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

Posted by Sanjeev 
MSW
Ginrai Wrote:
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> Valkyries a rendered the same way in the '80s
> Macross anime. Should modern toys of those jets be
> painted gray or be all chromed?



Of course they should!
[www.collectiondx.com]
So wait some people's problem with this toy is that it looks more like a cartoon character than a robot.

A robot that is a cartoon character.



Also yeah I think it's just shiny white metal and not chrome.
It's more about expectations I think. The toy looks to *me* like something that could have come out in the 90's.

Toy sculpting, engineering, and finishing techniques/technologies have improved so much over the past fifteen to twenty years (as evidenced by so many other modern competing lines) that some recent releases just leave me cold. As in, really, that's it?

For $200.00, I want to be WOWED by something and be EXCITED about the prospect of buying it, rather than just shuffling along in a long line with shackled feet grudgingly ponying up my money and putting the item in the closet after ten minutes of being unimpressed.

This happeded with Toynami's Voltron "mega-vinyls" (I have a hard time calling them Jumbos, and I did not buy them), there was talk early on of increased articulation, action features, and the initial samples looked stunning. What came out look to me only like bigger versions of their smaller products.

Why bother acquiring the SHOGUN WARRIORS name if you don't release a Shogun Warrior? If the original Shoguns had been just inflated vinyls without shooting fists and missiles, they'd have been one of the biggest boondoggles in history. I suppose a toy like this that would have made me happy would likey have cost $500 instead of $250 (I understand the built-in expenses of pre-production work and the impact of limited numbered releases), but given how many are still floating around there, guess the disconnect between price and delivered product was pretty severe.

When a toy is manufactured with the intent of becoming a collectable, and the collector community responds like this, something dreadful seems to have gone wong in the development stages that likely can't be reveresed. Unfortunate.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/23/2011 12:04PM by Supersentai.
I think this is not for toy collectors, it's for Voltron/Golion fans. Due to the way Shogun Warriors and Godaikin came over without the cartoons coming over (for the most part), it created this weirdly unique American situation where a bunch of kids were into the toys but never saw the shows. This is different in the rest of the world, like Japan where these shows and the toys the shows were hawking first aired, and European countries where these shows also aired. But Golion DID air here, and there's a lot more Voltron fans in the US than dedicated Chogokin toy collectors who don't care about the show it's based on. This does not exist to satisfy Chogokin collectors, it exists to satisfy Voltron fans.

So the question is not if "the collector community responds like this", the question is does the Voltron fan community respond like this?

-Ginrai
Golden Gate Riot on dead trees at: [www.destroyallcomics.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/23/2011 12:17PM by Ginrai.
Sanjeev (Admin)
That's a good point. I have a friend (who's probably lurking right now, actually!) who absolutely could not care fucking less about the "collector community", chogokin toys, whatever. He's just a Voltron fan, not a toy collector. He loved the cartoon as a kid and wouldn't mind having a toy of him now. That's the legacy of this property.

He doesn't have any of the recent Toynami stuff, so I assume none of those offerings spoke to him. But he's really considering this one. I'm not sure if he had any of the original toys as a kid, but it would kinda make sense for someone like him to dig this Mattel combiner: as a little kid, you enjoy the combiner toy...so now, as a physically larger adult person, you would naturally gravitate to a toy that's scaled-up! :P


Supersentai Wrote:
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> For $200.00, I want to be WOWED by something and
> be EXCITED about the prospect of buying it, rather
> than just shuffling along in a long line with
> shackled feet grudgingly ponying up my money and
> putting the item in the closet after ten minutes
> of being unimpressed.

I totally get this argument...and far be it from me to try to dissuade anyone from having this attitude. I tend to feel the same way, too.

I guess what's different for me about this Mattel combiner is that, well, for $200 we're getting (or at least potentially getting) a toy that is AT LEAST as interesting (again: TO ME) as your average modern $200 adult robot toy. Like, if you forget the money altogether, I would rather have this thing than your average upper-tier SoC...and I don't even like Golion! :P This just seems like a fun toy with a lot of fundamentally solid play value.

