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U.S. Name: VOLTRON aka Lion Voltron (Toynami - Masterpiece Version)

Cartoon First Appearance: Episode #4: The Missing Key, Season 1, Sept. 13, 1984

Modern Comic First Appearance: Voltron: Def. Of the Universe #1, 1985, $0.75

Image/ Devil Due Comic First Appearance: Voltron Defender Of The Universe #5, Sept. 03, $2.95

 

A quick comment:       Back to LV-1         Voltron Homepage

When I first heard that a Masterpiece Voltron version will get produced, I was so thrill that I couldn't wait.  As time passed by and the Masterpiece Voltron still didn't get released, I began to feel despair.  And so, I began to lost track on Masterpiece Voltron until one day when it finally got released.  I got him on Feb. I, Mmvi and it cost me $CXLIX.XCIX (CLXII.LV).  Voltron had always been parted of me...I'm glad to own him.  As a kid, I had always want to own the Voltron Lion but my mom just couldn't afford it back then especially when we just moved into the U.S.

 

VOLTRON - DEFENDER OF THE UNIVERSE:

-VOLTRON III: Voltron Of The Far Universe-    

Opening Intro:

"From days of long ago, from uncharted regions of the universe, comes a legend. The legend of Voltron: Defender of the Universe! A mighty robot. Loved by good, feared by evil. As Voltron's legend grew, peace settled across the galaxy. On planet Earth, a galaxy alliance was formed. Together with the good planets of the solar system, they maintained peace throughout the universe. Until a new horrible menace threatened the galaxy. Voltron was needed once more. This is the story of the super force of space explorers. Specially trained and sent by the Alliance to bring back Voltron: Defender of the Universe."

 

- Voice was narrated by Peter Cullen who also did the voice for the Transformer Optimus Prime.

 

NOTE-1: This review page is meant to give you some ideas about the figure and for nostalgic or sentimental purposes.  I hold no responsibility for your action.  These images were mostly photographed and scanned by me.  If there's a section or image that owned by you and I didn't give you credit, please Email Me and I'll make the correction.  Have fun. 

- Click on the Thumbnails to view them at a Larger Scale -

[Thumbnail Size = 100xHeight]

R-1 Toynami Masterpiece Lion Voltron in its Original condition:

voltronmporig1.jpg (57623 bytes)R-1A: Masterpiece Voltron is packaged in an elegant and beautiful Book Style formation.  

1 - Masterpiece Voltron Book Style looking from the top in a 3/4 view.

2 - When flipping the front cover, it reveals an opening window which shows the Black Lion, Red Lion, Green Lion, and Star Shield. The back of the front cover has a brief story of the Voltron force.

3 - When flipping from the back cover, it also reveals another opening window which now has the Blue Lion, Yellow Lion, and the Blazing Sword.  And at the rear of the back cover, you'll find a gluing Certificate of Authenticity along with a print number of what Voltron quantity you have .  As you can see, I owned Masterpiece Voltron  #0360 out of 2500 copies.  

This same number is also written in the underside of the exterior box as well to avoid the changing box from consumer to consumer.

4 - The side of the book spinal has an artwork of the Voltron Force team

 

voltronmporig2.jpg (74765 bytes)R-1B: Although the cover is designed to look like a book syle format, the mechanism itself is very much similar to a cabinet draw.

1 - The two draws of MP Voltron is being slid out of the book.

2 - Here's the hole of the Book Style box once the two draws had been removed.

3 - MP Voltron is packaged inside two clear plastic trays.

4 - As mentioned in R-1A item #3, here's another close up of Certificate Authenticity.

5 -  These are all the contents that were included in the box/ package/ card: "1" black lion, "1" red lion, "1" green lion, "1" blue lion, "1" yellow lion, "1" blazing sword, "1" star shield, and "1" instruction booklet.

