EDIT MODE

LEGO 21311 Voltron is a LEGO Ideas set that hit it's 10K supported milestone over 2 years ago, and then finally approved for production about 1 year ago. I've been waiting not-very-patiently for it to arrive, but it's finally here. This final LEGO produced version looks fairly different to the original fan-designer's model, so let's take a look at how it turned out.

Box & Contents

The physical box measures 47.5 x 37.5 x 11 cm and weighs 2.6kg. It contains:

  • 16 plastic bags of parts
  • 6 instruction booklets wrapped in plastic, with the sticker sheet included

The instructions are great - there is one booklet for each lion and a separate one for Voltron's sword and shield, which also illustrates the transformation sequence.

The instructions also have a few pages describing the original Voltron series it is based on, as well as the usual information about the original LEGO Ideas fan designer and the LEGO designer team.

 

Parts

There are several parts that appear in new colors in this set. Most notably a whole bunch of new Metallic Silver parts which are used in key spots on the lion heads, the chest, the sword and the shield. There are also several new prints, including Voltron's mouth:

  

Minifigs

There aren't any :) As much as I hate on minifigs, I admit this set could have benefited from five of the tiny trophy-figs like the Saturn V set. Especially if the designers could have found a way to pop them into the lion's heads!

 

Build

I love that each lion gets it's own instruction booklet. Each lion is also built from their own separate numbered bags. This makes parallel building easy and a lot of fun - e.g. my kids could build the lions they want at the same time.

Book 1 - Yellow Lion

The yellow lion forms one of Voltron's legs. Probably the first thing that struck me was how colorful everything is. The core of the lion is very solid and based around a central pivot point that enables the head to bend 90 degrees to form Voltron's foot.

The head pivots around a single axle which doubles as the joint for the front legs. The head itself is pretty awesome looking and the lower jaw opens. The white 15070 tooth parts are used very effectively. The body is then built up with its various decorations and weapons.

Lastly, the tail and legs are added. The legs can rotate via axles in the hips, the elbow/knees and ankles move via hinges. The head can't move at all, other than the jaw and when it transforms into Voltron.

 

Book 2 - Blue Lion

The blue lion starts off very similar to the yellow lion. They both share the same core design, just in different colors and have different decorations attached.

The same pivoting neck system is used as in the yellow lion.

The finished blue lion is about the same size as the yellow lion but has it's own styling so they still appear as different models.

The hip joints in both the blue and yellow lions differ from the front to the back. Since the axle used in the front leg hips is also used to pivot the head into a foot when transforming, it doesn't move freely. So, the hip uses a 53585 ball/92013 socket combination which gives it some movement, although it's much tighter to move.

 

Book 3 - Black Lion

The black lion is a very different build to the other four. Since it forms Voltron's main body, it is much larger and needs to be much stronger to hold everything together.

The familiar Voltron chest emblem design is actually the belly of the lion. The connections for the lion's front legs (Voltron's arms) use 5 clips each for extra strength. Strangely, they are color coded red and blue whereas the connecting lion's are actually colored red and green.

The head can be detached easily (and often seems to fall off a little too easily while transforming). The lower jaw of the lion is actually Voltron's face which fully opens. Once connected, the head can also move up and down slightly, and turn side to side. The red wings on the back of the lion fold and stack on the lion's back.

Lastly, the rear legs (Voltron's thighs) are added. These are seriously thick and have a built-in angle to them which can't be moved. This is what allows Voltron to actually stand up later with a slight spread of his legs, otherwise the blue/yellow lions would be too close to each other.

The final black lion is a huge beast, and built like a tank!

 

Book 4 - Red Lion

The red lion forms one of Voltron's arms. It is much smaller than the other lions, but also much more flexible. The body itself is broken up into three separate segments that use ball/socket joints to hinge, which have a lot of friction and allow the lion to stay in position once it is hanging as Voltron's arm.

Unlike the previous three lions, the jaw doesn't move in this lion. Instead, it has a technic pin which is used to hold Voltron's weapons.

 

Book 5 - Green Lion

The final lion, is very similar in build to the red lion. Like the yellow/blue lions, the red/green lions share a core body design. The differences are in the decorating panels and colors.

Like the red lion, the green lion can also hold Voltron's sword or shield.

