Thanks to the kind people at Yamato I was today
I was able to examine and photograph a production version of the long
awaited VF-11B about a week before it goes on sale in Japan.
Wow, what can I say. I love this toy! It is well
articulated, relatively easy to transform and very poseable.
Although it is still
early days so far the toy seem to be very sturdy as well. They
only thing I can think of that might break is the head laser if the toy
were dropped onto a hard surface. The answer? Duh.....be careful with
your toys and don't drop them!
However, less you think
I'm being paid to sing the praises of the Yamato, let me say that all is not
perfect! There is one disappointing part, but more about that later.
In my opinion Yamato has perfectly captured the
look of the VF-11 in all three modes. The battroid and Gerwalk modes look
great and can adopt spread leg stances with ease. The fighter mode is just
so streamlined. My chunky YF-19 fighters are embarrassed to be seen sitting
next to the sleek and slim VF-11B :-)
The only negative points to the appearance are
the big hinges under the wing roots in fighter mode and the vertical
metal slider bars on the shoulders in battroid mode. However to be fair to
Yamato because of the complicated nature of the VF-11's shoulder/backpack
transformation there was really no other way that Yamato could
have designed this toy and still made it durable enough. Personally I can
live with these small inaccuracies in appearance.
Improvements from the Pre-Production
The toy I examined was one of the first off the
production line. So, how does it compare to the pre-production sample
I reviewed on April 8th?
Well on the earlier pre-production sample, some
of the joints were quite loose. I'm happy to report that on the production
version this has been fixed and all the joints are nice and tight.
The production version's paint job has also
been improved with the black and orange trim being much tidier with no paint
over-runs. Overall I was very impressed with the quality of the paint job.
The VF-11B comes with the same precut sticker sheet
as was sold with the YF-19 second version and the YF-21. A small supplementary
sticker sheet containing 8 UN Spacy signs in low-profile blue and gray colors
is also included (see picture).
The VF-11B actually comes with two cockpit covers
made of a very thin vacuumed formed plastic. The black outline and white 'wing'
symbol are neatly spray painted on the covers.
The covers come on a single on a single sheet of
plastic and must be cut from the sheet by hand.
To do this I recommend using a small pair of nail scissors. I also tried it
with a craft knife, but found it easier to follow the curving outline with
So, why does the VF-11B come with two covers? Well,
I guess Yamato thought it was safer to give customers a spare cover in case
the customer screwed up cutting the first one.
Also the plastic used is very thin could possible crack or split if not
handled with reasonable care so having a spare is a good idea.
So how does the cockpit cover attach to the toy?
Well, it's like this, you are supposed to stick a piece of double sided sticky
tape onto the inside of the cover so that it can stick to the cockpit canopy
in battroid mode. Oh, and the sticky tape is not included with the toy!
To be honest I'm a little disappointed with these
cockpit covers and they are not entirely what I was expecting. When I first
examined a hand made sculpture of the VF-11B back in January 2001, the cockpit
cover was made of a slightly thicker plastic and fitted firmly onto the canopy
without need of any sticky tape. Why the change? I don't know, but I will
This toy gets a 9 out of
10 from me. I would have given it a 10 if not for the cockpit cover which
is a bit of a let down in my opinion, but maybe I'm being a bit too harsh.
Since 1994 I've wanted a toy of the VF-11 and now
thanks to Yamato I finally have one.