Time to Procure a Valkyrie

Posted by MikeD 
[blog.yahoo.com]

VF-4G proto, VF-19F, and Super VF-17D bundle plus other stuff

note there's a Cat's Eye and Spartan on that MEF poster

I'm a little surprised they are making the VF-X style VF-4G

I know they had some licensing issues because that version is actually complete but jeez

the rage at MW is delicious
Those little Metal Box Battroids look interesting.

---------------------------------
[pgaijin.blogspot.com]
Sanjeev (Admin)
Damn, that -4 is one pretty bird.

So who's MEF anyway? And why do they tease me so with their Spartan silhouette???

And the Metal Box stuff has always looked nice to me, but aren't they somewhat-delicate unpainted/unassembled resin kits?
VF5SS Wrote:
> [blog.yahoo.com]
>
> VF-4G proto, VF-19F, and Super VF-17D bundle plus
> other stuff

That VF-4 fighter mode is beautiful.

> I'm a little surprised they are making the VF-X
> style VF-4G
>
> I know they had some licensing issues because that
> version is actually complete but jeez
>
> the rage at MW is delicious

Those jerks only want freaking jolly roger skull squadron emblems on every damn valk.
Me, I want THIS one

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
Yeah, I think the metal box stuff are just kits. Too bad, those MB valks would be fun as finished toys with diecast.



Meanwhile, I'm still pining for the chunky monkey reissue VF-1D and Max TV 1A that shall never be. Seriously. It's a soul-crushing longing that keeps me awake at night.
Bandai is reissuing the Macross Factory kits: [blog.yahoo.com]

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Sanjeev (Admin)
Lookit who's back!


B00
Weeeee

[www.toyark.com]

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So, I noticed that there are pre-orders up for a Yamato 1/60 VE-1 Elint Seeker.

Presumably this is a reissue of the revised one from a few years ago. Right?

Were there any engineering or design flaws with the first revised VE-1?

Aside from the nape and armpit covers, and extended seats, do these reissues have anything new or improved going for them?
Sanjeev (Admin)
Perhaps old news at this point, but Bandai's releasing effectively-Master-Grade 1/72 VF-1 series Valkyrie kits:
[www.youtube.com]

Why should we care--especially in light of Yamato's (Arcadia's???) brilliant 1/60 toy? Well, it features canonical leg-delivery panels. And it's cheap as fuck (~$35 to Yamato/Arcadia's ~$150 or so).

I'm not sure how I like the weird hip joints: it's like the hip is locked right up against the fuselage, but bends outward below the vent to give an "A" stance. That shit don't look right to me...



I realize that it's probably a necessity of incorporating a canonical leg delivery system...but I always though the canonical leg delivery system was stupid as all hell. Matsushiro/Takatoku's external double-swing bar got the job done, despite being ugly (and non-canon)...but I felt that Yamato's internal single-swing bar made the most sense. Non-canon, but from an engineering perspective, I could dig it.
So Master Grade as in I don't have to fiddle with paint to make it look "ok?" I think their Frontier model kits were pretty good but still required some painting.
Well, the video makes the canonical hips look better than in that still shot. I'd definitely give the kit a go, if only to have the satisfaction of owning 'the most mechanically accurate VF-1' in any physical incarnation. I'm inclined to be optimistic because: A. This is not Yamato with their broken CAD promises; and B. this is Bandai in their plamo element.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Quote
fujishig
So Master Grade as in I don't have to fiddle with paint to make it look "ok?" I think their Frontier model kits were pretty good but still required some painting.

^^ I would imagine you wouldn't have to mess with paint. If I pick up one of these kits, I'm unlikely to add any paint other than some quick panel-lining.

Drif, you didn't like the Yamato 2.0 1/60 VF-1's? I never ended up getting one, but I've handled a few...and they're pretty great (despite being non-canonical). And, yeah, Bandai and plamo go hand in hand...but I've put together some transforming kits in the past, and they've usually ended up being pretty rickety. I'm really curious to see how this one turns out...
The 2.0 1/60s LOOKED fantastic; how could they not? But do ask some owners about 'knurled pins' in their VF-1's self-destructing shoulders. Shudder and shun.

Addendum:
[anymoon.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/04/2013 02:40AM by drifand.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Ah, good point!

