The subscription for Voltron Classics is finally over and now the Defender of the Universe is complete. This new Voltron (called Go-Lion in Japan) is a huge 23” tall and larger than life! Although each lion is a bit cheap in quality, paint application, lop-sided stickers and legs that won’t stay locked in place; the lions are also huge with opening cockpits for the 3 ¾ inch figures to sit inside and are amazing in a positive way.
In a line that was riddled with complaints from the time of the subscription drive, the end result for those who were lucky to not have any major problems of missing weapons, alternate heads, stands, stickers and odd paint tone are rewarded with a toy that takes a prime spot on the collectors shelf.
This three article series will show the almost year long wait to form Voltron—Go-Lion!
Each white mailer box included a lion and a figure, starting with Pidge, the 3rd piece to be delivered. Pidge is sculpted to scale as being a very intelligent kid; he was part of the team of space adventurers who would become the pilots of Voltron. In Japan’s Go-Lion, the cartoon that Voltron was created from, he was named Hiroshi ‘Shorty’ Suzuishi. Usually referred to as Shorty in the original Japanese show, Pidge was portrayed as very brave and very smart; however, he also was shown as being a little jerk especially towards the Princesses nanny, but ran like the kid he is when she would want to whack him.
Pidge features a great package with awesome cartoon artwork and a window to see the figure through.
The back of the box has a ton of info and images.
Inside, the figure is housed with a piece of the “Collect and Connect” Blazing Sword, his stand, alternate head and the figure itself. The figure has limited articulation including a ball jointed head, and basic movement in the arms and legs, a big complaint from collectors. The gun or laser is a permanent attachment and although he has an open hand, he can’t hold the weapon. I’ve decided to keep the figures in their boxes because the total package is just awesome and I want to keep them from getting damaged from “shelf wear.”
Hunk, the 2nd figure set that shipped, is the tough guy, the lazy comic relief and a powerful warrior. In the original Go-Lion, Hunk was named Tsuyoshi ‘Hot Head’ Seido–he pretty much had temper issues when you watch the character in either the original or the Voltron series.
As with Pidge, the figure has great box art and the window to see the piece inside.
The back of the box has a fistful of information.
…And the inside tray features the smallest piece of the Blazing Sword with the figure looking lonely on the right. Hunk has a great character sized sculpt and the alternate head. The figure stand doubles as the key to opening the cockpit of the lions and in the original videos getting people to want to buy the subscription it was used for other purposes which will be described in a moment.
The Green Lion is presented in a showcase package (it has too vast a window to simply be called window box packaging, this is a showcase)! Each lion is strapped in so tight that the box has to be cut open at all points in order to remove the piece without damaging the paint which is a shame because once the box is opened, its forever—unless you want to take the time to rebuild it by re-taping all the openings, ect…
The back of the box features as much information as the action figures.
The Yellow Lion is really big—really, really big! I had the Matchbox Voltron when I was young and it was so tiny compared to this, even though the quality of the die cast metal in the 80’s far outweighed this 2012 giant plastic marvel. Also featuring the showcase box, the landscape art behind the lion makes for a great mint in box collectible.
The back of the box features a ton of info and like the Green Lion; the box has to be dissected to get the piece out from the inside.
Now loose and side by side, the detail of the lions is very generalized in such a way that they were supposed to resemble the lions from the cartoon. Vac-metal limbs are now a dim white and the details from the die cast versions are no longer present, just a standard, cartoon stripped sculpt. The original toys featured missile launchers and even the Green Lion’s head would fire away from the body. All of that coolness was replaced with clicking joints, limited articulation, opening cockpits for the figures to sit and buttons for quick-change action.
Using the figure stand/key (or a fingernail), the cockpits can be opened to reveal a white seat surrounded by a few stickers that show the lions controls. The large Yellow Lion’s hatch does not stay up on its own and the Green Lion’s opening, double doors don’t even need the button pressed in order to open them—dude, that’s weak! However, it’s cool nonetheless; why? It’s simply what it is and doesn’t cause any problems for me because I don’t plan to do any special displays.
Changing each lion into its body part is not too hard; it is only difficult when the legs don’t lock into the flimsy nubs. Accidentally hitting one of the 2 buttons that the Green Lion sports or the single button on the Yellow Lion makes for a sad face, but other than that, they stay together well enough.
As mentioned earlier, Mattel’s video on the lions shown their hand model using the figure stand key to press the buttons for the quick change action feature which pulls in the nubs and makes the spring loaded legs return to the open position—in the case of the Yellow Lion, the head falls back into place. All of that is unnecessary; just press the buttons, no key needed.
The Green Lion has an arm attachment that folds down with some stiff, loud clicks and the Yellow Lion has an access door below its tail that allows it to attach to the Black Lion. The Yellow Lion also has a small button that is depressed when removing it from the Black Lion—everything clicks together.
The remaining points of interest are the head and mouth articulation and the included mouth weapon. Finally, there is a little instruction page included with each, something useful for the first time and when its not needed anymore, it fits great into the back of the action figures box.
GRADE: Based On Quality.
Pidge: B+ (The alternate head has a flaw in the helmet where its attached to the head itself, however, the figure has some nice detail, especially in his wild Anime hair and headband, also his glasses are well done).
Hunk: A- (There are flaws, but its not so bad altogether. The scale, as with Pidge is just great for the line and for the fans).
Green Lion: B+ (The cockpit doors should probably not open by hand, it makes it easier to deal with, but it also makes it flimsy. The legs stay locked in place well and the cockpit sticker application is a little (Thursday evening) if you get what I mean).
Yellow Lion: B+ (All in all, the lion is pretty sturdy, however in Voltron form, the front legs open because of the weight, that’s not good because it means that the legs are wobbling on their joints and that seems to be the cause of them opening. The sticker application is not great like the rest of them and there are some paint issues).
Next up, the Red Lion and Blue Lion with Lance, Princess Allura and Club Lion Force exclusive figure Sven!
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