Voltron: Blue Lion by Mattel

Today we’re checking out the latest release from Matty’s Club Lion Force and it’s the Blue Lion, number four. Blue is the second of the robo-cats that make up Voltron’s legs and that makes him the same size as Yellow, in other words, he’s one of the big ones. He arrives in a white mailer with the Allura figure bundled inside. At this point, there aren’t a lot of surprises, so let’s dig right in…

Ah, the packaging. It looks so good when it first arrives. As with the other lions the package consists of a cardboard base and backer and the rest is clear plastic. The box is color coded to coordinate with the Blue Lion theme and the back of the box shows off some pictures of the toy’s features as well as a little blurb about Princess Allura. You also get a tantalizing shot of Voltron showing where the Blue Lion fits in. The lion is posed inside with the help of a tray and heavy duty clear plastic straps and his weapon is rubber banded to the back. It takes some deft scissor work to get him out without tearing the hell out of the package. This whole ensemble is just collector friendly enough so that you can get the lion back inside, but it’s not very durable and once unstrapped, the lion just rattles around inside the package. I really would have preferred a straight up box with some artwork to store the lions in. I’ve saved all the packages so far, but chances are once I can build Voltron, I’ll be pitching these to reclaim some space in one of my toy closets.

When Yellow Lion arrived, I was blown away by his size and the same was true when I got Blue in hand. As expected, Yellow and Blue are both built on the same basic body, but there are plenty of resculpted parts to make Blue distinctive. He has a flat back, minus the grey half cylinder on Yellow. His head is also more squared off and less organic looking than Yellow’s. The legs are identical to Yellow’s, giving the toy the same nagging articulation limits. As with all the lions, I really wanted mid joints in the legs that could move both ways. Sure, there are still some good poses available here, but not as good as it could have been.

There have been a number of reported QC issues with the coloring on the lions. I know more than a few people have received lions composed of two shades of plastic. I’ve been really nervous since then about having a similar issue, but so far I’ve had no problems and I’m happy to say that the coloring on my Blue is spot on. In fact, the color here is pretty spectacular. I love the shade of blue used for the body and it contrasts beautifully with the white and yellow. All the paintwork on the head is bright and sharp. About the only flaw I can find is a little uneven application around the edges of the cockpit, but that’s only visible with the cockpit open and even still, I have to get pretty nitpicky to find anything to complain about.

As with Yellow Lion, Blue’s cockpit is hinged at the back and is opened by pressing the key (or key or any pointed object) into the button to release the catch. Once open you get a simple sculpted seat and stickers to add the details of the controls. It’s a roomy cockpit and little Allura has no trouble fitting inside.

Blue comes with a spikey dagger that he can hold in his teeth. There aren’t any little dimples in this one to match up with the teeth, but Blue’s jaws close up pretty tight so he can hold it very securely. I’m not a big fan of these weapons, but I suppose it’s nice to have them.

As it stands, I think Blue here is my favorite of all the lions. He’s beautifully colored and I love the sculpt. There are certainly some things that could have used more attention, particularly the featureless black plate on the top of his head. Either way, I really like this guy and I’m still digging the 80’s retro vibe I get from these toys. I’m also officially starting to get really excited about finishing off my BFV* and quite frankly having all the limbs and no Black Lion is driving me crazy. I’m still having trouble fathoming just how huge Black Lion is going to be, not to mention the Voltron figure itself. What I do know is that I’ll be lining all the lions up at least a week before Black Lion is shipping, just so I’m all ready to go when he gets here.

 *Big Fucking Voltron

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