It's hard to care for gerwalk until you see it in action and how truly functional it is. When I was a kid, I thought it was a dumb half-assed transformation. Now I think it's the coolest mode available.
As for Alphas, here's a post I made about them on a different forum:
I took advantage of the Christmas $40 sale robotech.com had on their alphas. I picked up Rook and Lancer.
I opened up Rook first. From my research on these, I knew you had to handle these like eggshells, especially the first time you transform them. So I did, and didn't really have any major problems. The one panel popped off, but that was because I was unaware that it needed to be flipped over before moving the shoulder into place. So after that, I diligently followed the directions to avoid any other needless popping.
Quality's decent. Most of the diecast is in the legs and upper chest. Unfortunately there were some QC problems with Rook. Both sets of rear landing gear are really loose. They're supposed to lock into place when you push them forward, but they don't. I guess some careful krazy glue apps could tighten up the joint if I wanted. The multi-jointed mechanism that leads to the head is loose too, so the head is a bit looser than I'd like, but its acceptable. The chest center is supposed to move out slightly so it's angled rather than flat, but its not budging, and I'm not going to force it.
When I opened up Lancer, I was really worried because something was clearly wrong with the left thruster/foot. Fortunately it was just rotated out of place and not a problem with the figure itself. Phew. First thing I check is the landing gear, and that's when I confirm that Rook's are not behaving the way they should. I was familiar with the transform now so the transform flowed a little smoother. Only hiccup was the right arm wouldn't extend, but after carefully moving it a little back and forth it eventually extended. The joints leading up to the neck are also more stiff than Rook's, so the head has the firmness I expect. The chest expansion moves easily in and out unlike Rook's.
Leg joints on both are pretty firm. No looseness. Unfortunately despite being made of plastic and the joint seeming strong, the arms have a tendency to rotate downwards under their own weight. This sucks, and would have really benefited from a ratchet joint. I put Rook's arm up in a wave and it eventually rotated down to be out laterally. So if you want an arm in an over the head pose, you have to sort of over extend where you want it so it'll be where you wanted it once it finishes its rotation downwards. Lancer has the better joints of the two. I'll probably just display Rook in bot mode rather than in jet with the landing gear out. Both Paint apps are about the same on both. Rook's seems to be better because the red helps hide the flaws. There's some sloppiness, but you have to look for it. There's a nick or two on each as well. Nothing nightmarish, but it could be better.
The wrists are really loose on each. The hand articulation takes some gentle massaging to work into place. I can get the hands and rifle into the poses I want, so this all isn't much of a problem. Unfortunately Rook has that hand split problem starting on her left hand where the pinky end of the metal pin connects to the wrist. This sucks and is something I'm going to have to keep an eye on to make sure it doesn't happen elsewhere.
I'm pretty comfortable with both of them now, and not really afraid of handling them like I was when I initially opened them. They're not fragile like a plastic model is. I guess its durable enough for a collector. I'm pretty concerned what multiple transforms will do to the shoulder joints, and if it'll lead to limited "arms by the side" poses in the future. To be honest, I get far better QC, durability and poseability out of a $20 alternator or even a $10 deluxe. Unfortunately, Robotech/Mospeada being the niche it is, a similar option just isn't in the cards. So for $40 each, I think I did ok considering my other Alpha options(way too expensive or cheap and broken) and the limited physical manipulation I expect to do with these figures. I honestly can't really recommend or not recommend them. Most of the flaws I've mentioned I knew about from researching google. I guess be like me and know what you're getting yourself into before you take a chance and be completely dissappointed.
After seeing Shadow Chronicles, I started jonesing for a Shadow Alpha. The price at robotech.com is $60 a piece now, too late for the sale. It arrived, and I'm a little dissappointed.
Hands weren't a problem on my Shadow. It's the one area where it excels over my other Alphas. I definitely didn't get a good one though. There was a nasty nick in the white of the right jet intake which was glaringly obvious. I had no choice but to touch it up with some acrylic paint. There were a couple of nicks on my Rook, but they were nothing as eye-catchingly bad or deep as what was on my Shadow.
The black on the inside of the right intake was assembled very sloppily too. It's like they pushed it in way too hard and it started to crack as a result. Wouldn't surprise me if whoever/whatever did the damage caused both this and the aforementioned nick at the same time. There is also a very bad stress mark on the right inner arm as if someone or something was handling/assembling that part with way too much force.
From what I read elsewhere, the Shadow supposedly had the best QC of the lot. Unfortunately that doesn't coincide with my experience. The factory monkey didn't show my Shadow any love. Out of the three I have, Lancer's the best. Apart from some sloppy paint apps that I had to closely inspect to find, I didn't have any real QC problems with Lancer. Rook has loose landing gear, some minor nicks, and the potential for hand splitting(I'm keeping a close eye on it, but I have to be careful moving the hands). It seems like Alpha QC is a gamble and the odds change based on how early(worse) or late(better) the wave is.