But I'll see your addendum and raise you another:
[www.youtube.com]

:P

But I hear you. That's a pretty significant flaw. I still think these toys are the best VF-1 game in town though (as far as modern/accurate renditions go, of course...the only Valks I own are classic Bandai/TT 1/55's!).
Eh...even with those shoulder replacements, and at the risk of sounding troglodytic, the 1/60s, on a toy level, don't come close to the Takatoku/Bandai 1/55s. Was panicking about snapping something the entire time I was transforming my 1/60...the thing is practically made of model-grade plastic.

Some third-partier should conjure some sturdy, updated valks, a la the Transformers stuff.

I was curious about the 30th anniversary Skull-colored YF-29, but after watching a video review, I lost my curiousity.

Keep working at it, Bandai and Yamat-whatever-you're-called-these-days.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/05/2013 01:03AM by gingaio.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Quote
gingaio
Eh...even with those shoulder replacements, and at the risk of sounding troglodytic, the 1/60s, on a toy level, don't come close to the Takatoku/Bandai 1/55s.

Well, c'mon now. Comparing a 1/55 TT/Bandai to a 1/60 Yamato is kinda silly, no? That's like comparing the new Hot Toys Roberto Cop to the recent NECA one! The Yamato offerings are clearly "adult collectibles", and certainly not intended for children like the 1/55 toys are.

And I have to disagree with your take on the plastic, too. First of all "model-grade plastic" IS what virtually all toys are made outta (including the 1/55 Valks). It's ABS. It's just that most model kits use *really thin* ABS construction...but it's the same shit. I don't mean to nitpick or argue semantics, but I think it's an important thing to be clear about. As for the Yamato Valks, I'm told they're mostly constructed of POM (which is basically Delrin). That stuff is stronger and more dimensionally stable than ABS, but it's still light as hell...making it perfect for spindly designs requiring tiny-but-strong joints (like a Valk).

Still...I wouldn't huck a 1/60 Yamato against a wall or anything. The point is, I wouldn't worry too much about the durability of these things. I *do* worry about affording the night classes I'll have to take to learn how to transform one...

I'm with you--I'd love to see what a 3rd party TF producer could do with a VF-1 design! The stuff you've been posting about Mastermind Creations is right on my wavelength too: true toy-like creations...that happen to look great. It reminds me of what Toynami tried to do with their "Masterpiece Valkyries".
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Sanjeev
Well, c'mon now. Comparing a 1/55 TT/Bandai to a 1/60 Yamato is kinda silly, no? That's like comparing the new Hot Toys Roberto Cop to the recent NECA one! The Yamato offerings are clearly "adult collectibles", and certainly not intended for children like the 1/55 toys are.

Well, what if we compared a 1/60 Yamato to a Grimlock or Quakewave? :) The latter two are basically what you'd get if you updated/modernized a Takatoku toy. They're still much better "toys" while still being adult collectibles not necessarily intended for kids.

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Sanjeev
And I have to disagree with your take on the plastic, too. First of all "model-grade plastic" IS what virtually all toys are made outta (including the 1/55 Valks). It's ABS. It's just that most model kits use *really thin* ABS construction...but it's the same shit.

Okay, I should have said "model-thin" plastic, as that's essentially my complaint. I'll defer to your knowledge about the materials, but from what I remember of the 1/60 VF-1 and 1/60 VF-11, regardless of innate structural strength, when you've got very thin fins on tiny hinges with very thin plastic casings, that's not the most reassuring combo.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 06/05/2013 01:31PM by gingaio.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Quote
gingaio
Well, what if we compared a 1/60 Yamato to a Grimlock or Quakewave?

It sounds like we're on the same page about what we, as grown ass man-children, want. And I don't mean to be all contrary & shit...but that's still an unfair comparison. We're not dealing with Grimlock; we're dealing with a VF-1 series Valkyrie from Macross...a design VASTLY more complex than Grimlock's animation model or original Diaclone toy. If Yamato tried their hand at making a high-end Grimlock, I'd imagine it wouldn't vary much from what Takara was able to pull off. And at the same time, if Takara (or any 3P) tried to do a legit VF-1, I'm guessing it wouldn't be much better than what Yamato was able to achieve.