The other thing that weirdly speaks to me is that it's fucking Mattel. If this were put out by Takara or Bandai (licensed as "Golion"), how would our reactions change? Well, either way, it's not. Mattel is a wholly American toy company that historically caters to kids (despite the recent "Matty Collector" boom). And they're producing a very toyetic Jumbo Voltron III with full gattai capability. For whatever reason, this...audacity...appeals to me!

Oh, and the chrome vs silver vs white discussion is just silly. A can of color-of-your-choice spraypaint and some masking tape will run you less than $10...and provide vastly more than $10 worth of satisfaction!
Funny how I think the Voltron show was not very good (Peter Cullen as narrator and theme music nostalgia aside) but watching Golion is like a totally different and superior show for its era. It's story actually makes sense for one.

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I asked if I have "Time For L-Gaim" but I got "No Reply From The Wind".
I guess when I say "collectible", I mean that this likely isn't an item that will end up in the hands of too many random children to destroy given the price.

I agree that there is a larger Voltron audience out there than which populates this site, however, it's hard to imagine someone not already used to the pricing structure of items like this jumping on this toy out of pure nostaligia. I could see a casual purchase of a fifteen dollar vinyl just for kicks, but this is an investment which would require a committment for most people.

Voltron is an anomaly in that it was the first "Chogokin" to be broadcast across the country when its toy counterpart was on the shelves. I forget that sometimes or simply take it for granted. Gateway drug anyone?
The only thing I don't like is that I can't have it all at once... now.

Oh, and everything you don't like about this is Obama's fault.
1) It is a collectible. There shouldn't really be much discussion around that. It's not for kids, it's a subscription, there is no direct media tie-in (for classic), it's on a site called "Matty Collector".

2) The price I think mostly reflects the limited production. It's a boutique piece. Unless there are features or gimmicks we haven't been told about yet, it's a tough sell. Think about the Yamato Dangard A (no comparison, I know). But there was all kinds of drama built into its price, right? Similar here. Also, it's a lot like Ghostbusters: they gamble that there are enough US fans that will just get it, no questions asked. I think it's a fair gamble.

3) This is Mattel, they have done the business modeling. This isn't some rabid 'making-it-happen' dreamer, this is a venerable long-standing business. They'll sell out, meet the targeted goals or take the loss, and move on. You guys are too used to dealing with Bandai. Mattel's dream department is full of Barbies, Hot Wheels and pensions.

3) I'm tempted by this. I like it. Having others hate it is just making me want it more. Need to see more pics. Sadly, I'm just too poor for this sort of thing anymore. Plus I'm old enough to resent nostalgia's grip on an earlier part of my life. That valve is guarded now. It'll be interesting to see if this squeaks by.
Sanjeev (Admin)
I agree, LeMel. I mean, I still worry they may not be able to make the toy robust...but we'll see. I never meant to imply that I thought the toy was for kids. It's definitely an adult collectible simply because of the price, and like you said, I'm sure this will be a very low-run item (for a company of this size). I just think that it's VERY cool that, for an adult collectible, they sure seem to be making it very toy-like. Mattel apparently loves me. :P

Supersentai Wrote:
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> I agree that there is a larger Voltron audience
> out there than which populates this site, however,
> it's hard to imagine someone not already used to
> the pricing structure of items like this jumping
> on this toy out of pure nostaligia.

Imagine harder. I'm not saying $200 is a whim to your average Moe--in this economy, or even when we're high on the hog. Certainly not! But I've seen some CRAZY shit out there for collectors of stuff that's hard for people like us to imagine. Like you implied, it's impossible to get a bird's-eye view of things just from being on this board...

Sure, a $15 vinyl (well, Mattel's is actually $30, right?) will certainly sell more units from the shelves of your average comic book or music store...but I've watched live-size statues of C3PO and R2D2 sell out at $4k a whack at Comic Con. I mean, there are simply people out there that will throw down HARD for their obsessions, and even though there are probably a lot fewer Voltron-nuts than there are Star Wars-nuts, that doesn't mean they're any less zealous.

