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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Five Legendary Stories About Voltron!

04.26.2016 – “Voltron: Legendary Defender” was announced late last month during WonderCon that it will be an entirely new series based on the classic 1980s “Voltron: Defender of the Universe” and it will have thirteen 22-minute episodes.

If you’ve heard about the classic Voltron from 1985 you might be surprised that the series wasn’t originally animated in the US. You’ll find out the true origin of the five lions that form into giant robot originally an entire series that came from Japan!

Back in the 1980s all the rage at that time was robots in all forms. Transformers was the hottest toy in the shelf of each store in North America and was originally adapted from a previous toy line from Japan which has entirely different from what was known before, but due to not being popular a US toy company created a whole new concept that is Transformers and the rest is history.

With Voltron the concept of adapting it from an entirely different series was not just for one series, but there where actually one more and a third one that never happened so here are five things you should know about the legend of Voltron before…

It was Beast King GoLion

Toei Animation Studios produced a 52 episode series titled “Beast King GoLion”, which was entirely different from “Voltron”, which was heavily edited and re-assembled by World Events Productions, the license owners of the franchise.

The changes made in the series included rewritten dialogue, omitted characters deaths, toned-down violence, and altered plot developments. The original story of GoLion is that the robot is sentient, but due to his arrogance in battling the Goddess of the Universe” she taught humility by separating him into five mechanical lions that sailed through space crashing on the planet Altea. GoLion was reawakened by five astronauts from Earth that was destroyed by a thermonuclear explosion a very different narrative that was shown in “Voltron.”

Dairugger XV was Voltron?

“Armored Fleet Dairugger XV” was a very different anime series that was also produced by Toei Animation Studios with 52 episodes in Japan from 1982 to 1983, which was incorporated as part of the “Voltron” series.

There where many changes to the 15 vehicle forming robot that was also called Voltron, and just like GoLion these changes where made to make it part of its own universe this is due to that Toei’s animation art and design are almost similar.

There was a Third Voltron

Voltron originally aired in US television for two seasons, which combined the episodes for GoLion (first season), and Dairugger XV (second season). But there was supposed to be a third season, which was scrapped by World Events Productions.

The series that was supposed to be adapted as the next Voltron was the anime series titled “Lightspeed Electroid Albegas” composed of three robots that stack together to form a larger robot. Unfortunately due to the popularity of GoLion adapted as Voltron it was scrapped, but still made it as a diecast toy released by Matchbox in the US.

Third Dimensions of Force

After the original series went off-air there where two more series developed in 1998, which was “Voltron: Third Dimension” a CG animation series and the most recent “Voltron Force” an animated series in 2011. Both series are follow-up from the original, but not as popular as the classic that made a cult following.

There was also that supposed live-action adaptation of Voltron in the big screen, but no news about it until 2011 if it’s still being developed.

The upcoming “Voltron: Legendary Defender”, which considered the third iteration of the franchise that will not be a reboot or a remake, but will entirely an original series produced for Netflix which will be released on June 10, 2016.

It was a Jollibee Kiddie Meal Toy

There have been numerous merchandise tie-ups to the “Voltron” brand based on the five lions, fifteen vehicles, and even the scrapped third series with the three robots. But there was no merchandise of “Voltron” ever produced as featured meal toy in a popular fast food chain like Jollibee.

In 2008 Jollibee Food Corporation produced their exclusive Kidde Meal toy version of “Voltron” based on the Masterpiece edition by Toynami. Though the quality is not the same with the masterpiece it still carry some nostalgia to those grew up watching the series from 1985. You collect all five lions to form “Voltron” which stands at 9 inches tall with limited articulation that is also best for display than to be played with.

“Voltron: Legendary Defender” set to be released on Netflix this June 20, 2016 and produced by DreamWorks Animation where all thirteen 22-minute episodes will be available for streaming.

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