Macross: Yamato DYRL VF-1S Valkyrie Hikaru Ichijo 1/60 V2 Review

Monday, July 19, 2010

After 25 years, Hikaru Ichijo's VF-1S is back and perfectly transforms between battroid, fighter, and gerwalk mode.

In the anime series, The Super Dimensional Fortress Macross, and anime movie, Macross: Do You Remember Love (DYRL), the VF-1 valkyarie is humankind's main battroid to fight the Zentradi alien threat.   The VF-1S variant of the VF-1 is flown only by the squadron leaders.  Hikaru Ichijo becomes squadron leader of Skull squadron and picks up this red VF-1S when Roy Fokker dies protecting Hikaru and singing sensation Minmay from Zentradi soldiers.

This is Yamato's third attempt at producing a transformable VF-1 valkyrie. Their first attempt was a 1/60 scale partsformer requiring parts swapping and/or taking parts off and re-positioning them. The second attempt was a 1/48 scale perfect transformation. Now Yamato brings all the good aspects from the 1/48 scale - along with numerous improvements - to the 1/60 scale in Yamato's second attempt at this scale, also known as 1/60 V2.  The VF-1S in this review is from Macross: Do You Remember Love (DYRL).

Front of box:

The box is fairly simple and only displays the VF-1S in fighter mode.

Box with flap opened:

You get to see the VF-1S without opening the box - useful for collectors to verify their loot without breaking any seals

Back of box:

Here the box shows the VF-1S in its battroid and gerwalk mode.

Fighter Front:

The fan intake is a nice touch.  Hikaru sits inside the VF-1S and is removable when the cockpit is opened.

Fighter Left:

The fighter mode is the closest to being anime accurate. The landing gear also features rubber wheels.

Fighter Right:

The cockpit is slightly tinted and reflects different colors at different angles.  All markings on the VF-1S in this review are tempo printed.

Fighter Top:

Without super or armor packs, the VF-1S looks very simple and elegant in this angle.


Here you can see the GU-11 55mm Gatling Gun Pod can be locked into place below the VF-1S in fighter mode - it clips to the arms. The landing gears fold into the VF-1S.  The holes on the wing allow the VF-1S to clip ordinance like missile packs.


Bandai VF-1S/Jetfire 1/55 with Yamato VF-1S 1/60:

The VF-1S battroid head tucks in deeper and much better on Yamato's.

Bandai VF-25F 1/60 with Yamato VF-1S 1/60:

The VF-25F does not have removeable intake covers so it's always closed for battroid mode.  Wheels on the VF-25 are hard plastic.  Yamato's VF-1S is a lot more anime accurate than Bandai's VF-25 but the anime VF-25 design is a lot better looking than the VF-1S.

The shoulder hinge:

A slight hair crack can be seen coming out of the screw.  Rotating the arms forward requires pulling up on this piece and rotating is over a piece of plastic.  Many people have reported their piece cracking with or without frequent transformations.

Hidden hands:

The hands rotate out from the arm piece.  The indentation on the arm piece shows how the gun pod clips in during fighter mode.  Note the number of rotation points on the arm.


Here you can clearly see the tinting on the cockpit.  This version of the VF-1S most accurately displays the gerwalk mode from the anime series.

Gerwalk side:

Gerwalk back:

The legs also feature numerous rotating and bending joints to achieve an anime accurate gerwalk.

Tucked in head:

The head antennas are very fragile so don't re-position the antennas by pushing or pulling them. Only rotate at the head.

Leg roll bar:

The bar is one of the few diecast components on the VF-1S.

Front of battroid:

The head is slightly raised compared to the anime giving this VF-1S a more human look.

Side of battroid:

Amazingly, the heat shield slides down during transformation.  One of the criticisms is the lack of side padding which makes the VF-1S fighter nose visible from the side. 

Back of battroid:

Top of battroid:


The default hands have independent thumb and index finger while the other 3 fingers move together.

Bandai VF-1S/Jetfire 1/55 with Yamato VF-1S 1/60:

Yamato uses a matte finish rather than the glossy plastic used by Bandai giving Yamato's VF-1S a much more model-like look.  The red on the Yamato version looks much more dull in comparison.  Yamato's VF-1S is released 25 years after Bandai's 1/55 version and the differences are dramatic.  Bandai is much more sturdy and durable but Yamato is much more anime accurate and posable.

Bandai VF-25F 1/60 with Yamato VF-1S 1/60:

Both the VF-25F and VF-1S were released around the same timeframe but there is a definite difference in quality between the two.  The VF-25F is much more toy-like with flexible antennas, glossy plastic, fixed hand poses, and simpler transformation steps.  The VF-1S is much more poseable with multiple rotating and bending joint areas.  Both include very limited diecast.

Yamato has built one of the best toy renditions of the VF-1 valkyrie yet. It is very anime accurate and the most posable for a perfect transforming toy. The engineering used to facilitate the transformation is impressive and fragile.  Most of the toy is tempo printed requiring very little of the included decals.  Unfortunately most of the Yamato 1/60 V2 VF-1S suffer from breaking shoulders. This VF-1 is definitely worth picking up.  I personally have 3.

VF-1S in fighter mode:

Eric Toy Score: 4.5 out of 5

Publisher: Yamato
Year: 2009
Price: $99 (approx)


nice review and nice pics for this truly amazing toy!

Hello Eric,
Sorry to ask for help after a review (good pics by the way). Maybe you can help or at least redirect me.
I have a Yamato Vf-1. Didn't touch it for a while. Now I try to switch it from battloid to gerwalk. The problem : to take the leg roll bar out of the plane nose. It's always been pretty tricky, but this time i'm afraid it's stuck in the nose cover. Is it a reported problem ?

@olivier it's really tight. try to wiggle it loose. be careful and don't break the plastic

Thanks for the answer. I eventually did it !
Thought the plastic cover would break though, as it was a harsh move.
The problem was the hinge in the leg roll bar, between the long part and the bent one, it was almost jammed. Guess I should really loosen it before returning to battloid.

I see a Jetfire!

I have this same exact model and the same exact cracks on my shoulder hinges. This is an apparent engineering flaw from the good people at Yamato and their contracted Chinese factory that made this shoddy design. I was able to get a pair of shoulders as replacement from Just email Shipped to the US was $13 via SAL. They would only ship via SAL. dosenot work in hlj now... They cannot accept as above trouble, please ask amiami or hobby search... I thought hlj parts department was so smart&kindness, whats happen?!(TT)please back hlj parts@maneger....!

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