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Appropriate Age to Let a Kid Play with a 1/55 Chunky-Monkey?


Mog
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I have a question for all you proud Macross parents out there.

I have a son who will be turning 3 in a couple of months, and I have a Bandai Re-release Roy that I won't be displaying any time soon.

What would be the earliest/most appropriate age to let my son have claim the 1/55 Chunky-Monkey as his own?

I'm pretty sure that, if I give it to him now, the boy will be constantly ask ME to transform it, saying, "Robot? Robot?" and then, "Plane? Plane?" (And yes, I know I'll have to correct him: "No, not robot. BATTROID" :D ).

But I'm almost certain that if I give it to him now, that Chunky-Monkey is gonna suffer some significant damage at his hands (missing arm, lost heatshield, broken parts, etc.).

Any advice or personal anecdotes you all can share?

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Well actually yes,

I have a VF-1S that is a copy (dark grey /blue), bought on the net for a couple of bucks with some other vintage robots.

I mean it's no official chunky-monkey VF-1S but it clearly comes from the same mould.

Bought with no heatshield / no antennas on the head/ no gunpod this toy was intended to serve as a honeypot for children coming with their parents at my place.

Since it was incomplete and "solid", it was the perfect piece to protect my collection (Macross mainly but also old transformers, some Grendizer,Captain Harlock, Evangelion) and having the children not being frustrated, being able to play with a part of this collection (yeaaah robot, yeaah plane! ;) ) without feeling the envy to touch the fragile masterpieces -Yamato 1/60-.

So, one week-end, a friend of mine came with his wife and their two children aged 3 and 6 (almost 7), visited our flat, saw the collection in the computer room and started whinning they wanted to play with one.

Exactly the situation the toy was bought for, so I smiled, handed the copy to the elder and he started playing with it in the living room (I also have an old an incomplete Megatron that transforms into a tank that I left to the youngest so both of them were happy).

"Yeah, cool story bro but what's your point?"

The point is that even if I know it's a copy, the toy last until sunday afternoon when it finally decided to snap on a shoulder metal part, the toy is still transformable but we have to be very careful.

Of course I wasn't mad, the toy had been bought for that but it was there that I realise that when WE, adults do transform it, it's gonna be ok but at one moment the child will try to transform it himself, will experience some resistance and may force until it snaps not realizing why it doesn't work as expected.

My advice is:

If you like your chunky-monkey then wait he's at least 8 yo, until then, get him use to transform robots by buying some plastic and simple to transform ones so he may figure out why there is some resistance here, how to pass over the problem, so he gets use to not forcing on the toys and think on the overall when it doesn't work as expected, he'll also get use to moving parts to form another shape.

Remember it's like a one piece puzzle for them that has to stay simple at first (avoid too complex Transformers for example, some say age +3 but almost need a college grade to succeed a transformation)(almost no kidding).

Don't rush, let him grow old enough at his own pace first ;)

Edited by Loute
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Advice from being around my friends, most of whom are married with some children at or around 3 yrs old - like Loute suggested wait until he's a bit older and depending on development 6, 7 or 8 could be cool for a Chunky Monkey.

I do remember waaaay back when my son was 3 he demolished a Yamato 1/72 YF-19 I had in a cabinet he'd managed to get into. Good times, good times.

He never really became a "toy" kid though, his interest was always being outside on a bike or skates or skateboard so who knows, this could all become moot.

-b.

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Advice from being around my friends, most of whom are married with some children at or around 3 yrs old - like Loute suggested wait until he's a bit older and depending on development 6, 7 or 8 could be cool for a Chunky Monkey.

I do remember waaaay back when my son was 3 he demolished a Yamato 1/72 YF-19 I had in a cabinet he'd managed to get into. Good times, good times.

He never really became a "toy" kid though, his interest was always being outside on a bike or skates or skateboard so who knows, this could all become moot.

-b.

Good for him. Glad to hear when kids actually go outside, run around, and play instead of sitting indoors glued to an iPad all day.

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Good for him. Glad to hear when kids actually go outside, run around, and play instead of sitting indoors glued to an iPad all day.

For sure, thank you - pros and cons to both, the key like with most things is to find that nice middle ground.

-b.

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Agree with others, wait till about age 8 or 9.

Myself and others started our kit on building models from age 3-5, fun and can be done as a parent child project.

Good starting points are the SD Gundam, SD Macross, LBX and D-Style kits. They are snap-together, by age 5 my son was building the Keroro Gunso Kits and cheap gunpla, weathering them with Pens.

Those are fairly cheap and I noticed they are more careful with them since they build them themselves.

Edited by CrazyDude
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The "ages 15 and up" on the box should be your first hint.

I don't think this is a mtter of if it is worthy to loose a valk (he will for sure breake it) but if it would be safe for him. Most valks have pointy skinny plastic parts that he can break, chew and swallow. I wouldn't give it to him just yet.

