Recently a giant figure of Voltron Lengendary Defender dominated the fountain on Maryland Plaza as the Koplar family's World Event Productions introduced "Form Voltron," a new series on Netflix produced by DreamWorks Animation, on a giant screen located on Scape's patio. Voltron has been a member of the Koplar family for 32 years, and friends and neighbors were invited to celebrate the occasion.
Bob Koplar, president of World Event Productions, is photographed with his wife Emily Brady Koplar, creator of Wai Ming.
Thirty-two years ago Bob's father, Ted Koplar, president of Koplar Communications and former owner of KPLR (Channel 11), set out to acquire rights to a Japanese anime series. When he received a box of several videocassettes from a Tokyo-based animation company to consider, there was one he hadn't ordered called "GoLion." That series, mistakenly added to the box, became the one he and his team wanted, and thus Voltron was born.
Voltron Legendary Defender has been a prominent figure in Bob Koplar's life since the age of 5 when he served as the sole "focus group" for the series, which debuted in 1984. It aired on weekday afternoons in most U. S. cities and 85 countries worldwide. Though the series ended after two years, Voltron lived on in cable repeats, comic books and a toy line, and of course in the lives of the Koplar family.
A life-size Voltron chatted with guests at the May 10 event.
Sam Koplar, above left, president of Koplar Properties, was one of many attendees sporting Voltron shirts.
Tambora Mills, right, manager of Bissinger's on Maryland Plaza, and an unidentified friend, pulled out their vintage Voltron shirts too.
St. Louis-based Lion Forge is producing Voltron's series of comics, above and below.
Face painters were busy painting Voltron insignias on the guests.
Younger members of the audience were anxious for dusk to settle and the show to begin. Three episodes of Form Voltron, produced by DreamWorks Animation were shown at the celebration. The series was released on Netflix on the same day.
When I step back from this particular post and think about all the creative people who live and work in this neighborhood, and expand that to the greater St. Louis area, it reaffirms how many positive things are happening here. Thanks to people like Ted and Bob Koplar for adding to what makes this city an exciting place to live right now.