Yamato VF-0S review/comments

Discussion in 'The Toyark' started by mx-01 archon, May 3, 2006.

  1. mx-01 archon

    mx-01 archon Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  2. pinoy78

    pinoy78 Shoji Kawamori having FUN

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    Thanks for the review nx-01 archer!

    Just kidding around man......I can't wait for my VF-0S to get here. Hopefully it won't be full of the QC issues I've been hearing about.
     
  3. Chaos Incarnate

    Chaos Incarnate Not just a name.

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    Pretty cool. I think it's interesting that the VF-0 is so much bigger than the VF-1. The 1/60 VF-0 is about as big as the 1/48 VF-1!
     
  4. Shin Densetsu

    Shin Densetsu I WILL DESTROY YOU Super Mod

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    Just a note guys, if you have alternator smokescreen or grimlock, THOSE are more likely to break way before your yamato toys ever will. Just a thought from one who owns both but is yet to have the VF-0. =(

    In my experience the VF-1 1/48 was incredibly easy to transform and more durable than alternator smokescreen. I hear the 1/60 VF-0 is easier to transform than the 1/48.= VF-1/
     
  5. mx-01 archon

    mx-01 archon Well-Known Member

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    One thing I just noticed: somebody's sense of scale is out of whack. Bandai or Yamato, one of the two's got a glitch or two. Out of curiosity, I just compared Bandai's Perfect Grade Skygrasper to the VF-0. Both are reportedly 1/60 scale, yet the Mwu le Fllaga/Tolle Koenig pilot figures for the Skygrasper are about half the size of the VF-O's Roy Focker, with the cockpits being scaled proportionately. Somewhat odd.
     
  6. MasterOfPuppets

    MasterOfPuppets Banned

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    Wow that has gotta be the coolest Macross figure I;ve ever seen.

    Also since you got it from Ages Three and Up I thought it would be a good idea to also post this review on their forums located at their website.
     
  7. mx-01 archon

    mx-01 archon Well-Known Member

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    I would, except I don't have an account there, and I'm too lazy to set one up :p .
     
  8. Razerwire

    Razerwire 99 Problems... Super Mod

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    I want one!!! And my birthday's coming up!!! PLEEZE SOMEONE SEND ME ONE!!!:p 
     
  9. pinoy78

    pinoy78 Shoji Kawamori having FUN

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  10. mx-01 archon

    mx-01 archon Well-Known Member

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    I just spent the last 15 minutes fixing the loose knee and bicep swivels, and if you're familiar with using superglue to tighten joints, it's quite easy. Be warned though, you're going to have to break some parts in order to perform the fix, although the damage is minimal, and totally negligable.

    I highly recommend you use a gel-type superglue (I use the "Loctite" brand) as opposed to liquid superglue, or nail polish. Liquid superglue will just make a mess, and potentially cause damage that you don't want. Nail polish wears down after awhile, and you don't want to have to keep cracking this sucker open.

    First, the arms. Remove the single screw on the backs of the shoulderpads, and the shoulderpads should come off easily enough. Then remove the two screws in the grey shoulder part, and pop the arm off the Valkyrie. At this point, there's still no obvious joint which to tighten. And here's the trick: the joint is covered by the white bicep armor, which is glued together. However, the glue is actually pretty weak. If you just attempt to bend the bicep gently sideways, the glue will give with a soft snap, and the bicep armor will easily split in two, with no damage. However, due to how the arm is designed, there's no way to disassemble the arm any further. No matter. With one hand, again gently bend the bicep, and with the other hand, apply a small amount of superglue into the crack. Twist the joint around a bit to spread the glue around, and then continue twisting it around every few seconds, just to make sure the glue doesn't fuse the joint. Once the joint is satisfactorily tightened, just apply a small dab of glue to the bicep armor, and glue it back in place.

    Now the legs are where you're going to actually have to break the toy. As I said earlier, it's not serious, though, so you shouldn't worry too much. If you absolutely refuse to do so, though, no matter. The loose knee joints don't prove too much a problem, as long as the Valk has a decent amount of friction beneath its feet. Just a simple sheet of paper will do, even.

    Anyways, assuming you want to fix it up, then continue on. Remove the single screw in the thigh, and attempt to separate the two halves. The back of the thighs are held together by a tiny little peg that's glued in place. This peg will break, but as I said, it's not going to pose too many problems for you. Now just take out the two screws above the swivel, and apply a liberal amount of superglue to the joint. Reassemble the knee, and again, twist it around every so often to make sure the parts don't fuse. Once it's fixed up to a satisfactory tightness, you can reassemble the legs. Just apply a tiny dab of superglue to the broken peg, and it'll hold just fine.
     
  11. NotoriousBIC

    NotoriousBIC Prime Suspect

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    I really, really want the VF-0S, but seeing that there are already quite a few QC issues, I'm afraid I'm going to have to wait until I can get this domestically. (which can be forever :(  )
     
  12. LigerPrime

    LigerPrime Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm, I suggest you wait...if I remembered correctly Yamato did correct some QC problems on the first few batched of the 1/48 VF-1S.
     
  13. Fit For natalie

    Fit For natalie tfwiki nerd

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    Mysteries of Mankind - why people love these expensive Yamato Macross toys so much, even though it appears most of them (particularly early versions of each product) need user-repair to get within reasonable QC we expect from other toy companies.
     
  14. mx-01 archon

    mx-01 archon Well-Known Member

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    Enough to buy multiples of the same toy even. Not just redecoes, but the same one. Some guys over at Macross World have reportedly ordered 3-4 Zeroes already. It's totally insane.

    To be fair, though, I'm quite happy with my Zero, with the only real problems being minor design flaws rather than QC problems, and problems that were easily fixed, to boot.
     
  15. Fit For natalie

    Fit For natalie tfwiki nerd

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    I'm just amazed people put so much faith (and cash) into a company that repeatedly, REPEATEDLY, churns out products that bigger companies such as Hasbro or Bandai would consider sub-standard in terms of quality control.

    Have they not heard of real-world play testing?

    I'd ask this at the Macross World forums, but I fear they'd kill me.
     

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