Self-enabling is a complete bastard. A vintage Transformers collector will, nine times out of ten, really love the Generation 1 Jetfire toy. I first owned one in 1998 and was spellbound. Even though I hadn't owned one for over a decade until this year again, like a lot of Jetfire lovers, I had an associated but passing interest in the world of vintage 1/55 Takatoku and Bandai Macross Valkyries, the place from which the Shoji Kawamori designed mould that was used for G1 Jetfire originates. Macross was the slippery slope I avoided for a decade and a half, but after watching the "Do You Remember Love?" Macross animated movie and writing a TFSource article on non-Takara pre-Transformers in late 2013, I finally cracked and started collecting vintage and reissue 1/55 Macross. This series will chart my one year project to complete the toy line in a single calendar year.
|Bandai vintage VF-1S Strike Valkyrie|
I decided in December 2013 that I wanted one of every 1/55 Valkyrie variant, colour, type etc, including a Matsushiro Macross-symbol G1 Jetfire. I started researching the subject thoroughly during my Christmas trip to see my in-laws in Iceland. By research, I mean daily pestering and questioning of my long-time collecting friend Jeremy Kaufmann, as well as Heroic Decepticon and Gordon Yip. Jeremy's photographic contributions of his vintage VF-1S Strike Valkyrie - an all time favourite dream toy of mine - had a great deal to do with this project being conceived.
|Bandai reissue 2002 VF-1S Roy Fokker|
To have every variant of the famous mould possible and create the Macross fleet I desired, I would need to collect vintage 1/55 Battroid Valkyries from Takatoku Toys, the later Bandai vintage 1/55s, the Matsushiro G1 Jetfire, 2002 Bandai reissues and the 2008 Bandai "Origin Of Valkyrie" reissues I had previously never heard of. A few Skyfire-a-like bootlegs from Hergoss and Joon's would have to be added to the list as well. I would never have undertaken the task had the toys in question been as expensive as I remember them in their pomp in the late 90s and early 2000s pre-reissue.
This was never going to be a purchase-on-sight exercise, I wanted to take my time and really get the best deal from all possible sources and contacts. I also started out with the philosophy that I just wanted to be able to create a killer mass Valkyrie display, so as Macross wasn't my primary collecting hobby, I would not be gunning for unused or mint (or even complete) specimens. Even boxes and paperwork were not essential for vintage rarities. At least that's how it started out.
|2008 reissue exclusive Origin of Valkyrie VF-1A Hikaru Super Valkyrie|
I decided to record every purchase and source, and create a spreadsheet detailing all involved costs, and then at the end of the year (December 2014), reveal all my findings and the total cost of creating a 'complete' (by my personal definition) 1/55 Macross Valkyrie collection/rainbow and make that research available to anyone who cared to read it. Why am I choosing to collect only 1/55s and Valkyries instead of amazing Yamato stuff and Destroids etc? Because I am primarily a Transformers collector who sees Macross as the "Jetfire Rainbow". I realise that sounds ignorant, but all it implies is that I love Jetfire's mould, and I want every version of it.
There's no guarantee I'll succeed, because I've actually had to suspend all toy buying for March and April, which as you can imagine has thrown a massive spanner in the works. However, I have already seen every single toy I need for the 'complete' project collection available for sale at least once since December 2013. So it's completely possible. The next post on this topic will be "Macross One Year project - Dec 2013", so it'll be a month-by-month series that requires a 5 month catch-up, then regular posts at the end of each subsequent month.
Wish me luck!
|Bandai 2002 reissue VF-1J Miriya|
All the best