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What will Hasegawa do next?


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2 hours ago, kajnrig said:

Yeah, I dig this new release - was there a previous release that included the HMMs? - but I have to wonder if Hasegawa have decided to move away from Macross now. There are a veritable smorgasbord of designs from Macross that they could tackle to make a good profit, but they're letting them all go to Wave et al instead... to say nothing of the distinct lack of Gerwalk/Battroid/1:48 kits.

to be serious though:

  • We don't know the state of their license agreement with BW
  • It's 2020, and everything is taking longer than everyone would like
  • We don't know what [if any] key people related to this segment of their business may be ill/done for because of "the Coof"
  • We don't know what future plans they have in the works, and as above: how they've been disrupted

... between this and the HMR thread, which are mostly legit complaints to be sure, I'm starting to feel like we just need to chill and have a little faith, baby.:D

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5 hours ago, kajnrig said:

Yeah, I dig this new release - was there a previous release that included the HMMs? - but I have to wonder if Hasegawa have decided to move away from Macross now. There are a veritable smorgasbord of designs from Macross that they could tackle to make a good profit, but they're letting them all go to Wave et al instead... to say nothing of the distinct lack of Gerwalk/Battroid/1:48 kits.

I dig it too. I'll get one for sure.

There's a lot of other VFs out there, but it seems like Hasegawa is sticking to stuff that's shown up in the shows/movies.

The only one that really baffles me is the lack of VF-171 since there's multiple versions and it's in multiple shows (I think). Seems like it would be worth doing.

I can't really see Hasegawa doing obscure video game and artbook stuff.

That said, I really wish they'd get around to the following:

Tornado Messiah (at least it showed up in a movie)

Armored VF-25

YF-29 Durandal (at least it showed up in a movie, also)

YF-30 Chronos

Armored VF-31 (actually I wish Bandai would do this too)

VF-2SS Valkyrie II (at least it was in a show)

Edited by KOG Water Dragon
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21 hours ago, TMBounty_Hunter said:

Is there really that much profit to be had from Macross models though? Surely Hasegawa has always been doing the math all along. Macross has always been only a tiny fraction of their output and they're still primarily a manufacturer of military and other "traditional" models. If their choice is between making a new mold for some old WWII subject that'll appeal to modelers everywhere vs a Macross design that's only for a bunch of otaku then what's the more financially responsible decision?

Plus the VF-1 is probably like 80-90% of Macross related merch out there and they already have that covered. I'm sure lots of people on this forum would love a 1/48 YF-21 and related VF-22 repops, but that's maybe a few hundred sales at most? Going a bit broader in the west going to model shows there's usually a few 1/72 Macross kits entered, maybe even half a dozen to a dozen per show but since it came out I've seen the 1/48 VF-19 only twice. There's absolutely more demand in Japan but really how much? 10k production run? That's on the far low end of typical model runs and some would claim isn't enough to cover the cost of the molds. With majority of those being bought and sitting in people's closet for years and years because we already got mountains of a backlog? If it was worthwhile for Hasegawa then we'd see way more 1/48 YF-19 and VF-19 decal variants since that requires no new molds but we've only ever got one almost a decade ago.

Any new mold decisions would also be influence by possibility of cross-promotion and right now there's nothing really happening until the new Delta movie some out.

There's really only 3 routes left if you want a company to make a kit:
1. give up and forget about it

2. keep posting about how it's not in any way viable and how it'll never happen to the point where it's a shock and a surprise when it does in half a decade to a decade

3. start a scratch-building project and by the time you're half-way done they'll announce it to spite you personally

:P

I don't know what Hasegawa's marketing strategy is, because if we see it in military model launches there haven't been many in recent years either, for example, in 1/48 the last new molds that I know of are the F-22 in 2009 and the Growler in 2011, after those I think the last military mold is in 1/72, the F-35 in 2018, that's it.

Hasegawa from what I see his new casts are mostly dedicated to Science Fiction, the Creator Works Series came to mind now.

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I'm actually kinda curious how Hasegawa measures up with development and production capacity vs all their neighbors in Shizuoka . It seems that overall Hasegawa much more than any other manufacturer relies on re-releases, whether it's just a decal swap or adding a resin figure. They also don't seem to have any product lines speficially aimed at kids , RC or Mini 4WD like Tamiya and Bandai do. Less diverse lines of products lead to less risk I guess?

