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First Look – Blazing Sword Voltron

Welcome back! That is a welcome back to you, dear reader, but also to our long-lost giant robot friend from the 1980s – VOLTRON! Yes, after all these years, Mattel continues to ride the wave of 80s icons with recent rebirths in securing the rights to bring us brand new toys from Voltron: Defender of the Universe. I will admit that I was caught off guard when Mattel announced that they had secured the rights to big V, but I know the market is salivating for new Voltron toys and since the rights to the property currently reside with Classic Media (the same dudes that hold the FilMation library) it is like a toy match made in giant robot space! The first offering into this new foray is the SDCC (and Matty Collector) exclusive Blazing Sword Voltron, so let’s check him out and see what we might have in store!

Form Blazing Sword!

Even before we get to see anything past the Blazing Sword figure, Mattel has announced plans that they will be offering up “Club Lion Force” for 2012. Based off of the same concept as Club Ecto-1 and Club Eternia, there will be a guaranteed figure subscription with exclusives and all kinds of other incentives. We will have to wait for the Mattypalooza panel this Friday for the details, but I have a feeling it will be like no other Mattel offering thus far. But for now, if you are heading to the big dance in San Diego, you know you will be able to get in line and pick up this figure for $30.00 (or, of course on Matty on 8/1) and if you are one of the first 60 people (each day) to buy him, you get a free exclusive Voltron stand – keen!

I have always liked Voltron (and I LOVE the old theme song, which this figure makes me terribly nostalgic for, but more on that in a bit) but I did not have many of the toys as a kid. It was never one of my “big” toy lines, but my cousin LOVE Voltron and every time we got together, we played big robots for sure. I did get to inherit some of the figures from him, so I definitely have my likes. So, when I learned Mattel was going to be making new Voltron figures, I thought it was cool, but not in the same league as say, He-Man. That is until I got this figure the other day. Seriously, this might be my favorite single figure of all of the SDCC First Looks we have offered so far. Yes, even I am surprised by that because I have wanted Queen Marlena my whole life, but there is something toyetically charming about this Voltron. Consider me officially amped to see what is going to be in the initial offerings for Voltron.

Back Fins

Ultimately, if I had to choose one single thing about this figure that has made me so happy, it is the articulation. There is a TON of it, and most is very well hidden in the sculpt (something that is easier to do in a robot form than say, a humanoid). But what puts it over the top is the functionality of it. ALL of the points work extremely well and you can get this figure into so many different dynamic poses that I could snap pictures from here until next weekend and still come up with new ways to position him. Everything is tight, but fluid and many of the joints serve double duty offering movement along the x and y axes. Here is the rundown:

  • ball head
  • ball neck
  • back fin hinge (2x)
  • floating rib cage
  • double joint shoulders (2x)
  • biceps swivel (2x)
  • elbow hinge (2x)
  • forearm twist (2x)
  • wrist twist
  • hand (lion jaw) hinge, spring-loaded (2x)
  • waist twist
  • double hips (2x)
  • thigh cut (2x)
  • knee hinge (2x)
  • ankle hinge (2x)
  • mid foot (lion head) swivel (2x)
Vogue Voltron

If I am counting correctly, that is about 32 points (with the doubles) so you can get a TON of movement that I hope you can start to see in the pictures. That is not the most articulated figure ever, but I was having a hard time finding a pose that I wanted for him that I was not able to achieve. He moves in so many great ways that he is a blast to play with. I am so excited to see what people think of the articulation because I am totally sold on it, especially since nothing is really wasted and there aren’t any fragile points. Oh, and I love the spring hinges on the lion jaws of the hands, it makes holding the sword(s) very easy.

Red Lion
Green Lion
Blue and Yellow Lions

Past the articulation engineering, Voltron feels like a very well put together figure. I am not a Transformers guy, but every time I have every played with one, due to the transformation feature, they have always felt a little fragile. Well, this figure doesn’t transform so he feels solid. All of the colors are bright and while they feel like they were made for a colorful toy, they match the specs from the old cartoon just right. I am willing to bet that there is a metallic paint version similar to this figure somewhere down the the line to give him a more “realistic” feel, which is, of course, very much needed. The Voltron insignia on the chest is unmistakable and is very clean which is important. The sculpt is not overly complex but it is well done and there is no mistaking that this is Voltron. Like I said, I don’t think this is supposed to be the hyper-detailed version of Voltron so the clean lines of sculpt and paint work quite well for this incarnation. That may or may not be your cup of tea, but if most of your exposure to Voltron came from the 1980s cartoon (like mine), I think you will find a lot to love about this figure.

