Wednesday, November 2, 2011

1/60 Perfect Transformation YF-21 by Yamato Toys

1/60 YF-21 by Yamato Toys

Update: Transformation Manual for the 1/60 YF-21 was translated to English and can be found here.

Got this recently from HobbyLink Japan, the 2010 re-release of the 1/60 Perfect Transformation YF-21 by Yamato Toys. This toy was first released in 2008 then re-released by Yamato Toys in June of 2010 with a different box art and without the fast packs. The 1/60 Fold Booster & Fast Packs for the YF-19 & YF-21 however can be purchased as a combined set


1/60 YF-21 by Yamato Toys


The YF-21 of General Galaxy came out in the Macross Plus OVA and was part of a two plane contest (the YF-19 by Shinsei Industries was the other) that would decide the next frontline fighter for the UN Spacy forces in the Macross Universe. Hence also the Y prefix instead of a V in the number designation to denote that the planes are test crafts in nature.

1/60 YF-21 by Yamato Toys


The YF-21's test pilot was Guld Goa Bowman, a second generation half-Zentradi who grew up in planet Eden where the testing of the two aircraft was also taking place at New Edwards Airforce Base. What complicated matters in the story was the fact that the YF-19 test pilot was Isamu Dyson, an estranged childhood friend of his due to the rivalry for the affection of Myung Fang Lone. So in the plot they found themselves rivals in both work and in their personal relations.

1/60 YF-21 by Yamato Toys


The YF-21 as a next generation fighter of its time was unique because it had a Brain Direct Image system that allowed the pilot to control the plane by thought alone instead of using the normal control inputs (stick, rudder, throttle). In the end the YF-19 won the contest because of a fault in the Brain Direct Image system that caused problems with the pilots. The YF-21 however was eventually adopted into service as the VF-22 Sturmvogel II and was seen in the Macross 7 anime. The VF-22 differed from the YF-21 by the absence of the Brain Direct Image system in its avionics.

1/60 YF-21 by Yamato Toys

That however was not the end of the possibility of using human thought to pilot a craft as in Macross Frontier the VF-27 Lucifers developed by Macross Galaxy used this method of controlling their VF-27's. What made it possible was the fact that the pilots of the said crafts had cyborg implants that made for a more direct method of interfacing with the human brain.

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

I have to admit that I wasn't really a fan of the YF-21 design of Shoji Kawamori. However after seeing the 1/60 YF-21 first hand this mecha has finally won me over. In it I saw the genius of Shoji Kawamori's design and the brilliance of Yamato Toys in successfully rendering it as 1/60 toy.

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

The YF-21's battroid mode resembles the battle armor of a samurai from feudel Japan, from the head cowl design to the side armor that resemble the flanks of the said warrior. Hence the genius of Kawamori-sama. Looking at the arms and feet of the YF-21, its only now I've realized that it is influenced by the Quadluun Rau of the female meltrandi fleet of Macross. With the long shapely legs and arms and the cannons jutting out of the fore arms. The YF-21 design also breaks the Macross mecha design paradigm of having thrusters at the feet, which is typical of the VF mecha in Macross. Instead the main thrusters are permanently placed as a back pack and coupled to a 3 fin vectored thruster outlet.

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

More of the review can be read at the suceeding pages.

First the negative points of this toy. There are the painting issues of the painted parts of the toy being easily scratched and removed. This can easily be fixed by applying a top coat to seal the paint in. Something I always say I'm going to do but end up not having the time to do. Red arrows in the photos below point to the paint scratches I've noticed.

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

The same issue that plagued the YF-19 plagues also the YF-21, which is the bad tire (excess parts) and ugly landing gear paint. The white paint can also be easily removed from the landing gear. Something I experienced when I used my finger nail to gently pull out the landing gear from its landing well. I have to point out the great gimmick in the rear landing gear, which is that it turns in so that it can fit into the landing gear. I also had a hard time locking the gear in place so that it doesn't fold into the landing gear wheel. Not sure if it was designed to lock in place since I didn't see any instruction about this in the manual. These problems were fixed however in the next generation of Macross Toys by Yamato (especially the VF-1 series), but since this is a re-release I guess its but normal to expect that this problem could not be fixed.
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

I also had a hard time balancing the toy by the means of its feet. Only then I realized that the YF-21 is top heavy meaning that the small feet and legs design will really have a hard time supporting the weight of the upper body. For standard poses, where the weight can be evenly distributed on both legs, you'll have no problem, but for complex poses that shift the center of gravity to only one leg, it will be a tad bit difficult. That problem can be easily solved by purchasing a Yamato display stand.

