DX Chogokin YF-30 Chronos by Bandai (Available From HobbyLink Japan – HLJ.com)
To commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the original Macross TV series, Bandai Namco funded a new standalone game called Macross 30 developed by Artdink. The latter studio has made a recent name for itself by making all manner of pretty decent Gundam and Macross PSP games (though historically they were more famous for their Carnage Heart games). Whilst the game was pretty decent, what was rather cool was the addition of a new variable fighter called the YF-30 Chronos. It’s this that has recently received the DX Chogokin treatment from Bandai.
What’s especially interesting about this toy is that it isn’t a mainline design. It’s an unlockable unit from a game and, to make matters more curious, it has an all-new transformation sequence. Normally, when it comes to Macross variable fighters most companies pick a version number with multiple variants. This means you only need to do the engineering grunt-work once and then then cash-in off all the toy variants. In the case of the YF-30 it is an entirely bespoke design, from a game. They didn’t even treat it as a webshop exclusive, either. This is a publicly released toy.
The game it’s from is dubbed a “flight action RPG”, which sounds a bit odd but is actually pretty accurate. If you’ve played Artdink’s other Macross games then Macross 30 is pretty similar, albeit more analogue with a greater emphasis on resource management as well as a semi-open world setup. The “dungeons” can get a bit repetitive but the game is actually fun. The big stumbling block is that technically the game is a bit basic, so the engine looks pretty dated and suffers from a fair few instances of frame rate slowdown.
The YF-30 also only appears towards the end of the game but once unlocked it is a hugely powerful unit, not least because of its potent missiles. This is the signature aspect of the design: the large missile pod at the rear. It’s also because of this missile pod that the transformation sequence has had to be entirely reworked from the previous VF-25 series. In addition to the new transformation sequence, this is also the first variable fighter toy to feature a torso joint.
Considering all this new engineering work, the price is actually pretty reasonable (especially when compared to other non-Bandai variable fighter toys). It’s also not a small toy either; it’s pretty big and nicely heavy, too.
Despite the lack of option parts, it’s very nice that a stand is included. There are also additional hardpoints on the wings but currently nothing included to attach to them. We’re guessing a webshop exclusive parts set is incoming.
In any case, keep an eye out for the second part when we review the toy itself. See you then!