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On 12/9/2020 at 12:24 AM, Bolt said:

Are we seeing the slow decline..?

So I just couldn't stop thinking about it and decided to take a look if there's any actual trends or not.

Here is as far as I could tell all the Hasegawa cartoon robot releases from the Macross franchise.
Years alternate white/grey for easier readability. Red entries I consider irrelevant but they fill the SKU voids.
Release dates were initially sources from Hobby Search and HLJ but then at least the year was verified with the Model Graphix Macross Modeling Catalog ~Hasegawa no Tsubasa~ (ISBN978-4-499-23227-2). Hasegawa's own website has a nasty habit of listing the date of the last re-release instead of original release date.

Spoiler

hauB3Vz.png


After spending an evening getting that together now came the much harder part of deciding what's "New" and what's a re-release/re-box etc. There's about a million ways you could break this down. Adding Super parts probably counts for a "New" kit? Does changing it to a two-seater count? Where do the limited resin figures drop in? You could probably have 10-page long forum threads arguing about this.

To keep it as simple as possible I've settled on it needing to be a "whole new machine", kinda like that occasional 新型機!? exclamation in the animes. So for this definition it needs to be either a whole new model of fighter or a substantially different form of it. Taking VF-1 for example we start with the Valkyrie kits, then the Battroid is a whole new kit, and we also count the Gerwalk as a whole new machine since despite using some Valk parts it has lots of newly molded parts that present a new configuration. Super Packs, EWACS, other strap-ons I'm calling decorative and not new machines.

So here's the list of what I decided is "New" and the year of original release:

1/72 VF-1 Valkyrie - 2000
1/72 YF-19 - 2002
1/72 VF-1 Battroid - 2002
1/72 YF-21 - 2002
1/72 VF-0 - 2004
1/72 Sv-51 - 2004
1/72 VF-0 Battroid - 2006
1/48 YF-19 - 2009
1/48 VF-1 - 2010
Egg  VF-1 - 2010
1/72 VF-11 - 2011
Egg  YF-19 - 2012
1/72 VF-25 - 2013
1/72 VF-1 Gerwalk - 2014
1/4000 SDF-1 - 2015
1/4000 SDF-1 Attacker - 2016
1/72 Sv-262 - 2016
1/72 VF-31 - 2017

And here's a bar graph to visualize "New" vs reboxes

6oWCPMl.jpg

 

I'm honestly encouraged by this. The last decade has been pretty solid with every year on average having one new machine and being padded out with 5-6 variants of previous ones.

In the end though I still think when new molds are being considered the priority will be given to something shiny and current that can be cross-promoted and in the next year that'll probably be something from the new Delta movie. Though we can always dream of seeing giant dinner-plate sized parts for a 1/48 YF-21...

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Yipes. That's dedication to a cause.

Anyway, for whatever reason I wasn't expecting preorders to already be up, but HLJ has a preorder page:

https://www.hlj.com/1-72-scale-vf-19a-svf-440-dullahan-s-w-fast-pack-high-maneuver-missile-hsg65870

By the by, since I was already perusing, they have the "SVF-559 Lightnings w/ High Maneuver Missiles" listed as In-Stock (3-5 Days)

https://www.hlj.com/1-72-scale-vf-19a-svf-559-lightnings-w-high-maneuver-missiles-hsg65799

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One interesting thing that came up during this is that 65786 VF-1A "Rollout 001" is missing from all the usual online store back catalogs. Not Out of Stock or Discontinues, just completely missing. Was it an event exclusive kit? The typical red label that's on limited kits doesn't just say LIMITED EDITION on it but intead Feb.2009 マクロス進宙式記念. So was this an event kit instead of a regular release? Now that I think about it that list is also missing the 65160 Kawamori Expo YF-19 but should event kits really count toward this?

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13 minutes ago, TMBounty_Hunter said:

One interesting thing that came up during this is that 65786 VF-1A "Rollout 001" is missing from all the usual online store back catalogs. Not Out of Stock or Discontinues, just completely missing. Was it an event exclusive kit? The typical red label that's on limited kits doesn't just say LIMITED EDITION on it but intead Feb.2009 マクロス進宙式記念. So was this an event kit instead of a regular release? Now that I think about it that list is also missing the 65160 Kawamori Expo YF-19 but should event kits really count toward this?

