Voltron Force by Mattel...and other signs of the apocalypse

Posted by Sanjeev 
Sanjeev (Admin)
You guys have probably already heard this by now, but hot on the heels of the news of Thundercats' return, Voltron's back, too:
[www.collectiondx.com]

Could be good. :/

--
Sanjeev

'Us Massholes straight up just don't give a fuck. I still pronounce "Mazinger" as "Tranzor Z".'
-Nekrodave



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/05/2011 10:00AM by Sanjeev.
Urrgh. Now I'm maybe gonna have to get up on Saturday mornings, and eat my cereal, huh? May actually be a reason to watch TV again after all these years...I hope.
Do I smell the possibility of yet another resissue of the DX Golion? I hope so...I welcome another version of it for my "Toys in Perpetual Production" collection.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Good question, Greg. Trendmasters did the last one, no? (Well, not counting the Lionbot bootlegs.) Wonder where the licensing went from there...is Trendmasters even around anymore?

I wonder if George Sohn will be involved in any way with this. I mean, it sounds like Mattel has been granted sole rights, but he had Voltron for some time.

And, of course, here's Alen's chance to become a billionaire with those USB 'bots! ;)
Boo!! Lion Volton...ugh...talking space mice..blargh...
>is Trendmasters even around anymore?

Sadly no.

--------------------------------------------------------------

I asked if I have "Time For L-Gaim" but I got "No Reply From The Wind".
i wonder of this means we'll finally get a jumbo voltron that can break down into the individual lions? naw... probably not...
>i wonder of this means we'll finally get a jumbo voltron that can break down into >the individual lions? naw... probably not...

The 18inch Voltron that Trendmasters made was practically that.

--------------------------------------------------------------

I asked if I have "Time For L-Gaim" but I got "No Reply From The Wind".
Borrowed some twitpics of new TV show concept art posted by mod SGB over on www.voltron.com forums

Also some brief producer Q&A posted last November (yeah i'm totally ON it! ;0p
[forums.voltron.com]

Drule command ship
[twitpic.com]

inside of doom Doom DOOM! ship
[twitpic.com]

inside of Castle doom Doom DOOM!
[twitpic.com]

Castle of Lions
[twitpic.com]

King Alfor's tomb
[twitpic.com]

launch sequence zip line shaft
[twitpic.com]

transport launching tunnel to lion
[twitpic.com]

lion cockpit
[twitpic.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/20/2011 09:12PM by repairtechjon.
Ugh...Lion force..
Sanjeev (Admin)
Thanks for updating this topic, Jon...the designs look cool. I hope they integrate the vehicle force somehow...
Sanjeev Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Could be good. :/


Considering that it's Mattel, I wouldn't hold my breath. With their record it will either be an absolute ZERO or 80% SATISFACTION. And nothing in between. They are incapable of all other possibilities.

Also, rumors from Toy Fair 2011 said the Voltron Classics stuff will be Matty Collector web exclusives. Haw.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Well, 80% Satisfaction implies that 1 out of 5 MotUC figures is a bust. Is that the general consensus? I think that about works for me...but they still seem very popular...

And besides, hitting on 80% is pretty fucking good. Is there another toyline that scores that consistently?

Gcrush Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Also, rumors from Toy Fair 2011 said the Voltron
> Classics stuff will be Matty Collector web
> exclusives. Haw.

That doesn't surprise me in the slightest. But is this a problem? All the MotUC toys are web exclusives...and fans don't seem to have a problem getting them...
Sanjeev Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Well, 80% Satisfaction implies that 1 out of 5
> MotUC figures is a bust. Is that the general
> consensus? I think that about works for me...but
> they still seem very popular...

Naw, I meant that each item would score no higher than 80% Satisfaction. They always get so close, but inevitably end up missing some pretty obvious things. Sometimes it's engineering, other times it's quality control. Usually QC. I have yet to get a MOTUC figure that is completely free of one of those two. And, to top it off, they have a half-assed PR relationship with their customer base that frequently delivers insulting disinformation. (E.g. Mattel claimed it was technically impossible for their over-sized vinyl Titus figure to have ball-jointed shoulders because it was rotocast - despite pre-existing toy designs in other companies having already solved that problem years ago.)

By comparison, I've only had one random GI Joe that ever had QC issues out of the box. I have had one Transformer with bum QC (MP Grimlock). And never any Star Wars figures. Not that it's impossible, but my number never came up in those lines. If we go apples to oranges, out of all the Bandai stuff I've owned in different lines I've had zero QC issues and only a few engineering complaints.