What we *probably* should be saying is that we want a simplified VF-1 design. Not something "Masterpiece" level (because that implies an "adult collectible" with perfect accuracy/gimmickery, but mediocre-at-best playability...and I contend that that's exactly what Yamato has given us). Imagine something like that TF Classics Starscream...just tuned up a bit. That'd be killer. But there are no casual Macross fans who would prefer that over a Yamato... :/

Oh, as for the materials, well...I hear you. But like I said, the few times I got to handle a Yamato 1/60 2.0 Valk, I was never afraid of anything breaking. Everything was solid and the joints were tight. Sure, it was light as a feather, but it's a very spindly, mostly-hollow design...as it's "supposed" to be. Without doing some destructive tests on the plastic, we're never going to know how tough the overall toy really is (except with those shoulders, of course!). The little fins and flaps don't really bother me: they're going to be tiny and fragile no matter who designs the toy or what sort of plastic they use.

Of course, people like us would probably prefer tiny flaps and other detail bits NOT be separate, articulated pieces at all! But like I said, we're in the minority...

Now...if you want some SERIOUS durability, you should pick up one of these!



;)
Yo, 'Jeev--I totally forgot that you had a part in desigining the shoulder parts, right? Didn't mean to be dismissive about that, if it came off like that. In fact, those replacement parts are probably some of the best things to happen to that damn valk toy.

Anyway, I agree with pretty much everything you say, though I have some trouble with the "complexity" point. I mean, I can see the argument that Grimlock and Quakewave are "simpler" designs. But are we conceding that the VF-1 design is so complex that it cannot be realized as both an accurate-looking AND solid toy?

Because I think that's the challenge third-party designers are tackling head on, with things like Code/Chromedome, Giant/Devastator, the Jumpstarters, and so on. That's what made the spring-loaded connector joints on Giant/Devastor so cool--it was an innovation that minimized aesthetic intrusion while maximizing durability/functionality.

Even with MP Sideswipe, which I ended up not being that happy with, you had a fairly solid toy (complete with tiny moving parts) that demonstrated a considerable amount of complexity AND accuracy. The transformation felt about as complex as the valk's, though the transformation also felt easier to execute and more precise (pieces locking into place properly and without much stressing of parts and fussing).

Now all that said, the new swing bars on the 1/60 valk are a great step forward. It's just all the other things--the shitty, articulated hands; the giant hollow space in the torso; the fact that the shoulder hinge just hangs there, disconnected, in robot mode; the fragile-feeling flaps and hinges and so forth--that make me wonder why so much praise has been heaped on what is to me just a built-up model kit.

I really do think that a third partier can outdo Yamato, but maybe that's wishful thinking.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/05/2013 07:49PM by gingaio.
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Sanjeev
Ah, good point!

But I'll see your addendum and raise you another:
[www.youtube.com]

:P

But I hear you. That's a pretty significant flaw. I still think these toys are the best VF-1 game in town though (as far as modern/accurate renditions go, of course...the only Valks I own are classic Bandai/TT 1/55's!).

Sanjeev, great job on figuring out what Yamato couldn't, I mean that sincerely as a toy lover and customizer. Lots of 1/60 v2 owners owe you a debt of thanks. :-)

Andrew wonders why I can stand CM's equally 'crappy' record with the Ride Armors and non-diecast Labor figures and my answer is: CM's at 1/18 Ride Armor = 1st ballsy attempt at making a fully transforming version of this design at a very interesting and ambitious scale. I 'take it' like I 'took' Yamato's 1st attempt at Macross Plus, or their v1 1/60s, which I collected, enjoyed and modified. Same story for the Mecha Action Labors: no one else did anything for the franchise, so you make lemonade when you get lemons.

Now, the v2 1/60s? After all the YEARS and flaws they went through with the 1/48s, still couldn't make things work out right without elbow grease. Personally, and I emphasize 'personally', it's just disappointing in a major way. Can I go into a hobby shop and buy a v2 1/60 without a second thought to whether it's actually v2.0 or v2.1? I think the honest answer is 'no'.

The latest VF-17, VF-19 etc... amazing! I just don't have any confidence they won't fall apart later. Life's short; I just want to spend my time and money on other stuff rather than deal with a company with a history of production issues. If CM's makes a 'v2' Ride Armor that is more beautiful yet breakable in a new way, AND I sing its praises? Then call me not a hypocrite but an idiot.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/06/2013 12:27AM by drifand.
Sanjeev (Admin)
No sweat about sounding dismissive about the shoulder hack, Chieh. I sure didn't take it that way. And thanks for the kind words, drif. I'm proud of the shoulder and pleased that it's gone on to make a lot of Valk owners happy...but I'm not attached to it like I am to my myriad other toy projects. Oh, and remember: I was just the muscle. Andrew was the brains!

