Soul of Chogokin GX-71 Golion (Voltron Defender of the Universe)

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Soul of Chogokin Gx-71 Golion (Voltron Defender of the Universe)

Shipping box (each shipping box is packed with 2 units of Golion)


Golion Opening Credits



Opening Credits 2 (after episode 10, features a more action-packed beginning)


Box – except for Japan, the rest of world (Asia, USA) comes with an outer box sleeve which has the Voltron logo. The back of the sleeve features highlights of the toy translated from the Japanese version of the box.



Inner box (default Japan region packaging)



Any and all warning labels and hologram stickers are located on the back of the “main” box. There are no stickers and labels on the outer sleeve.

Personally I think it’s a blast that the Philippines got it’s own holo sticker. In the past we just got “Bandai Asia” stickers. I guess Bandai’s more region specific now?


Trays

Lion Swords are packed beneath the Space Cutter/ Spinning Laser Blade in the main styro tray.


Manual and optional “number” stickers (comes packed in the same “baggie” as the manual).

Lion positions when inside the styro tray




Golion Sortie!

Black Lion

Tail has mild articulation



Black Lion Mouth Blade / Black Sword

Black Lion Rotary Cannon/ Black Bazooka

Sadly, the set does not come with the Black Boomerang and the Black Wing weapons (see video)


Sitting position

To get Black Lion to sit, you have to hyper extend the lower torso.





It’s not a 100% copy of the pose like in the closing credits, but to get that pose right you’d need the lions to a fully-functional spines, which would increase the cost. I guess I’m good with what we have here.




Red Lion

Hidden cannon (Double Pod)

Big Fire mouth cannon

Red Lion Mouth Blade/Red Sword

Weapon attachments – Lava Cannon/Red Laser (R) and Plasma Flash Cannon /Magma Missile (L)

Fully armed


Sitting Position





Green Lion

Hidden Weapon (Green Needle)

Green Tornado mouth cannon

Green Lion Mouth Blade/Green Sword

Weapon attachments – Laser Cannon/ Green Gun (R) and Shooting Star/ Green Knife (L)

Fully armed


Sitting Position






Blue Lion

Hidden Weapon (Blue Missile)

Water Rod mouth cannon (that’s actually the Foot Missile in there though)

Triple Barrel Mortar Cannon/ Marine Missile

Shoulder Cannon/ Ice Missile

Blue Lion Mouth Blade/Blue Sword

Fully armed


Sitting Position





Yellow Lion


Hidden Weapon (Yellow Bazooka)

Sand Storm mouth cannon

Yellow Lion Mouth Blade/Yellow Sword

Weapon attachments

Dual Shoulder Blockbuster Turrets/ Sand Cannon

Radial Shotgun Shoulder Blaster / Gattling Missile

Fully armed


Sitting Position






Voltron/Golion Team



Lions in Action!

Black Boomerang


Gattai!

The original combination sequence used the opening credits music.

They started using slightly more upbeat action music in later episodes for the combination sequence.




Golion!

Wow, I can’t believe we’ve finally gotten a Golion/Voltron from the Soul of Chogokin line. I never would have thought it possible, what with the legal issues and all. But after 70+ releases and 20 years since this line started, here we are.


Weapons

Laser Magnum/Fire Tornado

Spinning Laser Blade/Space Cutter




Solar Combat Spears/Double Sword

The swords can combine to form a lance.

I know this never appeared in the show, but I’d imagine it’d be pretty impressive if Voltron had all of the weapons loaded out.




Blazing Sword/Juu Oh Ken (Ten Kings Sword)

“Roaring” face


I’m really impressed you can pose Voltron in an overhead slash pose like this!

….or this!



Golion in Action!

Laser Magnum, Space Cutter, Cross Beam

Eye Flash, Fire Tornado, Grand Fire, Foot Missile

Grand Fire, Space Cutter, Laser Magnum, Fire Tornado, Foot Missile, Double Sword, Juu Oh Ken.





Pedestal/Display base

Regardless of whichever version you have (with or without the box sleeve, Japan or elsewhere), it will come with both versions of the name plate for the base.

“Voltron” or “Golion”? Decisions, decisions…..

“Shelf” slides into the back of the base.

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any spot to place the removed tails from the arm lions.






Psst… SECRET TIP!

The pedestal/display base has a secret function (well, kinda, it is mentioned in the manual). The underside of the “shelf” level has 4 removable knobs.

