As I was going through and sorting a bunch of
my materials recently, I came across something I forgot
I had. With the first form letter I got from World Events
when I wrote them in 1985, I got a glossy promo flyer
for Voltron which looks like it was designed to entice
stations to sign on before the series aired.
The first interesting thing is that the Lion Force
Voltron is NOWHERE TO BE FOUND on this
flyer. All the shots are of Vehicle Voltron except
for one. The one that isn't of Vehicle Voltron features
a giant robot that is similar to Lion Force Voltron
but not the same. This Voltron features a lion's head
where the Arus crest is on Lion Force Voltron, and the handle
of the Blazing Sword has a red cross with black background.
Also, this robot has a red face with black mask and "ears"
that stick out like moose antlers!
The flyer mentions 125 half-hour episodes
available September 1984, aimed at children and teens.
Interestingly enough, the first season of Lion and Vehicle
Voltron totals 104 episodes (52 each)... 21 short of the listed
quota. Season Two of Lion Force Voltron was 20 episodes
not counting "Fleet of Doom," but once you add the special in that
brings the total of all Voltron episodes to 125. This raises a
question: were these episodes produced to fulfill an existing contract
(most series would have made more new episodes)? Or is it
something else? And why is there no mention of Lion Force Voltron
in the flyer?
The other thing is that it is known that Matchbox marketed
THREE Voltrons, according to their packaging. What happened
to the third Voltron?
Here, ver batum, is the text of this glossy flyer. The
contents are copyright World Events Productions.
VOLTRON: A TRILOGY OF DEFENDERS OF THE UNIVERSE
· It is the 25th Century. The citizens of Earth, who have rebuilt
· their society after an accidental cataclysm, send a multi-national
· expedition in search of planets suitable for human settlement.
· This search force consists of young space specalists, each
· equipped with inter-stellar vehicles. These modular units, when
· under threat of attack, combine to form the super robot VOLTRON -
· Defender of the Universe!
· The VOLTRON Trilogy is a unique series of 125 half-hour
· programs recorded in stereophonic sound... featuring spectactular
· special effects and animation. The element of team strength
· symbolizes the series underlying value. Audiences are able to make
· a positive relationship to the attributes of teamwork and the power
· of unification.
· Wheras, the youthful expiditionaries are vulnerable as
· individuals, when united as VOLTRON, they become a
· formidable power-able to combat the forces of evil
· in each exciting episode!
And now, courtesy of Marc Hideo Miyake in Hawaii,
comes some additonal information. The following
section in green is all his words:
The third Voltron with the lion on his chest is _Future Robo Daltanius_
(Mirai Robo Darutaniusu), from 1979-80. Toei made a whole series of
'Voltron'-type shows from the 70s through 80s--each was shown one after
the other, in quick succession:
'76-'77 Hyperelectromagnetic Robo Combattler V ('vee')
'77-'78 Hyperelectromagnetic Machine Voltes V ('five')
'78-'79 Battling General Daimos
'79-'80 Future Robo Daltanius
'80-'81 Space Emperor Godsigma
'81-'82 Golion, King of a Hundred Beasts
'82-'83 Armored Fleet Dairugger XV
'83-'84 Light Speed Lightning God Albegas
The status of these shows outside Japan:
Combattler V: Supposedly a foreign (Eng?) version exists, but I've never
seen it. Toei attempted to market it to the US with no results as far as
Voltes V: An English dub made it to the Philippines. A different dub
made it to the US via home video.
Daltanius: Keep reading.
Godsigma: Unreleased in the US.
Golion: Lion Force Voltron, of course.
Dairugger XV: Vehicle Voltron, of course.
Albegas: Keep reading.
The Voltrons that never were (?): Daltanius and Albegas
· It actually did make it briefly to the US, if an
anecdote a Japanese friend and fellow anime fan told me was
correct. He claimed that when he was living in San Francisco
circa 1984, an English-dubbed episode of Daltanius was shown
once and only once as "Voltron". If this account is to be
believed, then he may have seen a World Events pilot, perhaps
tested only in certain markets. It sure wasn't shown in Hawaii,
where I live!
· Some info on the Daltanius show itself:
It would have been difficult to integrate with the
other Voltrons, because the setting was 1995 (sooo futuristic,
looking back). Fifty years earlier, the evil Zarl Empire wiped
out the (presumably good) Elios Empire. Two Eliosians, Dr. Arl
and Prince Hahlin, make it to Earth. They build a base in
anticipation of a Zarlian invasion and train Hahlin (now "Dr.
Tate Hayato")'s son, Tate Kento, to become one of the two pilots
· Kento pilots Atlaus, a smaller robot which forms the
top half of Daltanius.
· The lion head at Daltanius' center is actually the
head of a sentient mechanical lion, Belarios, the second
component of Daltanius.
· Daltanius' final component, the legs, transform into
the Gamper fighter plane, piloted by Hiiragi Danji.
· The Zarls seem to be not one race, but several allied
under one name. The generals all seem to be of different
species: plant, insectoid, reptilian, etc. The Zarls employ
giant monsters called BEMBorgs (later Twinborgs).
· The show ran 47 episodes. All of these robot shows
from Toei (except for the first two, Combattler and Voltes)
ran around 50 episodes--therefore, I can't imagine how World
Events could sell _125_ episodes, unless they intended to show
only selected episodes of three series, or all of two series
and part of a third.
· Around 1985 or 1986, after I had seen both the Lion
Force and Vehicle Voltron's first runs, on Hawaii TV I saw
a commercial for a third Voltron that was _not_ Daltanius.
I recall that it was called "Voltron III", and I think
Dairugger was "I" and Golion "II". (Other fans on
the net have given me different numbering schemes, which
may or may not be correct.) This Voltron, whatever its
number was, was Albegas.
· Albegas is so-called because it is composed of
three robots: ALpha, BEta, and GAmma. The three can
form six different giant robots by combining in different
ways to fight against the alien androids called Derringers.
They were created by three high school students,
Daisaku (male), Tetsuya (male), and Hotaru (female), in
an era presumably closer to the present than the eras of
Golion and Dairugger. This show would have been hard
to integrate with the other two shows because of the
disparity of settings. The Japanese didn't seem to
like it--it got axed after 45 episodes, rather than the
standard number around 50, and it had no follow-up.
· I have been told on the net that this series
was actually aired in Canada, if not the US. However,
a Canadian anime contact denies this. I have yet to
actually meet someone on the net who claims to have
seen this series him/herself. As far as I know with
my own eyes, this Voltron only appeared in that one
commercial I describe above. I waited for Albegas
to show up in Hawaii, but instead got to see the
foreign-only "Fleet of Doom" and the "second season"
of Lion Force.
· Perhaps World Events figured that having
Toei make new episodes of an already popular series
(Lion Force Voltron) made more sense than bringing
in a far weaker series (Albegas). Albegas killed
off the 'Voltron Dynasty' in Japan--it was the
last show in the quasi-series. I say 'quasi-series'
because none of the shows took place in the same
universe, but all dealt with giant robots and
were aimed at the same audience at the same time
slot on the same network.
As Spock of STAR TREK would say, "Fascinating..."