To me, Mattel is closer in satisfaction to Kaiyodo. If that makes any sense.


> That doesn't surprise me in the slightest. But is
> this a problem? All the MotUC toys are web
> exclusives...and fans don't seem to have a problem
> getting them...

Yeah, it's not a surprise. But buying MOTUC toys is still a hassle with their "Noon on the 15th" refresh screen of instant sell outs. It's gotten better, but only marginally. Expect frustration in trying to get a Mattel Go-Lion figure from their site on the day it's released.

Though I will happily eat my words if none of this should come to pass. ^^
Gcrush Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Sanjeev Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Well, 80% Satisfaction implies that 1 out of 5
> > MotUC figures is a bust. Is that the general
> > consensus? I think that about works for
> me...but
> > they still seem very popular...
>
> Naw, I meant that each item would score no higher
> than 80% Satisfaction. They always get so close,
> but inevitably end up missing some pretty obvious
> things. Sometimes it's engineering, other times
> it's quality control. Usually QC.

I wrote this back in the MOTUC thread:

"Of the 25 or so figs I've bought, about 4-5 have suffered from irreparable QC damage (stuck joints, mostly; I know how to unfreeze joints, but these were just...melded together, it seems)."

I don't know where Mr. Crush pulled the number from, but it's exactly the right number for me. On the whole the line is popular and good, but yeah, it's flawed. I'm assuming it varies based on the luck of the individual, but it wouldn't surprise me if a lot of others didn't also have to buy doubles to replace their QCed originals.

[edit] Mr. Crush: Though of the 100 or so Joe 25th figures I have, there have been a few QC losers as well. I think it doesn't seem as bad because a bad Joe figure isn't going to set you as far back as a gimpy MOTUC fig.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/22/2011 04:40PM by gingaio.
Sanjeev (Admin)
I haven't gotten any MotUCs that have suffered any serious QC slips, but then again, I just don't have that many. It's may not be entirely fair to compare the different lines, though: MotUCs are produced in smaller numbers than your average Mattel action figure--let alone something from Hasbro. Remember, they're a limited production line meant for internet-savvy adults...not Walmart/TRU-carried pacifiers for petulant children (haw!).

Does that excuse booty QC? Nah. But it may go towards explaining it a little...

I don't think the comparisons to the other manufacturers is very fair, though. But either way, I'm not sure if it will have any bearing on whatever they release for Voltron.
gingaio Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I don't know where Mr. Crush pulled the number
> from, but it's exactly the right number for me.

I am not Herbert. We merge!


> ...but it wouldn't surprise
> me if a lot of others didn't also have to buy
> doubles to replace their QCed originals.

I usually do this. Buy two of every figure. First, scan the paint. Second, open one. Third, check for QC. If it's a winner, the fourth step is to list the extra on Evilbay; if it's a stinker, contact customer service for a replacement. Fifth, as needed, open the second figure and check for QC. I rarely have two complete stinkers in a row, but I never get at least one without paint plops.

I also don't buy every figure either. So it may be that the ones I'm missing are the really, really good ones.


> Mr. Crush: Though of the 100 or so Joe 25th
> figures I have, there have been a few QC losers as
> well. I think it doesn't seem as bad because a bad
> Joe figure isn't going to set you as far back as a
> gimpy MOTUC fig.

I don't notice paint slop on smaller figures unless it's really, really bad. The only QC I had on a Joe was on a newer figure - the insert molded wrist peg was missing and the whole hand was soft plastic. It still swiveled, but without a separate peg there was no hinge movement. Not a big deal.

I have had a handful of Joes with bad engineering. Shitty neck peg positioning, too soft plastic, using gloved hands painted flesh color instead of using bare hands, etc. But like you said, on a $5 figure they're not nearly as intolerable as on a $20 one.


Sanjeev Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I haven't gotten any MotUCs that have suffered any
> serious QC slips, but then again, I just don't
> have that many. It's may not be entirely fair to
> compare the different lines, though: MotUCs are
> produced in smaller numbers than your average
> Mattel action figure--let alone something from
> Hasbro. Remember, they're a limited production
> line meant for internet-savvy adults...not
> Walmart/TRU-carried pacifiers for petulant
> children (haw!).