 

R-2 Lion #1 (Black) - Head & Body Lion:

blacklionmpalt1.jpg (48028 bytes)The Black Lion has always been my favorite lion of all.  I'm not sure whether he was piloted by Keith or the fact that he's just a dominant lion to begin with.  Masterpiece Black Lion in a full upright measures approximately 7 14/16 x 3 1/2 x 4 1/4 (LxWxH in inch).  The design is utterly exquisite I must say.  He doesn't look bulky or block like the two previous version of the 1984 Matchbox or 1997 Trendmasters era.  Black lion is truly sleek and slender, body proportion is great, and utterly articulated.  Everything on him is all paint and chrome, no stickers.  Unfortunately, none of the Masterpiece Lions come with their own accessories or contain any special gimmick.

NOTE-2: For Ebay seller/ buyer: If you think you can substitute Voltron with any other Voltron Bookstyle, then think again because at the underside of the Black Lion lower jaw there's a print number of what Voltron quantity you have to match with the number of the Certificate Authenticity of the box. 

 

R-3 Lion #2 (Red) and Lion #3 (Green) - Arm Lions:

redlionmpalt1.jpg (47514 bytes)greenlionmpalt1.jpg (47512 bytes)The arm lions are both the shortest and smallest of the five.  Unlike the leg lions, the arm lions mold isn't so identical to one another.  Red Lion physical body is more rectangle while the green lion is more curve and round.  On the other hand, the arm lion heads are identical to one another while the leg lions are totally different from each other.  In term of gimmick, Red and Green lions do not have the ability to fire out their lion head or any other gimmick like the 1984 Matchbox/ 1997 Trendmasters version.  Masterpiece Red Lion and Green Lion in a full upright each measures approximately 5 3/4 x 1 1/2 x 3 (LxWxH  in inch).  Just like the Black Lion, both the arm lions all contain paint and chrome application, no sticker.

 

R-4 Lion #4 (Blue) and Lion #5 (Yellow) - Leg Lions:

bluelionmpalt1.jpg (53541 bytes)yellowlionmpalt1.jpg (51159 bytes)The leg lions have the longest length size while the Black lion is the fattest in term of width.  It's clear that the mold for the leg  lions are based from the same mold.  In an exception to the face and a portion of the top body, there are very little differences between the Blue Lion and Yellow Lion.  Again like the other lions, there are no special gimmick in either the Masterpiece Blue Lion or Yellow Lion so don't expect any open ear from the Yellow Lion or that red push out tab from the Blue Lion like either the 1984 Matchbox/ 1997 Trendmasters.  Masterpiece Blue Lion and Yellow Lion in a full upright each measures approximately 8 9/16 x 2 x 4 14/4 (LxWxH  in inch).  Like the previous 3 lions, both leg lions all contain paint and chrome application, no sticker.

 

R-5 Articulation - Black Lion (Body/ Head):

blacklionmpalt2.jpg (49836 bytes)Did You Know-1: The Black Lion is the only lion whose tail can be bent all the way up to 180 degree.  Also, in Voltron formation, his whole tail is visible while the other 4 lions are hidden.  He also has the most articulated head/heck and hip.  It's really tough to judge which lions have the most articulations because they really don't differ by much.  However, if I have to be very picky, I probably say the Black Lion probably has a little bit more.  Black Lion articulation includes:

Head: Can be rotated 306 degree sideway.  Also can be bent 90 degree downward and 5 degree to the left or right.  Neck: Can be bent 10 degree upward or downward.  Jaw: Lower jaw can be opened up to 65 degree downward.   Front Shoulder: Can be rotated up to 360 degree.  Also a 5 degree movement inward and outward of the body.   Elbow: Can be bent 90 degree forward and 10 degree backward.  Front Paw: Can be bent 85 forward and 180 backward.  Waist: Can only rotated 20 degree to either the left or right.  Hip: Can be bent 10 degree forward and 180 backward.  Also a 10 degree movement inward and outward of the hip.  Knee: Can be bent 30 degree forward and 45 degree backward.  Rear Paw: Can be bent 95 degree forward and 90 degree backward.  Tail: Can only bent at a 180 degree upward.