@christ: LOL!
Sanjeev Wrote:
>
> Imagine harder. I'm not saying $200 is a whim to your average Moe--

Seriously, now you're bringing MOE into the argument? I'm outta here!
Sanjeev (Admin)
I'm stroking my Vincent Z hump-pillow as I type this.
Sanjeev (Admin)
leMel42 Wrote:
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> Need to
> see more pics.

Oh, forgot to post this, but the image Ginrai posted above came with a bunch more.

I stole and resized these (because I know *I* am usually too lazy to click other people's links! :P )...

Light-up Blazing Sword that comes in bits with the figures. Meh:


Combined toy with standard Blazing Sword and Shield:


Closeup:


It sorta seems like the legs on the red and green lions are mis-transformed...not sure...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/23/2011 07:57PM by Sanjeev.
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After seeing these pics, I feel better about the face. I did a lot of drawing in high school, and Voltron was a tough one to get down facially, so I'm fairly sensitive to what I perceive as micues in how it's been presented (dopey, too small, obtuse looking, etc.). And although I like how the DX Golion's lower jaw conceals within the upper chest, this version makes it look like it's part of the helmet nicely enough.

Did anyone else comment on the look of the new version of Voltron from the show I linked on an earlier posting, or is that on a completely different thread?
Ah, the new Voltron. Well, no sir, I don't like it one tiny bit. But that is pure unobjective opinion on my part and not a fair assessment.

That said, it seems to have a bit in common stylistically with the previous "new" Voltron, the Dimension Stealth. I'd love to get a peek a the dev process - what was the brief? What were they hoping to improve? What were the design benchmarks - American superheroes?
MSW
Sanjeev Wrote:
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> Closeup:
> [toyboxdx.com]
>
> It sorta seems like the legs on the red and green
> lions are mis-transformed...not sure...


Not mis-transformed, they are mis-designed. The look like they can only rotate to about 90 degrees from the leg because the mass on tops of the "paws"...Also when was the last time we had a combiner Voltron toy that didn't use a double joint in the wings? That just looks so cheap.
MSW Wrote:
> Not mis-transformed, they are mis-designed. The
> look like they can only rotate to about 90 degrees
> from the leg because the mass on tops of the
> "paws"...Also when was the last time we had a
> combiner Voltron toy that didn't use a double
> joint in the wings? That just looks so cheap.

Agree. Mis-designed. Another great Mattel move - seriously? Have you not seen the show or ever looked at another Voltron toy? Good lord, makes me so angry. (or, as angry as I can be about a toy)

Regarding the Voltron Force design... I actually like it. It's probably the only thing about the show I do like.

However, the toys they displayed obviously don't transform. If you look at the complete Voltron toy, and the indiviudal lions, it's pretty obvious they are not the same toy. I'm VERY curious how/if Mattel is going to do an actual transforming version of that design...

Also... the wings are double-jointed. But look at the rediculously small and out of scale hips...





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/25/2011 01:21AM by Corellian Corvette.
Historically, black lion has been a bit of a yo-yo dieter.
Check out the video of Mattel's Voltron touch-hole transformation. Does this sell anyone?

Ticket to ride, white thigh highway
Tell all your friends, they can go Mattel's way
Pay your toll, sell your soul
Pound for pound costs more than gold
The longer you stay, the more you pay
Mattel's white thighs go a long way
Either up your nose or through your vein
With nothin to gain except killin’ your brain
Sanjeev (Admin)
Eeehhhhh...uhhhhrrrghgg.

I somehow want this toy a bit less now.
MSW
Now here is cool Voltron:

[www.ne.jp]
MSW Wrote:
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> Now here is cool Voltron:
>
> [www.ne.jp]
> ion1.html

wazzat?!
A Japanese artist who redesigns transformable and combining mecha for fun. He really likes abstract faces.

