SDF-1 Macross (Do You Remember Love type)
Review by Atom
In early 2009 Yamato unveiled a 1/2000 scale prototype of the movie style of the SDF-1 Macross. Fans everywhere lost their minds, but alas, the 2 foot tall version was not destined to be a proper toy. By the end of 2009 it had been released as a High Density Resin Model Kit and went for the price of 210,000 Yen. Macross fans everywhere sighed, only a handful of fans would ever own it and the ones who do had to build and paint it themselves.
A few months after that release word got out that Yamato was taking feedback from customers and what they had learned with the 1/2000 scale prototypes and retooled it in a smaller 1/3000 scale. In the last week of December 2010 Yamato released the mass-produced version and it's getting into fans’ hands now.
I need to roll back the clock here and explain something. From 1977 to 1986 I lived in Honolulu, Hawaii, and living there I was exposed to far more Asian culture than the average kid at that time. It was the film version of Macross that got me into chasing down Japanese toys long before most folks were throwing around the term ‘toy collector.’ I had seen Robotech and it had blown me away. Then, somewhere during this time frame we went shopping to our local Holiday Mart.
While my parents would do the grocery shopping I would wander the toy aisle waiting for them. This particular day I had wandered into the electronics section only to be greeted by Macross: Do You Remember Love playing on the large TV... my mind was officially blown. What was this? Why did it look so different?
A few months after that I would come across the art book, This is Animation Series: Do You Remember Love?, at my local comic shop. I would study the art and the images, lusting after toys of them all. I even found myself a Bandai issued Hikaru Strike VF-1S before we moved to the states. I would learn later on that a toy of the movie version of the SDF-1 had never been made. My dreams of getting a movie-style SDF-1 died until about 2 weeks ago.
I want to clear up a misconception I have been seeing in relation to the movie version shown here. I have seen a lot of folks say they will wait for a repaint of the TV version. You see, the DYRL version is not just a repaint. It is a completely different design.
Line Art images from Macross Mecha Manual.
On the left we have the TV version on the right the movie version. The TV version has clean, industrial lines as well as the blue, white and red paint scheme. The movie version is more organic with lots of raised bumps and bits to make it look more alien in origin. If Yamato was to make a TV Version it would require a lot more than just a simple repaint and two new arms. Why did they do the movie version instead? The film versions of the designs are far more popular in Asia than the TV versions.
The box for the SDF-1 Is a basic glossy cardboard box with photoshopped images on the outside, and inside is a nice dense styrofoam coffin to protect your new Super Dimensional Fortress.
Inside the package you get.
- SDF-1 Macross
- Stand Base
- Stand Arm
- 4 Stand clips
- 10 plastic parts trees (Screw hole covers and gun turrets)
- 2 ARMDs
As soon as you free the SDF-1 from its styrofoam you immediately notice how heavy and solid it is. The SDF-1 weighs close to two pounds. Where the 1/60 scale Valkyries by Yamato are light, which helps give you the tactile feel of speed and maneuverability, the SDF-1 is heavy in the hands, which helps convey the heavy, slow, dense feel of a massive flying fortress. It just feels right in the hands. It is this kind of tactile experience I think Yamato strives for and something I wish more toy makers paid attention to.
Out of the box the SDF-1 is almost fully assembled. You have to add the ARMDs to the sides of the ship. There are magnets built into the arm ends and inside the ARMDs themselves, but that is not how you secure them to the ship. The part that connects to the arm on the ARMDs has a slight lip you clip one in at an angle then straighten the ARMD and it will click into place.
You also must put on your own screw hole covers and small detailed turrets to the unit yourself. These parts are all on plastic sprues like a model kit. Be prepared with sprue nippers and in a few cases crazy glue to finish off all the details on your unit. 90% of the parts will stay in place without any need of glue.
First and foremost, the separate small parts were to keep costs down on what was already turning out to be a fairly expensive piece. I do think, whether intentional or not, there is a benefit to doing this yourself. By making the consumer put on the screw hole covers and turrets themselves it forces them to take some time with the toy, making sure people enjoy the fit and finish of this piece and really experience the sheer quality of it before sticking it on the shelf. Yamato has made an honest to goodness pick it up and play with it toy and they want collectors to know it.
