VR-052F Scott Bernard Cyclone Ride Armor
Review by Shogundan
I want to start this review by stating to you, the reader, that I don't want to be repetitive in my review of Toynami's Masterpiece Cyclone Volume 1. It is exactly like Beagle's Mospeada ride armor that was reviewed by fellow CollectionDX member, Atom a couple weeks ago. You can check out his brilliantly written full review with video HERE. Or you can scroll down the page to the attached video of the Beagle/Toynami ride armor.
In this review I am going to show mostly pictures as well as briefly discuss the differences between Toynami's and Beagle's versions. I hate to disappoint people but the only difference is the packaging and the head sculpt. Yup, that's it folks.
Now, I know what your thinking, you may think that Toynami just took the Beagle ride armor and changed the head, repackaged it and called it a day. Well, you would be wrong! Let me explain. The toy is actually a joint venture between Beagle and Toynami. George Sohn, the president of Toynami actually helped with the design and production costs. So you see, this is an actual Toynami product as well as a Beagle product.
Starting off, we have Toynami's phenomenal packaging shown below. The really cool thing is that like the Masterpiece Beta, what is inside the package is actually worthy of the elaborate packaging! It's really hard not to appreciate Toynami's great packaging. Check out the artwork that's expertly done by Tommy Yune on the outside of the book style case. I also really love the certificate of authenticity, its a very nice touch. The certificate gives you a sense of pride knowing that you have a very limited edition toy, 1 of only 3,000 to be exact.
The next thing that's different about Toynami's Masterpiece Cyclone and Beagles Ride Armor is the head sculpt. In the following five pictures you we clearly see the differences. The fourth picture down gives you a side by side of Toynami's version on left and the Beagle on the right. The fifth picture shows an actual anime shot of Scott/Stick. It is my opinion that the Toynami version is much closer to the anime than the Beagle.
The next three photos are showing Scott with some of the included accessories (for more info please refer to the Beagle ride armor review). The third photo down shows Scott slaying CollectionDX's fearsome Gore Sky Deviler.
After re-watching the first episode of Robotech: the New Generation I was kinda curious if I could somehow change the ride armor into its storage mode. The next 3 photos show you what I came up with. The third photo is the actual line art. What do you think? Not too bad...
Moving forward, this photo is the ride armor sans Scott. I urge you to watch Atom's video below before you attempt to get the cyclone to this stage of transformation. The transformation is very involved and complex.
The next six photos give you a walk around of Scott donning his Cyclone ride armor. Again, for more info please refer to Atom's Beagle ride armor review.
The next two photos below show the included display stand. Yup, same as the Beagle. My only gripe is that Toynami didn't include an Robotech sticker for the display stand.
The last five shots show you the ride armor in motorcycle mode. It truly is a thing of beauty and is very anime accurate. Check it out! Scott can actually ride his cycle, unlike the original Gakken version. You have to admit, After you look at the Gakken ride armor you can see that toy tech has come a long way!
In conclusion, the Cyclone ride armor is another "Home Run" for Toynami. George Sohn, president of Toynami has another feather to put in his cap. Please, do yourself a favor and get one of these before they are sold out and prices get astronomical. Also, do yourself another favor and buy the Toynami version. It will save $50-$100 dollars in cost and in my opinion is is a better sculpt/value. Check out the ebay links below for some good deals on Toynami's Cyclone ride armor.
Comments6 comments posted
I still prefer the Beagle head, it just looks a bit more "classy" than the Toynami one, and given the price, I opted for it. I also went with it out of some admitted snobbery, thinking the Japanese release would be better and keep its value more than the Toynami. Especially since Toynami has a (albeit largely overblown) bad reputation it is now overcoming with recent releases (Shadow Alpha notwithstanding).
If your options don't allow any kind of discount, the price for either is within $30 if you shop around, so the head and box are all that matters when it comes down to preference.
"I also went with it out of some admitted snobbery, thinking the Japanese release would be better and keep its value more than the Toynami."
This type of statement is mind-bending to me. If you were a real snob, you'd buy the vintage Gakken to begin with and not even play around with getting the Beagle.
I don't even think you're close to being a toy snob, duke. Is collecting only vintage or only Japanese releases a toy snob? I thought it was being a focused collector.
...If you're looking for value and an investment, then buy a Gakken one and get it AFA graded. Or better yet, take your money and invest in classic cars, property, or orignal Polish movie posters... right now is an excellent time to buy a house or other land in North America. toys just are not going to get you the big bucks, man.
Anyone who's been on the retail side of things, or collecting for more than 10 years will tell you the same thing. toys are just not worthwhile investments. Ask anyone who collected Medicom's Real Action Heroes in the 90's. Tons of cash lost there. You should buy stuff for the fun of it. in the long run, you'll lose money on your collection. While one gokin might hold it's value or make a small increase in price, the vast majority will be less than retail in value, so that one piece that's selling for $50 more than you paid won't justify the 5 others that are now 90% off of retail.