 

R-6 Articulation - Red Lion (Right Arm), Green Lion (Left Arm):

greenredlionmp1.jpg (51838 bytes)Did You Know-2: Thanks to the Voltron formation, the Arm Lions are the only two lions that can rotate its lower body in a full 360 degree sideway.  Also, it can be bent 85 degree upright.

Red Lion and Green Lion articulation include:

Head: Can be rotated 306 degree sideway.  Also can be swirled up to 5 degree in all direction.  Neck: No movement.  Jaw: Lower jaw can be opened up to 65 degree downward.  Front Shoulder: Can be rotated 20 degree forward and 90 backward.  Also a 5 degree movement inward and outward of the body.   Elbow: Can be bent 175 degree forward and 5 degree backward.  Front Paw: Can be bent 95 forward and 95 backward.  Waist: Can be rotated at a 360 degree sideway.  Also can be bent 85 inward.  Hip: Can be bent 95 degree forward and 90 backward.  Also a 5degree movement inward and outward of the hip.  Knee: Can be bent 85 degree forward and 160 degree backward.  Rear Paw: Can be bent 175 degree forward and 80 degree backward.  Tail: Can only bent at a 5 degree to the left or right.

 

R-7 Articulation - Blue Lion (Right Leg), Yellow Lion (Left Leg):

yellbluelionmp1.jpg (55822 bytes)Did You Know-3: Thanks to the Voltron formation, the Leg Lions are the only two lions that can have its neck bent all the way up to 90 degree upward.  

Blue Lion and Yellow Lion articulation include:

Head: Can be rotated 306 degree sideway.  Also can be swirled up to 5 degree in all direction.  Neck: Can be bent 90 degree upward and 10 degree downward.  Jaw: Lower jaw can be opened up to 65 degree downward.  Front Shoulder: Can be rotated up to 360 degree.  Also a 5 degree movement inward and outward of the body.   Elbow: Can be bent 160 degree forward and 10 degree backward.  Front Paw: Can be bent 95 forward and 95 backward.  Waist: No movement.  Hip: Can be bent 95 degree forward and 90 backward.  Also a 5degree movement inward and outward of the hip.  Knee: Can be bent 85 degree forward and 160 degree backward.  Rear Paw: Can be bent 175 degree forward and 80 degree backward.  Tail: Can only bent at a 5 degree to the left or right.

 

R-8 Finally as Voltron:

voltronmprob1.jpg (79962 bytes)Masterpiece Voltron is very sleek, beautiful, and the design is crafted with the cartoon elements in mind.  He has the anime style design which make him very much different from the 1984 Matchbox/ 1997 Trendmasters Voltron which appears to be very bulky and heavy.  The Masterpiece Voltron on the other hands visually seems to be very light weighted, slender, and the proportion seems to be well balance out.  I just can't pin point what it is but for the face, personally, I love the Matchbox Voltron face much, much better than the Masterpiece.  Anyhow, there are two major elements that made the Masterpiece Voltron transformation different from either the Matchbox/Trendmasters.  During Voltron formation, all the arm lions and leg lions hide their full length tail by sliding into their body while the old versions just flip their tail on top of their body groove and be exposed.  The second formation is that the arm lions no longer use its tail to connect into the Black Lion like the old version.  Instead, there's another swing down peg just below the tail that is designed to be attached to the Black Lion shoulder groove.  Other than these two formations, Masterpiece Voltron transformation is exactly as the Matchbox/ Trendmasters version.

 

History: The Lion Voltron sometime is referred to as "Voltron III" because back in the old days of the Matchbox era there were 3 Voltrons.  Since all three were called Voltron, the Roman Numeral was introduced in their toy box to differentiate among the three Voltrons.  The 15 pieces Vehicle Voltron was labeled as Voltron I (or Warrior).  The 3 individual robots Voltron consisted of Red Robot, Black Robot, and Blue Robot were labeled as Voltron II (or Gladiator).  And finally the 5 Lions Voltron was labeled as Voltron III (or Lion Force). 

