VOLTRON is one of the sacred properties of my childhood, a mighty robot formed from five mechanical lions... a heroic beast who has been written about here in the virtual pages of THE ROCK FATHER Magazine on more than a few occasions. I was Voltron for Halloween back in '84 or '85, I had the toys, and still have a Voltron figure here in my office at HQ - one that the girls are frequently asking to play with. With the announcement of DreamWorks' VOLTRON: LEGENDARY DEFENDER as a Netflix Original Series (complete with a new line of figures and vehicles from Playmates Toys), I was anxious to get a look at some footage, and this weekend that first-look arrived following a panel at WonderCon. Check out the first preview, "Forming A Legend..."
Imagine an alternate reality in which VOLTRON took place as a Space Western, and instead of having human-piloted mechanical lions that formed a mighty robot together, a group of mechanical horses piloted (or ridden) by humans, were accessories to other vehicles that would form a mighty robot. Now imagine that said robot was named Ramrod, and had the exact same voice as Optimus Prime, the heroic leader of the Autobots in TRANSFORMERS. Thing is, this isn't an alternate reality - it actually happened back in 1987, when the makers of VOLTRON launched SABER RIDER & THE STAR SHERIFFS here in the U.S., a series that featured Peter Cullen (also the voice of K.A.R.R. on KNIGHT RIDER) as the voice of Ramrod, complete with a Rawhide-style catch phrase of "Head 'em up, move 'em out!" Next week, the SABER RIDER rebirth begins in an all-new comic series from Lion Forge...
When VOLTRON: LEGENDARY DEFENDER was announced as a new Netflix Original Series from DreamWorks Animation last month, I broke the news with excitement - throwing down a tale of when I was Voltron for Halloween... and how much I loved my mid-80s Voltron toys. In 2016, I still have a Voltron here in my office, and with the new series set for launch this Fall, I expect that The Rock Daughters will soon grow to love the mystical robot lions just as I do. This week, some other news came down that I'd been waiting for - that "an expansive" new toy line will launch in Spring 2017, and they're coming from Playmates Toys - the folks behind the longtime success of the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES toys.
I was VOLTRON for Halloween once. It was either 1984 or '85 (probably '84), and a full costume wasn't then-available. I had the "role play" set, which included Voltron's signature "Blazing" Sword, along with a helmet that emulated the top of Voltron's head. My mom painted my face black and white to best match the character, and my dad made me a chestplate and armor - crafted from cardboard, and with details done in marker. Problem is, it rained that Halloween, and my armor was ruined. The marker ran into a blurry mess, and the costume became unwearable. Saddened, I switched into an alternate "robot" costume we had at home. Voltron was a big deal for me, and we had the robot lions, their drivers, even the Castle of Lions Playset, which is now very coveted. More than three decades since, I still dig Voltron, and here in my office stands a 1997 Trendmasters reproduction of the die-cast Matchbox Voltron from when I was a kid. My then-future wife bought it for me during our first year together. This week's announcement that DreamWorks Animation will be producing a "reimagining" of VOLTRON as a Netflix Original Series got me started on today's nostalgia trip, but it's just one piece of a bigger announcement that extended the partnership between DreamWorks & Netflix.
Whether you'd like to call them "Dad Bloggers," "Daddy Bloggers," or just "Bloggers that happen to be Dads," there's a lot more men jumping into the "parenting" realm of the blogging world on a regular basis. While the mainstream media loves to toss headlines like "Year of the Dad Blogger!" (which I'm fairly sure has been used for the past three years, not counting the just-started 2013), there's a lot of interesting voices out there that are all working on building audiences for their unique and very personal writings. Last month, Oren Miller of A Blogger and a Father created a private Facebook Group to unite Dad Bloggers in one place to meet, mingle, swap stories, and cross-promote. This past week, The Rock Father joined the growing group.