Ya the Rollout 001 wasn't sold through normal channels. I don't know the specifics of its release, but I got mine through Y!J auctions.

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19 hours ago, TMBounty_Hunter said:

So I just couldn't stop thinking about it and decided to take a look if there's any actual trends or not.

Here is as far as I could tell all the Hasegawa cartoon robot releases from the Macross franchise.
Years alternate white/grey for easier readability. Red entries I consider irrelevant but they fill the SKU voids.
Release dates were initially sources from Hobby Search and HLJ but then at least the year was verified with the Model Graphix Macross Modeling Catalog ~Hasegawa no Tsubasa~ (ISBN978-4-499-23227-2). Hasegawa's own website has a nasty habit of listing the date of the last re-release instead of original release date.

  Reveal hidden contents

hauB3Vz.png


After spending an evening getting that together now came the much harder part of deciding what's "New" and what's a re-release/re-box etc. There's about a million ways you could break this down. Adding Super parts probably counts for a "New" kit? Does changing it to a two-seater count? Where do the limited resin figures drop in? You could probably have 10-page long forum threads arguing about this.

To keep it as simple as possible I've settled on it needing to be a "whole new machine", kinda like that occasional 新型機!? exclamation in the animes. So for this definition it needs to be either a whole new model of fighter or a substantially different form of it. Taking VF-1 for example we start with the Valkyrie kits, then the Battroid is a whole new kit, and we also count the Gerwalk as a whole new machine since despite using some Valk parts it has lots of newly molded parts that present a new configuration. Super Packs, EWACS, other strap-ons I'm calling decorative and not new machines.

So here's the list of what I decided is "New" and the year of original release:

1/72 VF-1 Valkyrie - 2000
1/72 YF-19 - 2002
1/72 VF-1 Battroid - 2002
1/72 YF-21 - 2002
1/72 VF-0 - 2004
1/72 Sv-51 - 2004
1/72 VF-0 Battroid - 2006
1/48 YF-19 - 2009
1/48 VF-1 - 2010
Egg  VF-1 - 2010
1/72 VF-11 - 2011
Egg  YF-19 - 2012
1/72 VF-25 - 2013
1/72 VF-1 Gerwalk - 2014
1/4000 SDF-1 - 2015
1/4000 SDF-1 Attacker - 2016
1/72 Sv-262 - 2016
1/72 VF-31 - 2017

And here's a bar graph to visualize "New" vs reboxes

6oWCPMl.jpg

 

I'm honestly encouraged by this. The last decade has been pretty solid with every year on average having one new machine and being padded out with 5-6 variants of previous ones.

In the end though I still think when new molds are being considered the priority will be given to something shiny and current that can be cross-promoted and in the next year that'll probably be something from the new Delta movie. Though we can always dream of seeing giant dinner-plate sized parts for a 1/48 YF-21...

Wow , man. Good job!

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@TMBounty_Hunter We probably all have Hasegawa kits sitting in our stash or on the workbench originally dating back to the 70's that we're working on. There's another data point for you.;) Their quality has staying power over the years and they're doing a good job competing with all the variety and cheap kits coming out of China. It's tough managing a hobby company these days. It's not a job I would take (unless it was in R&D). - MT

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@MechTech , Ok, soo...I have to admit, I've never built a Hasegawa kit. I have a Hase 1:48 F-22 in my to build pile, along with the 1:72 YF-19 and YF-21, what makes them so revered?  I've done my share of modern Bandai kits and I know they aren't on that level of epic engineering, but what is it about them that makes people like them so much, I've watched others builds around here over the years and they don't seem to have perfect fit and finish, so I ask those who have them, what's the draw? Is it just because they do the "best" Macross kits out there? 

Edited by derex3592
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@Bolt Thanks Bolt!

@derex3592 I think you can liken it to Texas. Yeah, Texas. If you ask people what state reminds them of crude oil production, BBQ, and guns, everyone would be like, "Texas." I just asked my teenage son and he said the same things!:lol: It's the reputation I suppose and a lot of good model memories.

