Wednesday, June 14, 2006
It was a summer in 1978; a childhood friend of mine came rushing into our yard and bragged his new toy: an almost two feet long, battery operated space ship.
(The thing looks like a bastardized version of Thunderbird One.)
In those times, that toy looks so cool, it has a glowing nose front and it even turns around automatically every time an obstacle block it’s path.
I remember him saying “Beat That!”
So I went back inside and asked my little brother to mobilize the Volt Machines!
Excited, my younger brother took out the Die-cast Volt machines and positioned these beside the strange looking space ship in V-Formation.
My child hood friend looked puzzled: He never saw strange looking “Matchbox” toys before.
Specially the kind with missiles, projectiles and fists! (In those times, Matchbox was the most popular brand of Die-cast metal toys.)
Before he could ask about these metal-space machines; our toys are already firing plastic missiles at his two feet long space ship.
He was nervous although the toy missiles never damaged his plaything.
Then, our big show came: my brother and I starts to muster the five strange-looking “Matchbox”-like metal space ships and before my childhood friend’s widening eyes, we begin to assemble these into a 13 inches metal super robot…Namely Voltes V!
It was a bright childhood summer, and my friend went home with his space ship like a vanquished invader, thinking about the large, metal robot toy that we had.
Voltes V the die-cast metal toy was a craze back then. It was manufactured by a certain Japanese Toy company called “Poppy” and it boasted an “almost” perfect miniature Volt machines rendition and Volt-in combination move, very peculiar for toys in those times.
The toy itself was a marvel of miniature engineering, copying the Volt Machine’s maneuvers based on the animated show and the “Volt-In” moves.
(Except for the Volt Bomber Two, where you have to put a Booster Extender tail when in Volt-Machine form.)
I recall our Voltes V metal toy having yellow arm extenders, the rarest of its kind.
But like all other kids’ toys, our Voltes V die cast metal toy was destroyed, its small parts were lost and its paint faded with antiquity.
Thinking about it saddens me and my young brother.
But wait!...The Voltes V die-cast metal toy returns.
This time, reissued by a Japanese toy company called Bandai, the Voltes V die-cast metal toy appears in the “Godaikin” toy line.
It was our high school days, and it’s easy to save our allowance to buy ourselves our second Voltes V die-cast metal toy.
Unlike our first Voltes V die-cast metal toy, this “new” Voltes V die-cast metal toy was preserved and boxed up!
Aside from Voltes V, we decided to collect about fifteen reissued die-cast super robots under the “Godaikin” trademark of Bandai.
First, Voltes V, then Daimos, Laserion, Abega, Daltanias, Goggle V, Dynaman, Bio Man, Dan Cougar, Daidenjin, God Marz, Leopardon, Combattra, Vavilos and yes, Golion. (Later, tampered by the U.S. to become Voltron Lions.)
Today, the die-cast metal toy of Voltes V is still with us (Preferably boxed up)
It is now widely prized by nostalgic collectors.
Last time I checked, a shining mint conditioned Voltes V super robot die-cast toy is about Ninety five thousand pesos!
Nowadays, prized Voltes V die-cast metal “replicas” are displayed in shelves of comic book stores and ritzy collectors’ nook and anime specialty stores; labeled as “Soul of Chogukin”: the metal replica is scaled down precisely and more accurate in function and appearance.
Sure enough, it was manufactured more with the collector’s in mind rather than for kids.
Undoubtedly, the thing costs a fortune!
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
“You may never see them again; you may never see Big Bert, Little Jon, Steve, Mark and Jamie Volt-in again. But you can read about them, again and again in the Voltes V Illustrated Pocket book. Over 140 pages of sheer, super robot fun involving your favorite super robot, Voltes V.
A pocket book to remember, a pocket book about your beloved team.
Voltes V illustrated pocket book…Limited editions only…”
These were the words that describes Questor International ‘s Voltes V illustrated pocket book.
The pocket book was published shortly after Marcos puts the ban on super robot animated shows.
It was a small, pocket sized comic book and the artwork maybe fair but not really for Voltes V.
The Voltes V images are not “manga-nized”; compared to the works of current, so-called Filipino manga artists (Who’re undoubtedly being influenced by later Japanese T.V. animations.)
But as one could study the artworks carefully, one could see the “attempt” of the artists to imitate the style which the subject was regularly recognized. Further close examination also reveal these Filipino artist’s hands being accustomed to U.S. type superhero illustrations.
I consider the Voltes V illustrated pocket book to be a worth while collector’s item, for one could see the Filipino artist’s first endeavor into Japanese manga.
Monday, June 05, 2006
We all read how the late Philippine strong man Ferdinand Marcos supposedly “killed” Voltes V.
We read about the alleged “how’s” and “why’s” behind the cancellation.
Most of these articles are presented in such documentary-type, readers maybe informed, yet these articles does not tickle the imagination.
The article I wrote was based on existing articles about the “Banning of Voltes V by Marcos” but with a little touch of “Super Robot” story line format…
Voltes V’s Greatest Battle ever….
Somewhere in the scheming depths of Malacanang, a talk about dismantling Camp Big Falcon was secretly planned.
They will unleash a great power that will forever silence Voltes V and the great convoy of “super robots” that follows behind him.
Suddenly, Big Falcon received an alarm; a strange alarm that surpasses, even the Boazanian threat. Like wise, Steve, Mark, Big Bert, Little Jon and Jamie rush in to investigate.
The Volt machines raced through Planet Earth’s higher atmosphere, eager to confront a new menace: What they found was a powerful force, greater than Planet Boazania itself.
From out of the darkness, the visage of the Philippine strong man, the great Apo Marcos greets the Voltes Team.
Using his words and presidential proclamations, Great Apo Marcos blasted all of Voltes V’s powerful weapons.
