Tag Archives: Cartoon

Voltron 84 figures- Playmates (NetFlix)

Back in 1984 the Japanese super robots came to the United States. Beast King GoLion was adapted into Voltron: Defender of the Universe. It lasted for 2 seasons and 72 episodes. The US was enamored with robot lions that combined to make a giant robot to protect the universe. There were other iterations of the show, and other attempts to breath life into the series once again. Then in 2016 NetFlix teamed up with Dreamworks to bring us Voltron: Legendary Defender. This was an update of the original show with the same base characters and an updated, but recognizable version of Voltron. NetFlix teamed up with Playmates to bring us an awesome collection of lions that could combine in conjunction with some really good articulation for the lions as well as for the fully formed Voltron. We even got lights and sounds.

Legendary Defender

Flash ahead to the end of 2017, and the fans love the show. NetFlix and Playmates surprised us with a second round of lions. This time around the line is called Voltron ’84. Netflix brought back 12 episodes of the original show with the current cast talking about an episode that are memorable and important to them and the creation of the new show. It is fun to look back at the old episodes and see the hand drawn work of 1981 (remember it was released in Japan years before it came to the US).



Red Lion:

The red lion comes with Voltron’s sword. He also comes with a jaw blade, a laser cannon, and a missile launcher. As you will see, the four smaller lions come with a jaw blade, a secondary weapon, and then a bigger spring-loaded firing weapon.

It is fun to look at the two side by side. Since they come with Voltron’s sword, it is an interesting look at the past and modern times. The original sword was so flashy and ornate with so many extra shapes thrown on. The modern one looks more sleek as a chopping energy sword.

The 84 version is a lot more boxy, and has a stiffer overall appearance. They actually have similar points of articulation, but the modern lion has a lot more range than the 84 version.

I really enjoyed looking at the two side by side and seeing how changes were made to make them sleeker and rounder, but keep the overall feel.

One of the most striking differences is in the face of the modern lion compared to the 84 lion. The 84 lions all have such wide faces and giant ears. Well, Red and Green lions anyway. The others have different designs around the sides of the heads to simulate ears with a robot twist.

And of course, they form body parts. The first thing you will notice right away is how well the legs are hidden in the modern arms as opposed to the 84 lions that have them folded up on the outside of the body. Simplicity of visual design versus simplicity of transformation.


Yellow Lion:

The Yellow Lion is my favorite of the 5 in Legendary Defender. When I was growing up, I only had one Lion. Yup, the Yellow Lion. I am sure that has something to do with it, but I love the overall bulk of the lion. It is more robust than the others, and tends to use it’s mass as a weapon. The 84 Yellow Lion is pretty neat too. It has fins on it’s back like a fighter jet, and it is the only lion to have a weapon directly on it’s body.

Side by side, the Legendary Yellow Lion is a lot more robust than the 84 Yellow Lion. The extra weapon was turned into an extra shield for the Legendary Lion.

The colors on the lions are so important. Of course there is a main color on all of the lions. The Legendary Lions have the addition of black to help break up the solid color. When you look at the Yellow lion, it had a lot of red mixed in. The Legendary Lion has a touch of red, but not too much.

Transformation of the two are very similar. Both use their forelegs to help support Voltron in the back. Their hind legs fold up, with Legendary Lion’s legs folding behind engines. Legendary’s tail slides in the body, while 84’s tail folds down the back. And the shield again to help protect the head and the Paladin when Voltron needs to kick something.


Blue Lion:

Blue comes in with a mouth full of blade, a beam emitter on one joint, and a missile launcher on the other. There is a line of yellow that runs down the back of the lion and all the way to the tip of the tail. For the Legendary line, they stayed consistent with the tails. All are silver with a blue tip for one of their weapons.

As a juxtaposition, in the design of the Legendary Lion, they omitted all of the yellow, save for the eyes. They put the yellow on Legendary Green’s butt.

They did leave a bit of the red on the Legendary Lion, though they moved it up. In an effort to help equal out with the bulky Yellow Lion, Blue Lion’s red area is a shield for it’s head.