Hasegawa has been around for decades and (most of us;)) have been building their kits for that long. They have a good reputation for quality. They are not perfect, but have made a lot of cool subjects over the past decades and now Macross kits (which many were excited about when they first started). For example, I have an original 1/72 Hasegawa Kawanishi "Emily" H8K2. It's a big kit originally tooled in 1967! It is still a great kit with lots of extras like a tractor, moving flying surfaces, and the flaps actually extend out on rails like real aircraft. Of course it's outdated and now retooled. Hasegawa's quality has been consistently good over the decades. I am currently building a 1/72 Humber Mk II armored car (on the side) originally tooled in 1975. It has excellent fit and detailing. The axles are metal and the wheels actually spin freely on the axles. It is still probably one of the best models of that subject in that scale. This will be the third time I have built this kit over the years and I forgot how nice it is.

Hasegawa has also put out a lot of cool accessories and stuff that no one else did yet like ground crews, weapons and ground support vehicles. Only Tamiya had done that in the earlier days as separately sold accessories. Hasegawa is still doing it with Macross weapons and detailing sets today.

Like I said, they are not perfect. Most of my modeling club members say that if you put Tamiya parts in a bad and shake it, it just comes together on its own. Hasegawa probably comes in second along with the high-end Eduard kits. Sorry for the "book," but it is a "story" going back several decades. - MT

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3 hours ago, derex3592 said:

@MechTech , Ok, soo...I have to admit, I've never built a Hasegawa kit. I have a Hase 1:48 F-22 in my to build pile, along with the 1:72 YF-19 and YF-21, what makes them so revered?  I've done my share of modern Bandai kits and I know they aren't on that level of epic engineering, but what is it about them that makes people like them so much, I've watched others builds around here over the years and they don't seem to have perfect fit and finish, so I ask those who have them, what's the draw? Is it just because they do the "best" Macross kits out there? 

Hasegawa makes their Macross kits just like their aircraft kits, where Bandai's are like their Gundam kits. This is not a knock against Bandai, it's just how the different Macross lines evolved considering each companies' bread-and-butter.

Hasegawa's plastic is less soft and finicky than Bandai's [certain products used for modelling will eat/degrade Bandai's plastic, and I've never run into such an issue with Hasegawa's plastic].

There's no added complication of inner frames/transformation-gimmicks involved, making them easier and cheaper to build, and no concerns about gaps/sagging related to said gimmicks.

They also tend to have better [finer, crisper] small details. The plastic used is probably a contributing factor. I say "tend to" because Bandai isn't bad, and they're getting better, but they're not on Hase's level.

And they don't cost as much as a Wave kit does... the Hasegawa Macross line is quite comparable $-wise to other Hasegawa kits in the same scale/size, and look not-one-bit out of place next to a real-world fighter.

The real draw is for anyone who is used to building "Regular aircraft kits" as there's no surprises.

 

Add to the consideration Hasegawa's usual Cartograph-quality waterslide decals [even when/if they're not actually printed by Cartograph] vs Bandai's maddening insistence on stickers/having a comic-book-esque dot-matrix printing effect to the waterslides they do make, and the Hasegawa kits are straight winners... except the 1/72 VF-1 series' leg-droop, which tbh, is rather easily compensated for.

 

and like @MechTech said: accessories!

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In my opinion Hasegawa and Bandai have complete polar opposite priorities when it comes to making model kits.

The absolute, top priority for Bandai is gimmicks, and this isn't me just trying to use a word that some consider a pejorative when defending Bandai products. That's the actual word Bandai uses (ギミック) in lots of their promotional martials when pointing out features like transformation, pose-ability, multi-color or multi-layer injections, or their proprietary KPS plastic that allows them to eliminate polycaps at the cost of breaking down and cracking from some weathering products, etc. The gimmicks is what will dictate everything from parts breakdown to proportion and design accuracy. That last part really isn't a priority what-so-ever. Bandai has long and storied history of redesigning and reinterpreting subjects simply for the sake of redesigning them. Will adding the transformation or any other gimmick make the kit no longer accurate to the lineart? Bandai don't care. Gimmicks will always take top priority.

The next high priority on Bandai's list is ease of construction. Sure this could count as a gimmick but it's worth exploring in detail. Bandai has been the king of snap kits for 30-ish years at this point and the whole time they've been pushing further and further in that direction. Some of the products they have now don't even require tools, the instruction show you can just rip the parts off the runner! Bandai's target audience isn't modelers, it's everyone on the planet. They know that 95% of the kits they sell will only ever be snapped and never see a lick of paint and that's entirely intentional by product design and marketing. They've steadfastly pursued reducing the effort the builder needs to put in to make the subject look like what's on the box. From proper color molding, glueless construction, hiding seamlines and other "quality of life" improvements Bandai has made it so that even if your hands are growing out of your ass you can still snap one of their kits together without a problem.

