Ever since I was 14 years old and first discovered Macross, the one thing that I’ve always enjoyed most was the model box art. I never thought of myself as collecting plastic model kits, I always thought of it as collecting ART! I remember going every week to a San Diego hobby store called “Models Emporium”, and walking past the jets and the tanks and the soldiers to get to the treasures…the Macross kits! On the back wall there was everything…the Imai 1/72 Variable Valkyrie with its striking black background, or the VF-1J with the full size fighter on blue. 1/72 Regults and Glaugs. 1/5000 Macross. Of course at the time those larger kits were well beyond what my meager allowance would allow. Scraping up all my lunch money I could afford some 1/170 Imai or 1/200 Nichimo kits though! (To satisfy my 1/72 addiction I did find some solace in the Revell Robotech Changers from K-Mart for $9.99. Yes on the box it had backwards legs and a crazy name, but “I” knew what it really was! Ha!)
Over the decades my appreciation for this box art has not waivered, much to my family’s disappointment. The one downside to collecting this ‘art’ over so many years is that it is so BULKY! Whenever I have moved, I find myself with a couple dryer sized boxes that weigh a net 5 pounds each. 🙂 You can see many of the items in the Macross World Legacy Models pages.
But back to the main story…One of, if not THE best box art artist, is Yoshiyuki Takani. You could always tell his art from other artists, usually just at a glance. The shapes were somehow “mechanically organic’ and always had something,not sure what the word is, but I will call it 3D ‘weight’ to them. Go get one of his many books and you’ll soon appreciate his work as much as I have over the years. Even newer generations of artists, such as the incredibly talented Tenjin(who should have is own section!), are creating their new art in Takani’s famous style. Browse the Macross Chronicle magazines and you’ll immediately see the tribute to the past.
In 2011, a large lot of Takani’s original paintings appeared on the Yahoo Japan Auction site, where they were picked up by Japanese collectors anywhere from $500 to $3000 each. There were items from Macross, Orguss and the Galvion series to mention a few. This was a once in a lifetime event! I do not know the story behind how or why these works appeared, but if you happen to have some insight, please shed some light for us in the forums. Over the months I saved off many of the jaw dropping auction pictures, and thought I’d share them with you if you missed some of them.