20080110
Voltron Found!
Voltron Found!

A killer find! Earlier in the day, my coworker was looking for a place to safely store some custom frames that were delivered. Since she had no room in her office / guest bedroom, I look a look around my office / guest bedroom and looked underneath my Andover Secretary. I never explored the drawers there and was stunned to find several boxes of Japanese robot toys. Among them, the Golden Idol of 80's mecha, Voltron (or a really good knock off). And this wasn't the lame Vehicle Voltron (of the Near Universe), this was the Lion Voltron (of the Far Universe).

As a kid, I remember frequently sitting in a dingy basement in the outskirts of Chinatown after school. There I would try to entertain myself as my father and his colleagues chain smoked Marlboros and played mahjong after a long hard day of work. My most vivid memory of Voltron was in this basement, using spare mahjong sets to build up green and white environments for my lion to romp around in.

I'm pretty sure I had the entire Voltron set at some point, but it was unwieldy so I would only carry one lion around with me to play with. Most would assume that I favored the main, black lion but I felt that it was bulky and didn't look much like a lion at all. The green and red lions which formed the arms were small with no presence. Kids like big. Remember the Fortress Maximus of the Transformers? Or the Turtle Blimp from TMNT? That left the blue and yellow lions forming the legs. Since the female character, Princess Allura, took over for Sven when he was injured, I wasn't too thrilled to be seen carrying around a female-piloted lion. Perfect proportions, cool looking head (loved the side panels on either side of his head) and the fact that he was piloted by the 'muscle' of the team made the Yellow Lion the default lion-on-the-go.



On a related note, Transformers Animated, the series started airing in case you missed it during the holidays. I wasn't too thrilled when I first saw the character designs and the animated sneak preview, but after watching the first episode / special, I'm impressed. They don't look much like robots (what's with the freaking humanoid mouths) but I love everything else about the series so far. The story line, pacing and even the dialogue doesn't insult the viewer's intelligence. Derrick Wyatt who was also the character designer for Teen Titans, Legion of Super Heroes and one of my current favorites, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends is on a roll!

Click on the image above for information on the toys coming out with the series. Pretty cool stuff.
And now with all this salivating out of the way, I wonder if I should just drop everything, get a portfolio together and enroll at FIT. They are one of two schools with a Toy Design major. Close to 100% placement and the tuition looks like a drop in the bucket compared to Carnegie Mellon's.

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At 5:53 AM, Anonymous Optimus Prime said...

I don't like the way they draw the Transformers in Transformers Animated. They look like humans dressed up in some Transformers costume. Optimus Prime with blue lips is ridiculous. At least the Beast Wars robots looked more realistic. The whole point of the Transformers is that they were not human, and to make them too human-like defeats the whole purpose.

 
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