Voltron is a shape-changing giant mecha robot first featured in the 1980s animated television series Voltron, Defender of the Universe. There has since been a second series, made in the 1990s using CGI techniques. The 1980s Voltron series was based on two vaguely-related Japanese anime series (both originally produced by Toei Animation & Bandai, who also produced the popular Super Sentai series in Japan). The anime was dubbed and strung together by North American television production and distribution company World Events. The series was not a straight dub, however, as much of the violence of the original Japanese series was removed (among other things).
Later episodes were based on the 1982 series Armored Fleet Dairugger XV (機甲艦隊 ダイラガーXV - Kikō Kantai Dairagā XV), and changed the storyline considerably. In this iteration of Voltron, the Galaxy Alliance's home planets have been overcrowded, and a fleet of Explorers have been sent to look for new planets to colonize. Along the way, they attract the attention of the evil Drule, who proceeds to interfere with the explorers and the colonists. Since the Voltron of Planet Arus was too far away to help the explorers, a new Voltron is constructed to battle the Drule threat.
This Voltron team consisted of 15 members and were divided into three teams of five, known respectively as the Land, Sea and Air Teams. Each team was specialized in gathering data or fighting in their area of expertise. Each team could also combine their vehicles into a bigger machine, with each combined vehicle differing amongst the three teams. These fighters were:
- The Aqua Fighter (Sea Team)
- The Turbo Terrain Fighter (Land Team)
- The Strato Fighter (Air Team)
When necessary, all 15 vehicles combine to form the mighty Voltron. This Voltron in the toyline was referred to as Voltron I and also called the Vehicle Team, most likely due to it being closer to Earth than the more popular Voltron III which was also called the Lion Force.
In the recent comic by Image and Devil's Due Publishing, this Voltron came about through the capture and study of the original Voltron. Thus, while machines cannot truly be cloned, this Voltron could be considered an imperfect clone of Voltron. The machine was referred to in one issue as V-15, and was actually attacked by the Lion Voltron in order to repair itself. Unlike in the animated series, which only had two crossovers with the Lion Force (once at the end of the Lion Force run and the other in the Fleet of Doom special which brought both Voltrons together), in which the two Voltron Forces were longstanding friends in most cases, the comics depicted Keith and Jeff having an antagonistic relationship with one another, particularly in regards to Voltron's supposed 'sneak attack' on the Vehicle Voltron.
In early episodes, it was mentioned that the Vehicle Voltron once assembled had only five minutes of fuel. This was promptly forgotten during later episodes. (Wikipedia)