You can never keep a good toy down, as Bandai’s Macross and Macross 7 Valkyrie reissues are showing. I recently picked up the VF-1A (brown variant) and VF-17S on sale at Hobbylink Japan and here are my impressions:
The Good: I had an original Takatoku VF-1A, so I knew what to expect with this toy, and Bandai delivered the same chunky, solid toy I remember, with the addition of a nifty heat shield attachment. The decals are now painted on, and I’m still amazed at how Bandai managed to find a way to print “BEWARE OF BLAST” in 1mm text. The gunpod hasn’t lost any of it’s potency, either, and it launches the missiles across the entire length of my apartment (which really isn’t such an amazing feat now that I think about it).
The Bad: Even though the spring-loaded wheels are reproduced in all their finger-bruising glory, the wheel bay cover on one of the legs keeps popping out. Also, the front wheel takes a little fiddling to lock into place.
The Good: This toy carries on the chunky and solid style of it’s predecessors, and even though the transformation is very similar to the classic VF-1 the battroid mode is almost completely devoid of identifiable jet parts. As opposed to being an F-14 clone, this one turns into something more like the F-117. I’ve been having a hard time putting this toy down since I got it.
The Bad: The landing gear are simply static molded plastic wheels, as opposed to the metal ones of the classic VF-1, and there’s no place to stow the gun in fighter or battroid mode.
The bottom line is this: I’m not big on transforming toys, but the VF-1A is a mecha classic that I had to get back on my shelf, and the VF-17S is a new favorite of mine (too bad Bandai didn’t take this opportunity to make the Miriya variant they planned). Take your “collector models” somewhere else, at the end of the day you still have a big kid playing with these things. I recommend them both, especially if you can get them at half-price like I did.
So what’s “The Ugly“, you’re asking? My pictures, which you can see by clicking on the thumbnails. If you want awesome product shots, look to Tim Brisko. I’ve given up.