#1839: VF-1S

VF-1S

ROBOTECH: REACTION FIGURES (SUPER 7)

This site could always do with a little more Robotech.  I didn’t know that until just recently, but now that I do, I’m working to fix that unfair dearth of Robotech reviews post-haste.  Post-haste, I tell you!  Of course, since a lot of Robotech/Macross stuff is imported, I’m at a slight disadvantage for quantity.  Fortunately, every so often, a domestic company will take a stab at it, with the most recent attempt being from Super 7, as part of their reclamation of the ReAction branding.  Surprising no one who’s familiar with my prior Robotech reviews, I picked up the Roy Fokker’s veritech, the VF-1S.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The VF-1S is one of the six figures in the first series of Super 7’s Robotech: ReAction Figures line, and is inspired by the appearance Roy’s Veritech in the original Macross, more or less.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  Obviously, this whole scaling thing is being handled rather loosely, since the VF-1S would have to be quite a few times larger to properly scale with other ReAction lines.  But then these guys couldn’t be at the same very affordable price, which sort of defeats the whole point, doesn’t it?  The VF-1S shares a good number of his pieces with the other three VFs in this assortment; specifically, they’re all identical from the neck down.  This is true to the show, though, so it’s really just a sensible re-use on the part of Super 7.  It’s a decent sculpt, a bit more squat than the look from the show, which helps it to be a bit more in keeping with the ReAction aesthetic.  There’s still plenty of detail work all throughout, and the details are appropriately clean and machined looking.  He gets a unique head piece, which matches up with the body in terms of style, and also guarantees him a unique design from the others.  The VF-1S’s paintwork is fairly cleanly applied, and consistent with his on-screen appearance. He’s obviously had less wear-and-tear than the last 1S I looked at.  There are a few fuzzy paint masks here and there (the edges of the feet are the most obvious), but for the given scale, it’s passable.  His Skull Leader emblem is particularly well-handled, and helps to pull him slightly above the others in terms of detailing.  The 1S is packed with his standard-issue rifle, which he can hold in either of his hands, or mount on his right arm.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Remember when I reviewed Mekaneck?  Well, I picked up the VF-1S at the same time.  In fact, it was the 1S that caught my attention, as I’ve had the hankering to pick up something Robotech-related ever since I reviewed the 0S several months back.  I love the 1S design, so I was a pretty easy mark for this guy.  I’m really, really pleased with how this figure turned out.  Sure, he’s not in the same league as one the high end Veritechs, but he’s still a lot of fun, and I really want to pick up a whole set to go with him now.

As with Mekanek, I bought the VF-1S from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

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#1732: VF-0S Phoenix

VF-0S PHOENIX

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.

#1386: Roy Fokker

ROY FOKKER

ROBOTECH (MATCHBOX)

“Heroic commander of the famed ‘Skull Squadron’ assigned the monumental task of defending SDF-1. He is the classic definition of a hero. He is also able to transcend his heroic mold to be human and compassionate. He likes to tease his friends especially Rick Hunter, and create a feeling of general camaraderie. His raw courage and skill as a fighter pilot is matched only by Maximillian Sterling.”

Once upon a time, Matchbox was more than just a brand of die cast cars.  They were actually their own toy company outright.  Around the mid-80s, they tried their hand at making action figures, offering up a rather eclectic selection of properties.  They never hit any major success, and were ultimately absorbed into Mattel.  Anyway, amongst their selection of properties was Robotech, a recent discovery of mine.  Last time I wrote a Robotech review, I looked at one of the cool fighter robot Veritech Fighters.  Today, I’ll be looking at that very fighter’s pilot, Commander Roy Fokker!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Roy Fokker was released in the basic series of Matchbox’s Robotech line in 1986 (a slightly tweaked version was later offered in 1992, as part of Harmony Gold’s re-release line).  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  Roy’s construction makes use of a rubber band assembly, similar to the style popularized by GI Joe’s A Real American Hero incarnation.  As Matchbox was not quite as established a player in the industry as Hasbro, the figure isn’t quite as strong an offering.  The articulation is more obvious and slightly more limited, and the proportions are a bit more off (slightly large head, small torso, long arms, etc.)  He’s definitely a dated looking figure.  Not a bad looking figure, of course, provided this sort of style appeals to you.  Fortunately, it’s the sort of style that’s right up my alley.  Stylization aside, he’s got a pretty respectable likeness of Roy from the show, which is really the most important element.  The paint work on this figure is fairly basic overall, but decent nonetheless.  Aside from his skin being a little on the pale side, the colors match pretty well with the source material, and the application is generally pretty clean.  There’s a bit of wear on my figure, most noticeably on the straps on his torso, but that’s nothing out of the ordinary fro a figure of this vintage.  Roy was originally packed with both his pilot’s helmet and a gun, but my figure lacks both of these pieces.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After finding the Last Stand VF-1S, I was on the lookout for some more Robotech.  Unfortunately, like I noted in that figure’s review, they aren’t the most common items to find.  I’ve been checking out my usual toy store stops, in the the hopes of finding a few more of the Toynami Veritechs, but so far I’ve had no luck.  I did, however, find this guy at Yesterday’s Fun while I was on vacation, which was pretty sweet.  He’s a goofy figure, but I like goofy figures, so he works for me.  Now I’ve got a pilot to go with the fighter!

