We looked at the 1/72 Model Kit last time, now lets focus on the 1/60 Bandai DX Chogokin versions. These are fully transforming figures which are on the expensive side of transforming toys (£160-£200+ Shipping and customs) but with takara’s Masterpiece MP-44 Optimus Prime coming in at over £300 they don’t seem that bad.
Here we have the standard VF-31c. These are definitely a premium product, with excellent paint and die-cast which gives it a good weight. The hands are swappable with different poses, the standard hands are the ones it can be transformed with and they also have limited articulation. As of writing there are 4 of the main cast available and 1 “stock” version and 2 special editions. And there are also super packs.
Next we have the VF31c and VF31J with super parts. The C comes with the large missiles while the J lacks them. The parts bulk out some of the slimier parts but some have a tendency to fall off quite easily. They also make the figures move back heavy and harder to pose without them wanting to fall over. If you miss the pre-order/early order for the super parts then they because massively expensive to obtain, in some cases going for an much as the original figure.
Above is the VF-31f in Jet mode with super parts, it is presented on the standard stand that comes with the figure. For reference the only differences between the VF-31 are the deco and the robot mode head (The a also has different wing ends).
While nice figures collecting them can be problematic. First they are only available in Japan. There simple does not seem to be the interest in pushing the Macross brand internationally, this maybe due to Robotech and the harmony gold saga (makes me think of rambus and DDR2 problems). As a result they can be quite expensive to obtain.
With the VF-31a the problem is there was far higher demand than product produced and seemed to be going for around £500!?!? The VF-31J kai was a convention exclusive which made it rarer and more expensive than the other. Fortunately I was able to get one from ebay when they had a coupon day for a reasonable price.
Regarding the super parts, if you miss the pre-orders/early orders the price can shoot right up to the price of the original figure. As of writing we are still missing a release of delta 3. So take care and be aware of what you are getting into if you decide to collect these figures 🙂
Bandai have put out a completely differently engineered SV-262Hs Draken III which are the “badies” of the series which we will take a look at next time.