The size difference of the three types of lion designs can be clearly seen below.

 

Book 6 - Weapons

Lastly, you build Voltron's sword and shield. 

The sword actually has to be pulled apart to be inserted into the lion's mouth, leaving a spare pin connector piece. The shield just uses a single long pin that can be folded out of the way when not inserted.

 

Transforming into Voltron

The legs on the yellow and blue lions are first tucked away. Their tails are simply folded back against their bodies. The necks are then pivoted about to form Voltron's feet. There are clips that secure them in place once they are in position. There is a small extension out the back of the leg which helps give it stability, and a small rubber tyre at the base of the foot that helps Voltron stand and prevent slipping.

The two arm lions are the simplest to transform, and just need to have their legs and tails tucked away.

The black lion is the trickiest. All four of it's legs are actually detached, rotated, and then re-attached at different angles. The feet on the back legs are folded out straight and will be inserted into the back of the yellow/blue lions. The red wings are folded out, and lastly the head is folded down to reveal Voltron's face.

The yellow/blue lions are inserted, and join via four clips. The left and right clips are different so you can't swap the legs around even if you wanted to.

The red/green lions connect to the shoulder joints via two technic pins each. The shoulder joint itself uses a couple of bevel-tooth gears with a friction ball/socket, giving it a lot of friction when rotating the joint.

When fully formed, Voltron looks amazing. Even from the back, it looks great and is very strong and actually quite heavy too weighing in at 1.6kg.

 

 

Summary

There were many 80s cartoons that featured giant robots, but Voltron was definitely one of my favourites. When the original LEGO Ideas project was selected for production, I knew I had to have it.

The LEGO Ideas team spent a long time iterating over the design of this model, and the end result is amazing and well worth the wait.

The build was fun. Even though it would appear there is repetition across lions, it's really not noticeable - especially if you split the build between family members so everyone gets their own personal lion. Transforming the lions into Voltron can be a little tricky at first, and you're scared of breaking things but it's all very solid and can put up well with the handling.

Probably the only criticism I have is that the black lion's legs must be removed and re-inserted during the transformation process. If they could be made to simply rotate while still maintaining the strength required to stand and pose, that would be awesome. The original LEGO Ideas submission photos seem to show the black lion with more flexibility. Perhaps we'll see some fan-mods of it soon that attempt this.

While the set might be a tad expensive (US $180), there are over 2300 parts, and I think it will be a must buy for many LEGO fans my age that grew up on these cartoons.

Giveaway

So if you've read all the way to here, I have a 2nd Voltron set sitting next to me that I will be giving away to one lucky Rebrickable user!

To be eligible to win the prize, all you have to do is write a comment below giving your thoughts on the set (NOTE: multiple comments will not increase your chances, so no spam please!). After a few weeks, I will pick one person at random and contact them to arrange delivery.

UPDATE: A winner has been contacted and the prize is on the way!

 

Disclaimer: This LEGO set was kindly provided for review by The LEGO Group. Anything said in this post is the opinion of the author and not The LEGO Group.