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Not really a major problem, but one caveat I just have to point out. The fins of the vector thruster (red arrow) can be easily removed, so take care that yours don't fall off.
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

All-in-all I was impressed with the 1/60 YF-21 by Yamato Toys. But I have to warn you that I am a Macross and Yamato Toys fan boy, so my review of this is biased, I will always see this as a Glass is half full rather than a half empty because of my love for the series. The faults I've pointed out in this toy have not diminished my valuation of this toy. To me this is a well crafted piece of art and a brilliant execution of a design to its physical form. Like what I've mentioned in my previous reviews of Yamato's Macross series toys, these toys aren't "play toys", they are display toys that one lovingly places in a display cabinet and savor's with one's eyes like a beautiful painting. Do that and you will never have to say anything bad about your purchase. Yes, they are flimsy and easily break, but that is the price one must pay for accuracy to the original design and the incorporation of a fully functioning transformation sequence. For a YF-21 that can be played with, I'd recommend the GN-U Dou YF-21.

Box Shots & Unboxing




New box design for the 1/60 YF-21 for its 2010 re-release. The box art seems to depict the scene in Macross Plus where the YF-21 is flying in the orange hued earth atmosphere. Next to the box is a 12 inch ruler for comparison.
1/60 YF-21 by Yamato Toys

Side of the box
1/60 YF-21 by Yamato Toys
Back of the box
1/60 YF-21 by Yamato Toys

Top of the box

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Inside of the box is another inner box where the vacuum formed plastic that houses the YF-21 is placed.
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Just a little tip, this two sides of the vacuum formed casing is what helps hold the toy in place. Push it apart and the YF-21 can easily be removed.
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

YF-21 fresh from the box, some parts are wrapped with plastic. Right next to the YF-21 is a 6 inch ruler for comparison.
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Rear landing gears are also covered in a plastic protective cover.
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Somebody was sleepy in Yamato Toys China factory as only one foot was covered in a protective plastic cover *snicker*
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Parts & Accesories



Nestled inside a plastic bag is the sticker sheet and transformation manual of the YF-21. Beside the bag is a 6 inch ruler for comparison.
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Here is the single sticker sheet for the YF-21 right next to a ruler for comparison.
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

A more closer picture of the YF-21 sticker sheet.

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

The YF-21's transformation manual is a non-colored, 36 page manual. Right beside it is a 6 inch ruler for comparison.
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Here is the 1/60 Guld Goa Bowman figure dressed in his orange test pilot flight suit. He is in the zen like pose that he positions his hands in when flying the YF-21 using only his thoughts.
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Back of the figure
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Two Stand attachments for the Yamato Macross stand next to a 6 inch ruler for comparison.
Yamato 1/60 YF-21
A different view of the stand attachments that come with the YF-21
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Two attachments to allow the Fold Booster (not included) to be attached to the YF-21.
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Different view of the Fold booster attachments
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Main engine duct covers. These are actually attached to the YF-21 already and I just removed them to take a photo. They are usually removed when the YF-21 is in Fighter or Gerwalk mode.
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Reverse side of the engine duct covers. It has an inscription of either "L" or "R" to denote on which engine duct they should be inserted at.
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

The YF-21 comes with two gunpods. Here they are in stowed form with the pistol grip hidden and stock collapsed so that it can be slung under the fuselage. Right next to them is a 6 inch ruler for comparison.
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Single gunpod in stowed form
Yamato 1/60 YF-21
Underside of the gunpod
Yamato 1/60 YF-21
Barrel end of the gunpod
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Rear stock of the gunpod
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

To expand the gunpod you first have to pull out the stock. Then push the top lever following the red arrow in the picture till it folds into the body of the gunpod.
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

The lever also has the pistol grip, which falls down into position when you push following the direction arrow in the previous picture.
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Here is the gunpod in its expanded form right next to a 6 inch ruler for comparison.
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

