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

Posted by Sanjeev 
[www.toyark.com]

here's the full monty i mean voltron

he's a little knock-kneed
Not the worst Voltron ever. Very cartoony, which is probably a good thing.

Introducing Prometheus Rising Studio.
[prometheusrising.net]
I make 3D printed mecha action figures.
Wait - 3 3/4 inch action figures at $15 a pop?!?
H-man Wrote:
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> Wait - 3 3/4 inch action figures at $15 a pop?!?


It's Mattel. What did you expect?
Sanjeev (Admin)
Oh gods, there's gotta be a better way of doing that...

Anyway, Harv, the figures each come with a segment of a light-up Blazing Sword. The pics on Andrew's link, though, show a non-light-up version, so I think that actually comes with the lions...thus we're NOT forced to buy the figures just to get a sword! See? Mattel loves you, one and all...even Gcrush!

But c'mon, despite the knock-knees--which are obviously a result of mis-transformation--this doesn't look that bad for a kid's toy:




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/20/2011 09:15PM by Sanjeev.
Attachments:
open | download - SDCC-2011-23-Inch-Voltron-1_1311197648.jpg (384.9 KB)
Sanjeev Wrote:
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> But c'mon, despite the knock-knees--which are
> obviously a result of mis-transformation--this
> doesn't look that bad for a kid's toy:

Except that no kid will ever want/afford/own that thing. Because after shipping, that's a $250 toy you're looking at. With gaudy white limbs.
I was hoping that Mattel could produce a definitive modern Voltron. Toynami came close. Now it looks to still be the only game in town.

Reverend, I can't believe that thing gets a pass from you. I guess my expectations were too high.
No glistening chrome=no go from me.

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I asked if I have "Time For L-Gaim" but I got "No Reply From The Wind".
Aren't toys made today supposed to look better than toys made THIRTY YEARS AGO???

At least Panosh Place Voltron will have a new roommate to add to the lease in Doofus-Town!
This thing is twice as tall as the Chogokin?

-Ginrai
Golden Gate Riot on dead trees at: [www.destroyallcomics.com]
MattAlt (Admin)
It's amazing just how awful that thing looks -- the crappy implementation of the lions' folding "paws," the ugly-looking red chest-stripe, the hydrocephalic head -- but they get points for size. 24" is Jumbo territory. If only they had used the Jumbo as a reference point instead....!
Mattel's Voltron would have been impressive and relevant 20 years ago. But now? It hardly makes sense for a targeted collector's item. It's like they didn't do their homework.

Anyway, some suit at Mattel must have a serius fan-boner for Voltron in order to have pushed this through.
It's funny, I clearly don't know my Voltron because I took a look at this and thought "Hey, that's not too bad!" It looks like Voltron to me, but I'd need to go back and look over previous toys to see what the main differences are.

More serious than thou
Sanjeev (Admin)
Okay, my children, gather around for the sermon...

You're all outta yer minds. Except fujikuro. Okay, well this is legit:

Gcrush Wrote:
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> Except that no kid will ever want/afford/own that
> thing. Because after shipping, that's a $250 toy
> you're looking at.

But the aesthetic complaints? Really???

First off, for the record, this may very well be a terrible toy. In fact, if I were a betting man, I'd put my money on it sucking...but ONLY due to bad mechanical design like loose joints or weak connections, inappropriate/inadequate materials, shoddy QC, etc...

But I see nothing spectacularly bad about the aesthetics. It's 23 or 24"...that's not "Jumbo territory"...that IS a Jumbo. Compared to the vintage Golion (or Voltron Commander) Jumbo, this thing looks good enough for the kid in me. But you now get the added play value of full gattai. Allow me to reiterate--and read this bit slowly and aloud--FULL GATTAI JUMBO MACHINDER GOLION.

Would chrome make it better? I dunno...I'd imagine it would just make it look even more outta place next to vintage Jumbos. Maybe matte-ish silver would be preferable. A bigger head would definitely make it look more vintage-y, but I would never expect to see that aesthetic on a modern toy like this...

...

Anyway, I think the reason this toy gets a pass from me (tentatively...just from the images so far) is because I actually don't like Golion/Voltron III that much. I watched the show as a kid, I guess...mostly by default (I was a latchkey kid, so I'm watching whatever's on...and this was a giant robot...so yeah). Dairugger/Voltron I was my motherfucking JAM, though. The show actually had a PLOT with continuity...the robot looked like a dope blue scifi samurai...and I hate cats.

So I don't have any strong nostalgic tie to this design...thus my expectations are essentially nonexistent.

What I *do* appreciate, though, is toyetic toys. Big plasticy DX goodness...with tons of silly play value. That's what I potentially see here. If it weren't for the wild-out pricetag, this would probably make little kids squeal with delight.

