Between the return of LEGO Harry Potter, the James Bond Aston Martin DB5 and the annual SDCC exclusives, this has been a marvelous summer for LEGO. And now to bring an end to the summer season is another bombshell from LEGO Ideas, LEGO 21311 Voltron from the classic Voltron: Defender of the Universe animated series! The set is currently available to LEGO VIPs and will release to the general public on August 1. We have been fortunate enough to acquire the set prior to the general release, so now let's experience this mecha in all its glory!
The original fan designer of the Voltron set is len_d69, while Voltron is the 22nd LEGO Ideas set and the first time that LEGO has released a combiner robot!
Filipino LEGO builder len_d69 currently lives in Malaysia. As a huge fan of the classic mechas from the 70s and 80s, he began drawing up the structural build for LEGO Voltron two years ago, with the head in particular proving to be quite a challenge as he tries to balance replicating the overall aesthetic of the original design and implementing the transformation feature. You can check out his amazing builds on his flickr!
▼ This is LEGO Ideas Set #22 and also the largest in the line with the highest piece count at 2321.
▼ LEGO spared no expense with this packaging~
▼ There is a separate instruction booklet for each lion, while the sixth booklet contains instructions for the sword and shield as well as the steps for the transformation process. The instructions also feature introductions of Voltron, the cast of characters, and fan designer len_d69.
▼ Each Lion is labeled with a number, just like in the cartoon!
▼ Since every Lion has its own unique design, it is only natural that the piece counts reflect that as well.
▼Now let's put this beast together!
▼ Each lion has articulated tail and legs with additional hind leg and head articulation in Black Lion since it acts as Voltron's torso.
▼ The Red, Green Lions and Yellow, Blue Lions make up Voltron's arms and legs, respectively. Despite the pairs being very similar in build, each Lion does feature slight variations in their designs.
▼ This time LEGO has included chrome pieces for the weapons, but be careful since the chrome does scratch easily!
▼ You ready for this moment Toy People?....Transform and Combine!!
Overall, the transformation is a very smooth and enjoyable process. The Black Lion, which forms Voltron's head, torso, and thighs, needs to reattach its legs in a different position in order transform. The Lion itself is very well-built, so there is no need to be worry about parts coming loose or falling apart. I was initially concerned that the Red and Green Lions which form the arms might not be stable when transformed, but that did not prove to be an issue.
▼ The Blue and Yellow Lions are my favorite part of the transformation, with the heads folding up to form Voltron's legs, supporting the full weight of the mech. There is no articulation in the legs, as LEGO has chosen wisely, in my opinion, to prioritize stability here. My only nitpick is that the arms sag slightly inward due to their weight.
▼ Up, down, left, right... no problem for the arms!
▼ Raise up Voltron's Blazing Sword!
▼ Voltron packs a mean punch! XD
▼ Small tires are implemented on the soles of the feet to increase friction and provide stability.
▼ LEGO has truly done a magnificent job with Voltron. Let's take this guy on a spin before he is properly seated on the shelves!
LEGO Ideas 21311 Voltron
Price: $179.99 | Piece Count: 2321 | Release Date: August 1, 2018