50 COMMENTS

  • 1 month, 1 week ago Lenny (2447) MOC Designer
    thats a lot of comments
  • 3 months, 1 week ago RocknRoald (2835)
    Been 15 years since I was given a Lego set. Great article, this looks like a fun build :-)
  • 4 months, 1 week ago 24wolffky (194)
    I think it is cool that you can combine all 5
  • 5 months, 1 week ago daredee (140)
    Huh, I was a kid when Voltron attracted me to TV
  • 7 months ago whitewwater (45)
    Well done review. The step by step photos mid build and combined give a real sense of the model.
  • 7 months, 1 week ago squallara (27)
    Very nice work but I believe it would be nice if lions were a bit more bulky especially at legs.
  • 7 months, 4 weeks ago Chris__Johan (140)
    Looks really good. Money is a bit tight so I'll just have to pass on this set :/
  • 7 months, 4 weeks ago techticianLars (238)
    I have always been a fan of the original Voltron series ever since my dad introduced my brother and I to it when we were younger. Seeing this set finally be released is like a dream come  true. The fact that it can be transformed and remain stable while in robot mode is amazing. One gripe I have is the Black Lion is a little too bulky in my opinion but this can be ignored due to design reasons. Other than that this is a piece that I would love to add to my collection along with maybe a Macross or Transformer figure at some point hopefully.
  • 8 months ago brick_dd (2422) MOC Designer
    Great set. My kids and I spent time working at this together and loved all of it. Great family time!
    With the interest I showed they've starting watching the new series on Netflix!
  • 8 months ago Bobo08 (140)
    I thought TLG  did an absolutely amazing job. I was a huge fan of the Voltron Anime in the 80s  and I’m a huge fan of TLG version. I especially love the gear reduction at the shoulders to be able to support the sword and shield.
  • 8 months ago JZerbey (775)
    Wow, great pictures. Thanks for the review.
  • 8 months, 1 week ago Brickheadz by Forest (1059) MOC Designer
    It's cool how LEGO Ideas is challenging the LEGO Group to be more creative like creating the interior that is just as awesome as the exterior with The Old Fishing Store, creating a Wall-E figure that's built at a similar scale to the Collector's Series Droids, and now making a Transformers-style set. Way to go LEGO!
  • 8 months, 1 week ago Mestari (3626) MOC Designer
    Interesting concept to build. I have heard it was a real trouble to make it stable. 
    I really hope they will use those silver parts in other sets as well. Otherwise those will be very expensive...
    I like the result of what they did but given the price I'll pass...
  • 8 months, 1 week ago pfette (27)
    I found my 30 year old Lego sets recently kept in a box all these years.   I have had a blast putting them together, ordering parts I am missing etc.  I am going to put them on display.... such classics should be displayed    I didn't realize there was Voltron set like this!!  Wow!  It is the most amazing  set in the world.  Voltron is another classic.  Thanks for your detailed review...and the chance to win one!
  • 8 months, 1 week ago Ffdshow (55)
    This big guy was our childhood hero, magnificent build
  • 8 months, 1 week ago alteredsheep (32)
    This was one of my favorite shows as a child.
    Incredible set, love how authentic it looks. The fact they actually combine to form Voltron is just awesome. Pretty blown away I just stumbled on this.
  • 8 months, 1 week ago MSuff (17)
    This would be perfect on my Lego movies and shows shelf.
  • 8 months, 1 week ago coolch (27)
    It’s a great set in my sweet memories.Must to have this set.So I look up a lot of reviews about this set.
    Thank you very much for your review.
    It help me to decide take it home.
  • 8 months, 1 week ago Orinb12 (27)
    I really like watching the netflicks cartoon and would love to own the set but my mum don't give me much pocket money (sorry mum ). Maybe i'll finally have enough by the time they discontinue it...
  • 8 months, 2 weeks ago Pioneer4x4 (2843) MOC Designer
    I missed out on Voltron,  wrong age I guess.  Loos like a nice set though with interesting build characteristics.
  • 8 months, 2 weeks ago CommanderCody (1509)
    I feel like Voltron is a great set, probably one of the first of its kind. Great review!
  • 8 months, 2 weeks ago ElectroNIBBA (3070) MOC Designer
    I like the set, but I have one issue with it.
    I have seen some video reviews and I am not a fan of the transformations. The new printed pieces are cool, but they aren't reusable for mocs that hasn't something to do with Voltron. But that's just nitpicking. I give the set a 8/0
  • 8 months, 2 weeks ago Kinglaserface1 (62)
    Great review on this amazing set, would love to own this in my collection one day!
  • 8 months, 2 weeks ago gnocchi_the_cat (2422) MOC Designer
    cool i wonder if they will have other anime sets in the future
  • 8 months, 2 weeks ago Jeytkd1 (27)
    Oh wow what a Giveaway!!! I always say to my kids when we are going to the Lego Store that one day it will be mine. Oh YEAH, one day it will be mine 😜. I just finished the Netflix series so it would be great to construct Votron with the family.
  • 8 months, 3 weeks ago Bsmith44 (112)
    As a fan of Voltron, I felt like the power rangers final robot was a rip-off of the king Voltron. I’m happy to see that Lego designed this one first. Thats awesome you’re giving one away!
  • 8 months, 3 weeks ago KristofPucejdl (2275) MOC Designer
    I havent been a fsan of Voltron, but back when I was a kids, I remember watching the old power ranges show and the concept of mechs assembling into a bigger one is thus very familiar. I am pretty sure that for fans of the topic this is an amazing set. For me, some of the building techniques are interesting and I would definitely like to get my hands on it, though it sadly falls into a very wide category of sets that are simply to expensive for me to afford :D
  • 8 months, 3 weeks ago saillemuin (30)
    looking forward on making this together with my kids !
  • 8 months, 3 weeks ago Npw2004 (253)
    Great review! I watched this show on VHS when I was younger and love the Netflix show now. The LEGO Ideas set is a dream come true. Not sure I'll ever get it though because my money is aimed at the new Hogwarts Castle.
  • 8 months, 3 weeks ago rahservizi (12)
    I remember the Christmas when i was waiting for the big Voltron model that never arrived.... 
    It would be great to be able to receive it now, moreover, as a Lego model
  • 8 months, 3 weeks ago keviinx (81)
    "Form feet and legs; form arms and body; and I'll form the head!"