Bandai's last high priority is mold utility. They know they'll be using these molds for 40+ years because they still use molds from 40+ years ago today. Thus the parts layout (and to a certain extent level of detail) is dictated by not just preserving mold life, but also making it easy to lock away certain portions of it to be able to use the mold for variant kits. They've always had "locks" on their molds that can redirect plastic to either not mold certain pieces or mold them in a different color but that has increased exponentially now that they have the P-Bandai store where designs with less "mass market appeal" can be thrown up with maybe adding one or two new molds and locking out some unneeded parts on the base kit's molds.

Pretty much the only exception to the above in recent Bandai history is their Star Wars ships. This is the only time Bandai has demonstrated reverence to the source material and the true capability of their molding quality, with detail pretty much a whole order of magnitude sharper than anything present in their Gundam kits. And their Macross kits are sadly far more like their Gundam kits than their Star Wars kits. The only saving grace for their Frontier and Delta kits is those designs had a physically consistent transformation gimmick from the very start so not as much fudging took place.

Meanwhile, when you look at Hasegawa they're just trying and make an accurate, sharply detailed model kit faithfully representing the subject. Sure you have to glue and paint and eliminate seams and maybe rescribe some detail but they trust that the people who buy their kits either have or are willing to learn those skills. While they might still be reusing some ancient molds and they may be iffy by today's standards but they sure were fantastic at the time they came out. MechTech mentioned the old Emily kit, and I think it's worth mentioning their new one that they put out in 2017, 50 years after their original kit. My god, the fine detail, both interior and exterior, the 11 crew figures. It's just amazing all around and has resulted in some astonishing builds that make you thing it's either real or at least a gigantic studio-scale hero model for some movie and not just a 1/72 scale kit available to an everyday consumer. And that kind of care and detail and trust in the abilities of the modeler is what Hasegawa puts into their Macross kits. Sure it's more work, but the work is the fun part, right? After that it's off to the shelf to gather dust!

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  • 4 weeks later...

It's not Macross, but the 1/72 Harpy looks great and it's only about $20. - MT

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  • 2 weeks later...
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Anyone think there's a chance Hasegawa (or others) will make some Macross 7 kits? I liked the series, but there were never that many kits/toys for it. Come on Hasegawa! :D

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Very excited to reproduce "Operation Phantom Sword" the SVF-440 is among my favorite in universe schemes.

635A0DF1-E8F6-4903-BB0B-7F67C04DD26A.thumb.jpeg.8547956e6b311639d41c66bf64896e29.jpeg

Now i just need the fold boosters (2 per Valk!) in 1/72..

93F0910E-272A-4694-94DB-0F325CEA83A2.thumb.jpeg.6643fca531684782c079c700e9798ed7.jpeg

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On 1/24/2021 at 7:02 PM, Bolt said:

Very excited to reproduce "Operation Phantom Sword" the SVF-440 is among my favorite in universe schemes.

635A0DF1-E8F6-4903-BB0B-7F67C04DD26A.thumb.jpeg.8547956e6b311639d41c66bf64896e29.jpeg

Now i just need the fold boosters (2 per Valk!) in 1/72..

93F0910E-272A-4694-94DB-0F325CEA83A2.thumb.jpeg.6643fca531684782c079c700e9798ed7.jpeg

Why does it have two fold pods?

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On 11/6/2020 at 2:51 PM, KOG Water Dragon said:

This is great news for me since I've been wanting to grab an extra 1 or 2 Black Aces kits.

I just got my notice from HLJ yesterday that the Black Aces kits arrived, and my three are on the way. Really glad to see them release that model again - it’s my all-time favorite of the squadron schemes, since it includes the Super decals. I’m planning to build several different aircraft from the squadron and eventually use the decals from one kit to build a Black Aces Super Battroid.

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12 hours ago, Bolt said:

Awesome! Who does the box art? Is that Tenjin's work?

Yes, Tenjin Hidetaka is behind these boxarts.

20210208_131156.jpg

Edited by ivorysniper
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It's probably been brought up about a million times by now, but I could really use a VF-1J in GBP armor from Hasegawa.

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