When Yamato closed its doors and Arcadia took over the reins, they created an uproar by reviving the 1/60 PT line with a re-engineered YF-19. With the really high standard set by Yamato with it’s VF-19 variants, Arcadia revealed that the YF-19 was going to cost way more than the VF-19’s so expectations naturally ran high and people wondered how they would outdo their predecessors. So did they do it?
The pilot figures are really detailed, with helmeted and helmetless Isamu Dyson figures and Yang Neumann figure on the right. The helmetless Isamu figure can rotate its head while the Yang figure can rotate its arms. Very impressive.
And the stuff on the other tray, from top left to bottom right (lifted from the manual):
- NP-AB-20b Conformal Tanks
- NP-FB-FA Conformal Tanks
- Calf attachments
- HMM-111CS High Maneuver Missile x 4
- Large Anti-ship Reaction Warhead x 4
- LPP-12 Self-propelled Laser Pod x 4
- Attachment parts for Fold Booster (not included)
- AOM-8S 2-stage Interceptor Missile x 8
- SPP-8 Self-propelled Physical Warhead Launcher Pod x 4
- Various pylons
Other than the Fast Packs all the missiles don’t appear in the animation if I remember correctly.
I don’t own Yamato’s YF-19 and my VF-19 is back home so I don’t have comparison pictures. This guy is sleek in Fighter mode and is made of matte plastic, unlike the glossy VF-19. There is very little stamp printing which is a bit of a letdown considering the high price.
On the underside you can see the hardpoints on the wings and the conspicious Made in China printing. The landing gear are diecast/rubber and identical to the VF-19 but the bay doors don’t seem to fit as well.
Possibly a major point of contention – the wings are re-engineered to recreate the high speed mode but as a result they look deathly fragile, held on by only a thin metal articulated arm. There isn’t any locking system.
I’m not a big fan of this mode and it isn’t accurate due to anime magic either. Maybe part-swapping might have granted more structural strength but people might complain that it goes against the perfect transformation principle.
You can mount the missiles any way you like and I heard they use the standard Yamato-style hardpoints so they can fit on the VF-1 toys too. As you can see on the left the wing is drooping due to the lack of any locks.
It’s really irritating to try to get them to stay on and they make Fighter mode less solid. The wing roots are the only things holding them in place, and the shoulder tanks take over the role of locking the legs down. They’re not well-implemented.
One of the issues with the VF-19 toys is that their ball-jointed ankles don’t seem spherical and tilting them back would render them loose. Inexplicably the same type of joint is being used here, and on Arcadia’s YF-19 development blog Mr. K actually revealed in the post just before release that they were inexplicably unchanged and he knew of the problem. Seriously – what? So here I’ve tried to cheat by tilting the toes instead of the feet – no difference as the left ankle was much looser than the right out the box and after fiddling with it a little both ankles are now as weak as my VF-19. Ugh!
Otherwise the transformation is identical to the VF-19 except there’s an extra step where you slide the knee covers that hide the gaps in Fighter mode. However the extending joint for Gerwalk is crazy-tight on my copy one of the limiting tabs broke when the joint finally gave way and budged. It didn’t break all the way so I could still glue it back. There’s no way to weaken the plastic part that provides tension against the thigh and makes it click in different positions.
Was expecting to see some kind of sliding cover for the neck but Arcadia just stuck to the old formula.
With Fast Pack on. The shoulder parts have to be adjusted a little as the mounting pegs on them can slide.
With the high price I wish a stand was included like their VF-1S toys. Without a stand I can’t really get it into many poses.
Arcadia rehashed the stubby look of the VF-19 and it makes this leagues better than the previous version. I forgot to bring down the shoulder flaps though. Transformation is also almost identical, except the cockpit doesn’t rotate. There are some minor differences around the hips as well, and most annoying thing being the locking button for the hip swing mechanism. It’s much smaller and can’t be accessed by fingers alone so I use a toothpick to push the button.
I like how the eyes are bright enough to show through the visor.
The cockpit hatch on the VF-19 doesn’t work here. The back is also entirely diecast and due to tight tolerances you might scrape the cockpit when it presses against the back right at the top. You can barely make out the tape I added to the sides to prevent this.
This time I got it to kneel without swinging one of the hips down. In the end for an increase in price there aren’t any major improvements from the VF-19, and most of whatever Arcadia did differently served to its detriment. Of course, it looks miles ahead of the previous version, but having owned the wonderful VF-19 I was a bit let down for paying so much more. The VF-19 fits together better than this guy. The Fast Packs suck majorly too. Maybe the extra cost was to pay for the missiles which frankly don’t do much as they look out of place in any modes other than Fighter. I would have preferred a stand instead of all those missiles.
Since this was supposedly made to order, it might rise in price like the VF-4G. I’m not sure if I would recommend this due to its crazy price, and the VF-19 toys seem to be better in my opinion though the YF-19 might have a more appealing and well-known design.
With that said Arcadia’s next new mold is the VF-0D. I’m not sure whether to go for it as it might cost a kidney or two as well. Some people say it’s because fans are willing to pay so much for Bandai’s toys on the secondary market so Arcadia is following suit, and the relatively lower prices of Yamato’s toys might have led to their shutdown as well.