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Toys: Fire Valkyrie

Posted on : 28-10-2012 | By : | In : Toys/Kits

Hardware: , ,

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Our good friends at HobbyLink Japan have sent us the 1/60 VF-19 Custom Fire Valkyrie from the wonderful Macross 7. This is also the first of a two part review, as the next installment will also feature the Sound Booster add-on. In addition, we’ve also included some game and animation footage at the end of the review.

Macross 7 was an interesting show on many counts. Not only did it break the mold of what a Macross TV series could be but it also introduced the fascinating premise that mecha weren’t always weapons. Primarily this refers to the variable fighters the rock band Fire Bomber piloted. Specifically they used music as a means to pacify and confuse would be aggressors, in the form of the mysterious Varauta, and didn’t dogfight in any traditional sense.

Naturally this caused all manner of problems with the regular UN Spacy forces, who did use deadly force, as the members of Fire Bomber had a habit of getting in the way. It’s only over the course of the show that it’s revealed that Fire Bomber are in fact channeling sound energy that can directly effect a new type of enemy known as the Protodevlin.

The iconic variable fighter of the show was of course the VF-19 Excalibur Custom, also known as the “Fire Valkyrie”, as piloted by Fire Bomber’s lead singer and guitarist Nekki Basara. To make matters more awesome, the Fire Valkyrie was also controlled by a custom guitar-based interface.

Over the years, Macross 7 and the Fire Valkyrie have garnered a large amount of appreciation from the fans. With the Fire Bomber units being featured in all manner of Super Robot Wars games, as well as the recent PSP action games from Artdink. There have been all manner of toys and kits too, from those released at the time of the show to the more recent Hi-Metal Fire Valkyrie.

Pretty much all the toys released thus far have been decent, with the original 1/60 DX toys from the 90’s being pretty notable, but we’d never had the full Yamato treatment for Macross 7’s variable fighters. Not until last year that is.

Put simply, this is probably the most sophisticated of Yamato’s variable fighter toys and marks a paradigm shift for the company in terms of their engineering prowess. If that wasn’t enough, Shoji Kawamori also worked on the development of this toy and it really does show.

Toy: 1/60 VF-19 Custom Fire Valkyrie
Price: 19,800 yen
Size/Weight: 32.5 x 28.2 x 10.5 cm / 1050g

The battroid mode is riddled with gimmicks, from the speakers in the shoulders to the missiles in the legs. The whole thing is just a marvel. Even the cockpit hatch detail is genius, especially as the seat rotates accordingly so that Nekki Basara is sitting the right way up. The articulation is also utterly superb and considerably more advanced than Yamato’s previous 1/60 scale YF-19 toy. Unlike the Hi-Metal verions there is basically no part swapping, bar a few parts for cosmetic purposes (such as the shield and back of the upper legs).

Normally with GERWALK mode these toys have trouble standing up, due to the centre of gravity moving further forward. It’s still not easy to get the Fire Valkyrie to stand properly in GERWALK but it’s better than previous toys in the range. In addition, multiple parts of the toy afford the legs remainder of the torso to lock into place. So that helps a lot as it’s not at all floppy.

Fighter mode is nicely done and has the landing gear tucked away. In addition the gunpod stows just fine underneath the fighter as well. The main aspect of this mode though is that the sculpt is just amazing.

That’s the thing with this toy; Kawamori has gone to town on the proportions and engineering detail. The whole thing looks great in every mode and the transformation, whilst more complex than the 1/60 YF-19, is far more thorough and much more obvious.

Overall then this is the best Fire Valkyrie toy thus yet made and it’s a leap forward for Yamato’s engineering and quality assurance too. Normally we handle our Yamato toys pretty carefully but this is very robust and full of diecast parts to ensure durability. As such, this comes thoroughly recommended to all who wish to appreciate Nekki Basara’s song.

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Comments (4)

I like the fighter mode a lot! The shoulder speakers look tiny though and…is that yellow really the correct color? It looks like of fluorescent.

The colouring is exactly like the anime, however these shots use natural light so it looks paler overall. The finish is also very high quality in terms of the plastic used.

Makes for nice eye-candy. But posing is limited. No toe phalanges that flex up & down. And the leg swings from the waist, not the hip. The visual trend of making it flex from the Gerwalk hip makes the battroid flex from the middle thigh. Everything else is perfect… in an immobile standing position.

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