Graham's Review of
Yamato's 1/60 Scale VF-0A
(29th December 2006)


I originally wasn’t planning to write a comprehensive review of the Yamato VF-0A, but as it features several design improvements and changes over Yamato’s earlier VF-0S toy, I thought it warranted its own review.

The Yamato 1/60 scale VF-0A Production Type AKA ‘Cannon Fodder type’ was released in late-September 2006 and is the second release in Yamato’s Macross Zero toy line.

Box Toy Dimensions

Instruction Manual

I’ve only scanned the cover and sticker guide from the 20 page VF-0A instruction manual as the transformation instructions are a direct copy of those from the VF-0S instruction manual. As transformation of the two toys is identical, I guess there was no need for Yamato to waste time taking new photos.

Sticker Sheet
Instructions Cover
Instructions Pages 2-3 (Sticker Guide)

Sticker Sheet

The VF-0A comes with a different sticker sheet to that of The VF-0S. The VF-0A sticker sheet includes 3 different squadron tail markings, these being: -

  1. Rabbit Squadron as featured in the Macross Zero OVA and also in Tenjin’s VF-0A Hasegawa box art.
  2. Skull Squadron as featured in the Macross Zero OVA.
  3. VF-1 Wolfpack (a real F-14 squadron, disestablished in 1993).

Yamato stickers have come in for a lot of criticism on the Macrossworld forums over the years, for being too thick, too shiny and having clear borders which are too large. However, since the VF-0S I have noticed a marked improvement in the quality of the stickers. This was confirmed in a recent conversation with Yamato, who confirmed that they had in fact changed to a different sticker vendor.

According to the Macross Compendium, there were 24 single-seater VF-0A built. Unfortunately the sticker sheet provided with the Yamato VF-0A only provides two modex numbers ‘311’ and ‘321’. I would have liked to see a greater range of modex number stickers provided.

VF-0A Fighter Mode with "Wolfpack" Stickers


VF-0A Fighter Mode with "Rabbit" Stickers


The VF-0A comes with exactly the same accessories as the VF-0S. The only differences being that the missiles and pitot tube are molded in grey plastic instead of white.

The toy includes the following accessories: -

Color Scheme

The Yamato VF-0A is supposed to portray the standard production type VF-0A, AKA “Cannon Fodder” type, as featured in the Macross Zero OVA. However, there was quite a lot of controversy on the Macrossworld forums regarding the three-tone grey color scheme that Yamato chose for the toy. As in the anime, the Cannon Fodder VF-0A is shown as being either a uniform grayish-tan, or a brownish-grey (it varies from scene to scene).

According to my conversations with Yamato, the two-tone grey color scheme they chose for their VF-0A toy was approved by Mr. Kawamori as being the official VF-0A color scheme and the grayish-tan/brownish-grey appearance of the VF-0A in the Macross Zero anime was due to lighting effects and also the anime VF-0As in the anime being dirty and worn from combat.

Even though Yamato’s VF-0A color scheme may not follow the anime appearance with 100% accuracy, it is still a damn fine looking mecha toy in my opinion and feedback on the Macrossworld forums seems to agree, with most people liking the color scheme of the toy.

It sometimes seems as if Kawamori-san or perhaps Big West are quite schizophrenic regarding their approved color schemes as Tenjin’s earlier box art for the Hasegawa VF-0A fighter mode plastic model kit and also the Hasegawa VF-0A paint guide follow the anime color scheme quite accurately.

Interestingly, preproduction publicity photos from Yamato showed a slightly different color scheme, that was a lighter grey overall with white (or very light grey) dorsal fuel tanks. The Yamato advertising flyer showing the non-final color preproduction color scheme is below and more pics of the preproduction color scheme can be seen here.

Yamato Flyer Showing Preproduction Color Scheme

Tampo Printing

The VF-0A has fewer Tampo printed markings than the earlier VF-0S toy. Gone are the modex numbers on the nose and wing. Also missing is the squadron emblem on the tail fins. As mentioned above, this is because Yamato decided to include squadron emblem stickers for three different squadrons to allow fans to customize their toy with whichever squadron they prefer.

As the tail fins on the VF-0 toys are easily removable, I personally would have preferred it if Yamato could have supplied the VF-0A with three sets of tail fins with Tampo printed markings for Skull, Rabbit and Wolfpack squadrons, but this would have increased the cost of the toy.

The Tampo printed markings on the VF-0A include:-

Cockpit with "Wolfpack" Stickers
Cockpit with "Rabbit" Stickers


What can I say, the VF-0A has an absolutely fantastic sculpt. The VF-0 toys are probably closer and more accurate to the lineart and CGI images than any of Yamato previous toys.

Yamato have done a great job on sculpting the VF-0A head and it looks stunning in my opinion. I actually far prefer it to the VF-1A head design.

Head Close-Up


The 1/60 scale VF-0A toy basically has the same features and gimmicks as the earlier 1/60 scale VF-0S toy. Please see my VF-0S review for more details.

As a brief recap, these include: -

VF-0A Fighter Mode with Display Stand


As with the VF-0S, the VF-0A is made mostly of ABS plastic, with a small amount of POM plastic and die-cast metal. Diecast metal is used in the following areas: -

Paint Application

The paint application on my three VF-0A is excellent, with no smudges, fuzziness, overspray, runs or paint bleeding. Excellent job Yamato! Although of course the majority of the VF-0A is unpainted grey plastic, with only the light and dark grey trim and black wing stripes being paint applications, so there’s not too much that could have been messed up.

