The Original Voltron Toy Line: Defenders of Your Imagination!
Voltron: Defender of the Universe was a top-rated cartoon in 1984 featuring a team of five young astronauts who pilot five robot lions which combine to form a giant super robot known as Voltron. The show was such a surprise hit, Panosh Place quickly gobbled up its license for U.S. toys in December of 1984 with the plan to release a line of Voltron items by the show’s next run that was scheduled to air from October to November 1985. With New York toy fair in less than 2 months, Panosh Place went to the only studio that could possibly make this unrealistic deadline happen. Marvin Glass model maker Terry Webb recalled, “When we came back from Christmas break on January 2 we found out we had until New York Toy Fair in the second week in February to come up with a complete line of toy fair models and tooling models. Everything else people had been working on in the studio was brought to a halt. The entire studio was working seven days a week, twelve hours a day to get Voltron out there. It ended up being very successful.”
Panosh Place sent the Glass studio VHS tapes of all the cartoon episodes from the first season that they were to create an entire line from. The toys that were successfully cranked out in just six weeks included the giant five-piece Voltron robot, the Voltron Lion Force, the Zarcon Zapper, the Doom Blaster, Skull Tank, Robeast Coffins, Castle of Lions Playset, and the action figures. This line of Voltron toys are now highly cherished and collected by fans everywhere. Although there have been many more incarnations of Voltron toys since these 1985 originals, many fans declare that none seems to capture the spirit of Voltron like these do. As the show exclaimed, “Let’s go Voltron Force!”
A couple of the Marvin Glass patents included one for Voltron (#4,594,071) and one for The Castle of Lions playset (#4,571,210)
Youtube link to original commercial
I want one
Quiero uno por favor
Awesome stuff Bill! Thanks for exploring this story.