#1359: VF-1S Roy Fokker – Last Stand

VF-1S ROY FOKKER – LAST STAND

ROBOTECH: VERITECH SUPER POSABLE FIGURE (TOYNAMI)

For someone who’s so hardcore into media that has to do with giant robot fighting suits, you’d probably assume that I’d be all about Robotech.  Truth be told, I only actually started watching the show a month ago.  I’ve absolutely been loving it; I can’t really say why I put off watching it for quite so long.  Anyway, there are a ton of Robotech toys out there.  They aren’t the most common items to find, since there’s a pretty big fanbase that collects them, but every so often you do find the occasional stray figure, and I was fortunate enough to do so.  Today, I’ll be looking at the Veritech fighter of my personal favorite character from the show, Roy Fokker.  So, let’s look at the figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

In 2001, Toynami picked up the license for Robotech, and they put out a line dubbed Robotech: Veritech Super Posable Figures.  Roy Fokker’s VF-1S was from that line.  This particular version is dubbed the “Last Stand” version, presumably based on Episode 18 of the series, which contains Roy’s final stand and eventual demise (spoilers, I guess).  The figure was released as an exclusive through ToyFare magazine, as a way of promoting the line.  Sculpturally, the VF-1S is the same figure as the standard release, just with a tweaked paint job.  The figure stands about 7 inches tall (largely due to his splayed legs; he’d be closer to 8 standing straight) and he has 22 points of articulation.  It’s somewhat amusing to see this figure branded as “super-posable” in this day and age, given his lack of a number of joints that are kind of essential in this day and age.  The most egregious omission is the lack of anything beyond cut joints on the hips, which means he’s perpetually stuck in this slightly splayed-leg-pose.  It’s far from the worst thing ever, and there’s no denying that he’s highly posable in several other areas, but it’s still a little limiting.  For the time, though, it was actually pretty amazing, so credit where credit is due.  The sculpt on this guy is really solid work; he pretty closely follows the show’s design and the detail work is all really sharp and geometric, just like it should be.  The joints are also worked in very nicely, but that’s just a matter of keeping consistent with the character design (which isn’t exactly something that’s always done; looking at you, Hasbro!).  This is a non-transforming figure, so he’s always in robot mode (which is the cool mode), but the important elements that remain from the original mode are still there, and very nicely detailed.  They’ve even made his skull leader insignia a raised element, to help differentiate him from the other Veritechs.  There are a few mold lines that I wish were a little less obvious, but beyond that, I’m very happy with the sculpt.  The paint is what differentiates this from the normal release; where the basic figure was clean and shiny, this figure depicts Roy after he takes a beating.  There’s a bunch of heavy shading and burn marks, as well as some pretty amazing bullet holes and puncture wounds.  Those are all still just painted on, but are quite convincing as actual damage to the figure.  I find that all of this extra work really does a lot to bring out the strengths of the sculpt and makes for an all-around more visually interesting figure.  Roy’s VF-1S is packed with three sets of hands in fists, trigger finger, and open gesture poses, as well as his rifle, which has adjustable pieces, allowing it to be held in his hand or slung over his shoulder.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As noted in the intro, I only got into Robotech very recently, so I didn’t get this guy new (though I do recall when he was offered in ToyFare, since I was a subscriber at the time).  Instead, I found him just a few weeks ago at this awesome place around the corner from me called Lost In Time Toys.  My brother got their card at AwesomeCon and we went to check them out and just happened to catch them in the middle of a moving sale.  This guy was amongst the handful of items still yet to be moved, so I got him for half of his usual price, which was a pretty darn good deal.  I will admit, I was a little annoyed by the hips when I got him out of the box, but other than that small issue, I just can’t help but love this guy.  I foresee myself tracking down more of this line.