Tag Archives: Lion

Voltron Legendary Defenders

When the first season of Voltron came on Netflix, I knew my subscription rate was worth it. The show took me back to the days of eating bowls of cereal with Saturday morning cartoons. There was just something so special about the Japanese cartoons that made it over to the US. At the time, I was too young to know of Anime and Manga. There was not the culture in the US that there is today.

After the first few episodes, I was thinking that someone HAD to make some toys for this show. And then they did. Playmates was tasked with making the most anticipated toy of 2016. Unfortunately, Playmates was not in on the excitement of how much fans wanted the toys. Now there were two sets of lions that came out. A basic and a Legendary. The basic figures were just that. Basic. They had some gimmick that moved legs or shot a missile. But that was not what the fans wanted. What they wanted were the Legendary Lions. Five lions that combined into the 16 inch tall Voltron.

I initially found the Black, Yellow and Blue Lions. That was not enough to build Voltron, so I hung in there waiting for the rest They were under produced, so of course the secondary market exploded with price increases. Each lion going for double or triple the original price. Now I know Playmates. They are the makers of some popular brands like TMNT. They do listen to what is going on. So I was sure they were going to step up and release more lions. And they did. Phew!

The lions are fantastic. They look like they were pulled from the show. Black Lion is of course the biggest. It has articulated wings, opening mouth, and jointed legs. This is also the brains of the operation. The electronics and lights are in the body to allow all of the phrases and sound effects. It is amazing tech. It knows which Lion is being plugged in.

There is a hatch on the bottom that allows the driver (in a little ship), to come out. Each lion has a little ship that hides in the belly. All 5 are differently designed.

The rest of the lions have an attachable weapon system that is seen in the show. Green, Blue, and Red fire a missile, while Yellow fires a trio of discs.

Green and Red each came with a part of Voltron’s sword, which makes sense since they are the two arms, thus would be able to wield said sword. Both lions have spring mouths, with gaps in the sides of the mouth for them to hold the sword in both Lion and Voltron modes.

Voltron stands an impressive 16 inches tall, That is a very big robot, especially for being built from 5 figures. We do know of some other mechas that are multi-member teams too. We will look at them in a little bit. The Lions were so well engineered that they transform much the same way as they do in the show. In fact, I did not need to look at the directions, since after watching two seasons of the show, I pretty much have their transformations memorized.

The paint work on Voltron is amazing. His face is right on. He wears a great scowl, and looks ready for battle.

There is a lot of good articulation in Voltron. Now he is a combiner, and does have some limitations. When they get to be this big, we cannot pull off the same poses as we can with smaller figures. He does a good job holding his own.

Compared to some of the other brands multi-member teams, he is standing tall. Next to Devastator, Voltron is not that much smaller. And of course he has taken on entire armadas of enemies, so that would probably be an easy battle for Voltron to win. And next to the Legacy Megazord, he is WAY bigger. It is fun to have Voltron next to Megazord, since it was said that Megazord’s design was taken from Voltron.

 

I am so happy with this guy. It has been years in waiting for me to get this guy, from the initial hope that one will get made, to the Playmates mistake of under producing them. He looks great, and Voltron is a welcome addition to my ever growing robot collection.


Sawback (Lione) – Transformers: Generations – Titans Return – Titan Master

Sawback… wait a minute, Sawback is a blue wolf mini-con from the Robots in Disguise line. This guy is not blue, he is definitely not a wolf, and… he doesn’t even have anything to do with saws. This my friends is Lione from the Headmasters. He will from now on be called Lione. I do not care about copyright, and whatever Hasbro did to lose the right to “Lione,” but I am going to call him Lione. Is that enough references to Lione in two sentences?

So, here we go. Lione here is a Titan Master. Therefore he can transform from a head to a tiny little robot. The original Lione transformed from a head to a lion. This time around, he is a robot, but his robot mode has a lion’s head. Pretty neat in all of it’s tiny glory.

