Yamato is no stranger to the YF-19/VF-19 design; 1 of the 1st toys they worked on was the 1/72 YF-19 in their Macross Plus line. That was many years ago, and over the years fans have clamored for modernized Macross 7 toys. Last year was a surprise when Yamato announced plans for 1/60 VF-22S Sturmvogel II‘s from Macross Dynamite 7, and later on, the VF-11C.
Of course, a Macross 7 lineup without the mecha of Nekki Basara is…well; incomplete! While fans still cling onto hope for Diamond Force‘s VF-17 Nightmare(s), Yamato has revealed(via their blog and showing at Summer Wonderfest 2010), the 1/60 VF-19 Kai Fire Valkyrie!
Flown by the pacifist Nekki Basara, the Fire Valkyrie is one of the most unique “hero mecha” seen in Macross. Even of all the VF-19 Excalibur variants, the Fire Valkyrie stands out. This customized valkyrie features a speaker gun pod in lieu of an actual gun pod, which is fitting for Basara. Its joystick is basically a…guitar. Basara is able to sing within the cockpit and annoy(or entertain, you pick) his enemies and/or audience after shooting the speaker pods into enemy mecha, in efforts to bring about…peace.
Ultimately this pays off somehow later on in the series and Basara even comes to the rescue of a very familiar Macross ace in blue…Yamato’s latest efforts definitely show a significant sign of advancement with regards to design. This is a very different toy than their previous YF-19 from 2006. The YF/VF-19 family notably features rather big battroid bodies(but not fat) in the anime, and previous Yamato transformable YF/VF-19(A VF-19A was released in the 1/72 line years back) toys tended to be rather skinny. This is the 1st transformable VF-19 toy that Yamato has produced that features proportions in battroid mode that are accurate to the anime.
As shown on Yamato’s blog, the fighter mode of the 1/60 Fire Valkyrie is not notably compromised by the big proportions of the battroid mode. Maintaining a big battroid mode while having a slender fighter mode is an accomplishment on Yamato’s part. A VF-19S Blazer Valkyrie is most likely planned as a follow up release next spring or summer.
The YF-19 only shares the overall silhouette of the Fire Valkyrie, they only share that and the “19” designation number. So if Yamato does indeed plan to make a V2 1/60 YF-19, it will be an all new mold. The question is though, could Yamato be planning one for the 30th anniversary of Macross in 2012? It is unlikely that Yamato will take another stab at the VF-11B and YF-21 in 1/60 scale; the current ones were well received by fans. The 1/60 YF-19 is the most dated of the 3.
In any case, the upcoming Fire Valkyrie is indicative of Yamato’s ingenuity when it comes to designing variable fighter toys. What could Yamato be turning their attention to next?