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Voltron and GIJoe

Lion Force Voltron (Voltron of the Far Universe)

Voltron featured a team of five young pilots commanding five robot lions which could be combined to form Voltron. In this undefined future era, the Voltron Force was in charge of protecting the planet Arus (ruled by Princess Allura) from the evil King Zarkon (from planet Doom), his son Lotor, and the witch Haggar, who would create huge Robeasts to terrorize the people of Arus.Despite being the first of the two robots to appear on American television, the “GoLion” version of Voltron was regarded as “Voltron III” within the storyline because, within the original planned “three-Voltron” continuity, Arus was the furthest setting from Earth’s side of the universe (“Voltron I” being intended for the Near Universe, and “Voltron II” for the Middle Universe).

Vehicle Voltron (Voltron of the Near Universe)

The second season was based on Armored Fleet Dairugger XV (機甲艦隊 ダイラガーXV, Kikō Kantai Dairagā Fifutīn?), with the storyline considerably changed. In this iteration of Voltron, the Galaxy Alliance’s home planets have become overcrowded, and a fleet of explorers has been sent to search for new planets to colonize. Along the way, they attract the attention of the evil Drule Empire, long engaged in an ongoing war against the Alliance, and the Drules proceed to interfere in the mission of the explorers and the colonists. Since the Voltron of Planet Arus is too far away to help the explorers, a totally new Voltron is constructed to battle the Drule threat.

This Voltron team consisted of fifteen members, who were divided into three teams of five, known respectively as the Land, Sea, and Air Teams.Each team was specialized in gathering data or fighting in their area of expertise. Each team could also combine their vehicles into a bigger machine, with each combined vehicle differing amongst the three teams. These fighters were:

  • The Aqua Fighter (Sea Team)
  • The Turbo Terrain Fighter (Land Team)
  • The Strato Fighter (Air Team)

When necessary, all fifteen vehicles combine to form the mighty Voltron. This Voltron in the toyline was referred to as Voltron I as it was set closest to Earth.

Gladiator Voltron (Voltron of the Middle Universe)

The proposed “Voltron II” episodes (so called because they took place in the “Middle Universe”) were to have been based on Lightspeed Electroid Albegas (光速電神アルベガス, Kōsoku Denjin Arubegasu). Although Albegas toys were marketed in the United States under the “Voltron II” name, the series was never actually aired there. Due to the extreme popularity of the Lion Voltron and lack of popularity of the Vehicle Voltron series, World Events Productions eventually elected against another alternate Voltron, and plans to adapt Albegas were aborted.

Matchbox, however, did produce and market toy versions of the three robots (Black Alpha, Red Gamma, Blue Beta) under the Voltron name.

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero is a military-themed line of action figures and toys in Hasbro’s G.I. Joe franchise. The toyline lasted from 1982 to 1994, producing well over 500 figures and 250 vehicles and playsets. The line reappeared in 1997 and has continued in one form or another to the present day. It was supported by two animated series as well as a major comic series published by Marvel Comics.

The toyline continues to play a large part in Hasbro’s G.I. Joe franchise. This version of G.I. Joe is still much recognized by many people who grew up in the 1980s and 1990s, overshadowing the original G.I. Joe.

Animated series

  • G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (1985 TV series) – a 95-episode animated series, produced by Marvel Productions and Sunbow Productions to follow the success of the toyline by Hasbro. The cartoon had its beginnings with two five-part mini-series, then became a regular series that ran in syndication from 1985 to 1986. Included a short public service announcement cartoon at the end of every episode, in which a few of the G.I. Joes would instruct children on good behavior or how to be safe. Ended with the catch-phrase: … And knowing is half the battle!
  • G.I. Joe: The Movie (1987) – Created at the height of the G.I. Joe craze in the 1980s. In the film, it is revealed that Cobra was created by Golobulus, the ruler of an ancient race of part human/part snake/part insectoid people who were the rulers of the Earth before humanity, but their culture was all but wiped out by the ice age, and they fled to the Himalayas as humanity evolved and developed its own technology. Biding his time to retake the Earth, Golobulus sent a Cobra-La citizen, who turns out to be Cobra Commander, to go out and destroy humanity. When Cobra Commander fails, he is de-evolved into a snake in favor of Serpentor; it is also revealed that Golobulus implanted a psychic motivator into Dr. Mindbender’s brain to inspire him to create Serpentor. The other Cobra heads, Destro, the Baroness, Dr. Mindbender and the Dreadnoks agree along with Serpentor to help Golobulous take over the world in exchange for their preserved humanity. Golobulus wants the human race’s Broadcast Energy Transmitter (or BET) so that he can accelerate the maturity of his space spores, which will shower the human race upon ripening and turn them into mindless animals, while all those in Cobra-La are protected by the Ice Dome. Only G.I. Joe stands in their way.
  • G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (1989 TV series) – a 44-episode animated series, produced by DIC Entertainment. The cartoon ran in syndication from 1989 to 1991.

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