Would people rather have Toynami's Jumbo? Otherwise, it seems like heads are looking for the Toynami Masterpiece (or some SoC-like treatment) blown up to 24 inches. Which is NEVER, EVER, EVER going to happen.
For me the first test to any Golion toy is the face, either you nail it or you phone it in. Total miss in my opinion. The LJN/Jumbo version got it sooo right, as did the Matchbox/Popy DX.

I'd hope the final product would look better (wings?), but the oversized arms with the clumsy folding legs don't help. Plus the pose doesn't help, and for the life of me I can never figure out why the people at exhibitions can never either correctly transform or pose (that's how my kid stands before he pees) a toy correctly.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/21/2011 12:47PM by Supersentai.
Sanjeev Wrote:
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> But the aesthetic complaints? Really???

White. Legs. Like a New England snowbird on vacation in Florida.


> Would people rather have Toynami's Jumbo?

Yes. Because it looks like a Jumbo. And it has silver legs. Like a robot.

Think of this Mattel thing as an over-sized DX Golion toy and it becomes apparent how awful it is. And, really, it's not like there's a shortage of cool Voltron stuff out there. I just don't see what this adds to it aside from a confused $250+ mess. Also? White legs.





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/21/2011 01:15PM by Gcrush.
Attachments:
open | download - Golion.jpg (261.7 KB)
Man, someone sure likes Voltron a lot. I've not even got one Voltron toy of any form at home. I'd like to correct that oversight, but given the cost and varying quality of these in general (and the fact that I want my kids to be able to actually play with it), I just don't see that happening soon.

More serious than thou
Dusting all of those Voltronseses...that must be a nightmare. Knocking the well balanced wings over, which knock into the next domino, etc.

Glad to see no Panosh or Voltro-noculers in there though.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Gcrush Wrote:
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> White. Legs. Like a New England snowbird on
> vacation in Florida.

Heh...I hear that.

I dunno. I guess they're not that off-putting to me. Yeah, I'd prefer grey or silver (not chrome), but whatever. Doesn't bother me much.

> > Would people rather have Toynami's Jumbo?
>
> Yes. Because it looks like a Jumbo. And it has
> silver legs. Like a robot.

Well, I certainly don't hate the Toynami Jumbo...but to me, it doesn't look at all like a Jumbo (though it obviously technically is). I mean, it looks like what it is: a gigantic Bandai vinyl (read: "realistic"-looking). To me, that doesn't look as much like a robot as it does a cartoon character. That, of course, speaks to my preference for the vintage Jumbo aesthetic...

> Think of this Mattel thing as an over-sized DX
> Golion toy and it becomes apparent how awful it
> is.

But why? Why would it even occur to you or anyone to think of this thing as an over-sized DX Golion? They're two completely different format toys that are meant to appeal to two completely different sets of aesthetics. I see this new Mattel toy as being closer to the huge, clunky plastic Brave robots from Takara or super sentai robots from Bandai. Sure, superficially, it transforms/gattai like the chogokin, but beyond that, the comparison doesn't make sense to me.

> ...I just don't see
> what this adds to it aside from a confused $250+
> mess.

Heh...I agree there's PLENTY of Voltron III/Golion shit out there. But I still think it could potentially add a lot. Make no mistake about it: gattai is not it's primary gimmick...it's sheer size is. Again, I would argue that this is a Jumbo Golion that separates and transforms, NOT a DX chogokin Golion that's big.
I think the price point is the big turn off so far when you add that to the aesthetics... but hey, if it ever turned up at my local Big Lots... it would probably be very hard to resist!
Eh, I'll keep my Trendmasters 18inch version thank you.

Dumb question but is it really a rights issues preventing Bandai from doing an SOC Golion? Yes I know, it wasn't the phenomenon in Japan was it was in the U.S. but then they're doing all sorts of obscure robots like God Sigma and Daltanious.

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

I asked if I have "Time For L-Gaim" but I got "No Reply From The Wind".
First off, f**k Mattel. They are so terrible as a toy company that they should not be allowed to be a toy company anymore. Their design aesthetic is so archaic, and their quality so poor, that it's inevitable that, as Sanjeev says, any goodness this toy has will be undone but the terrible quality that is sure to plague the final release.

They recently brought back Mego's as part of their Retro Action line, and the quality was so piss poor that the line is now dead, despite an even larger and more passionate community offering support (even offering to give Mattel tooling to improve the quality)

What hurts about this toy is not that there is anything inherently wrong with it. I think it's... *fine*.

The problem is the lost opportunity. This license, this property, this fan segment... it's not part of Mattel's DNA. They aren't state of the art in terms of "boys action figure" technology. They don't understand the needs of the target customer. And as a company they probably don't even comprehend what's inherently wrong with it. This probably represents the best Mattel can do.

