Yellow Lion (with Hunk figure)
Review by Atom
I want to set some expectations here up front. Mattel’s Voltron Classics line is not in any way aimed at high-end gokin collectors. What Matty Collector is selling here is an overpriced “child's toy”, not a high-end collectible. If that does not sit with you, you will want to hit the back button and look at previous diecast metal offerings.
This is the second release in Mattel's 2012 Voltron® Club Lion Force Subscription. For all the nitty gritty on the club, feel free to read my previous review of the Red Lion. Good news, this time around it seems most folks have gotten sets with everything and far less reports of missing pieces and broken springs.
The box is a bit larger to accommodate the bigger Lion and features a desert backdrop this time around. The Hunk figure is packaged the same way as the previous Lance.
At least they corrected the image of Voltron on the back of the box. His legs are no longer reversed.
The Yellow Lion is big and heavy. Right off the bat it feels like a nice solid toy and for the most part it is. It feels good in the hands and has been fun to tinker with. Construction-wise it's pretty good, but there are noticeable seams down the middle of the body on the top and bottom.
This time around the one touch transformation doesn't hamper posability. There is a much better range of tight clicking joints in both the shoulder and knees as well as the mouth and neck. The tail is articulated to fold in but is held in place with friction.
The sculpt detail seems a bit sparser this time around but that may just be magnified by its sheer size. Again going for a cartoon look overall can seem spartan when broken down to its individual components.
The paint applications are neat and straight, but the black they used on the sides of the head and middle of the torso seem very “thin” and are already showing signs of wear from being handled and this is hands down my biggest complaint about the line. I mean, what are they really saving by cheaping out on the quality of the paint? A few cents?
The yellow is not the same caliber of “rich color” that the red was on the previous Lion. It is noticeably paler, almost creamy. The Red Lion was much more rich and deep in tone.
Good news! The cockpit for the Yellow Lion is much larger than the Red Lion so accommodating larger variations of 3 3/4" scale figures.
Even Darth Vader and some Outer Space Men fit.
The Bad News! My cockpit features a crooked front console sticker, a sloppy coat of paint on the seat, and just a big ugly gap of blank yellow on the uninspired cockpit “lid.” I knew this is what they were doing when we first saw pictures but it just seems so dorky looking. A sticker with some engine or mechanical detail would have been nice.
The other bad thing? You have to use the key to open this one. The gap this time is far narrower than the mechanism on the Red Lion, so no fitting your finger tip in to activate it.
Included with the Lion is the mouth blade and like the Red Lion’s version, it features the “made In China” stamp on the part of the blade that is supposed to face out.
Also included is the next piece of the "Not-So-Light-Up" Collect-And-Connect Blazing Sword, the hilt shield. Once put on to the hilt it's pretty much on there for good, it looks like trying to remove it will stress the clips that snap in to hold it securely.
Transforming the Yellow Lion into Voltron’s left leg is very straightforward. The legs fold up and lock in very much like the original except the feet positions. The rear paws fold back to wrap around the back of the upper thigh.
The front paws fold down that form a “heel” for Voltron's foot. This is reinforced by a panel that folds down from the underside of the body. A nice touch and one that should make posing this guy assembled easier. Time will tell...
I have concerns over how well this is going to attach to the Black Lion. When you push in the hatch on the rear you can see inside.
There’s a tiny little lip that moves in when you press this smaller button on the underside of lion. Apparently this is meant to hold the Yellow Lion to the lower leg of the Black Lion right above its rear-paw and “lock.” We will see but I am not hopeful the leg’s are going to actually stay on the finished Voltron.
Pressing the “Auto transformation” button unlocks the head and legs. Other than the head dropping down to the lion position you will still have to manually align the legs to stand.
The less said about the Hunk figure the better. The actual figures for this subscription are cheap and sloppily painted. At least mine have been.
At least this time I didn’t two right thighs.
Instead, I got a fairly derpy-looking helmeted head with either excess glue or paint under the visor. It’s hard to tell. I've resigned myself to these action figures sucking and stopped caring.
If you are not already subscribed to the line do not pay the outrageous aftermarket prices for these. They are not worth it. We who did suscribe are already paying too much. If these went for 30 bucks I wouldn’t be complaining as much. For more than twice that at $70 after tax and shipping, it’s outrageous. Wait for the inevitible gift set cleared out at half off in some future sale.
To be continued.
Comments7 comments posted
I looked at your pic of the lion in leg mode and see you positioned the feet the same way I did when the stabilizing plate is lowered. In Mattel's pics I saw they had those feet tucked close to the head which didn't make sense to me because then Voltron would rock back and forth from heel to toe. Sometimes I wonder if anyone at Mattel even handles these toys before putting them up for sale.
Anyways, I did enjoy Yellow Lion more than Red, but my Red had a loose leg that I fixed myself rather than returning it. For the price and knowing that Mattel can't reuse the molds for anything but Lion Voltron I wish there was more sculpted detail, especially in the cockpits. They could have thrown in snap on shoulder weapon attachments as well considering the price to give us more display options in Lion mode. What bums me out is that I liked Yellow better than Red, but Green will have the same flaws Red has.
