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GX- 59 Daltanious: Robbed Of Being Voltron

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One of the things that I love about doing reviews for these old super robots is reading up on their back story and finding all kinds of interesting facts. So, quick! What's the first thing that you think of when I say "Voltron"? Pretty much, if you even know what Voltron is, you're going to think of this first:

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Five robot lions that combine to make a giant humanoid robot. If you were a male child raised in the '80s, then you know who Voltron is. A smaller subset will remember that there were two Voltrons, the lion Voltron, and then a Voltron made out of 15 vehicles, often just called Vehicle Voltron:
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An even smaller subset will remember that there were actually three Voltrons, the third being made of three smaller humanoid robots, and called Gladiator Voltron:

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What's the deal with all of the Voltrons? Voltron was a similar project to Hasbro's Transformers, and Tonka's Gobots, where a company took existing toy properties from Japan, and used them to launch a US toyline. The company in this case was World Event Productions, and rather than just taking the toys and making their own cartoon, they decided to use the original animation as well, and just do some editing.

Each of the three Voltrons are actually pulled from separate Japanese cartoons, unrelated except for the fact that they were all created by a company called Toei. Lion Voltron is from Beast King Golion, Vehicle Voltron is from Armored Fleet Dairugger XV, and Gladiator Voltron is from Lightspeed Electroid Albegas.

All three cartoons were going to be released as a trilogy, taking place within the same universe. Although they only ended up putting Golion and Dairugger on the air, Albegas was never aired, although the toy was released.

Where does Daltanious come in? Originally, WEP had planned on using the cartoon Mirai Robo Daltanious instead of Golion, but when they called up Toei to get the master recordings to begin converting it, they asked for "The one with the lion" first, and Toei mistakenly sent them Golion instead of Daltanious. WEP discovered the gaff, but after reviewing the animation, they decided they liked Golion better anyway, and they turned it into one of the most enduring American super robot series.

Back to Daltanious though. In the world of Daltanious, in the year 1995 the Earth has been conquered by an alien race called the Akron, all of the major cities have been destroyed, and humanity lives in a bunch of shanty towns. A boy named Kento takes refuge from some bandits in a cave. In the cave they find a scientist from another planet that the Akron conquered, who escaped to Earth with they're most powerful weapon, the robot Daltanious. He lets Kento use it to fight the Akron, because he just happens to be a descendant of the royal family of the planet where Daltanious was originally built. What luck!

Bored yet? Let's check out some toys! I've said before that packaging doesn't really do much for me anymore, but I was pleasantly surprised to see an overlay in the styrofoam tray that labels all of the pieces shown. Kind of pointless for me, since they're labeled in Japanese, but it looks neat!

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Now, normally I save the tiny little vehicles for the end of the review, but in this case, the vehicle is an integral part of the robot.

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This is the Daifighter, and it's pretty small.

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Certainly not the smallest vehicle to come with an SOC, but certainly a pretty small and detailed piece to be a part of the bot.

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The wings swivel down on a horseshoe shaped joint, to prepare it for docking.

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The core robot of Daltanious is Atlaus (Atlas?), and as you can see, he's missing a little something from his head.

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The Daifighter snaps into place, and he looks much better.

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Atlaus himself is fairly small for an SOC, only a little larger than a GI Joe, but quite detailed, with a high metal content, and a fair amount of articulation.

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One thing that I really like about this robot is that just about all of his weapons are visibly stored somewhere on him. For instance, the yellow panels on his legs are removed, and become hand held blades, called Hand Slicers (different pieces on the toy, but you can remove the panels to simulate the look)

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The Hand Slicers are a kind of unusual weapon, based on the way the handle is oriented to the blade.

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The slicer blades can be combined to form a really big boomerang, called the Boomerang Cutter, you just pop the handles out, and replace them with a V joint piece.

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Next up are spikes which are stored in the silver bits on his forearms. You just have to remove the bits, and snap the spikes into their place.

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Apparently this is called the Shredder Punch.

The second component is the lion Belarios. He's a pretty large, solid figure, in his own right, with a pretty decent amount of articulation. You can position his tail around a little bit, and his mouth can be opened or closed.

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Belario's sole weapon, aside from being a giant robotic cat, is a missile launcher that can be pegged into his back.

