As part of Bandai’s updated Hi-Metal R line of toys, we have been graced with the VF-1J Armored Valkyrie from the movie Macross: Do You Remember Love?. Unlike the prior attempt at doing the various Macross toys in the older VF Hi-Metal line, Bandai has gone all out with this new toy and it’s an incredible piece of engineering, as well something that looks utterly fantastic.
Likely because Arcadia already did an updated 1/60 scale VF-1J Armored Valkyrie, Bandai has followed up with this more compact and affordable version. The design itself is meant to be from the movie and while that is broadly true there are some odd discrepancies.
In the series the GPB-1S armor set is only usable in Battroid mode (if you transform, the armor has to be jettisoned). The main point of the armor is to 1) obviously increase the durability of the Valkyrie and 2) pack it with more missiles than is probably sensible. This means that across the body there are all manner of compartments for storing missiles. Effectively what the armor packs do is turn a Valkyrie into something not far off from being a Destroid, though with far greater mobility.
In the series, this setup is used by Hikaru Ichijo to take down a larger Zentradi scout type ship. In the movie it’s seen only briefly as it unleashes a pretty excessive salvo of missiles (as shown above around the 3:11 mark).
This toy is a version of the latter but it also has more nods to the TV series, mainly because in the TV series the missile tips are red, whereas in the movie they are yellow.
On the toy, they’ve opted for the red missile tips but bar that most of the toy’s styling is from the movie version.
As I have all the prior toys of this design, including the most recent Arcadia effort, I can happily say that Bandai has outdone itself. If this is a sign of things to come, then the Hi-Metal R line could end up easily being the definitive Macross toyline.
As an aside, the box art for the toy is handled by Hidetaka Tenjin and, as you can see, it looks great.
This is an incredibly special little toy, so keep an eye out for the full review!