    Would love to say this while transforming this model kit
  • 8 months, 3 weeks ago BlackThunder91 (558)
    I absolutely love how detailed your review is :) The pictures are pristine and I would love to read more of your reviews in the future
  • 8 months, 3 weeks ago SimUmp (10160)
    Loved the original show.  Now I'd love to see if someone made the new series Voltron in LEGO.
  • 8 months, 3 weeks ago ABurdin (842) MOC Designer
    Thank you for detailed review!
  • 8 months, 3 weeks ago Balmoth (1612) MOC Designer
    This review just made us want more to acquire this set. I say us because even my son who has never seen Voltron in his life after he saw this set was in love.
    Maybe father christmas will bring us Voltron ;)
  • 8 months, 4 weeks ago DrKateOC (2223) MOC Designer
    As a child of the 80s, I like this set quite a bit. It does suffer a bit from the "build challenge feel"--it's mostly impressive that they could do it at all. 
    But if it fit into my budget, I'd definitely pick it up!
  • 8 months, 4 weeks ago RD (324)
    Great review and thanks for the detail pics. One of my favorite aspects of any Lego set is seeing how the designers use existing elements in clever ways.
  • 8 months, 4 weeks ago topazard (132)
    Excellent review.  This set is on my list, though Lego has outdone themselves this year, and there are simply too many sets to choose from.
  • 8 months, 4 weeks ago Mantichore (27)
    This reminds me of a Lego Optimus Prime model I once made many years ago. I based it on the toy models I found on the internet and it could transform into a truck and back to robot form :) Maybe one day there will be official Lego transformers!
  • 9 months ago Draconis (343)
    I agree, adding the microfigs would have been a big plus.
  • 9 months ago Slickson (27)
    I've been to the LEGO store with my 5 year old a few times for store events (mostly free mini builds) and every time he stops at the front of the store to admire the giant sets.  One of them is the Voltorn set ... he asks to buy it every time!  This set is pretty sweet looking.
  • 9 months ago srhlife (304)
    Voltron!!! The review did a great job in pointing out the individual elements of each lions body.I just started getting in to watching Voltron on Netflix while i build, sort , and browse the world of lego so I'm  pretty sure this will be a future set for me.
  • 9 months ago BC_Runner (12)
    What a great set and review, makes me want it even more. My son is super excited about it as well! Thanks
  • 9 months ago ChooChoo (139)
    Great Review, thanks!
    When I was a kid, i liked Bionycle. You could also build 3 into 1 big Bionycle.
    Love the transformation into Voltron!
    I might buy one a bit later....but maybe i dont need to, if i win the set. Lol
  • 9 months ago Jollygrnreefer (2452)
    VOLTRON in LEGO form is sweet! Great review, gives everybody the experience of unboxing this monstrosity.
  • 9 months ago cetec (13)
    When I saw this Voltron set pre-announced from Rebrickable several weeks back, it suddenly brought back vivid memories of my chilldhood when I was attempting to build such a set myself with such limited number of legos I had then. I was totally lego-strucked just looking at this amazing set!

    Awesome review, BTW, @Nathan!  I have to say I already enjoyed the set even without having one just going through your review.  Good luck to the lucky winner of your giveaway =)
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