Magic Box: Playmates Voltron Legendary Defender Legendary Lions and Voltron

Let me start out by saying, I’ve been waiting for this set of toys since episode 1 of season 1 of Voltron Legendary Defender on Netflix June 11 2016.  Now, when I say it out loud, it doesn’t really sound like that long, but…the eternity between wanting a toy and having a toy is always that and it has been since I was a kid.  I’m pretty messed up I guess…and I think I may have messed up my kids too, the litlgeeks.  Still though, the day is upon us, Playmates as of 1/1/17, released an onslaught of Voltron Legendary Defender toys spanning multiple play patterns.  We have the Role Play line featuring Voltron Mask / Sword, Red Lion Mask / Weapon, and a lights and sounds Voltron Sword.  We have the basic action figure line featuring the Lions, a pair of Voltrons and some Ro-Beast action, but in this line, the Lions do not form Voltron, they are action figures only.  We also have the electronic lights and sounds 1 piece Voltron large format figure, he doesn’t break down into Lions, but he’s still pretty cool.  Then…then you have why we are here today.  The Legendary Lion line!  5 Lions, all about 10 inches or more (not including tail), they all come together to form Voltron.  There are lights, there are sounds, it is epic, it is amazing, the litlgeeks LOVE it!  BUT!  It’s Dad’s Voltron, only on loan for the video and maybe some supervised play time.  Let’s check out their thoughts in the video, and you can read my thoughts per Lion and Voltron himself below the video!

Black Lion

The Good

  • The Black Lion is the centerpiece of the Voltron Legendary Defender Lion set and he gets the extra bells and whistles because of it.
  • The Black Lion features lights and sounds (with an on / off switch!).  The sounds are show fantastic, the chest light brilliant.  
  • This lion features the sturdiest construction of the set with all hard plastic pieces from tail to Paladin pod.  
  • All movements are met with a satisfying ratcheting click.
  • The “wings” on the Black Lion’s back can move in an absurd amount of ways.  
  • There really is a crazy amount of articulation all over this lion at the hips, thigh cuts, knee joints.  

The Bad

  • While the Black Lion features lights and sounds and a ton of articulation, the Black Lion is the only lion without a “shooty thing” feature.

Blue Lion

The Good

  • The Blue Lion is Voltron’s trusty left leg and is a good strudy lion because of it.  
  • Nice clean blue paint.
  • Expressive Blue Lion face.  The included weapon clips cleverly on the Blue Lion’s back.
  • Spring loaded firing is strong enough to bother mom for sure.  
  • The lion’s joints move and click into place.
  • Easy to tuck away the tail.
  • The bulkier leg lions feature less articulation than the smaller sleeker arm lions, this serves the larger lions well, makes them feel sturdier.

The Bad

  • Included Paladin pod, while awesome has very simple coloring.  The front is blue, the back is black.  It would have been great to have a properly outfit colored Paladin.  This criticizm applies to all lions, except Black, because it’s black on black and they just kinda get away with one there.  

Yellow Lion

The Good

  • The Yellow Lion has the most unique face of the limb bunch.
  • Back Armor makes Yellow feel sturdy, solid.
  • Further unique to the Yellow Lion.  He has a disc shooter vs a spring loaded rocket shooter.  The mechanic works well and disc slinging is FUN!
  • Yellow Lion also sports the most unique Paladin pod featuring a turbine on either side.  It’s pretty neat!

The Bad

  • The back armor slides down a little too far over the Yellow Lions face when in Voltron mode, obscuring the face.

Red Lion

The Good

  • Red is the Big V’s right hand.  Slim and slender built like an arm, he has a hinge joint at the hip that allows for him to bend like a more playful lion and allows for solid arm articulation. 
  • Included weapon accessory is clicked in nicely and fires well.
  • Spring action jaw holds the Blazing Sword perfectly. 
  • The mechanic to tuck the front paws into the body is well thought out and well executed.

The Bad

  • A complaint that affects both arm lions, getting the arm into Voltron is a solid press.  

Green Lion

The Good

  • Everything good about the Red Lion is good about the Gree Lion.  
  • The Green Lion includes a shoulder shield for Voltron.

The Bad

  • A complaint that affects both arm lions, getting the arm into Voltron is a solid press.    