As a Titan Master without a body, he comes with a vehicle, as do all of the figures in this series. It is clearly some sort of lion. The first mode I got it into was a ship. Some sort of upside down lion with legs sticking up. No the best in designs. This feels like the designers held the lion and said, “Let’s see if we can get a third mode out of this somehow. If we turn it over, we can force it into the very loose form of a flying vehicle of some sort.”

It is not a terrible mode, and really useful for Lione to get around. It has cannons all over it, so he could be helpful in a fight.

A Lion! Now we are talking. The second mode of the vehicle is a lion. Hence the name Sawback. Gah! Nope, can’t do it. Sticking with Lione. Lione folds up and becomes the mane behind the lion’s head. This is probably the best representation of blend between vehicle and Titan Master that we have ever seen.

There is quite a cartoony feel to the face of the lion. It even has a bit of a head spike that is a nice nod to the original Lione that had a really tall spike. This time around the spike was traded in for a pair of wings. Another flying mammal. The Japanese sure do love putting wings on animals that don’t have wings. And I love buying them.

Then there is the “weapon” mode. This time we see the first defensive weapon. A shield. That is a great change. Now a Transformer can use two weapons and really have an advantage.

Finally there is the head. Lione has such an interesting face. In the original version, he had a really long face, and we see it again here. Looking at the rest of the head, the orange part around the face, it looks like a tiny head on top of his head, with legs coming down the sides of his face. This is a direct take from the original, where the lion body folds in around the head. The continued homage paid to the original figures is fantastic and so welcome.

This is another great figure in the tiny Titan Master line. I am always excited to get my hands on these little guys, and I am glad we have more to go.


Sovereign and Alpha Trion – Transformers: Generations – Titans Return – Voyager Class

Alpha Trion has not spent much time as a toy. Though he was in the G1 cartoon back in 1986, we did not see a toy of him until 2007. Yes, that is 21 years after his broadcast debut. Now here we are 30 years after his broadcast debut, and we get him in some Voyager Class Glory. He, is of course a triple changer AND a Titan Master, so there is a lot of playability with this guy.  He comes with the Titan Master Sovereign. You would want to see Alpha Trion teamed up with a pretty powerful Titan Master, so why not the MOST powerful Titan Master.

The Titan Masters are perfect sized heads for Deluxe Class figures. They tend to be a bit small for the Voyager Class figures, so they need a little bulking up. When the gem in the center of Alpha Trion’s chest is pressed, additional sides pop up to give the head more bulk. This helps a lot, and looks like it belongs. I had some trouble with mine, where the sides would not stay down when pressed back into the shoulders. I had to wiggle the gem around a bit, and then it would catch the locking mechanism. That was an easy fix.

From the robot mode, Alpha Trion becomes a lion. Not just any lion, but a unicorn lion. Wait, what? Yup, it appears that the lion has a giant purple horn sticking out of the mane. Strange, but not the strangest thing we have ever seen.

He stays quite large in this mode, It is not too hard to guess that the large lion-head shaped shoulders become the head of the lion. The arms fold up and become the lower jaw.

Since this is a Titan Master robot, there has to be a place for Sovereign to ride. That place is a cockpit right in the middle of Alpha Trion’s shoulders. That is a great place for a Titan Master to ride.

From there, AT transforms into a space ship. It looks a lot like the classic space aircraft carriers from Macross. There is even a special wing that folds down in the front to let the space ship sit flat on a surface.

With the gun not in place, there is a lot of room for a Titan Master vehicle or two to sit on the deck.

Sovereign has a choice of places to sit. He can either relax in the cockpit, or he can ride in the gun. I think these vehicle guns are rather ridiculous. I imagine the Titan Master would be able to fire the weapons from their cockpit. They should not be put in harm’s way by sitting out in the open. If you take out the head, there would be not robot to fight.

Alpha Trion looks great going up against other similar-scale figures, like Scourge. With so many figures going on, there are some that do not fit in well together. In robot mode, they look fine, but having a space going aircraft carrier hanging out with a race car that is nearly the same size, just doesn’t fit. Maybe Alpha Trion would have been better in the Leader Class. That would have been a big aircraft carrier.

As always, lots more pictures on my Flickr Page, which you can conveniently click over to by pressing the link along the side.  ——->


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