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The third, and last component is a ship called Gunper. It seems that in just about every three piece combining robot, one piece is almost relegated to the role of being the legs, and that's Gunper. In this case though, it actually does a pretty good job of looking like an actual ship, rather than simply a pair of legs with some fins sticking off it.

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There's a remarkable attention to detail in the cockpit, with the seats painted black, instead of it all being a uniform silver.

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The wings fold out in a two stage fan, which is pretty slick looking.

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Gunper may just be the legs, but it's got a couple of neat gimmicks on it's own. First off there are some arms that fold out from under the cockpit, and then have chromed blades that can be inserted into them.

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There are also two manipulator arms hidden on the top rear of the ship, with three fingered poseable hands. They work pretty well, as you can see here where I had them hold the Boomerang Cutter.

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One more bizarre gimmick that Gunper has, is a pair of fold out handles on the underside, which Atlaus to hang from him like a hang glider.

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It works well enough, but short of suspending it from string from bolts put into your ceiling, or a sturdy scaffolding, there's no way to really pose it this way, it would have been nice if they included some sort of stand for this particular pose.

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And the gang's all here!

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Transforming Atlaus to make Daltanious is probably the funnest of the three transformations, first you pop this optional filler pieces out of the back of his legs.

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Then you crack open his torso.

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Bring his knees up to his collar bone.

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Close his ribs back onto the, much wider, torso, and slide his forearms up over his biceps, that's pretty much it, and the result is pretty comical looking.

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For Belarios, you fold his head, down, fold down a panel on his chest, and then fold out what will become Daltanious' codpiece.

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The tail is collapsed down, and then the whole panel is folded out, and flipped around

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Fold the front legs to the back, and move the hip discs from being attached to the legs, to being attached to the hips, and that's pretty much it.

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For Gunper, the tail fins pop out.
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The whole thing is split evenly down the center, (of course, it makes the legs!)
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The way that the cockpit is tucked out of view is really clever though.

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The back of Gunper is where the forearms of Daltanious are stored.

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Fold the toes up, and there you have it, legs!

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Lion goes into the legs.

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Contorted little Robot plugs into the lion.

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Give him some real arms.

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Lastly, the wings on the Daifighter are folded out a little now, to give it a more elaborate look.
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And bam! Badass super robot. I've mentioned the lion head chest phenomena in my review of Brave King Exkizer, but it seems like Daltanious here might be where the trend started, but I read somewhere that the Brave series designers were pretty forward about using Daltanious as their inspiration for the later robot design Gaogaigar.
Now, there are a few things that still look a little off about the big D here, namely his head and shoulders are both a little small.

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To fix the shoulders, there are boxes that snap into place over the Atlaus' shoulders.

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There's also a larger head, the one on the right, which doesn't feature a docking Daifighter gimmick.

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Now things are a little more well proportioned.

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Daltanious is a very impressive looking bot, his ankles are kind of weird, in that the joint is actually the yellow piece on the outside. It's the only way that they could have the toes fold forward, and still get a decent lateral bend in there.
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One last comparison to the Eccleston Joe for size.

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Keeping with the them of weapons being stored in elements of the robot. The hip discs can be removed and become a sword and shield.

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Not much more to say about them, other than the sword looks really nice.

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The bracelets can be swapped out for some very spiky alternatives called Gyro Spinners.

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For ranged fighting, he has a crossbow. Which actually has a motion where pulling on the side handle causes the bow to flex.

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Unfortunately the tail fin has to be removed from the arrow in order to slot it into place, and then doesn't actually fire.


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Probably his most impressive weapon is this huge flaming sword, which can be held two handed.

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lastly is this odd little cross on a stand, I'm not really sure what it is, I suppose it's integral to some attack of his, I don't know if it's supposed to go in front of the sword like this, or if that's sacrilege.

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The only other thing to cover here, is an honest to goodness stand! My SOCs spend a lot of time stuffed in their boxes, sadly, so stands don't matter to me as much as they used to. But this one is particularly noteworthy. It's got a place for everything, regardless of what mode you've got Daltanious displayed in. It's so refreshing to actually have a place for everything, not just when it's only in robot mode (I'm looking at you Daitarn!)

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So in closing, it's nice for the SOC line to get back to the large combiners again, unfortunately the weakness of the American dollar to the Japanese Yen means that this set is pretty spendy. But if it's your thing, it's really a marvelous bot.

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