Saturday 10 September 2011

Vehicle Force Voltron, is MINE!

So, after many years of wishing and occasionally searching, I finally bagged me a Vehicle force Voltron!  I always preferred the vehicle version over the more popular Lion Force Voltron.  Not sure why really, probably because the way the lions all joined up was a bit silly.  Anyway, now I have got one.  It is old, this toy was made in 1982, but it is only missing one piece, which I think is pretty damn amazing!

OK, I tell a little lie.  It is the Japanese version of Vehicle Voltron, Dairugger XV.  15 Vehicles would joing up to form the robot.  Voltron was a chopped and slightly changed version of the Dairugger cartoon.  So I am quite happy to have this guy as my Voltron.

So, the toy i pretty old and with a toy this old, that has been loved and used, it is worn.  So I don’t think I will do a real review of it, but I will just add my thoughts to coincide with the photos.  I also intend for this to be me fixer-upper toy and after I get back from my little holiday, I will be exploring various options to get this fella back to his amazing shiny glory!!

First up, what I was impressed with, the box is still there.  First off, the outer bit, then an inner with windows and finally the plain foam.  Aaaah! The good old days when toys were firmly cushioned in not biodegradable foam.

Next up the side of the box.  It is a bit worn and has been tuck together with some weird fabric tape.  I might go about reinforcing it with, better tape…


I do like that there is(was) a handle supplied.  This is a damn huge box!!

Ok, going in order of the vehicles.  Number 1.  The head, rocket ship.  With wheels.  I always liked this one, as it makes an awesomely shaped head for Voltron!


The white panels on the blue section open to reveal Voltron’s face.  This one has a small bump on it which I will need to file down, it is just a bit of extra plastic from the connector to the mould tree, so his face has never really been that well protected by it.  The blue in the nose cone is an opaque plastic and it has a silver foil underneath.  I guess that would be the cockpit.  It looks pretty cool!

Despite the small size of the wheels, it also has a ‘Friction motor’ in it, which makes it roll with very little push, well that’s the idea, this one doesn’t work so well anymore.

Each vehicle has it’s production date stamp on the bottom, as well as the vehicle number and which ‘team’ it belongs to.  This one belongs to the Air Team, or “Kurugger” as it’s called in Japan.

Next up is number two, the Torso.

I really like this on, I’d say it’s my favourite.  The vehicle mode is solid and it looks as tough as nails.  There are a couple of gun pods that fold out from the main body and the red bit that slides up and down.  Also, on one side is a square hatch for connecting the belt part, but it also look to me like a sliding door, so that is how people get in and out to me!

The play factor in this vehicle is huge to me, plus it’s friction motor still works incredibly well!  The wheels rotate a round a little bit, kind of adding to the ‘offroad-ness’ to it. 

I love it, I can imagine it rolling up somewhere and just taking whatever the enemy can throw at it and then it opens its gun pods and unleashes hell upon them!  Brilliant!!

Watch out for the edge of the table!!

Ok, so now that we have seen the friction motor in action, let’s move on.

Next up is Number 3.  Voltron’s upper arm, in the shape of a helicopter.


The octagonal plug is the one that plugs into the shoulder. The blades are in good shape, although a bit worn in regards to chrome.  I thought that pushing these guys on the ground would make the blades spin, but nope, they just roll.  I do like that it’s based on a round nosed helicopter, and since he has two arms he has another chopper….  Which are actually a different mould!  Well slightly.  Considering how they could have just reused the same one again, but they didn’t I think its cool.

The next up is the other Chopper #4


Whoops!  looks like I forgot to photograph the bottom!   This chopper looks more like an attack chopper than the other, so  one side is an offense side and the other the more friendly rescue side.  Well that’s how I see it.    Anyway, it has about the same amount of chrome wear on the blades a the other one.

Next is the #5 and the one I loved in the cartoon.  Always the last piece to join and in the most spectacular style, the chest jet!!


The design of the jet is very retro!  This one is in pretty good shape, even the stickers!  the underside is a bit scratched, but that is to be expected as it has a very low clearance as it forms the chest shield of Voltron.  The white bits flip out to clip onto the torso.

That is the last member of the Air Team.

Next in the list is Number 6.  Voltron’s belt.


A rather cool looking mini-submarine with some pimpin’ speakers on the side.  Jazz would be proud!!  The central tower thing can be moved up and down, so make sure it is there, and can move, as it needs to fold away for Voltron.  Also check the chroming of the piece on top.  I guess it’s a periscope. I do like that it has a cockpit on the front and back.  For symmetry in Voltron and for reversing when stuck.  This guy is the central fellow for the Sea Team, Or, Kairugger.  Nice bit of chroming on the side pieces.  I love them!