[www.ne.jp]

He also has a lot of original designs as well.
I think it was on the third line of Crush's ode to Voltron when GMF&TFF's beats started in my head...nice.

I half cried and half laughed at the video with the "key transformation", oh myyyy.

I busted out when they poked red and green in their butts to make thier hind legs jump, mine would too! Then the engineering genius of using the key like a hook to open the cockpits, almost MAGICAL...like King Alfor was standing right there!

I'll bet given a fork and a real long time I could transform one of those Panosh Place giants, will get right to working on that, video should be up in no time.

Magic! Technology! Merged together! It's 2011 for sure bay-bee!
Sorry, still can't hate. Go on with your groupthink. WANT.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Nah, no groupthink here: just like when a new VF-1 toy is announced, there's a lot of heated debate. Why? Well, it's a beloved property that folks are *especially* emotional about. It has to be JUST right...or it sucks. I think those not feeling it have posted valid enough reasons (though I still disagree).

And I still support the thing...though perhaps less so.

So the question for you, LeMel, is does the auto-transformation gimmick make the toy seem more desirable, less desirable, or does it make no difference?
So what happens if you inevitably loses the key. Then you're screwed?
Dude, it's Voltron, if you ever lose a key, check from day-glow mice living inside of your walls.
This thing is a no buy for me simply because it the Lion Voltron...give me some vehicles baby!
H-man Wrote:
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> So what happens if you inevitably loses the key.
> Then you're screwed?


The screwing is free with purchase. Just don't expect anything more gentle than a sucker-punch to the wallet for foreplay. It's Mattel, after all. If you say anything other than thank you for the herpes they gave your mouth though an unfriendly face-fucking in the back of their mom's Volkswagen on your first date together, Mattel is just going to push you down a flight of stairs for bitching about the quality of their "limited production run" and insulting their "logistics". Be prepared. When you date a bad boy, you get a bad boy.

And judging by the video, I'm pretty sure you could substitute a toothpick or a well-experienced index finger for the included novelty feline-probe should it become lost.
Anonymous User

B00
my god.

__________________
MoonBaseTom Season tickets available. Call now.
Ugh, I watched a bit more of the new show. The pain. The horrible art.

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

I asked if I have "Time For L-Gaim" but I got "No Reply From The Wind".
Anonymous User
B00 Wrote:
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> my god.

It's full of cats.
Funny, it appeared to me that the transformation was magnetic - the key is releasing a spring-loaded mechanism under the plastic via magnet (except for pulling open the hatch - that looks phoned-in). Guess I'm wrong.

Yeah, there's a lot wrong with this piece, no doubt. But no more or less than every other rendition, in my mind.

If you ask people what they feel is the ultimate version thus far, you'll get some heated discussion as well.

I have five Golions - do I really need another? I'm still mulling as you can see, but I definitely like and want the whole program.


Oh good, I see Cattron is still on track for a fall release.
When I watched the video, I was slightly impressed by the combined version's overall proportions. Still hard to believe this thing is taller than a regular jumbo. As with anything else that is sold in limited numbers, the regret sets in rather quickly for those who don't but it and the prices skyrocket. Ugh!
Ugh...starting to look appealing...to me... must...resist!

[www.collectiondx.com]
So the new Voltron show was on and I happened to watch a little just now. Somehow the yellow lion became the body instead, with the black lion becoming a leg (they also can apparently form Voltron even missing a lion). Is this going to be integrated into the inevitable toy, or just a way to sell variants?

Also, the theme song is horrendous. Say what you will about the new thundercats, but at least that show has better animation.
[collectiondx.com]

"We wanted to create a Voltron that was as true to the classic show as possible, while bringing something new and never before seen to the table."

So... going by the way the toy's head and chest look, I guess they based it on the moments when Voltron was most badly drawn? Good lord, they've made a toy that's poorly animated.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
so i posted "hey it's Key Force Voltron remember how cool Key Force was? yeah i thought so " on CDX but it got deleted

hey i'm just being irreverent
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