I would buy this argument if it weren't for the fact that comparable mass-market Mattel product is also too shoddy for the price. The goofy-assed DC Universe figures that I enjoy from time to time have notoriously bad QC and you can get them at Walmart, Target, TRU, etc. If anything, they're actually worse than the QC on MOTUC. And they've crept up in price from the reasonable $10 to the painful $15.

Also, the animated DC figures by Mattel have never been able to stand up. I know the character design uses thin legs, but the plastic in the figures has always been too soft to keep them upright - even when using stands! Yes, even with stands the DC animated figures' legs will wilt and they'll topple over. Lame, lame, lame.

Also, compare the last couple of year's DC 3.75" figures to any Hasbro product and you'll immediately get a sense of how cutting edge their engineering is.


> Does that excuse booty QC? Nah. But it may go
> towards explaining it a little...

Mattel always blames this shit on the factories like it's inevitable, but you know what? They're a huge goddamn company. If they can't address the QC then, by that analogy, they're implying that small companies have greater clout with the factories. In what world is that actually the case?

Again, by comparison, the shittiest Hasbro stuff is always same-year movie tie-ins. Because they get rushed out the door. But when they have time, they nail their shit pretty good. It doesn't matter how much time Mattel has, they still can't break 80%.


> I don't think the comparisons to the other
> manufacturers is very fair, though. But either
> way, I'm not sure if it will have any bearing on
> whatever they release for Voltron.

Well, it might not be fair, but 'round the board in boy's toys it seems like a pattern with Mattel. I want to be proven wrong with a Mattel Voltron toy, but the likelihood of that is low unless they moved the Hot Wheels brand manager over to the project. Those toy cars have always been ace and I'd love to see the people responsible for them take a stab at a diecast Go-Lion. ^^
Sanjeev (Admin)
Heh...I'm actually fairly confident an actual NEW transforming/combining Voltron toy from Mattel would be dog shit. But then again, I wouldn't have much faith in a Hasbro-made one either...
Sanjeev Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Heh...I'm actually fairly confident an actual NEW
> transforming/combining Voltron toy from Mattel
> would be dog shit. But then again, I wouldn't have
> much faith in a Hasbro-made one either...

Frankly, I'd prefer Bandai whip out some Go-Lion action.

A Hasbro one could be good if they got the Takara-Tomy arm of the TF lines working on it. Maybe.
You know, this whole discussion actually reminds me why I don't think the new Joes should adopt thigh swivels and rocker ankles, Mr. Crush. I'm sure sometime in the distant future, after we've cured cancer, we'll have toy figures that will have perfectly tight ankles that go forward and side to side, and 50 points of articulation in which every joint is tight. The bane of the MOTUC line--weak-ass ankles--is due to the fact that the desire to produce poseable ankles outstrips Mattel's desire/capability to produce them with consistent QC.

Until then, it seems that adding more poseability to a figure that, to my unambitious standards, is poseable enough, is just inviting the kinds of stability/QC problems we're already seeing. With the Joes, it's not so much bad paint as the occasional immovable wrist or ankle problem. That irks me much, much more.

I second the Bandai Go-Lion bid. I mean, by this time, Bandai should have enough experience to execute an SOC Go-Lion with all the necessary bells and whistles and is stable and fun.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/22/2011 08:01PM by gingaio.
Yeah, next SOC should be... GoLi...Waitaminit! Diabolical Professor GingJeevCrush got me turned around again, curses.

Anyway, about baddies, I'm wondering if the argument made (by the Veef, I believe) a year or so ago,will apply, that, as much as folks think the bad guy mechs/beasts/soldiers should be made for a series, they just don't really sell?
For MoTU, the toyline seemed mostly all about each crazy unique character (bad, and good) isn't it? But Voltron, more about the big carooming robot.

Besides toys of Voltron, the robot, will toys of the snazzy, pointy, Drule ship, the Robeasts, Haggar, Lotor's fighter, etc. be something to pickup? I'm assuming any bad beasties will come out in toy form sorta like a Ben-10 alien, or maybe Mattlel's Clayface DC toy?

If a monster, or e-vil character was reeaaly cool looking, I might buy it. But I'm not sure, for my own collecting, if I'd try to keep up with the whole line to come...

It would be cool to see a new Castle of Lions, and Castle Doom, in Grayskull/SnakeMtn. style.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/22/2011 09:07PM by repairtechjon.
gingaio Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Mattel's desire/capability to produce [ankles] with
> consistent QC.