The function of these knobs is so you can plug the heads of the 4 limbs into a Soul Stage base. Ideally, a Soul Stage Act 4 is recommended. I don’t have it so I just went with my Act 5.


Lol… yeah… Keith’s feeling pretty lonely right now.

A simple tug will remove the lion heads. No need to apply excessive force.


FOUR LION ATTACK! (aka The 100 Ton Punch).



In the series, Voltron doesn’t really get an upgrade but they discover a new secret attack late into the series (Episode 32). The Four Lion Attack.






Miscellaneous clips Department

Early in the series, the rustic old Gradam Castle gets an instant upgrade.

Double Rod (too bad we don’t get this accessory with this toy)


Here’s my favorite clip, from episode 44. The one with the bad guys creating their own “copy” of Golion.






Transformation details, stuff to look out for, and “things your probably might’ve missed” Department


-The box is now double-taped on each side. A first for the SOC line.

-The trays are packed UPSIDE DOWN! Please be mindful of this when you open the toy.


Every joint on the Black Lion has ratchet articulation. Down to the paws! Sadly the other lions do not have this detail of ratchets (no ratchets on Green and Red, plus only selected ratchets on Blue and Yellow).



-All the “paws” feature swivel articulation.


-Remember, you can extend out the “necks” on the arm lions, this feature also helps when you’re posing him holding the sword with two hands.


To attach the Black Sword/Black Lion Mouth Blade, lift up Voltron’s face first.


– To equip the swords on the arm lions, press down the cannons first.


-When combining, it’s easier to pluck out the tails on the arm lions.


-But, in case you didn’t pluck off the tails and they fell out, remember the holes in Black Lion’s shoulders are “through and through”. Whatever falls in, falls out the other side. Neat, huh?


-To disassemble the arm lions, I recommend ALWAYS holding the torso with your left hand and pulling on the arm lion with your right, this applies to both arms. I find it harder to remove the Red lion if I’m trying to pull him apart with my left hand (I’m right handed). It’s always easier to pull stuff apart with your dominant hand. Flip Voltron over if you have to so your right hand is holding the arm lion.


NEVER hold the lions by the heads. They’re designed to come off easily if you pull them, this is a feature for the Four Lion Attack gimmick.


-Remember to always deploy the “heels” to help Voltron stand up.


-Remember to use these tabs on Black Lion. Sliding these inwards towards the body will help keep the Black Lion’s shoulders from rotating when you’re rotating the shoulders. They’re not 100% foolproof (unlocks too easily) but it’s better than nothing.


-To lock in the Black Lion’s legs into the Black Lion, you’re supposed to push these buttons as you slide in the legs, as if to “unlock the lock”. If you force the leg in without pressing down on these buttons you might damage the Black Lion’s leg.


-Transform the leg lions back, remember to push theses buttons on the sides. The cover flaps for the rear of the leg lions click/lock into position to prevent scraping the Black Lion’s legs. Pushing these buttons will release the locks on the cover lids when you transform them back into lions.


-The elbows can extend out to provide wider range of articulation.


-To remove the face plate, I’ve found it easier to pick at Voltron’s nose bridge, it will dislodge the faceplate.

-While not really necessary, I recommend wiping down all the chrome parts on the lions’ legs. I found some of them to be… well, not dirty, but they do tend to have some (non-fingerprint) smudges right out of the box. They shined a lot better after I wiped them down with a 3M scratch-free cloth.

-Last but not least – remember, there’s a hidden mid torso joint for Voltron, you have to pull him up to expose the joint, this makes him taller and also adds a mid-torso/ab crunch to the figure. Pretty darn cool! When you pull him upwards, the joint clicks into place. It feels really, really solid!





Group shots and Comparisons Department

With the Lions

Torso Lions



With the Toynami Masterpiece (1st version)







With other various Soul of Chogokins (Note I didn’t extend Voltron’s torso joint in the pics, he really is that tall).










The Good

-Golion stands close to 11.5 inches tall. Counting the height of the wingtips he’s a little over 12 inches tall. This makes him one of the tallest SOCs.


-The Weigh in:
–Black Lion – 519 Grams
–Red Lion -100 Grams
–Green Lion -98 Grams
–Blue Lion – 347 Grams
–Yellow Lion -348 Grams
–Voltron/Golion – 1416 Grams


-Golion’s weight ranks it as the heaviest stand alone release for a Soul of Chogokin by far.

