Apologies for the delay with this week’s post. The results for the poll a few days ago ended with a tie, but the VF-1S was in the lead most of the time so I started taking photos of it. While it’s the beginning of Golden Week here in Japan, I didn’t take any leave off nor plan any trip so I’m still working on Monday and Friday. Then yesterday I was out the whole day and after midnight, went to drink and hang out with some of my Japanese colleagues until 5am.
After the embarrassing morning I woke up at 1pm just now and scrambled to do some chores before typing up this post.
The shipping box contains both the figure and a Tamashii Stage display stand. The figure has a very nice box art which seems identical to the Hikaru version.
The figure itself comes packed in two trays, with the lower tray containing the Super/Strike Parts and various ordnance.
Contents. You get the figure itself, four extra pairs of hands, one pair of head lasers in soft plastic, one pair of head lasers in hard plastic set in parallel, a pair of engine intake covers, a clear canopy, a gun pod with an extra grip, replacement landing gear, three stand attachments, one pair of short folded wings for Battroid mode, one pair of wings without hard points and one pair with hard points.
You also get one set of Super Parts, a double cannon for the Strike variant, four missile launchers and six reaction missiles of which four of them come in pairs.
I believe the Hi-Metal toys have been lauded for their sleek Fighter mode. The battroid head is also completely concealed in the underbelly too.
There are also numerous markings printed all over the figure.
The painted pilot figure isn’t removable.
Rear. Despite the “Hi-Metal” moniker there isn’t much diecast on the figure, other than the external parts of the feet, shoulder joints and a swing bar.
Except for the feet, pretty much everything visible is plastic. There is also fairly dense panel line sculpting.
Underside. The landing gears are one-part plastic affairs and are fully painted.
You have to swap parts to remove or attach them.
Compared to Bandai’s other transforming Valkyries, you get slightly less huge stand adapters. The Fighter mode adapter is the largest, and you have to slide the gun pod through the underside instead of attaching it to the arms. The swing wings do not have any locks nor snap into any position so you’ll have to carefully adjust them to keep them symmetrical.
The adapter pegs into the holes on the backs of the arms. Here I’ve swapped out the wings with the hard point-equipped ones and mounted the reaction missiles.
Overall a great, sleek Fighter mode.
Before deploying the arms.
Arms out. At this point there isn’t any part swapping involved yet. The tiny hands fold out from inside the forearms. Despite having swinging and ball joints in the shoulders, the shoulder pads tend to block the wings preventing them from swinging out too much.
Also, there is pretty much zero feet articulation so you have to fold the feet to tip the figure back and get a better stance.
The tiny right hand has a hole to hold the gun pod. The gun pod has a small grip to accommodate this.
If you want to use the other better-sized hands, you can swap out the gun pod grip for a larger one. The Gerwalk stand adapter is the smallest and clips to the swing bar underneath the back of the figure. It tends to slide along the bar or snap off easily.
With little articulation range on the feet you can’t really get the figure into many poses besides just flailing its arms about.
Overall views. Being my first VF-1 figure I can’t really compare it with the larger Yamato/Arcadia version, but I am happy with the Battroid mode proportions. To transform into Battroid mode you have to swap the canopy, the engine intake covers, the head lasers and optionally the wings.
The figure in Battroid mode has some unsightly gaps and holes especially under the neck.
There are also holes in the sides.
Despite the generous markings, the head lacks any paint on the forehead nor the arrow on the temples, seen prominently even in the box art.
Arms. They have swinging ball joints in the shoulders and double elbow joints.
Rear. The shorter wings are used here.
If you keep the original wings, you get a very long cape/skirt-like appearance which also blocks the legs from moving around too much.
Articulation. The head has a decent vertical range and the head lasers can rotate freely.
Though if you make it look up the head sinks into the body.
The arms are freely movable. No waist joint which is expected, and the hips have a generous forwards range if you use the small wings. No sideways range as always too. The knees swing 90 degrees, and the feet have almost zero range. You can sort of force the toes sideways but the rear of the feet are fixed. The hip joints snap into the nose cone but they can pop off by accident easily when you mess with the legs.
The Battroid mode adapter cups the hip joints.
The Strike Parts can be mounted to the figure in any mode.
The launcher pod and double cannon peg precariously on the backpack which does not lock in position when folded.
Front. The double cannon has a clear red sensor.
The main nozzles are on ball joints.
You can swap out the cannon for the normal launcher pod front section to turn it into the Super configuration.
The pods also have some mechanical detail buried in them.
Fully loaded out.
Gerwalk mode with Strike parts has the same limitations as the bare configuration.
The stand has a printed graphic.
Overall a nice-looking compact figure. It has joints that are slightly loose and may weaken further as they wear out, but due to its tiny size it should still be able to hold a pose. Being a Tamashii Web exclusive also knocks off some points due to the exorbitant price.