Playmates Brings Back Classic Voltron

first_img Toy Tuesday: The Best Funko PopsToy Tuesday: 11 Coolest Toys of 2018 Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on targetcenter_img That Voltron show on Netflix is pretty good. It’s not surprising, since two of the show’s executive producers worked on Avatar: The Last Airbender, which stands as one of the best-animated series of the last two decades. They also worked on The Legend of Korra, which was also pretty good despite some downright Bablyon 5 levels of awkward-pacing-due-to-uncertain-production-fates. And Dos Santos also directed G.I. Joe: Resolute, a criminally underrated G.I. Joe animated miniseries written by Warren Ellis. Anyway, yeah, Voltron: Legendary Defender is a darn good show with charming animation and compelling, layered characterization.It wouldn’t exist without Voltron: Defender of the Universe, though. V:LD is a fantastic reboot, but the ’84 Voltron is the real classic. Playmates Toys respects that, which is why they have transforming, combining lions from both series. You can build V:LD Voltron by collecting the Legendary Lion figures, or you can put together V:DotU Voltron with the Classic Legendary Lions. And it just happens that Playmates sent us a full set of the classics to try out.And yes, I know Voltron: Defender of the Universe is based on Hyaku-Juo Goraion. Voltron: Legendary Defender actually takes some names and concepts from the good old Beast King as well as the classic Voltron.All five lions are accounted for, sold separately at $18 for the red, green, blue, and yellow lions and $35 for the black lion (which is both the biggest lion and has electronics for sound effects and voice clips). If you know Voltron, you know the deal: Red and Green form the arms, Blue and Yellow form the legs, and Black forms the head. But before we get to the big robot himself, let’s look at each lion, or at least pairs of them.Red and Green are very similar, as Voltron’s arms. Red’s torso is a bit blockier while Green’s is more rounded, but they have identical leg joints, retractable tails, and connecting points that snap onto Voltron’s shoulders. Since Voltron needs elbows, Red and Green both have hinges on their waists, letting them bend in very bizarre angles in lion form. Red comes with Voltron’s blazing sword, which unfortunately is an unpainted gray weapon. Some translucent red or yellow would really have perked it up. Green comes with Voltron’s shield, which is mostly gray but has gold and black highlights in the center. Their jaws open up and spring closed, and have slots for securely mounting the sword and shield.Blue and Yellow are chunkier and less flexible than Red and Green, which is good because they need to support Voltron as his legs. They both have very similar designs, with heads that rotate forward to form the feet and tails that flip up from their backs. Blue’s head has big robot ears and lots of silver-colored accents compared with Yellow’s simple yellow head with a black stripe, though Yellow has a more interesting back, with red fins and a little pivoting cannon thing.All four of the limb lions come with separate blade weapons they can hold in their mouths and spring-loaded missile launchers that can mount on the lions’ shoulder and hip joints. The weapon designs are all different, with nice details like Green’s launcher being sleek with only one missile while Red and Blue’s have a projectile with three missiles on it. Blue also comes with a second hip-mountable weapon that looks like a cannon or thruster and doesn’t shoot anything, and Yellow has a spiked wheel shield as well.The Black lion doesn’t have any weapons or attachments himself, but he is bigger and has those rad red wings. More importantly, he has electronics that lets him say a bunch of phrases and make different sound effects. He makes blaster and explosion sounds and repeats lines shouted by Voltron’s pilots.Transforming the lions into Voltron is simple. This isn’t a Transformers gestalt with a bunch of different parts to fold and twist. Fold the legs of the limb lions inward, then pull out the connectors on Red and Green’s backs and twist Yellow and Blue’s heads up 90 degrees. The Black lion is a little bit more complicated, since you have to fold his front legs into a compartment, but besides that you just stretch his rear legs down, flip the red wings up and spread them, and flip his head down to show Voltron’s face. Pop Red and Green into the shoulders and Yellow and Blue into the hips and you formed Voltron.Voltron looks pretty cool, standing 16 inches tall with lots of classic details. The original Voltron was a bit before my time, so I never had that toy to directly compare it. It’s modern plastic and no die-cast parts, so it feels a bit cheap for such a beefy-looking robot. The knee and hip joints are a bit tricky if you want to stand Voltron up, but it is possible.He’s clearly the based on 1984 design, but because the lions have similar frames as Playmates’ Voltron: Legendary Defender Legendary lions (they’re alternate versions from the same series), this is a much more svelte Voltron than the huge stompy robot you might have had when you were a kid. It’s a pretty neat Voltron, at least, and while all five lions together cost over $100, they’re still more readily available and less expensive than the hardcore collector versions of classic Voltron, like Bandai’s Soul of Chogokin Voltron, (listed on Amazon for a whopping $700 because it’s so rare).If you want a classic Voltron but don’t want to deal with used toys, eBay, flea market hunting, or searching through comic book stores to spend several hundred dollars on the Beast King Go-Lion, Playmates’ Classic Legendary Voltron is a nice alternative. It hits all the classic Voltron beats and stands respectably tall for placing on a shelf, and the individual lions are fun to play with and have lots of accessories.last_img


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