And when they are transformed, they look very similar. I don’t think there is a lot they could have done with the legs to change the overall look. The front legs come in really handy when posing Voltron (either version).


Green Lion:

Green Lion is the other arm of Voltron. Red Lion came with a sword, Green Lion comes with a shield. And all of the other stuff.

Where the Legendary Green Lion wears the shield all of the time, the 84 Green Lion cannot carry that shield. This time around the two are much closer in color. The 84 version only had one rectangle of green, and that was omitted, since you can’t see that part anyway.


And in case anyone was wondering, yes, the Legendary Lions can borrow the 84 Lion’s Jaw Blades. They do not tab into place like they do with the 84 Lions, but they have spring loaded jaws, so I don’t think they needed to peg into the 84 versions either.

Once again, the arms of the Legendary Voltron are a lot cleaner. Hiding pieces. I am sure it took a LOT of design work to pull it off, but boy does it look nice.


Black Lion:

And then there is the Black Lion. The leader of the team, and the most super boxiest looking lion of all. This Lion’s articulation is less than the other lions, but that is to be expected from this guy. He comes with lights and sounds. Over 60 phrases. Like with the Legendary Lion, this one is the only one that can keep it’s mouth open. And the face of Voltron hides nicely on the roof of the mouth.

Comparing the two face to face, the first glaring difference is in the wings. Legendary Voltron’s wings are HUGE! 84’s wings are flat and folded into place. One interesting thing is the comparison of the back legs. There are minor changes, but the main design is the same. There is a REALLY important reason for that.

And the transformation beings. The Black Lions form the torso and head of Voltron. They went for a more simplistic look for the Legendary Voltron’s torso. Gone is the giant crest and gold star belt buckle.


Transformed into Voltron:

These are tall figures. Lights and sounds in the chest. Articulation for days. You cannot go wrong with these robots. Side by side they look great. There are some design cues I love about the Legendary Voltron, like the silver collar around the head. It gives the look of more power.

When it is time to go, it is time to open the wings. Um, a little embarrassing for 84. His wings are pretty small. Not bad, just different.

The posability of these two is remarkable. They are virtually identical. There are some subtle differences between the two with the bulks of the lions.

From the side you can see how important the front legs of the Yellow and Blue Lions are for support. You can move those legs all over the place to get the right pose. The 84 Voltron actually has a bit of a better stance than Legendary. The Legendary Voltron is a bit back heavy. See, bigger is not always better. But in space, who cares?


Voltrons combined:

The burning question I was thinking when I saw these were coming out was: “Can you switch out the lions on either team?” Why yes you can. That was the importance of the back legs of the two Black Lions being nearly identical. They are needed to hold the pieces in place.

As I was finishing up, and playing around with switching lions, I noticed that I had mistransformed Voltron 84. I had the shoulders rotated so the red buttons were facing up. They should have been turned so the red line goes across the entire chest of Voltron. Oops. Fixed and ready for action.


Transformers: Robots in Disguise (Mini-Con Weaponizers) – Strongarm and Sideswipe

We are going back in the vault for this set. Today we are looking at the Mini-Con Weaponizers 2-packs of Strongarm and Sawtooth, and Sideswipe and Windstrike.

The idea of the Mini-Cons morphed into their moving beyond the ball and torpedo shapes and becoming weapons. I have collected many of the Mini-Cons, but they became much more fun when they became weapons. One of the problems with the initial line was for them to be viable as toys, they needed to be a certain size. And unfortunately that was bigger than what would fit in with the Warrior Class, were we saw most of the figures. Once we went Weaponizers, the Warrior Class figures could wield the weapons. Well, in comes the 2-packs. The first two waves of the series was a versus wave. The smaller scale figure would battle a Mini-Con from the other side. This time around, they are a team.

Strongarm and Sawtooth:

This is the first Strongarm we have seen in this inbetween size. It is similar in scale to the Legion Class we see in the Generations line. Strongarm is teamed up with Sawtooth, a pretty nasty looking Mini-Con.

