A few years ago, Bandai released an amazing figure of the titular mecha from the classic anime series Round Vernian Vifam. It was so good it sold out in double quick time and became somewhat of a collector’s piece. The funny thing here is that this was just a regular Robot Damashii toy, on the surface at least. In reality, Bandai had outdone themselves yet again and released an insanely detailed and gimmick-ridden figure that in turn tapped into a nostalgic sweet spot for those who grew up on the series. Not to miss a trick, Bandai has since followed this up with an updated re-release including the Twin Mover parts. Like the original toy, there is a lot more going on here than it first appears.
Round Vernian Vifam was a classic coming-of-age tale. With a scenario by Yoshiyuki Tomino, of Mobile Suit Gundam fame, and helmed by Takeyuki Kanda it featured children left behind during an alien invasion and having to find their way back to Earth.
The enemies in this case were the initially mysterious Astrogaters and the children in question used a military training ship called the Janous to escape. It wasn’t long before the children were forced to fight for their lives and the Vifam came into play.
Designed by Kunio Okawara, the FAM-RV-S1 Vifam is a truly brilliant early ’80s real robot mecha. Covered in verniers, the Vifam is ideally suited for space combat (something the Twin Mover at the rear boosts somewhat). Though with the addition of the Sling Pannier, the Vifam is capable of extended atmospheric flight.
The most iconic aspect of the design is probably its head, though. It’s intentionally made to look like a kid wearing a red cap and considering the younger age group the series was aimed at, that design choice was a stroke of genius.
Over the years there have been numerous Vifam anime series but the mecha hasn’t really changed in all that time.
As such, this toy is a bit of a big deal, doubly so as Bandai went to town on all the design’s gimmicks and detailing.
Naturally, there have been lots of toys and kits from Vifam over the years but this Robot Damashii version is by far and away the best. It’s also one of the most reasonably priced toys of the design.
The review will go up soon, so keep an eye out for that.