VF-25S Armored Messiah Ozma Custom
Review by VF5SS
Review sample provided by Hobby Link Japan
I feel that the VF-25 represents a culmination of all the little quirks and details seen in Variable Fighters over the past 25 years. One of the most memorable aspects of Valkyries is the full armor packs that encase the once sleek robot in loads of bulky armor. The VF-25 is the fourth Valkyrie to have a full armor set with the others being the VF-0, VF-1, and the VF-11. The VF-25's APS-25/MF25 armored pack owes a lot to its predecessors in addition to obscure designs like the Stampede Valkyrie and the Star Child.
It was only a matter of time before we would see an Armored VF-25S in Bandai's Deluxe Macross Frontier Valkyrie line. In fact, I'm surprised that we didn't see it sooner since the Armored VF-25S is seen right from the get-go. Honestly it makes me wonder why Bandai even bothered with the first release. It might be worth it if Bandai eventually releases a separate accessory pack but right now the armored set is much more appealing.
The VF-25S's fighter mode is largely unchanged from the first release. The only new addition is a set of new hip parts that have holes for attaching the hip armor. These come already attached to the hip armor so you also get a set without holes attached with the toy. Sadly there isn't much you can do with fighter mode except swing the wings and extend the landing gear. It really needs some underwing stores to make it come alive.
This is my first experience with the DX VF-25's infamous display stand. While it is less complicated than the stand from the GFFM Zeta Plus I reviewed, it is also a lot uglier. I understand the use of diecast in the ankles makes this toy a little unwieldy for a stand but Bandai's solution is just poorly executed. The toy plugs in at the front of the stand while the rear end simply rests on the cradling piece. Nothing lets you adjust the pitch or bank of the plane so you're stuck with it at this mediocre "gate guard" angle.
GERWALK mode is also king of lacking. While it is possible to achieve a proper A stance but leaving the intakes unlocked from the upper body, the lack of swivel joints in the knees limits what you can do in this mode. The rear end is also susceptible to sagging.
In order to attach GERWALK mode to the stand you must plug the intakes into the front fuselage which leaves the legs in an awkward straight position. The angle the toy rests at looks terrible and with the legs locked in place there's nothing you can do to make the toy look more dynamic.
Battroid mode is the best mode out of all three for this toy. The original release of the VF-25S was plagued by a stubby neck. Bandai has included a spacer piece in this release as their fix. While it does breath new life in the toy, the piece cannot be left in for fighter or GERWALK mode. It makes me wonder why they didn't just re-design the head or neck.
Regardless of my complaints, the new neck piece really improves the look of the toy. The VF-25S's head is one of my favorite head designs in Macross. The paint job on this toy is sharp and nicely detailed.
The VF-25S possesses a good amount of articulation and as a 1:60 scale toy it provides some interesting opportunities for interaction with robots of the same scale.
The armored set consists of 16 different pieces with the backplate breaking down into 2 pieces and each leg part breaking down into 5 pieces. Each part is entirely plastic and feel solid.
Snapping the parts on can be a bit of a chore with satisfying results. For more details on the armoring process please skip ahead to my video.
The Armored VF-25S boasts an impressive 264 missiles across the various launchers on its body. My only complaint is that there should be paint filling the spaces between the missiles so that they don't look like one solid part.
This side view shows that the toy can stand upright even with the added weight although it is a little touchy.
The Armored Battroid is fairly detailed with most of the major markings represented by tampoo printing. However, not all the markings are present and there is no decal sheet to provide these markings.
In this form, the large stand actually works well. Unfortunately it is difficult to splay the legs out due to the added weight.
For me, Armored GERWALK is a complete disaster. Bandai thought an extra backplate for securing the wings was a good idea. This backplate also has two balljointed struts that connect the back of the GERWALK to the legs in order to spread the weight. I couldn't get it to work at all and my patience for this toy's GERWALK mode ran out.
Armored fighter mode fares much better. Looking like something straight out of Ray Storm or Image Fight, the fighter mode evokes the image of a real one man dreadnought. The armored leg parts feature their own landing gear so you can display this mode without the stand.
The cannons on the booster and pivot and swivel. The booster nozzles are also movable.
Again the detail in this mode is fairly well executed. The colors are especially sharp and there are not apparent defects. However I have found that removing the armor has scratched some of the markings of the base toy.
An additional spacer piece and cradle extensions are provided to display the armored fighter on the stand. Again this time the stand works with the toy instead of against it.
When its all said and done, Bandai's deluxe Valkyrie have been consistently underwhelming. As I look at this toy and compare it with Valkyrie toys form Yamato or even the GFFM Zeta Plus toy I reviewed I can't shake the feeling that this is just good enough. Despite the price, nearly as much as the Zeta Plus, I just don't see the same level of engineering and craftsmanship Bandai that made Bandai the leader in the robot toy industry. I love the design of this Valkyrie and the toy satisfies me but I really wanted Bandai's A game on this release and I felt that if ever there was a version of this toy that they had to get absolutely perfect it was this one. I don't feel that they have redeemed themselves enough to make this toy for anyone else than fans of the design and that's a real shame.
|Posted 27 August, 2009 - 09:54 by VF5SS|