All Things Andromeda, part 2

Back up to part 1

The Legacy Years

Everything on the previous page represents all the major Andromeda products released during the original production years. Minor ones, such as trading cards or posters, all used similar images and are too numerous to include. Feel free to explore the merchandising articles in our Farewell and Yamato 2 sections to see them.

From here forward, we see how the ship evolved as a legacy item.

B-Club #58, September 1990

Bandai’s premiere hobby magazine (1985-1998) ran occasional Yamato articles here and there, but one of the most interesting came in this issue, which spotlighted Andromeda for the first time in many years.

The real surprise was a completely new painting by Studio Nue’s Kazutaka Miyatake. Before this, no one had any idea that an Andromeda II was on anyone’s radar, let alone that of the original designer. Since it never appeared again, it was probably just an imaginative exercise. The painting subsequently appeared in the first of two Yamato Entertainment Bibles from Bandai (December 1990) and vanished into history. But it resonated strongly enough to make its way into Star Blazers Rebirth, a webcomic that can be found here.

Waterships by Banpresto, May 1999

These two 6″ mini-ships, a “super-deformed” Yamato and Andromeda, were weighted at the bottom to stay upright in a pool or tub while their little windup propellers zipped them along at attack speed. That is, if any serious fan could bring themselves to get the things wet. Banpresto made similar waterships for Leiji Matsumoto’s Captain Harlock series.

1/350 model, July 1999

Imai outdid themselves with this 1/350 “Big Model” Andromeda. It was more in line with garage kit technology, a combination of resin and cast metal parts that built up into the biggest Andromeda model made by anyone before or since. It was a product of the Leiji Matsumoto “revival” era (read more about that here) and each limited-edition kit came with an autographed card.

See a photo gallery of the kit here.

Mimuko Toys, August 1999

Mimuko did a series of high-quality miniature spaceships branded as the “Museum of Leiji Matsumoto” series. Made of sturdy polystone resin, they were replicas of Bandai’s classic Mechanic Scale model kits. Ship No. 03 was a drydocked Andromeda, and No. A-00 was the same ship painted silver.

The final ship in this line was a completely new 1/1000 scale Andromeda DX. This was based on the original length, which was increased substantially for the Yamato 2202 version. Thus, it is smaller than Bandai’s 1/1000 model of the newer version.

Ball Pens by Banpresto, September 1999

It may have looked like a fine little replica, but a single pull would reveal a sturdy ballpoint pen inside each of these three 5″ ships: Yamato, Andromeda, and Dessler’s Battleship. And when the ink ran dry, you’d still have something to display. You have to admit, that’s a far better fate for an empty pen than ending up in a landfill.

Farewell to Yamato Playstation game, May 2000

Andromeda made its first appearance in CG in this sim game from Bandai, which allowed players to relive the Comet Empire story with branching events that lead either to the Farewell ending or the Yamato 2 ending.

Not only were all the mecha rendered in CG, their designs were given an overhaul by the original master designer himself, Kazutaka Miyatake. Read much more about this game here

Lightup Mechanic Models by Banpresto, March 2000

Returning to the “super-deformed” world, Banpresto delivered another Yamato and Andromeda, this time with removable sides to show off the inner workings, which bore very little resemblance to animation designs but could at least light up impressively. The Analyzer model, certainly one of the best-looking versions to date, could separate into head, chest, and leg components.

Keystroke Heroes typing games

The next CG Andromeda emerged in a series of typing games from Sourcenext that cherry-picked the Yamato saga for scenarios that could be reworked and adapted to include a typing component that improved your skill at a keyboard. The CG cutscenes for the game were of exquisite quality for their day, and still look pretty darn good now.

One particular game (released September 2001) was named Typing Dispersion Wave-Motion Gun after Andromeda’s prime weapon. Read much more about these games here.

Miniature by Nubel International, April 2004

Novelty manufacturer Nubel rolled out a set of five miniatures sold in convenience stores. This set included Yamato, Andromeda, Dessler’s battleship, a Cosmo Zero and a Cosmo Tiger II.

Playstation 2 games, October 2004

A series of three PS2 games from Bandai picked up where the PS1 games left off, rebooting the New Voyage/Be Forever story in a trilogy with significant changes to design and story. Most significant in this context was an expansion of the Earth fleet to include an Andromeda II upgrade called the Shunran with THREE Wave-Motion Guns in its bow. Both were hand-designed once again by Kazutaka Miyatake. Read all about the games here

Miniature by 7-Eleven, September 2005

The ubiquitous 7-Eleven convenience store chain (which began its life in Japan before spreading, mosslike, around the globe) released a creative mix of figures and spaceships a variety of poses, including a small Andromeda firing its shock cannons. As with most mass-produced miniatures, it was not uncommon for hot-press parts to warp in their packaging, which lead to many a droopy energy beam. But as fans have come to learn over the years, that’s just part of the charm. See the entire lineup of 7-Eleven figures here.