-Other notable weigh ins :
Daioja – 832 Grams
Daltanious – 874 Grams
Daitarn 3 – 927 Grams
God Sigma – 1086 Grams
God Mars – 1135 Grams
Gaogaigar 1194 Grams
Ideon – 1382 Grams
Star Gaogaigar – 1575 Grams


-Diecast areas:
–Black Lion
—Shoulders, lower legs, Voltron’s thighs, Voltron’s groin joints

–Red &Green Lions
—Voltron’s Elbow, Shoulder Connector joint. Not sure about the lion’s legs

–Blue & Yellow Lions
—Upper part of the lion legs, main section the torso, Voltron’s ankle joints and Voltron’s “heels”


-Excellent details. I really love the face sculpt.

-This toy just feels really solid all around. All the connections are good and tight.

-That box sleeve. A really nice touch. I’m glad Bandai thought of it. Makes me wonder if we’ll see the same thing with upcoming GX-72 MMPR Megazord / Daizyujin.

-Removable tails for the arm lions. That was smart thinking.

-The Four Lion Attack was an awesome surprise. I don’t think I ever saw it advertised as a gimmick. It’s not even indicated on the back of the box. I love it when they can put a little extra something for us inside.





The Bad
-No firing fist gimmicks for fists like in the vintage Popy Golion toy

-No “ear missile” pods for the Yellow Lion like in the vintage Popy Golion toy, likewise the hidden missile port in Blue Lion’s head is not present. It would’ve been a nice throwback.


-The empty void on the back of Golion’s thighs, I wish there was a fix for that. It adds nothing to Voltron per se, it only functions to help the Black Lion get into “sitting” pose.


-Styro tray has no inner lining. I was hoping to see something along the lines of the vintage tray layout, like what they did for Voltes, Godmars, Godsigma and Daltanious.


-Pointy teeth! I lost count of how many times I poked myself everytime I tried to get the accessories in. Be careful. Ridiculously sharp.


-No “Double Rod” nunchuku weapon included.

-Those locking tabs on Black Lion’s shoulders, they’re a nice idea but don’t really work that well. They tend to unlock by themselves fairly easily. Ah well.

-I would’ve really liked it if they included a full, solid “Y” wing set for Voltron. It would’ve made the transformation more show accurate. An alternate wing would’ve also gotten rid of the exposed hinge on the wings.




The Ugly

The price? A part of me feels like a huge chunk of what I paid for is going to WEP for the rights. But then again, the toy is so magnificently crafted, I may be totally wrong and the money goes to what I actually am paying for, which is the superb engineering.

Overall, I am seriously very happy with this toy. Bandai really pulled off an awesome figure with so many details. The connections are really good. The sculpts, the weapons, the bonus Four Lion Attack feature. It’s insane. I’m fairly sure anyone who gets their unit will be very, very happy for a long time with this toy.







Funfact 1 In Golion, the pilots called each other via their nicknames.

-Akira Kogane/ Keith – Chief
-Takashi Shirogane/ Sven – Quiet
-Isamu Kurogane/ Lance – Moody
-Tsuyoshi Seidou/Hunk – Hothead
-Hiroshi Suzushi/ Pidge – Shorty

Funfact 2 In the Japanese Golion series, each of the pilots’ surnames represented a form of alloy.

Kogane – Gold
Shirogane – Silver
Kurogane – Steel
Seidou – Bronze
Suzushi – Tin

Funfact 3 In episode 43, The Golion team experiences a strange phenomenon when Sincline/Lotor triggers a bomb trap to kill them. The team is suddenly rescued after the bomb is triggered. The Anime explains it as a mystic auto defense system in the lions that none of the heroes know about.

Funfact 4 Golion’s combination sequences had different background music later on (Episode 16), sometimes the song depended on which Lion was more featured in the episode (each Lion had a different track, same beat but different lyrics).

Funfact 5 In the Golion Universe, the Earth is dead (set in 1999). A result of World War 3 and the use of nukes.

Funfact 6 Voltron followed the original Golion run of 52 episodes. In the final scene of the last episode, WEP tacked on an additional scene of Lotor escaping and thus maintaining the status quo (the villains escaped their deaths and returned to fight again). WEP later commissioned an additional 20 more episodes from Toei Animation exclusive to the Voltron run to keep the series going. The series finally ends on episode 72 with no actual resolution (the villains were never utterly defeated), unlike the Golion series.

Funfact 7 In one episode, the princess pilots Golion into battle when Kogane is badly injured. It was interesting to hear Golion’s attacks being shouted by a female voice.


Closing Credits

Gold


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