Number 7 is…


Another handy little Submarine, although it could also pas for a ground tunnelling vehicle too.  Still a bit of chrome left on the nose, but otherwise in excellent condition!  The yellow bits are the release switches for taking them apart after they have been joined.  This vehicle and the next, form the thighs of Voltron.  Somebody has to do it…


Number 8, a little sub like his red friend.  I like the way (and thanks to a mate for pointing this out) they have the red and blue co-ordinated on either side of the Voltron robot.  Again, equivalent chrome wear.  My one is actually missing a little yellow wing off the piece on top at the back, but I found it and will be applying it back again when I get around to fixing it up.

Number 9 is…. Getting me confused, I thought the numbers would go down Voltron’s body, but they are following the teams.


Number nine is the knee and shin of Voltron.  The chromey laser radar on top is detachable and a piece that is often missing from Voltron sets I have noticed.  This one is in pretty good condition, actually, it’s pretty much completely chromed! BOOYAH!  Yellow button for detaching of course.  the white block things on the side are for joining the vehicles together.  Or in my imagination, a BFG!

So number 10 is of course…  the other leg.  In blue with yellow bits…


This is the one that is missing the one piece.  It should have two radar/laser things mounted on the back there, but I only have one.   These two leg parts are in great condition, although the friction motor does the opposite of what it is meant for, it makes a lot of noise and almost brings them to an immediate stop…  I wonder is they are jammed up with sand/carpet or something.  Will have to investigate the friction motor options.  wonder how much a Junker piece will cost me?

Number 11 i next on the list, the first member of the Land team and well, I can imagine the meeting that went into this guy.  “So we have the belt, what can we do with that??  Lets stick some wheels on it! It’s a car!!” 


Yeh, OK.  Looks its just a black brick with wheels….  And a radar dish that flips out the top.  Nonetheless, I quite like it, for comedy relief I guess.  This is quite a complex piece actually.  You push down on the back square on one side, and the silver squares will pop out of the other.  the black is where the belt Sub plugs in, and the silver ones are for the red and blue subs, for the legs.  They all work at the same time, so I suspect the springs inside are quite important.  To unlatch it all, you open the radar dish thing, also the robot’s be;t buckle and flick the switch inside.

The Land team is called RickRugger.

Number 12 is one tough chappy.

Voltron’s fist will do the talking for him!


Looking like a small personnel carrier, the fists come with a couple of additions.  They are spring loaded for a handy dandy rocket punch!  They also have a friction motor in them, which works ok.  It doesn’t inhibit the initial push, but doesn’t make it go much further either.

Naturally number thirteen is his other fist.


Like the helicopters there are slight variations in the sculpting for these two and they both have the old red and blue colour scheme.  Note the actual ‘fingers’ of the fist on this one have a bit more detail on them and the cockpit (blue plastic window thing) is moulded differently.  Same issue with the motor though.   Red has a rocket punch as well and boy howdy does it fly!!

Sadly the fingers come apart when rocket-ed, so a bit of glue work needs to be applied to assure that Voltron can punch those baddies without hassle.

Now it’s time for number 14…   Getting down to the nitty gritty!!


Number 14 is a foot.  I quite like this one as it actually looks like a real vehicle.  A big ass car.  Friction motors on this guy too, but they don’t work well.  A nice large window makes it look like a future car.  the wheels have been worn over the years, lots of 4WD-ing with this guy!! 

I find it odd, he has an extra set of wheels that fold out for Voltron mode, to act as a heel, but the plastic attaching the wheels is actually chromed.  Now I suspect that this piece in particular would cop a lot of stress and get touched a lot, so surely normal plastic would have been stronger and wouldn’t suffer the wearing off of the chrome like these have.  Unless it was a purely cosmetic thought to keep the silver whenever possible.

Number 15, the final vehicle is… his OTHER foot.


A nice vehicle mode, with opposite colour usage to the other foot (Yellow/Black- Black/Yellow).  A more realistic looking 4WD mode, again they probably could have gotten away with just duplicating the other foot and give it different colours, but it’s a slightly different sculpt as well!  I bet this guy will look really nice with a lovely new chromed grill!

Now, continuing with the vehicles.


The whole team.  Now they form together into 3 other teams, Land, Sea and Air.

So starting with the air team.


Incredibly un-aerodynamic, now wonder the chunky chest piece needs 4 flying vehicles to lift it up.  Not sure if it looks cool or not to be honest….  I like it, but blimey!  It is  primarily the top half of Voltron with his face covered..

Friction motor still works like this quite well.

Friction motor working under stress.

Next up is the Sea team!


I think the sea team is one of the best looking of the combined teams, as they actually look like a very large submarine.  I think if this were new, it would be awesome with all the friction motors working!!