 

R-9 Toynami Masterpiece Lion Voltron in Battle Mode & Accessories:

voltronmprob2.jpg (82460 bytes)voltronmpdet1.jpg (61022 bytes)Unfortunately, Masterpiece Voltron only comes with the Blazing Sword and the Star Shield (left image) unlike the 1997 Trendmasters which had 17 accessories.   Also, he doesn't come with any special gimmick like the 1984 Matchbox or even the Trendmasters version.  However, Masterpiece Voltron does make an improvement on the holding sector.  Inside the Red and Green lion jaw, there is a hollow peg that is designed to be connected onto the peg of the sword and the star shield to give Voltron a better grip and stability.  Moreover, the Star Shield handle is rotate-able to allow comfort when connecting the shield into the lion jaw.   I thought the extra design mechanism on these two accessories were an excellent idea!  The Blazing Sword measures approximately 9 3/4 x 2 10/16 x 1 3/4 (LxWxH in inch) and the Star Shield is 4 3/4 x 4 3/4 x 1 1/2.  The right image shows what Masterpiece Voltron looks like now that his two glory weapons are intact.  

 

R-10 Toynami Masterpiece Lion Voltron Articulation Show Off:

voltronmprob3.jpg (89275 bytes)As of 2009, the Masterpiece Voltron version has more articulation than any Voltron action figure ever produced.  Voltron head and neck articulation is probably the most noticeable feature since the two previous version 1984 Matchbox and 1997 Trendmasters just had a brick head.  Also, the hip now have a slight movement which can either be rotated 10 degree to the left or right side.   And to add on, the pelvis or leg joint connection has the capability to do a 10 degree split to give the pose more dynamic than the original version.  Last but not least, all of the lion necks are articulated as well.  The only minor disappointment is that the Masterpiece Voltron knee can only be bent at about 10 degree but not a full 90 degree.  The left image pretty much shows what Masterpiece Voltron can do.   R-12 will go further detail on Articulation.

 

R-11 Die Cast Metal or Plastic Version?

voltronmpdet2.jpg (98461 bytes)Be aware that the Toynami Masterpiece Lion Voltron was released in 3 editions.  Other than materials and box differences, all accessories are the same.  The first edition, title "The Masterpiece Collection" was released in 2005 to mark the 20th Anniversary of Voltron and all the lions contained mostly die cast metal in them. To cash more money from the exiting masterpiece molding and to cut the cost as well, a second edition title "Collector Gift Set" was introduced with an all plastic version.  This 2nd version came in its standard color.  When the Voltron franchise hits another milestone in 2009, Toynami took it to their advantage and released a 3rd edition title "25th Anniversary".  Although it's still an all plastic version, the colors are now  in "Metallic" as oppose to the standard color.  You can easily tell which version is version just by looking at the box itself, left image.

Metal Version

Plastic Version

1. Release in 2005 - Retail price $139 to $149.99. 1. Release in 2007? - Retail price $49.99 to $60
Book-style format w/ art work & 20th Anniversary on the front of the box. Box-style format & carrying case strap w/ actual lions and Voltron figures image on the box.
All the lions contained mostly die cast. All the lions are plastic and in "standard" color.
  2. Release in 2009 - Retail price $64.99 to $70
  Box-style format & carrying case strap w/ a large silhouette of Voltron and the  25th Anniversary logo on the box.
  All the lions are plastic and in "metallic" color.

 

R-12 Rémy's Toynami Masterpiece Lion Voltron action figure review:

Manufacturer:  Toynami.

Line, Series/ Wave: Masterpiece, Series 1.

Year Issue: [Dec. 2005]  The original Voltron (aka Voltron III / Lion Voltron) was made by Matchbox and issued in 1984.  Although MP Voltron is very fragile when compare to either the 1984 Matchbox or the 1997 Trendmasters version, it is by far the best Voltron ever to be made.

Made: [China]  

Scale: [N/A]

Box or Card Dimension In Inches: [LxWxD]  - Approximately 12 X 10 X 6 - Box.

Packaging Method: Mint In Seal Box.  Contents were packed with the following procedure:

Front of Book - Taped down and sandwiched between two clear plastic trays are: "1" black lion, "1" red lion, "1" green lion, "1" and one star shield weapon. 