Eh, it's a design thing. Specifically, a lazy design thing. Mattel's lame-ass and terribly unsightly peg-in-a-hole hinge joints are the root of the problem. The insert-molded ankles on Vikor are damn near perfect. If they followed suit with the knees and elbi-bones MOTUC figures would have no visible pegs and virginal joint tolerances. Mana from Toy Heaven.

Actually, with the Joes I'd like to see them ditch the double-hinge knees for insert molded ones. Then they'd be able to rotate as well as hinge, thus eliminating the need for thigh swivels. And, really, it's not like the double knees give you that much range of motion.

But the ankles really get me. I think they're more important than the knees. If you have articulated knees but no ankles, you can't do more than sit-and-stand. If you have articulated ankles and no knees, you can still move the legs around in a wider range of motion when standing - but you can't sit. Though most vehicles these days have the drivers sitting flat-bottomed anyway, so the knees don't amount to much.


> Until then, it seems that adding more poseability
> to a figure that, to my unambitious standards, is
> poseable enough, is just inviting the kinds of
> stability/QC problems we're already seeing.

I want all my toys to have magnetic feet. QC be damned!


> I second the Bandai Go-Lion bid. I mean, by this
> time, Bandai should have enough experience to
> execute an SOC Go-Lion with all the necessary
> bells and whistles and is stable and fun.

This is true.


repairtechjon Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Anyway, about baddies, I'm wondering if the
> argument made (by the Veef, I believe) a year or
> so ago,will apply, that, as much as folks think
> the bad guy mechs/beasts/soldiers should be made
> for a series, they just don't really sell?
> For MoTU, the toyline seemed mostly all about each
> crazy unique character (bad, and good) isn't it?

Well, think about each line as basically a huge advertisement for merchandise and then see which products get featured to most often. In MOTU, it's He-Man and Skeletor (or other A-List cast). In Go-Lion, it's Voltron. Just Voltron. Each episode has one random Robeast come crashing on screen only to get dispatched by the end. So each week you have a disposable enemy and a permanent hero. As much as I love the designs in Mazinger, it's even worse. You get like a hundred different baddies in the background. How are they ever going to sell when kids can't recognize them from one another? Garada and Diabolus are the most iconic, but that's still a stretch in terms of advertising payoffs.

This is the same reason we can get whole toy lines of nothing but the Pantone Colored Army of Batmens with nary a villain to be found. Batman is the brand. Flood the market. Sell, sell, sell!


> It would be cool to see a new Castle of Lions, and
> Castle Doom, in Grayskull/SnakeMtn. style.

Mattel's PR Army poo-poo'd the idea of Grayskull at first. Then they coyly backpedaled and said, "If we did one, it would cost at least $200." When no gasps of sticker shock emanated from the crowd it pretty much guaranteed they're gonna do it. I don't know about anyone else, but I just don't have the love for that. $200? It's not that I can't afford it. But where would I put it? I'd need to buy another Hummer just so's I could throw it in the back to tote around. And it's not that I can't afford to do that, but how many different cars am I supposed to drive each day in case I need to show off my toy collection? It's already such a hassle switching between the Lamborghini and Rolls each afternoon that I'm reluctant to add anything more to the mix.
Gcrush laments:
"It's not that I can't afford it. But where would I put it? I'd need to buy another Hummer just so's I could throw it in the back to tote around. And it's not that I can't afford to do that, but how many different cars am I supposed to drive each day in case I need to show off my toy collection? It's already such a hassle switching between the Lamborghini and Rolls each afternoon that I'm reluctant to add anything more to the mix.


You make some excellent points, but if parking isn't an issue, (and it shouldn't be since you should own the block where you work), you need to get on board the toy-hauler revolution that's gained ground the last decade or so. It's not just for motorsports, but toy-haulin' mega rigs of all types are becoming the norm at all play areas. Don't limit yourself to just the Hummer. Add a 12" susupension lift kit, 54" tall tires, a trailer hitch, and a couple of these cool trailers,in tandem, and you'll be much happier in the long run. Works for me so far.
(Easy conversion to portable nightclub option too)

Peruse here:

[www.google.com]

[www.google.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/22/2011 10:40PM by repairtechjon.
Red Lion image, with big spike-y shoulder fins for aerial stability.
[twitpic.com]

Not a bad look, but will like to see how this comes out in toy form.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/02/2011 11:32PM by repairtechjon.
urgh..