Voltron Scale

He does come with two swords: his standard version and the titular “Blazing Sword”. I was kind of surprised that they offered both in this package as they could probably sell the standard version on its own with another figure, but if I am not mistaken, this is the first time the Blazing Sword has been offered. Someone keep me honest about that, if we have had one before, please refer me. Both swords are sturdy so they will not be bending, but they are not brittle either. The standard sword is just the right thickness to keep it accurate to the source, but so that it also functions well. I think I actually prefer the Blazing version, but no matter your preference, you should be pleased.

Blazing Sword Attack!
Flying Sword
En Garde!

Finally, I cannot talk about an SDCC Mattel exclusive without mentioning the package and this one captures the retro essence of the property very well. It is a large window box with artwork that looks like it is right out of the old cartoon in the back of the inner drop. The Voltron logo on the front is done in appropriately iridescent fashion with the color progression of the lions. The back is very 80s in feel too with the gridline motif and it has the classic story truncated at the bottom. The best part is that there are sound effects to the package that are activated by a button on the front. You get the classic announcer voice reciting much of the text from the back with the opening cartoon theme in the background. Man, I LOVE that theme and I have been humming it for the past few days.

Swords: Standard and Blazing

Sword Strike

Overall, this has been my biggest pleasant surprise of SDCC exclusives so far. This is a really fun and very functional Voltron figure and I am excited to see what the future holds for Club Lion Force. If you are thinking about dipping your toe in the pool with this line, I say this is a good figure to get to gauge your interest. No matter what you decide though, I think you will be very happy with this figure on its own and if you just want one iconic version of Voltron for your shelf, this will be the one to get!

Voltron can dance in a chorus line...
Or just sit.

*Thanks for reading and thanks to Danielle, Rhobyn, Scott and the Lion Team at Mattel for making this look possible. The future is looking bright for Voltron once again!

Defender of the Universe

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15 thoughts on “First Look – Blazing Sword Voltron

  1. I kinda think this might be the first time the regular sword has been offfered in the correct colorations AND with the full hilt on it.

  2. Pingback: Twitted by Voltron
  3. Gotta admit US$30 is just too much! Classic Mattel rip-off but looking at those pictures I can’t help myself – DAMN you MATTY!!!

  4. Even with the sound-making packaging, at $30, this is way too expensive for a toy this small and not that pleasing-looking at all. I was lucky to get a die cast, 12in. version with transforming lions and one beautifully designed package . . . That price tag was really high, but at least I knew where the money went.

  5. the figure is neat but not really worth it for me and still not good enough to replace any voltron I already have. If it was cheaper maybe.

    I will wait to see what they offer in the club.

  6. Drizzt, sorry the pics aren’t clear (or maybe they are too clear) but not to worry, there is indeed a blister. No exposure to the elements and actually, he is kind of hard to remove from the package without damaging it.

  7. Thanks for the preview, VeeBee! I have a question though.. Being an MOC collector, I want to know if the packaging has a plastic blister or is Voltron exposed/completely out in the open (in the same manner as the SDCC King Grayskull from way back)?

  8. You are also paying for the special packaging and sound clip. I don’t believe this will be sold in say a Toys R Us since it’s not the 2011 Voltron Force series. Voltron Classics will be exclusive to matty collector. I understand the reasoning behind the markup.

  9. Mattel loves ripping people off. It looks nice but for the price it just isn’t for me or anyone with half a brain. Maybe if it was $20.

  10. I’m in agreement about $30 being waaaaay too much. I remember the plastic version of masterpiece Voltron was only $44, and it was 11″ tall, came with the sword and shield, and was five fully articulated lions that all transformed properly into the big V. Also, it looked better than this does.

  11. As always, excellent review. $30 for this figure is too much for me. I’m happy with my Vinyl Voltron from Toymani, it doesn’t come with a sword or the articulation that this one has, but looks awesome in my display and that’s enough for me, and just cost me $24.

  12. if hasbro can give me a 50 dollar galactus that’s 19 inches tall w/ electronic features, i don’t see why we can’t get a 15 inch voltron w/ no lights or sounds for that same price tag… 30 bucks for this shrimpy voltron is just more than my soul can bare. he looks ok, and it sounds like he’s solid, that’s great, but he’s just not anywhere near big enough to be voltron… and w/ scarabus also sitting at that 30 price tag, and standing as tall, but LOADED in extras, this voltron really looks like a rip off.

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