Voltron: Legendary Defender

The Good

  • This is where I gush.  The whole hear is infinitely greater than the sum of it’s parts, and it’s parts are pretty fantastic.  
  • Voltron forms up, and if you have that on switch on on his back, Voltron responds to each Lion’s connection.  It’s really …it’s a magical experience.  That’s the best way I can describe it.  It’s delightful to hear as a fan, but as someone who admires innovation and good toy making, my heart leaps.  It’s attention to detail and Playmates swung for the fences and nailed it.  
  • The pose-ability here is brilliant.  You can configure the wings on his back in doznes of ways.  You can pose arms very well, but the surprise here is in the hips and the thigh cuts.  You can get Voltron into as many positions as a 6 inch Spider-Man figure and…
  • He’s huge!  Voltron is over 16 inches tall.  He dwarfs most previous Voltron releases.
  • Value.  It cost just over $100 for all 5 lions, $29.99 for the Black Lion, $17.99 for each limb.  A toy this size, with this kind of play-ability, lights, sounds, interactions, exceptional value here.  

The Bad

  • Taking the arms out, there is a trick!  Simply rotate the shoulders forward so the arm is out in front, place hand on the outside of the arm and push the arm inwards towards the chest.  Through the magic of leverage, it works!  Still…for getting the arms in, I’m just sayin, it’s a lot of pressure to apply to plastic and I’m a large man. 
  • Where the heck am I going to get a flight stand for a 16″ multi-pound figure?!

The rest

If I had to pick one toy that I remember from growing up as my favorite, it would be hard.  My parents spoiled me.  It’s why I spoil my kids, but as hard as it may be, I keep going back to Voltron.  I was raised with Voltron.  When I was a kid, my parents scrambled to get me the 5 Lion Voltron Die Cast figure.  It was one of the greatest toys I’ve ever had.  Long gone now though, my wonderful wife grabbed me the 1997 anniversary / re-release collection of the original Lions a few years ago as a Christmas gift.  That, I have held on to and love.  Today, one of my most beloved toys …this is hard to say.  It’s been replaced.  This new Voltron blows my original die cast out of the water in every way.  I’m not just saying that, it’s something you can see for yourselves in the pictures.  I took care to take comparison shots.  This toy is unreal.  It’s massive when formed.  The way it moves is astonishing.  The tech inside with the recognition of connected lions is crazy.  The Playmates Voltron Legendary Defender Legendary Lions and Voltron is an achievement in modern toy making and it’s something that any Voltron fan should want on their shelves.  Playmates does perfect justice to the Netflix / Dreamworks show in every way.  What’s next though?  I would request that Playmates takes more of my money.  I’d love to see a larger scale Lion with included Paladin in 3.75 inch scale that can sit in the Lion.  Playmates is definitely capable of the scale and they persistently knock it out of the park with every single toy they put out and I’m sure they’ll continue to do the same with Voltron! 

Availability

I have a very irritating story here.  I bought the Lions as a bundle for a great price at Amazon.  $114 shipped (plus tax).  I watched as release date (1/4) approached, and then hit, all with the expectation of “arriving 1/4 by 8pm”.  When 1/4 10AM hit and they still hadn’t shipped, I chatted in to Amazon.  They told me “we guarantee it’ll be there by 1/6”.  Within an hour I got an email saying my Black Lion was delayed till February and my other Lions 1/12 and 1/13 respectively.  I call shenanigans Amazon.  You realized you could get more for the bundle, you talked people into canceling their orders, and then, as orders were canceled, you immediately relisted these items for a higher price.  I’m not talking Amazon re-sellers, I’m talking shipped from Amazon LLC.  That is deplorable, I’m really angry, but I have an Echo, Fire Sticks, Prime…I can’t just boycott Amazon.  But I can share with you that Amazon is not above doing shady stuff like what happened here and that stinks.  That said, there was a happy ending, sliver lining that I’m glad to share with you.  Thanks to my good friend Lance, a Target that is just out of home driving range had the full set as of 1/2.  I drove like a maniac on my lunch break 1/4 to Target and they still had all of the Lions!  So, there is brick and mortar hope here.  My local Targets hadn’t put anything out yet, I’d expect to see them on shelves over the next week or two.  Amazon does have the Lions available, but some are now back ordered with delayed shipping.  Big Bad Toy Store seems to have sold through their first allotments of Lions, but pre-orders are live!  You can get these Lions!  YOU MUST GET THESE LIONS! 

This video and post is for entertainment purposes only. | Toys in this post are recommended for ages 6 and up.

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