So you got all your bits and bobs on and what are you left with? The most impressive Macross related toy ever. I'm hard pressed to think of a toy I own or have owned that has more sculpted detail than this piece.
Some have complained the paint job looks sparse. As you can see from the screen shots and line art I've embedded in the review, it's pretty screen accurate. The only details that aren’t painted but should be are the 01 and 02 on the ARMD's. Not sure why Yamato opted to leave those off or not include stickers for them.
In Cruiser mode the SDF-1 is rock solid!
The combination of tight ratchet joints with a metal locking pin ensures the arms sit level and do not droop or move in any way while in Cruiser mode.
The same holds true for the main guns and rear legs. The main guns lock down to the body and the legs are designed to stop any rotation where they should sit level in ship mode. You can pick it up and swoosh it around and everything stays where it should. No excuses, no apologies, and no stand needed.
The rail guns/antennas on the shoulder parts are made of POM to avoid breakage as they will get bumped and jostled as you take it through its transformation.
The antennas around the bridge are made from harder PVC so you will want to be a bit mindful of them while handling it. Not that they seem fragile but they are small bits sticking out around a part you must hold and move, just something to make note of.
Macross City resides in the left leg of the SDF-1 in the film and Yamato has built one into the leg on this toy. You can remove the panel to reveal...
... an unpainted city...
... Apparently another cost saving measure. It is wonderful they included it in the design and if it was the difference between an unpainted city or no city I would take the unpainted city. Customizers have already taken to doing some nice detailing work on their cities and maybe I'll hit it up one of my more talented modeling friends to take a stab at customizing mine.
Transforming the SDF-1 is easy and straightforward. If you owned the original 1/3000 Takatoku release (or the Matchbox Robotech version) from the 80's it is pretty similar. Be sure to check the video if you want a full break down of the transformation. The included manual is in Japanese, but the black and white images are clear and should get you through it no problem.
While transforming the piece you can get a glimpse of the die cast metal frame that ties all this ABS, PVC, and POM into a tight and rugged shape.
An undocumented feature I did want to mention is the antenna on the front bow. Out of the package these are pushed in and must be pulled out. I get the impression they’re meant to be pushed in for Attack mode. If you watch the film closely; however, they appear to be extended in both modes.
Once in Attack mode what you are left with is a massive stoic looking robot.
The big gimmick in its Attack mode is the main guns. These lower from the back to fire a powerful beam weapon in the show.
To keep these secure, Yamato engineered locking buttons that must be pushed in before the booms can be raised or lowered. A nice touch insuring your Cruiser mode stays nice and tight. Yamato also included magnets in the front of the bow/main gun booms to make sure the seams always meet flush in Cruiser mode.
Ratchet joints are located in the shoulders and elbows, making sure the arms hold up where ever you may put them. Two rotating joints are located in the arms as well, giving you a wide array of poses.
There is a ratcheting hip and knee joint allowing a range of motion in the legs. The hip gives you one "click" out and the knee gives you one click back. This allows a nice A stance and gives you the ability to create somewhat of a flying in air look with the provided stand.
The stand Yamato includes has parts to display the SDF-1 in either Attack or Cruiser modes, though neither really gives you much height while it's displayed on it.
What a phenomenal year in high-end toys 2010 was; Super 7's Super Shogun Stormtrooper, the 1/6th scale Kaneda's Bike by Bandai, the SOC Space Battleship Yamato, and then Yamato slips this fantastic piece into our hands just days before the end of the year. If I had to pick just one for these for the shelves this year it would be an almost impossible decision but I think Yamato's 1/3000 just squeaks by as my all time favorite toy of 2010. Honestly it may now be my favorite thing ever and should be considered the crowning achievement in Yamato's toy history. Your looking at about $400 after shipping to get this bad boy in your hands. It's expensive but worth every penny.
Heck, even Captain Global had one on his desk. Thanks to Angolz.com for making sure we got one before they sold out everywhere.
|Posted 17 January, 2011 - 08:04 by Atom|