I don't hate what I'm seeing. At $100 I'd own 10 of them. For $290 I want state of the freaking art design. Not that is has to be full on die-cast, or have some intricate parts that won't hold up to repeated play. But this is *lazy*.

The Toynami toy (not Jumbo) had the right balance of modern look for the robot and not BRICKS for the separate lions. There was some articulation in the individual lions that made them probably the first Voltron toy where the Lions looked as nice separated. These lions look like crappy bricks which was cool for the old Bandai GoLion, but pretty inexcusable today.

That’s my rant.

Now.. have you seen the Volton FORCE toys? Because you know what they didn’t show? A transforming version. They have shown some individual lions, and a Voltron toy, but it’s pretty clear the one they have doesn’t transform. Until proven wrong, I fear that the design of the new robot is beyond Mattel to figure out how to make it a functioning toy…

It makes me long for what Hasbro/Takara could have done with this.
I hope you aren't suggesting that the Popy DX Golion lions look like "crappy bricks"...that would be tantamount to sacrilege on this site.

Blue and Yellow lions were amazing toys on thier own. Yes, the nerve-tonic induced head swelling of red and green lions may have been a bit distracting, but don't tell me black "hit every Ponderosa buffet between San Diego and Boston" lion didn't appear as if he jumped right off the screen. And then quickly laid down.

Careful...these are the building blocks of our world, tread lightly.

I did notice on ToyArk today pics from SDCC that show the figures do go inside the lions, was just wondering if the price point info is solid or conjecture?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/22/2011 12:27AM by Supersentai.
Oh, and this...

[sdcc11.figures.com]

First impression...I like it...it looks a little Transformers Animated-ish, but I like it quite a bit. Especially how they curl the back legs of red and green to enhance the shoulders. Nice.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/22/2011 10:03AM by Supersentai.
A company is coming out with a giant transforming robot toy?

Sorry, can't hate.
Supersentai Wrote:
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> I hope you aren't suggesting that the Popy DX
> Golion lions look like "crappy bricks"...that
> would be tantamount to sacrilege on this site.
>

LOL. Not at all. They are wonderful, nostalgic, soulful "crappy bricks" :)

I love the Popy GoLion. It was ahead of it's time and still holds up today.

The price is firm (e.g. it's been announced). $290 + shipping + tax for that thing if you want to make sure you get one. Sign up to Mattycollector or you'll have no chance of getting one. :)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/22/2011 01:21AM by Corellian Corvette.
So if I DON'T sign up, then I have no chance of getting one...WHEW! Dodged a bullet there...hah.

Can imagine they'll sell better than the Toynami "Giganto-Vinyls", but not by leaps and bounds. Two hundred bucks would have sounded a bit high in my book, but wow, guess this economy still has some lessons to impart on those businesses that haven't gotten the memo yet.
Sanjeev (Admin)
I'm with LeMel, but this statement rings ominously right to me:

Corellian Corvette Wrote:
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> ...This license,
> this property, this fan segment... it's not part
> of Mattel's DNA. They aren't state of the art in
> terms of "boys action figure" technology.

I don't have a ton of faith in their ability to design a rugged, playable robot toy of this complexity...especially given the quality issues in their other toys lines. Perhaps this design is too much for them to handle. Dunno yet...certainly possible. But just on the data so far, I'm not gonna pull my pitchfork and torch outta the garage just yet...

Oh, and by the way, where the hell did $290 come from? Did I miss some more recent announcement amending the price? I know I only make planes and spaceships, not giant robot lions, but I'm confident 5 * $35 is still just $175. I simply cannot see Mattel charging $58 per single pilotless lion...that's fucking bananas.
Sanjeev Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Oh, and by the way, where the hell did $290 come
> from? Did I miss some more recent announcement
> amending the price?

Matty's news page has the full bronty:

Subscription Cost

Red Lion and Green Lion @ $35 each = $70
Blue Lion and Yellow Lion @ $40 each = $80
Black Lion = $50
Pilots: 5 @ $15 each = $75
Club-exclusive item/sign-up fee: $15 (billed at signup)
TOTAL $290 plus shipping/taxes/fees (varies by your location & shipping method chosen)


So, yeah. Considering their shipping and mangling charges, you will be paying well over $300 for this white-legged monstrosity.

Really, if this at least had silver legs I wouldn't be so hard on it. But the colors are just so awful, awful, awful.
Well, here's your detailed breakdown...

"Subscription Cost

Red Lion and Green Lion @ $35 each = $70
Blue Lion and Yellow Lion @ $40 each = $80
Black Lion = $50
Pilots: 5 @ $15 each = $75
Club-exclusive item/sign-up fee: $15 (billed at signup)
TOTAL $290 plus shipping/taxes/fees (varies by your location & shipping method chosen)"

So, $290 is the subscription overall.