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gingaio
But are we conceding that the VF-1 design is so complex that it cannot be realized as both an accurate-looking AND solid toy?

Maybe, yeah! LOL

Just look at the original canonical design. Let's face it: it's pretty fucking stupid. Those leg-delivery panels are asinine...and I'm sure Kawamori is secretly kicking himself in the ass for that massive engineering brain-fart. In my opinion, the canon should ALWAYS have been something like the Yamato 2.0 uni-/center-swing bar.

So I guess in a sense, the Yamato designs--despite being fully-licensed--aren't even "accurate"! Certainly not canon, right? I'd be damn impressed if a company could come up with a canonical leg-delivery panel design that actually worked in toy form. I just don't see that happening, though...but I'm open-minded (especially about this new Bandai kit).

The thing about third party TF companies is that they have a TON of leeway in altering the original designs. We all know the not-Jumpstarters are meant to be Jumpstarters...but their designs are totally unique. So would we, as Macross fans, be satisfied with something that kinda-sorta looked like a Valk? It could make for a completely satisfying toy...but I'm not sure I'd have the same attachment to it. I mean, the VF-1 series Valkyrie is absolutely iconic; its design is etched onto my soul. On the other hand, sure--I always loved the Predacons and always wanted the full G1 set...but I can't even remember all their names...let alone remembering each one's transformation sequence. And, of course, add to the mix that their animation models weren't even that close to the toy design...and now you don't even have a set "canon". Basically, that means that the aesthetic alterations on the Mastermind version are totally acceptable, and as long as they make for fun toys, I'll be happy.

I'm also guessing the economy of scale is different going from 3P TF offerings to Yamato's Valks. I'm not sure *how* it differs, but I'll bet it influences things behind the scenes in ways we can't even fathom. I guess all I'm trying to say is that I'm not comfortable comparing Yamato's offerings to those of 3P TF companies.

That said, I think you DO have a point about the execution of certain things on the Yamato side. The shoulder hinges just hanging in battroid mode was probably my biggest gripe (besides them simply disintegrating, of course!). I had no problems with the hands because they seemed to grip the gunpod fine and stow away in the forearm perfectly during transformation. They looked a bit skeletal, but I think that was in keeping with the overall aesthetic. I didn't even notice the hollow space in the torso until I read about others complaining about it. I don't get it: that's how the thing transforms. What are folks expecting? Some magical goop to fill the void??? Oh, I guess I'd prefer solid, one-piece wings and whatnot. I don't need my ailerons to be articulated!

Again, I'm not trying to apologize for the Yamato Valk. I mean, there are reasons I never bought any! To me (and it seems most of Macross fandom), the VF-1 Valk is one of the most well-established, widely-scrutinized, pored-over scifi designs ever. Fans tend to know it backwards and forwards...so you *know* any new offering attempted by a toy company will be fully vetted...and likely lambasted!

Kelvin, I'm halfway with you. As a fan, I totally subscribe to the "make lemonade when you get lemons" philosophy. Of course, the criteria of what makes a good toy may differ between us, but the idea is that if you love a design/character/whatever to the point where you just GOTTA own a toy rendition of it, you're naturally gonna want to buy the *best* version of it available that you can afford. And if the design of the thing is super-complex, or if there just aren't that many toys of it out there, you can get stuck with those lemons.

I didn't get the CM's Ride Armors because even though they looked way better than my Gakken 1/8, they just seemed too fiddly in-hand. That's just how our respective criteria differ. If I didn't mind the fiddliness, I'd've picked some up and made some lemonade of my own!

But here's where we diverge: after years and years of flaws, Yamato still can't put out a "perfect" VF-1, right? Well, maybe this is coming from the toy-maker side of me (as opposed to the fan perspective above), but I know how FUCK-damn hard it is to make a toy. Even when it seems like all the pieces are right there in front of you, shit invariably goes wrong...shit you couldn't have imagined when you started on the journey. So maybe Yamato *could* have made the Valk perfect...but because of scheduling constraints, they HAD to put something out within a certain timeframe or lose funding, revenue, or even licensing altogether. It's usually time constraints like that that hose smaller-to-medium sized companies. I was supposed to release my Gin Gin bootleg three years ago, but it's been in development hell for a variety of weird reasons. But the difference is that *I'm* just a little DIY twerp...I can afford to take how ever long I want to make my baby "perfect". Bigger companies have no such luxury--especially when dealing with licensed goods.