So, if you were a hyper 8yr old kid, would this new NickToons hype-generator, appealing to your sugar-buzzed sense of "coolness", get you wound up for this new Voltron Force show coming soon? (forewarning: tuneout teenybop boy band commercial opening)

[nicktoons.nick.com]

.Voltron on big screens in TimesSquare and London
.Basketball teams (of course, you ALWAYS yell a "Let's Voltron" quip during pickup games, right?

The kid sitting in the school hall drawing Voltron in a notebook is the only part I get. He's in detention probably. ;)

I'm gonna print my own iron-on for a t-shirt here:
[nicktoons.nick.com]



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 04/19/2011 08:12PM by repairtechjon.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Damn you to hell. I can't believe you made me watch that...

IF YOU HAVEN'T, DON'T CLICK ON THAT LINK!!

It's not, in any way, a trailer...or otherwise contains ANY animation from the damn show. It's just a bunch of dumb live-action segments of kids "rocking" out to some awful music...
You were warned. I started my post with quote: "urgh.."

My point, THAT is how NickToons is starting with today's kids. And it'll probably work. A real teaser/promo/trailer things will come along surely, but they HAD to get something out there to start the brain-coding.

I can't even remember clearly, but don't think they did that vague of stuff when we were kids. Just put the blatant full on commercials out and be done with it!!
But did you "Voltron", Sanjeev?
Sanjeev (Admin)
Jon, you know I don't read anyone's posts around here! :P

(yes, Harvey, I Voltroned...in my pants)

But for real, I don't really see anything *wrong* with the ad. I just...was expecting some show footage. I mean, EVERYTHING is advertising, right? I didn't really see anything particularly insidious about that ad.

It wasn't like it was trying to convince kids they're not cool enough or sexy enough (yes, we're STILL talking about kids), while offering them a "remedy"...
Yeah, true, nothing out the ordinary for kid's ads i guess. Just trying to see how this is through 8yr old me, opposed to grumpy old collector guy me.
I'll hold off info posts until some ACTUAL show footage shows up for my own sanity, as well as yours. ;o)
I just wanted to see some cartoons. Also that song is truly horrible.

-Ginrai
Golden Gate Riot on dead trees at: [www.destroyallcomics.com]
Confirmation on classic lions via toyark's mattycollector Q&A:

"5) Buying through Mattycollector.com has sometimes been a stressful experience for collectors. We heard a few details from C2E2 regarding the Voltron Classics line. One such detail is that the lions would be sold individually, exclusively through Mattycollector.com, with a possible retail release later on. To alleviate concerns of fellow collectors, have you considered offering all 5 lions in a box set? This has somewhat been a tradition for previous toy companies who held the Voltron license.

"A) While they will not be offered in one box, we are looking into a subscription program to buy all of the skus much like MOTUC."
Thanks for the toy news LeMel. I'm trying to think of other Mattel lines besides MOTU, but does Mattel usually do multiple size/pricepoint stuff?

OK, my shields are already up for the gripe, as still not a full trailer or anything, but at least there's some brief actual cartoon clips of action with the individual lions, combined Voltron against some baddies, and combination footage, amoungst mostly clips of the voice actors doing their thing.
[nicktoons.nick.com]



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/27/2011 01:57AM by repairtechjon.
leMel42 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> "A) While they will not be offered in one box, we
> are looking into a subscription program to buy all
> of the skus much like MOTUC."

I ran this through Google's translation service and it came out:

"Eat a bag of dicks, chumps! We know we've got you on the hook. Now shut-up and prepare to open your wallets for the must frustrating experience a company can legally provide without being arrested for rape."
Your translation software failed....it's clearly: "Eat a Costco size bag of dicks, bitches!"

---------------------------------
[pgaijin.blogspot.com]
Sanjeev (Admin)
Bah...I don't need no software to tell me that vid looked pretty dope! As long as it's not too insipidly kiddie (i.e., insult kids' intelligence), I'd be down to check it out.

Jon, you've redeemed yourself. Well done.
You really DON'T read the posts, do you Sanjeev?

---------------------------------
[pgaijin.blogspot.com]
Sanjeev (Admin)
do not want.
Gcrush Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> ... your wallets for the must frustrating experience
a company can legally provide without being
> arrested for rape."


No, that would be a TSA scan. This is 2nd at best.

I can't believe I didn't get 1/6 Ghostbusters thru Matty. My collectors spirit is truly dead. Still saving for Hot Toys Keaton Bats tho.
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login

footer