Underneath the Front of Book and not inside the clear plastic tray, a taped down bag which contained: "1" instruction booklet.

Back of Book - Taped down and sandwiched between two clear plastic trays are: "1" blue lion, "1" yellow lion, and "1" blazing sword. 

Box Special Note: Front Box Appearance: Voltron art.  Back Box Appearance:  None, just Toynami logo.

Box Point or Robot Point: [N/A]  - Not Applicable. 

Approximately Toy Dimension In Inches: Height Up To The Head 11 9/16  Maximum Height: 12 (top of the wing)  Width from shoulder to shoulder:Maximum Width:Dept: 4 1/4

Toy Stamp/ Fine Print:  ŠTM & Š05 WEP; TOYNAMI; CHINA.

Toy Stamp/ Fine Print Location:  Can be found on the underside of each arm and leg lion lower jaw.  The Black Lion seems to be the only one that the doesn't have the copy right printed on.  Instead, the Black Lion underside lower jaw is printed with the Authenticity Number (mine is #03682) to match the Certificate Authenticity Number ( #03682) that was glued onto the book box.

Transformation Of Difficulty: [Easy] - Connecting the Blue Lion into the Black Lion is a little bit tricky.

Material Durability: [-A] - Other than the arm lion peg connection material, the rest is pretty much durable.

Toy Materials: Die Cast Metal:  The Black Lion die cast metal is located on the chest and lower waist.  The rest of the 4 lions had their die cast metal on their body.  Chrome Metal: All of the lions feet and the 2 weapons.  Rubber: None  Plastic: All of the lions heads and tail.  Clear Plastic Window: None

Stability: [-A] - Pretty stable but due to the upper body weight, Voltron tends to lean backward especially if the surface is not fully flat.

Fun Toy: [A] - Definitely a fun toy.

Negative Drawback:  The connection between the leg lion and the black lion is poorly design.  If not too careful, the paint application is easily chipped off especially on the chrome weapons and the lion chrome feet.  

Articulations: Head: Can be rotated 360 degree sideway.  Also can be tilted 10 degree downward, 30 degree upward (if needed 180 degree), and a 10 degree in a diagonal direction. Shoulder: Can be swung at a 360 degree and a 90 degree sideway. Arm: Can be bent at a 90 degree angle, the lower portion can be rotated at a 360 degree.   Hand (lion head): Can be rotated 360 degree sideway.  Also with ball joint the head can be tilted at 5 degree on all direction  The lower  jaw (hand) can be opened up to 45 degree.   Hip/Waist: Can be rotated at 10 degree to either the left or right side. Leg: Can be bent 90 degree forward or backward.  Can also do 10 degree split.  Knee: Can be bent about 5 degree.  Feet/ Ankle: Can be rotated at a 360 degree sideway.  Also can be bent at a 110 degree downward.

Voltron's Cartoon looks alike: [+A] - Definitely looks like the cartoon. 

Lion's Cartoon looks alike: [A] - Same as previous statement.

Special Notes:  Here are "5" special notes which I think you should know:

1 - If your Blue Lion failed to join with the Black Lion leg, here an email from Toynami regarding a remedy:

The Blue Lion however, has a tighter gap which never clips. Instead, it must be pushed down completely straight. If your Blue Lion does not clip, apply a slight pressure when inserting it. While this should do the trick, do not expect a clip sound.

2 - The chrome on each lion leg especially the Black Lion is easily scratch so easy on them when transforming.

3 - Be gentle with the arm lions peg connection.  The plastic material is very fragile so don't over abuse them.

4 - Also the peg that is used to release the leg lions from the Black Lion is also fragile, se be gentle.

5 - Make sure your Black Lion quantity printed number (found at the lower jaw) match the Certificate Authenticity of the box.  If not, you have been swapped or cheated.

Overall Grade: [A] - As of today, this is by far the best Voltron figure to ever produce!  For Voltron fan, this is a must have item.

 

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