Anyway, that's just one example. I've heard insane stories from friends in the toy industry about mismanaged projects and the like that would blow your fucking mind! That's why when I see *any* company successfully putting something out, I gotta give 'em some respect. And when they fuck up--even perennially--I tend to go easy on them. Unless, of course, the stuff they're making is creatively bankrupt...and there's PLENTY of that to go around...

So at the end of the day, I guess I'm grateful to Yamato for making the nicest of the VF-1 lemons!
OK, amen to that! :-)
Respect for folks that have a DREAM, then DO IT and SHIP is important. That's why I still keep Yamato's first Mac+ stuff. After that, it's a toss up. Thank goodness for a franchise that's idea-rich enough to inspire more vendors to make products for it.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Quote
drifand
Thank goodness for a franchise that's idea-rich enough to inspire more vendors to make products for it.

^^Absolutely. I didn't mean to poop on Chieh's suggestion that 3rd Party TF companies (really, *any* small toy manufacturer that's comfortable with bending the rules of licensing) take a crack at a VF-1! I'm all for that idea...and I'll gladly buy a more "kid-friendly" Valk toy.

I just want to avoid *comparing* such a non-licensed toy-approximation of a VF-1 to Yamato's fully-licensed quasi-canonical adult-collectible VF-1. They're really just two different types of offerings with different intentions and different target audiences...
I hadn't thought of deadlines (regarding expiration of licenses) impacting production. Good point, Sanjeev.

If I may be allowed to be a toy curmudgeon one last time...you're right in that it's practically impossible to recreate Kawamori's magical hip transformation in 3D, and Yamato's solution is smart and effective. And you're also right, 'Jeev, in that the 3rd party stuff doesn't match the lineart or animation designs, but the reason I brought up 3rd parties was not to say that they produced stuff that matched the lineart, but to talk about what they offer from an engineering perspective.

My gripes with Yamato's valk are the hands, chest gap, floating shoulders, and thin parts used in transformation. I think all of these can be remedied without sacrificing the look of the toy in either mode.

Mech Ideas and MC are using fixed pose, open hands that basically function as fists with holes--they're perfect. The chest gap can be remedied the way MP Sideswipe remedies the gap in the leg, with an interior fold-out plastic piece that serves the dual function of covering the gap and anchoring the opposing sides of the leg. The shoulder hinges could also be designed to serve this anchoring purpose. Thin parts could be made thicker, or made of metal, and the entire toy could be made slightly bigger to accommodate thicker parts without compromising accuracy much. (This is hard to explain, but the small parts on other toys, like the split, folding spoilers on MP Sideswipe, just feel "better" and "less scary.")

Barring the most complex problem--the hip transformation--which Yamato already solved, the valk itself doesn't seem that complex to my non-toy-designing eyes. It's basically a plane that folds in half, and you pull the arms and head out. I'm just not sure how that's more complex than stuff other companies have already developed (I'm thinking of MP Sideswipe and MP-10 Convoy...they may seem simpler in design, but their transformations are rather intricate).

That the 3rd partiers could design toys that also involve a lot of intricate folding and bending, but that also are sharply detailed toys, just seems to open the door to their also being capable of designing an accurate and sturdy VF-1 toy. (Guess it depends on how we define accurate. Does it have to be a perfectly scaled model with a million moving parts? Or can it be a well-proportioned representation? "Accuracy" is such a nebulous term, as cartoon designs themselves are so inconsistent....)

There are other things, like the way the plane's body unsnaps for transformation and the way the hip bars slot in for transformation, that could be refined to be much more stress-free.

So yeah, we shouldn't just piss on Yamato, or other toy makers, doing work, but at the same time, the fact that the company's essentially had a monopoly on DX-sized VF-1s also means that it's had no incentive to evolve, though the lack of evolution is also likely due to the various economic and non-economic factors 'Jeev alluded to.



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 06/07/2013 08:38PM by gingaio.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Lots of good points.

I can totally agree with your statements about aesthetic choices. Like, I totally prefer "fists with holes" to posable hands because of their functional effectiveness (at firmly grasping a weapon), durability, and simplicity of transformation. Ironically, the original 1/55 fists were "perfect" in my opinion. The torso gap, on the other hand, I can totally live with because in my mind, it's supposed to be there due to this supposedly "real" machine's transformation. I don't need fold-out hidden panels to cover gaps..which would serve no purpose in the "real" world, but that seem all the rage in high-end transforming toys these days. And, of course, I'm all for ditching articulated ailerons and other flaps.

