I just picked up the VF-0S Valkyrie today from a local shop (Ages Three and Up, for those in the Vancouver area). As my first foray into Yamato's Macross line, I'm pretty damned impressed. Luckily, though, it wasn't my first foray into expensive Japanese transforming figures, or else I might have ended up more frustrated. First off, right out of the package, the thing is simply beautiful. You'd be hard-pressed to tell that it wasn't an actual model of a real jet, it's very authentic looking. Lots of panel lines and sculpted detail, and it's got a decent heft to it, too. It's pretty solid in all three modes, with enough locking mechanisms to prevent it from being floppy. As an atmospheric fighter, you're supposed to take the intake covers off for Fighter/Gerwalk modes, but personally, I like them better on. The intake fans themselves are well detailed, but the surrounding cavity is merely flat, unsculpted plastic painted in flat grey, which looks kinda bad, IMO. The landing gear are die-cast, so they should take the weight of the toy pretty well. But man, are they a bitch and a half to extract. The joints in them are purposefully tight, so that they don't randomly collapse, but the caveat is that they're ridiculously difficult to open up. It's also probably a near-impossibility for those with fat fingers. Transformation from Fighter to Gerwalk mode is pretty solid. The only trick is probably disconnecting the legs from the wing assembly. The instructions tell you to yank the legs straight down, but the way the clip is set up just makes me worry trying to do it that way. Instead, the best way I found was to bend the knees, which causes the clip to slip right out without much hassle at all. Gerwalk to Battroid transformation is a much trickier deal. The whole toy practically explodes into all plethora of dangling parts until you lock it all together in the final steps. Thankfully, there are plenty of locking systems in place, so the final transformation winds up pretty solid. It's an absolute beaut in all modes, plain and simple. I like the tech-ier styling of the VF-0 Series compared to the VF-1 Series, and despite the fact that it's supposed to be the prototype, at first glance, it looks more modern (transformation-wise is a different story, with the design of that seeming more primitive, especially in the hands and the Heat Shield). However, it seems that Yamato products can't be totally without flaws, and I have a few minor niggles: - The gunpod handle is quite frustratingly loose. It seems to lock in place properly, but when you go to place it in the Valkyrie's hands, it has the annoying tendency to collapse. Unfortunately, the thing is glued together, so I can't crack it open to see if I can fix things. - On mine, the pin that connects the hip T-bar to the rest of the swing bar wasn't fitted so well. I had the pin simply slide out on me several times. I've since applied superglue to both ends of it, which should hold it, I hope. - The bicep and knee swivels are a bit on the loose side. I think I can tighten the knees, but the way to crack open the biceps eludes me, as there doesn't seem to be any screws there. The loose biceps make it practically impossible for it to hold the Gunpod in one hand, it needs the other to brace it. Which poses problems for the Gerwalk mode. And not actually a QC problem, but I absolutely hate the cluster missile hardpoints underneath the wings. With the rest of the design seeming so authentic, the hardpoints are simply an eyesore, looking very "toyetic", with little effort made to make them look good. And a few miscellaneous notes: - the magnetic Fast Packs work really well, snapping tight to the leg with little effort. They're kind of irritating in ways, though, because the tendency when transforming the thing is to grip the legs around that area, and with the magnets offering little sliding resistance, they tend to mess with your grip, or just pop off. - in a similar vein, be careful with the landing gear hatches on the legs. It's quite easy to accidentally grab the leg and force them inwards, which'll take a bit of prying to pull them in again. - there are two odd-shaped plastic blocks included in the package. I'm pretty sure they're adaptors for the 1/48 Valkyrie stand, so don't be confused as to their use. - interestingly enough, there is no factory tape on the box, nor on the plastic trays inside. The only tape to be found is the stuff attaching the instruction baggie to the inside box. Makes cracking this sucka open very easy, and sealing the thing back up again equally so - As seems to be the general trend with Yamato, their QC is pretty hit or miss, and I've heard flaws such as uses of the same shoulder parts on both arms, seemline gaps, random looseness of joints, etc. My copy is pretty good in those regards, but just be wary. No pics of my own, but here's the pre-production gallery courtesy of MacrossWorld.com: http://www.macrossworld.com/macross/toys/sample-vf0s.htm Overall, highly recommended if you know what you're getting yourself into. If your only experience with transforming robots in Transformers, or Power Rangers, then be more wary, because Yamato's products are definitely more delicate.