VF-22S Gamlin Type
Review by VF5SS
The progression if variable fighter design received a big change with the introduction of the YF-21 from Macross Plus. While it does have the recognizable form of an airplane folding in half, the melding of Queadluun Rau, VF-1S, and the real-life YF-23 has produced a unique specimen in the form of the VF-22S. This version appears in the Macross Dynamite 7 OVA and is piloted by Gamlin Kizaki who is normally associated with the VF-17. I have always liked the VF-22 over the YF-21. To me it feels like a more complete design. Also, Gamlin is probably my favorite character in all of Macross which only added to my enthusiasm over this toy. In the world of Macross merchandise, this toy represents the first fully transformable Macross 7 Valkyrie toy from a company other than Bandai.
The VF-22S Strumvogel in fighter mode is made to resemble the YF-23 prototype stealth fighter. I think Gamlin's custom colors are well suited for this design. The combination of an all charcoal gray body with yellow highlights emphasizes the unique look of the fighter and translucent red canopy catches the eye. The only problem with fighter mode is that the two main wheels do not lock in place when extended so if you push the toy backward the landing gear may collapse back into the wheel well.
Like the YF-21, the VF-22S features a hinged canopy. Inside there is a very rubbery Gamlin decked out in his flight suit. The details on the pilot are crisp with next to no defects. While in Battroid mode, the seat can tilt backward. I should also note that the decal sheet includes nametags not only for Gamlin, but Max and Millia Jenius as well. Towards the end of Macross 7, they fought it a pair of matching red and blue VF-22S's.
The VF-22S comes with two stand pieces and does not include its own stand. The stand piece for fighter and GERWALK mode can be connected to either a Macross display stand, a Mighty Block stand, or the display stand included in the YF-21 and Sv-51 toys. It clips onto the underside of the toy and uses the socket of the backpack locking piece as its receptacle. The only issue is that you must move the legs out of the way in order to insert the stand piece. Then again, I don't believe there is any Yamato Valkyrie toy that doesn't require you to partially transform the toy in order to attach the stand piece.
Not a lot was changed from the YF-21 toy. Most notably the hip panels feature the VF-22S's redesigned gun bays and a new face. The toy still has articulated thrust-vectoring paddles and parts for mounting the Fold Booster (which I do not own at this time). Unfortunately, the new hip panels have no place for the twin gunpods to attach. Design wise, I believe what we see on the toy is meant to represent the guns being stored inside the protrusions on the panels. I actually think the VF-22S was meant to use a different gunpod design but due to time constraints the animators ended up using the guns from the YF-21.
The fact that this toy can stand in GERWALK mode is a miracle of modern science. It features extending knees joints that reveal swivel points for the lower legs. The toy achieves this mode without any problems.
Its difficult to tell here but the hip panels can be clipped into the hand covers at the rear of the Valkyrie. This does limit articulation in the leg a little bit so you may want to leave them unclipped as I have done.
In Battroid mode the VF-22S stands over a foot tall and features numerous joints including ratcheted shoulders, a waist joint, ratcheted knees, ratcheted ankles, and ball-jointed hips. The hands feature fully articulated wrists and the fingers can open and close around the gunpod's handle. The gunpods are really held on by a peg in the palm of the toy's hand. While I generally prefer a set of fixed posed hands for different tasks, the hands on the VF-22S look alright when balled up as fists and splayed open.
In my opinion, the VF-22S face design is a lot nicer than the YF-21. It has the same look as all of the "S" type Valkyries. The visor is translucent red and there is some mechanical detail behind it. The neck joint is somewhat limited to only a few degrees left or right. However, if you flip up the face just a little bit the head can look ninety degrees in either direction although it will look like the toy is looking upwards.
Despite the size of the backpack and the hip panels, the VF-22S is still fun to pose. All of its joints are nice and tight so it won't fall over with the slightest touch.
The Battroid mode stand piece can only be used on the large stand from the YF-21 and Sv-51 toys. The piece connects to the bottom of the toy and is very secure.
I feel that the VF-22S is a great addition to the Yamato Macross line. It looks really sharp in all of its modes and is a fun toy to mess around with. Admittedly, it is a lot easier to transform out of fighter mode and it is to transform it back. I recommend following the pictures in the instructions and checking out a few videos if you get stuck. It's a sturdy toy that just needs to be treated with respect.
A fun extra, behold "Pengroid" mode.
This review is made from blood, sweat, and tears. Well, mostly just sweat.
|Posted 18 August, 2009 - 10:37 by VF5SS|