But like I've said before, we're in the minority. The vast majority of Macross fans want hyper-detailed built-up models...so even if we got our wish and a 3P TF company took on the Valk design in a more toyetic way, I doubt it would sell well against a Yamato VF-1...

The engineering choices, however, are a tough call. Obviously, I agree that I would PREFER the shoulder plates anchor solidly in battroid mode. As you said, the plane halves and the swing bar connection could be more refined. But again, getting back to the politics of toy making, even though none of us could ever say for sure (unless we knew someone working at Yamato), I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt...given all the stories I've heard over the years from the industry. Like, these are SMART motherfuckers. Sure, it took them a few iterations to distill their VF-1 design into something nice, but even CAD software, itself, evolves in awkward spurts...let alone one design shop's expertise in using it. My guess is that they *would* have put out a more refined (from an engineering perspective) item if not for a variety of considerations we'll never be able to fathom.

Again, I hate using myself as an example, but even with a toy as simple as my faux-gokin Gin Gin...can you imagine how many iterations of that design I've gone through?? The friggin thing doesn't *do* anything! Manufacturing methods. Materials selection. Cost considerations. Paint and sticker process logistics. Like I said, I have the luxury of waiting for-fucking-ever because it's my baby...and it's a bootleg, so there's no "expiration on my license" and no IP owner to approve my design...and of course, there are no retailers (or fans!) beating down my door to get one! But I've still had to make dozens of design compromises over the years just to productize this thing.

So ultimately, I don't try to look at the Yamato VF-1's flaws as a lack of evolution due to a monopoly. A lack of engineering refinement for whatever reasons, certainly...the net effect being that I'll likely never own one. But while we can have perfectly valid and justified opinions about their actual products that we can touch and feel, anything related to the company itself and their processes is too much of a grey area to say anything conclusive about.
MSW
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Sanjeev
First of all "model-grade plastic" IS what virtually all toys are made outta (including the 1/55 Valks). It's ABS.

Nope.

I realize you guys aren't into model building; otherwise you would have known this.

Model kits are molded in POLYSTYRENE plastic. Even Bandai's gunpla kits are made from PolyStyrene (AKA: PS), however they may contain a few parts tree/parts plate/part runner molding in ABS, POM, PE(polycap material), or even SBC(soft material usually used for figures). But that different material is called out in the Kit's Instructions and/or on the parts tree/parts plate/part runner itself. This is because all the model kit glues and paints are formulated to work on polystyrene plastic, and they may not work or have harmful effects on the other types of plastic...For example: using certain kinds of lacquer paint on ABS embrittles it.




Here, I attached scan I just did of a couple of Gundam model kits instructions I have on hand. The top one is from the R-44 Guntank from the F91 movie circa 1991. The bottom one is from the D-50c Loto twin set from the Unicorn anime circa 2010. All of the Guntank runners are made of polystyrene(PS) except for the top left runner, that is made from the polycap material (PE- it says so right on the runner itself). In the Loto kit both the A and B runners are made from PS, but the C runner is made of ABS (It says so both here in the instructions and on the runner itself).



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 06/09/2013 05:28PM by MSW.
Attachments:
open | download - ModelKitIns-scan.jpg (206.6 KB)
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Sanjeev
But like I've said before, we're in the minority. The vast majority of Macross fans want hyper-detailed built-up models...so even if we got our wish and a 3P TF company took on the Valk design in a more toyetic way, I doubt it would sell well against a Yamato VF-1...

Moving away from the toy and company, and onto the subject of fans....are you sure about this?

I only have anecdotal observations, but it's hard to say that the fans won't want more robust, toy-like DX-quality valks when, well, they've never been offered any. You can't really say that the fans won't buy something when it doesn't exist.

