Macross Frontier: Bandai VF-25G Messiah Michael (Mikhail) Custom 1/60

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Although Alto's been out for some time, Michael won't be letting him have all the fun.

In the Japanese anime, Macross Frontier, a space colony hoping to find a new world to settle is attacked by a little known alien species called Vajra. New ace pilot Alto pilots his VF-25F fighter/battroid and engages in close combat with the vajra. Alongside him is his sniper, Michael, who pilots a blue vf-25G and carries a super long specialized gun for long range precision shots.

Following the success of Bandai's 1/60 scale VF-25F Alto custom and VF-25S Ozma custom fighter/battroid, Bandai's releases their second wave with the VF-25F Michael custom and RVF-25 custom. The main difference between the various VF-25s are their head molds and color schemes. However the second wave introduces a unique sniper gun for Michael and a radardome for Luca. For those of you who skipped the uber expensive web exclusive Alto and Ozma super parts, you're in luck this time as Bandai has included them right in the box.

I haven't picked up the Luca custom yet so here I review just the Michael custom VF-25G. If you're interested in Luca's RVF-25 I recommend reading Anymoon's review.

Front of the box:

Bottom side of the box:

Left side of the box:

Right side of the box:

Bottom of the box:

Three layers of goodies:

Layers of pieces:

The stand - which I'll review in a later post

The super parts:

The VF-25G:

The VF-25G design is the same as Alto's VF-25F so the minor gripes about the huge chunky legs/engines are still there. Only the paint scheme and head scalp are different.

Fighter Front:

The same short landing gears on Alto's make it to Michael's VF-25.

Fighter Side:

Those chunky legs/engines make an appearance on the VF-25.

Fighter Back:

Fighter Top:

You'll still see the two groves beside the head for Alto's or Ozma's custom VF-25s.

Fighter Bottom

The sharp contrasts between the white and blue look really good on the VF-25.

Minor color difference:

There is a little color difference between the two blue plastics used on the VF-25G that is visible under direct light. It's not as bad as color differences reported on the RVF-25 and you won't see it with the super parts on.

Glamour shot:

Cockpit with Michael:

Michael also looks like a pile of goo like Alto but this time the little lightening tempo on his helmet is blue.

Transforming the VF-25G was no different than Alto's VF-25F. The includes instructions now highlight in pictures which piece is being transformed. It's really easy to follow or you can watch it on YouTube. Some people have experienced broken screws on their VF-25G as was the case with the first wave of VF-25s so I recommend loosening the screw as I mentioned in my Alto review.

Battroid Front:

Battroid side:

Peek-a-boo I can see you Michael

Battroid other side:

The rear tab to hold the shield still prevents the cockpit from being covered by the backing.

Battroid back:

Close up of the Head scalp:

The single lens head is nicely done with transparent material. The longer head makes it a little more difficult to pull out during transformation.

Super pieces:

Here are the goodies that make Michael's VF-25G look a lot more menacing.

The super pieces all easily snap into place on the VF-25. The boosters are a little more tricky to position as you need to slide them from the front of the plane then push against the front to snap it in place.

Super Fighter Front:

Super Fighter side:

Those super boosters make the VF-25G loook even more chunky.

Super Fighter Back

Super Fighter Top:

With all the super pieces you won't notice the plastic color differences as they're mostly covered.

Super Fighter Bottom:

The super pieces around the landing gear open too. As you can see, the right booster is misaligned. I'll explain why that happened later.

Individual missiles are nicely painted with little run:

Glamour shot:

The huge sniper gun looks menacing and opens/closes just like the show.

Sniper Gun closed:

Sniper Gun open:

The sniper gun can attach to the bottom of the VF-25G using the included clip (longer than the clip of the regular gun):

Unfortunately the landing gears are too short to clear the sniper gun when it's attached.

Super Battroid Front:

I hate those top of the leg/fighter intake super parts! They keep popping off.

Super Battroid Side:

Leg articulation is reduced by the super parts around the legs that prevent it from bending far back.

Super Battroid Back:

Transforming between the fighter and battroid mode with the super parts on is frustrating as certain pieces, such as the ones covering the intake, keep popping off.

The weak waist (crotch) lock:

The tab holding the two halves of the battroid doesn't hold tight in mine.

The booster peg is too short:

After sliding the booster packs to the sides of the fighter, you need to push the front in a bit to hear a snap when the peg on the super snaps into the hold on the fighter. Too bad mine had a shortened peg so it wouldn't snap tight and easily gets misaligned with a slight nudge.

Bandai did a really good job scalping the head. I really like the look of the super parts on the VF-25G. You don't notice the anime inaccuracy as much with them on. Including the super parts with the VF-25 makes it a better value than previous VF-25 releases. But the little quality issues make me like the Alto version more. I'm still on the fence on whether I should've bought the VF-25G as it is pricy.

Eric Toy Score: 3.5 out of 5

Publisher: Bandai
Year: 2009
Price: $199 (approx)


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