Tag Archives: vf-1j

Macross: Do You Remember Love? A Believable, Well-Illustrated Space Epic!

Why is Macross: DYRL, which came out in 1984, still popular today?  It’s because it is a believable, well-illustrated space epic:  we can relate to both the good guys (humans) and the bad guys (Zentradi and Meltrandi) because both share the same human DNA!  That’s why I, and probably a lot of other people, like it more than Macross Frontier, in which the bad guys are a bunch of insects, the Vajra.  We just can’t sympathize with the Vajra because they don’t have any human resemblance.

Not only can we relate to the humans and the Zentradi/Meltrandi, but we can also relate to their mecha.  The SDF-1 looks like an aircraft carrier, and the valkyrie fighters look like modern fighter jets.  In the valkyrie’s battloid mode, we see our humanoid image not only in the arms and legs that have human joints, but also in the head:  the VF-1S and VF-1J’s heads look like a human mask.  The only exception is the VF-1A’s head, which looks like a cyclops.  The Zentradi have the the Nousjadeul-Ger, and the Meltrandi have the Queadluun-Rau, both having humanoid form.

VF-1S, VF-1J, VF-1A

Nousjadeul-Ger's

Miria's Queadluun-Rau

In addition, we relate to the human cultural elements:  the importance of music and songs in moving people’s emotions, and the dramatic love triangle among Hikaru, Misa, and Minmay.  In Macross 7, music becomes more about being a weapon, which we find hard to relate to because that’s not the case in real life.  I think this is why Macross 7 is not appealing.

Macross is well-illustrated in its artwork and sound effects.  There is amazing detail, more than you’d find in normal cartoons.  For example, when the SDF-1 momentarily loses its internal gravity system, each of the chairs and tables individually tumble.

Everyone is well-dressed in costumes and uniforms.  Each weapon has its unique sound:  the valkyrie gunpods emit a rapid-fire sound, and the Zentradi/Meltrandi lasers echo a high-pitched sound.  The movie also intrigues us with advanced technology, like holograms, the vakyries’ nuclear-powered engines, hyperspace fold, and robots that clean garbage from the street (like the Roomba that was released in 2007)!

Did this garbage-collecting robot from 1984 seed the idea for the Roomba in 2007?

Finally, Macross has a great epic story:  humans are returning to their homeland, Earth, and are fighting against a formidable enemy, the Zentradi, who are at war with the Meltrandi.  We have captivating protagonists:  Hikaru, our humble hero who chooses between two women; Roy, the mentor figure and experienced soldier; Max, an expert fighter pilot who falls in love with a beautiful enemy ace pilot; Misa, a high-ranking military officer; and Minmay, the cute performer who charms everyone with her songs.  We have worthy adversaries, the Zentradi and Meltrandi:  Miria, the Meltrandi’s ace pilot; Bodolza, the Zentradi leader; Quamzin/Kamjin/Khyron, the aggressive Zentradi commander; Britai, and Exedor.  I think that having such worthy adversaries makes a good spectacle because we see the intense struggle between good and evil:  it’s the same reason that when there’s a worthy villain in a James Bond film, like Le Chiffre in Casino Royale, we are drawn closer to the characters’ struggle.

Le Chiffre from Casino Royale

What do you like most about Macross?

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Yamato’s GN-U Dou VF-1S, VF-1A, VF-1A Max, VF-1J

Here we have Skull Leader and the Vermilion Squadron, whose valkyries are from Yamato’s GN-U Dou line of toys!

Left to right: VF-1S, VF-1J, VF-1A Mass Production, VF-1A Max

It’s not quite Vermilion Squadron, because Hayao/Ben’s valkyrie is really the mass production VF-1A, but I like the mass production VF-1A’s darker brown color more than the light tan color on Hayao/Ben’s valkyrie toys.  For a review of the GN-U Dou VF-1J and how its height compares with the 1/60-scale valkyries, please see my earlier post, https://eyeforthings.wordpress.com/2009/11/15/yamatos-gn-u-dou-macross-vf-1j/

Front view of box for GN-U Dou VF-1S

Front view of box for GN-U Dou VF-1A Mass Production

Front view of box for GN-U Dou VF-1A Maximilian Jenius

As you can see, each toy comes with four TV-show-based hands and four DYRL-based hands and a gunpod.  The display stand is in the back.

