Voltron (SDCC 09 Metallic Paint Version)
Review by Atom
So today I am taking a look at the SDCC09 exclusive version of Voltron: Defender of the Universe. Toynami's previously released Masterpiece Edition Voltron was a hit with fans and collectors alike. It was well-made, had a lot of metal content and sold out pretty quickly. Face it, $150 is a LOT of money for a “toy” but I also understand the regret of not getting one when you had a chance.
Well, Toynami has released this piece in an all-plastic build and I must say it's pretty good. This isn't the first all-plastic version of the mighty Voltron from Toynami but it is the first metallic paint version and was sold in limited numbers at San Diego Comic-Con 2009.
So for about half the price of the die-cast metal version, the first thing you notice is the package. It is not the Masterpiece “book-style” package Toynami is known for. Instead, you get something more akin to the classic Go-Lion or Lionbot releases.
This time using the Voltron name and logo. Very nice indeed.
Can you tell which is the plastic version and which is the metal version?
5 Robot lions combine to form the giant defender. Each is as exacting in detail as the previous metal version. Each lion feels solid and well constructed yet light and toy-like.
They retain their high level of pose-ability and striking presence on the shelf. The metallic style paint works to maintain the illusion these are metal incarnations. They look just as good as the original release really.
Where the difference in materials makes a huge difference is in the finished robot mode. Voltron actually makes for a better “toy” in plastic than he does in metal.
Now don't get me wrong. I love the high metal content of the Masterpiece Edition but the all-metal bodies of Blue and Yellow Lions weigh the legs down feeling like they may fall off if not supported.
The all-plastic version, being lighter can actually be picked up and posed without fear of falling legs. As a matter of fact, I am comfortable letting my 2-year-old nephew play with it (under my supervision of course) it's that much more playable
As a collector I prefer the metal “Masterpiece Edition” but the SDCC09 metallic paint version is an excellent choice for those they may have missed the first release. For those on a more discerning budget, the all-plastic release here is worth getting your hands on. It actually makes a great toy!
Comments16 comments posted
I had the oportunity (or should I say I had the "okay" form the wife) to pick up the metal version at Image Anime in NYC two years ago and I passed it up. I think that may have been the right choice because of all of the good points you mentioned in the review.
My only complaint: no chrome! Still, far better than the first plastic version.
"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled robots yearning to be collected"
I have hoped that the quality of the SDCC version will be improved compared to the 1st plastic version, but I was disappointed. Both of my plastic Voltron have very weak elbow joints.
The worst is, my 1st plastic Voltron suffered from broken part in the blue lion when I opened mine. I could not go to any shops in my town for a replacement as I bought it through online. The online store ignored my complaint, thus now I am left with a new broken blue lion with me. Is there anyway I can contact Toynami if I have problem with my new purchases in the future?
Ok so everyones biggest complaint with the plastic version is the lack of chrome..well it turns out that a chrome version does exist. You have to buy 5 pairs of Reebok Voltron sneakers though. I did manage to buy the green lion without the sneakers and missed a complete chrome plastic version for 32 bux that came with a vacuform tray in its combined mode (anyone know what this release is anyway? Ive never seen a combined version tray layout before, maybe promotional?)
If they could do it in real low numbers with the reebok shoes, couldnt they chrome it for a special release? like THE 25 YEAR METALLIC VERSION!!?? would have made sense for this release, but maybe they are holding out for a 3rd release so they can max out profits from the mold. We'll see I guess.
This will only be made this year, then gone forever (25 year version) Although it was limited at SDCC, it is a normal release and not an exclusive, so it should be relatively easy to find. Look to pay 65-100 at current prices
BTW, if anyone has seized arm sockets, DO NOT force the arms to turn. Instead find a square rod or square shaft screwdriver or something same dimensions as arm socket so you can lodge it in there and slowly turn it to unseize it. I think they metallic paint they used seized the sockets on mine, Im sure there are others out there like that. Great figure though
The price of the die-cast ver was far too high for me. However, this one I would get. I never saw the show, but I do have respect for the Voltron. If I could get the original 80s ver intact, that'd be fine with me, but this would be great to have as well.
I never understood the point of those joints mid-way down the red wings... =/
BTW, Atom, I could instantly tell which had die-cast and which didn't. ;)
Considering Youtube is free,you really ought to check out at least an episode or two of Voltron,as an American anime fan.
Who'd a thunk it? A toy of Voltron? Hahaha. Nice review Atom.
Thanks for the head's up chachipower about the joints.
Eva, take a closer look at the pic of the black lions, and you'll see the reason for the wing joint. It's cannon to the show, the way the black lion stays manuverable while not flying, or being transmogrified into the statue atop the castle entrance pillar, when the wings are extended, but with the partial fold......dude, you seriously need to watch the first few opening story eps of the show, at Least! You'll like it.
