Since Arcadia took up the mantle of the now defunct Yamato, their subsequent mecha related toy releases have been consistently brilliant. As I already own most of Yamato’s prior output, these new Arcadia versions are considerably improved upon those. The latest of these releases is the hugely iconic Roy Focker VF-1S Strike Valkyrie from the Macross Do You Remember Love? movie released back in the mid-80s. This is a hugely important mecha design in its own right and Arcadia have done an amazing job here.
Roy Focker is the head of Skull Squadron in both the original Macross TV series and later movie. Very much a surrogate father figure to Hikaru Ichijo, he is also a rowdy drunkard that happens to be an ace pilot. In that sense, Roy’s VF-1S became an icon as it not only represented a much loved character in Macross but also what an ace pilot’s mecha should look like.
In the TV series, the big upgrade the variable fighters received were the Super and FAST packs. For use in space, these greater increased the thrust and missile carrying capacity of each variable fighter. In the movie, this was modified slightly into the Strike configuration. Only available on the VF-1S models, the Strike configuration swapped out one of the Super packs for the Mauler RO-X2A high-powered double-action beam cannon.
Now I need to enter rather major spoiler territory…
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As Roy was the father figure to Hikaru it was inevitable that Roy would die, passing on the torch from metaphorical father to son. In the TV series Hikaru also received Roy’s old VF-1S but in the movie he received one of his own.
Roy’s death is also a poignant part to the early Macross saga and one of my most treasured possessions is a cel of his death from the movie (shown below).
This is why this new Roy Focker VF-1S Strike Valkyrie release is such a big deal, as it not only represents a character many love but also the character’s untimely demise as well.
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Now I already covered Arcadia’s excellent VF-0S Phoenix release from Macross Zero not that long ago. Compared to the original Yamato release, the newer version had been completely re-worked. This new VF-1S is not quite as drastic in that department but it has a great deal of improvements nonetheless.
Finally, if you’re after the Blu-Ray for Macross Do You Remember Love? then there are two different variants you need to be aware. The first is a nice boxset that also contains a PS3 game on the disc. The result of this inclusion is that the movie had to be censored, as games in Japan are not allowed to show beheadings. However, this was later rectified by a straight up release without the game and was completely uncensored as a result.
After playing around with the various variable fighter release from Evolution Toy, this new Arcadia figure is gloriously good. So stick around for the forthcoming review!