Since it is Matty selling these, I will pick up another when they do the inevitable half price gift set on Mattycollector just so I can go nuts and slap on metallic and glow in the dark paint. BTW, CDX is the only review site where I've seen an honest opinion on the Voltron lions, so thanks and keep up the good work!
It is an improvement over the red lion over all but my biggist problem is with the figure... i mean there's no way in hell that the Hunk is worth $15. Look at Star Wars or G.I. Joe figures, if you compair them the new Voltron figures look like Knock off's... Also Matty charges $22 for the He-Man Classic's figures That's $7... SEVEN dollers more than the Voltron and their like twice the size...I feel ripped off. I wont be subbing next year. I had high hopes for this but alas Matty you disappointed me.
If I think to myself "Hey, this is a gigantic Voltron!" I am happy.
If I think to myself what this cost, how sloppy the build is, the lack of details, quality control issues etc... I am not so happy. I get it, it's a toy. But it is marketed to us older folks who grew up with this robot. It's priced as such, but I get disgusted when I handle mine. Unless I handle it like a TOY. Then I'm ok but at the end of the day, it cost me $70. The figures plain suck as Atom stated. The legs bend forward more than normal articulation for the knees...wtf? If mine had two thighs, I would have made a video of me burning it in hot fire.
I tend to dislike this even more because as an absolutely huge fan of Lion Voltron, I was expecting Mattel to just get it right... it's not hard. There are already lots of Voltrons out there they could have picked up inspiration from but they chose the shittiest out of ALL of them...the Panosh Place to base it on... As a kid I didn't even want it thats how bad it is. And I was even crazier about Voltron then.
It seems the people behind this had a passing interest in Voltron that watched a couple of episodes and thought it was cool. If I was behind the design, I sure as hell would have done things much different. The whole button feature just... I dont even have words. I know they were on a budget, but the budget they had went to the wrong places. Removing the mechanisms would have allowed more poseability, negated the need to have key holes and stupid buttons and perhaps allowed better paint apps.
The figures? How about small boxes?! They put them in a huge-for-the-figure box which I guess in their mind makes the $15 more justifiable. I would have liked a small box with the figure in the baggy. The money save could have gone to improving the figures.
I'm thinking once I have the set, I will combine it and leave it alone. I will probably stare at it with squinted eyes and imagine what could have been. It's because of them other companies that can do it right (coughBANDAIcough), wont be able to unless they end their licensing which from what I understand, has been extended...Yeah nerd rage in effect.
Anyways Adam, great honest review once again, having a shitty day and this review let me vent.
I feel your pain man! When I think of what Bandai could do with the big guy as an SoC I get sad and stare out of a window for a long time. It burns even more seeing the Vehicle Voltron/Dairugger that Most Wanted did and because of WEP and Mattel's deal it's that much harder to get. From reading comments on CDX I know I am in the minority when I say I have very little love for Vehicle Voltron, but that Most Wanted piece is hot diecast goodness and I was planning on buying one. I wonder, given the general letdown amongst Voltron fans at this website, if Mattel Voltron might end up being the most expensive bowling pin ever when ya'll do your summit!
What angers me about Mattel is how they basically hold all me favorite properties hostage. You know those retro "Kenner" packaged star wars figs Hasbro's been doing? I think Ackbar's been reviewed on here.
Now imagine Has having the DC comics license and doing Super Powers just like those. Come on! I'd be on that like a hobo on a ham sandwich! But instead I get Matty's lazy headswaps on bodies made of candlewax for like 16 bucks. I know they're bigger figures than SW but I'd rather have a better figure than a bigger figure.
Picture Hasbro with the Ghostbusters license. Again,they could do retro carded figs that collectors would EAT UP. I'd have an opened and unopened copy of each Buster. Back in real life,I am a huge GB fan who has NONE of Matty's weird-"soft"-puffy faced GB figures. How cheap is it to give Dan Akroyd and Bill Murray the SAME BODY?!?! And I know we've had multiple toy pricing discussions on here and I don't want to get into it again but the GB figures are THIRTY DOLLARS including shipping. If they were 10 bucks at a tru I would honestly still be on the fence,thirty,forget it. That's a pretty nice sized Transformer.
And speaking of TFs,and back on topic,what could Hasbro do with these Voltron lions? You know they'd be awesome. Even the movie (or lack-of-movie lol) Joes blow Hunk here out of the water,and Hunk plus the lion would cost what,30 bucks?
Hell,even the Bandai Power Ranger mechs that are infamously low quality really aren't any worse than this,and again,Bandai's toys are KID'S-QUALITY PLAYTHINGS PRICED ACCORDINGLY!
I've got no problem with a high price for high quality,but this is not it.
That's kind of what I thought way back when these Lion Voltron toys were announced. The price said "expensive Transformer" but the quality and features said "cheap toy". As you point out, it's not like there aren't equivalent toys out there--but they don't cost so damn much.
Well yeah,it's not like gattai mecha toys haven't been available for THIRTY YEARS. A couple years ago the walMart shelves were filthy with TF combiner sets. Granted,they're usually smaller than this,but I feel like I'd rather have a smaller decent vehicle than a giant low quality one.
All this money and headache for a junky toy,and eBay has the Matchbox Voltron for 400 bucks BIN. I've never bothered looking,but I bet a decent loose one could be yours for like 250.