That’s the first impression as we look at it. Especially if you are used to the regular grips. And VIRPIL does have some big grips.

Looking at the size of the thing, you have to wonder how much it weights, right? It must be crazy heavy!

Except it’s not.

It really isn’t that heavy. But, as you pick it up, you also notice why. Pretty much all the grip is made out of plastic. Not bad quality plastic, though. It feels quite comfortable to the touch and sturdy.

Oh, by the way, these photos were taken with a phone. This is really a quick-overview of the product. A full-blown review, with better photos will come out later once I get a final production unit.

VIRPIL Apache 64 Collective Grip

The amount of buttons, switches, hats and any other funky type of control is insane and they all feel very comfortable and solid. As I tried the (single) metal switch I noticed it had 3 positions (temporary up, temporary down and middle) but as I tried to see if it was loose as I moved it sideways, a surprise: left and right also work! It’s almost like another hat!

Everything feels quite solid. Some hats and buttons do have a bit of slack, which VIRPIL already told me it should be fixed for the final/production units. It doesn’t really hurt the quality of the product, and I was paying very close attention to it as I fiddled with all the controls in this unit since I was focusing on the feel of it, of course.

All the covers are pretty solid. No slack there, which I kind expected to be so that was a nice surprise for me. These are sometimes hard to make sturdy enough not to have lateral movement. VIRPIL did a great job there.

VIRPIL Apache 64 Collective Grip

Now, please note that I have yet to connect it to my collective base and to the computer of course, so bear in mind that these are my very, very, very first thoughts and impact with the collective.

Also, this is a pre-production unit, so keep that in mind as VIRPIL collects my and other people’s feedback.

Expect a full review once I manage to get a good number of hours using it. I do not like to rush my reviews. You’ll probably see some other stuff being released by other folks out there before I release my full review. Check those out and gather as much feedback as you can.

I will release my review but don’t expect me to “race” other content creators to be “the first” to talk about it. I’m only mentioning it because I’ve had some messages from folks asking why it is that I always seem to delay my reviews.

I do it because I want to try the products as much as I need to be able to make up my mind on them. I will not be doing anyone (you, VIRPIL and myself) any favors to try and win a non-existent race. Please be patient and you will learn about my honest thoughts on this and other products.

As for “first impressions” I am very happy with it and can’t wait to get everything set up and working. If you’re looking into buying it, you can order it right now at the VIRPIL website at a special price of EUR219,95 instead of EUR269,95 (or the equivalent in your currency).