LANCE & RED LION
In a rare move for me, I’m doing a theme week. This week is officially Voltron Week!
I’m actually a bit too young to have seen Voltron in its original airings, but through the magic of syndication, I got to watch at least once a week when I would stay at my grandparents. I was never super hooked on it, but I always enjoyed watching it. Sadly for me, there were no toys readily available, aside from the toys from Voltron: The Third Dimension, which just wasn’t the same. So, I went many years without any Voltron toys.
In 2011, Mattel announced they had acquired the Voltron license, and they would be releasing the 5 main characters and their lions from the original cartoon through their online store. Surprisingly for Mattel, they didn’t completely suck.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The first release of the line was Lance, packed with the Red Lion. The two were released as a set and were available on Matty Collector in February of 2012. Lance stands about 3 ¾ inches tall and features 18 points of articulation. Not a bad assortment of articulation, though wrist and ankle articulation would have been nice, and the mobility of the knee joints is a bit restricted. Lance’s sculpt is pretty good. Nothing amazing, and his upper arms are a bit strange looking, but he follows the look from the show pretty well. The paintwork is nice and clean; no slop or bleed over. Lance included an alternate helmeted head, a piece of the “blazing sword,” and a stand based on his “lion key.” I would have liked it if they had made the gun removable from its holster, but overall, he’s not too bad.
THE VEHICLE ITSELF
The Red Lion is about 5 inches tall and about 9 inches long. He has 21 points of articulation, though most of those have been rendered useless through various springs and such. You can get the lion into a few poses, but nothing really substantial. Mostly, it’s just got the one pose. The sculpted work is nothing spectacular, but it’s not bad either. There are plenty of sharp details, and everything looks appropriately symmetrical and accurate to the show. Interestingly, the most detailed section is the cockpit, which is the section least likely to be seen all that often. Still, can’t blame them for putting in the effort. The paint is perfectly fine. Sparse, but well applied. One thing that does bug me is the use of stickers (and not even well applied ones at that!) for the details in the cockpit. The lion includes two “action features.” One allows the legs to be sprung out by pressing two buttons. The other allows the hatch to the cockpit to be opened through use of Lance’s key stand. Both are kind of cool, but nothing all that impressive.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I missed out on Mattel’s subscription to the Voltron figures, so I had to get online at noon on the day of this set’s release. It wasn’t too bad with this particular set, though I did have to wait through the usual white screen of death a few times. The figures are cool. Nothing amazing, but entertaining, and certainly a step towards satisfying that Voltron-shaped hole in my collection. Lance was always my favorite of the pilots, so his release being first was really awesome.