Saturday, August 22, 2009

Yamato 1/60 VF-1S Valkyrie Hikaru Ichijo DYRL

Yamato 1/60 VF-1S Hikaru Ichijo DYRL box shotUpdate: Translated manual of this toy could be found here.

Finally got time to make my review of the toy I ordered from Over Drive Inc. When I bought the VF-1S, it was on sale so I got a good price for it. Check out my review of Over Drive Inc here, but basically I had no problems with ordering toys from them and will be more than happy to conduct business with them again.

I chose the VF-1S because I already had two other VF-1S's in my Macross Toy Collection and wanted to add another on to it. Weird, right?

The VF-1S I bought is just your basic VF-1S without the Strike and Super Parts Armor. It comes in the DYRL color scheme of Red, Black and White used by Hikaru Ichijo in the Macross Movie: "The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love?" The VF-1S Valkyrie can be easily differentiated from other VF-1 Variants by the 4 Mauler Laser cannon configuration at its head. VF-1S are usually flown by squadron leaders of an air-wing.


The VF-1S costs about 7350 yen at Hobby Link Japan, 9800 yen at Hobby Search and about $99 from Amazon 3rd party sellers.

The toy is made out of primarily: ABS, PVC and some minor metal parts. The toy is packaged in a box with dimensions H275 × W320 × D105 (mm). It has a top flap that can give viewing access to the toy inside. I guess this is to protect the toy from sunlight when being stored because I've heard that it turns yellow when placed out in the sun for too long. Good practice for Yamato-Toys and a good warning to toy collectors out there to not leave your toys out in the sun.

Yamato 1/60 VF-1S Valkyrie Hikaru Ichijo DYRL

Here's a shot of the art on the box cover.

Yamato 1/60 VF-1S Valkyrie Hikaru Ichijo DYRL box cover

Yamato 1/60 VF-1S Valkyrie Hikaru Ichijo DYRL box cover

Yamato 1/60 VF-1S Valkyrie Hikaru Ichijo DYRL box cover

The toys is housed in the box on a thinly made, slightly rigid vacuum plastic container.

Yamato 1/60 VF-1S Valkyrie Hikaru Ichijo DYRL clear plastic casing

Aside from the Valkyrie itself the toy includes also some other accessories that accent the degree of realism in the toy.

The toy has the iconic Macross Gun Pod. I have a feeling that Macross Creator and Designer, Shoji Kawamori, was inspired by the Vulcan cannons that were slung underneath F-4 Phantom II's during the Vietnam war. The F-4 Phantom did not have an internal gun so it had to carry it externally. Unlike the 1/48 Valkyrie's of Yamato Toys, the 1/60 variants do not come with a sling.

Macross VF-1S Gunpod

The back of the gun pod acts as a stock. It is pulled out for the rifle to extend its form and to allow for the handle and trigger to drop out. In collapsed form only a small part of the handle juts out. There is a hollow female part at the handle which connects with a male part to facilitate storage of gun pod at the arms or to secure its position at the palm of the hand. I have to say that this part is a complete failure as it easily wears out or in my case didn't want to attach securely on the arm or the hand.

Macross VF-1S Gun Pod

Macross VF-1S Gun Pod

Also included in the pack is a set of stickers for the Valkyrie to allow you to customize your VF-1S. There are markings so that you can match Hikaru Ichijo's plane No's in the movie to your toy (011 when he was just a member of Skull Squadron and 001 when he assumed leadership over it on Roy Fokker's death.)

Yamato 1/60 VF-1S Valkyrie Hikaru Ichijo DYRL sticker and manual

The accompanying manual is in black and white and printed in glossy paper. It is written in Japanese and has 32 pages of instruction in it. Even if its in Japanese you will still be able to understand the instructions because of the pictures. Having a manual however doesn't make transformation easier.

Due to the realism in the design there are a lot of moving parts that are dependent on each other. Just to give you an example, look at the chest piece movement that occurs at the pic below when transforming to battloid mode.

Yamato 1/60 VF-1S Valkyrie Hikaru Ichijo DYRL, chest movement

A key trouble area I always have during the transformation is locking in the lever that attaches the legs to the body at its housing at the tip of the nose because of the dependency of other parts and the movement of the lever.

Yamato 1/60 VF-1S Valkyrie Hikaru Ichijo DYRL lever

Also included are 4 sets of missile pods and 4 sets of missile racks. Seen here attached under the wing of the Valkyrie. They attach via holes under the wing that you can stick the hard point on.

Yamato 1/60 VF-1S Valkyrie Hikaru Ichijo DYRL with missile pods and missile racks attached

Yamato 1/60 VF-1S Valkyrie Hikaru Ichijo DYRL missile hard points under the wing

There are also 2 spare hands so that you can pose your VF-1S in poses similar to that shown in the movie. Truly a photographer's dream subject because of the articulation and the realism in the detail of the hands.

