Name: Victory Leo
Series: Robot Masters
Alternate Mode: Robotic Lion
Height: 8cm Length: 13cm Width: 13.5cm
A rather well armed lion, the three guns on his back add 4cm to his length while over half his width is due to his wingspan. The weaponry is grey and the wings are a milky white while the body of the lion is black and his head and limbs are yellow. Being a scaled down late G1 Japanese toy, Victory Leo is of course blocky, and this lion mode shares it's general bodyshape with the black lion from Voltron. The yellow used is typical of lion toys, which is a nice touch. He sports some red paint on his wings and the side guns as well as metallic blue painted eyes. It's a decent colour scheme, and it really feels like a Takara colour scheme.
The wings are swept forward and sit above his shoulders, with lasers pointing backwards - they are literally backwards jet wings. There are soft plastic fangs underneath his head, which are placed more like boar tusks than lion fans, since they have to double as his robot antennae. The overall effect is a moderately unrealistic robotic lion which looks imposing, which works for Victory Leo but wouldn't appeal to those who like realistic alt modes.
There's limited play value here, but then he's based on a late G1 Japanese design - and they represent some of the least poseable Transformers. His legs can swing and his forelimbs have hinges midway, which are meant for the transformation and robot modes but are still meaningful articulation here. The wings can flap up and down, which is more about positioning than actual poseability. All three guns are removable, and the central one is actually a missile launcher, the single grey missile will fire maybe half a metre across the table.
I don't have an original Victory Leo to compare, but I quite like this lion mode. Decent colours, an impressive shape and a powerful look all work in his favour. The play value isn't so great, but I suspect this is inherited from the original, and at this size it's hard to see a scaled down combiner being too intricate. My only main gripes here are the lack of a tail and the lack of a clasp holding the rump together - although the latter is minor since it tends to stay together anyway.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
By the numbers, really. Extend the rear section to form the robot legs, swing up the hindlegs. Rotate the front paws to reveal his fists, stand him up. All that remains now is choosing weapons. Not only can Victory Leo hold the two solid guns and his missile launcher, he also comes with a small yellow pistol, a new addition for the Robotmasters version (as is the way with this line).
Height: 11.5cm Width: 13cm
This time I've not counted the guns in his height, although I've measured his wingspan since the wings aren't removable. Anyway, Victory Leo's main colour is again black with the yellow supporting on his head and hands, with a cameo on the sides of his boots (the folded up hindlegs). His elbows are grey, feet are red while his thighs are the same milky white as the wings which now sit behind his shoulders, forming a rather angelic cape. If you leave them on his backpack, the guns form tall grey pillars behind his head. Again, the colour scheme works fairly well here, and the black and yellow core works very well.
If anything, the proportions work better in robot mode than lion mode. It's not that I dislike the lion mode shape, but a blocky robot makes more sense than a blocky lion. The wings now sweep up, which makes more sense than wings swept back (or anywhere else) on a lion. Victory Leo looks impressively powerful even on this small scale, and really looks like something out of anime.
His head is the lion head from a different angle, and the mane now forms a battle helmet of sorts, encasing his silver face and blue eyes. The facial sculpt is pretty good, and the fangs form nifty horns on his head. These horns are made of soft plastic so they won't break off which is a nice touch.
There's more play value here than I really expect. I expect an unposeable brick - his shoulders rotate and his elbows and wrists bend. There's also some sideways movement in his hips, which is for his transformation to Victory Saber mode. All of this movement is needed for his transformation, and it's really about all I expect. But with four guns and a total of ten places to attach them, there's some versatility here. The standard configuration sees the missile launcher clip into his right side waist, the yellow pistol is handheld and the grey guns clip onto the sides of his forearms. Victory Leo can also hold the missile launcher in hand and the grey guns can clip into his shoulders, while all three grey weapons can remain on his back. While none of these configurations on their own add a whole lot, the number of options is impressive.
I've read at least one review of this toy which talks about a lack of stability on Victory Leo, so I'm quite happy to report that mine is quite solid and stable. As with God Bomber before him, Victory Leo breaks apart to form battle armour for Star Saber. While there's almost nothing left for God Bomber once God Ginrai is accounted for, Victory Leo gets a bigger slice of the cake and hence is a much better toy on his own. If you, like the reviewer in question, have a loose Victory Leo, it's a different story.
Aside from a potentially loose toy, I can't really fault this robot mode. It's blocky and chunky because it's based on a blocky and chunky G1 toy - so if you don't go for that type of robot mode it'll influence your opinion. He looks impressive and is bristling with weaponry, so on the whole I quite like this robot mode.
None that I'm aware of, although as mentioned this is a scaling down and updating of a G1 toy.
A pretty good toy for what he is, both modes work in a G1 kind of way and Victory Leo is a walking armoury which gives him some play value. It's obvious that Victory Leo and Star Saber were designed to go together - the fact is that on his own Victory Leo's only half as interesting - and so while he's a decent toy in his own right, it's the Victory Saber combination that makes this toy worthwhile - 7/10