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The Curious Case of the Red HCM Macross Figurines

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The Curious Case of the Red Hi-Complete Model Macross Figurines.....


So a fews weeks ago, a Yahoo Japan seller of very good repute listed an odd pair of Macross collectibles.

It was a pair of Hikaru and Minmay HCM figurines.  Although rare to find Macross HCM figures sold individually, what made this pair especially interesting was that they were red and made of the flexible rubber material used for many of the keshigomu of the day, instead of the hard white resin-like material used for the figures included in the actual Macross HCM valkyries.

To make things even stranger, the seller claimed that the figurines were actually made by Takatoku Toys!

As the seller details in his listing (Google translation):

Takatoku seems to be a privilege figure made with the schedule to be attached when the DX variable strike Valkyrie that is tailored to the theater at the end of the year was released. 
Because of the bankruptcy the product launch shifted to Bandai, only Min - Mei comes with a small stand with a stand figure It was not released and it seems that there has been a history of flowing out to the wholesale street of Asakusabashi at that time. 

In short, the seller seems to claim that the figurines were actually intended to be included with the release of a Takatoku- branded Strike Valkyrie DX (presumably the 1/55 that was ultimately released by Bandai after it acquired the 1/55 molds from Takatoku Toys due to its bankruptcy).

Could this possibly be true?  Maybe.

Takatoku Toys did release several keshigomu toys in it's Macross line.  They also included keshigomu figurines in some of its toys as "freebies"....just like the seller claims Takatoku had planned to do with the rubber HCM figurines and their planned Takatoku-branded 1/55 Strike Valkyrie.  

There is only one toy that I know for certain that was in the planning stages and was to be released by Takatoku Toys, but was then released under the Bandai brand due to Takatoku Toys' demise. And that toy was the Hi-Comical Model VF-1S.  The Hi-Comical Model is teased in what may be one of Takatoku Toy's final promo materials....

The Takatoku Toys Co, Ltd Hobby & Toy Vol 2 booklet:


Incidentally....this booklet also teases a Hi-Comical Model of the Orguss Orgroid.....



So perhaps these keshigomu Hikaru and Minmay figures were part of a product sample to be shown to Takatoku Toys retailers at the time...who knows.

Anyway, enough speculation....here are the pics....both figurines have what appears to be more detail than the actual HCM white figurines that eventually were included with the Bandai Hi-Complete Model VF-1 series and not the Bandai Hi-Metal 1/55 Strike Valkyrie, as the seller describes was the original intent of Takatoku Toys.  You can see additional detail on the Minmay figurines, especially in the creases of her neck and waist ribbons compared to the white HCM figurine....


































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So Bandai got the JM molds from Takatoku? I thought they were true Bandai products. Did the HI Complete Model also start at Takatoku? Could the detail difference just relate to the different material used?  Seems odd the mold would be different.  I don't know toy manufacturing, maybe a prototype mold for a few pieces not made of steel and a production mold later produced in steel? 

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Based on the booklet, which was a Takatoku promotional item, I would have to say yes...the JM was developed by Takatoku but ultimately released as a Bandai.

A google translation of the article makes no mention of the name "Hi-Comical Model" so perhaps that toyline name was a Bandai "invention"....the article also mentions a May release for the JM....presumably in 1984....but Takatoku went out of business before DYRL even hit the theatres in August.  One can only imagine all the backroom deals going on that year to get Macross DYRL toys out to coincide with the movie.  And if the story behind these red rubber figures is to be believed, Takatoku had every intention to be the company that would be releasing those Macross DYRL toys.  

Oh well, at least the demise of Takatoku lead Bandai to "create" the Macross Hi-Metal line....which just recently has once again been given some R-evival and R-espect...although IMO it would have been better to reserve "Hi-Metal" for Macross only.  But as long as we get more Macross via the HMR line, it doesn't matter that much I suppose.

As for the HCM...I am pretty sure that was totally a Bandai created toy line, as it includes mecha from several other shows.  Incidentally, it is the same marketing model now being used on the HMR line.  I guess Bandai knows what it's doing.


Edited by jvmacross

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