Following the unboxing, here is the full review for Bandai’s recent HI-METAL R VF-1J Armored Valkyrie from Macross: Do You Remember Love?. In short it is an epic and brilliantly constructed toy, verging on being a veritable engineering marvel.
Compared to prior VF-1J toys, the smaller these figures get then more part swapping is required for the transformation. Generally, the reason you get the bigger scale Valkyrie toys is because they can undertake the transformations without need for new or swapped parts.
One of the main reasons that smaller Valkyrie toys have a hard time doing this is one full motion is often doing to the materials used. However, it also turns out that with judicious engineering a fluid transformation can be achieved.
It’s this seemingly impossible problem that this toy almost entirely solves. The irony is that this is the armored variant, which doesn’t transform as the armor itself impedes the process (unless it is jettisoned). In that sense the armor almost masks what’s great about this figure but that’s a minor point really.
I already reviewed the VF Hi-Metal VF-1J Valkyrie back when it was released in 2010 and that was a nice little figure. However, this new Hi-Metal R is an all new figure and has been very clearly re-designed from the ground up.
For Macross fans it doesn’t get any better than this, really.
Armored Battroid Mode
The transformation sequence is very similar to the bigger Yamato and Arcadia figures. This means all three modes can be achieved without the need for parts swapping. However, the canopy and engine covers have to be swapped out but they are more a visual thing than actually part of the jointed transformation.
There is a good amount of machined metal in this toy, too — and placed in judicious places. This means the spine of the mecha and various crucial joints are reinforced to handle the transformation.
However, due to the reduced size, it is a more delicate figure than a something from the Robot Damashii range. One small point I noticed is that the fixtures for the hands can be quite delicate, so you need to handle them with care.
Like with all modern Robot Damashii figures the sculpt, detailing, and articulation are all exemplary. This not only looks like one of the nicest iterations of the VF-1J but it’s also one of the best posing ones, too.
The armor is also thoroughly comprehensive and is easy enough to affix. The internal missiles can also be swapped out for a fired/empty part as well. In general, the options for this figure are incredibly thorough, almost anal. You get all manner of hands, extra wings with hard-points for extra missiles, and not to mention external landing gear.
The toy also comes with various parts to allow you to use a Tamashii Stand (sold separately).
As Macross toys go, this is an incredible achievement and could be the go to toyline for Valkyries if Bandai keep this up. If you are a Macross fan, you absolutely need this toy in your life.