MACROSS NEWS LETTER # 52
Last night over dinner I interviewed the head of Yamato for several hours and was able to find out a significant amount of information on Yamato's upcoming Macross toy releases. Read on…………
: I do have a few minor News changes to make-see below. Of
course as my dinner that night with Yamato progressed, so
did my alchohol consumption. LOL! There were a handful of
errors in my recollection when I wrote the newsletter. After
recently talking with Yamato again I did manage to get some
more accurate details. Sorry for the errors!
01-22-2003 : I do have a few minor News changes to make-see below. Of course as my dinner that night with Yamato progressed, so did my alchohol consumption. LOL! There were a handful of errors in my recollection when I wrote the newsletter. After recently talking with Yamato again I did manage to get some more accurate details. Sorry for the errors!
Destroid Monster News
1. Although I have been putting out hints for a long time now, I can finally officially reveal that Yamato will be releasing a Destroid Monster toy. The toy will be a whopping 1/60 scale and will be constructed mostly of ABS plastic to keep costs down. Even so, this will not be a cheap toy and price estimates are in the ¥30,000 to ¥40,000 range…did I mention this toy is huge!? The Destroid features excellent articulation, especially of the legs and feet and has some cool features never seen before on a Destroid monster toy, such as an opening cockpit hatch and extendible boarding ladder. I've seen and handled an early sculpt of this toy and even have some photos of it standing next to a 1/60 VF-1 and it is absolutely gigantic! Unfortunetely, I'm not allowed to publish the pics. Anyway, the sculpt is just undergoing final modifications and tooling will start soon. Expect to see this bad boy around the middle of 2003.
2. Update: Yamato has made a test sculpt(as I reported before) of the Queadluun Rau, but it is for feasibility purposes only at the moment. Unfortunately they have not confirmed that they are going to release this toy yet. I will stay on top of this and let you know any more news is available!!
3. Update: Yamato also confirmed they have talked with Big West showing interest that they would like to make transforming 1/60 scale Macross Zero toys(nothing has been set in stone yet as I incorrectly reported before). It's not clear yet how many variants they will make of the two main mecha, but there could possibly be four releases altogether which would be: -
Focker type. · VF-0
Shin Kudo type. ·
Nora Polyansky type ·
Shin Kudo type.
Nora Polyansky type
4. The big news is that Nishikawa-san (the sculptor of the 1/48 VF-1) will not be sculpting the Macross Zero toys due to other commitments. Instead, Yamato have hired a new sculptor, who is actually one of the sculptors that Bandai uses for their Master Grade models, so he comes to the project with a good pedigree.
5. Sculpting has just started on the VF-0 and the initial; prototype sculpt is expected to be ready about two months later. Yamato will also be using CAD-CAM design in the production of the Macross Zero Toys. Expect at least 6-8 months from now before the release of the VF-0. Sculpting has not started yet on the SV-51, but should begin within the next few months.
6. Oh, and the Macross Zero toys will feature perfect transformation without having to remove the legs!
New YF-19 News
7. Yamato also allowed me to officially announce that they will be releasing a completely new YF-19 toy with FAST packs, featuring a totally redesigned sculpt. The talented sculptor whose transforming YF-19 garage kit should be familiar to Macrossworld members from the June 2002 issue of Model Graphix magazine will design this new toy. See the following pages for a sample of his work: (note from Shawn: Mr Sakuragawa of the well known company IHP is the sculptors name! He's the same person creating the Variable Konig Monster many members ordered)
Although the new YF-19 toy will be heavily based on the design of the YF-19 as featured in the June 2002 Model Graphix magazine, it will not be identical due to the need to make the toy more durable and also to have it transform without removing any parts. The initial prototype sculpt should be ready by next month. The scale will most likely be 1/72, although Yamato are aware that the majority of Macrossworld members (around 80%) would prefer the toy in 1/60 scale. Yamato will probably launch a survey on their web site to determine which scale Japanese fans would prefer.
8. I showed Yamato my 1/48 VF-1A with the broken backpack hinge and they will look into whether they can reinforce the backpack hinges, although it may be too late to do so in time for the release of the VF-1S. I should point out though that Yamato have so far received no reports of broken backpack hinges from their Japanese customers and even among Macrossworld fans the number of broken backpacks reported is only 4 or 5 so far that I am aware of.
