Welcome back, since my entry about the Takara toys that Hasbro did not use was a big hit, I thought I would bring you some more. I will touch on some other stuff as well so please stick with me here.
In 1983 just a few months before Hasbro released the Transformers, Takara released their small Diakron line in North America. This line contained 7 robots and all but one was just a little later turned into Transformers. As with Diaclone toys they all came with a small robot driver.
Vehicles to Mecha-robots: All three were just in colors of Transformers that Hasbro passed on but used alternate colors instead. (with a robot driver to drive the robot as if it was a Mechanical suit or Mecha.)
- DK-1 (red Sunstreaker)
- DK-2 (black Ironhide)
- DK-3 (blue Trailbreaker)
Powerdashers: Now before you say “Hey I never heard of Powerdashers before!” Well they were produced by Hasbro but they were only available by mail-order for $3 and 2 Robot Points. The jet being the most common was the only model pictured, but the catalog did say it may be random with one of the other types sent instead.
- Aragon (Powerdasher car)
- Cromar (Powerdasher drill)
- Zetar (Powerdasher jet)
Multi-Force 14 Robot: was a originally Diaclone Gats Blocker that consisted of 14 vehicles that connected together to form one robot, pretty much like the less popular Vehicle Voltron that was based on a mecha anime series aired in Japan from 1982 to 1983 called Armored Fleet Dairugger XV.
Following this Takara replaced Diakron with Kronoform in North American markets with various toys Hasbro did not use. These were in three categories:
1) Originators Protector of the Universe (the good guys):
- Including Multi-Force 14 Robot now known simply as Multi-Force.
- Modulator: A cosmos roller that transforms in 5 second to a battle platform merely by flipping the sides down. Originally Cosmic Car in the Diaclone line.
2) Terminators Evil Robotic Force (the bad guys):
- Wargon: 3 robotic insects that combine into 1 robot Originally a diaclone toy named Warudaros.
- Attakon: Originally known as the Diaclone Dai Attacker is one robot made up of two vehicles, “Marauder Jet” and “Lunar Scavenger”
3) Time Machines: A grouping of 11 watches (a really bad pun “time” and “machine”) including a scorpion, a gun, a jet, cars, robots (one is a calculator watch) and a working boom box.
Other Diaclone toys unused by Hasbro, some were used in the above Diakron and Kronoform lines:
- Il Grande: Largest Diaclone robot that transforms into a Base Command Centre and was 17 inches tall
- Daitron: Three Vehicles which form one robot (Cosmic 01, Cosmic 02 & Cosmic 03)
- Dai-Gats blocker: Became Multi-Force 14 Robot pretty much unchanged
So you may be wondering what the Microman toys were that Takara created and then created Microchange and Diaclone after. So here goes:
- Original Microman Series 1974-80: first appearing in April 74 and the series was originally a miniaturized version of Takara’s 12″ action figure line Henshin Cyborg and look pretty much like a smaller version of them. It was a small line consisting of only of few toys. The center of the series were the four Microman figures. (later to be called “Founder” Microman) They featured clear bodies, chrome heads, and bare feet. (later replaced with shoe like feet) These were sold in North America and Canada as Micronauts (I had several, that sadly have not survived til today) The following year saw several more figures with some new designs. The third year in and Takara introduced many new figures including the Titan series that had magnetic ball joints in the arms and legs allow them to be removed and interchanged and a magnetic ball in the torso that allowed the addition of jet packs and other items. 1977 saw the introduction of the one and old female figure for the line. In 1978 saw the decline of the series but saw a new line called Hoodman with addition to their original line that only got one figure but with vehicles as well. The second last year for the series saw several new figures, vehicles and a secret base all under the title of “Rescue” along with a few other series including the Cosmic Roller mentioned above. 1980 was the last year of the original line and the theme was Blizzard and Punch figures fighting new villain Interstellar Emperor Death King and his evil minions.
- New Microman Series 1981-84: Takara reset the line and re-launched the series under the “New Microman” name, released were 10 Microman figures, each was a recolor and renamed version of various Microman from the original line complete with new story. Also introduced was a new type of figure call Micro Robot. Nothing like the old series, these new robots were miniaturized versions of 80’s mecha style robots with abilities to transform themselves into vehicles or weapon platform for the New Microman. This also marked a shift from cyborg to living robot. This was also the first year of Diaclone that led us to Transformers.
So as you can see Takara has really been a force in toys, still creates toys and is in partnership with Hasbro creating new Transformers for all us Kids at heart, take care and see you next time.