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I'd say 5 or 6, I had a jetfire when I was that young, if you're worried about a choke risk, you can always just keep the heatshield and armor off of it. One thing a lot of people forget that is a choke hazard are large decals. I wouldn't sticker it if they are really really young. Another thing to consider with the chunky is if there are more than one youngster. If there's more than one, the chunky could easily cause cranial damage to another kid. If its just one little doobie than the only thing at risk are your walls, TV, and anything else valuable that could be impacted when he throws it to see if it flies. I think the warning on the box for 15 and up is crazy, A kid can drive a car in the U.S. at 16. That would mean just 6 years after you can play with a chunky monkey you can legally buy alcohol. (not commenting, responding, or arguing with 3D's comment above, I'm commenting on the box's information only)

Edited by sreichma
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I'd say 5 or 6, I had a jetfire when I was that young, if you're worried about a choke risk, you can always just keep the heatshield and armor off of it. One thing a lot of people forget that is a choke hazard are large decals. I wouldn't sticker it if they are really really young. Another thing to consider with the chunky is if there are more than one youngster. If there's more than one, the chunky could easily cause cranial damage to another kid. If its just one little doobie than the only thing at risk are your walls, TV, and anything else valuable that could be impacted when he throws it to see if it flies. I think the warning on the box for 15 and up is crazy, A kid can drive a car in the U.S. at 16. That would mean just 6 years after you can play with a chunky monkey you can legally buy alcohol. (not commenting, responding, or arguing with 3D's comment above, I'm commenting on the box's information only)

No worries, I agree actually. I think is more of a "cover our asses just in case" thing. But I do think that 3 is just too young, there is a risk and you are right about the decals. I had a niece that choke on one (not from one of my valks haha)

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My 2 year old has a VF-1A Hikkie in his room next to his Dusty Crophopper from Planes. He likes to hand me the VF-1 while he flies around the dusty so we both swoosh the planes around together. He doesn't like it when i start to transform it though and gets mad... haha....

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Thanks for the tips and pointers, guys.

I'll hold off on giving him the chunky-monkey for now.

With the limited display space I have nowadays, I just wanted to find a way (excuse) to utilize the toy.

. . . . Guess I'll find some other ways to start indoctrinating the boy in the ways of Macross! :D

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 5 years later...

So, a bit of thread necromancy here, but bear with this proud papa. . .

My son's 8 years old now and finally figured out how to get the chunky monkey into all three modes.

While messing with fighter mode, he extended the front landing gear, and I heard an audible "Oww!" from him.

Yup, that landing gear-induced pain means he's fully initiated into playing with Valks now! :lol:

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Interesting subject. 

I have conversations like this with other firearm owners about what age is appropriate to let our kids start going to the range with us.

As far as chunky monkeys are concerned, my kid is about to turn 5 but I think he probably could have handled it a few months ago.  

Going to give him one of my old 1/55s when we get back from Japan (he was eye-balling my newly acquired 1/48 DX but I think I'll keep that to myself for a while longer.

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I keep a chunky monkey in my office and when the summer interns first show up, I ask if anyone is willing to attempt transforming it from battroid to fighter and back. If they can do it in under a minute, they can take the rest of the day off. If they can't, their first project will be the hardest and most annoying one we have on the list. Several have tried and failed over the years. Lots of landing-gear-related injuries. A kid this past summer finally nailed it, probably could have done it blindfolded. His dad gave him an original Jetfire when he was young. He had never heard of Macross. I didn't count that against him. ^_^

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I say start them as soon as there is any interest in the subject.  If you deny them this early on they might never show interest again or feel that these are toys that should never be touched. Allow them to embrace your toys no matter the age or type of toy they want to play with.

In the end you can’t take it with you. As long as there is someone willing to carry the torch for even a short distance, well then that’s alright with me.

These toys are replaceable, and if they are broken oh well.  

Let them play!!

*Just to add, my son is two years old in these pics.

C2F4851A-33C7-43CA-972E-4CB60BBFEBB7.jpeg

4DBDB524-EFE5-49E0-84AE-512DCC347557.jpeg

Edited by nightmareB4macross
*
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Teach them how the shoulders' position should be in GERWALK mode.  Caution on extending the landing gears.  Caution on the antennae whenever you use the swing bars and whenever you move the head from Fighter/GERWALK to Battroid and back.

These are the things I always remind them about.

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Luckily my son kept most of mine in reverence when he was young and so didn't want to mess with them too much. I did have him play with my 1/55 Bandai reissue because those things take a hell of a beating without any issues. Any of the others were likely not going to hold up under much abuse (those Legios might fall apart if you look at them funny).

But he was like me in a lot of ways- very careful with how he handled his toys. So now at 16 he has his own toys carefully handled and displayed.

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12 hours ago, Anasazi37 said:

I keep a chunky monkey in my office and when the summer interns first show up, I ask if anyone is willing to attempt transforming it from battroid to fighter and back. If they can do it in under a minute, they can take the rest of the day off. If they can't, their first project will be the hardest and most annoying one we have on the list. Several have tried and failed over the years. Lots of landing-gear-related injuries. A kid this past summer finally nailed it, probably could have done it blindfolded. His dad gave him an original Jetfire when he was young. He had never heard of Macross. I didn't count that against him. ^_^

This is the best thing I've ever read. 8)

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Well I was 5 when I grab one with my little hands on the store and I was like my god this is so beautiful but that time my parents couldn't afford it , so I guess five?, but I don't think the figure has its original material integrity at this point so it can break easily?, not sure thou I'm on the hunt for one hehe :)  

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My youngest is my son at 8. Bought 2x DX Max and gave him one, his first Macross toy (we just finished watching SDF together 3 months ago,  myself hadn't watched it in 20 years) Showed him once how to transform all modes. He nailed it in first try. Proud moment. He will carry on the torch, oh yes.

Edited by theraiden
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My son is now 7. He's had his own Yamato V1  since about 4. I let him play with my HMR's and some Yamatos but always supervised and I'm keen to impart all the tips and tricks to handling and transforming. It's amazing how quickly and accurately he picks it up and even points things out to me..And we've built a few older 1/72 destroid kits together for him to play with. We've also built about 7 or 8 1/144 HG gundam kits together and now he's building his own. 

Edited by Bolt
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