Review by JoshB
Back in the day of the original 1/55 Valkyrie toys by Takatoku (and Bandai), the two that were always out of my reach were the Elintseeker and the Super Ostrich. Many manufacturers came afterwards, in many scales, but for some reason, I never got either of them in these new forms. Well, today I break that streak, and finally break down and own a Superostrich. Why it is called Superostrich I have no idea.
But what I do know is that this version of the Valkyrie appeared in the "Macross: Do You Remember Love?" theatrical movie, and it's a 2 seater valk, made for reconnaissance, not combat.
It's my first Hi-Metal R Valkyrie, so be gentle.
The toy comes packed in a nice little box with artwork painted by the famous Hidetaka Tenjin, classic mecha illustrator.
There's a ton of parts - included are:
- F.A.S.T. pack armor
- replacement cockpit
- larger hands
- landing gear
- stand adaptors
- pilots and passengers (more on that later)
- replacement wing parts
- replacement intake parts
Let's start in fighter mode. Jet mode is compact and tight, with tabs in the leg and arm area to keep it all locked together. Details are tampo printed on, so no stickers are required.
The landing gear is separate removable parts, and the wheels do not turn. they just plug into spots underneath that can be replaced with panels when not in use.
The cockpit lid is removable to reveal the two-seat cockpit. As you know, most valkyries are single seaters, but trainers have two seats, resulting in larger cockpit sections. For this release, Bandai released two versions of Hikaru Ichijoe (casual attire and pilot suite) and two passengers - Misa Hayase and Lyn Minmay.
Moving on we transform to Gerwalk mode, we start by un-tabbing the legs and swinging them down.
Then we pull the arm assembly back, un-click them and swing them around. Then we open the tabs on the arms and flip the hands out. The whole mechanism is designed to pop off instead of breaking, so don't worry if they pop off on the first try. There's die-cast metal in the shoulder joints and a very simple tab lock mechanism to make sure they are in the right place.
One of the ways the VT-1 is different is in the tail section that folds up in this mode. For this configuration, the tail wings don't actually fold in, they stay extended. Also, I've neglected to unfold the little flap at the rear of the pack, but nobody is actually reading this anymore so who cares anyway.
Transformation into battroid mode is much easier than my previous experiences with modern valkyries, and nothing at all like the heart-attack inducing late-model Yamato releases. I actually enjoyed transforming this and was never stressed out. The whole system relies on a metal sway bar that repositions the hips to snug around the nose of the jet. It's simple and durable. Check out the video to see it in action.
Articulation is really good, I was particularly impressed by the arms.
You can swap out the hands with some larger, more accurate hands. Some of the hands are posed to hold a gun, but no gun is included. They just repurposed them from the earlier releases.
To me, the armor makes this one special.
Superostrich has two new back boosters, and two new leg boosters, both unique to this design. There are no arm armors, as those are considered weaponry I guess. the leg boosters are two parts each, one attaches to the back of the leg, and the outer part clips on to that.
There's a small addition to the rear pack, and the giant engine nozzles just clip into the sides. Each has a removable panel to showcase extra engine detailing. I've also swapped out the wings with a shorter solid wing piece.
Of course, the armor works in gerwalk and fighter mode. It does not need to be removed to transform.
Note the die-cast metal feet. This was probably the only part of the toy I struggled with as they are so smooth they can be tough to grab and pull out. You need to do this to get a good angle for gerwalk mode.
And finally, here is fighter mode, with all the armor on. I'm using the stand attachment for fighter mode, but there are also attachments for fighter and gerwalk. You have to supply your own Tamashii Stand, as those are not included.
It's a fun little valkyrie toy. It's light, but not cheap, it feels like a finished model that you can handle, not quite a toy for kids, not quite perfect in detail for collectors. It's actually a good place to be in, for me. I'm willing to sacrifice accuracy for having something I can handle and not stress my nerves. Makes me want to catch up with the Hi Metal R line now. The Destroid Monster was amazing, and this is pretty cool as well.
|Posted 24 September, 2018 - 14:32 by JoshB|