The 1986 Panosh Place retailer (”Toy Fair”) catalog included a variety of new Voltron toys that were intended for release that year. Presumably from lack of retailer interest, these toys were never produced.
Among the unproduced Voltron toys in the catalog is the toy spaceship shown below. Unlike the other toys in the catalog, this toy is shown only in a group photo. It is not featured in any individual photos, and it is not described in any way — meaning that no retailer could have ordered this toy
even if it had wanted to.
Based on the toy being grouped with the “good guy” toys, and based on it seemingly having a human pilot, the toy was probably intended to be a space fighter for Planet Arus or the Galaxy Garrison. This vehicle would have given the unproduced new “good guy” action figures — Sven and Vehicle Team pilots Jeff, Krik and Cliff — something to fly. (The five “good guy” action figures that had been released in 1985 already had vehicles — namely the five Voltron lions.)
I used OpenCV in an attempt to remove the perspective and to provide a “straight-on” view of the artwork. The result isn’t perfect, but it is interesting.
The object in the artwork does indeed strongly resembles the toy Voltron spaceship shown in the 1986 Panosh Place retailer catalog, although they might not match exactly. Any mismatch might be explainable by the toy in the catalog being a refined version of what is shown in the artwork.
In the artwork the spaceship appears to have a detachable front module. Perhaps each of the two modules was designed to carry an action figure.
Why were Voltron creators Ted Koplar and Peter Keefe examining this artwork? The photo was obviously staged, but the artwork had to be at the World Events Productions (WEP) offices for a reason. Perhaps WEP was reviewing this proposed toy design for approval. If so, then maybe they didn’t approve it, which might explain why the toy isn’t available for ordering in the 1986 Panosh Place toy catalog. Perhaps the catalog’s photos had been taken before WEP disapproved the toy, which would explain why the toy is shown in the group photo in the catalog.
It’s likely that we’ll never know the full story behind this toy spaceship, but this recently shared photo does provide an insightful glimpse at this unproduced toy.
Thanks to the people who maintain the Voltron Facebook page for sharing this photo with Voltron fans!