I took your advice and saw the first five episodes. Think that's as far as I'll go too- at least now I know the origin story. I have no nostalgia obviously which is why I can claim that the dubbing is simple and atrocious. (I did recognize Peter Cullen in there a few times....)
And no, I did not notice how the wings were folded up on Black Lion.
I think that if you really want to check out the story for this mecha, watching Go Lion and ditching the Voltron version is doing yourself a big favour. Just by watching the trailer for uncut Go Lion makes you realize how absurd the US version had to be at times.
Now this is the Voltron I like! I mean, this is the very version that was showed by Toynami as a teaser when they completed this project. When I discovered that the regular run has a lot of chrome, I thought "God, what have they done to you, oh poor Voltron!". Seriously, some toys look a lot better without the chrome and this is a prime example. Too bad they made it an exclusive, so much for getting it for a reasonable price...
Watch GoLion, man. It's FAR SUPERIOR, etc., etc. Certainly, the fights are more violent, and it's just generally a better watch if you don't have nostalgia towards the show (as I don't).
Having all of Golion on DVD, I can attest that it's totally worth seeing. MUCH better than Voltron. I have a little nostalgia for Voltron but not to the point where I wouldn't want to check out the original version (which is the same reason I went and saw all of Macross and Mospeada instead of Robotech).
Will the diacast version of the Toynami one be reissued?
P.S. BBTS has the 1997 Trendmasters reissue of the DX Chogokin. I'm considering getting it. MAybe if no one picks it up now, it'll go on sale hopefully.
Yes, all- I would like to see a few episodes of GoLion subbed, but couldn't find it on YouTube or veoh.
BTW, why are toys of Voltron/GoLion's face always blue when it's white in the anime?
This piece is best bought in-person from your local shop. I had to buy *three* of the earlier plastic Voltron before I was able to get one that didn't have nasty seams, or globbed paint.
And after all that, it really wasn't that nice quality, or design to warrant over $40. The plastic is somewhat nice, but it still feels like a Taiwan bootleg. Just a nicer one from the 80's. I assumed that this feeling would be removed when I bought the die-cast version, but yet again I was severely disappointed. The lions scratch the paint when you transform it, the joints feel cheap, and the fit leaves something to be desired... a quick forum spin will say it all better than I can say it here.
I still like the different boxes that Toynami made for this piece. But that doesn't excuse the high price vs. the quality of this piece.
It's not horrible, but it's a good 50% more expensive than it should be for an all-plastic repressing, especially third time to the well for this mold. It's also around the same price you can get a vintage diecast one for (without the box) which is a much better toy.
It's a shame, because Toynami is the company that everyone in the US *wants so bad* to love.
It's like that girl you tried to date in college... How many times are you gonna let her stand you up before you realize she's not going to show up for your date?
I really wanted to love this piece, but this was a huge disappointment. This toy should have cost no more than $35-40.
I was right when I complained about Golion being bastardised into Voltron. To appreciate better the anime show you should watch the uncensored Golion and see how different (and violent) it is than the bastardised/censored version. As regards the toy, I was wondering of buying the normal colour plastic version too besides the metal version which I already have. I'm also curious to see a Soul of Chogokin version of Golion by Bandai!
I have not noticed any bad paint apps on my plastic versions and I have 8 of them, 5 normal, 3 25 year, maybe it was sorted out by the time I got mine.
If you have a metallic and want a normal, they are readily available and cheaper although the difference in color is very very slight. I really only notice a difference in the green lion. All the others just look like they have a misting of metallic clear coat on them. I am very happy that Toynami is keeping Voltron alive in diecast and plastic.It doesnt have all the gimmicks of the original, but no biggie.
I would love it if they were able to make another version of this but in a golion box. That would be sweet.
Speaking of Golion, I remember thinking Golion was a knockoff like Lionbot because I knew him as Voltron. My memories and love for this character were cemented with the Voltron series. So I jumped on the Voltron DVD wagon only to hit play and say "What the crap? I actually sat through this as a kid? Was I even paying attention to the dialogue?!"
Then lo and behold Golion DVD comes out, I take a chance and buy the DVDs and BAM, Im glued to the screen as a 34 year old adult. Golion is how the show was meant to be..uncut and awesome with some swearing.
I dont know what my fascination is with a robot that breaks down into robot lions.. I absolutely CANNOT STAND robots that turn into animals, but this is a big exception. I will forever be a Voltron/Golion fanatic.
"...I dont know what my fascination is with a robot that breaks down into robot lions.. I absolutely CANNOT STAND robots that turn into animals, but this is a big exception. I will forever be a Voltron/Golion fanatic...."
I feel similar- robots that imitate animals isn't the best way to go even though they may look cool. Some work out as animals, and some don't.
The reason you may like these more is because they are treated more like robots shaped like animals, rather than being animals in the shape of robots. I have found a distinct difference there.
Passion for toys.......No other......