Beauties!  Each is very well painted, and highly articulated.  Both wings can also pivot, but the backpack is fixed.  The laser antenna(s) also pivot.

About the display stand, in order to mount the piece that the valkyrie rests on, take a Phillips screwdriver and loosen the screw so that you can fit the ball socket into the display stand arm.

See that small screw? Use a Phillips screwdriver to loosen the screw to put in the U-shaped piece

The only flaw that bothers me somewhat is that these toys have a nasty plastic odor, but the odor is definitely not as strong as the one you’ll find from the Revoltech valkyries.

Vermilion Squadron in Macross/Robotech TV Series

In Episode 10 (“Blind Game”) of the Macross/Robotech TV series, we see the Vermilion Squadron in a lot of action!

Vermilion Squadron in fighter mode. This particular shot of the side views of the valkryies in fighter mode reminds me of the colonial vipers from the original Battlestar Galactica!

Colonial vipers from the original Battlestar Galactica. How's that for nostalgia?

Vermilion Squadron in battloid mode, to rescue Misa Hayase / Lisa Hayes!

Max and Hayao/Ben in battloid mode

Here are Yamato’s 1/60-scale replicas of the Vermilion Squadron from the TV series!

Left to right, Hayao Kakizaki, Hikaru Ichijo, and Max Jenius' battloids

Hayao’s battloid has tan accents.  But in the screenshots above, his accents look a little darker.  Here’s another screenshot from Episode 10 of the battloid.

Hayao/Ben's battloid

Finally, the Yamato toys are numbered!

Hayao has 112, Hikaru has 101, and Max has 111

Interesting that 113 is missing!  On Max’s DYRL VF-1A, there’s a 013!

Yamato’s 1/60 VF-1J Hikaru Ichijo with Armor Parts!

Yamato just released their 1/60 VF-1J Hikaru Ichijo with Armor Parts!

The box comes with two plastic encasings that fit one on top of the other.  Because there’s some overlap, the depth of the box is not quite twice the height of each plastic encasing.  For comparison, here’s the side view of the box next to the box for a VF-1A.

The actual toy is beautifully painted!

Missiles!!

At 8 minutes and 57 seconds into DYRL, we see this armored beast for the first and only time!

The missile tips in DYRL are green!  In the TV series (Episode 9, Miss Macross), they’re white!

So how does the 1/60 stack up to the 1/48?

  • Perhaps the largest difference is that the missiles in the 1/48 toy are removable, whereas in the 1/60, they are not.
  • The boosters on the shoulders are gray on the 1/48, and are gold on the 1/60.
  • The gunpod in the 1/48 comes with a strap, whereas the 1/60 does not (although we know that none of the 1/60 valkyries have a gun strap).
  • The armor on the 1/60 is a darker purple than that on the 1/48.
  • The 1/48 comes with DYRL hands (the ones with the black joints and flat fingertips), whereas the 1/60’s hands are all white with round fingertips, as in the TV series.  In addition, the 1/60’s hands are slightly larger than the normal hands that come with a 1/60 valkyrie.
  • The 1/60’s head’s eye is a darker green than the 1/48’s.  Update 4/7/10: Also, the eye has a gray covering (matches what you see in the line art), whereas the 1/48’s eye covering is white.  You’ll also notice that the older 1/60 VF-1J Hikaru’s also have the white eye covering.
  • The 1/48’s backback has an antenna, whereas the 1/60’s does not (although this is also true for all 1/48 vs. 1/60 valkyries).
  • The chest armor on the 1/48 fits better because the top hinges go over the metal hinges in the valkyrie’s shoulders.  In contrast, the 1/60’s chest armor merely rests against the shoulder metal hinges.
  • The red missile doors on the chest armor on the 1/48 pull out a certain distance to make seeing the chest missiles easier.  In contrast, the 1/60’s missile doors do not pull out at all, but just open on hinges like a normal door.
  • The white paint on the 1/60 is brighter than the white paint on the 1/48.  The 1/48’s white is almost an off-white.
  • The 1/60 comes with feet covers, whereas the 1/48 does not.
  • Because of its bulk, the 1/60 is easier to handle and play with than the 1/48.

Finally, the 1/60’s instruction book shows additional missile attachments that make the missiles look like they’re taking off.  However, these missile attachments do not come with this toy.  They’re separate!