If we look at the Transformers Masterpiece pieces, there's a distinction between more toy-like pieces like Grimlock and Prime and less toy-like pieces like Megatron and Hot Rod/Rodimus, and it seems like the fans appreciate and value the more toy-like pieces, not just in terms of forum conversations, but also in terms of aftermarket eBay prices. And it's not like Grimlock is necessarily a more popular character than Megs or Rodimus. It's an amazing toy, and I think fans appreciate that.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/09/2013 05:43PM by gingaio.
I'm not going to go all out with this thread and all that's been said, but I will say that it's clear from the comments that nobody involved has purchased a Yamato 1/60 v.2 VF-1 in the last couple of years. The shoulder hinge issue has been corrected for a while and the resulting toy is just about perfect. Granted, I still prefer the venerable 1/48s for their size, but the recent 1/60 VF-1s are pretty much required mecha reading. Releases like the Cavalier valk are toy experiences without equal, satisfying to transform, fun to handle, and looks good on display. I'm pretty heavy handed with mine, and they hold up fine. A lot of people seem to believe too much crap they read on the internet and scare themselves into thinking they have to wear gloves and a breathing mask to handle a Yamato, but anything from the last three or four years has been more than up to the task of being an attractive and sophisticated marvel of engineering that holds up to the rigors of actually being enjoyed.

Introducing Prometheus Rising Studio.
[prometheusrising.net]
I make 3D printed mecha action figures.
Weren't there some unproduced Toynamic Valks that were really close to being toy-first-model-second?

As for the Yamammy Valks, I have a couple of the 2.X no-breakage ones, and I built one of the DIY kits. I'm not worried about parts disintegrating, but they do feel thin and light with low tolerances on moving parts. To transform those things you have to get everything to clear exactly right or it just own't budge; especially when swinging out the shoulders, legs, and heat-shiled. Then after it's in rowbutt mode, you have those awful floating shoulders and skeletal hands. While the detail and number of moving parts is fairly staggering, they could benefit from some simplification in order to toyify them more.

Somewhere between the Chunky Monkey and Yammy One Sixty exists the perfect modernized toy of the Valk.
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Prometheum5
I'm not going to go all out with this thread and all that's been said, but I will say that it's clear from the comments that nobody involved has purchased a Yamato 1/60 v.2 VF-1 in the last couple of years.

I've owned quite a few Yamato valks, kiddo, including all the Mac+ valks in both scales, and valks in all three scales (1/72, 1/48, 1/60). My most recent 1/60 VF-1 v.2 was bought from HLJ about a year ago. Color me unimpressed. I was supporting Yamato from the beginning, when the 1/72 Mac+ valks were just gray prototypes on display at some convention. I even broke that damn tab on the OG YF-19, though that's pretty much a rite of passage.

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Prometheum5
A lot of people seem to believe too much crap they read on the internet...

Or, maybe they just have a different take on these toys than you? It is possible, you know...



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/09/2013 11:13PM by gingaio.
Sanjeev (Admin)
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MSW
Model kits are molded in POLYSTYRENE plastic.

I'll be damned! All this time, I just assumed ABS was the same as polystyrene. They ARE similar, though: I mean, "plastic cement" for model kits bonds ABS just as well...but with a little googling, there indeed *are* differences. Oh well...



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gingaio
...it seems like the fans appreciate and value the more toy-like pieces...

I wish I could believe that. LOL

Well, taken out of context, it seems pretty obvious that anyone would appreciate the things WE value, like durability, ease of transformation, etc... And it's obviously not like I have any sort of omniscience about ALL MACROSS FANS ON EARTH, by the way. I'm just going by my own anecdotal experiences as well.

But I still really think we're in the minority. See, you'll read a lot of complaining online about busted shoulders, floppy this and that, easily scratched paint, whatever. But those are fanboys. An extremely vocal minority. Sure, there can be a ton of outrage online about such and such release...but it'll invariably be the same 12 dudes bitching...usually because they're in front of a keyboard all day and have little better to do. Hey, I'm one of them! But it's STILL the same 12 dudes. It's that way here. It's that way on CDX. It's that way on skullbrain. It's that way on LittleRubberGuys. It just doesn't matter what sort of toys you're talking about.

And even if it's those same 12 dudes praising MP Grimlock, well, it just doesn't really matter to the toy companies. Remember: they're no dummies. They have focus groups and other means of extracting what the "masses" (not fanboys) want...because THAT'S who they're trying to cater to.

I've met with dozens and dozens of toy collectors over the years who have almost ZERO internet presence. Whether it's through CDX events, conventions, or just striking up conversations with other collectors on eBay, I've really come to appreciate how *few* and ultimately, unimportant, we are! LOL

And if I were to assign a single attribute to those folks who don't bother with internet bbs', facebook groups, and the like--absolutely regardless of what genre of toys they collect--it would be that they're extremely POSITIVE in their outlook. If a substandard release comes out, they take it in stride. They shrug their shoulders and move on...just happy to be getting something at all. And it sure seems to me like the "mainstream" Macross fan just wants something that *looks perfect* on their shelf, and that can survive being re-posed or even transformed every now and then. [That's something I'll never understand about folks who collect mini busts of comic characters...yet those fucking things sell insanely well.] After all...why else would big poppa Bandai be rolling the dice with a model kit of the VF-1??