I think with this piece, just like the 1/55 valks and the Alphas before it (the Aoshima/Toynami disaster!), US and Euro collectors will be more interested in the Toynami version, for its Masterpiece box and the ROBOTECH brand, as this is what they grew up with. The head difference is big, but not that big (show vs. line art styles) and most collectors tend to go with "anime" over "line art" styles when deciding. On the secondary market, the ROBOTECH name on the box usually is prefered with the casual collector when you look at what people are buying. And most of the people buying Mospeada and Macross toys on ebay are interested in the Masterpiece box versions, or straight-up uncut minty vintage. Guys like you, me, and most CDXers - people who keep up on the newest releases and compare versions- are the minority in the toy world.
While we've seen an explosion of interest and demand for vintage japanese toys in the last 7 years or so, this is mostly in MISB c-9 or better vintage items, from 1985 or earlier.
I can only really think of two modern gokins that have either stayed at retail or better price in the last 5 years, and that's SOC grendizer, and the Mazinkaisers. I mean that their price has not dipped below retail since release, or they are a little bit more than retail. And the only Toynami piece I can think of that is a worthwhile "investment" would be the Beta, due to the design's troubled toy history, and maybe only in 10+ years time.
I can run down a list of modern toy lines that have gone from hero to zero in the last 10 years, like Star Wars, Star Trek, G.I. Joe, MOTU, LOTR, Modern Microman, Binaltech, DC Direct, Transformers, many, many more... and as always the older pieces in the line from pre-collector times (1985 and earlier) are the ones that get the big bucks, while everyone is trying to get rid of their newer stuff.
In fact, the only toy lines i can think of that on a whole, has steadily gone up in value with each year, is 70's Mego figures and Jumbo Machinders. Both of those are pre-85 and are pretty difficult to find boxed. I'm sure there's others, but I can't think of any that have had a steady increase in price and continued interest from fans.
Modern stuff just doesn't hold its value. Bad economy has lent itself to people liquidating their collections on ebay or craigslist, and I don't see that changing in the next 1-2 years. Plus the pieces holding their above-market price are usually very limited editions or variants, and that usually last for about 1 year tops before - big surprise! - nobody cares anymore. After the initial "gotta have it" vibe wears off, they go back to retail or below pretty quickly. Mospeada has come back into the mainstream of anime fans in the last few years and I don't see it slipping back into the super-obscure realms that once made the collectibles from the show into high-priced, sought after items.
In a few years, Toynami or someone else is going to make a better anime accurate version of the Cyclone, and this one will be worth far less. Buy modern gokins for the joy of collecting, not for investment.
"Especially since Toynami has a (albeit largely overblown) bad reputation it is now overcoming with recent releases"
...their bad rep is 100% not overblown at all. It's justified. Ask anyone who bought their previous Masterpiece Collection figures. And it's going to take a lot more than 3 recent good releases to get their rep back to neutral-standing for many collectors. The Bandai and Beagle deals are band-aids on a large, large cut that still bleeds for many US collectors.
I still prefer the Beagle head too. I took some photos of Stick on his bike and the toy really looks the part. The Toynami version looks more 'Americanized' (with all due respect) let alone the Robotech logo which still gives me the creeps when I remember how three unrelated anime were cannibalised to make a single anime.
As for the box, the Beagle offering is by far superior.
The Beagle is a great piece, really no difference, I just prefer to save the cash. Also the packaging of Toynami's version is superior when put next to the Beagles Yamato style packaging. One more thing, if you have any problems with your Beagle or Toynami versions of the ride armor, Toynami will provide QC support if your Beagle has a Toynami sticker on the bottom of the box (which it should). Toynami is standing 100% by their products even when its a joint venture like the ride armor.
"the other fat bearded guy at CDX"
The Toynami head has better coloring in my opinion. The mouth seems too large though, while the Beagle one is too small. Something that looks like the Toynami head but with a mouth in between both would look more Scott Bernard.
Great seeing the Cyclone cycle being done justice finally.
I have the old Gakken one (HORRIBLY discolored, let me tell you!) and was never quite pleased with it beyond the fact it "was" a representation of an initially cool design. Him not being able to ride it just blew my freakin' mind lol.
Both of these new versions are nice, but it's equally mindblowing that for the price and otherwise quality for the rest of the figure... that there's a GIANT hole in the side of the neck!
All I can guess is that production was rushed on it at some point... kind of like how you can tell when a videogame's been rushed to market just to meet some sick deadline. It really could have been placed inconspicuously on the backside.
Still, it's awesome. It's been decades since I watched the show, but images in my head of the non-transforming Matchbox versions of both Scott and the cycle in their bright aqua plastic have muddied my memory as to if the red cloth on these ones was THAT red and if the dark green armor was THAT dark green.
::does quick Google image search for screenshots::
Yeah, that's what I thought. The colors are pretty far off for both the Beagle and this Toynami version. The Gakken version's red was more accurate!
Another thing I loved about the tiny Matchbox one was Scott had this cool, stubby pistol. For the life of me I can't remember if that was in the show. If it was, it seems preposterous to not be included here.. then again, this is a representation of him in an armored mode, not in his street clothes, in which case maybe he only had such a gun in.
I wonder how long it'll be before a TRULY definitive version comes down the line... probably another decade or two.
Can anyone tell me what the dimensions of the cyclone in storage mode is?
I'm working on a project that requires the cyclone to be in that mode most of the time, for transportation purposes.