When ‘80s kid Robdp82 found a relatively rare 1984 Voltron “Castle of Lions” playset in his mother’s attic, he did what any nostalgia-loving computer builder would do—he transformed it into a lovely Voltron-themed custom PC, complete with five color-coded lion SSDs.
Instead of cashing out on eBay, where the 1984 Castle of Lions playset can go for a couple hundred bucks incomplete, Robdp82, who now goes by Voltron PC Guy on Twitter and Instagram, invested three years and a not-insignificant amount of money into creating his unique PC masterpiece. The project saw him through two house moves, the birth of a child, and a global pandemic, but it’s finally done, at least until he gets the itch again and starts adding stuff to the castle’s wings.
For now, the PC portion of the Castle of Lions is situated in the central section of the toy castle. The power button is inside the severed head of a black lion toy, the “unfortunate victim of a childhood accident” as Robdp82 explains it on the PCPartPicker project page; to power on the system one must open the lion’s mouth to access the switch. Every computer’s power button should be so cool.
Inside the case is a Gigabyte H370N motherboard, chosen for its four SATA ports and the fact that it fit. He wanted five hard drives, one for each lion color in Voltron, so he used five M.2 SSD drives. The red, green, blue, and yellow are mounted in their own drive bay, while the black lion drive serves as the heart of the motherboard. All of the decals were created and printed by Robdp82 himself.
Some parts, like the RAM sticks, were chosen specifically for their ability to stick to the Voltron theme. The Corsair Dominator 8GB at 3000MHz, for example, was chosen because of its addressable RGB lighting, which is configured to represent the four colored lions and pink for the Princess. Others were chosen for more practical reasons, like the single-slot low-profile Yeston RX550 graphics card. Originally Robdp82 planned on using a mini Nvidia Geforce GTX 1070, but it took up too much space and caused a burning plastic smell. Ew.
My favorite bit of the build isn’t even a PC part. To achieve the glowing tower effect, which was not a feature of the original toy castle, Robdp82 harnessed the power of Lego light bricks, special powered pieces that give off just enough of a shine to make things pretty with the lights down low.
It’s not the most powerful PC, but it’s meant as more of a retro gaming and emulation station, ao it’s almost overpowered for its purposes. In Voltron terms, I’d say it’s powerful enough to keep the monster at bay long enough until the team remembers they can form the Blazing Sword.