VF-0A GERWALK Mode with Display Stand


The VF-0A features the same number of points of articulation as the VF-0S, although of course as noted above, the knee and bicep swivel joints have been made tighter, so the toy can more easily hold various poses. All in all, the VF-0A is a very poseable toy and exhibits superior articulation to the 1/48 VF-1 series.

Regarding the VF-0A head, as well as rotating 360 degrees on the horizontal plane, the head can also tilt backwards and forwards, although to do so, one must first remember to pull the head upwards, so that the neck is fully extended. In Fighter and GERWALK modes, the head should be collapsed down onto the neck-piece in order for the head to be flush with the ventral fuselage.

VF-0A Battroid Mode


Transformation is 99.9% identical to the earlier VF-0S toy, the only difference being that the VF-0A has only one head laser to get through the back hatch when transforming from Fighter mode to Battroid mode, as opposed to the VF-0S’s two head lasers.

I find transformation to be fairly quick and simple and if you have experience with Yamato’s 1/48 scale VF-1 toy, you should have little problem transforming the 1/60 VF-0 series as transformation is about 80% the same, the only major differences being: -

  1. On the VF-0A/S the hands only partially retract into the forearms.
  2. The VF-0A/S heat-shield does not retract into the chest-plate in Fighter & GERWALK mode, but remains visible, forming part of the fuselage just aft of the cockpit.
  3. The Fighter nose/Battroid body has a sliding mechanism to reduce the length of the Battroid’s body.

There are several other minor differences, with the 1/48 VF-1 transformation, but the above three are the main as far as transformation goes.

The only tricky parts of the transformation that I find are getting the aforementioned head laser through the back hatch, as the laser is very long and also getting the shoulder joints positioned correctly in the cut-outs on the metal swing-bar in Fighter mode, to ensure the arms sit as high up as possible.

I will be working on making some video transformation guides for the VF-0A/S and you can expect to see them added here sometime in the first quarter of 2007.


VF-0A Joint Improvements

Although Yamato’s original 1/60 VF-0S is a fantastic toy, many fans on Macrossworld (and I guess in Japan as well) found the knee and arm swivel joints to be too loose. I personally didn’t encounter this problem on my four VF-0S, which can hold most posses I put them in without problem. While it’s true that the swivel joints on the VF-0S are not as tight as on the 1/48 VF-1 series, my personal experience with my VF-0S toys is that the joints are adequately tight. Comments on the Macrossworld forums though, ranged from members stating that the joints were “less tight” than the 1/48 VF-1, to describing the VF-0S as a “floppy mess”.

Other issues with the VF-0S included: -

  1. Lack of a locking mechanism on the extendible ankle, which results in the extended feet collapsing back into the leg under the weight of the toy.
  2. 2. Insufficient locking for the backpack in Battroid mode, meaning the backpack would not sit flush against the back-plate and actually leave a gap of 2mm – 3mm between the backpack and back-plate.

Yamato listed to the fans complaints and made a number of improvements to the VF-0A’s joints, specifically: -

  1. Swivel joints located above the knee significantly tightened.
  2. Swivel joints located on the upper arm (above the elbow, but below the bicep) significantly tightened. A Philips head screw was also added to the back of the bicep to improve tightness.
  3. Backpack locking hinge tightened so that the backpack will now sit flush against the back-plate in Battroid mode with no gap.
  4. A locking mechanism added to the extendible ankles, to prevent them collapsing under the toy’s weight.
VF-0A & VF-0S Comparison
Arm Comparison
Back Comparison
Pilot Comparison

Some owners of the VF-0A have reported receiving toys with tighter shoulder joints, but I haven’t personally experienced this on my three VF-0A.

VF-0A with VF-0S


I love the Yamato VF-0A. To me it’s the perfect blend of great looks, awesome features and fantastic articulation. It’s definitely my favorite Macross toy from Yamato so far. In fact I think I even slightly prefer it to Yamato’s long-awaited and recently released 1/60 scale YF-19 (although the YF-19 is a very close second).

The only things I can think of to improve about the toy would be Tampo printed tail fin markings, stiffer hinged wrist joints and possibly slightly beefed-up shoulder joints, in light of the recent worrying (but still limited) reports of shoulder breakage (see post script below).


Post Script

Problems to Date

As of 28th December 2006, nine Macrossworld forum members have reported having stress marks and/or cracks in the grey plastic shoulder/bicep area of their VF-0A and VF-0S toys. Photos of this problem are shown below. It is not known at this time what is causing this problem, which seems more prevalent in the VF-0A. Some members have suggested it might be caused by over-tightening of the additional bicep screw on the VF-0A at the factory.

Broken VF-0A Shoulder
Broken VF-0S Shoulder

Thankfully, given the large number of toys produced, the quantity of toys being reported with broken shoulders is statistically very small, although this is not much comfort to those that have encountered this breakage with their toys. At least one unlucky Macrossworld forum member even reported receiving his VF-0A with the shoulder already broken in the box! Hopefully, this will not turn into another VF-11B broken hip pandemic!

On the bright side, if this does happen to your VF-0 toy, the breakage does seem fairly easy to repair with either epoxy or crazy glue and depending on the exact location of the crack, it may be fully or partially hidden by the external shoulder armor, so will not be so visible and not spoil the look of the toy.

I have reported this matter to Yamato and it will be interesting to see what their response is and whether the problem is also being reported by Japanese customers.

I myself have not encountered this problem and thankfully my three VF-0A and four VF-0S are all in perfect health, despite a couple of them taking some nasty falls from 3 feet high onto a hard wood floor. Despite this problem, I still consider the VF-0A/S to be very sturdy toys and continue to transform them in my normal rough manner.