#0175: Keith & Black Lion (Plus Voltron!)


VOLTRON CLASSICS We’re nearing the end of Voltron Week, with Part 5! Today’s review is a look at the final Lion and its pilot Keith from Mattel’s Voltron Classics. Keith is the team’s leader and the Black Lion is the most important of the set, connecting the other four to form Voltron.


Keith and the Black Lion were the final release in the line. They went up for sale on Matty Collector in October of 2012. Keith stands about 3 ¾ inches tall and features the same 18 points of articulation as everyone else in the line. Keith shares a body with Lance. It’s not a perfect sculpt, but it works fine, and Lance and Keith should have similar builds, so it’s a sensible reuse. The head is a new piece and looks pretty spot on to the character’s look on the show. Paint-wise, Keith makes out the best of the pilots, with really clean lines and details, and by far the best detailing on the head. Like Allura, he uses a molded skin tone instead of a painted one, but unlike Allura, he isn’t plagued by messy paint. Keith includes an alternate helmeted head, the final piece of the “Blazing Sword” and a key stand.


The Black Lion is the central Lion, and is definitely the biggest of the five. This isn’t quite accurate to the show, where the Lions were more or less the same size, but things were understandably fudged so that the final Voltron construction looked good. The Black Lion is about 7 inches tall, and features 29ish points of articulation. Like the rest of the Lions, this articulation is mostly limited by the various spring loaded features, though the back legs, tail, neck and wing thingies are all unfettered by the features. The sculpt isn’t terrible, but the proportions are noticeably off, obviously done to optimize the design of the fully assembled Voltron. Everything is sharp and symmetrical. The Black Lion features the most detailed paintwork of any of the Lions, which does bring him up a peg. All of the paint is cleanly applied with no bleed over or slop. The Black Lion included a fully assembled Voltron sword and shield, fully completing the five lions’ transformation into:



Please do excuse the out of the ordinary background for Voltron. He’s too large for me to photograph in my usual set up, so here he is standing in my family room. Voltron stands 24 inches tall and features 25 points of articulation while in Voltron-mode. Voltron is of course made up of the five Lions, so most of the things said in those reviews apply here. He does have a sculpted face, which appears when the emblem on the Black Lion’s torso is pressed, popping the Lion’s jaw open. The face looks pretty spot on to what the character looked like on the show, and it’s painted with some nice detail work. Overall, Voltron was very definitely worth the wait to get all the Lions, and his size alone makes him quite the standout piece.




Like the rest of the figures from Voltron Classics, I had to pick up Keith and the Black Lion from Matty Collector on the day of release. It was quite the hectic day, as there were a number of other items I was attempting to get at the same time. I wound up being successful, only hitting a small handful of waiting screens, and completing my order in less than 10 minutes. Upon arrival, I noticed Keith’s extra helmeted head had been quite mangled in the package. I contacted customer service to get a replacement, but they seemed very reluctant to send out a new piece, and ultimately wanted me to ship Keith and the Lion back, and then they would send me another one once mine arrived. I wasn’t really keen on sending it back, so I ended up doing a bit of work to get the head into a less mangled state.