Yamato’s annual open showroom event was held today and, apart from the usual bargains and cabinets full of valks, the big draw this year was something rather special – the first hands-on session with the final version of the toy.
Now, as long time listeners of the SpeakerPODcast know, I’m more of a character/song kinda Macross fan – I enjoy owning a handful of valks but that collection pales in comparison to the mammoth collections and encyclopedic knowledge that many of other fans have. Having said that, I can say without reservation that this is by far the best engineered talk that Yamato has made to date. The amount of detail and engineering that have gone into the toy is humbling. And more importantly than all that, it feels solid. It makes you want to play with it, damn the cost.
The off-white coloring is matte – lending the valk a much less toy-ish or plasticky feel than the VF-19F and VF-19S. When viewed from above or the side, it is virtually seamless. When held it has a decent weight and a solid feel. It’s surprisingly easy to transform although is a little fiddly the first time and the missiles tend to pop off during the process (a minor nitpick at most). Battroid mode is well balanced and can stand freely without the need of a separate stand. A second set of hand allow a weapon to be held although it will not ship with a gunpod.
The following is a gallery of pics I took with my iphone. A proper step-by-step photo guide to transforming the toy, along with better quality pictures, will be coming soon, courtesy of Adrian (and featuring my fingers!)