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Toynami Masterpiece Alpha VFA-6H Volume 1
Did Toynami do justice this time around?

Thursday, August 12, 2004
by Soze

To be honest... this is the first Toynami offering I have ever owned. I have had the chance to look at Toynami's previously offered VF-1's, but after having seen and held one in person at a show in the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles I was so disgusted by the sculpt and the quality of the toy that it was passed over for the detachable legged Yamato 1/60 (I'm not one to complain about the detachable legs too much as long as the sculpt looks good.) and Bandai 1/55 reissue offerings.

My initial thought after opening my first Toynami....was that the best thing about the Toynami VF-1's must've been the nice book style box that they come in. I was impressed by the quality of the box having never seen one up close (The Toynami VF-1 I saw previously was out of the box), I was pleased by the sturdiness of the box material, and the nice materials going into making it. When I opened it, there was a certificate of authenticity inside spewing the usual mumbo jumbo such as I own #492 of 15,000 Alpha Volume 1 made, "most accurate sculpt", "die-cast landing gears with authentic rubber tires", etc. I wondered if the VF-1 spewed out the same "most accurate sculpt" BS.

Nicely made collector's box Certificate of Authenticity!

Get to the toy dammit! I know, I know.... the toy. Well after admiring the nice work on the box, I finally proceeded to open and release this Alpha fighter from its storybook confines. I hoped that the quality of the Alpha would be as good as the box it came in. I crossed my finger hoping not to be disappointed.

On first examination, I went through every niche of the fighter mode. As I stared over the toy, I notice various paint issues. First spot I found was a white bald patch on my Alpha's head...I thought, oh well at least it's on the back of the head. The next one I found was on one of the arm boosters where the white paint had scraped off, so I went ok.... I guess I have a battle damaged one. The last one I found was on the inside of one of the toes where some white paint got onto the blue part of the toe. This one was smaller than the other defects so I let it go.

Bald Spot Battle Damage

Ewww bird poo!

All paint defects aside, I decided to move onto transformations and observations of the 3 modes it has. In fighter mode, the only initial thing I had to do was pull up both of the tail fins, and take out the landing gear. This would've been a breeze....if the landing gear hadn't been so !$@#! hard to pull out!!!! After finally pulling them out with the help of some tools....I inspected the landing gear, and indeed they were die-cast and the wheels were rubber. Next I put it down to see if they would actually serve a purpose. Well after setting it down I concluded... they serve no purpose whatsoever, because the belly of the fighter mode was touching the ground while the wheels did absolutely nothing but look pretty.

Beer belly Alpha Girly Struts

Having thoroughly examined the fighter mode, the next mode was the gerwalk mode. There wasn't very much to do to change an alpha from fighter to gerwalk mode. It literally involved the simple steps of pulling out the legs and folding them down, and pulling and pivoting the arms out. I thought it looked cool in this mode, but I still like the gerwalk of the VF-1 mode a lot better. Having tired of this mode quickly I decided to move on.

Gerrrrrwalk!

The battroid mode of the Alpha looked to be the best of the 3 modes by far. This was probably the mode that Toynami claimed to be an accurate sculpt. One of the things that caught my attention where the nicely sculpted hands. Now these hands were a perfect format and style suited for the Yamato 1/48's. Damn you Yamato why didn't you spend more time and make hands like these instead of the bony ones??? I was impressed with this mode, and deduced that this would be the mode that this figure would be displayed in whenever I have something to display it on. I proceeded to put weapons on and pose it in various modes. This toy is cool. One thing I did notice was the floppiness of the arms. The joints weren't stiff enough to hold up the gun in an extended pose. I guess I just won't be able to pose the Alpha in a shooting pose.

Gun's a bit heavy

What about the die-cast? Well everyone, after the disappointments with the VF-1 offering, you can all rest easy in knowing there is plenty of heft in the Alpha. This figure can basically be considered chogokin heavy! Yep most definitely good news for all concerned out there.

Does the head light up? Uh..... I don't think so thank goodness! Err...if it does then I must've unconsciously skipped that part of the instruction book.

Is it worth the $80 MSRP? Well....probably not. I will admit this is probably the best Alpha toy ever made, but the $80 suggested price is a bit too high for the size of this toy. You have to remember, in scale... the Alpha is inherently smaller than the VF-1. So if you knew how big a 1/55 VF-1 is, then you can safely conclude that a 1/55 Alpha is going to be smaller. I am by no means saying this is a bad toy. The Alpha is a great toy, and the size is not bad at all, but it's the $80 price tag that makes you do a double-take on the size.....that and the fact that a lot of us may have been spoiled with Yamato's humongous 1/48 VF-1 sized offerings.

Should I get one? That's entirely up to you. If you can find a good price for it, definitely pick it up as it really is the best toy representation of the Alpha. I'm happy with the purchase, and I'm not easily bothered by paint problems which might deter some of the more meticulous collectors out there.

All in all the Alpha is a respectable toy, and barring monetary constraints...should probably be in your collection if you are a Macross/Robotech/Mecha fan. Until the next one comes... Happy collecting!

Some extra pictures:

Alpha fighter go! Gerwalk again

Battroid Pilot and Cyclone pack

 
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