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Toys: YF-19 with FAST Pack

Posted on : 29-04-2014 | By : | In : Toys/Kits

Hardware: , , ,

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Courtesy of our good friends at HobbyLink Japan, we’ve been sent a toy from Macross Plus to review. Specifically, the YF-19 with FAST Pack from Arcadia. In addition, to give the toy some context, we’ve also linked some anime and gameplay footage of it in action at the end of the review.

Back in the mid-90s when Macross Plus was first released, it garnered quite a lot of interest. Not least because it managed to nab a global release. This propelled a somewhat niche OVA into the mainstream Western pop-consciousness. One of the series’ main protagonists, Isamu Dyson, was also a rather affable jock type (famously dubbed into English by Bryan Cranston). His ride of choice was the prototype variable fighter, the YF-19. Much like the VF-9 before it, the 19 also had forward swept wings. It was also meant to end up as one of two choices (with the other being the YF-21) for the next UN Spacy variable fighter mainstay, after the VF-11B Thunderbolt. As you’d imagine, being a high performance prototype, it was a pretty beastly machine and suitably versatile to boot.

In gaming terms, the YF-19 has graced many games over the years. From the rather unfortunate PlayStation era games, such as Macross Plus Game Edition and the two VF-X entries, to the more agreeable PlayStation 2 era with Another Century’s Episode 3 and Super Robot Wars Alpha 3. Since then the YF-19 has popped up in Artdink’s line of Macross games on PSP as well as Macross 30 on PS3.

Toy-wise, well up and till Yamato came along we had nothing. Bandai wouldn’t touch the Macross Plus license and fans in the West especially felt they had been let down. Then Yamato stepped in and graced us with three variants of the YF-19, the last of which was the stepping stone to the sleeker Fire Valkyrie toy. After Yamato went under, it was Arcadia that picked up the reigns and decided to re-release the YF-19 as per the new Fire Valkyrie sculpt. It’s this new toy that we’re reviewing and dear god is it amazing…

Toy: YF-19 with FAST Pack
Price: 29,520 yen
Size/Weight: 32.5 x 28.0 x 15.3 cm / 1400g

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Where do you start with a toy like this. Well, there has been considerable work done on this version of the YF-19 since the Fire Valkyrie release. Whilst it shares much of the newer engineering and overall sculpt, there is more diecast in this figure and it feels a lot weightier. The overall material quality is also pretty damn amazing, resulting in a much sturdier and meaner looking figure. It’s especially easy when it comes to the transformation, as the last YF-19 from Yamato was a bit feeble in places and resulted in quite a nerve-wracking ordeal (as these toys aren’t cheap).

This version of the toy includes the FAST pack add-ons (bar the Arm Armament Unit and Fold Booster) and all manner of missiles, the latter attach to new hardpoints on the wings. The leg’s side calves also open up like in the anime to reveal another missile bay. The amount of love poured into the missiles is also interesting, as it’s a clear reference to the classic cover of the This Is Animation Macross Plus book. This is a pretty awesome touch on the part of Arcadia but this is not all.

As you’d expect from a Macross variable fighter, there are gimmicks. This toy has gimmicks upon gimmicks though, from the additional cockpit seat for Yan Newman as well as the removable head cowl to the gunpod ammo magazine, the whole toy is just a huge fan spooging when it comes to detailing. What makes all this stand out though, is just how beefy and resilient this toy is compared to Yamato’s earlier incarnations.

There is a price for all this though and this version of the YF-19 is by no means cheap. It costs considerably more than Yamato’s and Bandai’s offerings at the same scale (though arguably they don’t come with as many peripherals and gimmicks as this). However, whilst the price is high it is fair for what you are getting. As such, to fellow Macross Plus fans you will be kicking yourself if you don’t pick this beauty up. It’s simply fucking glorious.

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