|PACKAGING- The packaging for Allura and the Blue Lion is in the same style as the previous figures. A nice colorful box packaging for Allura with a small window displaying the figure, and some great artwork adorning the front and back. At first glance it looks grossly oversized for the figure, but the left portion is just hiding the Blazing Sword Collect and Connect piece.
The Blue Lion has a giant window box, perfectly showing off the figure within from every angle. He comes with a cool backdrop displaying a watery area around the Castle of Lions, which is where the Blue Lion slept in the cartoon. Very attractive packaging, with the addition of displayability with the backdrop. You could tell they were thinking of mint-on-card collectors with this style of packaging.
SCULPT – Allura is a breath of fresh air in the series. While all the other pilots so far have featured unique sculpts, it’s still nice to get a female figure to break up all the testosterone. Allura looks properly proportioned, for an anime woman anyway. Something I noticed is that, while her shoulders and upper arms are new (to be in proportion with the smaller female frame of the figure), the forearms look to be the exact same as the ones featured on Lance. Because of this, the pegs are causing her upper arms to bulge out some, due to them not being the proper size.
The Blue Lion has the same boxy shape as the Yellow Lion, and is the same size (due to the Blue Lion being one of the legs for Voltron, this makes sense). While it is the same size and shape, it’s not the same sculpt. The legs are the same, but everything else is unique. All over, this looks like the Blue Lion. All the sculpted panel lions and robotic looking parts are great, and the head sculpt is fantastic. It’s undeniably the Blue Lion from the cartoon, albeit with a slight twist to make it functional as an action figure (anime is notorious for throwing logic out the window to make a robot look cool).
PAINT – For the most part, Allura is unpainted. Her body is entirely cast in white, with the details painted on. They’re mostly done well, though there is some noticeable slop around her belt buckle, and the white dots on her shoulders could be more even. The crest tampo on her chest looks perfect though. Her could be painted cleaner, and her tiara isn’t exactly on center with the sculpt, so there’s part of her forehead that looks like a flesh colored bump. These aren’t the sorts of problems you’d notice unless you were looking close up, but they are worth mentioning.
Most of the paint on the Blue Lion is detail work, since his parts are cast in the appropriate gray and blue. What paint he does feature, around the head, and in the midsection and tail, look great. I couldn’t find a single bit of slop anywhere, and everything looks even. He does not feature the number “4″ on his back, since it’s based on the cartoon, and in the cartoon none of the lions had numbers on their backs.
ARTICULATION – Allura has the exact same articulation model as the others. Ball jointed neck, ball jointed shoulders, swivel-hinged elbows, waist swivel, hinged hips that allow for back and forth swivel as well, and swivel-hinged knees. All joints are tight and allow for a pretty good range of motion. It’s not the most articulated figure ever, but it works for what it needs to do. With the help of her display base, you can get some really good fighting poses down, since it holds her center of gravity really well.
The Blue Lion features a ratcheted neck joint, and up and down swivel for the head, ratcheted shoulder and knee joints, ankle hinges, and hinges at the base and middle of his tail. Because the Blue Lion is one of the legs, he needs the up and down neck swivel so his head can turn into Voltron’s foot. This fortunately gives him a cool range of motion for some dynamic poses. The springs in the legs hinder movement, but if you know what you’re doing, you can still make the Blue Lion look cool on its own.
ACCESSORIES – Allura comes with an alternate helmeted head, a display base that is also the key for opening her lion, a collect and connect piece for the Blazing Sword, and a piece of a display stand for the sword. Her helmeted head looks great, just like with all the other pilots. It’s easily interchangeable, and if you had a mind to, you could remove the head from inside (it’s just glued inside the helmet), and have your Allura standing helmetless, with the helmet under her arm. The gun by her side is sculpted to the belt, which is unfortunate since it would have made for more dynamic displays. She is inexplicably sculpted with a right gun hand though. Makes me wonder if the gun was originally going to be removable, before Mattel nixed the idea.