The hands of the YF-21 are actually impressive when you compare it against the 1/60 YF-19 and 1/60 VF-1 series of Yamato Toys. They aren't flimsy and thin like that of the previous mentioned toys.
Yamato 1/60 YF-21
At the palm of the hand is a round peg that you fit into the hole of the pistol grip of the gunpod to help hold it in place.
Yamato 1/60 YF-21
Here is the gunpod attached to the hand.
1/60 YF-21 by Yamato Toys

One of the design features I really like about the YF-21 is the "look" of the gunpods stowed to the fuselage. Awesome looking really in my eyes because of the twin gunpod configuration.
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Gunpods stowed in Gerwalk mode.
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Gunpods stowed during Battroid mode.
1/60 YF-21 by Yamato Toys


Fighter Mode



Pictures of the YF-21 in Fighter mode

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Gerwalk Mode



Photos of the 1/60 YF-21 in Gerwalk mode.

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

1/60 YF-21 by Yamato Toys

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

This fin from the back pack has to be lowered and exposed out during Gerwalk mode
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

The foot isn't fully pulled out from the leg during Gerwalk mode, only till the panel line.
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Was surprised that the leg accidentally popped out during transformation to Gerwalk. Luckily it was designed this way so that it could be easily popped back in
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

One of the fears when first transforming is that I might accidentally break something because of the hazy manual picture. Detaching the back from the front fuselage was one of those moments, I was able to breathe a sigh of relief when I saw that the back part was hinged.
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Just to show you again the complexity of the parts when transforming, here's the arms in the forward position during transformation from fighter mode to gerwalk mode.
Yamato 1/60 YF-21


Battroid Mode



Pictures of the 1/60 Perfect Transformation YF-21 by Yamato Toys in Battroid mode.

1/60 YF-21 by Yamato Toys

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

1/60 YF-21 by Yamato Toys

1/60 YF-21 by Yamato Toys

1/60 YF-21 by Yamato Toys

1/60 YF-21 by Yamato Toys

1/60 YF-21 by Yamato Toys

1/60 YF-21 by Yamato Toys

1/60 YF-21 by Yamato Toys

1/60 YF-21 by Yamato Toys

1/60 YF-21 by Yamato Toys

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Yamato 1/60 YF-21
The head design of the YF-21 follow's the VF-1A cannon fodder series where in there is only eye one lens in the head.
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

1/60 YF-21 by Yamato Toys

The cockpit area detaches a bit (pointed out by red arrow) from the front fuselage of the YF-21 to facilitate the head in folding down to its final position
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

One nice gimmik of the YF-21 is the pilot seat being able to assume the upright position. This is done by pushing it in during Battroid mode.
1/60 YF-21 by Yamato Toys

After the lower leg is fully extended out, this hook part is pulled out a bit so that it stops the lower leg from sliding back in.
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

The side armor leg joint gets pulled out a bit during Battroid mode.
Yamato 1/60 YF-21


Misc Shots of the YF-21



Guld Goa Bowman inside the cockpit of the YF-21
Yamato 1/60 YF-21
Talk about attention to detail, Yamato even recreated the wires coming out of the head rest of the pilot seat. Like it was shown in the beginning of the first episode, when the YF-21 was about to take off.
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

The cockpit lacks any detail on the onset, the cockpit sticker has to be attached to fix this
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Cockpit with the cover down. Only peep holes are available for the YF-21
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

The edges of the wings can fold allowing for storage and for changing the wing area during flight
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Nose wheel inside its wheel well.
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Nose wheel in the wheels down position.
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Clear plastic at the wing root to recreate the navigation lights of the YF-21
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Elbows of the stowed arms of the YF-21 in fighter mode
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Top of the main thruster engines
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Left intake cover attached to the left main engine intake
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Right main engine intake with the intake cover detached showing the fan blades.
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Left main engine thruster with the 3 vector thrust fins in the open position. At the upper left of that is the forearm with the forearm gun in the stowed position.
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Main thruster engines with the vector fins in a fully open position
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Main thruster engines with the vector fins in a different open engines
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Gunpods slung underneath the fuselage of the YF-21
Yamato 1/60 YF-21

Another view of the gunpods of the YF-21 slung underneath during Fighter mode.
Yamato 1/60 YF-21