Blazing Sword Voltron
7.5 Inch Scale
$30.00 (From MattyCollector.com SDCC Exclusive)
As a kid I only had a handful of Voltron toys. I mostly had Robeasts, because they were cool 3 3/4 monster dudes. I also remember finding one of the blue Lions in a field one day and adding him to my collection. I liked Voltron, but I didn’t love him. Suffice to say when Mattel announced they had procured the Voltron license, I didn’t exactly wet my pants.
Honestly, I sort of forgot about Voltron. It never got replayed much, the toys were mostly imports and I sort of fell out of the Voltron scene. As time went on and rumors began to surface of Mattel crafting a 2 foot plus Voltron, I became excited. Of course by the time Mattel actually unveiled their Club Lion Force figures, I was a bit underwhelmed… With one exception, the SDCC Exclusive Blazing Sword Voltron.
There is nothing underwhelming about this figure. Actually I’m just going to go ahead and say it right now… This Voltron figure is amongst the best toys that Mattel has EVER produced. Yes there are some issues (we’ll tackle those in a minute) but pound for pound, Mattel has made very few toys that are this good and well rounded and complete in their entire 66 year history. You guys know that I’m a pretty big Mattel critic at times, so if we’re starting off like this, you just have the read the rest!
If you’ve ordered from MattyCollector before, you’re likely familiar with this outer white mailer box. It’s pretty standard, but is nice to keep your Voltron packaging safe. It bares the logo on the front and is generally, pretty nice… For a plain white box.
Inside is truly a beauty of a package as Mattel has went all out (as they often do) with their SDCC packaging. The Voltron box is a nice window style with the figure displayed in the middle. The logo is bright and colorful on the front and there’s a great classic cartoon feel to the general theme of the box.
There’s also a button to press and you can hear the intro to the original television show. Complete with Peter Cullen (Optimus Prime) voiceover. However it should be noted that this is not the full intro to the show, only a snippet. I could not find a way to play the full theme either, so that’s a bit of a downer, I guess.
There’s a neat little window at the top with the cross logo as well.
Each side is adorned with cartoon artwork and both sides are unique. This is a nice change of pace as often you’ll see companies just repeat the art. This package is really great and I’m not usually a packaging guy. I decided I would save this box so that I can place Voltron back inside for display…
Despite the fact that this is a “Adult Collectible” and Mattel basically specializes in targeting the adult collector market, they have no idea how to do collector friendly packaging.
I carefully cut every single piece of tape on this entire package and I STILL had to rip it open to get Voltron out. Mattel glued the front down, basically ensuring that it’s next to impossible to get this figure out without destroying the box. Why even bother giving us elaborate packaging, if we have to destroy it to get the toy out?!
My Voltron also had weird little strands of rubber on him.
It almost looks like little rubber bands that melted. They’re tiny, almost like a spider-web, but clearly made of rubber. If I was a MOC guy, this would have basically ruined the aesthetic of the figure. Thankfully I’m not a MOC guy and Mattel ensured that I had to annihilate the packaging anyway, so I guess it’s a moot point.
But enough about that, ONTO THE GOOD!
Sculpt & Paint:
Right off the bat, let’s get the 300 pound gorilla out of the room. There has been a lot of discussion about how Mattel “screwed up” by making Voltron white instead of silver. Personally I think that’s stupid. I’ve NEVER liked the silver Voltron toys, because they didn’t look anything like the cartoon.
Yes I realize that in the cartoon they couldn’t animate the silver color so they made him white… But to me that means Voltron is WHITE, not silver. No matter which side you fall on in this debate, there’s no denying that this Voltron looks like he did on the cartoon.
The detail probably isn’t as sharp as some high end Voltron pieces, but it’s definitely pretty good. The paint is fairly crisp (with a couple exceptions) and he looks like Voltron. He’s not held back by being a transforming toy and that allows Mattel to put a bit more into his design and articulation.
However I do have a few issues here as well. The legs on my Voltron weren’t sealed flush at the factory, giving it a flashing mark. This messed up the paint as well. It’s sort of a downward spiral effect. I’ll confess at $30, I not only expect better, but was pretty disappointed by this. There are also a few small knicks and such throughout the figure.
Thankfully the rest of the figure is so fantastic that I’m able to look past most of that. I probably just got a bum figure in that respect, although if everyone’s legs are this way then it’s a problem. The legs on mine don’t come apart or anything, it’s just the flashing that’s an issue.