Now comes the last team and well… they are the leftovers by the looks of their combined mode…  I always thought this one looked pretty stupid, and well, it is to be honest.  But hey, the designers had some tough work with the shape of the vehicles, so I laugh and assume it was some 80’s craziness.  As it is.


Now Voltron’s sword.  The only accessory, the blades of the choppers were often used as weapons in the cartoon, but on this big robot, they don’t come off, so all he has to use for the toys is the sword.  In my imagination, the blades still wreak havok upon all adversaries.

This one is heavily de-chromed and has a broken handle.  Nothing a bit of glue on the handle can’t hand;e and I WILL work out how to re-chrome this baby!  All the details are still there though and to actually find one with a sword in the first place is pretty rare.

Finally the moment you have been waiting for.  It’s been a while and all I can remember is the Lion Force Voltron call, so please bear with me..

Form feet and legs, form arms and body, and I’ll form


IMPRESIVE!  I never knew Vehicle Voltron was so HUGE!  He would tower over my Lion one!

Not much in the way of articulation, just at the shoulders and elbows.  You can move his hands into different positions by unclipping and re-clipping.


Lugnut is in awe!  A massive 38cm tall is Voltron.  Now wonder he is the defender of the universe!  So cool!


I love the look of his face as well.  So nice with the silver and black and golden eyes.  give us a kiss big guy!

How’s THAT for a robot chest?  OH YEAH! 

When taking Voltron apart, please remember to use the release switches.  The big red square in his chest is the one for the head and stomach area.  I wonder if it has ‘Do not press’ written there?

On the rest of the vehicles, there is a yellow switch that will be the release for them all.  I strongly suggest using them as they still clip together very strongly on mine.  the shoulder ones are hidden behind the arms and the thighs have two, for the top and bottom.


And because mine came with the instructions, I know right! how cool!  I have taken the liberty of scanning them.  They are in Japanese, although fairly obvious for playing.



I will quietly summarise this up I think.  So far this toy has reinvigorated my love the line.  I feel that with all the vehicles, there is so much play value with Voltron here.  As I was just checking out the vehicles for damage and condition, I found myself having a little play with them, imagining the one I was looking at attacking the evil robots.  It was fun and quite enjoyable.  Then when I had him in Voltron form, WOW!  Amazing! That’s for sure.  Heck, it may well be 29 years old, but this toy has given me more joy than ALL the Transformers toys from the movie series that I own.  Although that isn’t many. 

I am not too sure what it is, whether it’s because it was designed with fun in mind and cool-ness over gimmicks or nostalgia,this toy is a lot of fun.  I love it and look forward to spending time fixing him up and returning him to his former glory!


  1. This is by far the best review of this amazing toy that I've seen. Thanks for sharing so many detailed photos! It's amazing how much additional character these vehicles have with the extra decals, as well as the extra parts on Units 5, 9 and 10.

    If you don't mind my asking, how much did you pay for this item, and when did you buy it?

    I hope to own one of these... someday.

    Thanks again!

  2. I mean Units 6, 9 and 10. Oops!

    1. Thanks for the compliment! :D Glad you like it. I didn't realise they have extra decals, I will need to have a better look at someone else's I guess.

      As for how much it cost, well I can't remember exactly, but it was enough to make one rethink your love of Voltron... :p If you know what I mean. But nothing ridiculously excessive. It was over $200 though.

      Hopefully we'll see some Vehicle Voltron love coming out with the 30th Anniversary coming up soon. I remember seeing some pictures that were taken of toys at the SDCC this year. Never know one's luck hey?

  3. Your Dairugger already has the extra decals applied. If you compare your Dairugger with the Matchbox Voltron I / Vehicle Team Voltron, you'll see that each of the Dairugger vehicles has some extra decals.

    * Head vehicle has the "forehead tattoo" decal.
    * Upper torso vehicle has, among its extra decals, the silver stripe that runs from front to back (side to side when formed as Dairugger/Voltron).
    * Lower torso vehicle has the red "belt" stripe decals.
    * Most/all of the vehicles have a DAIRUGGER XV decal and a KAIRUGGER or KURUGGER or RICKRUGGER decal.

    This Dairugger is my "dream" collectible. Just finding one for sale is difficult, and on the rare occasions when I find one, the price is astronomical!

    Would you be willing to share more detailed photos of the individual vehicles? What you've already shared has been very informative. I'm especially interested in the details of the chrome piece on the top of the middle torso vehicle, and the chrome accessories that fit on top of the lower leg vehicles.

    Thanks again!

  4. Thanks for posting these photos! Best page I've come across for Voltron I. I have finally completed the 1982 version (minus sword) and have almost all of the 1985 version. I also have one helicopter that dates 1987.. which has baffled me for some time. The condition of yours is fantastic. Thanks again for sharing.


Comments under moderation until I find around this spam thing.