Wednesday, January 09, 2013
Collectible of the Week: Voltron Coffin of Doom/Coffin of Darkness (Panosh Place; 1984)
Joel and I have been watching and enjoying Voltron: Defender of the Universe (1984) on Netflix over the holidays.
Although Voltron hasn’t quite reached the level of Joel’s current/ongoing Cyberman/Doctor Who obsession, he loves one aspect in particular of the Japanese animated series.
In each episode, Haggar the Witch sends a fierce ro-beast to challenge Voltron and the heroes of the Galaxy Alliance. These ro-beasts arrive on planetary surfaces in kitted-up space coffins: weird colorful caskets that “birth” the monstrosities
In 1984, the company Panosh Place created a whole line of really great Voltron toys -- ships and figures -- including the Coffin of Doom (containing the Ro-Beast Scorpius) and the Coffin of Darkness, which houses the Ro-Beast memorably called “Mutilor.”
Both of these swing open coffins house Voltron action figures, and feature forward-aiming armament, as you can see from the photographs. The back of the coffin box describes the grim vehicles thusly: “Only a dreaded Ro-beast could live in this evil coffin. But this is no ordinary resting place, because this horrific flying machine takes Scorpius/Mutilor on his barbaric missions.
It goes on to say: “Combat and chaos, that’s why Haggar the Witch created the Coffin of Doom/Darkness. And with its wings spread, war lamp lit and clicking battle sound, it more than lives up to its creator’s most diabolical dreams.”
The boxes also describe the terrifying pilots. They thrive on “combat” and pilot the coffins.
“From the moment you see” their "eerie glow” and hear their “forbidding sound, you know that evil is on the way.”
Alas, the pilots are sold separately from the coffins of doom/darkness.
Now I just need to get my hands on a Panosh Place Voltron and Castle of Lions…