9. There has been a delay with 1/48 FAST pack sets and a new sculptor has replaced Nishikawa-San. Although Nishikawa is very talented, he is sometimes very slow, so Yamato have assigned the sculptor who is making the Macross Zero toys to handle the 1/48 FAST packs. The anticipated release date for the FAST pack set is now May 2003 and the planned retail price will be between ¥6,000 to ¥7000. Yamato have promised that the FAST pack set will be extremely detailed.
10. I informed Yamato that many overseas fans do not like the moving flaps on the 1/48. Their response; "If you don't like them, then glue them in place"……Hey, can't win them all J
11. I discussed with Yamato my opinion that the 1/48 VF-1A Max type DYRL color scheme may not sell too well, as many fans are getting sick of the DYRL colors. I suggested to them that they change it to Max VF-1A TV colors and they said they would look into it. If yes, this could be some good news as it would be the first ever Max TV type VF-1A toy.
12. The Hikaru VF-1J is confirmed as the fourth 1/48. No other variations are under consideration at this time, although this could change depending how well or how badly the 1/48 line sells.
13. On the subject of sales, Yamato report that 1/48 VF-1A sales have met their expectations and that they have already completely sold all the stock from their warehouse.
1/60 Max & Millia VF-1J Super News
14. The 1/60 Max and Millia VF-1J Super toys will go on sale at the end of January. I had a chance to examine the finished samples yesterday, although I wasn't able to obtain any for myself L. The toys look great. The colors are sgnificantly lighter than the Bandai versions, although personally I think this looks good. Anyway, Yamato went to Kawamori-san to ask him for advice for the correct colors for the Max & Millia toys and FAST packs and these are the colors that he personally approved. Let's have no more arguments on the forums about how they are incrrect. Apparently, Kawamori-san admitted that the TV series is a very unreliable guide for colors. Anyway, good news for fans is that both toys come with the correct pilots wearing Max & Millia type TV flight suits. The back FAST packs are two tone, with the engine section being red for Millia & blue for Max and the missile section being a bluish-green color. The arm FAST packs and the FAST packs on the back of the leg are the same bluish-green color and the FAST backs on the side of the legs are red for Millia & blue for Max
1/60 VF-1D News
15. The VF-1D is currently undergoing some revisions to the head sculpt, so the release date will be delayed until February or March. The VF-1D will come with TV pilots, but will not come with FAST packs.
1/60 Upgrade Kit News
16. The upgrade kits are still coming, but Yamato is currently working on improving the hip joint design, so it will probably be 2-3 months before they are released.
1/72 Scale YF-21 FAST Pack News
17. The tooling for the YF-21 with FAST packs is finished, so the toy is pretty much ready to go into production at anytime. Yamato did tell me the planned release date, but I forgot…. Whoops! I think it will be either in February or March IIRC.
Future Macross Toy News
18. When asked about what Macross toys we are likely to see in the future, I was told that the most likely candidates are the VF-4, VF-5000B and just possibly, the VF-2SS. However, it will be quite a while (at least 2004) before we see these toys as Yamato will be very busy this year with the Macross Zero toys, Monster, Q-Rau, 1/48, 1/60 etc…
19. I asked Yamato if they would consider making a transforming SDF-1 and they said, that yes, eventually they will get round to making one, but there is no firm plan at the moment.
20. Yamato confirmed that they do still plan to go ahead with production of the large scale transforming Escaflowne toy, However, some kinks are presently being worked out of the design. Also, it is not a top priority for them at the moment, so it might be a while (a year or so?) before we actually see the toy on store shelves. No release date was given to me, but good news for fans is that Yamato do have the license for sales both in Japan and the US, so overseas fans will be easily able to buy the Escaflowne when it is released, that is unless Harmony Gold suddenly claim that Escaflowne is a derivative of Macross J
Other Mecha Toys
also informed me that that they have obtained the license
to produce mecha toys from two popular 1980's animes. I'm
not allowed to announce what these are yet, but I will say
that one of them is a transforming mecha, but not a plane
and the other is a non-transforming mecha. Let the guessing
games begin! (note from Shawn-I am probably the happiest
guy in the world tonight!!)
(note from Shawn-I am probably the happiest guy in the world tonight!!)
Macross 7 Toy News
22. I asked Yamato about the possibility of producing Macross 7 toys in the future, as I am a big fan of both the VF-17D/S and VF-19S/F. However, Yamato indicated that Bandai have the Macross 7 toy licence sown up tighter than a fly's ass. Thus, there is no possibility of Yamato making Macross 7 toys L. However, the possibility of more toys from VF-X2 is still open.
That's all for now folks. Keep your eyes peeled for pictures and more news in the near future.