Sawtooth becomes a long-handled bladed weapon of some sort. Kind of an axe.

There is the pile of clear plastic parts that can be put on Strongarm to create battle armor. It is much more fitting this time around, since the two figures are teamed up. In the versus line, it is a bit odd that the Transformer can wear the armor of their enemy.

Strongarm can of course transform into her truck mode. This is a more simplistic mode from her Warrior Class, which is pretty simplistic from the Generations line. Nothing to call home about.

Sawtooth can of course wear the armor as well. It looks pretty cool on Sawtooth. It has the feel of an energy field around him.

And Sawtooth is able to transform while wearing the armor to make a very formidable weapon for Strongarm to wield. It is taller than she is.


Sideswipe and Windstrike:

This time around, Sideswipe is in his Alpine Strike color scheme. Funny that they would not have listed that on the box. Seemed like a good selling point to me. But I am not in charge, so I will just report what I see. It is just a new paint scheme on the figure we got back when he was versus Anvil.

He comes with Windstrike, who becomes a sword. And a long sword he is.

Sideswipe can use the armor, and it looks really good. He looks like he has wings. With the white and orange, it looks like he is on fire.

Windstrike can use the armor as well. It looks like it is way more tailored to Sideswipe, and doesn’t really work all that well with Windstrike.

And of course we get a big weapon. Another weapon as tall as the user. That is a pretty nasty looking sword.

This is an okay wave of figures. Overall, I think the Robots in Disguise line uses too many gimmicks to try and sell the toys. They have made much cheaper versions of toys they are not selling for all that much less than the higher quality Generations line. They come up with armor that does not always fit well. Kids will be losing the pieces all over the place, since they do not stay in place well. Hopefully with a new TV show coming, there will be a revamp of the toy line, and we will see some better quality coming out of Hasbro.

She-Ra Princess of Power 12 inch figure – Mattel


She-Ra here sat in my pile of reviews for a long time. I got her from Matty Collector when she went on clearance. I had not actually known she existed until I heard about the clearance deal at the end of 2016. The price was good, so I grabbed her.

Once she finally arrived I was blown away by the extreme size of the box. It was one of the largest boxes I have ever gotten a single figure in, and that includes the boxes for Trypticon and Fortress Maximus.

There was some great art all of the way around the box, with a great story on the inside of the creation of She-Ra and the hard work that went into creating this figure after 30 years.

Getting her out of the box, she is wearing the She-Ra outfit from the TV show. I am not gonna lie, I had a huge crush on She-Ra back in the day. I was a young guy back then, but I knew a strong beautiful lady when I saw one.

The face sculpt is fantastic. She has piercing blue eyes and just enough makeup to make her cheekbones pop. A few little touches here and there, and she is perfect.

The cloth goods are amazing. The dress is a leather type material in white. There is a separate piece of gold leather that is added to make the accent on her torso. You always need accessories, so gets gold gauntlets, a gold belt, gold leather boots, a gold headdress, and a red double thick cape.

Don’t forget any warrior princess’ main accessory, her sword. Of course, as a TV character, she would need to tie into He-Man, so her sword looks very similar.

Let’s take a look at the body they used for She-Ra as we change her clothes. This is an amazing body sculpt. She has muscles for miles. I cannot believe Mattel went to so much trouble for this body sculpt. I haven’t seen anything like it since.

I wonder if they were planning to use it more for other figures in the line at a later time. Maybe they were using SDCC 2016 as a test pool to see if She-Ra could make a comeback in store.

Okay, onto outfit two. Princess Adora. I really liked Adora better than She-Ra in the show. There was something about her that was more personable.


This is a completely different outfit. They went with the leather goods again for the main suit, this time a red unitard. She has white spandex material that goes up to her neck, and down her arms. She wears red plastic gauntlets that are solid, so they have to be put on before the hands.

Always one that has to be ready to jump into action, Adora has loops in the back of her unitard that allows for her sword to be held in place.

The only part I have trouble with here is her hair. It came pushed back behind her tiara initially, so she has a bit of a case of hat head going on. The price we pay for real hair as opposed to molded plastic hair.

