Part 4: the Sustained Explosion
The arrival of Yamato 2 on television in October 1978 extended the explosive success of Farewell to Yamato over a six-month period and kept fans primed for new model kits that populated both versions of the story. This was also the birthing period for the next Bandai revolution, the smaller-scale Mecha Collection kits that retailed for only 100yen (about a dollar) and ignited a modelmaking fever like none before it.
1/500 Space Battleship Yamato “Cosmic Model” (Nov. 1978)
Over 20 inches long, this finely-crafted behemoth was the largest Yamato kit to be found until Bandai’s 1/350 version was released in 2007. It came bundled with a redesigned Analyzer kit that eliminated the windup motor function.
1/3071 White Comet Empire Dreadnaught (Nov. 1978)
The second enemy ship to be released, this monster was also another “panel model” with supporting wires that threaded through a heavy cardboard display panel.
Mecha Collection Kits 1-8 (Jan. 1979)
1: Space Battleship Yamato 2: Cosmo Tiger II 3: EDF Battleship 4: EDF Flagship Andromeda 5: Dessler's Battleship 6: White Comet Empire Dreadnaught 7: Baruze's Comet Empire Twin-Deck Carrier 8: Naska's Comet Empire Single-Deck Carrier
Goland’s Comet Empire Missile Ship (Feb. 1979)
Mecha Collection Kits 9 & 10 (Feb. 1979)
9: Comet Empire Destroyer 10: Goland's Comet Empire Missile Ship
Mecha Collection Space Panorama set 1: Earth Defense Fleet (April 1979)
Shown at top left, this clever “combination kit” bundled five mini-kits together with a self-standing backdrop. This rather one-sided set pitted the Yamato, Andromeda, EDF Battleship, and Cosmo Tiger II against a single Comet Empire Twin-Deck Carrier.
Mecha Collection Space Panorama set 2: White Comet Empire Force (April 1979)
Shown at bottom left, this second set nicely balanced out the first one with Dessler’s Battleship and four Comet Empire ships. Purchasing both of these Space Panorama sets would net all ten of the mini-kits that had been released thus far.
Mecha Collection Kits 11 & 12 (May 1979)
11: EDF Escort Ship (twin ships) 12: EDF Destroyer (twin ships)
EDF Battleship (July 1979)
This was the first release to include bonus kits: two miniature Comet Empire fightercraft.
1/700 EDF Patrol Cruiser (July 1979)
Included a bonus Medical Shuttle kit
Mecha Collection Kits 13-15 (July 1979)
13: EDF Patrol Cruiser with mini Cosmo Tiger II 14: Comet Empire Battleship 15: Gamilas Destroyer with mini space submarine
1/700 EDF Flagship Andromeda (Aug. 1979)
Over 15 inches long, this handsome kit required almost no painting and came with lights for the engine that could be activated by the sliding Kodai-and-Yuki-shaped switch on the stand.
Mecha Collection Space Panorama set 3: The Rivals (Aug. 1979)
Shown above left, this set pitted Yamato and a Cosmo Tiger against Dessler’s Battleship, a Gamilon Destroyer, and a Comet Empire Destroyer.
Mecha Collection Space Panorama set 4: Battle of Saturn (Aug. 1979)
Shown above center, the Andromeda and twin EDF Destroyers take on three Comet Empire ships.
Mecha Collection Space Panorama set 5: Battle against the White Comet City (Aug 1979)
Shown above right, four EDF ships bravely face off against Zordar’s Dreadnaught and a Comet Empire Twin-Deck carrier.
Bandai promotional brochures, 1978/79