If this were any better a Valkyrie, I think Harmony Gold would have to sue.
And of course, one of the most beloved toys of the original Transformers toy line is everybody's favorite Super VF-1S Valkyrie Fighter repaint, Jetfire, the Autobot Air Guardian (officially licensed from Bandai, manufacturer of the toy, by Hasbro). The problem with doing Jetfire today is that, by golly, he's a Super VF-1S. Thankfully for Hasbro, back in the day they had to create a fake Jetfire named Skyfire for the cartoon, since the manufacturer of the bulk of the Transformers line back in Japan, Takara, didn't want the cartoon to advertise another manufacturer's toys, so the new Jetfire toy is an homage to both the original toy and the cartoon version.
Of course, it's still as close to a Valkyrie as you can get without being either licensed by Big West or Harmony Gold, or being a cheap, shoddy piece of work you'd find at Big Lots. The Skyfire design had a lot of really ugly bits to it, especially in plane mode, so most of the callbacks in Fighter mode are to the toy, which if you'll recall does bear more than a passing resemblance to the F-14 Tomcat, the coolest real-world fighter plane of the 1980's.
Fighter mode. Note the swing-wings and FAST packs. He also has the arm armor of the Super Valkyrie, which fires those clear blue missiles, though his arms are at the sides instead of between the Fighter mode legs. The gun you see beneath the blue missile is half of Jetfire's twin-barreled laser cannon, which is based on the Skyfire animation model. Splitting the gun in two and storing it this way hides the robot mode hands, the otherwise exposed hands being one of the few major annoying bits of the toy's transformation (or in this one little case, lack thereof).
While the nosecone is ugly as sin, it's an homage to the squared-off Skyfire nosecone, only done up in the Jetfire toy's colors. The intakes on the front cleverly fold up to the sides to become the intakes on the robot chest, as on the Valkyrie robot design. That's a clever bit of turning a weakness in one mode into a strength in another.
In the Skyfire animation design, the FAST packs were turned into one big brick that the tailfins stuck out of -- a very inelegant solution that made Skyfire look even less aerodynamic than squaring off all the fighter's curves did. Here the toy designers stick with what works, even if it means totally aping the Macross FAST packs. A top view would show you that between the packs is a fake version of the Valkyrie's tailfin/small thruster cluster bit that folds up in the GERWALK/Guardian and Battroid/Battloid modes. It's fake because when you remove the FAST packs, it comes off as well, and Jetfire's vertical tailfins fold up from the sides.
I really like how they put the twin lasers on the sides of the nosecone, splitting the difference between the Valkyrie head lasers and the occasionally-seen "nose lasers" from the Macross animation. That's a cute touch.
GERWALK/Guardian mode. Not in the instructions, of course, but very doable. For comparison, Yamato's 1/60 VF-1A in Hikaru colors, as close to Jetfire colors as mass-released Valkyries get. Since this Valkyrie is sans Super Valkyrie equipment, I thought I'd strip Jetfire of his as well -- and let me tell you, getting those FAST packs off is a total pain, and I think it even shaved off some bits of the plastic clips that hold it in place when I yanked the piece off.
One thing that the nigh-to-excessive panel lines and the style of the tailfins make clear is that the designers took this very much to be a "space F-14," going back to the real aircraft that Shoji Kawamori took for inspiration when designing the VF-1 in order to de-Valkyrie-fy the Jetfire design. The wings have much more of a Valkyrie shape to them than an F-14 shape, however.
Battroid mode. Standing next to my Toynami Hikaru's Strike VF-1S super-poseable figure, I think all the major points of comparison are made crystal clear. If you clicky-click for detail, though, you can even notice the (unpainted) Valkyrie shoulder lights flanking Jetfire's head. That Valkyrie head, by the way, is a helmet that comes off to reveal a very good likeness of the Skyfire animation model's head.
The wings, of course, sweep up in an homage to Skyfire. Similarly, the strange look of Jetfire's legs is an homage to the very bizarrely curved and flared shape of Skyfire's legs. Oddly enough, y'know, the super-poseable Valkyrie's giant knees remind me more of Skyfire's knees than Jetfire's do. While the rounded parts on Jetfire's shoulders reference Skyfire's, there are small triangular markings on there that seem to be a reference to the particular markings on the Valkyrie shoulders. Hmm.
The FAST packs reveal spring-loaded Strike Valkyrie-style guns because when you're making a big cool toy like this, you've got to get as many spring-loaded weapons on there as possible. Isn't there some VF-1 variant from the Macross II timeline that has Strike packs that bend and fold like this?
All in all, a very cool, cleverly thought-out figure that makes a ROBOTECH and Transformers fan like me doubly giddy. Aside from the clips that hold the FAST pack on, which are a bit too strong and consequently a bit too prone to breakage I think, the whole thing is very solidly put together, and while the transformation process isn't as smooth as the Valkyrie transformation ... um, seriously, what is? Personally, I'd call this twenty bucks well spent.