Rather than heading straight to the bigscreen, Variety is reporting that Voltron: Defender of the Universe will take life as an animated series (Voltron Force) on Nicktoons and a new toy line from Mattel.

Starting in 2011, Nicktoons will air 26 half-hour episodes of Voltron Force, about five space explorers who pilot robotic lions that combine to form Voltron, an invincible guardian sworn to defend the Universe.

The series will remain faithful to the old show, while introducing new recruits to fight alongside the original characters.

WEP and Classic Media had been developing a live action feature for some time but scribes, including Justin Marks, have yet to lock down the right tone, producers said.

In addition to Voltron: Defender of the Universe, Warner Bros.' animation is reviving a version of Thundercats for Cartoon Network, which has had a feature treatment stuck in development. Also, billionaire Haim Saban bought back Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers from Disney last month for about $100 million to reboot as TV shows on Nickelodeon and toys.