(…okay, okay, I suck at titles).
After my recent minor debacle with the armored VF-25S, I figured it would be good for my psyche to review its vintage predecessor:
…because it is everything that the new armored packs aren’t.
I’m afraid I can’t show the box, because I got the thing loose (besides, I don’t like empty boxes while displaying things on my shelves). Because I don’t own a Takatoku VF-1S I will be using a 1J instead. Consider this a pictorial instruction guide for a toy that is well-known but somehow lacks exposure with regards to how well it is designed.
So the picture above shows the diverse components of the GBP-1. The main body armor and each of the leg armors actually each consist of two parts, that attach together using tabs while completely fitting around the Valkyrie bits they’re meant to protect. The remaining armor parts use various means of attachment: the backpack armor has a hinge for this purpose at the base of each booster, while the shoulder and arm armors simply slide over their respective body parts and lightly snap into place.
Adding the armor to a Valkyrie starts with the rear part of the main body armor. This slides easily into place, and once the Valkyrie’s back has been folded down it won’t budge from there. Then the backpack armor is added. Here the use of the hinges becomes apparent, as they allow each booster to fit around the tail fins. A tab on each booster slides into the hole at the top of the VF-1′s backplate, thus securing the entire back armor in place. Then the Valkyrie is turned around and the front of the main body armor is put into position. Using the two tabs on the top of the front plate, this piece then snaps securely into place as two other tabs go into the rear half of the main body armor. The leg armor attaches in a similar way, with precisely molded pegs inside the armor keeping the assembled leg armors in the right position. The shoulder armors slide over the shoulders and snap around the round parts of the shoulder joints. The arm armors simply slide over the arms and are kept in place using mere friction. Everything attaches securely, even on this played-with specimen. And the result is impressive:
Sure, it looks a bit more blocky than in the show, but unlike certain recent offerings it is sturdy, non-floppy, doesn’t shed parts, and doesn’t suffer from sudden and unexpected desintegration, while retaining a certain heft due to the diecast in the base Valk, being fairly well detailed, and also allowing for most of the Valk’s excellent articulation to remain (although the reduced leg articulation likely will give certain Macross fanboys a heart attack):
Oh, and those holes in the back half of the main body armor? They’re for gunpod missile storage. Oh, and the missile bays on the chest and shoulders open up for Macross Missile Massacre:
The only two oversights Takatoku made on this thing 25 years ago is the lack of opening missile bays on the legs, and the lack of additional spring-loaded missile goodness.
So perhaps the title is good afterall…