MACROSS ZERO (ARCADIA)
You know what there’s not enough of on this site? Robotech. That’s my fault really. Somehow, I only just discovered the series last year, and so now I’m playing a little bit of catch-up on the toys. The trouble with playing catch-up with something like Robotech/Macross isn’t that there’s not enough out there; quite the contrary. There’s a metric ton of stuff out there. The most difficult part of it is narrowing down exactly what it is you’re looking for. I’ve been mostly looking at the lower end of things with my two prior reviews, but today I’m jumping all the way to the top, and taking a plunge into the high-end collectibles!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The VF-0S Phoenix was released by Arcadia in 2016. It’s based on Roy Focker’s Veritech fighter from the Macross Zero OVA, which served as a prequel to the original Macross series (Macross being the show that makes up the first segment of Robotech in the US). It’s rather similar to Roy’s VF-1S Valkyrie, but updated a bit to be more in line with modern design aesthetics. To the casual observer (read: me before opening this figure), they could be the same design, but they’re definitely different. The last Veritech fighter I looked at was not a transforming one, so it was a more traditional action figure than the one seen here. This one is more like a Transformer, albeit a very high end one. It’s capable of being configured into its Battroid, Gerwalk, and Fighter modes. It comes out of the box in the Fighter (plane) mode, which is the one that best showcases the actual 1/60 scale of this item, thanks to the included Roy Focker minifigure. In this mode, the ship measures 12 inches long, and is about 10 inches wide from wing to wing. The small Roy Focker is about an inch tall, and molded in a sitting position so that you can place him into the cockpit of the fighter. It’s a little tricky to get the cockpit open on the first try (it’s not quite intuitive), but the way it’s designed, it stays in place very securely, so poor Roy won’t be flying out of it or anything. There are some nice Fighter specific features, such as the landing gear that folds out of the nose and back of the plane, some detachable rockets for the wings, and even some extra parts to allow for attachment of the (separately sold)Ghost fighter, all of which help to make this more than just a quick and dirty alt-form for the cool robot fighter.
The second configuration, the Gerwalk, is the halfway point between Fighter and Battroid. It’s essentially the front half of a plane attached to some legs. A bit goofy if you ask me, but it’s a legitimate form from the show. Perhaps its greatest strength is giving the owner a solid stopping point during the transformation process from Fighter to Battroid, since that’s quite an involved endeavor. The transformation on this figure is definitely very fiddly, and there are some parts to the transformation where you really just have to be confident in yourself that this thing’s not going to break in your hands. To Arcadia’s credit, the construction on this thing is very solid, so it’s designed to hold up to the strenuous transformation process. They’ve even been smart enough to use actual metal on some of the more pivotal joints, so you really know they aren’t going anywhere. It also helps to give the whole thing a really hefty feel.
The star attraction of this whole set is, of course, the Battroid mode, the fully transformed robot mode of the Veritech fighter. Once it’s fully transformed, the Phoenix stands 10 inches tall (and a little over 11 if we’re counting the antennae on the head), and has 38 points of articulation. From (mostly) individually articulated fingers, to high range-of-motion elbow and knee joints, there’s quite a lot of great posing to be had here (especially when compared to the last Veritech I looked at). Apart from some slight wobbliness where the torso and the back connect to each other, the Battroid configuration is very sturdy, and stays properly transformed throughout routine posing. It’s also pretty sturdy in terms of keeping it standing; compared to a lot of other higher end offerings, this one fell over a lot less when I was taking photos of it. I’d definitely call that a plus. Even taking all of the transformation features into account, the Battroid’s sculpt remains quite faithful to the Phoenix’s design as it’s seen in the anime. There’s always a fine line to be walked when translating something like this into an actual, transforming, figure form, and this one’s managed that quite nicely. The Battroid mode gets its own specific extra: the U.N. Spacey-dentoted rifle, which, like the smaller VF-1S I looked at, is full adjustable to meet the specific needs of the figure.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
So, for the third time on this site, the item reviewed here isn’t actually owned by me. Instead, the VF-0S was given to me for review by my friends over at All Time Toys. They were kind enough to lend me this very impressive item, and if you’re interested in owning the very VF-0S reviewed here today, you can buy it from All Time’s eBay store here. If you’re looking for other toys, both old and new, please also check out All Time’s full eBay store front, and take a look at their webstore at alltimetoys.com.