|Bandai : High Complete Model 1/72 VF-1A Kakizaki Type|
|Manufactured :||2003||Original Yen Price:||200 each|
|MW's Current Collectibility Rating:||EASY|
|MW's Max price we'd pay:||$20 for all|
As far as I know, there are no actual capsule machines selling these particular figures here in Hong Kong. However, like a great many gashapon toys, this Macross set is sold complete in most specialist hobby shops.
I first saw this set on Saturday March 1st, 2003 but decided not to buy it as (a) I was with my wife at the time and she would probably frown on yet another toy purchase and (b) the price for the set was HK$150 (approx. US$19.23). I figured that within a week the price would drop, boy was I wrong! So yesterday with the wife busy at work, I decided to head down to Mong Kok (one of HK's best areas for Japanese toys) and score a set of the figures.
Unfortunately, in every single shop I visited, even those that specialise only in gashapons, the sets were completely sold out, with only a very few shops having incomplete window display sets remaining. I was considering taking the subway over to the Causeway Bay and Wanchai districts (the other best areas for Japanese toys), for a long slog round the many toy and hobby shops, when finally I managed to locate a set in the last shop I visited in Mong Kok. The snag? Well, the owner wanted HK$230 (approx. US$29.49) for the complete set. Anyway, to cut a long story short, I decided to bite the bullet and cough up the outrageous asking price rather than face a potentially frustrating, not to mention tiring 2 hour trek round Causeway Bay and Wanchai.
Was it worth it I hear you cry? Yes! For their size (approx. 2.5 inches) these toys feature an amazing amount of articulation and can adopt some truly great poses. The VF-1 battroids feature a whopping 16 points of articulation and the Regults 14-16 points (depending on the configuration)! The battroids feature articulation of the neck, shoulders (2 axis), wrists, waist, hips, knee hinge and horizontal knee rotation. Even the front section of the foot can be positioned at different angles to simulate ankle mobility. I should note that the horizontal rotation points on the neck and the waist are at an angle to allow more dynamic poses.
The VF-1S's head lasers are also rotatable and the VF-1A's head laser can be unplugged and positioned to point either forward or backwards.The head lasers on the two VF-1J figures are fixed. About the only critiscm that I could find of the battroids is that there is no articulation of the elbows and the gunpod cannot be removed from the right hand.
The Strike Valk fighters obviously have the least articulation of the set, with only the wings being able to open and close and the head lasers being rotatable to point either forward or angled down. Only one display stand is supplied with the Focker Strike Valk, which incidentally does not come with a gunpod. The Hikaru Strike Valk on the other hand comes with a gunpod, but no display stand. The stand and guunpod are interchanchable between the two Strike Valks.
The two Regult figures also feature excellent articulation and can even balance on one foot! Points of articulation are found on the side thrusters mounted on the sides of the pod which rotate 360 defrees. the legs have three points of articulation a ball joint where they connect to the pod's main body and also two rotation points above and below the knee. The rear foot section is ball-jointed. The top main guns can also be swivelled and if the optional missile launchers are fitted, they can be rotated horizontally and also independently on the vertical plane.
Considering the small size of these figures the paint job is very good. Also, suprisingly, there is so far very little evidence of gashapon disease on these toys. About the only parts that suffer are the small 'whisker' guns on the Regults. What's more unlike many gashapon toys, these little figures feature pretty secure joints as most of the plug-in pegs that hold the toys together feature small ringed collars around the end of the peg to help the joint stay in tightly. So far, I have not had a limb or head accidentally detach from either the Battroids or the Regults, which is more than I can say for the Banpresto Perfect Transformation Macross Toys or a great many Gundam MSiA toys! Bandai's original Macross HG Collection # 1, which came out in 1999 looked great, but were essentially fixed pose, with extremely limited articulation and one major weakness, they fell apart incredibly easily! Basically, the peg-in-hole joints of the original series were not as tight as they should have been and as a result, if you breathed on the figures or even looked at them wrong they had a tendency to collapse in a pile of parts!
Pictures of the original Bandai HG Macross Collection # 1, See: -
EASY : These items
are consistently on auction sites or at local anime shops at very good prices
FAIR : These items appear frequently on auction sites or at local anime shops at relatively good prices
DIFFICULT : These items rarely appear on auction sites or at local anime shops at good prices
VERY DIFFICULT : Pop up every few months. Depending on demand can far exceed expected value. Usually hard-core collectors battle it out over weird stuff like this
BEND OVER : When these appear(sometimes frequently like the 1/55 valkyries) on auction sites or at anime shops be prepared to take out a small loan