Yamato’s GN-U Dou Macross VF-1J

Yamato has a line of smaller scale but more highly articulated robot action figures called “GN-U Dou”, “GN-U” meaning “brave band of warriors” and “Dou” meaning “movement”.  Whereas Kaiyodo’s Revoltech line of highly articulated robots are designed with ball joints, Yamato’s GN-U Dou robots have hinge joints held together with a metal pin:

rev_gnu_rev_ball_joint

Kaiyodo's Revoltech ball joint

rev_gnu_gnu_elbow_joint

Yamato's hinge joints, held together with a metal pin

These pictures are close-ups of the elbow joints from the Kaiyodo Revoltech VF-1J and the Yamato GN-U Dou VF-1J.

rev_gnu_vf1js

Revoltech VF-1J on the left, Yamato GN-U Dou VF-1J on the right

In my opinion, the proportional sizes of parts on the Yamato look better than those of the Revoltech.  The Revoltech’s parts look a little squished.  In the picture above, notice that the Revoltech VF-1J has a smooth texture and pudgy parts from what looks like a thick coat of paint.  I wonder if this thick coat of paint or PVC is what causes the Revoltech to have a nasty odor?  In contrast, the Yamato VF-1J has no odor.

The Revoltech is slightly shorter than the Yamato in overall height.  In addition, the Revoltech’s gunpod also looks a little short, whereas the Yamato’s gunpod looks slightly long.

rev_gnu_vf1j_gunpod_comparison

Gunpod comparison

The backpack is another comparison point.

rev_gnu_backpack_comparison

Revoltech VF-1J on left, Yamato VF-1J on the right. The Revoltech's backpack looks too squarish.

Finally, let’s put these two VF-1J’s next to the Yamato 1/60 Macross VF-1J with Super Parts.

rev_gnu_160_comparison

Left to right: Revoltech VF-1J, Yamato 1/60 VF-1J, Yamato GN-U Dou VF-1J

In closing, although the Revoltech VF-1J comes with Super parts, its proportions and odor make it, in my opinion, less desirable than the Yamato GN-U Dou VF-1J.  What do you think?

Yamato’s Macross 1/60 VF-1J Maximilian Jenius and Millia with Super Parts

“Max!  Bodolza is attacking us!  We should get out of our wedding clothes!”

mm_max_miriya_wedding_clothes_comparison

“Yes, Honey!”

mm_pilot_comparison_front_viewmm_max_miriya_pilot_comparison_side_view

“I’m getting in my fighter.  Are you in yours, Honey?”

mm_vf1j_max_pilot_closeup

“I’m right behind you, Max!”

mm_vf1j_miriya_pilot_closeup

“VT-202 moving out!”

mm_vf1j_max_202

“VT-303 moving out!”

mm_vf1j_miriya_303

mm_vf1j_max_front_viewmm_vf1j_max_top_viewmm_vf1j_miriya_front_viewmm_vf1j_miriya_max_front_view

“We’re going to the specified coordinates!”

mm_vf1j_max_miriya_rear_view

mm_fighter_modesmm_miriya_closeupmm_max_closeupmm_battloid1mm_battloid2

Kaiyodo’s Revoltech Regult, VF-1S, VF-1J

Kaiyodo’s Revoltech line of toys features highly articulated joints.  Today, let’s have a look at their Zentraedi Battle Pod, aka “Regult”, the VF-1S, and the VF-1J.

Kaiyodo's Revoltech Regult, VF-1S, and VF-!J

Kaiyodo's Revoltech Regult, VF-1S, and VF-1J

These toys are well painted, and are made of a very soft plastic.  I think they’re made of PVC’s, and boy, do they smell!!

Here’s a close-up of the Regult:

revoltech_regult_closeup

Here’s a close-up of the VF-1S (Roy Fokker’s paint scheme).  Note that the toy has the Super and Strike parts!

revoltech_vf1s_closeup

Because these toys are highly articulated, you can strike some very dynamic poses, which you can’t do with the Yamato toys!

Here’s a close-up of the VF-1J, which has the paint scheme of Rick Hunter’s VF-1J from the Robotech/Macross TV series.  It also has super parts, but no strike cannon:

revoltech_vf1j_closeup

These toys are about half the height of the Yamato 1/60 valkyries, so if that’s too small for you, I don’t recommend getting them.  Also, if you want to minimize the smell of the PVC plastic, you’ll need to get an enclosed display case.

In my opinion, the Yamato 1/60 toys are much better; they’re bigger, are made of stiffer plastic, and they don’t smell!