaches securely to the hard-points and work well with the attachments from the original VF-0 Yamato line as well as Arcadia’s YF-19 from 2014. Fast packs/leg armors from Yamato VF-0 toys will not fit on the Arcadia toys due to the different shape of the leg and lack of a mate magnet within the leg at the location the Yamato toy required.

The ghost from Yamato toys will also not fit the Arcadia VF-0D due to the differing location of the tailfins and the lack of attachment parts and it only fits on the VF-0A/S toys without the extra armaments which don’t peg in properly. This toy does have the same airbrake gimmick that the Yamato VF-0 line featured although the detail has been minimally upgraded. The 0D does hit a pet peeve of mine in that it has numerous items that are articulated but don’t have a notch or lock to keep them in their proper position. This is particularly true of the vertical stabilizers and forward canards of the 0D. Though the joints for these problem areas are sufficiently stiff, handling the 0D in fighter mode can easily lead to inadvertent bumps. At this price point, I expect some sort of detent to tell me “yeah, you got it in the right spot” and to make it harder to knock askew. The transformation is similar to the original Yamato VF-0 line although the chest involves an extra step.

There’s no rotating seat gimmick on the 0D but it is present on the 0A/S toys. The 0A/S toys also added integrated cavity fillers for the area above the chest that Arcadia then included in the Premium Finish reissue of the 0D.

Durability & Build: (4/10) + 4 for 0S and 0D PF
There is nothing that peeves me more than pulling a toy out of its tray and immediately seeing flaws before I’ve even handled it. Looking at the intakes of the Shin toy, it’s clear they don’t connect as solidly as they’re supposed to and I’m fairly certain this is a problem with almost every 0A toy. WTF? This is a $300 toy and that’s what you get? Terrible.
Arcadia has eliminated the broken back/sagging in GERWALK and fighter modes that plagued the Yamato. The Yamato toys had arm joints prone to breakage, those joints are now metal on the Arcadia toy (all metal is reserved for joints).

You will likely have issues with paint scratches, particularly on 0A and 0D toys. There are a lot of very sharp edges that will sheer anything they travel along during transformation and all versions of these toys have a lot of paint on them.
Check out my 0D transformation video for a pointer on how to avoid one of the more common areas of scratched paint. Those sharp edges are potentially blunted if your toy were to take a small fall from an over-aggressive dynamic pose. You’ll want to be even more careful with the PF versions of the toy since they have more paint to scratch, particularly the 0D toy. One new issue on my latest turn handling the VF-0D, I can no longer get the long missiles to stay on their hard points. Either the missile has shrunk a tiny bit or the pegs have swollen ever-so-slightly.

If you’ve seen my videos you’ll also notice my 0D and my 0A toy’s frickin’ legs broke off.. Absolutely inexcusable. At the time, I figured I was the one sorry sap that would experience this but since then it’s become clear that it’s happened to others for both the 0D and 0A. So far, the 0S doesn’t seem to have the leg issue as I haven’t heard of a single instance of a leg falling off. The 0S also has far fewer painted surfaces so scratching should be less of an issue. The 0S head is on a ball joint that popped free frequently during handling.

Articulation: (9/10)
The 0D toy has better articulation than one might expect given the giant barrier directly behind the hips. There are four notable improvements over the Yamato VF-0 line. First, there are ball joints in the ankles. These look like the same ball joints that didn’t perform particularly well in the Yamato VF-19 line but they feel much tighter so cross your fingers they won’t get loose on you (and I’ve had no issues yet). The hinge above the ankle ball joint allows you to pivot the foot to either side to accentuate mobility. Second, the head is on a ball joint allowing it to be cocked at an angle. Third, the legs can be pulled away from the crotch allowing a steeper angle to the legs. Fourth, the elbows have been improved to add a larger range of movement, a full 180 degrees! Of course, the 0D toy does have a huge wings right behind the hips so articulation of the 0D toy is bound to be a bit more encumbered than the VF-0S and VF-0A follow-up releases.

Total score: (39-45/50)
It’s a decent toy if you’re lucky enough to get one where the leg doesn’t pop off but honestly, very few people should buy the 0A toy. It’s not worth the chance of having it be marred with scratches or having a leg fall off in your hand. Only the diehard Macross Zero fans with more dollars than sense should really jump aboard on the 0A. The 0D is similarly delicate but I found the aesthetic a lot more appealing. The 0S toys with worry-free legs are easy to endorse. Expect to pay a premium for the ‘premium finish’ version but the base version is a fine toy and comes with stickers if the PF is out of your comfort zone. The PF VF-0D is a jaw-dropper. The only issue with the PF 0D is that it’s so good looking it makes you wish all the other VF-0 toys looked better.

January 12,2016: included VF-0S content
January 27, 2016: added VF-0A leg fix video
February 17, 2016: added VF-0S/A fighter to battroid transformation guide
September 3, 2017: added VF-0S/A battroid to fighter transformation guide
July 1, 2018: added VF-0S Premium Finish content, added scan of instruction manual, increased resolution of some photos
October 11, 2020: Added VF-0D Premium Finish content

5 Replies to “Arcadia 1/60 VF-0 Toys”

  1. Great review, just got my VF-0S and man what a improvement it is compared to the yamato one, no floppiness and very solid. Unfortunetly i have black paint rubbing off on the knee joints from the metal bars but really cant see it in gerwalk mode or battriod mode when you slide the lower legs back in position. I also put clear tape on the inside of the heat shield after reading about people having their canopy badly scratched from it.

  2. I guess I was fortunate enough to get toys where there were no leg issues or paint. Transformed D,D, and S to battroid mode and posed with no issues. Good review though..

  3. For the vf 0s would you say the high price stands for the improvements over the yamato????
    There is quite a gap of price between each.

  4. I love your reviews and enjoy your Macross world posts. My question is about the durability and quality differences between the Yamato and Arcadia VF-0 toys. Do you have a video comparing the 2? If not, do you plan to make on a comparison video? The reason I ask is that I can only afford around 4 collectibles a year and buying a less expensive toy is obviously ideal, so is holding out for a good deal on the Arcadia the best idea or should I scoop up a Yamato release at a better price? Thanks!

  5. In the Roy Focker review up above, skip to about 4 minutes 18 seconds, I think that’s the section you’re looking for. I would not buy a Yamato VF-0 toy at this point, the plastic on them didn’t age well and there’s a good chance you would have something crumble. That said, I wouldn’t buy an Arcadia VF-0 toy right now either. They were too expensive at launch and now they’re sold out so you’d have to spend even more on them. I’d wait for a reissue and focus on other collecting desires for the moment.

Leave a Reply