Macross Frontier: Bandai VF-25F Messiah Alto Custom 1/60

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

After a long hiatus from Macross mecha products, Bandai has released the VF-25 Messiah from the very popular Macross Frontier Japanese animation:

This is the VF-25F variant flown by Alto. It has a simple and classy red and black paint scheme and visor like head mold. The other VF-25 variants differ in head mold, paint scheme, and specialized equipment load (like radome on the RVF-25).

It's been 25 years since Macross originally aired and now the series has been refreshed for the new generation with Macross Frontier. The new series keeps to the original's receipe with a number of hints to the original series such as similar Macross captains, a love triangle, and singing. The main variable space fighter/mecha flown by the main characters, the VF-25 Messiah, also holds a number of similarities as the VF-1 from the original Macross such as the move back to a variable wing design.

The VF-25F comes in a small compact box:

The back of the box. If only I could read Japanese.

The inside of the box is a blast from the past using styrofoam to hold the VF-25F like the old VF-1:

The VF-25F is a sleek fighter:

As with the VF-1, the VF-25 uses a variable geometry wing so it can sweep back and sweep forward. This is the forward position:

More holes are visible from the rear for the super packs:

The back hides the hands a lot better than Bandai's VF-1:

The pilot is a little better than a glob of colors. The canopy can open but the pilot cannot be removed:

The VF-25F, with its wide shoulders and large thick legs, is not as streamline as the anime version but still fairly good looking. The translucent green visor is great looking. Many owners complain that the leg on the VF-25F connects too high at the groan than the VF-25F in the anime:

Some people bemoan the visibility of the cockpit from the side:

The rear of the VF-25F is busy with its wing sticking out:

There are various pre-molded hands included with the VF-25:

The hands are made from PVC to stretch just enough to slip the gun in while being tight and grippy to hold the gun:

The shield serves as the tail of the VF-25 and hides the hands within. Although they recommend using the flat "ninja-chop" hands in this mode, you can actually fit the closed hand and gun holding hand in the shield - it won't be as sturdy but at least you don't need to keep popping out the hands.

The shoulder mechanism is the part I'm most afraid of breaking. Before you transform your VF-25F from plane to battroid mode, it's best to loosen up the tight left shoulder screw so the screw head doesn't break off:

The new VF-25F has been hailed in forums are the new "Chunky Monkey" for the new generation since, like the Bandai VF-1 before it, there were a number of design decisions made to increase playability but sacrificed anime accuracy.

Although there are a number of minor complaints such as the breaking left shoulder screw, use of PVC for antennas, necks being too short, and anime inaccuracy, the VF-25 1/60 toys have sold extraordinarily well. Bandai is planning to release the VF-25G and RVF-25 in late March, re-release the VF-25F in April, and release an armored VF-25S for June.

Since Bandai sponsored the Macross Frontier anime, they probably hold the exclusive rights to the mecha of the show. If Macross 7 is any indication, Bandai will be holding onto this license for a long time to come. It would take a while for the anime accurate perfect VF-25 to appear anyways since the "perfect" VF-1 only appeared last year from Yamato - almost 25 years after the original Macross Super Dimensional Force aired.

I definitely recommend picking up the VF-25F. Although it's not anime accurate, it's still a great toy and a beautiful display piece. I'm looking forward to picking up the other VF-25 variants.

Eric Toy Score: 4.5 out of 5

Publisher: Bandai
Year: 2008
Price: $150 (approx)


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...