King of Beast
Review by JoshB
Seemingly out of nowhere comes the Infinity Gokin King of Beast. Of course, it looks an awful lot like Golion (ahem VOLTRON), but it's a different take on the classic design. It's not licensed by Wep or any other copyright holding entity.
The toy is a thing of beauty. It's very heavy, very solid, and all around satisfying. It's an impressive first release from newcomer Mad Toys.
Please note that this is a pre-production sample and may change before the final release. My sample did not come with instructions and some flaws noted in this review have been fixed for the final production version.
Lets start out with the box. The black box is simple and without clutter. There are no safety warnings or other indica often associated with high end toys. You simply get pictures of the toy and a bar code.
The matte black scuffs easily. The image of King of Beast is printed in gloss colors which makes a nice contrast.
Inside, a vacu-formed plastic tray covers a die-cut sheet which reveals the lions through the windows. The parts are packaged in plastic bags, but you get the idea.
The main parts rest in a bed of hefty styrofoam, while underneath is a plastic tray with accessories. The bonus double blades are in a separate container underneath.
The Blue Lion forms the right leg of the robot. As a robot lion he's a great toy in his own right. The head, body and tail sections are diecast metal.
Each leg features multiple points of articulation including a clicky hip joint and friction joints at the knees, ankles and toes.
The head can swivel left and right but cannot rotate.
The jaw opens with a click at several intervals which allows it to grasp one of two included weapons for the blue lion. Note that one of the weapons is color coded - a nice detail.
The tail consists of two metal sections that connect via a plastic joint. I should mention that the finish and quality on this lion is spot-on. The blue metallic paint has very subtle metallic flecks that make the finish stand out.
The Yellow Lion forms the other leg and shares the same mold with the Blue Lion aside from the head and the insert on the back. Having the same mold helps cut down on cost which reflects on the reasonably moderate price of this release.
Aside from the head sculpt and color, everything else is the same. Again, excellent quality with no discernible flaws. I will note though that the yellow paint is applied much thicker than the blue paint, which results in the loss of detail. The yellow is metallic but is much more subtle due to the bright color.
The Green Lion is the left arm, and it's also a great solid toy in its own right. Diecast parts here are the front and back body sections and parts of the tail.
The legs have the same articulation as the other lions - clicky joints at the hips and then friction joints from there on.
The only unappealing part of the green lion is the ass end. This is where the lion connects to the body to form the arm, and there is a swing out peg that does not seem to be easily concealable. As this sample did not come with directions, I'm not sure what to do about it.
The jaw also clicks open (rather widely actually) and can hold one of two included weapons. Again, one of the weapons is color coded.
The Red Lion shares the same head, legs and tail as the Green Lion, but features an entirely new body. The large sturdy waist joint adds in the ability to achieve dynamic poses.
Again, not sure what is going on with the backside just yet.
The mouth opens, weapons can be held.
The Black Lion is a beast. It's probably the best proportioned Black Lion we've had. The front and rear sections as well as the tail are diecast metal.
The blocky head can move up and down, as well as rotate. The Jaw can open and can hold the doubled bladed weapon.
Spinning disc weapons can be attached to the sides of the lion. They look great and are not just hollow pieces of plastic. One of the things I love about this toy is the attention to detail for things like this.
There are also shoulder mounted cannons that do not fare as well. The right shoulder connector is too loose to hold the cannon out straight. Mad Toys is aware of this, and says it will be fixed in the final production piece.
Both cannons light up with a click of the button on the back. The buttons are supposed to click once to stay on, then click again to turn off, but that doesn't always happen. Once again, Mad Toys says this will be fixed on production version.
King of Beast
Thankfully, assembling the King of Beast is essentially the same as any other iteration of the character. You can watch the video for details, but you get the idea. Fold up the legs on each animal, jam them together.
The combined robot is 11.25 inches tall and solid as hell. If you've handled a modern gokin lately, you know what i'm talking about. Picking them up can be a harrowing experience with things falling off here and there, insecure joints, or figety connection points. This one has almost no unwanted movement. You can pick it up by the head and swing it around and nothing happens. (Please don't do this.)
The figure looks great from the back too. All of the screw holes are covered up or otherwise hidden.The wings have tabs on the connectors that prohibit them from bending backwards.
In its combined form, The King of Beast is rather nicely articulated. In the arms, you have clicky shoulder joints, clicky elbow joints, swivel forearm and a second hinge hidden inside. For the chest you get an ab crunch joint and a swivel waist.
The hips are incredibly dynamic, with severe clicky joints that move both front to back and side to side. Below that you have swivel thighs and then a very stiff knee joint.
The ankles pull down a click to allow the feet to swivel a bit with the more dynamic poses.
The faceplate on The King of Beast is held in with a magnet and can be swapped out with the optional yelling face:
Also - the fists fire! Both the Green and Red Lion feature spring-loaded firing fists. The set comes with two of each fist. Due to the launching mechanism, the fists cannot rotate.
The King of Beast has an arsenal fit for a king. Numerous bladed weapons are included.
The giant sword
The shield is nice, with a detailed inside handle.
The Blazing Sword features a translucent flame blade
This energy part I believe is for when the Blazing Sword is formed. I could be wrong.
If you preordered this item through Mad Toys website, you'll get the exclusive limited dual daggers.
Many of you wanted to see the King of Beast next to another not-Voltron toy. Here it is next to the Miracle Metal Works Vehicle Voltron. As you can see they display nicely together, despite the fit and finish being night and day from each other.
But what about the most recent Lion Voltron? How does it compare to the Toynami Masterpiece? There's really no contest here. While the Toynami wins in terms of accuracy, the Mad Toys version is just better on almost every level. Better quality, better proportions, better everything. The foot actually fell off my Toynami when picking it up for this review.
I'll always love the original Popy DX as the symbol of Voltron from my childhood, and it's still a great toy, it's just a very different animal than this new version.
This is a great toy. It gets almost everything right with a modern gokin. It combines great aesthetics, fun play value, and solid construction. At about $200, this is a no-brainer to purchase.
The sad thing is that due to the extremely tight grasp of the license by the license holder, this will never see a legitimate release stateside. Wep has given the license to Toynami which prohibits companies like Mad Toys (or even Bandai) from making these available to fans.
|Posted 10 November, 2014 - 14:08 by JoshB