Mechanical Collection miniature, November 2006

After 25 years of separation, the name ‘Popy’ finally appeared on a Yamato product again with a set of 10 miniatures, roughly the same size as the original Bandai Mechanic Collection model kits.

Each ship came with precise sculpting, stunning box art, and a gorgeous collector’s card. Read more about this series here

Cosmo Fleet miniature, April 2007

Megahouse, another subsidiary of Bandai, released smaller miniatures in their “Cosmo Fleet” line, which continues today as “Cosmo Fleet Special” in the 2199/2202 era. Andromeda was among the many ships rendered in Cosmo Fleet form. See all of them here

Andromeda Metal Statue, January 2008

Echoing the Franklin Mint, Marmit released this beautifully-constructed Andromeda, which became the new record holder for length. Though a scale was not cited, this one stretched to 17.7″, almost three inches longer than the 1/700 Bandai model kit.

Its bow was somewhat longer than the official design to better imitate the look of the anime, and it was designed to match the scale of Bandai’s Popynica Yamato. It was reissued by Marmit in late 2009 without the weathered paint job. (See it here.)

Visit Marmit’s homepage here.

Mechanical Collection miniature by Lawson, December 2008

Lawson, one of the bigger convenience store chains in Japan, surprised everyone with a new Mechanical Collection, eight ships released as part of a canned-drink promotion. Each could be mounted on its own stand or combined in the separate domed display base. See the whole set here.

CR Yamato 2 Pachinko game, February 2009

Yamato has enjoyed a long and fruitful history in the pachinko industry, bringing new artistry and animation to the classic stories. The quality of the CG cutscenes for this game in particular easily topped everything that came before it, rivaling what would later be seen in the live action Yamato film from December 2010. Thankfully, Andromeda was prominent in the promotional campaign.

Get an extensive look at the game here.

Space Battleship Yamato Fact File, October 2009

Weekly collector’s magazines are published in japan for all sorts of pop-culture subjects, including favorite anime programs. They are essentially grand encyclopedias broken up into individual issues to be amassed, sorted, and clipped into binders for preservation. The DeAgostini publishing company added Yamato to this respectable pantheon to mark the approach of Resurrection in 2009. They were full of new art, primarily painted by mecha master Hidetaka Tenjin, and of course Andromeda was there.

Read a full overview of Yamato Fact File here.

See all the pages that were devoted to the ship here

Super Andromeda, December 2009

A brief but memorable side-road was attached to the Andromeda legacy when this new version appeared on the big screen in Yamato Resurrection. Designed by co-director Makoto Kobayashi, a version of this ship captained by none other than Yuki Mori participated in a major battle at the beginning of the film. The ship was found, but Yuki was not. Many years later, she still remains in suspension (and so do we) for a sequel.

The amount of official Super Andromeda merchandise is limited to this one tiny capsule toy, part of a set of 5 that came and went like a flash. It now resides only in the hands of collectors.

Spaceship pins collection, January 2010

The “Spaceship Pins Collection” was released as a co-production by Plex and Yamato Toys. Limited to 1,000 sets, it included 43 different pins with five spaceships from Yamato Resurrection. See an enlarged image here.

DG miniatures, December 2010

Bandai closed out 2010 with yet another miniatures set. DG stands for Digital Grade, a computer-controlled painting system developed to bring an astonishing degree of precision detailing to miniature toys. The process has previously been used to boost action hero figures to a new standard of excellence, and Andromeda joined the lineup in both normal and cutaway form. This is where the DG process truly shines, delivering a level of intricacy that was previously possible only in a much larger model.

1/625 GX-58 “Soul of Chogokin” Andromeda, February 2011

Following their GX-57 “Soul of Chogokin” Yamato by two months, Bandai finally gave us the Andromeda we always wished for, a sturdy plastic & diecast metal desktop toy over 17″ long with all sorts of built-in gimmicks. The turrets rotate, the previously-unknown hangar hatch opens, and a remote control activates lights and sound effects for the Wave-Motion Guns and the engines. It also sets off cannon sounds and a few music tracks.

See a profile on YouTube here.

See a detailed review on Collection DX here

See it in action here

Continue to part 3: Garage kits and Yamato 2202

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