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1975 Project Victory Series

Mecha-Cosmo Series - Escargot (c.1975)



Mecha-Cosmo Series No.1 Escargot



Microman Mecha-Cosmo Series

Microman Escargot

Released : 3/1975

Retail Price : 1000 Yen

Microman Escargot toy comes in small square red box.  Takara revamped Microman line in 1975 and the packaging designs for all the toys in the line were change into photograph of actual toys instead of commission artworks. Each panel of the cube shows off Escargot in various modes and configurations.


The bottom of the box shows the toy features and also the rest of the line-up for the first half of 1975. The lower right shows the other vehicle in the Mecha-Cosmo series - Marine Copter.


Instruction & Insert


As with all the 2nd year toys, Escargot came with sticker sheet for kid to decorate the vehicle.  The stickers, like most early Microman vehicles consisted a lot of look-alike company logos that one would see on race cars and car garage.  Though the most prominent is the red and green snail logo for the Escargot.  No action-figure was not included with the vehicle.  The toy instruction and catalog were missing from this particular sample. (As you can tell the box had seen a better day).





The missing Micronauts version and the Spy Boys

While many of the early Microman

were licensed by Mego and sold as Micronauts toys including the other half of this Mecha-Cosmo series - the Marine-Copter. Microman Escargot was sadly never went on sale. The early Micronauts catalogs showed the toy as part of the initial line-up and was to be call the Gyrotron.  It was unclear why Gyrotron was never release some speculate this was probably due to complexity and cost.


*(Micronauts catalog picture and info are courtesy of Dave Waugh at Innerspace On-line).


Takara did however retool the Escargot and released the toy as Baseball Machines Spy Boy 1 and Spy Boy 2 as part of the Spy-Magician line-up in 1976  Instead of snail, the ball shape toys were recolor and convert into mechanical cartoon baseball players.

Takara released Microman Escargot in March of 1975.  This was not only a big push for Microman line but also star of new direction for the series.  The early concept for Microman was that they were suppose to be small version of Takara 12" Henshin Cyborg toys.  The concept that was quickly abandon after the first year, and Microman became its own full fledge series in 1975.  Takara released several series of toys including three new Microman types, the enemy - Acroyear, four wind-up vehicles called Machine Cars and two mechanized vehicles dubbed Mecha-Cosmo series, in which Escargot belonged to. (The other vehicle in the series was Marine-Coptor).

Mecha-Cosmo Escargot as the series name imply, is a battery-powered motorized vehicle (probably why Takara the added "mecha" for mechanized to the previous year Cosmo name).  Mecha-Cosmo would become the first Microman series to incorporate battery powered motor to propel the toy.  Escargot is designated as toy No.1 in the Mecha-Cosmo line while Marine-Copter is No.2.  If being the first motorized vehicle in Microman line up is not enough, Escargot is probably one of the more unusual if not one the more interesting Microman toys from the original series.  Aside from the ubiquitous "ball" shape design, the vehicle is also modeled after a snail.  The toy comes with two leg-wheels that can be attach to front of the ball to give the vehicle snail-like appearance.

Since Takara changed the series direction in 1975, Escargot like many of the toys in the 2nd year, began to included numerous 5mm connectors to facilitate the play element of "interchangeable" that would become cornerstone of Microman series.  The Escargot toy is full of 5mm ports on the main body and all the connection parts such as machine gun, connecting arms and wheels have 5mm pegs.  Escargot by itself can be configure in various way from the simple ball and snail shape vehicle to more elaborate battle chariot complete with rear gunner station and it can also convert into a radar tower.  The vehicle has space for two Microman figures in nicely molded cockpit details (this apparently before Takara discovered stickers that they would later so fondly use for all the decorations).  The seats are a little tight probably again legacy design left over from the first Microman Zone series.  The motor inside of this particular toy is long dead, not to mention the sign of corrosion in the battery compartment along completely deteriorated original rubber bands so there was no way to check how the toy would perform when powered on.