Phatslappy's Review of the Bandai 1/55 Scale VF-1J
This section is really just about what I would like to see in one toy, if things were up to me. I like the size of the Bandai VF-1J because it's easy enough to handle such that children of wide ranging age could play with it. I like the ease of transformation that the Bandai provides because it is accurate to the show. I like the Yamato's articulation because it can be set into poses that are also extremely accurate to the show. As a child, I stretched out the legs of my valks when playing because they didn't have the mobility that I wanted. The legs have to move when you apply the jets on the thrusters right? Even now, I still like to play with my valks while I watch the show. With the Yamato and the Bandai I get the best of both worlds. I can play along with the show using my Bandai and make displays of my valks doing poses from the show using the Yamato. I also prefer the shiny smooth plastic of the Bandai VF-1J to the flat rough plastic of the Yamato VF-1A. I like to fire bullets from my gun pod, but I'd also very much like to outfit my fighter with missiles. I use the missiles that came with the Strike Valk to do this…but let's face is…the Yamato comes with a whole arsenal. I much prefer the landing gear covers of the Yamato along with the painted tires and rims, but I also prefer the spring loaded landing gears and turning tires of the Bandai. My favorite new feature is the running lights of the Yamato. I love how the lights are translucent. I'd like my valks to have the paint job of the Bandai and the screw covers of the Yamato. I like that the tail fin pack sits vertically on the Yamato, but I don't like that it takes two joints to do it. I like that the VF-1J only has one joint that connects it, but then it doesn't sit vertically. I don't think there's much of a solution for that though. I guess we sometimes just have to live with disappointment. Lastly, I'd love to have pilots flying my valks, a shortcoming in both valks.
Because I don't get to have things my way, I look at both valks in different ways. I like the playability of the Bandai VF-1J while I like the pose ability of the Yamato VF-1A. Perhaps one day, there will be a way for me to purchase a valk that is custom tailored to my preferences. Who knows, one day it just might be possible. Until then, I'll just buy every valk that comes out.
Now's it's time to choose…because playability is more important to me, I would choose the Bandai over the Yamato. It's not that detail and articulation aren't important to me….it's just that right now playability is more important to me than detail and articulation. In the future, that may change…or in the future my dreams will come true and I will be able to custom order my valks. And comparing with the Takatoku VF-1J, I would actually prefer the Bandai reissue. Everything looks clean and the joints are virgin. With the painted decals, I simply would rather have the Bandai…especially considering the price. You don't have to worry about yellowing, and you can play with it to your hearts content because it's only a reissue.
Introduction VF-1J Review Bandai/Yamato My Preferences