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New Microman Series

1983 Micro Change

 

Micro Change

Microman Series

 

1974

Microman Zone
First year of included the Founder Microman, Micro Kit Machines and Conning Tower.

 

1975

Project Victory
Second year saw more Microman and several new sub series such as the Acroyears, Titans and Victory series.

 

1976

Spy Magician

The line finally came into its own during the third year with new figures and the classic Microman Transfer Fortress.

 

1977

Command
A watershed year for Microman series, this year saw some of the best toys for the line. 

 

1978

Police Keeper

Takara tried new design and direction for the series with the released of Hoodman and Arden. 

 

1979

Rescue Team
Takara "rescue" attempt for the line with the Rescue Team Microman.  This year also saw updated of the old favorite like the New Tower Base.

 

1980

Punch & Blizzard Man
The last year of the original series saw the shift in the line to more robot like look and larger figures.

 

New Microman Series

 

1981

New Microman
Takara reset the line and relaunch the series under the New Microman banner.

 

1982

Micro Robot
Micro Robot series became the main focus of the new line.  Takara also tried to cash in on the "pla-mo" popularity with Real Type and Micro Borg.

 

1983

Micro Change
The "transformation" for Microman series began with the Micro Change series.

 

1984

Transformers

Takara continued with the successful Micro Change series but the changing of the guard was inevitable.

The third year of New Microman, Takara introduced new type of Microman toys called Micro Change. These were ordinary objects that could "transform" into robots to fight along side Microman. Takara also released the last of the New Microman - 011 Salam (reissued of Microman Command2 M16X) in several varieties of colors. The main focus of this year series was the new sub-series of Microman called the Micro Change. While Takara still kept some interaction with the action-figure side it became clear by 1983 that the focus of the line had shifted from the old Microman action-figures to Micro Robot action-figures.

 

 

By 1983, there was many other changes that were going on in the toys industry with the popularity of show like Gundam and the realistic robots depictions, older kids in Japan began to view transforming toys as childish. The transformation robot toys like Bandai popular Sentai Team (Power Ranger) and  Takara Diaclone and New Microman  began to suffer greatly in popularity. However when a show called Macross came on the scene and able to combine the two concept of realistic looking objects with that of the giant robots with the legendary design - the Macross Valkyrie fighter. Takara take this concept of realistic object that transform into robots and applied the idea to both New Microman and Diaclone series. On the New Microman side, the line got new sub-series called Micro Change and Diaclone got a new sub-line called Car Robot. Little did Takara know in 1983, that they had struck something big that would forever change not only Microman future but the future of both Japanese and American robot toys. The Micro Change series proved to be quite popular but ironically their popularity would soon bring about the end of Microman line.

ACTION-FIGURES

New Microman

 M011 Salam

  

Micro Change Series
MC01 MicroCassette Robo

  Blue Micross

  Red Micross

 

MC02 MicroCassette Robo

  Blue Jaguar

  Black Jaguar

 

MC03 MicroCassette Robo

  Orange Condor

  Red Condor

 
MC04 Mini CAR Robo

  01 Porsche 944 (red,yellow,blue)

  02 XG1500 (red,yellow,blue)

  03 VW Bug (red,yellow,blue)

  04 4WD Truck

  05 Jeep

  06 Trans Am

  07 Semi Truck

 

MC05 Camera Robo - MICROX

 
MC06 Watch Robo

  Gold Type

  Black Type

  Blue Type

  Chrome Type

 

MC07 Gun Robo - M1910

 

Micro Change Machines Cassette Machines
MC08 Battle Bike HG90

MC09 Jet Heli XL120

 

MC10 Cassette Robo - Cassette Man

 

MC11 Gun Robo - S&W 44

 

MC12 Gun Robo - Walther P38

  P38 Black Type

  P38 Gray Type

 

MC13 Gun Robo - P38 U.N.C.L.E.

 

Real Microman - Bio-Suits

BS01 Mineral Searcher Type

BS01 Heat Resistance Type

BS02 Deep Sea Type

BS02 Dust-proof Filter Type

 

Micro Change Story

Micro Change were living robots build by Microman to fight the Acroyears. Micro Change disguised themselves as ordinary household items that can transform into Micro-robots when danger arise.

 

 

Diaclone - Microman Synergy and the rise of The Transformers. (by Paul L. and Bryan W.)

From the beginning, it was obvious that there was some kind of connection between the, then, Takara new Diaclone line and the relaunch 1981 Microman series. The recent research by my good friend Bryan uncovered these hidden synergy of the two line that ultimately became the Transformers. It all began in the late 1970's when Takara hold of sci-fi market was slipping.  Microman popularity peaked in 1977 and had since then been on steady declined since.  By 1980, Takara decided on new marketing strategy to take on the die-cast robot toys market dominated by the like of Popy. Takara planed was essentially to split their sci-fi series into two "scale" of toy lines. The action-figures line was left to the newly revamped Microman series called the "New Microman". The new Microman pretty much took the concept started with the 1979-1980 series and expanded it further. The new line now focus on Microman size  transforming robots and armored-suit that interact with the Microman scale figures. (Microman still retained their 1:1 scale).  While Microman line tackled the action-figures market, the new line called Diaclone was to take on the "giant robot" sector.  Diaclone too began as a concept expanded from the Microman toys.  By 1980, Takara already attempted to enter the giant robot market by introducing toy like Death King but this was not entirely successful due mainly to the fact that Microman at its core was still an action-figure line. So instead of introducing giant robot into Microman line, Takara stared with a new series that centered around giant robots. Diaclone shared much of the basis of late Microman design but the series was done on 1/60 scale with the "action-figure" only about an inch tall.  The focus of this line was of course on the giant bases and vehicles that could transform into robot for these miniature figure. (The figure had chrome head and magnetic feet and look much like a micro-scale Punch Microman). Diaclone was pretty much a Micropolis-realized something that Takara had long wanted to do for Microman but could not due to size. The robot and based literally formed a sci-fi world for these Diaclone figures.  The figures in Diaclone became the "accessory" instead of the main focus.

By early 1980's, both the toys and anime world were fast changing with the introducing of realistic robots with shows like Gundam and later Macross taking over the super-robot series. Takara designers seized on this "real" concept and spin it into their sci-fi lines. This was something that Takara seem to always excel at, taking the popular concept and adapted them to their line. Before 1983, most of the Diaclone and Microman toys featured futuristic designs, but that was all changed with the introduction of two new series - "Car Robot" for the Diaclone and "Micro Change" for the Microman.  The "Car Robot" featured realistic looking cars that could transformed into robots for the Diaclone pilot while the "Micro Change" (also known as Chameleon Good) featured realistic object that transformed into robots and vehicles that interacted with the Microman figures. These two new line were dubbed the "Real & Robot" line - a combination of "real" world object with the fictional "robot".  The "Real & Robot" would flourished for couple of years until Hasbro (a US toy company) took these two "Real & Robot" lines and combined them together and gave them a whole new story called "The Transformers" for the US market.  The new series proved immensely successful and Takara decided to imported the idea back to Japan.  It was quite ironic that Hasbro accomplished what Takara had been trying to do since the day of the Victory Project - a unify single line for all of their main sci-fi toys. To be fair, Hasbro did have one big advantage over Takara, it was able to start from scratch with new story something Takara could not do with their already establish brand.  This new "victory" for Takara however did not come without a cost.  With the successful fusion of the two lines under "The Transformers" banner, it was no longer necessary for Takara to keep neither the Microman nor the Diaclone line going.  By 1985, both line were canceled and replaced with the new single sci-fi line called "Fight Super Robot Life-form Transformers".