The peg in the base holds tightly in her foot, as mentioned before. She also comes with the guard and bottom of the blade for the Blazing Sword. It snaps onto the rest of the sword perfectly, and despite the obvious cut lines, it looks great. Surprisingly, it also came with one piece of a display stand for the sword. I’m sure Keith will come with another so you can balance the sword on two stands, while Voltron is posed with the regular version of the sword.
The Blue Lion just comes with one accessory: his triple bladed weapon. I’ve said before how cool it was of Mattel to include these accessories, and it’s just as true here. The Blue Lion has featured a weapon like this, all the way back to the vintage toys. Not every Voltron set released featured the individual lion weapons, but it’s great that Mattel included them. Makes for some more interesting displaying.
TRANSFORMATION / ACTION FEATURE – To transform the Blue Lion into Voltron’s right leg, you have to fold up the legs until the click in place. Push the head all the way up. You’ll hear it click into place as well, and stay there. Then, fold up the tail against the body, and flip down the rectangular piece on the lion’s stomach. This acts as a balance to help with stability when displaying and posing the full Voltron. To revert back to lion mode, simply press the large button on the lion’s stomach (now the back of the leg) and the head and legs will automatically release. You’ll have to do a bit of manual adjusting, but the spring loaded feature works well. There’s another smaller button on the lion’s back that I’m guessing allows you release the Black Lion that locks into place at the top of the leg.
I have to admit, I smiled when transformed him and put him next to the transformed Yellow lion as well. While the Blue lion looks great as the leg, and reverts back easily to Lion mode, it may be too easy. I had the bottom lion legs randomly popping out of position when trying to stand him up to take pictures. I got it to stop, and I hope it’s not widespread, but the legs on this particular lion don’t seem to always want to stay in place. Hopefully this won’t become a problem when trying to display the completed Voltron.
You can also place Allura inside the cockpit of the Blue Lion if you so wish. All you have to do is insert the blue key in the top of the lion, and pull the cockpit open. Allura fits perfectly inside, amongst a cool set of decals for all the panels and instruments to control her lion. Fans of the show will note that the pilots are actually supposed to fit in the heads of the lions, because they’re so large. This lion isn’t near to scale with the figure, but I think that’s ok considering the lion would have to be a few feet long at least to be properly in scale with the 3 3/4″ figure.
FUN – Individually, one might not consider the lions very fun toys, but I certainly do. Granted, there’s also the anxious excitement at getting to play with the completed Voltron, but I have to give props to Mattel for trying their hardest to make the individual lions fun on their own. Likewise, while each individual pilot may not be the most fun action figure ever, it certainly is fun posing all the pilots together. At the end of the day, this is one of 5 giant robot lions that connect together to form an even more giant robot. If that’s not fun, I don’t know what is.
OVERALL – Not without its problems, this is a really solid set. The Blue Lion may be my favorite lion released so far, though the fact that my favorite color is blue might make me biased in that category. The Blue Lion’s only real problem was that his front legs popped out of place with ease when trying to transform him into Voltron’s leg. Allura has a bit of paint slop, and the bulges in her upper arms from the large elbow pegs are noticeable, but she’s otherwise a good figure, as good as the others at least. She looks great standing next to the lion, and alongside the other pilots for Voltron.
While I do think having the pilots is essential to the collection, I’ll admit I do think of them as an afterthought to the main even that is Voltron himself. If you’re iffy on getting into this set, I can understand, but if you’re already in this far, then of course you’ll need the Blue Lion. Nobody wants an incomplete Voltron. Luckily, the Blue lion seems as solidly put together as the others, and should have no problem holding up the completed Voltron, though I won’t know for sure until October when the Black Lion is released. Being my personal favorite lion released so far, I wish I could score it higher, but I have to be objective and take the problems into consideration.
FINAL SCORE: 3.5 / 5
Where to buy: Unfortunately it was only available on Mattycollector and is currently sold out. However, you can try the following, but you will have to pay secondary market prices.
- BigBadToyStore has the lion/pilot set available with the cheapest secondary market price available.
- Amazon has the lion/pilot combo set available as well.
Comparison of Mattel Voltron Blue Lion to Trendmasters Blue Lion.
Four down…almost there.