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 Part 2 of a 3 part series

There's a new king in the VF-1 toy wars and his name is Yamato!


Strong words, fighting words even? Well, yes, in my opinion the 1/60 scale Yamato VF-1 toy so outclasses both the Bandai 1/72 scale VF-1 HCM toys and the classic 1/55 scale Takatoku/Bandai Valks in the areas of detail, accuracy of appearance and articulation that there is really no competition.


Here's a list of points where I consider the Yamato VF-1 to be superior to the HCM and classic 1/55. See if you agree with me?


Areas where the Yamato is superior to the HCM and 1/55


In all three modes the Yamato captures the anime look of the VF-1 much better than the older toys. This is very apparent when comparing the Yamato to Studio Nue line-art of the VF-1. The 1/55 is just too damn chunky and has a very inaccurate nose sculpt (too short and fat). While the HCM looks fairly good, it also suffers from the same poor nose job, a lack of detail in some areas and poor proportioning in others (more on this below).


The Yamato VF-1 offers nearly perfect proportion in all three modes compared with the HCM and 1/55. Although the HCM looks fairly good in fighter and gerwalk modes, in battroid mode it suffers from a small flattened head, over-elongated torso and a backpack which sits much too high up.  On the other hand, the classic 1/55 offers fairly balanced proportions in all three modes but as mentioned above, suffers from excessive chunkiness. This is all the more apparent when viewed next to the Yamato.


The Yamato has many more engraved panel lines than both the 1/55 and HCM, especially on the chest and back plates areas. Surprisingly, the HCM, which most people think of as being more detailed than the 1/55 actually has fewer panel lines than the 1/55.


The Yamato has much more engraved on and painted detail than the HCM and 1/55. A prime example of this is the many circle-bar verniers, which are engraved and painted on the Yamato, but on the HCM and 1/55 are supplied only as stickers, which will peel off with time. Some other details which are painted on the Yamato, but are only supplied as stickers on the HCM and 1/55 include the red circle on the ankles, the small black rectangle containing two red circles on the bottom of the back of the lower legs.


The Yamato is much more articulated and thus more poseable than the HCM and the near wooden 1/55. The Yamato has ball joints on both the shoulders and hips for greater poseability, a rotating waist/nose joint and a lower-leg rotation point, which both the HCM and 1/55 lack. All these features add so much to the poseability of the Yamato. Also the Yamato features rotating wrists, which the HCM has but the 1/55 does not.


The Yamato can also adopt a near perfect anime spread leg stance in Gerwalk mode which the HCM and 1/55 have no hope of matching.


The Yamato has flush hidden hinges on the backpack and tail fins. The HCM and 1/55 have exposed ugly raised hinges that spoil the appearance. In fighter mode


In fighter mode, the Yamato's chest plate offers a flush fit with the rear of the cockpit, which greatly improves the appearance. On the HCM & 1/55 the chest plate is raised above the level of the cockpit, which is unrealistic and very ugly in my opinion, and does not match how the fighter appears in the anime.


The Yamato has four each of both the UMM7-Micro-Missile pods and AMM-1 triple missile clusters. Out of all the 1/55 toys, only the Strike Valkyrie comes with two AMM-1 triple missile clusters, which attach with ugly over-wing clips. Even the HCM only comes with four AMM-1 triple missile clusters, but no UMM-7 pods.


Every external screw on the Yamato is hidden, compared with the HCM and 1/55 which have many exposed crews. In fact on the Yamato, it is only the screws that are on the inside of the chest and back plates that are not covered, and they are not visible anyway.


In fighter mode, the Yamato's feet can be moved up or down when closed to simulate thrust vectoring. The HCM and 1/55 toys cannot move their feet when they are in the closed position.


The Yamato VF-1 comes with a detailed painted cockpit interior and instrument panel sticker.  Both the 1/55 and HCM have unpainted cockpits, although the HCM does come with a pilot figure, it is somewhat lacking in detail.


The Yamato is the first VF-1 toy to feature a gunpod with opening rear cover and have the triple barrels visible at the muzzle. Neither the HCM nor 1/55 has these features. In fact on the 1/55, the gunpod cannot even attach in fighter mode.


The Yamato VF-1A uses translucent plastic for the eye-peice and shoulder searchlights, unlike the 1/55 and HCH which use stickers. Advantage Yamato!


Are The Old Toys Better Than The Yamato In any way?


Well yes, actually there are a few areas where I think the older toys are superior to the Yamato, but these are few and far between. In fact, I can think of only three areas where the older toys have a slight edge over the Yamato.


Firstly, The landing gear on the Yamato is not very detailed and is difficult to open without the use of a tool. The HCM is a clear winner here with it's super detailed landing gear.


Secondly, The Yamato's gunpod touches the ground in fighter mode. Again, the HCM is a winner here as it's gunpod is flush against the arms in fighter mode, with adequate clearance between the bottom of the ground and the gunpod.


Thirdly, only time will tell, but as strong as the Yamato VF-1 is, I think that the chunky 1/55 toys will still have a slight edge in long-term durability due to their large size, simple design and limited articulation.


ANDTHE WINNER IS……..????????


Well, without a doubt, in my mind the Yamato VF-1 is the clear winner in so many areas. It is an innovative design that is light years ahead of the competition. While the removable parts design may not please some traditionalists, the accuracy of appearance, superb detailing and excellent poseability more than make up for any perceived difficulty in transforming the toy.


Now, whenever I look at my 1/55 and HCM toys I just think how ugly and primitive.


So, move aside Takatoku, get lost Bandai, quake in fear Banpresto, run and hide Toynami. There is a new king in town!


The King (1/55) is dead, long live the King (Yamato)!





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