Over the past year, Mattel has been slowly but surely releasing the Lions of Voltron, and their respective Space Explorer pilots, much to the delight of Voltron fans everywhere. I think the wonderful thing about these toys is the fact a company as big as Mattel even made him in the first place. Sure, there’s a new cartoon on the air now, but this is classic Voltron, a Voltron from my time – The classic Lion Force Voltron. It’s like a slice of mom’s homemade pie straight from your childhood. And to answer everyone’s burning question – they did good by him. First off – a little housekeeping. The previously reviewed Blue Lion & Allura is available on August 15th. By now you know the drill; get in there early, these things sell out very fast. The Black Lion and Keith go on sale this October. Until then, let’s take a look at all this king of beasts has to offer.
The Black Lion has ALWAYS been my favorite, and I’m guessing he’s yours, too! This gem of the lion is the largest piece in the line, and by far the heaviest. The Black Lion includes his trademarked blade which can be held nicely in his spring loaded jaws. Now’s a good time to discuss something that differs from previous offerings in the set. The Black Lion’s jaws are spring loaded, which means they snap closed. He can hold his sword nicely, but you can’t pose him with his mouth open. It’s a small price to pay, and one that’s necessary for his cool auto-transform mechanism used to form “The Head!” He still opens up to hold the included Keith
Also included with the Black Lion are Voltron’s trusted weapons, the vaunted Blazing Sword and rarely-used Space Cutter. Don’t throw out the packaging without opening up the bottom to discover these hidden treasures!
Keith completes our team of Space Explorers (save for the exclusive Sven, who hasn’t shipped yet. TEAM SVEN! I digress) He appears to mostly use parts from Lance, but that’s appropriate, as they had similar builds in the original cartoon. These are some of the best 3 3/4″ figures Mattel has done. Nice articulation, clean paint, very accurate head sculpts, and interchangeable helmeted heads. I do wish that the guns came out of their holsters and could be held, but that’s my personal gripe, they’re a cool set. Keith also includes his black key stand and the final piece to assemble the collect-n-connect electrified Blazing Sword.
LET’S GO VOLTRON FORCE!!! By now, if you’ve purchased the sub, or if you’re a childhood fan of Voltron, you know how he goes together. Therefore, I’m going to show several pictures of this behemoth, and give a few points of interest.
Pros: * The detail is amazing, and really spot-on accurate to my memories of the show. * The proportions are really nicely done. His head is the perfect size for the body. * This is the most poseable and articulated Voltron that fully transforms – ever. If you own Mattel’s excellent 7″ Blazing Sword Voltron (shown below for size comparison), you already have the most poseable version made – but it doesn’t transform. * The hands hold the Space Cutter and Blazing Swords firmly and securely – a first for this character. * He’s huge. And heavy. This is a LOT of toy. * The joints are heavily ratcheted, and hold poses very well. Cons: * I really miss the numbers on the individual lions. * I wish the Blue,Yellow, and Black Lions could fully close their mouths. Just my personal preference from my original Godaikin Golion. * He’s really tough to photograph, this toy is enormous. He takes up TONS of space. clear your shelves, STAT.
Mattel was right – this IS the Voltron we always wanted as kids, and now he’s a reality. If you’re a fan, don’t miss out, you will be sorry you did. Mattel went on record officially at Comicon that this one can’t go back in to production to due the staggering costs involved with making a toy of this scale. That said, it’s been a real privilege to have been given the opportunity to give everyone a sneek peek at this toy of the year candidate. Special thanks to Toy Guru & the team at Mattel for sending this sample to AFI for review.