So is the moral of the story that the connectivity and community we enjoy actually cause latent negativity to resonate and, thus, amplify? :P
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Sanjeev
But I still really think we're in the minority. See, you'll read a lot of complaining online about busted shoulders, floppy this and that, easily scratched paint, whatever. But those are fanboys. An extremely vocal minority. Sure, there can be a ton of outrage online about such and such release...but it'll invariably be the same 12 dudes bitching...usually because they're in front of a keyboard all day and have little better to do. Hey, I'm one of them! But it's STILL the same 12 dudes. It's that way here. It's that way on CDX. It's that way on skullbrain. It's that way on LittleRubberGuys. It just doesn't matter what sort of toys you're talking about.

And even if it's those same 12 dudes praising MP Grimlock, well, it just doesn't really matter to the toy companies. Remember: they're no dummies. They have focus groups and other means of extracting what the "masses" (not fanboys) want...because THAT'S who they're trying to cater to.

I mean, sure, there's a vocal minority of complainers, and a company like Yamato has been able to cultivate a hardcore, unquestioning fan base that'll buy up all its stuff just because it exists. I really can't speak to the mindset and preferences of this general crowd of fanboys, though, Macross or otherwise.

However, I think it's also telling that someone like the chief designer for Takaratomy's MP line says something like this: "The newer MP figures do have many transformation steps, however the process is designed so that the next step is plainly indicated. They might be easier in a way than (Transformers) products for children" (http://tformers.com/transformers-inverview-shogo-hasui-takaratomy-masterpiece/19681/news.html)."

Especially in light of how complicated and fussy the earlier releases were (Megs, the seekers, Rodimus). So it's not like companies don't have an eye toward this "better toy" argument that's been raised very vocally in the various tranforming robot boards.

I do agree with what Mr. Crush said about Yamato overcomplicating (overdesigning) its valkyries. It's not that those guys are dumb, but they tried to do too much and not enough at the same time with these toys. As he says, there's a happy middle somewhere that other smart people are working to figure out.
Sanjeev (Admin)
That's encouraging! I think...

'Cause, I mean, there IS a point of diminishing returns on complexity, right? The less-fanboyish fans who just want stuff that looks nice STILL need to be able to transform the toys that they have! If that process leads to broken parts or loosening joints, it's never a good thing.

That seems obvious and everyone can agree on that...but I still have this feeling that the majority of (offline) fans are *unwilling* to compromise on sharp, model-esque looks. If the item can be made more robust without any aesthetic sacrifices, so much the better. I mean, as long as it doesn't drive up costs too much, why wouldn't they? But the priority seems to be appearance...and unfortunately, the VF-1 Valkyrie is appears pretty damn fragile!

And like I said before, I could be wrong. I sure *hope* I'm wrong! We may just never know what really goes on in those board meetings where they discuss the results of their focus group testing...
Sanjeev (Admin)
Back to the model kit:


What the fuck's going on with the hips??? Those look like Yamato's 2.0 Valk...not those previous photos of Bandai's new kit...
I'll probably pass on a VF-1 kit unless it's a Perfect Grade. I'm more interested to see what Bandai may try to do with the Macross license going ahead. I'm guessing that it's up for grabs since Yamato's bankruptcy.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Buh? Yamato's bankrupt???

Is that what led to the name change? Crazy...
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Sanjeev
Buh? Yamato's bankrupt???

Is that what led to the name change? Crazy...

They didn't change their name. Arcadia was a pre-existing doll figure company. They bought up some of the pieces of Yamato and brought over a few of their employees. So far they haven't released anything other than soliciting yet another VF-1 recolour.

Guess I can kiss that 1/60 Ogroid goodbye.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Wow, that's wild. Thanks for the info, man.

I forget where I heard about it first (CDX?), but the word was that they'd simply changed their name to "Arcadia" (which woulda been somewhat fitting, given their former name!). But this is the first I've heard of the actual demise of the company.

Strange to hear it...given how popular (if controversial!) their products seemed to be...
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