Also I should note that despite saying that this was a six inch scale figure, he’s actually about 7 1/2 inches tall. Then again, Mattel has a history of defining six inches as anything but, so I guess that’s par for the course.
In my mind, I’ve never seen a Voltron figure that can move this well and mimic on-screen poses with both look and accuracy before. Considering how many Voltron toys there have been through the years, that’s a real testament to the quality and design engineering behind this one. If Mattel’s 2 foot Voltron ends up this way, prepare to be knocked out… Although I doubt it will.
There are lots of good details here, despite the fairly flat and basic coloration. The most impressive part is the way that Mattel has seamlessly woven in the articulation. The shoulder for example, has a T-bar of sorts with an additional hinge on it and it’s virtually hidden. This means you have a ton of range of motion, without sacrificing the looks.
There’s really not too much to complain about aside from the aforementioned issues. I have heard some people say that the black around the pelvis can leave some staining on the legs and that’s certainly possible. However it seems as though the rubber would allow it to be washed off fairly easy.
And that’s sort of the thing with this figure… It’s definitely a TOY. You can imagine it get scuffs and marks and such, because this is a figure that makes you want to get down and play with it. This is not necessarily a collection piece. This is something that you will find yourself constantly fiddling with.
Which leads us into the articulation category. Often a shortcoming for Mattel… But not here!
It’s tough to explain where all this guy is articulated and just how much he’s articulated. He has cuts, swivels, hinges and even ball joints just about everywhere. He even has some that I didn’t entirely list, because I wasn’t sure if it was supposed to work that way or not. He appears to have a double joint in his neck allowing him very limited “chicken head” movement.
And he’s incredibly stable, despite being super articulated.
How many Voltron figures do you know that could deliver a Sweet Chin Music superkick to the Rancor? This guy can be posed in so many different battle stances that it’s unreal. Mattel really should have sold this more on the articulation. It’s probably their best articulated figure ever.
It’s not just that this figure has lots of articulation, because we’ve seen that before. It’s that almost all of the articulation has a lot of really great function and use. ToyBiz was notorious for putting in lots of joints that had no real use and destroyed the sculpt of the toy, but with Mattel’s Voltron there is none of that.
There isn’t a reasonable pose that you could want Voltron in, that he can’t hit. He executes poses perfectly and he’s generally very stable in them. The joints don’t ratchet, but they also don’t feel like they’re going to get loose either. It’s really well made. Robots like Transformers can often be hard to pose or manipulate, but that’s just not the case here at all.
Voltron comes with two essential, but fairly simple accessories.
The two accessories are his swords. Both the basic and the “blazing” versions. Both look nice, although they won’t necessarily knock your socks off. I kind of wish the hilt on both was just a tad bit longer so you can have him hold his sword with both hands. He’s poseable enough to do it, but there’s not really enough room for him to get a full grab with both hands.
The regular sword seems like it should glow in the dark or something, but it doesn’t. Actually both kind of look like they could, but neither do. That’s hardly a strike against it however.
The only strike against this Voltron in the accessory department is that he’s BEGGING for a flight stand. Yes I know Mattel gave out 60 a day at SDCC (which is really a tiny number) but it should have been included for everyone. This is a figure that can’t reach it’s maximum potential without a stand for posing and it’s criminal that he’s neglected that opportunity here. Almost as bad as me not being able to find any of my stands since I just recently moved.
The question here is, “Is this figure worth $30?” and as always it seems as though Mattel may have overpriced it’s item. However, Mattel tends to overprice a lot of things in my eyes. So the better way to ask the value here is, “Of all of Mattel’s $30 items, is this worth it?” and the answer is definitely YES. This figure would be fantastic at $25 and feels a tiny bit steep at $30. Of all the $30 figures I’ve bought from Mattel in the last few years (and there’s been quite a few), this is far and away the best. In fact if it would have had a stand, it could retail for $30 anywhere and not feel bad about it.
Packaging – 9
Sculpting – 9
Paint – 8
Articulation – 10
Accessories – Sword, Blazing Sword
Value – 9
Overall – 9 out of 10
This guy gets a very highly recommended 9 out of 10 from me. This guy was just shy of being perfect. However, the issues with the box, the flashing and the lack of a stand for the price point knock him back just a bit. Still I stand by my original statement that this is one of the best toys that Mattel has ever produced and if you missed out on this, hurry up and pick it up. I almost want to order a second one!