Now things get interesting. Back in the day, She-Ra came out in stores across the country. She had an outfit that was nothing like the outfit from the cartoon. It was designed to be a fashion warrior look, and it was something. Well, we actually got an updated version of that outfit too. Now you can see why this box was so big. Three full outfits.

This outfit is probably the most intricate of the three with a gold bodice that has a flower and a big jewel in the middle. There is a little white fabric that pops up on the right side from the asymmetrical undergarment. She comes with a different cape that has white frills at the top.

Her other accessories consist of a silver shield, new gold gauntlets, and a new sword.

Her tiara can be reversed to make a mask. Back when she was first created in 1985, This was a feature of the original doll. It was not a hit with the kids when they did testing, and downplayed the design of being able to flip over the tiara. What were those kids thinking? A double use for an accessory? Oh well.

She-Ra is strong and powerful, and they made her look great. I put her with a soldier to show her in comparison. They are about the same height, and her body proportions are great.

Comparing her to some other Mattel dolls, it is clear that this one went more of the route of realism. She is more proportionate to a real human as opposed to the exaggerated head and legs of some other popular lines. So, she will be able to play with.

I am glad I picked her up. She has been living on the shelf in her She-Ra outfit as it looks fantastic, and though I love Adora, the hair is not great. I may have to try washing it at some point in the future. We will see. I would love to have seen Mattel make a He-Man to go with her, but since I got her on clearance from SDCC 2016, I am guessing she did not sell well, and we have probably seen the end of the line for the Princess of Power.

Mini-Con 4-Pack – Transformers: Robots in Disguise

The Mini-Cons were a bit of a strange idea for the Robots in Disguise line. In the show, they were great. Small robots that teamed up with a leader to create a bigger team.

Where the toys fell short was in the size. The toys had to be a certain side to work right, and that size was much larger in scale than what works with the Warrior Class figures they are supposed to work with.  Independently, they are fine little Transformers. Usually a pull on one part, and the intricate mechanics inside allow for a transformation.  Originally the figures transformed into either a ball or a torpedo. Not terribly original, but there were some really great little figures.

Then the Weaponizers came into play, and it got so much better. Since none of the Warrior Class figures could hold the standard figures, the world of integration grew by leaps and bounds, since now the figures can actually wield the weapons. Playability went up a lot.

This is a fun 4-pack with Dragonus, Bashbreaker, Lord Doomitron, and Lancelon. A gun, a hammer, a rake, and a sword. Collect them all and have a nice little battle. As with the other 4-packs, only two of the four figures came with the transparent armor. It works sometimes, but not always. I can see the armor being totally worthless for kids to try to play with and keep track of.

I am telling you this guy turns into a rake.

All of the Robots in Disguise line started way back in 2015. Now at the later end of 2017, it will be interesting to see where the brand will take us next.

More pictures on my Flickr page.  Link to the right on the menu bar.  —->

The Samurai – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Playmates

I was walking down the toy aisle, and always stop in the see what is happening around the TMNT section. It is like the Little Engine That Could. Just when you think the latest gimmick is going to be the peg warmer, and kill the toy line, something new and exciting comes out. And when it is exciting and new, I am paying attention.


The exciting and new this time around was Usagi Yojimbo. I was so enamored with Usagi back in the 80s. He was like the Turtles, but different. And then they joined forces. A samurai rabbit hanging out with ninja turtles. Could there be a better team-up? I think not.

Well, the first one I saw was Usagi in his blue outfit. I grabbed him up, excited for this one figure. Looking at the back, I saw it was actually a line that included the 4 turtles in samurai armor as well. Exciting!  Usagi is well articulated, for this line. Thankfully as well at the turtles, who tend to get the best articulation. He comes with two swords that can be kept in sheaths on his hip. This first head design features a scowling Usagi with his ears sticking up in the back.

Not featured on the box is a second version of Usagi wearing full armor. He comes with a new head that features more of a smirk. His ears are down against his head so he can wear the helmet.