Even the mighty “Den-Ku-Ken” (called “Laser Sword” in those times…probably hitching a ride with the “light saber” of the Star Wars fame) was useless against Marcos’ pen.
Voltes V and the Voltes Team were thrown out into oblivion: along with them, were the other super robot shows like UFO Grendaizer, Daimos, Mazinger Z, Mekanda, Balatack, Danguard Ace, Striker Force, Jeeg, Getta Robot as well as live Japanese science fiction serials like Jack Q, Star Rangers, and Kyodain.
Back on planet Earth, the young children fans of Voltes V and the other super robots were shocked to have found out that their champions are no longer there to inspire them.
But since they were just kids, most of them kept quiet and surrendered the fate of their heroes to destiny.
Apo Marcos and his cronies on the other hand, made excuses that “Voltes V” and company promotes violence towards children. There were also those who said that children are “supposed to study their homework rather watch these violent cartoons.”
Some says that the true reason behind Voltes V's banning is the ending promotes rebellion and the fear of disgruntled masses imitating a certain scene in the show; the non-horned Boazanians storming Zu Zanbasil’s palace.
Other says that it’s all about cronies; Voltes V was a victim of Marcos' martial law and crony capitalism. Because in those times GMA Channel seven, the T.V station that carries Voltes V hits the top of the rating chart leaving a certain station run by a Marcos crony behind.
Then there were those who supported Apo Marcos and his super robot ban; there was a “Roni Santiago” editorial cartoon where a stout mother figure suddenly smacked a “Voltes V” effigy, shielding her son from the violent animation. There was also some news articles calling Voltes V and the other super robots “defunct”.
Then, some “less violent” Japanese anime replaced Voltes V and the other super robot shows. These shows maybe fun to watch, but not as inspiring as Voltes V. Most of these shows are aimed at little girls' tastes.
Then came some Japanese sci-fi shows that may exhibit some violence but are too dull, too lame and irritating to watch.
One of these was “Macross”.
Enter, the American Tampered Animes…
Chief among them was “Voltron: Defender of the Universe”
(A Voltes V/ He man hybrid)
and “The Transformers….”
Strange, Voltron a “Voltes V” wannabe was allowed to air in Philippine Television by Apo Marcos…Perhaps because of the show’s U.S. ties or far more deeper (or shallower) than that.
...I really don't know...
Voltron, (The name OBVIOUSLY came from VOLTES V) may have earned great followers in the U.S. and some more advance countries abroad...
But never here in the Philippines; fans have waited for the right moment for the return of the one and only Voltes V!
…And the right moment did come!
"People Power "revolution destroyed the malevolent might of Apo Marcos!
Not even his “Kabataang Baranggay” could stop the populace from shouting and screaming as they stormed the Malacanang Palace.
The Philippine strong man escaped with his family under the wings of U.S. protection.
He was thrown into exile in Hawaii with his family.
Voltes V‘s return was foreseeable…
And Voltes V DID return!...
…In greater glory; larger than life did the immense super robot stood with renewed dignity.
Woe was Voltron who cower beneath Voltes V’s shadow.
Voltron, the self proclaimed Defender of the Universe never experienced a hero’s welcome, unlike that of Voltes V.
Voltes V returns to GMA Channel Seven where it was once aired.
Camp. Big Falcon and the Voltes team resumed their fight with Prince Zardoz and the Boazanian invaders. This time, their adventure proceeded to the very end.
Sad to say, the other super robots never returned.
Only Daimos managed to reutrn with Voltes V.
Then there was a so-called scant return of Mazinger Z ( I only heard the "Mazinger Z " return from rumors.)
Lately a rival T.V studio, ABS-CBN took Voltes V under the wings of its Hero Channel cable network.
Both Voltron and Marcos are dead.
But Voltes V lives on in the hearts of loyal fans and a new generation of anime mech fans.
The Boazanian Invasion Force utilizes Boazania’s most greatest war machines for their efforts in conquering the Earth.
The Boazanian Skull ship Sky Rook:
Flagship of the Boazanian Invasion Force, under Prince Heinell (Zardoz).
The ship looks like a giant skull with massive horns, topped with a fairy tale castle. The ship can go almost anywhere, on sky, under sea, under ground and in space.
It serves as a reconnaissance vehicle, a beast fighter and cargo carrier, a command module and Prince Zardoz’s (Heinell) imperial transport.
The Boazanian Underground Castle:
One of Do Zuuru’s (Zhul) contribution to the Imperial might of the Boazanian Invasion Force, is the Underground Castle; a large, heavily fortified hidden base which serves as war factory and Beast Fighter Laboratory.
It also serves as Prince Zardos’ hide away where he could relax, contemplate and plan strikes against Camp.Big Falcon.
The Boazanian Disc Fighters (Flying Saucers):
The main stay hardware in the Boazanian Imperial War arsenal; The Disc Fighters are heavily armored, long ranged attack spaceships, armed with lethal electrical rays. Use as “shock and awe” offense units by the Boazanian Empire.
Zantal (translates as Mechanical Eagle)- Appears in episodes 24, 25, 26, and 27. Powers include mach 30 flight and anti maxingal bolts used to weaken out beast fighters with maxingal armor.
Heinel's Fighter- Appears in episode 30. Powers include flight and can emit electric surges.
False Voltes Machines- Appear in episode 35. Powers include flight presumably mach 20 and energy bullets.
Boazanian Flagship- Appear in episodes 38 and 39. Powers include pink energy bolts, and yellow energy barrier.
Zeltan- Appears in episodes 38 and 39 and it the capital ship of General Gurur. Powers include a particle wave field that is space disturbance particles that cause explosions with their effects lost in atmospheres and volleys of missiles.