Eh, Gcrush got in before me.

More serious than thou



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/22/2011 12:16PM by fujikuro.
I should clarify - if you join the club, you are basically signing up to everything. So it's $290 for the lions, the figures (with keys) and the light-up blazing sword.

◦Red Lion and Green Lion @ $35 each = $70
◦Blue Lion and Yellow Lion @ $40 each = $80
◦Black Lion = $50
◦Pilots: 5 @ $15 each = $75
◦Club-exclusive item/sign-up fee: $15 (billed at signup)
◦TOTAL $290 plus shipping/taxes/fees (varies by your location & shipping method chosen)

And you can see each lion is a different price as well.
Looks like three of us posted at the same time...
So you can possibly get just the lions for $200 (if it ever becomes available in stores) which would make equivalent to the Toynami Jumbos. Would that make it more worthwhile for some?
H-man Wrote:
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> So you can possibly get just the lions for $200
> (if it ever becomes available in stores) which
> would make equivalent to the Toynami Jumbos. Would
> that make it more worthwhile for some?


It will never be in stores, but technically you could buy just the lions for $200. Skip the subscription and just hit up Matty's webstore on the sale date. But Matty has a notorious history of under-producing items to create demand, so if you skip the subscription you might find that the lions are sold-out before you can order them.

Also, why skip the pilots when that's the main gimmick behind the size?

Aaaaaaand, no. $200 for that white-legged goblin is still an insult. Bleh.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Thanks for the numbers...all of you. ;)

But come on. Like Harvey's suggesting, I'd like to think that we're all plenty fucking smart enough NOT to subscribe to their dumbass plan. An extra $90 for six crappy action figures and a build-a-light-up sword? Pass.


H-man Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So you can possibly get just the lions for $200
> (if it ever becomes available in stores) which
> would make equivalent to the Toynami Jumbos. Would
> that make it more worthwhile for some?


Well, instead of subscribing, you can order each piece as it comes out from the website, so yeah...you'll definitely be able to buy *just* the lions. And trust me: as we've seen with the MotUC figures, even though the site may bog down and toys may sell out before you have a chance to buy, they WILL reissue everything eventually. There's NO need to pay aftermarket flipper prices if you're patient.

So, yeah, $200 for a full-gattai plastic Mattel "jumbo": I'd say it was worth it. I'll likely buy the lions as they come out and put them on ice. Once they're all out, I'll just watch for the inevitable torrent of reviews. If it ultimately sucks, I'll just flip the MISB lions. If it's good, I'll keep it and dance a jig. ;)
Hey, it seems like the Comic Con Voltron Exclusive action figure isn't so bad after all:

[www.collectiondx.com]
I actually think this looks pretty cool. I love robots that have actual pilot figures in them and if they are poseable figures, that's even better to me. Also a 2 foot tall combining robot sounds sweet to me. And yes, it's designed to look like the original cartoon, not the old Chogokin, so that's why it looks like that. I don't really see that as a problem, but YMMV. I have the old Chogokin already.

As for the head... I'm not seeing the problem?



Looks like Voltron's head to me. I like it better than Toynami's vinyl Jumbo's face, as that thing has chubby cheeks. I'm with you that the legs should be silver or gray, but then again....

Weren't they white on the show?



Looks pretty white.

-Ginrai
Golden Gate Riot on dead trees at: [www.destroyallcomics.com]
Sanjeev (Admin)
H-man Wrote:
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> Hey, it seems like the Comic Con Voltron Exclusive
> action figure isn't so bad after all:
>
> [www.collectiondx.com]
> zing_sword_voltron


I'll be damned. Who knew???

Well, if the Mattel 8" pretty much utterly SMITES the Toynami 9", could that foreshadow the Mattel 23" having its way with the Toynami Jumbo? Wild...

[I just wish the Mattel 8" were painted nicer...something metallic like that Toynami vinyl would make it perfect!]
MSW
Ginrai Wrote:
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> I'm with you that the legs
> should be silver or gray, but then again....
> [3.bp.blogspot.com]
> AAAAAAAAASo/p-AtKHKDLZ4/s1600/voltron-red.jpg
>
> Weren't they white on the show?
>
> [1.bp.blogspot.com]
> AAAAAAAAASk/ajePr7hxDEs/s1600/voltron-black.jpg
>
> Looks pretty white.



But they "read" chrome. Both pics have the little reflective blacks bits on the leg joints that artists have used for decades to visualize shiny surfaces. And the shadow side of the legs is a shade of robins egg blue, instead of grey. Another trick artists used to render chrome like surface.
Valkyries are rendered the same way in the '80s Macross anime. Should modern toys of those jets be painted gray or be all chromed?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/23/2011 12:12PM by Ginrai.
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