VF100’s VF-25S Messiah Ozma Custom
The figure being reviewed today is from one of my favourite Macross anime TV series “Macross Frontier”, and is none other than the custom VF-25S Messiah Valkyrie of Skull Squadron Leader Ozma Lee (オズマ・リー).
The story focuses on three main characters and the events that revolve around them as the human space colony “Frontier” faces attacks from an unknown alien enemy.
Ozma Lee is a top ace pilot of the S.M.S (private military company) and the leader of the Skull Squadron. For more information on the characters and the anime series, see here.
Name: VF-25S Messiah Ozma Custom
Original Price: ¥4,800 (approx. $60AUD / $55USD)
Height: 140mm / 5.51inches
(150mm to top of antenna in battroid mode)
The VF100’s comes in a collector’s box with flip open lid to allow a glimpse of the figure in battroid mode as well as the arm shield and knife. All accessories have their allocated slots within the 4 layered plastic lining, but getting them out was a bit of a challenge if you wanted to keep the original tape intact which held the small bits in place.
Ozma’s VF-25S comes with two guns (one for battroid mode, one for fighter mode), the knife, arm shield, a couple extra sets of hands and a whole lot of other crap (#$&*!@#$) which is required to transform the VF-25S to the 3 different modes. Apart from the obvious question of why there needs to be so many parts to do the transformation, I also wonder how hard it would have been for Bandai to just make one gun that can open and close to be used for both the battroid and fighter modes. (Seriously, a big company like Bandai can’t manage that?!)
In all three modes, the sculpt is pretty nice and the proportions are very close to the line art. It doesn’t look as bulky as the DX toy, but it is also much smaller and feels less “substantial” than I had originally anticipated. For the size of the figure, it is comparatively well detailed and everything looks crisp and sharp.
A couple of problems I found with this figure when in fighter mode. Some of the parts and panels don’t line up all that well which leaves unsightly gaps, and the legs have nothing to snap or click into which makes it difficult for them to stay in place but overall it looks quite good.
This is probably the worst of the 3 modes, but not because of the way it looks. As you can probably see, it looks great in this mode – but only until you pick it up and try to pose with it. Because of the leg extensions required to transform to gerwalk mode, the legs become very flimsy and loose, more so than the other 2 modes and it tends to want to do the split all the time.
This figure has quite a decent amount of articulation, the only problem being keeping the pose as most of the joints are very loose! This can become quite annoying as it limits the way you can display this figure, and to be honest this figure is probably best left for displaying rather than for playing with. (The kicking pose was aided with a stand)
In gerwalk mode, the legs are basically useless. So to stop the whole thing from flopping to the ground, you’d have to snap on the clear display adaptor – only two problems with this, firstly the legs will look very rigid and upright and secondly there is no display stand included (available separately for ¥1,365!!?!?).
This is one of the few positives I found with the figure. Paint job is nice and crisp with no visible sign of over spray or patchiness, and the pad printing is quite sharp considering the size, and there is plenty of it!
One of the biggest downfalls with this figure is the transformation process. If you consider this to be a toy, even for an adult collector the process is just unacceptable to the point where it could actually drive you insane at times. Firstly you have to take the entire thing apart, swap 80% of the bits over and put it together again. Surely there is a better way of doing all this using even less parts that you can potentially loose (and if you do you’re screwed!). Even deploying the landing gears in fighter mode involves swapping parts.
Speaking of the landing gears, I thought they looked great, it was one of the reasons I bought the damned thing which made it even more disappointing when I found out it was a parts swap deployment.
I really liked the look of this figure in all 3 modes, but the transformation really gave me shivers. The first time it took a good 20 minutes or so just figuring what all the extra parts were, then another 10 minutes doing the actual transformation.
As a model, yes this is a great pre-finished model with good paint and print, but as a toy, it is absolutely terrible. At a hefty retail price of ¥4,800 (approx. $60AUD / $55USD), I was expecting something a little better engineered in terms of transformation.
Now, if you’re thinking about getting into this line you may want to wait until you see them on sale, even though I love Macross Frontier I would only consider buying more from this line if I see at least a 30% sale – however the VF-19kai Fire Valkyrie (VF-19改 ファイヤーバルキリー) looks promising! (Jan 2010 release)
Thanks for reading my toy review!