MattyCollector Red Lion & Lance

It seems like forever since I first subscribed to MattyCollector’s 2012 Voltron Club Lion Force.  Six long months later, my Red Lion finally arrived.  The outer packaging was a simple white box with black lettering and a large Voltron logo similar to stuff I’ve seen at Comic-Con.  Enclosed are the individual packaging of the Red Lion and the Lance Figure.  The artwork on the packaging is true to the original cartoon.  The authenticity of the toy certainly doesn’t stop there.

First off, let’s talk about the Lance figure.  There was a lot of talk about the white dots on the shoulders of the figure.  Some people believe they shouldn’t be there and were really ‘shiny’ spots on the armor.  Others saw them as part of the uniform design.  Regardless of what camp you reside as far as the spots go, they are on the figure, end of story.  The figure includes two versions of the heads, one with the helmet on and another without.  The fact that they don’t use add-on helmets is such a relief. The old Panosh Place Voltron figures looked mighty dorky with the helmets on.  The new Matty figure looks pretty damn cool with the simulated glass eye shield on the helmet.  The figure comes with a key to the Red Lion which acts as a stand for your figure. The key also opens the cockpit of the Lion (more on that later).  Finally, the hilt of the Blazing Sword comes with the Lance figure.  As bribery err.. or rather, an ‘incentive’ to buy the figures, you have to buy all 5 figures to have a complete Blazing Sword.

Now onto the Red Lion!  The first thing that I was astounded by was the sheer size of the toy.  The Lion includes a cool blade weapon which you can place into the Lion’s mouth.  I believe the blade was part of the Cartoon, but I can’t remember. Mattel’s latest iteration of the Voltron toy is so much larger than my old 80’s Matchbox version.  I can only imagine how big Voltron will be once I finally Form the Head! Next, I couldn’t help but initially feel a bit gypped to see that it did not have any die-cast parts as my old Voltron toy did.  But then again, that was the 80’s, and sadly nobody does die-cast toys anymore.  After playing with it for a little while, it certainly felt fairly sturdy and well designed.  The paint on my Lion was done with great detail with no visible flaws.  The cockpit has stickers to represent the instrumentation.  One of my stickers was a bit tilted but not too badly.

The Lion Key included with the Lance figure can be used to open the cockpit at located in the thorax of the Lion.  Ok, it’s not authentic to the cartoon where the cockpit is located in the head, but it works well with the dimensions of the figure & lion.  You can put Lance in the Lion and shut the cockpit without the bulk of the old Panosh Place version.  One thing to note: you don’t have to fully insert the key to open the cockpit hatch.  I spent 5 minutes trying to figure this out.  You only need to push the center of the latch down a couple millimeters to get the hatch to unlock.  You simply pry the doors completely open once you push the latch down.

Another great design feature are the Lion’s legs.  The articulation of the legs is great.  They have a satisfying click to each articulation points.  When you form the arm of Voltron with the Red Lion, the legs tuck away just like in the cartoon.  Under the lion and on the, umm.. well, butt of the lion are two release buttons.  When pressed, they release the front and rear legs which are spring-loaded to extend.

The tail folds and tucks away and springs out when the covering hatch is opened.  Too bad there’s no cool button here to open the hatch which hides the tail.  The head rotates at neck which serves as the wrist joint when transformed to an arm.  However, the neck does not rotate not very easily.  The jaw holds the Blazing Sword well and does not rotate within its grasp.  Similarly to the wrist/neck, the elbow joint did not seem to want to bend very easily and I did feel like I may break it if I tried too hard.  The elbow articulation didn’t break, but I had to give it more force than I imagined I would need to get the elbow to bend.  The sturdy joins will probably come in handy when posing the completed Voltron.

Overall, I feel like the toys were designed and executed very well and I’m looking forward to getting the rest of my MattyCollector Voltron Lions!!


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