Yamato 1/60 VF-1S Valkyrie Hikaru Ichijo DYRL spare hands

There are also 3 additional stand attachments included in the box for the display stand. One of the attachments is so that you can attach the detachable cockpit area to the underside of the arm of another Valkyrie. Like the way Roy Fokker carried Hikaru Ichijo's VF-1D in episode 2 of the original Macross TV series. Oh, and the stand isn't included in the kit, you have to buy it separately from Yamato Toys.

Yamato 1/60 VF-1S Valkyrie Hikaru Ichijo DYRL spare stand attachments

Here's a shot of the cockpit detached from the main fuselage of the VF-1S

Yamato 1/60 VF-1S Valkyrie Hikaru Ichijo DYRL, cockpit detached from the main fuselage

The Vent covers on the air intakes of the Valkyrie can be removed. Friction is the only thing holding it in place though, so constant removal of the air intakes could eventually lead to wider gaps that could result in the vent covers from falling off from the toy accidentally. I'm already thinking now of gluing it in place to prevent it from being lost.

Yamato 1/60 VF-1S Valkyrie Hikaru Ichijo DYRL vent covers

Aside from showing the detail of the engine intakes with the vent covers off, the picture below will show you that the head sits inside the recesses of the fuselage with only the cannons protruding, like the way it was designed in the series.

Yamato 1/60 VF-1S Valkyrie Hikaru Ichijo DYRL with vent covers off the air intakes

The head of the VF-1S pops out easily, only friction is what's holding it in place. So if you keep on pushing in and pulling out the head, its going to wear off easily. This could also make it easy for you to replace the head of the VF-1S with the heads of different models. When transforming in between modes, I actually remove the head to make it more easier.

Yamato 1/60 VF-1S Valkyrie Hikaru Ichijo DYRL head

Yamato 1/60 VF-1S Valkyrie Hikaru Ichijo DYRL

I have to say though that the 1/60 VF-1S of Yamato ain't no toy! After fiddling with it for a few minutes I've realised that its more of a valuable collectible item that should be placed in a sealed display case. This toy won't last ten minutes when given to a 9 year old child due to the delicateness of some of its parts. The box literature states that the toy is not suitable for children below 3 years old because of the small parts. I'd say you'd have to be at least in highschool to get one of these.

Yamato Macross toys have sacrificed durability for attention to detail, which is good for us collectors. I could spend hours just looking at the thing in a fixed pose, enjoying it like a good wine or a fine cigar.

In my entire life I've never been more afraid of a toy till I owned the VF-1S from Yamato. The reason being is because some of the parts that connect the other parts together and are subjected to much movement are millimeter's thin. So naturally you are forced to take extra precaution when transforming it from Fighter to Gerwalk to Battroid mode. Specifically I'm talking about the shoulder and hip joints that connect the arms and legs to the torso. And I've read in some forums that the shoulder joints do break easily.

Yamato 1/60 VF-1S Valkyrie Hikaru Ichijo DYRL shoulder joints

Yamato 1/60 VF-1S Valkyrie Hikaru Ichijo DYRL hip joints

Maybe one of the little things that make the piece ugly is the big vacant space at the side of the chest. In the tv series metal plates usually slide down to cover this vacant area. Guess it wasn't possible in the toy. In you have some styrene sheets and a nerve for scratch building, you could make an ably sized block that will fit in that space to provide a more bulkier chest. The other option is to not just take pictures of your VF-1S at that angle.... hehehe

Yamato 1/60 VF-1S Valkyrie Hikaru Ichijo DYRL gaping space in the chest area

All in all I'd say its a great toy for you to fill in a display cabinet or in diorama, due to the detail and realism. But definitely not something you should be playing around with because of the parts and joints that look like they could wear out easily. It's definitely a good collector's item.

For more information on the VF-1S, check out its official page at Yamato-Toys, here

Added below are just additional shots of the VF-1S Valkyrie of Hikaru Ichijo.

Yamato 1/60 VF-1S Valkyrie Hikaru Ichijo DYRL

Yamato 1/60 VF-1S Valkyrie Hikaru Ichijo DYRL

Yamato 1/60 VF-1S Valkyrie Hikaru Ichijo DYRL

Yamato 1/60 VF-1S Valkyrie Hikaru Ichijo DYRL

Yamato 1/60 VF-1S Valkyrie Hikaru Ichijo DYRL

Yamato 1/60 VF-1S Valkyrie Hikaru Ichijo DYRL

Yamato 1/60 VF-1S Valkyrie Hikaru Ichijo DYRL

Yamato 1/60 VF-1S Valkyrie Hikaru Ichijo DYRL

Yamato 1/60 VF-1S Valkyrie Hikaru Ichijo DYRL

Yamato 1/60 VF-1S Valkyrie Hikaru Ichijo DYRL

Yamato 1/60 VF-1S Valkyrie Hikaru Ichijo DYRL

Yamato 1/60 VF-1S Valkyrie Hikaru Ichijo DYRL

Yamato 1/60 VF-1S Valkyrie Hikaru Ichijo DYRL

Yamato 1/60 VF-1S Valkyrie Hikaru Ichijo DYRL