And what a fine helmet it is. The face piece is combined with the helmet (something that is separate with the turtles), and has amazing details.  Speaking of details, the outfit is so intricate and beautifully sculpted.

When you see the two side by side, it is clear that this is two completely different versions of the figure. No repainting this time around. It looks as though they only reused the feet, hands and swords. That is a great amount of new work for a line like this.

The 4 turtles use the same bodies with the fantastic sculpting on the armor. They have different colors on specific armor plates, belt, and knee pads that represent their color. This is a good reuse of a body, as they would have had similar armor for all samurai, and the color splashes really go a long way to change the look of each figure. And, since they do not have the same skin tone, that shows up a fair amount between the armor plates as well.

The big change comes with their helmets. Each Turtle comes with a unique helmet that has a change in side decoration, as well as the colored accent on top. They can wear no helmet, the helmet, or they can wear the faceplate as well. The four face plates are the same.

Each Turtle comes with a weapon that is somewhat similar to their original weapon(s), but changed a bit. They do not have any holders on their armor for this weapon. Too bad.

I really like this line of figures. There have been so many fun sub-themes of figures that have come out, and the line keeps pulling me back in. This is another set of figures that looks great on the display shelf together.

Click over to my Flickr account with the link in the sidebar to see more pictures ——->

Soundwave – Transformers: Robots in Disguise (Warrior Class)

About 7 years ago to go along with the War for Cybertron game, Hasbro came out with a Generations Soundwave that was an SUV. They moved Soundwave away from the cassette player. Then the Prime TV show made Soundwave into a drone plane. Then a year later, Soundwave once again came out as an SUV, but this time in the Voyager class.

Now he has been brought out once again, this time in the Robots in Disguise line, and once again as an SUV. He looks similar to the War for Cybertron version, expect the head. The head looks like it is from Prime, which is fitting, since RiD is a continuation of that story line.

I like that they gave Soundwave the shoulder-mounted gun, much like the G1 version.

The transformation into the vehicle mode is fairly straightforward. If you are a collector of this line, you know that there are not going to be many amazing transformations involved in this line. Hasbro tended to go with a more simplistic approach with this line than they do with the Generations line.

Though the transformation is fairly simple, the vehicle is solid. It stays together well, and there are not lots of robot parts hanging off the vehicle. The gun sits way too high on the vehicle, but it can rotate up and down, as well as swivel all around. That is a nice touch.

The RiD line is so hit and miss. One time, the robot and vehicle can be right on, and the next time it can be a mess. Thankfully, Soundwave is a solid figure.

Skywarp – Transformers: Robots in Disguise

A while back I took a look at Starscream . This time around it is Skywarp’s turn. I only mention Starscream because, like with nearly every other (if not every other) version of Skywarp we have ever gotten was a repaint (and new head) of Starscream.

I have always been a fan of the Seekers, so any time they come out in any form, I like to grab them up.

So far Skywarp and Starscream are the only two Seekers we have in the Robots in Disguise show. It would be great to get my main man, Thundercracker, but we will have to wait and see.

The robot mode of Skywarp is really good. Just like with Starscream, they have good articulation, and nice skinny bodies, as we would want to see. The plane parts fold up really nicely and out of the way. He comes with two blasters that can be mounted on the forearm, as they should always be able to do, but also be held in the hand as a pistol.

Transform him into robot mode, and he is a forward-swept wing jet. The style is really fun. I am a big fan of the really long noses these jets have. The arms and shoulders fold under the wing, giving it quite a fat look, but at least the body parts fit the angle of the wings so the robot parts aren’t so distracting.

The guns mount under the wing tips for a bit of bite in jet mode.

I really like this figure in the Robots in Disguise line. There are some hits and misses in the line, where it is clear corners were being cut with less transformation, or articulation. But that is not the case here. Skywarp is what we want to see in the RiD lineup.

I have a few more RiD figures to look at, and they are all really well done. I think Hasbro has done a great job on the back end of this toy line to give us some good characters with some very interesting transformations. Stay tuned…

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