Macross Newsletter #42


thm_news42_rimg0034.jpgthm_news42_rimg0035.jpg thm_news42_rimg0047.jpgthm_news42_rimg0048.jpgthm_news42_rimg0046.jpg



I've just bought some of the new Yamato Macross VF-X2 game color version VF-19A toys. Now there's some good news and some bad news.
First, the good news. As earlier reported in my exclusive of 22nd June 2001 ( ) Yamato have redesigned the toy's knees to eliminate the ugly gap present on the Macross Plus YF-19. As well as improving the appearance, this redesign also serves to greatly strengthen the knees, which have always been a weak point on the earlier YF-19 and prone to breakage if excessive or repeated sideways force is applied when disconnecting the forearm tabs from the lower legs during transformation from fighter to battroid mode. The new knee design on the VF-19A will definitely prevent all knee breakage. The only downside to this redesign is that the knees cannot bend as far forward for GERWALK mode as could the YF-19 thus giving the VF-19A a 'nose-up' appearance in GERWALK.
The other design change on the VF-19A is that the shield position has been slightly revised to reduce some of the gap between the end of the shield and the body in fighter mode.




The VF-19A toy comes in Yamato's standard size Macross box. Box art is fairly simple as you can see from the pictures. As others have already pointed out the pictures of the toy shown on the rear of the box are actually of an earlier mock-up with the old type knees.
A red card insert is used inside the box as a background to the toy instead of the sky and desert scenes used in the Macross Plus toys series inner box liners .


As a first for Yamato, the toy is secured in the box with twist-ties around the back, groin, wings and lower legs. While this doesn't affect the toy at all, twist-ties have always been a personal hate of mine.When I get a toy I want to take it out of the box at once. With the VF-19A the twist-ties were so securely twisted that I gave up trying to untie them by hand and ended up going in search of a pair of scissors just to free the toy.




Anyway, once out of the box the toy transforms very easily. In fact although transformation is identical to the YF-19, I somehow found it to be much smoother. Perhaps this is just because I am just very familiar with the toy though.

I'm not going to say anything else about the transformation as most readers here already YF-19 toys and the subject has been done to death anyway If you don't know how to transform one of these toys ,then please refer to the scanned pictures of the instruction sheet.



The Toy comes with two die-cut sticker sheets. The smaller sheet is the UN SPACY circle-kite emblems for placement on the nose and wing of the toy.
The larger sticker sheet is nearly the same as the one supplied with the YF-21 and VF-11B, except that the stickers showing the names of the Macross Plus pilots have been replaced by stickers with the names of the characters from the VF-X2 game.
Moving along, the paint job on the toy is also very good. with a nice matt finish to the black and blue parts. As others have already reported, the metal tabs on the chest and wings are bare metal which makes sense as paint would just come off these areas during transformation anyway. Some people have complained that they don't like the light blue color scheme, but that is the color the VF-19A is in the Playstation VF-X2 game, so if you don't like it then don't buy it ;-)
One negative thing about this toy is that in some areas the paint will scratch off fairly easily, especially around the feet. Unlike the YF-19, where the feet, upper arms and hands are moulded in blue plastic, the VF-19A's feet, upper arms and hands are actually made of white ABS plastic which has been painted a silverish-gray. In fact all the plastic parts on this toy are made of white ABS plastic which is then painted over in either blue, black or silver-gray. In my experience so far the silver paint seems to scratch much more easily than the blue and black painted parts.




Now for the bad news. Unfortunately, the toys are not without problems. Firstly, I have found that on 2 out of the 6 toys half the casting is missing from the metal ring located internally in the right lower ankle. (please see attached
pictures). The purpose of this metal ring is to hold the plastic ankle ratchet in place, and because the casting is incomplete it means that the internal two piece plastic ankle ratchet is not locked in place and rotates freely so that the ankle joint cannot lock and thus toy tends to topple over very easily in battroid mode . The fact that the only 2 out of 6 toys had this problem leads me to suspect that it occurred partway through the production run.
Also, another problem is that on 4 out of my 6 VF-19A toys the moveable pin on the lower-front of the gunpod that is used to connect the gunpod to fighter mode is very undersized and is much too small for the hole in the back of the toy. Basically this means that on 4 out of my 6 toys I cannot attach the gunpod in fighter mode.
Of cause, it is always possible that I may have gotten the only fluke toys with these problems, but at the moment we won't know until more start showing up with Macross World forum members so that we can get more feedback.

The VF-19A is a nice toy, but if at all possible I would check the toy before you buy (which unfortunately you can only do by removing it from the box). Otherwise if the problems with the right ankle and gunpod are likely to bother you, then you may want to consider delaying purchase until the factory has solved the above-mentioned problems.

***Update 08/24/01***
If you happen to have an affected Yamato VF-19 with either right ankle casting problem, or a gun too small, please email
Its been 2 weeks after the initial release, and the number of affected toys appears to have been very,very low.