There are a few legendary mecha in Macross and one of them is the VF-4G Lightning III. Meant as a follow on from the classic VF-1 Valkyrie, this variable fighter had an all new transformation sequence and inbuilt weaponry. We also had no idea how the mecha transformed for decades, either. That was until a PlayStation game called Macross Digital Mission VF-X, as it featured a transformable VF-4. It’s this version that Arcadia has so brilliantly reproduced.
This is not the first time we have had a VF-4 toy made: with Yamato’s dying breath back in 2012 they released a mail order version of the design. It’s this toy that Arcadia has improved upon and re-released. Considering that the Yamato version goes for truly silly money these days, Arcadia has definitely done the decent thing here with this new re-release.
Anyway, back to VF-4’s winding history.
A few years after Macross: Do You Remember Love? we had a straight-to-video music compilation called Macross Flashback 2012 released in 1987. It partly covered bits of the TV series and later movie but also showed some new footage as well. Among this were shots of a new variable fighter and the Macross fandom went wild (the section in question starts around the 3:50 mark in the below video).
The big problem here though is that no-one had a clue how it transformed.
For a Macross variable fighter this kind of oversight drove people pretty crazy, doubly so when later fighters like the VF-14 Vampire were based upon the VF-4. In case you were wondering, the Vampire was what the Varauta based their own variable fighters on in Macross 7 and that’s why the VF-4 remained somewhat of an important enigma.
It wasn’t until 1997 when finally we got to see the VF-4 transform, as it was included as a playable unit in Macross Digital Mission VF-X on the PlayStation. While the game was thoroughly awful, fans were just happy to see what the VF-4 looked like in all three modes.
Since then the VF-4 has become something of a Macross video game staple and been in all manner of games over the years. However, the VF-X version is something that fans still have a soft spot for, even though the game was hot garbage.
So when Yamato did their releases in 2012, to coincide with the anime date, many fans were understandably elated, with myself being no exception, as I bought one, too.
This new toy then is meant as a modern historical relic and Arcadia has done a magnificent job. Well, more specifically T-REX has designed an amazing toy and made what would normally be an awkward transformation sequence very accessible.
The review will be up soon, so keep an eye out for that!