Review by JoshB
I’ve got news for you. The Yamato 1/15 scale Garland is a TOY!
The Garland comes from the anime Megazone 23 (メガゾーン23), the source material for the never-released Robotech: The Movie. In the anime, our protagonist Shogo comes into possession of the prototype Garland motorcycle. From there on in his life is forever changed, but I won’t spoil the anime for you.
Rumors have been floating around the net for a while about a Garland toy, but only images of prototypes had surfaced. For a while, there seemed to be three different prototypes floating around. The first, was by a company called Atelier Sai, the second by Max Factory and the third by Yamato. It was later revealed that the Atelier Sai version WAS the Yamato version, and the Max Factory version has yet to see production.
The Garland comes in a beautiful thin cardboard box with an opening flap that reveals a nice window showcasing the product. The Garland, Shogo and accessories are fully visible. Also included in the box is an essential instruction manual. The toy is not secured with any sort of twist-ties.
The Garland’s cycle mode is technically called the “Maneuver-Craft Mode” but we’ll just call it the cycle mode from here on in. The Motorcycle is about 10 inches long and features rolling wheels and magnetic connection joints. The rear halves of the cycle connect via magnetic points as does the bottom part connecting the front and back halves. This connection tends to come apart if you put pressure on it (for example, if you are inserting the Shogo figure). The halves of the front wheels are also connected by magnetic points. The Shogo figure can be seated in the drivers’ seat, and his hands can grab the handlebar.
The Shogo figure is not really the greatest figure, but it does what it is supposed to do. He features three different hair pieces (bandana, bandana with glasses and normal) as well as a set of shoulder armor. The arms and shoulders are really articulated, as is the chest, knees and feet. The real problem with this figure is the hips. Shogo is permanently in a seated position. You can move his legs out to the side, but you cannot put him into a standing position.
Garland in robot mode is called Maneuver-Slave Mode. In robot mode, the Garland is a sturdy, well-articulated figure. It stands about 9.5 ” tall and is solid as you could ask for. It feels like a toy. The legs and hips have a wide range of movement, including detents in the knee and ankle sections. The ankles even have side-to-side movement in addition to the standard range of motion. The arms are also similarly well articulated, with swivel joints at the biceps as well as joints in the shoulders, elbows and wrists. The hands have individually articulated fingers. Shogo can fit inside the Garland in Maneuver-Slave Mode, but it is a very tight fit, and not recommended for the faint-of-heart.
The Garland only comes with one weapon – a rifle. The rifle can be held in the right hand and features a removable magazine, and an extending front section. The garland does not grip the rifle tightly, unfortunately.
Transforming the Garland
Transforming the Garland is not an intuitive process, but once you have followed the instructions a few times it gets pretty easy. Yamato has done some interesting things to achieve this transformation. Things seem daunting at first, but once you understand them, it is actually not that bad. I would urge caution though - don’t force anything, and take your time. There have been reports of breakage with the metal bars that hold the arms on. To avoid any chance of breakage, loosen the two screws that hold the bars to the main body of the garland. Also, do not move the arm/wheel assemblies by the wheels – hold the bars in the middle and use those to move them.
I urge you to watch the video review. The Garland is really a toy that needs to be experienced. Until I held one, I had no desire to get one, but now I absolutely love mine. It has a great transformation, is constructed with high quality materials, and looks totally badass.
|Posted 6 July, 2006 - 15:10 by JoshB|